I can't remember the last time I blogged twice in one day. But this one was important to me.
I had something happen this week that's shook me up a bit.
Before I get into it, I want to explain what I mean by "transparency". In my weight loss journey, I've learned that it helps me, and the people going along the journey with me, if I'm as honest and open as possible. It helps me learn things about myself and it helps others identify with my journey so they can grow in theirs. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "that really inspired me" or "thanks for being so vulnerable, I can totally relate" or "your honesty has helped me work out my own issues", etc. So I've tried to be as transparent as possible in every walk of my life, not in just blogging. No holding anything back.
Well, it backfired a bit on me this past week.
You might know that I'm an avid Twitter-er. I tweet about absolutely everything. Conversations between me and my daughter. Comments on idiots driving in traffic. My favorite movies. I'll pass along professional resources I've found. Jokes. Funny thoughts that pop into my head. Bible verses. My struggles with weight loss from hour to hour. Stuff like that.
Well, So last weekend I just finished watching Breaking Bad and I was twittering about the show when I came across a comment Wil Wheaton had made that I thought was hilarious. First, if you don't know who Wil Wheaton is, he played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was the highly intelligent, geeky teenage son of the doctor. And in case you're not familiar with Breaking Bad, it's a new series staring Bryan Cranston, who was the father on Malcolm in the Middle, who plays a high school chemistry teacher gone bad. In fact, he's turned his knowledge of chemistry into manufacturing methamphetamines to raise quick cash to leave for his family as he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Okay, so Will Wheaton (geeky guy) says he loves Breaking Bad so much that he wants to guest star on it. So I commented back to him, retweeting his original comment, saying it would be hilarious to see him as a drug lord. Stop for a minute to picture that. ... Well, I didn't realize it at the time, but his original tweet had profanity in it. A pretty bad one, in my book (god-d**m).
One more bit of information that's important to this story... I work for a Christian publisher and I state so in my twitter bio.
The next morning, someone had called me out on it and basically said 'how dare you retweet profanity when you represent your employer". I quickly apologized by saying I probably should have deleted the profanity before retweeting it but I'm human and I made a mistake. He didn't like my response. He said I sounded flip and arrogant and was obviously not sorry at all. He demanded an apology. I told him I didn't need to ask for his forgiveness, only God's.
He kept on publicly berating me saying very mean things about me and my character. The thing that really shook me up is that he talked like he knew the owner of the company I work for and he threatened to call him if I didn't apologize to his liking.
He went on for about a day and a half. All the while, I did not respond to any of his tweets. My silence only made him angrier and drew him to further outlandish conclusions. I still did not respond.
One thing he originally said was that he would have gladly direct messaged me (which only the 2 of us would have seen) but I didn't follow him so he couldn't. But I was following him. So my only conclusion was that he wanted this to be intentionally public.
So yesterday morning, I unfollowed him in an attempt to get him to leave me alone. He came back with a sharp comment saying something like 'fine, if that's the way you want to be, I'll have to take a different approach'. That really spooked me. What was this "different approach".
Everyone kept telling me he was a bully and to just ignore him. I did. But I made one last comment (3 tweets to him altogether). I told him I unfollowed him so hopefully he'd leave me alone.
Well, he didn't. In fact, he threatened to call the owner of the company I work for and he called him by name.
My husband got involved last night and tweeted back and forth with him trying to get him to back off. That didn't help. It just made him madder.
So you know what I had to do this morning? I had to go to the owner of the company and tell him my side of the story before this guy called him. I felt like a kid in school. The original offense was so lame and he (the owner) even asked me a couple of times "what does this have to do with me". I had to tell him that it doesn't, it's stupid. But I just wanted to bring it to his attention before this guy did so he'd be prepared.
So by me being transparent and stating my employer in my bio, I feel like I have to watch what I do in my tweets, now. I don't like being held back from being who I am. I'm not saying I condone cussing. In fact, I don't cuss and I find it very offensive. But now I feel like I have to watch to make sure that what I tweet won't offend the readers of the magazine I work on. I don't like that. I am who I am.
And on top of that, I feel like he's watching my every tweet just waiting for me to mess up. I think of him every time I tweet and wonder if he's reading this one. I feel like I'm being watched. I don't know how to get him out of my head. If feel violated almost. I just want my tweeting to be what it used to be... random and fun. Not cautious and precise.
P.S. I removed my the name of the company I work for from my twitter bio. I can't wait until "he" finds out. I'm sure he'll say something like "oh, so now you're hiding who you work for... isn't that a little like closing the barn door after the horse has run free?'. See, I feel so invaded.