I didn't post anything yesterday because of how well Tuesday's post was doing. Also, I am buying myself time for a guest post. :) Anyway, I'm back with the posts... and it's one that I am sure will hit close to home for a good number of readers.
As the post title suggests, we're going to talk about rumours and threats. When I was a freshman in high school (into my first semester of sophomore year), I attended a public high school. I didn't fit in with any of my peers though I tried my best to socialize. After the first semester of sophomore year, my social anxiety had been so horrid that I ended up being switched to home schooling (through the school) for the following semester.
Side note before continuing: A quick "in a nutshell" description for those who haven't read my blog long enough: I had a History teacher who used to love to humiliate me in class and coupled with a young man who tried to force himself on me in an empty office on campus (and being told to not bother reporting it as no one would believe) plus unnecessary drama within the clique I had lunch with (mostly classmates who were in the Math and Science magnet program I was in), well, it all ended up with my development of anxiety (which I am still working through, many years later).
Anyway, after we saw that I would not be able to continue attending that school, I left but kept in touch with some of my classmates. It was through some of them that I found out that there were rumours flying as to why I had left. They ranged from "oh, she's pregnant and had to be pulled out" to others that I won't repeat (nor, frankly, do I want to remember). When I got on the medication Paxil, I went from a size 5-6, and a healthy 125 pounds, down to a size 00 (yes, that is a double zero) and 98 pounds. It was the medication and how bad the anxiety was that had given me such a drastic change but the rumours once again went flying that the real reason why I had left was because I had become anorexic.
Not only were there rumours about me but I also began receiving death threats. A former classmate of mine (whom I knew was sending these messages) had gotten a different screenname/email address and started sending me messages which were disturbing. They ranged from telling me to kill myself, that I was fat, that I was stupid, etc to outright telling me that if I ever went back to school, he would kill me. I reported him to the school and, guess what, they said they couldn't do jack about it and to deal with it on my own. Seriously. Who tells a 15 year-old girl to deal with a guy telling her to go kill herself or that he would do it, on her own?
Both of these things have stayed with me (which I know I have to work on in therapy to get some of the anxiety issues out of the way) and it's not a picnic to think about. The reason I bring these two issues up is because I see a lot of it going on lately... even within Catholic circles. And, okay, maybe not the "go kill yourself" extreme but definitely threats and rumours that help no one. What benefits does anyone get from it? None. Not only are you hurting someone with your words and actions but you're also hurting your own soul. Think about it.
All of this has given me an idea... and a challenge for all of us. Instead of going at it with someone and having the argument escalate to an unhealthy level, why not pray for the person instead? Not only that, pray for your own patience. Someone starts slinging mud and you find that you can't have a productive conversation with them to settle your differences, say "God bless you" and walk away. I know it's easier said than done (even I have issues with this sometimes) but I can be done. If someone starts a rumour about you, clarify it and then let it be... without slinging mud at the people spreading it. If you're mad at someone over something, but don't say anything directly to them, pray. Also, if you hear a rumour about someone which you know isn't true, don't be afraid to clarify it... without getting into an argument about it.
It's so easy to criticize, badmouth, and simply be uncharitable towards others yet it's so much more rewarding to leave it all in God's hands and walk away. There is already so much hate in this world... why contribute to it? And, I will admit, I've been guilty of doing this too (seriously, I've ranted about my neighbors when in a foul mood) but I'm going to try to let things go. Who knows, this may help with the stress and anxiety that I and some of you feel in general.
Anyway, just wanted to put this out there. I'm really sad about the infighting there is. We should help evangelize and get the Good Word out there, not tear each other down. Speak the truth, love God and your neighbor, and trust that He will be Just where justice is needed.
I'm gonna go spend some time with my books (calling it research for my novel ;D) now that I'm written and have had my one simple pleasure of the day (playing my guitar; I posted a picture of it on my twitter if you want to see it. :D)
I hope you are all doing well. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D