When I first joined Medium I stumbled upon a voice I greatly admire. They were fighting a good fight. They have my support. Some time later something I wrote got unwanted attention on a, to my mind, unrelated topic. Well, okay very loosely related topic. Anyway, I could have ignored it. I did ignore it for a while but that didn’t feel honest.
I don’t want to say I took a stand, because I had already taken it over some time. It’s more accurate to say I revealed my stand. Which is build around a couple of general ideas I hold:
- Wishing something away doesn’t solve anything.
- All human beings are capable of all horrific deeds imaginable under the right circumstances -if you want to avoid acting horrific you need to acknowledge these circumstances and work to avoid them.
- No amount of outside interference will change the core of who you are.
- If you are against something (death penalty, torture, exile, whatever)you can’t make exceptions. Because one exception opens the door to more exceptions and pretty soon everything is an exception.
Writing out where I stood and how I felt got me blocked. That is completely fine. It’s not the first time I got blocked or lost a friend over my opinion. My reality isn’t their reality. If my opinion on things was perceived as hurtful to their cause, I am glad I got removed from their daily reality. My admiration for them has not changed. I can support them silently from the shadows.
Or so I thought.
What I had not realized (because I didn’t understand the ways of Medium) was that there are two accounts. And I got stories of the second because the first recommended them. The stories of the second account still come up in my feed. This silently supporting from the shadows thing is a whole damned lot harder than I thought it would be. I read, but I feel I can’t click on recommend. I feel I can’t follow the second account. Last thing I want to do is cause them distress by letting on I still follow them. (allow me my arrogance to think that they even recognize my name) If there’s even a chance I would contribute to making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable sharing their stories I do not want to take that.
This whole thing hurts in a way that’s hard to explain. In a way I have not had to deal with before. I’m sad it had to turn out this way. I’m sad to feel like any action I take is more likely to hurt than help. Those are things that just are. And I know they get love from so many good people. Deeper than that though, the reason I decided to write all of this out, I am sad because I do not think my situation is unique. The details of this story, maybe, but the resulting situation -I think that happens a lot.
Probably way more often than it should. Specially people going through difficult and dark times, I think it very likely they have people who care for them and ache for them and do not act because any act would just do more damage. People who are feeling alone with no idea how many others are supporting them, silently from the shadows.