I have decided to express my personal experience in regards to a particular incident that happened to me this week with an Influencer from my community.
This week I was extremely appalled and affected by an influencer who’s Instagram stories I watched. Normally I wouldn’t respond to something like this but I felt compelled to for myself and for the individuals in a vulnerable place who felt judged and attacked by her words. Judging anyone for how they choose to deal with their personal and sensitive situation, could have severe repercussions. I know that because I was once in their place and comments like hers would have destroyed me. As I listened to her speak, I felt personally judged by her when she said:
If you have the courage to run away from home, that you should have the courage to confront your problems
Bottling up emotions causes mental illness
People should get professional help instead of running away from their problems
I know what it's like to be blamed and judged for choosing to take time and space from people who have hurt me in order to better my health and well-being. I know what it's like to bottle up emotions and feeling uncomfortable expressing them without consequences. I know what it's like to be unable to find the professional help that I needed and what it's like being unable to afford it. I know what it's like to feel as though everything I was doing to help myself move past my difficulties, was seen as WRONG.
I know because I lived it.
This influencer's strong opinions, left me feeling belittled, attacked, and blamed. And this is years after I managed to overcome this extremely sensitive hardship in my life. When I took a moment to think about myself years ago, living through this vulnerable situation, I couldn't help but think about how this influencer's message could have seriously destroyed me. Since I am in a much better place today, I felt compelled to respond to her Instagram Stories, private DMs and to use my platform to bring awareness to what it means to be verbally abused.
The other day, I felt targeted by her post because I witnessed her make very harsh judgements on someone going through vulnerable situations using what I felt was a very condescending tone of voice. My intention in reaching out to her (see my letter to her 1. DM me on Instagram to get "code" then 2. go to MENU > CODE NEEDED> & enter the code there) was not to by any means put her down nor to criticize her. It was to simply bring awareness to the fact that her words deeply affected me and could have also affected others. Unfortunately, I failed to get through to her.
Amidst it all, I received some pretty condescending messages from her. I tried to look past them giving her the benefit of the doubt by maybe overlooking the way in which she was expressing herself to me. I chose to believe that she was responding to me through emotions. Maybe she was angry at me for expressing my point of view and for standing up for myself... But I quickly realized that may not have been the case. The same way she gave a condescending "rant" on her Instagram stories, expressing what actions someone should and shouldn't do while in a vulnerable situation, is the EXACT SAME MANNER THAT SHE WAS SPEAKING TO ME! I came to this realization when she specifically took the opportunity to use the hardships I opened up about, to attack me -to verbally abuse me. This was an extremely low blow and one I WILL NOT TOLERATE.
I won't tolerate it from a family member, a friend, a boss, a teacher and certainly not by an influencer with 20k following. NOT NOW, NOT EVER. Even though I didn’t manage to get through to her, I hope that sharing my personal experience in regards to this incident, will inspire at least one person to either speak up, to find a solution as to how they can overcome their hardships, or to motivate someone to express themselves in a space where they feel safe and supported.
VERBAL ABUSE IS NOT OK. JUDGING SOMEONE FOR THEIR PERSONAL HARDSHIPS IS NOT OK.
No matter if you are popular or not, in a position of authority or not, IT IS NOT OK. I will not tolerate it and I certainly won’t welcome it in my life and especially not on my social media (privately and publicly).
If anyone is being verbally abused in any way, please reach out to someone you trust for help and if you don’t feel like you can, feel free to write to me. Although I am no expert on the matter, I will do my best to give you the support you need whether it be through listening or connecting you to a professional or organization that has the proper resources and credentials to help you.
For more information on VERBAL ABUSE please visit HEALTHYLINE.COM or see below for some of the information I extracted directly from this website with notes in regards to how I was verbally abused.
WHAT IS VERBAL ABUSE?
When they save their hurtful behaviors for when you’re alone but act completely different when others are around.
The initial disagreement sets off a string of accusations and dredging up of unrelated issues to put you on the defence.
EXAMPLES OF VERBAL ABUSE:
1. Condescension: the point is for the abuser to make themselves feel superior. EX: “let me see if I can put this in simple terms that even you can understand.” OR like what I experienced, with the influencer told me:
“EVERYONE has trauma. You and I included…I think its important
to take care of our emotional wounds. You happen to be the only
person affected by this comment so obviously something to look
into and I mean that in the nicest way possible.”
2. Blame: verbally abusive people blame you for their behaviour. They want you to believe that you bring verbal abuse on yourself. Example of what the influencer told me :
“You happen to be the only person affected by this comment so obviously
something to look into and I mean that in the nicest way possible.”
OR when she said...
"You clearly didn't watch all my stories... Unfortunately you have to be
so quick to judge me."
3. Judging & Criticizing: expressing judgment of any kind and criticizing someone is a form of abuse. Having an opinion on something doesn't mean you are judging someone or something. I witnessed this influencer attack and judge someone in a vulnerable situation. Every single person’s feelings and actions are VALID, regardless of how they choose to confront their personal battles. And no one should judge them for it.
HOW TO DEAL WITH VERBAL ABUSE?
Limit exposure to abuser
In my situation, I decided to block the influencer who verbally abused and bullied me & to then bring awareness in regards to verbal abuse.
#hiddenabuse #verbalabuse #spreadingawareness #emotionalabuse #judgingisdangerous #stopjudging #speakyourtruth #standupforwhatyoubelievein #standup #askforhelp #freedomfromabuse #YouDeserveKindness