Journal of an Extreme Horror Writer

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Soul Searching
nickatillemans
Almost a decade ago, I accused a group of people on a message board of being bullies for making fun of a learning disabled writer. He was banned from the board and, so, couldn't speak in his own defense. Having distantly known the writer for years, it upset me and I spoke openly of my disgust. Immediately, I found that people were putting my words under the microscope; and I had to watch every word I said. After an ugly week on the board, things tapered off and the battle died down. A few people actually left the board; because they were offended that others took my side and actually helped me smooth things out. I paid attention to the drama for a couple of years; but, finally, I just gave up on it. I had too many other things going on; and I hardly had any time to even write at all.

Now, fast forward seven or eight years. That same learning disabled writer is still battling it out with these people. The people who were bullying him so many years ago are still at it, only now they are the victims of his idle verbal threats (made in anger). Because he has made every possible idle threat he could to men and women alike, these people have made the social media case against him.

This doesn't stop him. He's ready to keep fighting. There is no dissuading him from getting even with them…by "putting them under the microscope" or whatever the new tactic is. It continues to escalate.

So, he's a culprit too. But the odds are stacked tremendously against him; and people are sniping at him from all sides.

The unfairness of this is what makes my blood boil.

He's not an easy person to defend, especially not now. He has revealed that he rigidly holds ultra conservative beliefs, which are at odds with mine. He says to women he perceives as enemies that they should gang-raped and other ugly things like that, because those statements are probably the worst things he thinks he can say to them. He openly celebrates the deaths of people he dislikes and/or their relatives.

I've been trying to parse out the truth for the past week or so; and I've been doing a lot of soul-searching. I continue to speak in his defense where it seems warranted; but, at the same time, a lot of his beliefs and actions run counter to what I believe and how I would behave. So, I worry about what I'm defending in the end.

And, personally, I reap no benefit from it. I'm making enemies all over the place by simply showing kindness to this person and listening to his side without joining the attack.

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The "leaning disabled writer" that you speak of is not being called out because he is learning disabled. He is being called out--and yes, mocked--because he is, frankly, a raging narcissistic asshole and all-around unpleasant person who posts vile and untrue things about his perceived enemies, oftentimes years after they have last had contact with him.

I know people IRL who have learning disabilities and mental disorders--neither of those things also makes them raging assholes. You seem to be arguing that this writer should not be criticized simply because he is "learning disabled." I don't buy that.

I came to know the guy back in 2003. A lot of this mess was still ahead of him back then. The biggest problem I saw in him was that he couldn't take criticism about his writing. He would take the criticism as a personal offense. Seeing this as outrageous behavior, people would also make fun of him personally back then. It turned into bullying. I even saw people posting sound files with him crying on the phone and photoshopped pictures of him with with lipstick on and his head on a stripped down body. People were intentionally pushing him over the edge. It's that behavior which I found offensive, not constructive criticism.

I always told him that he should try to take the criticism and use it to improve his prose. But so many of the criticisms he received weren't constructive at all, not well-meaning and, often, downright mean-spirited.

People should criticize him when it's appropriate and tell him they disapprove of his inappropriate behavior. But there's a difference between that and poking him with a stick.

Edited at 2014-07-17 07:09 am (UTC)

It's not just about him not being able to take criticism, although that was how I originally became involved with him (I offered mild criticism of a story that he had online at a site that invited comments).

It is about him spreading lies about "rivals", harassing other writers (often people who haven't said a word about him in years), and deceiving aspiring writers and using their stories without payment and/or notification. It is about him sending me death threats because I downloaded two books he had set to free on Lulu. It is about him trying to lure an underage girl out to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night for a "photo shoot". It is about a lot of things.

Do people poke Nicky? Sometimes, yeah, they do. But most often, the criticism and mocking come after Nicky has done something "outrageous" (your word) that decent people find insulting.

Edited at 2014-07-24 11:36 pm (UTC)

Of course, I appreciate so much of what you're saying. But don't you think it's the business of people who have a handle on life to be the adults?

I don't know how he found out about you downloading his free books; but I would wager that the threats came from whatever you did which led him to find out about it. I really don't know anything about that "photo shoot." It sounds incriminating. But everyone seems to be out for blood, exaggerating things, so I don't know what to think. In the end, I don't believe that anything criminal actually happened. I'm sure I would have heard about that by now.

I know you have valid feelings which put you at odds with him. Often times, I have those same feelings. He goes around, social media trying to one-up me, even in the most inappropriate situations. Mostly, I simply tolerate it. But I posted something on Facebook in memorial of a friend of mine who had died. Lacking certain sensitivities and social skills, he started one-upping me there, talking about some acquaintance of his who had committed suicide in a more extreme way and, then, talking about how controversial he could be.

I expressed my disapproval; but I don't think he gets it. I don't think he can help himself; so I try not to take offense. I certainly don't find his struggles amusing. Instead, I count my blessings...so should we all.



Edited at 2014-07-30 02:56 am (UTC)

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