Recently I read an article about how optimism is always the answer. I was very irked by this idea, given that my life is a very good example of the failures of positive thinking. I am writing this article to explain that no, optimism is not always the answer.
Sometimes there are things that happen in life that are horrific. There is nothing positive to gain from such occurrences. There is nothing positive when an expecting mother has a miscarriage. Neither is there anything positive to gain from being the victim of sexual abuse. Countless other examples exist in our lives of times when unspeakable evils have occurred.
In my life, I was targeted in a brutal cyberbullying campaign that no amount of hyperbole would be able to explain. However, remaining optimistic was the very deed that led to my downfall. As the horrible comments about me continued to pile up, I ignored them. Certainly, it was laughable that people would call me a rapist, right? I had never done anything close to that. Another notable comment was that I was armed with a gun and was plotting to kill people. Considering I have never owned a gun in my life, this once again seemed to be pointless postings.
However, the police did not agree. Considering the fact that the university I attended had been the target of a school shooting spurred them to react. My bullies had the perfect storm. My life continued to get worse. I lost my friends and was ousted from student organizations, some of which I had helped start. I almost ended up in a psych ward over suicide attempts. And then on Christmas Eve of 2010, I came within moments of ending my own life. Only a wild deer and ice on the road kept me alive.
As any who have survived a traumatic event, I bear scars that will never heal. I do not trust people anymore. Nor do I assume the best intentions of humanity. As the person on the receiving end of the bystander effect, I harbor no illusions that these things could happen to someone else. I also doubt that anyone will come to the defense of a person in such a situation
Optimism almost led to my death. And I would be a fool after the fact to be willing to forgive these people. I will harbor hatred towards them for the rest of my life. Hatred and negative energy have continued to be the lifeblood that keeps me waking up every morning. The blood flowing through my veins desires nothing short of how to make myself invincible. When I see people willing to forgive those that have harmed them on such a scale, I assume either delusions or battered person syndrome. Some deeds are beyond forgivable. And there are actions that are beyond the moral event horizon.