Here Comes the Hate

I’ve always know Publishing my memoir would mean backlash of various sorts. Up until this last week I’ve been lucky enough to dodge that bullet so far.

Now as my audience is growing and things are beginning to pick up the pace I’ve acquired a few negative reviews and comments. Most of them I simply brush off, the ones I choose to engage with will usually receive one or two comments and then I go on my merry way no worse for the ware.

One I received last week though, struck a cord with me. Not because it was particularly hateful or inflammatory, but because of the miscommunication between what I feel my story conveys and how the commenter interpreted it. I engaged because I wanted to dialogue about the entire thing. It intrigued me and I was hoping to learn more about their viewpoint. Instead I got blamed for the down fall of society, blocked and reported… but that’s neither here nor there. Lol.

I’ve always been fairly open with the fact that while I recognize the relationship I shared with my ex was toxic and unhealthy, I don’t regret it. He abused me in horrific ways, yet I’m able to forgive him. I understand the why behind some of his behaviors and share a decent amount of empathy for the guy. I’ve also been guilty of enabling his abusive behavior in the past and struggled with codependency during the relationship.

All of those things are in my book, and a fair share of my marketing because that’s what people can relate to. That’s why my fans love it. It’s honest, revealing, and relatable because I don’t make excuses for my poor choices. I maintain my compassion and forgiveness for my ex and various abusers in my past not because I “need them to like me” or want them in my life as a codependent would. I’m just a soft hearted person who’s capable of those emotions and chooses those things over hatred or apathy.

I feel like that’s generally what I convey in my writing, or at least those are my intentions. I don’t feel as if I’m glamorizing or “promoting” unhealthy relationships in anyway. It’s very clear that I was significantly damaged by what happened during my time with my abuser and that I took many years to come to terms with and move forward from the abuse. That’s not glamorous, and I certainly hope that no one goes out seeking a relationship like the one I shared with my abuser after reading my book.

But of course I’m doing all this introspective thinking about the impact of my story and my art, when the commenter themselves didn’t even take the time to read the entire thing before passing judgement on it… they didn’t even engage in a conversation. Apparently they saw what they wanted to see and no about of reason was going to change their minds. No fault toward them really. It just surprised me that something so simple as compassion and forgiveness could be twisted so easily into something so destructive . 🤷🏻‍♀️

5 thoughts on “Here Comes the Hate

  1. If there’s anything I learned from the comments/ratings/reviews/etc left on my book on places like Goodreads, it’s that people will see what they want to see in any book, regardless of the premise or the author’s intent.

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  2. It’s really hard for me to read any kind of negative reviews. I have some thick skin and knew that a memoir (especially about abuse) can bring out lots of judgment, but it turned out my skin was pretty thin and so I stopped reading negative reviews. I know my truth and have had enough positive feedback from people that the negative ones had no meaning any longer. I’m just thrilled people take the time to still read my memoir 3.5 yrs later.

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  3. I agree. My feathers aren’t too ruffled from it all. Our truths aren’t meant to be understood by everyone, and those that do understand won’t be swayed by negative reviews anyway. At least they’re reading the book and leaving reviews! That’s really what counts in the long run publishing game anyway. ❤

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