To Tweet Or Not To Tweet, That is Question
When I decided to join the online Twitter community of Primary Prevention against Child Sexual Abuse, it was by far the biggest decision I had ever made in dealing with the unwanted and unasked-for sexual preference of children.
I know what you are saying: wouldn’t the biggest decision be telling your family or seeking therapy, as you wrote about in previous blogs? But the answer to that is "no". Putting myself out there to people I might never meet in real life, not know if they were truly “friend or foe” to me felt like the biggest step forward.
I had just got done taking another big step in that I appeared on “The Prevention Podcast” with my mother, deciding to tell the world our personal story in hopes that it might help another parent/child know they were not alone in their journey through love and acceptance in dealing with minor-attraction.
When the podcast was released, I was both anxious and excited to see what the response would be. I had a Twitter account but, up until that point, I had never posted anything--just being a wallflower, as I have always done in online communities. When I started seeing the positive reviews of the episode, I weighed whether or not this was the right time and the right place, where I would feel comfortable chatting with complete strangers on what it was like dealing with my attractions. So in February 2019, I decided to take the leap in to the great unknown and made my profile public.
It wasn’t anything major. I just thanked everyone for their kind comments and said I was open to discussion. At the time, I really didn’t understand how Twitter work. (Truth be told, I’m still learning.) So I didn’t know who exactly would see my comment or even if anyone would care.
I started receiving responses and then requests to chat privately through DM. Slowly, I started building a network of people that eventually I would consider friends. There was an even mix of both fellow MAPs and allies . I can’t say which had the greater impact on me: knowing that there were a lot of other MAPs like me who have chosen that we know we can’t act on our attraction, or the allies who have never met me but decided that I was worth listening to and not a monster that deserved to be locked away. Both had extremely positive effects on my overall mental health.
Now I must mention the flip side of this positive experience because, if you are a minor-attracted person reading this and you are considering joining the Twitter community, I need you to know every angle.
At the other end of the amazing supportive network that I just mentioned, you are probably going to discover the dark underbelly who are commonly referred to as “antis” and “trolls”
These “people” will do anything in their power to make you doubt you are a good person. They will spew their hatred and disgust at something they choose not to understand, because it makes them feel better about themselves to know that they probably won’t be frowned upon saying hateful things to the modern day lepers of society.
What most of them don’t realize is that those who run Twitter think otherwise and, as long as you do not promote or glorify CSA, you are not in violation of their “Terms of Service” and you have a right to be there.
Who does not have the right to be there are those who promote hatred, threats of violence, and suicide baiting toward a protected group of people, and Twitter will get rid of those tweets or accounts that do.
The whole reason I decided to write this was as a very simple tool to help you make that decision to seek support and friendship when you feel as if you will never find it. In parting, let me offer just some simple advice:
The risk is worth the reward.
In deciding to join the community, I have met some great people who, in some ways, I feel closer to than friends and family I have known my entire life.
I have also found a passion for advocacy in running a podcast and starting this blog in hopes of improving the acceptance of compassion and understanding toward minor-attracted people forward.
Remember this: once you have built your support group within the community, you then get to decide whether or not you want to let more people in as well as the potential hate.
Looking back to that day in February when I made that leap into the great unknown, I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.
Related "A MAP's Journey" Podcast: Why Is The MAP Community on Twitter
#acceptance #community #MAP #NOMAP #pedophilia #EndTheStigma #MentalHealth