1. To produce a sustained, high-pitched, plaintive sound, as in pain, fear, or complaint.
2. To complain or protest in a childish or annoying fashion:
Five days ago, a most offensive comment was posted on one of my pieces of writing. Fortunately, the Spam Goblins got hold of it before I did – and, thus, I only, as it were, viewed it second hand once it had been booted into the Spam bin.
Basically, this anonymous person (Oh! the courage required to post a vicious comment from the safety of anonymity, eh? Real Warrior behaviour – NOT!) stated that he/she was most disappointed with my blog and that I should stop whining about a situation I knew I could do something about.
Now, for the sake of clarity, I should like to point out a few things.
1) Writing in an honest, if occasionally emotional, way about topics which many of us can identify with is NOT, in my book, the same as whining. The latter has that undercurrent of high-pitched ‘Poor me: I feel so sorry for myself’-ness which does, indeed, sound like a child endlessly pulling at its mother’s skirt for attention.
2) Since this person knows nothing about me, or my life – other than the edited highlights I choose to share on here – a judgement concerning what I should or should not be doing about/with my life seems a trifle ill-thought-out, insensitive and, frankly, patronising.
3) I am a ranter – often! When things get my goat, I tend to be forthright – possibly not always diplomatic, or even wise, but fundamentally honest. A whiner? No. I do tend to write about the same subject/s fairly often – pain, abuse, technological frustration, sex – but, my style tends to be taut and not overly weepy and wailing. I do not tend to rend my garments and sob in real life; in fact, one of my problems is that I do not cry often enough.
4) Writing about abuse does not make me a whiner. Many people have been able to identify with my Abuse-related posts – and have, quite rightly, realised that it is a highly complex subject which does not always have a neat, quick or easy solution. Those of us who experience any kind of bullying know damn well that ‘Oh for God’s sake, just leave the room/relationship/playground…’ is a vast over-simplification and far easier said than done – and that those who condemn the bullied for not trying hard enough to extricate themselves are, all too often, guilty of naivety at best, covert condoning of abuse at worst.
So: For the sake of clarity, the decision to write about suffering (in my case, amongst many other topics) is a personal one. I think the trouble is that any emotional writing is, by its very nature, going to press other people’s buttons; give them the lurching pain and fear associated with their own Achilles Heels; bring them up against things they would really rather not face. Under such circumstances, it is so much easier to blame and condemn the writer for being a self-pitying whiner than to ask oneself, ‘Why has this post pissed me off so much?’
If my anonymous commenter is reading this, let us get clear: You are not walking in my shoes, and it is not your business to make glib and superficial judgements about me and my life decisions just because something I have written has, inadvertently, jerked your chain.
Grow up, whoever you are.