Speak Your Truth with Love

A person who I follow on social media made a post about her 80 yr old friend who had found her “One True Love”, however, he had a girlfriend and was into polyamory. She proceeded to speak extremely poorly of the guy, inferring the reason for his crappy behavior was due to him claiming he was polyamorous. Reading the post made me cringe much the same way as listening to someone intentionally use the wrong pronouns or someone’s dead name. It may not have outright reeked, but there was definitely a strong offending odor coming from the post’s general direction.

Obviously, a bunch of people protested, stating you can’t blame polyamory for someone else’s bad behavior. The author of the piece doubled down, saying that the title of the piece explicitly said it wasn’t about polyamory. In her defense, yes, it did say basically, “When Polyamory isn’t Amorous” (summarized title name), but despite several people telling her that her writing was hitting some really bad spots, she insisted she was in the right and her piece was as it would stand. Eventually, she said she was planning to take it down since so many people were bringing strawmen to her discussion.

The thing is, they weren’t strawmen. She had admitted in a previous comment she had left a lot of details out about the guy that had pretty much nothing to do with polyamory and everything to do with the fact that he was just an asshole. She could have used that, her real issue, to illustrate this guy’s shitty behavior and not his being a part of a lifestyle. Even though he obviously was only in the lifestyle for his own personal benefit and providing nothing for the other members in his polycule, that part really added nothing but some pretty hard core subtext judgment.

She claimed that she was being silenced because she felt she would have to take the post down to escape those who were claiming her perspective was shining a negative light on a lifestyle that already has a heavily negative prospectus from others. Self-censure and self-silencing are not the same as being silenced or canceled, and that equivalency also made me cringe. If you are getting a bunch of people saying, “Hey, this hurts me, my friends, or huge groups of people” and you just want to double down, leave out vital info, and claim to be the victim of people bringing up false equivalencies because you don’t want to address your internal bias, that kinda makes you the bad guy in this situation.

The previous week, she had written a blog post that was very deep, very full of self-truths, and something that one would definitely consider vulnerable. A person commented asking how she came to write so well, with thoughts and feelings. When the poster answered, she said quite clearly, “Speak your Truths”. I thought about that a lot as I read her interactions with myself and others on her post about her 80 yr old friend. She did speak her truth and that truth was, she as very against polyamory, which is her right to be, but her trying to defend her position of “I said what I said as clearly as I could” doesn’t hold a lot of water when she admitted not 7 days previously that she writes her truths.

It became very apparent that one of her “truths” is a bias that she has no desire to reflect on, be advised on, or hear anything other than agreement to her views on.

Now, for the record, this blogger is a professional writer. She writes for several sites and her own spaces. She has spent a long time writing for a living. So when I addressed her subtext judgment and how some of her words that she used were not good, she claimed that she makes mistakes and she doesn’t always pick the right words. While that is fair, and this was not on one of her professional spaces, she still strongly states everywhere she is a professional writer. This means she is aware that as a writer, one must be secure in their word choices and that the burden of the information is on the writer. If someone, or a group of people miss your message (in this case, the treatment of her friend, not the lifestyle), it is up to the writer to either provide clarification, or a rewrite that addresses the issues brought up. Not all writings work. Some do fail. That isn’t being silenced. That’s admitting that you have unintentionally centered an issue you hadn’t or created a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified.

She did none of this, claiming she was the victim of people who wanted to make the issue about their lifestyle, or their problems with her statements on the lifestyles, and other assorted issues her writing had created. Now, yes, many of them were defending the asshole, saying he had been clear about what he wanted/needed and her friend had the choice, and always had the choice to stay or go. That is all true, but the issue was that the asshole refused to treat the relationship with her friend as a relationship, but that it was a situation he allowed because the benefit was all on his side and he didn’t have to inconvenience himself with the obligations a loving relationship requires. Unfortunately, the post only came off as a huge gripe that he was using polyamory as an excuse, like everyone else in a polyamorous relationship. This was the truth she spoke that she refused to acknowledge, and when pointed out to her, she claimed she was the victim of people wanting to insert themselves into her dialogue.

Fun fact: People read blog posts to see themselves in them. To confirm their ideas, beliefs, and thoughts, or to get new views, ideas, beliefs, and thoughts. When people are pointing out those are flawed, it means the blog post is flawed.

Now, blogging does require that you know your truths, even if you don’t speak them. One of the things that I started doing ages ago was shedding my guilt, shame, and regret by admitting them openly. those things that I felt negative things about, I would put out into the world as opposed to hiding them away. This was more a self-preservation move than a self-awareness move, but it had the same effect. When someone points out a potential flaw, I am not as emotionally attached to the potential flaw, and I can have a conversation to learn something new or a different way to look at something.

So now, when I see this particular author pontification their truths, I have the recognized caveat that they only share their truths. They don’t do it for self-edification or for learning new perspectives. She writes to grab attention, and when that attention becomes a fight or a position she has to defend, she curls up, claims victim, and refuses to hear other people. She is someone who is afraid to hear she may be in the wrong, and that is then taken personally to the point she needs to feel like she’s fighting dragons, even though they are all imaginary. That isn’t to say some people have some very harsh and blunt ways to express their displeasure with her writing, but when someone’s lifestyle, beliefs, thoughts, ideas, etc. are blatantly attacked, there’s going to be offense taken and anger expressed. But, instead of actually reading what they are saying and how they were injured in her writing, she takes, at first, a firm stance, till the voices, reasonable or not, keep telling her she’s in the wrong. Then she self imposes a silence and blames everyone else who refused to just agree with her.

That is a truth that this author will have to eventually come to terms with. It is a truth that as long as she keeps writing and refuses to acknowledge how her words have impacts, she will keep having to rediscover until she learns the lesson it’s trying to teach her.

Being a writer isn’t always easy. You create a mental thought piece where you express a part of yourself, but then, you have to deal with the things others wish to interject into what you wrote. Some of it is helpful, some of it isn’t, and some of it are these challenges to our truths that we have to decide whether or not we are ready to consider other perspectives, or if we are going to hang tight to our position, even as we are hearing ways that hurts others. But in the end, if we claim these are our truths and they are doing harm, they aren’t truths we should be hanging onto.

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