Last year, I had a falling out with some family members, over what was really a misunderstanding. But, old feelings came to the top, and it boiled over. A few sharp words were exchanged, then we were all blocked. I wrote a blog post about it, and that was that.
Or so I thought.
Today, someone from their side messaged me. I’ve read your blog post, they said, almost four months after it had been published. They proceeded to tell me how I was wrong, how nasty I was, twisted, bitter, because I responded to a family member bringing up the abuse I suffered as a child, and insinuating that I’d made it all up. How I put a negative slant on everything. How it was my fault that we were abused. That my blog is bullshit, and so is my feminism.
I was told not to “air my dirty laundry” in public. I was told not to write about this attack. I was told that legal advice would be sought if I mentioned this in a public forum. I was being threatened, bullied, into keeping my mouth shut. I was being silenced.
I have removed the initial blog post, despite knowing that nobody was named in it, knowing it was vague enough that nobody who was not personally aware of the situation could have guessed who it was about. I was contacted, completely out of the blue, and attacked. It’s been hinted at that my blog is being watched. So watch this.
People need to know that they are not alone. I write about these things because we need to read about them, we need to know that it happens to others, that we are supported. I often receive messages from people, thanking me for being honest, for telling my story. I write about what has happened to me. I do not write about the people who did these things to me. I write because it is cathartic, healing. I do not write for revenge. If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it. If someone recognises themselves in a vague description, then they are welcome to bring it up with me. If I overstep a line, I expect to be informed, and will remedy it immediately. But I do not expect to be attacked by multiple people – some I do not even know – and I do not expect to be shut down for speaking out. Women are silenced far too often. We cannot, and should not, stand for it. We are allowed to tell our stories. We are allowed to speak out. We should not have to suffer in silence. This attack is just another example of a man attempting to silence a woman, thinking that he has the right to attack someone he doesn’t know, and it will not work.
I want to make it clear: I will never be silent. I will never publicly “out” anyone, but my blog is my platform to tell my story. You cannot threaten or bully me into silence. I have not, will not, defame anyone, I will not besmirch anyone’s good name. I will tell the truth, my truth, and I will not be silenced.