onsdag 17. august 2016

Two Years with Bullying and Harassment in the Scrapbooking Environment

Hello Everyone :-)

If you reading this, I am abute to tell you a story abute me and the Crafting environment in Norway.

Yesterday Susanne Halseth published her private story about messages she had recived in her blog that were ugly and anonymous. Susanne is a skilful paper crafting, a great person, and she inspired me to tell my own story. I have been a paper crafter for about three years, but my story about beeing bullied and called names in this society have lasted for almost two years.

I too, like Susanne, wondered whether I should or not publish this. I did not do this because I was afraid; how would it be received? 

 I, as many others, use this hobby as therapy: by using our creativity to create what we want with paper, we also get our minds off what bothers us. I´ve had a tough childhood. I have grown up with violence, lies, discrimination and jealousy – all this in my own home. I also was bullied at school for ten years, and I comforted myselv with food and books. And I loved books, still do. There is nothing better than sitting down with a book, let the thoughts fly away, to dream, forgetting about the real world. I didn´t do very well at school. I hated the gymnastics and the break times can be compared with nightmares. In high school, I met a completely now form of bullying and exclusion. I learned that jealousy has no limits, so my schoolbooks became my rescue. But at high school I also noticed that I was good at something – this was a whole new experience for me! 

 You expect that the bullying will disappear as you get older. You expect that the people that throw dirt after you, will stop doing that as they grow up. But there also are people like this in the adult world, vicious people who cant wait to find someone to throw their rotten comments after. 

 When I faced the world of bullying and viciousness in the society of scrapbooking for about two years ago, I almost could not belive it! 

I remember my first scrapbook gathering. It was so exiting to sit with this big table beside others who had the same hobby as myself! I really enjoyed it! It was great! It felt so good being creative, and I looked forward to every minute I was going to spend there.

Everyone have things they do, little wierd things. One of those things that I do (I also do this at home when I´m all alone) is talking to myself (you know – voice and everything) when I work at my projects. Im sitting there, and I enjoy myself, I´m boiling over with happiness. And I can say to myself; «oh this is good», «this turns out great», «oh - this is smart» and so on. It is sentences I say to myself, and my mind is not on the person that sits beside me. This is who I am, and I am proud of the things that I make, and I don´t keep it inside me when I´m on gatherings. This is how my story started. 

 Some time after the gathering tings started to change big time, and I have no idea what actually happend. I started to put my projects on facebookpages, someone said that I stole other peoples projects, that I did not have own fantacy and so on. At the same time I also got to know that my behavior at the gathering became a popular talking point afterwards. 

 The way I acted, jolly and sprakling, was interpreted as me thinking I was better than others. As me thinking I was the best, and no one were better than me. 

I was shocked at the time, I´m not that kind of person. I would never, and I mean never, say to someone that I am better than them, that the things I make is better than theirs. One of the things that I love with this hobby is that we all are individual. It is the imagination that sets the limits. With my experience from the childhood and the struggles I have daily – I would never have done that to another person. Words could be like poison, and there is no cure for the scares in the souls who have experienced them. 

As the time passes I get several comments from those people, the ones that like to throw their dirt after others. I have, like Susanne, received anonymous messages on my blog that I have deleted.

 In August last year I was lucky to be guest artist in «Et trykk» a Norwegian Magazin. I regret that I did this now. What was going to be a good experience for me, turned out to be months and months of writings on PM and on my blog. 

I also have dyslexia, which result in me writing lots of typo. But I love writing anyway. I really cant count how many comments I have got on the typos I have in my blogposts. At one point it got so bad that I had a friend of mine correct my typos in my blogposts before posting them. 

 Before and after last Christmas I received mean messages directly in social groups. At one time someone called me a thief because I borrowed a Dies and forgot to return it. The Dies had been packed down due to me moving, and it was not that easy to find in the moving-chaos. Some people wrote that I should be reported to the police, and constantly I tried to tell them that this was a discussion between me and the person I had borrowed the Dies from, she was at that time one of the admins in that group. It actually went so far that it costed me a DT position in a shop. One of the persons which were in on this was also a friend of the shop owner – so she literally told that she and others would stop shopping there if they let me continue as a DT there. Actually, I did not get to write a single blogpost for that shop. This led to me getting a scrapping barrier – I started to hate what I actually loved. And all because of a misunderstanding. 

 Her friend, and also a admin in the group, she asked if I wanted to come back to that gathering. I answered with a bluntly question: do you really beilive that I will participate there with the history of you treating me that way? - Maybe not, she answered. 

What happened in that group also costed me the position as a guest-designer in a scrapping-challenge-blog. That was because one of the people that is a DT there, also wanted me to get reported to the police. 

 I have gotten pictures of things being said in secret groups on facebook concerning me. Before the summer I actually considered to stop scrapbooking, in the light of all the things that had happened. I thought things would get to be easier without it. At least maybe for the ones that cant handle my honesty, me being jolly and sparkling. It would maybe be easier for the ones that cant accept me for being me. But personally, it I would stop scrapbooking, my life would be like hell. 

Someone told me that I was not wanted around the table where I sit at the gathering. I have gotten messages telling me I´m not welcome anymore from organizers or people who know the hostess. I have got to know that when I participate on gatherings people talk badly about me around the tables. Someone says that I have used the gatherings to accentuate myself.

I've started to say, before a scrapbooking-gathering that I will be talking with my self, but it is just me, and has nothing to do with any of you. I have to tell them who I am, that I am from the North of Norway and that I often tell jokes of funny comments.

Some times I wish that my name is something different than Silje Kristin Aunan, because my name is so ful of dirt no. I as a person can not longer be recognized by my own name, cause the things people say is not who I am. I have actually considered making an anonymous blog, with a different name, so that people can see past the name and just look at the things I make and post on the blog.

I have often said that i dont get inspiration from others, the inspiration just comes to me. And it realy does, i love that I am able to fantasize, but it can be a hassle at the same time. People accuse me of stealing inspiration from others. I just want to be myself, like I was when i started scrapbooking. But every time I post something, I am afraid of getting accused of stealing, cheating or copying or that I dont have anyone or anything in my life since I have the time for scrapbooking.

It should have been totally unnecessary that I have to defend who I am, and why I am who I am, but I still feel like I have to. I am the least selfish person i know. I mean that we all are artist, no matter what we make. Cause we all have different styles and we are all great at what we do. As long as you are happy with what you have made, then who cares what everyone else in the world believes. We all have people we look up to, because they appeal to us with a style we like or wish we could do, and it will always be like that.  

But my greatest quality is my strength. I have a great amount of courage, and not matter what goes against me, I will always find a way through it. I do not know why some people finds joy from harassing others, but one thing i know for sure, is that I am not the one that struggling.

I might be responsible for some of it, but I never wanted whats happening know. 

It is about time we look at ourself, and think about what we can do.

This environment is not supposed to be filled with poison. BULLYING is never ok and it is never the solution. 

One person can not make a big difference, but if we stand together we can make things better   ❤

No matter who we are, and what we make- we are all artists.
The world is big enough for all of us ❤

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9 kommentarer:

  1. I am sorry to hear this has happened to you, not nice at all. No-one deserves to be treated badly, we are all different and should never be judged by others. Don't stop creating and I look forward to seeing your work.

  2. I am so sorry this is happening to you...especially in an environment where individual creativity should be appreciated and respected.

    I too, have been mistreated in this environment... by someone I thought was a good friend whom I mentored and shared my skills and talents with without question. We even opened an Etsy shop together. She thanked me by mistreating me, stealing my designs and ideas and selling them as her own AFTER she kicked me out of the shop and lied about closing the shop! She did all this AFTER she reminded me that I should "learn to stand up for myself or else people would just walk all over me"!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE re-read your letter out loud to yourself. Remember the reason you started creating in the first place... FOR YOURSELF because IT MADE YOU FEEL GOOD! YOU enjoyed it! It brought YOU PEACE, YOU were able to FORGET your worries... even for a moment. After all, YOU MATTER and YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

    Haters will ALWAYS hate. They hate because they are weak, jealous, and unhappy themselves and must bring others down to their level of misery. Please don't let them steal your happiness!
    Please continue to be creative! Please continue to be proud of yourself and your work. YOU ARE WORTHY!
    Thank you for the post! I admire your strength and courage!

  3. I can't believe such things are happening in the craft community. It's shocking! I always thought crafters were very nice and kind people, but now I see I've just been lucky to only meet such people (so far). I'm very, very sorry you had such bad experience and that you have (had) to deal with bullying in what was supposed to be fun, friendly and encouraging enviroment. Please, don't let those mean individuals get to you and "steal" your hobby. Don't let them win! I absolutely LOVE your work (I almost always check out your creations, but unfortunately don't always have time to leave you a comment) and am always wowed by your creativity.
    As for the spelling mistakes go ... I am a language teacher and I am not ashamed that I make spelling/grammar mistakes too. After all, I am only human. And I bet those people who left you those mean messages make them too. And I am 100% sure they are not perfect in other areas either. We are all humans, which means we make mistakes. So keep your chin up and be proud of who you are and the things that make you YOU.
    Sending big crafty hugs your way. :) xx

    P.S. I would love to send you a card to brighten your day a little bit, if you don't mind giving me your address. :)

  4. I am so sorry this is happening to you.
    Hugs, Valerija

  5. Jeg er ked af at du har haft disse oplevelser. Vær sød at forsætte med dit arbejde, vi er mange som støtter op om dig. Jeg håber du til slut velsignes med glædes i din hobby. Knus Conny

  6. Don't let anyone dull your sparkle. Jealousy is such and ugly trait and says so much more about those spreading muck.

    Keep shining.

  7. I am so sorry that this ugliness has been directed at you. I truly enjoy your creations and cannot believe that people can do this to other people. I hope that this doesn't dull your interest in the scrapbooking word, as these women are jealous of your success. I am sending you hugs from the United States!

  8. So sorry to hear of such hatefullness towards you !I myself have been bullied in life . The worst period came when i was highly reguarded by higher - ups and some peers while at a certain job . It was horrible . Hang in there and never give up !


Thank you for your kind comments. I love reading them and they make my heart sing <3