Single Status Update
An Open Letter to [A Friend Who I’ll Keep Anonymous (For Now)]
This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write, if not the hardest.
It’s scary knowing that others will see this. It’s heartbreaking because I’ve spent so many months disassociating and compartmentalizing what exactly happened.
I’ve rewritten this dozens of times, and sometimes it’s hard for me to even put my thoughts in verbal form.
Writing this nearly brought me to tears and I’ve been unable to cry for a while now. I’ve honestly lost sleep for months.
There are things I could’ve elaborated more on, but I honestly don’t have the strength. I hope this will suffice.
I’m write this to honestly and openly explain what I have been through and what exactly happened.
I don’t really care about the legal repercussions or anything else that may ensue anymore. It’s too hard to not say something at this point because I can’t keep this up anymore. I hope my sharing this will prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
"To err is human, but to persist is diabolical."
This is something that I’ve seen quite a bit of, and it is the root of a lot of toxic behavior that I have seen, both firsthand and observing it thirdhand as it happens to others. Hell, even I’m completely guilty of this as well, as you’ve seen firsthand.
Atychiphobia is the fear of being wrong, or being told that one is wrong. In some cases, it's even a fear that one's beliefs are not even facts, but rather opinions, even in some cases a perfectly valid one, but the irrational fear makes the holder desperate for it to be fact. But I digress.
I was more than ready to move on, but recent revelations have forced me to speak up.
Due to events outside of my control I’ve been put into a position that has left me with little to no options.
I never wanted this to get to a place where I had to publicly address this.
I know posting anything about you or this publicly will get me labeled “angry”, “crazy”, or a “liar”. I still need to speak up regardless.
I'm at a point where I'm under so much emotional pressure that I do need to speak up for my own peace of mind.
I’m doing this for me. It's necessary for my healing. I'm looking at a future where it seems like my famous “friend” will just continue parading her innocence no matter how absurd it is, and publicly gloat about how she loves everyone and hates me.
It took months to confirm my suspicions over time before I was to post this, so here we are. That said, this all came primarily from casual observation and proof of the last conversations we had.
Some time ago, someone whom I hadn’t seen in a long time sent me a screencap of a comment you made; they had confirmed you were indeed shit-talking me (and I didn’t ask where exactly they got the screencap from because it didn’t occur to me at the time).
To say that I’m deeply hurt and upset by your comments and actions is a complete understatement.
Unless I did something like send you inappropriate messages like sexual comments or entitled “Nice Guy” rants, they were completely uncalled for.
I should mention that I’ve always held myself to certain standards (both as a result of past experiences and societal norms) and that informs how I should always interact with people.
Next, I learned through firsthand experience and reflecting upon this situation (with professional help and guidance) that I have good reason to suspect you gaslighted me for at least a few months, if not longer. This was because I had evidently disagreed with you on a very private topic.
You even went so far as to blame me for making you “feel like a bad person” just because I didn’t agree with everything you told me without question; you even got defensive and insisted on denial/deflection when I suggested otherwise.
Here’s the thing: I know that friends are supposed to be “ride or die who stick up for each other”, but they’re also supposed to be able to agree to disagree. Because someone unable to do that is not a friend but a sycophant.
If that isn’t the reason, I honestly don’t know what is.
Going back to my initial remarks:
It's okay to be wrong. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to be, you know, a fucking human being.
But pride and hubris, as the quote says, that's diabolical. That's what makes one evil. That's what makes one toxic.
To some extent, everyone is afraid of being wrong. That's perfectly normal. It's what one does about it that defines a person. Again I digress.
While also looking back, I’ve come to notice out of hindsight that you were always fixated on people who have displeased you in some way and how you gloated about how karma will screw them over at some point if it hasn’t already.
I have to ask: it really isn’t enough for living well to be the best revenge?
I spent nearly a year in near-complete isolation, ostracized from your friend group because you made it clear to me I was not welcome around them just because I apparently stepped out of line for even a second.
I’m more than sure that you’ve shared with them a version of events that omits the misunderstanding portion and portrays me as an aggressive and unreasonable person. As though I’m somehow some kind of sex pest, an obsessive stalker, or an “entitled fan”.
It’s because this whole situation was predicated on poor communication and misunderstanding.
It’s also because I’m not some creepy sadist looking for attention but someone who’s been hurt by your words and actions, and all of this has led me to believe that you’ve compartmentalized your feelings/memories to suppress your guilt.
I’m no blameless saint and I know that I did many things wrong.
If anything, the lack of communication was entirely my fault.
I should have been clearer about a lot of things and there were things that I never should have said, period.
I never should have panicked (seriously that one string of emails was the end result of a nervous breakdown). Whatever thoughts I had at that time were completely irrational and stemmed from then-unresolved trauma.
I am still holding myself accountable for my actions.
I still am extremely sorry for everything I did to you.
It’s one thing to share personal topics, but another thing entirely to dump emotional baggage. 2018 being an absolute shitshow was no excuse for me to do exactly that.
I know that you’ve hurt me, but you still have good reason to be angry with me.
I know there’s still so much I have to answer for, and I’m still on the path to self-improvement. I may not be there 100%, but I’m well on my way.
However, I’ve come to discover that you’ve tried your damnedest to make me feel responsible for everything that went wrong in the friendship, insisting that the only person in the wrong was me, insisting that *only you* tried to make things work.
You told me that you were just being “brutally honest”, but in reality, you were being an asshole.
As a result of all this, you used my being on the autism spectrum as a weapon against me, to justify your actions so you could easily brand me a “creep” while keeping your conscience clear.
When you told me that people with autism were “not normal” and “constantly needed help”, you were not being helpful as you claimed. You were being insulting.
Not just to me, but everyone I care about who’s on the spectrum, including my ex.
You think it’s somehow reasonable and even necessary to show absolute mercilessness in the event there’s some kind of perceived slight against you.
When this happens, it’s not enough for you to stop talking to that person or even to block them.
You also have to make sure that this person is completely isolated from whatever support network they can find, which usually includes just shit-talking them or just making sure that the person in question is completely kicked out of whatever support network they’re able to find. You still feel an obligation to do this *even* if the person in question just wanted to find some emotional support while they’re in the process of moving on.
When you did something that hurt someone’s feelings, you would explain why you were right instead of apologizing.
You would double down and go out of your way to shame the other person and make them feel like shit. This makes people feel dirty and abused as a result.
Even if someone is technically beaten in an argument, they feel so demeaned and diminished by the process that they’re unable to let it go.
You would not survive the rules you impose on others.
You were caught shit-talking someone you claimed was a good friend. And then you made sure they would never be able to have a lasting means to acquire emotional support even if they’re just trying to move on. Yes, they may have done you wrong but they’re trying what they can to learn from the experience so that they can better themselves.
After all, you said this yourself:
“If you ever talk shit about me or anyone I care about, you are dead to me.”
This absolutely fails to address that not only people can absolutely change for the better, people also could have been manipulated or gaslighted.
I know you’ve had to deal with shitty ex-friends and abusive exes for literally years now, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to lash out at others.
Finally, you never let anything go.
Even after some semblance of calm, you consistently and repeatedly introduce your enemies (both real and perceived) into your own posts and statements in a variety of both subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
You poke, prod, provoke, and antagonize even when it’s not necessary.
Even when your perceived enemies have long since moved on, and even when your real enemies are too busy digging their own holes for themselves.
It’s possible you do this as a coping mechanism to deal with the way you’ve been abused and mistreated by people but it is still beyond the realm of trauma and it just becomes straight-up excessive.
Even if someone steps away, refuses to mention you, and confines their future statements to be as emotionally distant and technical as possible:
You will still bring them up ad-nauseam, months to years after the initial incident.
You will not extend the same behavior to others that you demand for yourself. *Your* sniping is reasonable and justified and dedicated to reminding everyone just how *horrific* these liars and harassers are, you see. Because *their* sniping is harassment.
In all of this, there has been a serious lack of empathy on your part.
This all has to change.
Betrayal trauma is a very real thing that can actually be diagnosed by an actual psychiatrist. I know because I was actually diagnosed with the real thing (among other things).
It’s fucking horrible that things have gotten to this point and I really want things to be better between us, especially because I truly did consider you to be the closest thing I’ve ever had to a best friend, without any exaggeration.
I trusted you deeply.
Every day I wake up numb with disbelief that any of this happened in the first place. It still seems unreal and unfathomable.
I feel numb all the time now, after being treated like my emotions and wellbeing were worthless for so long.
The friend that I completely confided in, the one person who promised to be there when she could, threw me to the dogs to save her own reputation.
I'm not even talking about you cutting off whatever support networks you can find after calling me a creep, I mean this whole "but everything is ok" situation. Unbelievable.
You moaned and complained about how people will dogpile you over a single detail even if you said “I’m sorry”. You agonized about how “people from Miami” don’t get what it’s like to be a friend that sticks up for others no matter what.
You want more than anything to have “the right to be forgotten” here in the States.
But again, you will not extend the same courtesy to others that you demand for yourself.
Like it wasn't enough to dehumanize me by treating my pain and desperation like some kind of act designed to make you "feel guilty".
We were already building a work of collaborative fiction and a friendship that I had complete faith in. I trusted your promises. It all got ruined through constant lies, betrayal, and broken promises. All while telling me that none of it was happening and our friendship was failing because I'm just bad.
I can't even tell you how many times I asked you to tell me the truth.
I could see that something was wrong but I desperately wanted to believe in your honesty.
But no, you just told me over and over, "there's nothing going on right now; you're just paranoid and it's hurting me".
And yeah, I’m well aware that I’m not exactly a victim. I didn’t realize the kind of damage I was doing until it was far too late, and I’m now answering for it. All I’ve been doing, and all I can really do, is grow from my own actions to better myself.
Again, I am still holding myself accountable.
It was amazing for my mental health and I've been making huge strides. I've felt proud of my ability to overcome difficult shit so that I can rebuild. I want that.
In spite of all this, a part of me still hopes that we take the time to really talk things out and finally clear up all misunderstandings because I just want the animosity and resentment to stop.
More importantly though, I hope I’m completely wrong about you gaslighting me, isolating me from friends, and weaponizing my own autism against me.
This is because as of now, it looks like you’re no better than that one shitty abusive dude we used to talk about, the one who who is actually now suing a good friend of mine for defamation because she was finally able to publicly speak up about the shit she’s had to endure by his hands.
I’ll let a few choice quotes from him speak for themselves when it comes to people he dislikes:
“So they are either Bond-villain-evil or they are having some problems with depression, anxiety, trauma etc which make it difficult for them to interact with facts and evidence and good faith assumptions they [sic] way a responsible person would.
If there’s a 3rd explanation, I’d love to hear it. Until then “Insane” seems both kinder and more plausible than “evil”.”
“Since you admitted to trolling — openly — nothing you say matters ever. Not just *while trolling*, but forever. And not just on the internet, but in real life. Further: once you have decided that you will spend any part of your life trolling on the internet, you forfeit all rights as a human. If you should get hit by a car — no-one should help you. If you vote on anything — your vote should be thrown away.
If you wanted to participate in a conversation, you’ve lost that right. You are a non-human now. You are over and canceled. No concern of yours can ever matter to any member of the human race ever again.”
“Do you have proof?
Would you sign a document under penalty of perjury that I am attempting to gaslight someone?
If not: just apologize.”
“FWIW I think the kindest explanation for anyone who participates in the recent online harassment campaign against me and my players is likely that they are mentally ill. This is based on [one thing]:
1. Many of the harassers have explicitly and publicly said they themselves are mentally ill.”
(Ok, who am I kidding? I’m honestly no better than him either so who am I to judge?)
To make myself crystal clear:
I am not here to antagonize you. I am not here to “go after you” or “knock you down a peg”. I’m not here to “get revenge” or anything like that. I don’t hate you. You are not a bad person.
I am not here to get an apology from you because I know I’ve failed you as a friend and as a human being.
In fact, I forgive you.
Plus, you’re still not obligated to forgive me or even to accept my apology (and I still stand by it; the actual apology, not the half-assed non-apology that tried to rationalize my shitty past behavior).
I know I won’t be forgiven easily, if at all. That’s not stopping me from making the journey.
I’m here to show you the truth of everything that’s transpired since the falling out (or at least as much of it I can recall). To show you the same “brutal honesty” that you showed me not too long ago so that I can at least make one final attempt to make peace with the past.
Finally, I share all of this with you because I am officially Done With This Shit(tm).
(And if you’re wondering why there seems to be conflicting things here, it’s because my feelings toward this situation have been nothing but confusing and I’ve done what I can to best communicate them.)
I never claimed my mental health/autism excused my behavior. It was a catalyst.
It took the brakes off of my emotions but it was always me behind the wheel, so to speak. I claimed that I was trying to do the right thing back then (and I believed it), but it didn’t come from a rational place.
I don't expect forgiveness, nor do I forgive myself. I can only try to be better.
I hope you can follow my example.
Please be better than I ever was. Be better than what happened here.