Privacy

In my time on this planet I’ve had my privacy violated a few times. Always by women. Sometimes by gay women. It’s something that has somewhat traumatized me.

Back in 2013, a woman who interviewed me reached out to explain that there was someone writing indescribable things about me on the comments section of her blog. Apparently there was also a Reddit thread about me and photoshopped photos of my head with God only knows what on it. I didn’t ask.

I asked my blogger friend for the IP address of the person who was making the comments. Now, keep in mind this very key fact: whenever you comment on someone’s social media account you are leaving an IP address, which can be traced back to the location of where the comment was made.

Anyway, I found out who it was pretty quickly. I didn’t write her, or even attempt to talk to her about it, because she wasn’t my friend. She was merely an acquaintance who clearly had some mental health issues. I’ve always maintained throughout my life that if someone is gossiping about you, or spreading rumours about you, it has nothing to do with you. You weren’t even in the room. It has a lot to say about where they’re at in their lives.

However, what happened to me was harassment. And if it were a man doing that to a woman it would be considered abuse. Which is exactly what it is. I saw this woman once again many years later and she attempted to greet me, under the belief that I had no clue what she had done. I was not warm. I did not inform her that I knew. I figured she was living in her own hell.

But that wasn’t the only violation I have experienced at the hands of women. My email account has been hacked twice by two different women. Rumours have been spread, based on a morsel of truth. Each time, I’ve attempted to look the other way. I’ve really attempted to practice my own preachings. It has nothing to do with me. But practicising what you preach isn’t so easy.

What they did was irresponsible to my life and my dignity as a human being. I try to tell people all the time who I find gossiping about others: you are not entitled to know anything about anyone. People should concern themselves more with their own lives, and their own problems, instead of reveling in the perceived problems of someone else.

There is nothing more boring to me than discussing the lives of other people. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously quipped, “Small minds discuss people, mediocre minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.”

I could go in to more detail, and if I did, you would realize that the anecdotes I would share are nothing short of psychotic. But such is life. We carry on and these types of conflicts, and how we react to them, inform who we are.

A lot of this behaviour I normalized. I think the reason is because of my upbringing. I was used to hearing abusive language directed to me as a child from my parents, so I was more likely to tolerate insults as an adult. But these are learnings I received in my late 30s when I started to see a childhood trauma specialist.

I learned a lot about who I should let into my life, and to pay attention to red flags and trust my instincts. It’s served me well since.

It’s Saturday morning. Thanks for reading.

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