Well. It happened. Just as I predicted. The Twitter stalker escalated into real life. I actually got chased down in a car on Friday afternoon by a person who I never had a problem with, used to consider a “friend,” and wrote about quite well considering everything. Sigh. See what I mean about these small town people faking their values, morals, and so-called integrity? Yeah.
As per usual, I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on behind my back. I almost never hear anything true about myself from the rumormill. People just make shit up because they’re bored and they want to hurt other people. I have no respect for people who talk about me behind my back. I have no respect for people who gossip and spread malicious lies about me or ANYONE at all. I have no respect for people who dismiss every single thing I have to say about my own life because they think they know me better than I know me. Like, how dare you you assume to understand my perspective? We aren’t even from the same planet, ya’ll. South Dakota and Washington, D.C. could not be more different. We view the world in different ways. We are not on the same page. We are not on the same planet.
The truth is… whatever they have going on over there isn’t about the book anymore. I took all the right actions and did the things I was supposed to do. I stopped publishing the stories, took them offline several times, took them to workshop, got non-biased feedback from strangers who can be objective, re-published a heavily-edited, condensed version that got better feedback, and took it offline again for more edits. I speak highly of the establishment in conversation with others and often refer back to my own set of nostalgic memories. I’m not using real names. I’m not writing “revenge stories.” I’m not even publishing anything in public anymore.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on Me. I’ve been taking classes in journalism, marketing, advertising, creative writing, business, art, theatre, dance. All the things. I deleted my Facebook account. I work out and stay hydrated. I journal, meditate, and do yoga. I avoid interacting with toxic townies. I travel to exciting places. I work on building a new career. I work on other projects. I try not to drink but I don’t always win that battle every day. I’m trying, but anyone who struggles with drinking will tell you it doesn’t happen overnight. The point is: I’m working on it. I’m doing my thing. I’m highly aware of how many toxic people exist in my immediate vicinity. I do my best to avoid them.
This doesn’t change my memories, my feelings, my thoughts, my stories, my characters. I heard your screeching, ignorant, petty “feedback,” which absolutely does not follow the rules of Constructive Criticism because it’s basically just “StOp BeInG sO cRaZy!” I’m trying to adjust course on my book. Yeah, I have tons of stories about The Rez, and Pierre and Yankton and Sioux Falls and Sioux City and random little tiny towns in Nebraska that no one has ever heard of. I have stories on stories about Mad Dog. I have stories about shitty bars I worked in. I have stories about characters I met in those same shitty bars. I have all sorts of things up my sleeve!
Does anyone care? No! Let’s all pretend I’m the same person I was four years ago because someone else thinks they know me better than me. They acted like assholes and now they’re mad that I’m writing about them as assholes. Don’t like it? Fine. Write your own book. I’d love to see you match the ten years of work I’ve dedicated to my project. Go ahead. Do it. Write your own version of Bloody Mary’s that’s better than mine. Write about how great you are and how everyone loves you and how your shit doesn’t stink. Use it to talk about how much you hate Betsey Horton. And please, use my real name so I can sue you for defamation of character later. I would love that more than anything.
I don’t know what to say to these people anymore. I am a very obvious person. I put myself right the fuck out there. What you see is what you get. People who know me, know me. They believe me. They support me. As far as I can tell, the people in this town don’t support anyone or anything. They just tear each other down constantly like the bucket of crabs they are. Every time I eavesdrop in a public place around here, there is someone going down a list of people and just ripping them a new one. It’s boring. And then they have the nerve to get upset when that gets reflected back at them by an “outsider” who has a different perspective on the town?
It’s true. I am an outsider. I’m not from a small town, or South Dakota, or even the Midwest. This place might as well be a different planet as far as I’m concerned. I observe it from my perspective. I don’t try to pretend otherwise. I am direct and upfront. I do not need to be fake or pretend to be nice to others so I can use whatever they say against them later. That’s what people around here to. I approach my surroundings with genuine curiosity and interest. I am not welcomed, I am not treated with any kind of decency or respect, and yet I am constantly told by the same people treating me like garbage that they are “So nice and friendly and helpful to strangers and have so many morals and values blah blah blah.” Um, okay, so if that’s really the case, why am I not observing that behavior out in the wild? Why do I only ever see and experience backstabbing?
Anyway, so, yeah. I moved on with my life and they didn’t. It is what it is. I’m still going to write my book because I’ve done actual marketing research on it for class and I know there’s an audience. I don’t care if they’re mad. They can keep behaving the exact same way they are behaving. I have no respect for any of them and I don’t take them seriously. That’s how they treat me, so why would I treat them any better? They don’t deserve it, right? They’re asking for it, right? They’re the ones who are crazy. I’m over here in my own world, doing my work, doing the therapies, trying to get my life in order, and they are… *checks notes* making fake twitter accounts to threaten me, taking screenshots of everything I post, chasing me down in cars, and screaming at me to go kill myself in broad daylight.
Yeah, and you wonder why I write these silly little scripts and stories making fun of you? Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
And in the end, they learned nothing. I Leveled Up and became the successful writer I was always destined to be. Small Town Haters stayed Big Mad. 🙁 🙁 🙁 Sad face.