I was all set to sit down, write a poem and make some art when a reader drew my attention to a Facebook comment in which someone I don’t know claimed that there are many Australians who want to physically assault me and send me to the hospital if they ever see me out in public.
So my animal body’s having a bit of a fear response, and I can never make art when I feel like this. I try to write every day, so on the rare occasion where I’m put in a position where I have to write while upset I usually just write from where I’m at and publish whatever comes up.
“She can’t even show her face publicly at political events in Australia as everyone, from Marxists to anarchists to Greenies, would put her in hospital,” some guy I don’t know said in a public Facebook group a few hours ago, explaining that this is because “She’s one of the most active nazbols (people on the far right who pretend to be left) anywhere.”
This job is so weird. My general disinclination to find out what people are saying about me combined with the dynamic of private chat groups and discussion forums means I’m usually the last to know when there’s some new narrative being circulated about me in dissident circles, and this one was uniquely shocking. People have been circulating the utterly false claim that I’m some kind of Nazi or right winger for years, but I’ve never previously seen anyone saying I should be physically assaulted for it, much less that many people agree that this would be a fine thing to do.
Maybe people say this sort of thing about me all the time, I don’t know. I’m inclined to think not, because I have done many public appearances at Australian pro-Assange rallies organized by lefty groups, and I’ve never felt threatened. To be honest it’s never seriously occurred to me that someone might try to assault me at any such an event. I think maybe this person made that claim in an attempt to look cool, because in some cliques saying you’ll hospitalize someone for their political beliefs is how one makes oneself look cool.
Either that or they’re trying to normalize the idea that hospitalizing me via physical assault would be a perfectly reasonable thing for Marxists, anarchists or Greens to do if they ever see me in public. I don’t know. We’re all on lockdown so it doesn’t really matter either way right now. I just feel threatened in my guts.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Fear and frozenness, and the familiar shame response that sometimes comes up for me when people shout about the unskillful arguments I made at the beginning of my career.
All I can really do is sit and feel my feelings. Feel my feet on the floor. Let it all wash over me.
Hi. I’m Caitlin. I was born in 1974 and experienced a long, confusing ordeal with lots of pain, abuse, transcendence and transformation, and now I write weird blog things for a living. Some people like it. A lot of people don’t. I do my best. I haven’t always done it perfectly but I’ve always done my best.
I show up here day after day trying to contribute something helpful to the world, because I promised my kids I’d take care of things and make sure they have a healthy planet to live on. I don’t have any platform. I don’t have connections. I have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a Medium account and a WordPress account. The only reason anyone reads my stuff is because some people enjoy it and share it with others. I don’t have any reach other than what’s given to me by the crowd on any given day.
I don’t really know what this adventure I’m on is or where it’s going. I just know that by and large I am loving the hell out of it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, and I’m so grateful for every one of my patrons and everyone who makes it possible for me to keep showing up here even when I’m scared and sloppy and babbling like a doofball.
Thank you to everyone who’s joined me on this ride. Thank you to everyone who joined me for a while and decided it wasn’t for them and went their own way. Thank you to everyone whose acquaintance I’ve yet to have the pleasure of making on this journey. I deeply appreciate each and everyone who has been or will be a part of this thing with me.
There. Okay. I feel better.
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