The Issue with Hearing No

There is no situation where someone’s boundaries should ever be disrespected. Or the issue with people and the term beginner.

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Didn’t think I’d have to write this AGAIN but since David is continuing to up his harassment, I figured I’d give everyone the info on what really went down.

I wrote an article and like with all my pieces, I did the due diligence of researching David before including him or calling him a beginner writer. The only traces of him I could find dated back as early as November 2020. I also found on numerous occasions that he had claimed other decades’ worth of experience whenever he was challenged on something. None of these claims were ever backed up, mind you. From what I’ve gathered, David is a pen name. There is no evidence or professional links to any work not hosted on Medium or another similar blogging platform.

He contacted me demanding that I remove the beginner moniker but refused to give any information to show that he was telling the truth. After so many white authors have hidden behind pen names to attack, harass, and hide their true identities, I grew cautious after the second time I said no and David continued to grow aggressive and belittling, using the term beginner as an insult against me and repeatedly calling me confused.

I asked him nicely and repeatedly to stop and to listen to my no because as I woman, I’m accustomed to men who don’t listen to no and how instantly terrible those situations can go. I tried to explain to him that I too am a beginner. There’s nothing wrong with it. When after hours of me trying to talk with David, I finally blocked him for fear of how he was becoming more and more forceful and belligerent. He then continued to try and message me and contact me through other apps and through other writers’ accounts. Going as far as getting my story removed from the original publication.

It was however funny because the editor also said that David didn’t have any actual credits to back up his claims and statements. He was just really upset.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that he was writing about his experience while neglecting to show the whole picture. He’s also been going back through our old communications and altering and editing his responses to erase the past.

Yes, I called David a beginner because there is no 10 year writing professional named David M. Whoever is behind the account may have the experience but David M is a beginning writer who has just started out less than a year ago. The person behind the name has made me feel so uncomfortable and threatened that I’m unsure of how he will respond, but I also know that I have the right and control over my stories not some random white guy with a bruised ego.

The fact that the article in question was written over a month ago and yet he is still trying to get access to the story to change it shows how unhinged he is becoming and directing it at me and my story. I’ve tried talking to him as someone who claims they’ve been working as a professional for over a decade stressing that he must understand he has no control over what other people publish and that it’s best to let these things go, but he refuses to see this as something that he can’t control, demand, or force the outcome he wants.

Unfortunately, that’s not reality.

Let me put it into perspective, say you write a story where the research you did show one thing but some person (not associated with you or the publication) decides they don’t like the way you wrote it, so they demand you change it. You have control over your story and did your research, so you decline because the person has no evidence besides their word, which is rude and patronizing. After saying no, for 8+ hours the person continues to message you, calling you names and insulting your work. Eventually, you block them, but they use their friends, alternative accounts, and their stories to continue the harassment.

What do you do?

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