I am a person who struggles with a lack of confidence in my abilities, my knowledge and my talents. You may find this hard to believe considering the videos I produce , the successes I have had and the existence of this website. However, I have had many experiences that have made me very insecure, and I question everything I do and say and blame myself for things I have no control over, and feel guilty about almost everything. For this reason, when I post a fact on a forum it is only when I am 100% sure of its validity, and I usually let my husband read it before I post because I am terrified of being misinterpreted. Yet it makes no difference how carefully I try to word what I post I still seem to get really aggressive responses. When I read my posts I hear my voice and it is calm, it is considered and it is not designed to upset anyone. When other people read my posts they hear something completely different and they react badly. I do not know how to change this.
When posting on the Project Spark forum I got so many aggressive responses, and these tended to involve multiple people, that I got really upset and had to quit the forum, originally temporarily but finally for good. The bullying extended outside the forum itself and it really affected me to the point that I had to involve the police.
I was hoping that this would not happen in Dreams. However it is happening already, and I am upsetting people by stating opinions and information that they do not agree with. Even when I think I am being polite, understanding, agreeing with the other poster it gets interpreted so badly. I feel I am incapable of being part of a forum community because I do not have a thick enough skin, and I cannot bear being surrounded and shouted at – which many of these posts feel like. I react very badly to it, as I have had a bad experience. When someone disagrees with me and other people join in, I feel surrounded and fight or flight kicks in. I decided that I was going to be strong this time and not let people get away with undermining me, but this just makes things worse, and I know that I am the only one getting really hurt by the interaction. I am beginning to think I should, for my own health, just avoid community forums. As even the most innocuous comment can end in a shouting match that I am just not equipped to cope with.
This makes me very sad, as being part of a community can be really great. I just can’t do it without annoying people – and I am not talking about trolls, I am talking about respected members of the community who just do not like having their opinion and advice questioned.
I think if it was a face to face situation there would be no issue at all, but the internet makes people a lot more brutal in their responses. All I can think of to do now is to just avoid these conversations altogether. This is a shame because I think I have things to say that would be useful. I want to be useful. But I am not willing to put myself out there for people to take pot shots at me. Been there done that.