I have a confession to make. I love Thanet and believe that it is worth far more effort than I have given it. Even so, I have become disillusioned.
In my lifetime, I have poured endless hours into community projects in Thanet. Sometimes as a supporter, sometimes as the one being supported. That's just who I am.
Sometimes my efforts have been met with joy, praise, and thanks. That's nice but it is not why I do what I do. I do it because it needs doing and I can help with the doing.
Sometimes, more often than I care to admit, I am met with indifference. I can cope with indifference - it is not nice but it is just a fact of life.
Sometimes, just occasionally, I am actively opposed. That's hard but I can live with that. It is just the way things have always been in Thanet. Especially in politics - I knew that going in.
Lately, however, I have been met with something I never expected - lies. Not the silly, school-yard lies wherein someone suggests that you are overly friendly with sheep or have two heads. No, these lies were created not to hurt but to inspire passionate hate.
I'd shrug it off if this was a political thing. I've had far worse said about me by one or two nasty Tories (now all UKIP, funnily enough). This isn't a politics thing.
This TDC level tribalism and hate is taking place in what should be a hobby - something done just for fun. Every now and then, while organising a party, a free event, or a poetry night I stumble upon a pocket of white-hot anger over... Over what? I really don't know. All I know is that someone (or a few someones) has been spreading poison.
I must admit that things have been quite for a while. There have been no fresh incidents for a month or two. Maybe this time it really is over. I thought that before only for someone I once admired to assault me with more verbal abuse than I would have thought possible from a mature human being.
Just to be safe, there are pubs and venues I dare not go to. Events I avoid. Not because I fear violence but because I simply could not face any more of this nonsense.
It is tiring in a way that goes beyond words. This BS has reached every blog, every club, and every charity I am involved with. It traces back to the same few names every time.
That's why I have not been writing for Thanet Star. It why there are groups on Facebook where I no longer actively contribute. Forums where I am never seen. And, as I mentioned, pubs I avoid.
This crap has soured things for me. I am disillusioned with the Thanet I love. After all, it is very hard to fearlessly and dedicatedly write about Thanet's issues when there is petty crap nipping at your heals all the time.
I don't write Thanet Star because I get paid to (I don't turn a profit from this blog); I write because I love Thanet.
It's one thing to disagree with me. Heck, I actively encourage you to express opinions that differ from mine. However, it is another thing to relentless attack me on a personal level.
For now, the bullies have won. But one day I shall return.