Hello, and thank you for reading this. I have no-one to talk to in person right now, and there are things I really need to throw out... I feel like I'm losing my mind.
My friends and I co-author a human rights blog. We write about abuses worldwide and are not afraid to name and shame countries and governments. Of course, when people from said countries catch word, the trolling begins. We moderate all comments manually, so whenever it's my turn, I get to see all the hateful crap that people throw at us (think much harsher versions of "[expletive]ing Americans, your country is the worst, leave [my country] alone!"). Some of these flamers even go so far as to make allegations about me (going from "mean" and "creepy" to words I won't even bother to type here). And here's the "fun" part: I don't know these people. They're just some random idiots hiding behind a nickname and using a spoofed IP address. Part of me KNOWS I shouldn't care about what they have to say... but for some reason, I do. They're biased and using the "NO U!!!!" argument, and the fact that I can't change their opinion is frustrating to the point where I have to get up and kick something because I'm so mad. That's right, folks -- I try to educate people, one troll at a time. I'm asking for it, aren't I?
...The thing is though, what me and my friends are doing is for a good cause, or at least that's what all of us believe. Our traffic is growing, we have a lot of supporters already, and we're thinking of gathering all our research and publishing it as a book. I can't pull out, even though this whole spamming, flaming and trolling thing is becoming so frustrating that it affects me offline, too.
Now, I'm no psychology major or anything of the sort (I majored in Journalism), but I'm pretty sure I let other people's opinions affect me so much because all my life I've had low self-esteem and I tried to validate myself through the opinions of others. My mother always used to crush any initiative I had: I wanted to go into singing (I had a pretty good voice when I was a kid), she said my voice was "average" and I should get my head out of the clouds and be reasonable; I wanted to try and publish some of the many stories I wrote, she said it was a waste of time and money and I should study hard to get myself a "real job"; I was winning national writing contests at the age of 16, and all she cared to mention was what a horrible daughter I was because I "never did anything useful" and wasted my time with things like writing, singing, painting and hanging out with other kids who shared my hobbies. The only time my mother said she was proud of me was after I was officially diagnosed with depression (I was 17), and I could tell she only said it "just because"; she didn't mean it. She was just afraid I'd kill myself after I told her that it was all her fault. No matter what I do, I just can't seem to get any sort of validation or approval from her. I guess that's where it all begins. Oh... and there's no reconciling with her. I'm 26 and she's still being a "no" person - nothing's ever right for her: my job, my hobbies, the man I chose, my blog, even the fact that I'm finally close to accomplishing my dream of publishing a book. We hardly talk anymore because of that, but somehow the absence of communication makes me even sadder.
Anyway, back to my point: nowadays, one negative opinion weighs infinitely more than ten positive ones -- and for the love of all creation, I can't understand why my brain is wired to think that way. Is this normal? Is it because of my mother, or do I just have a victim mentality I can't get rid of? Should I keep trying to educate people, or am I just wasting my time or my sanity? Somehow... I'm really wondering if anything I ever did so far was worth the effort, or people will just remember me as "that weird woman who never smiles".
Hopefully, someone here can help me get out of this mindset. I realize it's not good, and I want to change; it's just that, at the moment, I don't have anything to replace it with. Please... if you've had a similar experience, or if you know any resources that could be of help, reply to my message.
Once again, thank you for reading.