Someone brought a community page on Facebook that bullies people with fibromyalgia to my attention.
I was beyond upset. I was hurt.
I reported the page for bullying but my sister brought up the question of free speech. She made a very valid point but it didn’t make me feel better. The conversation went something like this:
Sister- “Everyone has the right to express their opinions regardless of popularity. This issue is very controversial right now. We may be stupid, ignorant, fat, lazy Americans. But we are free to be that or whatever we choose. I would suggest that in the future you hide this from your view. Something I like to tell people that don’t appreciate my humor and/or opinions is, ‘if you find me offensive, then don’t fucking find me.’ I love you sister and will back you no matter what, but that is my point of view on it.”
Me- “I understand what you’re saying and thank you for supporting me. People are entitled to their opinions but this guy is just spreading hate. That’s exactly what it says on the cover photo, ‘We hate you’ To me, that’s going a little far.”
Sister- “In this overly politically correct society, we need to encourage others to express themselves and our best defense against hate and prejudice is education. Let’s use these opportunities to enlighten people to these issues that effect us. I just can’t stand how everyone is offended by everything now days.
Maybe you can share some documented research to that person’s page. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.'”
Me- “Others have already tried educating and reasoning. Whoever runs that page is just rude about it. I know you’re right about free speech and all that. I do feel a little like a hypocrite but I don’t feel bad for reporting the page. I wasn’t offended when I saw it. I was sad. It hurt my feelings. I know that sounds childish but people with fibromyalgia go through enough without this jerk citing outdated studies and crap. It’s one thing to have an opinion but why purposely try to make people feel bad? Many people have fibro way worse than I do. It can be debilitating and depressing.
I am trying to be the change I want to see in the world and I know I reacted poorly here. I reported the page without even thinking about it.”
I still feel conflicted. That’s why I’m writing about the experience.
This page goes beyond having an opinion. Would a page bullying cancer survivors or victims of assault be allowed to stay up? I didn’t scour Facebook to find out. Honestly, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach and I wish it had never been brought to my attention.
Women with fibromyalgia have a 10-fold increased risk for suicide according to Danish researchers. Read the article, here. Aren’t we going through enough? Can’t we just be left alone?
I find myself wondering about the creator of the page. Did they have a bad experience with someone with fibromyalgia? Were they misdiagnosed with it? I just don’t understand what could instill such hate.
What is so wrong with only respecting the opinions of others as long as they aren’t stifling anyone else’s existence?
I see no reason to tear one another down. We should be lifting each other up.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
I will not be sharing the Facebook page. I believe they are already getting more attention than they deserve. I want to know what you think. How would you have reacted?
Stay strong and stay sexy spoonies!
Cover Image from Tumblr.