Of course I do it. Every few days as a matter of fact. Certainly at least once on the weekend. Google is made for that purpose, I'd suppose. As a result, when I find myself bored or am fiddling with time like a little girl with a lock of hair, I put 'hingsburger' into Google and see what comes up. Last Saturday, home from a trip and deciding not to leave the house for the day, I was playing Spider on the computer and then decided to Google myself (that sounds racy but isn't).
There were something like 10,300 pages that referenced the name Hingsburger. Then, because I had loads of extra time, I did something I don't do. I decided to take a look at some of the pages. The first I went to was written by someone who had recently seen me lecture, and that was the subject of their blog. OK, so far, so cool. Then I plunged in to read what they had said. Not said privately to a friend, mind, but publically to the world.
I was brought up short. This was a fairly nasty attack. Not on my ideas (that I can take, even enjoy) but on me, my weight, my looks, my way of being in the world. I felt bile rise in my throat and I glanced up at the name of the person who wrote the blog. Didn't recognize the name, no surprise. Then I went for their picture. I figured we must have had a nasty interchange and the blog resulted from it. But the picture held no clue as to who this person was, I am fairly certain we've never met, never spoken. I finished the blog and was really, really upset.
Why I should worry about the rambling writings of a total stranger who decides to critique me as a person rather than my ideas as a thinker - I don't know. Why I should carry some of those words around with me, have them attached to me like the chain that Marley's ghost hauled round - makes no sense. Goodness knows I get enough praise. But, given my rearing, I mistrust praise and believe criticism.
Oddly, this week, I spent time with the team that will be teaching 'self esteem' classes for people with disabilities at Vita, we are working at developing a pre and post test so that we can measure the effectiveness of the teaching. The three of us sat and talked about what self esteem meant. One of the questions that they had come up with was 'How would you feel if someone called you a name?" What a good question - and one that I would fail, miserably.
I know that I teach others about this, but I admit that I have my own 'issues' to work through. I get that someone who doesn't know me writing a personal attack against me is, ultimately, meaningless. That their motives must be questioned more than their words. But maybe a history of being told, not called, that I was ugly, stupid, worthless -is difficult to kill and easy to resurrect.
It's four day's later and I'm still feeling bruised by the words. Joe wanted to know the blog address of the writer and I've refused to give it to him, and I will refuse you as well, I don't want a sudden increase in their stats because of me sending you there, I also - honestly (and weirdly) don't want people going there, reading those words, and then realizing 'hey, right, Hingsburger is a fat, ugly, jerk, why am I reading his blog' and you all going away.
See me in the afternoon using a wheelchair, assume that's my disability.
See me with my huge fears of inadequacy and worthlessness in the early hours of the morning, see my actual disability.