Over the past few weeks, I’ve been relying upon social media as a crutch to help me mentally.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been struggling. Everywhere I turned, I was meeting brick walls and I felt like a burden upon my partner because he had to live and breathe it, so when I found a support group online to help me with my day-to-day anxieties such as getting out of bed, I felt like I’d found a god-send.
We weren’t professionals, just a bunch of regular people who had been let down by one too many people and needed somebody to talk to.
It wasn’t flawless, and so when it was harmful to me I took the time out I needed, but we were there for each other when we needed each other and that was the most important thing, especially in those times when we were desperately alone with nobody to talk to. Even myself, I gave an incredible amount of support – sometimes more than I could mentally give.
Recently however, with the recent terror attacks and the devastating tragedy of Grenfell Tower in North London, anxieties have been high for everybody, but more so for those of us already struggling with anxiety. Therefore posts had been pinging up from those amongst the group who felt anxious about having to witness the tragedies on the news and social media.
However, nothing was mentioned about the effects such tragedies would have upon those directly affected by the tragedies, as well as those indirectly affected; I noticed that those who were sharing their anxieties didn’t live in London either. I’m part of support groups for Epilepsy for example, and admin and members were very quick to check that those in London were safe and ok.
This didn’t seem to happen in this group.
I still didn’t say anything.
Then this morning, one person was anxious and needed to be calmed. Understandable. One guy stepped up with some reassuring words. However, amongst his calming, he referred to the Grenfell fire as
“just a fire” which would “soon blow over, once the residents are rehoused”.
I could no longer keep quiet.
All I said was please do not refer to the incident as “just a fire” as I found that offensive. I explained my reasoning: I know people indirectly affected by this incident, plus as I live in London I live within this anxiety daily because I’m finding out a lot more than what is being released on main stream media, therefore
“it’s so much more than a fire, and I implore of you to be more respectful than that”.
These were my words, pretty much verbatim.
I was accused of being aggressive, not being respectful of other people’s opinions and was pretty much bullied out of the group.
The Lead Admin messaged me separately and again reiterated that the group agreed that I had been aggressive, regardless of the fact that I was one person and out of about five or six people, I think only one person had stood up for me and asked me if I was ok.
When I then told her that I no longer felt comfortable within the group and would be leaving, she then had the audacity to ask me if I was ok and then wish me the best.
You’ve just called a non-aggressive person aggressive for voicing her opinion, and bullied her out of your support group. Why would you ask me if I’m ok? So my reply was:
I don’t wish you the same.
But I’m not a two-faced person.
People ALWAYS retaliate to name calling whenever you voice an opinion.
These people don’t even live in London, so if it causes them so much anxiety, turn off your FUCKING TV! How’s that for aggression?
People have lost their fucking homes after begging to be listened to when they predicted such an incident could happen, however again you have the power to shut out the news you don’t want to hear.
This is not going to stop me from voicing my opinions. I was always a quiet child, always a wallflower on the sidelines desperate to say what I was thinking, so if I’m pissing you off and making you uncomfortable (for the right reasons) then I am doing what I was born to do. What happened at Grenfell wasn’t JUST a fire, and it isn’t JUST going to blow over. What it is, is is a massive miscarriage of injustice. If my pointing that out to you causes you discomfort and anxiety then that’s something that you need to deal with inside your own conscience because it should make you angry.
But then who am I to tell you how to feel?
I’m just an aggressive black girl from London…..