I’m in the midst of a social media cleanse, which is pretty great. I deleted all apps from my phone except Twitter (which I use to track the Light Rail) and have gotten increasingly hooked on this bubble popping game that I downloaded for free. My reasons for this social media hiatus have to do with the anniversary of my grandmother’s death – which is always a rough time of year for me and my mom. However, some other things have been happening in the outliers of my life that I debated responding to. I’ve thought about it for a while and how I would want to respond, and today I wanted to share my thoughts with whoever is listening.
Last week, I got this message on my post about apologies:
New comment from Anonymous on Is It Too Late Now to Say Sorrrrrrry? (lets talk about genuine apologies):
Normally I’m all for people gaining self-awareness, realizing the error of their ways, growing, and committing themselves to genuine change for the better. However, I think I speak for many others in the relatively small community of Baltimore when I say that your long-standing, well-documented negative reputation isn’t going to be simply erased or rewritten based off of a few seemingly insincere, self-serving blog posts.
This alleged reinvention or path to enlightenment isn’t selfless or enlightened at all - it feels more like a frantic attempt to rewrite very recent history and portray yourself as a completely changed woman, when anyone who is familiar with your character in real life knows this is not the case. You readily admit to devoting a decent amount of time to actively curating very specific online personas in order to convince others to see you in a certain light, and this feels no different.
You’ve clearly decided this new adopted narrative of love and acceptance and uplifting others garners more likes and followers than your previous attempt of being a “Baltimore brat” who “doesn’t give a damn” about her bad reputation. But despite your many, varied attempts, it all feels breathtakingly disingenuous and, like Anonymous mentioned, self motivated.
Of course crazier things have happened and it would be great if ultimately your online declaration of change led to your evolution into a better, kinder person in every aspect of your real life, but from first glance it all seems pretty surface-level and manufactured for likes.
I wanted to take a moment to respond to you, Genevieve. Yes, I know it’s you. You and your sister are the only people who have ever taken the time to leave cutting, long, negative remarks on my blog posts.
I debated not responding to you, hoping that my silence would make you lose interest in my life, but then I realized that my silence would only suggest to you that you’ve won. Through stat counter, I’ve watched you check my blog to see if I’ve responded, so I thought I would take the opportunity to respond– so let’s get to it.
You have not beaten me down. You will never beat me down because I am at a point in my life where I do not care what you have to say. I will never lose to you because I’m not playing the dysfunctional game that you are so intent on playing. We are not friends, we have not even spoken to one another in over three years and before that, we were only brought together because our boyfriends at the time were best friends. You have never truly known me, and you will never truly know me.
My journey with self-care and talking about my mental health began a year ago – and yes, perhaps your hateful anonymous comments then did attribute to it. There were a number of other factors, none I feel the need to go into. I started writing about my experiences, my thoughts and my journey because that’s what they were – mine. You can call me fake, you can call my life manufactured – I do not care. This is my life, not yours. I do not and will never have to prove myself to you.
You can recite my past Instagram bios to me, trying to embarrass me because I chose Joan Jett lyrics for a 100-word bio at one time (re: the song “Bad Reputation”), or because I chose to call myself a brat – titles I feel no shame for. You forgot to add in that at one time, after watching Grease, I changed my bio to “modern day Betty Rizzo,” and I guess I’ll explain that “screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke,” is a quote from the musical Mama Mia. You can call me manufactured and disingenuous, you can send me as many paragraph long anonymous comments as you want – if anything this says much more about your character then it ever will about mine.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, finding quotes and poems that I feel connected to, and I came across one that I think you should hear.
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
It’s a Roald Dahl quote. It’s simple, but it’s true. We are at a point in our lives where we are both nothing to one another. If you do not like me, if you hold such strong hatred in your heart for me, it does not affect me in any way whatsoever. It only affects you.
I am not asking you to check up on my life. I am not asking you to take the time to leave comments on my writing, or look at what posts I make on Instagram or Twitter. I am not asking you to even believe that what I have gone through is genuine, because you are not someone whose opinion matters to me. You are not part of my community and you cannot convince me that I am surrounded by people who hate me because I know that it’s not true. The support and love I have received, through this blog, through my experiences, adventures and fumbles through Baltimore, make me feel stronger than any of your attempts to make me feel weak. The love, support and protection of my friends and family make me feel so loved, versus any of your attempts to let me know I am hated.
I could take the time to figure out how to block your IP from my blog, but we both know that it’s easy enough to find ways around it. So basically, I’m responding to you to tell you to stop. This is a pointless, exhausting fight for you to be waging against someone who has no desire to fight with you. There are so many better ways to spend your time, I’m sure of it.
I can’t make you stop, but I can let you know that from now on – any comments will be deleted, with a chuckle and a sigh. I am done with this situation. You cannot get a rise out of me, you cannot make me feel bad about myself. You do not have that power.