This whole thing, to say the least, has gotten out of hand.
For the greatest portion of my life, I have felt like a nobody. A real loser. There often seemed to be a level where I knew I could be, and I was constantly looking at it from afar like it was a forbidden love. I lived with a constant broken heart.
And no solution I had to offer was acceptable. Shutting out my family and friends. Food replacing love. Attempted suicides. Convincing myself I wasn’t a good person. I had cast myself into solitude because I thought people like me didn’t deserve what “normal people” called happiness.
I grew tired of that feeling though, and I stopped talking about doing it. Stopped with the excuses. Stopped feeling sorry for myself. Learned to accept I was good enough to tell my own damn story. And all it took was someone who made me believe in that again.
Thank you Ren. N4.
And so, picking my dreams back up off the floor, I trusted myself like I did when I was a kid, and then my friends noticed the change, and they put their full support behind me. They were there at the finish line. Hell, they were part of the finish line.
Thank you John and Liam. My oldest friends.
Momentum picked up, setbacks were now just that, and I started trusting others for the first time again. With a single knock on the door, I was welcomed into the Horror Community.
Thank you Shawn and Dusty.
And now I was here. I was writing more, learning, and more importantly, gaining friendships that I treasure deeply.
Thank you to all my friends on social media. You know you who you are.
You took your trust, transmuted it into encouragement, and gave it to me. Made me believe in myself to the point where I actually accomplished things I thought I would never do. Reach levels I didn’t even see.
Now, here I am, about to launch a new book with seven of these people…
Thank you Anya, Shawn, Adrian, Charity, Baylea, Dustin, and Liam
and I let two individuals make me feel like I didn’t matter.
A nobody. A real loser.
Though they have already been outed in the public by people defending me, I still refuse to acknowledge them here as I have been and will continue to do so.
Say what you want about me, but those seven authors have worked too hard to have their work be undone and/outshined by this. They all deserve better.
So, here is what happened:
I left the Twitter group the first time because Jill (not real name) illustrated the symptoms of several dangerous and destructive social disorders. That and Jary (not real name) constantly posting cringeworthy, sexually charged, and often homophobic joke responses toward everyone, many of which could easily be considered sexual harassment. I wasn’t comfortable in the group, and I wanted to avoid confrontation at all cost to avoid drama. And for a time, it worked.
But then, several months later, I was put back into the group without my permission along with others who had left. We were all very confused and angry, and I wanted to confront Jill, but I was warned to just let it go out of fear of starting drama.
So, for a second time. I left the group, and then I blocked Jill to keep this from happening.
A mere two days later, I am told by others still in the group if Jary and Jill think I left because of the video?
Yes, it seems during an episode of a podcast I have, Jary had laid into me a bit about having asked him if he was interested in doing the anthology I was fixing to announce and never asking again…you know…the public submission that was open for months, announced multiple times, and retweeted by Jary at some point. He then proceeded to make homophobic jokes about an unaware author who had just started following them, and then closed the show out by making fun of my voice.
Jary was then blocked. And I moved on with my life, continuing to write and do commission artwork. I had taken the higher road. Soon I had even heard an apology was issued on their show.
But recently, and for what reasons I am still unsure of completely, Jill and Jary decided to announce a new guest was coming on the show.
Joe Appleton aka Joe Asshole. (Joe=Bo, Apple=Chappell, Ton=Weight). Bald on top. Round on bottom. Upside-down head. High pitched voice. Small genitalia. Has no family. No friends. Will be eating two microwave turkey dinners alone for Thanksgiving. Made a shitty video to promote his book, Month 12.
Suggested he should hang himself with Christmas lights.* Fuck ’em.
[*EDITOR NOTE: I have received word from a third party that Jary and Jill are adamant that, in the deleted video that you can no longer watch on their channel:
“The Christmas light hanging was not actually stated. [JILL] and [GARY] both said that they were referring to hanging it off a penis and not suicide.”]
In series of moments, I had forgotten all those people. All I could hear were two.
That is the power of bullying.
Part of me thinks I was being made fun of for the sake of entertainment. Another, because they are upset our friendship ended, and our paths diverted simply because of differences. But the act wasn’t a childish statement or bargaining chip. I wanted to move on.
So with this, I am doing just that. I am deciding to not let them get to me. I won’t stop writing. I won’t leave social media either. There are too many wonderful people I am honored to call friend I would be forced to leave behind.
I won’t do any of it, not even to out and attack these bullies. Hell, I just wrote a story for The Grey Rooms about this subject.
No. I want to remind people that bullying happens to adults as well, and it is all too commonplace in the horror/writer community. We grow jealous of each other’s successes instead of being happy for them. We disagree about how things should “truly” be done and try to impose our beliefs onto those “like-minded” around us, choosing to stifle and criticize differing and/or original ideas. And if we express dislike or resistance at any time, suddenly we’re weak. Our passion is not legitimate.
We aren’t beautiful and unique, but we are snowflakes apparently.
All because I grew to realize I couldn’t call them friends anymore, and they couldn’t grow up at all.
But their actions have already had negative repercussions for their own work. And even now it continues because others are seeing their actions. And when they go to hide them, people see them more. And where I thought two people had taken something from me, I was ignoring my family. I was ignoring Ren and John and Liam and Shawn and Gavin and Dustin and Adrian and Chris and Anya and Baylea and Charity and Tapia and S.R and Colin and Madeline and Silvia and Jesse and the hundreds of other people who have called me friend, supported me, bought my books, retweeted a positive thought.
Been an actual friend.
I let two people get to me and forgot all the good in my life. Bring me back to a place I haven’t felt since middle school.
I let them stop ME.
Bullies don’t have to have that much control over you, especially as an adult. You don’t have to put up with it because you’re worried you’ll be embarrassed.
“…we’re all terrified of embarrassment. That’s why we’re so… dead.” – Archie (John Cleese) – A FISH CALLED WANDA
No one should be afraid to be proud of their work. To have an opinion that differs from others. To do something different when what is considered correct is only a guideline. And no one should be afraid to recognize when they’re uncomfortable in a social situation and want to leave. That’s being an adult. And if they argue they deserve an explanation?
You say you deserve respect.
It has already been done by Kendall Reviews and Aphotic Realms, but we’re asking all publishers, reviewers, podcasts, everyone, to post this message on your social media to commit to stopping bullying at your gates:
We celebrate HORROR at _______, we do NOT support/condone anyone being HORRIFIC to one another.
White or Black, Gay or Straight, Fat or Thin. We all die with a grin. It costs nothing to be nice.
Let’s #PromoteHorror & each other
Now, to go hang with my friends and play games, have Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and get ready to launch the new book with my writing family.
To those that hate your love, love their hate.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!