Wednesday, April 17, 2013Posted by Morgaine Kildare at 1:21 AM
It pretty much goes without saying that everyone has heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. I've been making posts about it on my Facebook page and keeping up with the latest news as much as I can. This week has been so chock-full of heartlessness and it's only Tuesday.
It is bad enough to see the heartlessness, cruelty, and sheer malice of people like the Westboro Baptist Church and, of course, the person/people who set off the bombs at the Boston Marathon. All that is already so hard to process or understand. Quite frankly, I don't think I ever will. But I saw another outburst of human heartlessness today that was pretty much the last straw for me.
There is a page I used to follow (which will remain unnamed, unlike the last time I tactlessly mentioned names when on a bit of a rant). I don't remember how long I'd been following this page, but it was a Pagan political page, basically. I don't really know what happened, but I watched that page just go from being a page I enjoyed following, a page who always seemed to know their shit, and it basically became a page where the mod(s) flat-out didn't give a shit about people anymore.
I'm not quite sure how to describe it, so let me tell what happened:
A few days ago, a picture was posted on that page. This picture was nothing short of a trainwreck and as I stared at this picture, I was unable to look away and I thought I was going to be sick. This picture was included in a LONG-ass rant about gun legislation (and it was a rant I agreed with, don't get me wrong). This picture had absolutely NO warning with it (no trigger warning, no warning about the graphic nature of the picture, etc.). Just one second you're reading the OP's rant and the next you're getting the most gruesome eyeful of your life.
This picture was of a man who had been shot in the head with an assault rifle. Anyone who knows the power of an assault rifle can probably well imagine what that single shot did to that man's head. And that's all it took. He was an Iraqi insurgent who was taken out by a sniper. I'm sure that, unfortunately, there's a large number of people who have already seen this image (whether it was because they found it on the original site -- Rotten.com -- or because they saw it posted by the aforementioned page on Facebook) and I cringe to think of how many people on Facebook who were not expecting such a post that might have had PTSD or other such emotional scars.
Even more concerning was the fact that even with concerns raised, there was no remorse or anything shown.
Mind you, the main point of the completely angry rage that the mod of this page went into when he/she posted that picture was a point I completely understood. S/he had posted the picture as an example of what a shot from an assault rifle does to a body, specifically an adult body. S/he then finished with pointing out that, if that's what a single shot from an assault rifle does to a grown human, can you imagine what multiple shots from a similar type of rifle would do to a child? S/he was, of course, referencing the massacre at Sandy Hook.
Again, it was a point that I agreed with completely, but any and all concerns raised with going so far as to share such a picture were completely ignored. Well, not ignored so much as blown off and justified.
That was off-putting enough, but I just figured that when someone is in a state of mind where they've gotten the straw that broke the camel's back, there's not much room at that moment for concern or tact for the well-being of those who follow your page.
What can I say? I have a habit of trying to give people the benefit of the doubt.
However, a post I saw earlier today pretty much squashed any benefit of the doubt I'd tried to give. Again, not giving the name of the page, but here is the status I saw on the page earlier. Read and decide for yourself:
"to all you super senstive easily offended people with PTSD or any kind of other emotional crap going on; GET THE FUCK OFF THIS PAGE AND GO ELSEWHERE. your whining is not welcome here. we are working on current issues for humanity and on current events and we can not use cry babies here and easily offended people. so please do yourself and us a favor and fuck off and complain elsewhere. i will start banning people that keep flooding this page with their whiney ass crap about what they want to see and not see on here. i do not give a flying fuck. this is my page and i post what i want. end of the story. if you do not like it go elsewhere and start a page where you can post pics of bunnies and kittens and babies or something like this. this page is not it. so fuck off."
I think I stared at this for a good two minutes at least while I tried to process this.
I don't expect my opinions to be agreeable to everyone and, quite often, I'm very blunt about what I think. Truthfully, sometimes I come across like a straight-up bitch, which is something I'm fine with more often than not. But not once have I ever made any such sentiments about the emotional scars of others, not once have I ever mocked those who suffer from PTSD or "any kind of other emotional crap" as being "whiny" or "cry babies".
It is quite sad how this person seems to equate being horrified by a gruesome picture as being "easily offended".
This was the reply I made as the page for this blog before I happily excused myself, both the fan page as well as my personal FB, from that page for good:
"It certainly is your page and you are entitled to post what you like. But, WOW. Mocking people with real issues and saying that they're WHINING???? That's hugely un-cool. Not saying that there aren't people who've done that (I know it happens), but to denounce PTSD as "emotional crap" is just.......wow. I have no words for how hugely unsensitive that is.
Here's a clue: People follow your page because they, overall, like what you have to say. But I don't even ever see you have the decency to post a TRIGGER WARNING for anyone who might be following you that just MIGHT have a bad reaction at seeing some of the shit you post. Wow.
It's so nice that people like you have never been through something traumatic, but if you're not going to show compassion for those that have and you're just going to act like an insensitive jerk.
My gods, what if an ex-soldier saw that picture of the guy with his head split open and it triggers HIS/HER PTSD? Do you have any idea of what can happen with that shit? Obviously not.
It's sad that you think that people with emotional scarrings don't care about today's issues. Instead you write them off as "cry babies" and "whiners". That's beyond heartless and that makes you quite pathetic.
Oh, don't worry, I'm outta here. I have lost every ounce of respect for this page that I ever had. This country is not going to progress anywhere so long as there are heartless people like you and my sociopathic ex who don't give a fuck about the feelings of others."
Sorry. I know there were areas where my grammar absolutely SUCKED; have I mentioned that I am not entirely "with it" when I'm sick? Plus, I was was so upset when I wrote this, I could hardly think straight. One thing, however, that I wish I'd remembered to point out to the person who wrote that gods-awful status:
"You can't be all pissy over what happened at tragedies like Sandy Hook or the shooting at the Aurora theater if this is how you're going to treat people with PTSD because, quite frankly, that makes you just as much a terrorist as the people who held the guns. How do you know, even, that
I so wish I had thought to include that in what I said.
Make no mistake, I'm not meaning any of this to toot my own horn or anything. The point of this writing is to remind people that examples of utter heartlessness like above are just as much what's wrong with this country as the more blatant displays by the WBC and terrorist bombers. It's simple: If you run a page and you're going to post something that is related to a traumatic trigger, be it visually graphic or of a topic such as rape or abuse or whatever, have the decency to warn your readers.
Whomever may be reading this, if you suffer from PTSD or other emotional scars from traumas or other things, I want you to know something: Despite what people like that say, you ARE NOT WEAK. YOU ARE NOT A CRY BABY. People like that don't have the faintest idea as to the daily struggle you have. They have no idea of how easily your anxieties are triggered and they ESPECIALLY do not have the slightest clue as to all you've suffered to bring you to this point.
You are NOT weak. You have far greater strength than people like that ever will have. You have come through your ordeal and you continue to survive. You continue to manage to leave your house, even on your most difficult days, to continue to do the things you need to. That takes more strength than even I can fathom. As I pointed out on the blog Facebook page, I do not suffer PTSD myself, but I know several people who do, including both of my very best friends. The strength they possess to keep on going about their lives is a strength that I have long admired of them. Even the fact that, of course, they still have to get help does not make them weak nor does it make you weak, dear reader.
If you are reading this and you suffer from issues such as what that person was mocking, don't EVER believe people like that. There are those of us who know better than the insensitive twits like that. We're here and we're rooting for you. Don't let the sad-sack opinions of people like that bring you down.
I made a bit of a rant on this topic on the Facebook page already, but it wasn't enough to let the pressure off. I did find, however, in one of the comments left on my rant that my earlier comment to that post was deleted. No shock there. However, this person did manage to see it before it was deleted, which prompted her to come to my page. That was something I very much appreciated. No, I was not out to try to steal people from the other page. What I appreciated was the fact that I was not the only one who felt that way about what had been said.
It will never fail to be a comfort to see those who stand against heartlessness and cruelty, especially within the Pagan community.