A lot of problems in the world
if we talk to each other
instead of about each other
Last year I met with an old acquaintance who introduced me to a group, which became my life line for the past year. They were there when I needed an outlet to cry out on things I couldn't write about on my blog. They listened to me, they understood where I came from, because they had been there too, if not worse. I needed these people, and they have been a huge part of my life. I have met so many amazing friends through this group.
Slowly but surely, like I feel happens with all good things, something happened. Someone started to go through something difficult and, instead of being an adult, they turned into a bully. They became what the group was against! We grew up with bullies for parents or partners or whatever our stories are, and to become one is the worst fate.
Not only that, but it's been a long time since I've personally seen verbal/cyber bullying and it's the second time I've encountered it this year online within this group. While neither time it's been directed at me, I feel that by standing silently I am perpetuating the idea that the bully is in the right and the victim should be shamed. This is wrong. And I am ashamed by my silence.
The first time I did nothing. This time I'm struggling, I keep waiting for the "adults" to step in. I realize I am an adult and the behavior of these individuals is inappropriate. Calling out the bullies on their behavior was accused of being a "witch hunt," but it's setting the standard. We have allowed good people to be bullied out of the group by the actions of a few.
The cruelty of these two people astounds me. But then, I remember, I was not taught kindness.
I did try to do something. I reached out to the admins. They claimed to be chatting about changing the rules. A post was made about this happening and the bully mocked the admins in the comments. No changes was made. So I choose to leave.
This breaks my heart. Where will I go next time I need that advice? I don't know, but I cannot participate in a group with bullies. And I will not be silent.