By Caitlin Kelly
Anyone poorly parented and/or the victim of bullies and narcissists knows how extremely difficult it can be for their victims to say no.
To the most absurd and unrelenting demands.
Because what happened after I’ve said no is…abandonment. Estrangement. Rejection. Verbal or physical cruelty. Job loss.
I’ve lived in fear for decades — and readers know I express plenty of strong opinions here and in my writing and books and on social media — of these outcomes in my personal and professional life.
My industry, journalism, is in such utter chaos — with the most job cuts in 2019 since 2008 — that those with jobs will do anything to keep them, and the hell with us freelancers, seen by many as disposable commodities, easily and cheaply replaced with someone, always, terrified and docile.
I have never seen such shitty behavior.
The past two weeks made me snap.
First, a baby editor with zero social skills — who I later found out has been this rude and aggressive with other veteran writers. Then, this week, a source decided it was appropriate to throw me and my skills under the bus.
Then stalk me on Twitter.
In both instances, their entitled behavior — unprovoked and insistent — left me shaking and shaken.
From now on, I’m just walking.
This is, a great luxury, and a measure of privilege because it’s possible only with the explicit agreement and financial and moral support of my husband and a bank account plundered to make up the lost $1,050 in anticipated/needed income from these two stories.
Most Americans don’t even have the savings to say…I’m gone. I’m not putting up with this.
Because without savings, and the ability to never engage with them again, we’re all left groveling to bullies.