This is part of a seven piece series on the EPS- Every Passport Stamp Facebook group and Counting Countries podcast. The following are the foreword to this piece:
My EPS Adventure- Behind the Scenes
Asked to Come Back
A Call to Ric Gazarian's Patrons
Threats and Controversy
A Podcast Gone Wrong
Why am I still bothered with this issue even after two years??
1- I was mobbed for no other reason than trying to do something good for the community. Mother Theresa has said “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.” It is so true; they do. Afterwards she said “Do good anyway.” Well... I'm not so sure about that. Why should I still do good to get back sticks and stones??
2- Then the discussion was closed to comments. My right to answer was taken away from me.
It is feeling not being heard. Worse, it is feeling someone covering your mouth, preventing you from even speaking up. So I realize that's why I feel relieved when I write these and express my thoughts. It's not important that anybody cares and understands; I mean it is important of course, if people cared and understood that is much more preferable. Still... Even just Knowing that you spoke your truth is liberating.
3- I was slandered by Ric when he announced I was kicked out from the group for several violations. That wrong was never made right.
It's not okay and not enough to just simply change it on his website where nobody goes and reads, the mistake had to be acknowledged and the correction had to be disseminated to the same audience. A Call to Ric's Patrons
4- Ric also dismissed the most important thing to me at the time. The wish to protest Global Apartheid, Birthplace Racism. I say “at the time” because now our lives have changed with the coronavirus and all that has lost its meaning, people are not moving anyway. But I am glad that at least the Western world is not moving either, so it doesn't feel so unfair.
5- There was en masse hatred for some people in the community and the ones who spoke out the hatred were never reprimanded. I was the only one who spoke out against the unjust hatred, nobody backed me up. It upsets me people not having any values.
It also upsets me that this hatred was illogical and seemed like a womanly jealousy.
Mother Theresa also said: “People are illogical, unreasonable, self-centered. Love them anyway.”
Well... It is really hard to like such people. Sorry, I'm not there yet. As a matter of fact, got a long way to get there! Misanthropy seems to fit me better. But maybe one day I'll learn to love people regardless.
6- I was disenchanted that Stefan went along with it too. Didn't say anything to them. The fact that he was not present and not invested in the group but was there only to reprimand when someone complained makes things even more upsetting. The double-standard was so in your eyes. Plus, singling out of individuals to ostracize is wrong.
7- Ric asked me to go on the podcast a second time. I accepted but asked why. He said I had interesting stories, good. But he also said “this one is going to be even more controversial.” Which was basically his motive, to use me as controversy material for his interest. I understand him, but he doesn't understand that I don't say things to be controversial but I believe in them. And it is seriously not nice to feel you were used.
8- When a conflict or an argument ensues, especially in a group, nobody remembers the details after some time.
People just keep the feeling. The feeling of being wronged or someone being unreasonable. We just attach a label to that person and put them on a shelf. That label is either “like” or “dislike”.
It is the same even with our friends, family and immediate circle. But because we interact with the immediate circle on a daily basis, we sometimes get a chance to review that label, we sometimes go back and discuss the issue over with the details that has stuck out on each party. So it is possible to update that label. Seeing the other party's view, being able to look at it from different angles makes a difference. Plus, the passage of time provides you the distance to put things into perspective. The more distance you put between the event and yourself -that is you get away from taking it personal- the wider view you get to see things more clearly.
However, when you have been the victim of mobbing in a group, your label is generally never put into review again. People do not have that kind of time to invest on strangers. None of us do.
So I have been labeled the “irrational” or “crazy” one, the “wrong” or the “problematic” one. Which I do not agree of course.* Still, it is not nice.
People have a right to their opinion. But when that opinion is formed without full information, it is upsetting.
I am not a person who is after being liked. That is my husband. I, on the contrary, show my difficult side and try people. To sort out the worthy ones.
Do I care about the ones who label me like these? Obviously, they are not the ones for me, to understand me, to care for me.
Plus, there is something else in there. It is not true I had no one who understood me. I have a handful, or let's say a couple of people from the group who still interact with me and consider me “worthy”. That is enough for me. Those are the people I care about anyway.
So in the end, all is good.
* There is some reason for people to label me "irrational" but that only means they have not tried to understand. Not all rants are equal, just like not all children who throw tantrums are wrong. Sometimes children throw tantrums and it is well within their right. Sometimes adults go into rants and they have totally valid reasons for it.