I saw some tweets on Twitter recently about people who had been talking about mental health. One of them was a woman who I’d known briefly on Twitter and who blocked me after a series of bullying tweets. Some of these were directly at me and some were subtweets; aimed at me but not mentioning me.
People always ask how you know subtweets are about you and believe me you know. Most of us have written subtweets, some of us in a nasty way, and all of us have been on the other end of them.
This is how it began.
I had a mutual follow with a woman on Twitter for about six months or so when she announced that she was moving to the town in which I live. I briefly tweeted them about it with lots of exclamation marks and an exchange of tweets followed with overuse of exclamation marks. She promised to get in touch when she moved here. She didn’t.
I shrugged it off because she was in a new town and probably out of work and, in this area, good jobs in her field aren’t that easy to come by. Her tweets showed that she was living on the breadline in a part of town you wouldn’t expect to find a newcomer but that she was mixing with people who were supporting her in one way or another.
An opportunity arose (in a voluntary capacity) that would suit her so I let her know. She came to meet me and I introduced her to the setup and she seemed to fit in well with the established group.
Then the group began to disintegrate. There was unease and discomfort and within weeks the people who had started the group left and there were few people left. Strange things happened. I’m not saying she was a thief but things went missing and there was always a scapegoat mentioned.
She played to my sense of paranoia and made me feel as though I was going more than a little mad. As the group photographer I found myself being sidelined more and more. I left the group under a carefully orchestrated cloud.
I tweeted about it. I tweet a lot of rubbish but I tweet a lot of the big stuff that goes on in my life too. I tweeted about how I’d been abused by that person and then the abuse from the person I mentioned above began. Subtweets saying that if anyone hurt her friend they’d have to answer to her, tweets directly to me asking me why I thought I had the right to stand in judgement.
This is what this woman did so swell. She divided people, she gossiped about people and told lies about her life. You can guarantee that if she was gossiping to you about one person then she was gossiping about you about someone else. She took delight in telling me about one person whose relationship had broken down because he was impotent. She is a nasty piece of work.
To see her defender talking mental health in public last week was a shock but it also brought back some memories that hurt. It seemed that her mental health had to be protected and treated as something precious but mine was tossed aside and stood on by her. In my opinion, this person is not an adovacte for mental health. You cannot talk of equality if you act in a way that is destructive to someone else’s mental health.
If either of them recognise themselves from this blog post then shame on them. If they’re not happy about it then it’s tough. This is how my experience of them affected me, this is my opinion and I’m allowed to have one.
Bullying is wrong no matter why we do it and covert abuse of people with mental health problems is vile.