If I’d’ve known what to say, I might’ve said it

I’ve been informed that I need to respond verbally to recent events.

I have said elsewhere that my general response in life to not knowing what to do or not knowing how I feel — frequent states of affairs for me — is to wait. I weigh different options, I talk to people, I get advice from here and there, and eventually things become clear and I do something and that turns out to have been the right thing — that’s my experience. I don’t like to do things I can’t stand behind, and I feel it’s important not to say things I can’t stand behind strongly and convincingly at the time, because I can’t ever unsay them.

I’ve been blogging almost four years — and this isn’t the first time I’ve been either directly or indirectly targeted in an incident like this. I knew about this problem within weeks of its inception last spring. So my history with the general tendency and this specific instance, and hence my reaction, inevitably differ from people with different histories. My initial response to the insistence that I react in a particular way now is that anything I say to anyone makes “this” more important than it is. It fans the flames of something that a minority of fans enjoyed at the time and which almost everyone wishes were over now. I do not find it in my interest, broadly construed, nor the interest of the fandom, to say more. If I start talking about “what happened” or why I responded (or, alternately, failed to respond) in the ways I did, I offer an opportunity for more “he said / she said” discussions and recriminations. I’m not interested in fueling factionalism of any kind and the only behavior I control is my own. Given the historically visible social processes that groups use for working through trauma, in which aggressors are discursively transformed into victims and victims recast as aggressors, public sympathy for me makes me more, rather than less, of a target. Long experience suggests to me that “this” is not over. When such things happen, one becomes cautious about what one says and whom one trusts. Someone will disapprove of whatever I say or do, so the best course forward seems to stem from following my own compass and keeping my own counsel.

Thanks to everyone who has written. As of this writing, I have received over two hundred messages of various kinds — from assorted people on various media. 92.4 percent are supportive; 7.6 percent critical or involving personal attacks. So far, I’ve answered them individually if I knew what to say or if the answers were easy or obvious. I plan to answer more. I don’t know if I can ever answer all of them.

I may eventually blog, once I’ve processed it, about how I felt while this was going on, since it affected much of my fandom experience in 2013 — my blogiversary is coming up, and it’s time for reflection — or I may not. I can’t say yet.

What I want to do, what I plan to do, is keep on Richarding.

[Comments closed.]

~ by Servetus on February 20, 2014.

3 Responses to “If I’d’ve known what to say, I might’ve said it”

  1. […] or I wouldn’t have asked her to transfer her ooof series here for my edification. But my trust level for fellow fans had been so reduced by the events of the spring that I didn’t even tell Guylty I was going to be at the play until August 15th, though […]


  2. […] which took a big piece of my fandom journey off of the blog, I’ve decided to reaffirm my decision not to talk in detail about what happened, because the point of this post isn’t events so much as how I felt about them. If you were […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] productive but those posts were ones perceived as most offensive by some fellow fans. In the end I won the battle to keep blogging, but I lost the energy to continue that psychological path. This is a close subsidiary to the […]


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