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Freedom of Speech & The burdens of consequence.

Posted on by Kate Ball

As a writer, as an artist, as an empathetic human with a traumatic past, present, and probable future, I write a lot of content that never sees the light of day. It sits, finished, unfinished, unpublished is just the same, because I am afraid.

 

But why am I afraid? I’m a person that has had an easier time being honest than crafting lies. It’s a mindset that I chose at an early age, observing others who never could keep their lies straight. This code of honor meant that manipulation is not my strong suit. In fact, the antithesis and fear of being manipulative is one of my greatest weaknesses.

 

So, what am I afraid of?

 

It isn’t pride. Anyone with google can find out I’m disabled the second they know my first name and that I live in Brooklyn. To think there aren’t negative consequences with this information, being public would be extremely nïeve of me. 

 

So what am I afraid of?

 

It’s proof. The same thing all people need to seek justice. The same thing that took 60 abused women sacrificing their pride, finances, and personal safety to collectively see to it that victims of Bill Cosby received “Justice.” It’s blood splatter analysists, detectives, expert witnesses, who are willing to fake evidence to secure their careers, as was in author Michael Peterson’s case. He spent $1,000,000 on his initial defense. He was innocent. He spent close to a decade in prison. His case went on for 15 years. Why? Because people lied in order to have their careers solidified.

 

Even when there’s proof, the proof often contained within another person. A person that has their pride. Most victims haven’t been through excessive therapy. 

 

And there’s reality. Most victimized people don’t have access to therapy. It’s costly. Mentally all-consuming. It requires an extremely talented therapist that knows how to reach the patient. Even if the victim managed to meet all the entrance requirements to therapy, then the victim has to re-live horrors victims repress just to survive. And for what? The low chance the victim will recover from ptsd? Cognitive behavioral therapy only helps 24% of patients recover from PTSD. Statistically, therapy for those who have PTSD do more harm than good.

 

But...  

despite all odds, there are certain people who want to recover. That will stop at nothing to get better because they don’t want to and never wanted to be a victim. Because our culture is obsessed with strength. 

 

True strength is more than just surviving. True strength is letting your guard down. True strength is not remaining silent. True strength is combating shame. True strengh is speaking up even when it will make you look bad.

 

But I don’t lack strength. I found the perfect therapist. It wasn’t easy. But I recovered. In a world where recovery is %24.

 

We hear it all the time: Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequence. 

 

It’s delema of self-preservation. That’s what I’m afraid of. It’s the delema of someone throwing me into a defamation of character lawsuit.  It’s the fear of being called a liar. Again. 

 

We all know about stupid criminals. They get caught because they weren’t smart enough to think things through. We know people who get framed, and law enforcement can’t always be trusted. (With that being said, first responders are absolute hero’s who survive traumas we can’t imagine.)

But what about smart criminals? The ones we only hear rumors about. Rumors we don’t want to believe. The ones that can hurt other people and still make themselves look like victims. Their genuises not only in IQ but in EQ. They know how to get away with, sometimes, murder. Evil & intelligence and a desire for power over a person is the most dangerous combination you can find in a person. They don’t stress about the moral implications of what they’ve done wrong. They don’t care. They may act like they do, but they don’t. They’re not going to leave witnesses. And if they do, they’ll hold no qualms with undermining an innocent person’s reputation to protect their own. And if you happen to be a victim to one of these people, or multiples of these people, you’d perhaps know that one can survive things much worse than death. It’s not just a trite phrase. 

Now that I’m aware of what I’m afraid of, this makes things a lot easier. I have an answer to not a lack of desire of writing, or a lack of writing, but a fear of publishing. 

 

From now on, I’m going to write some blogs in 3rd person. If you want to believe the stories are true, I can’t stop you.  Just remember: I couldn’t write in first person if I wanted to. And remember, to write what you know. And remember, that the following disclaimer always applies to any of my written work:

 

The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. No person or entity associated with this content received payment or anything of value, or entered into any agreement, in connection with the depiction of tobacco products. No animals/humans were harmed in the making of this content.

 

Therefore, nothing I could possibly write could ever be true.  It’s not inspired by a life I may have lived. It doesn’t resemble anyone I’ve ever met. It never happened. It’s fiction. In third person. Fiction. 

 

I have an obsession with truth, and I’m a writer. The two will never meet, becase americans aren’t free. Not in any capacity. All artists have been traumatized. All artists are victims. It’s what made them become artists instead of monsters. Artists don’t paint to be painters. They don’t paint for recognition. They paint because all they have is paint. It’s the same with any artist. It’s the same with writers. Real musicians. Real creators, 

 

They create because it’s the only source of good they could see. They tortured themselves into artistic perfection. Never good enough. Humiliating themselves with writing and creating shit. Being able to see the discern the difference, eventually, they become good enough.

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