Single Status Update
Pretty much the final version of a statement I've been thinking to make to a "friend" very soon:
Note: kind of longSpoilerQuote
An Open Letter to A Friend
I’ve written this statement in the first place to show you from my perspective what exactly happened.
It’s difficult to organize my thoughts about everything that went wrong over the course of several months. I hope this will suffice.
This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write, if not the hardest.
I hope my sharing this will prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
I know posting anything about you or this incident on any (semi-)public forum will get me labeled “angry”, “crazy”, or a “liar”. I’m too ashamed to be any of those three.
I need to speak up regardless because I'm at a point where I'm under so much emotional pressure that I need to do so for my own peace of mind.
This is not some weird-ass trolling attempt or “just a prank, bro”.
This is not a shitpost of any kind, nor is this some channer-tier op.
I have absolutely nothing to gain from posting this, except for possibly getting some of my sanity back (and not even that’s guaranteed).
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.
As a warning, there will be potentially triggering descriptions of mental illness and how it’s handled by society at large, suicidal ideations, a mention of a successful suicide, and the suicide attempt of a public figure to follow. This may exacerbate suicidal ideations, so proceed with caution.
I was more than ready to just move on without saying anything.
Recent revelations have forced me to speak up.
It’s too hard to not say something at this point because I can’t keep this up anymore.
I’m doing this for me. It's necessary for my healing.
Right now, I'm looking at a future where it seems like my famous friend will just continue parading her innocence around no matter how absurd it gets, all while she publicly gloats about how she simultaneously loves everyone and hates me.
A while back, I found this video of a YouTuber who I’ve barely heard of until recently. I now follow him on Twitter since he’s a nice dude and whatnot.
It was a diverting little video that interweaved his own personal life with philosophy. Personally, I could relate to him on just about every level (from the feelings of worthlessness leading up to a suicide attempt to the acknowledgment of needing to address mental health in a healthier way).
Bear with me.
The video in question was of him speaking up about the abusive relationship he was stuck in for some time and how it drove him to take his own life. But after he was able to leave, months after the suicide attempt, he was able to blossom in both his personal life and his career in ways that he never previously thought of. He even made previous videos regarding mental health and suicide.
It wasn’t until he talked to a therapist that he realized that he had been traumatized. According to him, “trauma isn’t like a lightning bolt but rather a poison that gets slipped into one’s food until they stop functioning.”
But there was one quote that stuck out to me in particular:
“When we get to know someone very well, we take on a little bit of them into ourselves.
They become like an audience and it affects our self-perception.
A good romantic partner (or a good platonic friend) will hopefully build you up and enable you to see yourself the way they see you.
The internal critic becomes an internal advocate and you start going, ‘well, the things I don’t like about myself — when we’re together, they actually kind of work’.
And if you find somebody like that, hold onto them.
But when somebody starts writing the script for that little voice and put in some really nasty lines, believe me, you can live in fear of somebody half your size.”
I have spent the last several months living in fear of somebody half my size.
You left me traumatized.
While I was indeed terrified of you and traumatized by you since the falling-out, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I was starting to fully register the pain and damage done to me by your actions and words.
Some time ago, someone whom I hadn’t talked to in a long time sent me a screencap of a comment you made about me. They 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 hurt and upset by your comments and actions is an understatement.
Unless I did something like send you inappropriate messages, especially things 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 prior to the falling-out, if not longer. This was because I had apparently disagreed with you on a very private topic, and the gaslighting was at its worst when this happened.
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 practical solutions for what seemed to be something of a pertinent issue.
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.
I’ve also 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’ve even noticed that you actually enjoyed doing this.
You gloated over the harm that came over people who have done you wrong. (It was extremely unattractive.)
I’m ashamed that I didn’t mention this sooner.
I now have to ask: it really isn’t enough for living well to be the best revenge, as you once said yourself?
I spent nearly a year in near-complete isolation, ostracized from your social circle because you made it clear to me that I was not welcome around your friends anymore just because I 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. All of this has led me to believe that you’ve compartmentalized your feelings/memories to suppress your guilt.
So that you could isolate people into manipulation and make sure they never get the full picture.
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 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 use you as an emotional crutch back then. And like I said in my apology, I didn’t realize the full scope of what I was doing to you until it was too late.
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. For the longest time, everything was my fault, the problem was always me… even when it wasn’t.
You told me that you were just being “blunt”, but in reality, you were being an asshole.
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.
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” and keep your conscience clear at the same time.
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 or said 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 people can absolutely change for the better.
Despite what you may think, most people aren’t out to get you and a few shitheads aren’t going to change that.
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.
Moreover, you never let anything go. You have become exceedingly passive-aggressive when it comes to this, beyond the realm of rational human thought.
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 subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
I learned about this purely from hindsight.
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 just being traumatized and it just becomes 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, even 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, justified, and dedicated to reminding everyone just how *horrific* these liars and harassers are.
Because *their* sniping is harassment, you see.
You took my secrets, insecurities, and fears, and you threw them all in my face.
Because as far as you were concerned, *you* were always Right and *everyone else* was always Wrong.
You insisted that anyone who was Wrong was mentally ill, unstable, a psychopath, or just a troll.
There was nothing you would let go and no line you wouldn’t cross.
There’s a very distinct difference between “I dislike this person because they’re a dick” and “I dislike this person because they’re neurotic”.
You didn’t care. As far as you were concerned, you were just weeding out the weak before adding them to your very own Enemies List(tm).
Instead of acknowledging that what happened was an extremely complicated situation based on legitimate misunderstandings, you declared me an outsider and used the full weight of everything you knew about me to try to destroy me emotionally and then persuade me to publicly and privately declare that I deserve to be ruined as a person.
Because it was much easier for you to play the victim and I the nemesis. Do you do this for every single person who has ever wronged you, accidentally or otherwise?
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".
In all of this, there has been an abject lack of empathy on your part.
This all has to change.
Betrayal trauma is a very real thing that can be diagnosed by an actual psychiatrist. I know because I was actually diagnosed with the real thing (among other things including C-PTSD).
It’s fucking horrible that things have gotten to this point and I really wanted 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 hint of exaggeration.
I trusted you.
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 you 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.
We were already building a work of collaborative fiction and a friendship I had complete faith in. It all got messed up through constant lies and broken promises, all while telling me that none of it was happening and our friendship was failing because I'm just bad.
A gut feeling kept telling me that something was wrong, but I wanted to believe in your honesty.
But you constantly told me, "there's nothing going on right now; you're just paranoid and it's hurting me".
And then there was that time you threatened to call the cops on me because I had opened up to you about the suicidal ideations I had struggled with for some time. You used your position as a professional therapist to justify doing that.
There’s a couple of things I would like to say regarding this:
I can tell you that there is a *very* distinct difference between “I’ve been struggling with suicidal ideations for a while now and I just wanted to let you know” and “if you don’t contact me in less than three hours, I’m going to kill myself”. The latter was something I never said, and it’s something I would never say to anyone under any circumstances no matter how bad it gets.
Plus, the ideations in question were caused by months of extreme stress and upsetting events like when a friend of mine had taken their own life; those ideations had absolutely nothing to do with you.
And here’s what I have to say when it comes to calling the cops to try helping an at-risk individual, from one mental health advocate to another: NEVER EVER DO THIS.
To say it’s a good idea to call the cops when someone mentions suicidal ideations, or when you assess them to be at a particular level of seriousness, is to ignore the countless incidents where cops actually end up murdering those they’re called in to “help” (does Charleena Lyles ring any bells?).
It also ignores research indicating that individuals who are forcefully incarcerated in psychiatric institutions come out even more likely to attempt and possibly even complete suicide.
Furthermore, it emphasizes the false claim that the mental health problem lies within the person, thereby exempting the system or the broader environment from any and all culpability.
When I opened up to you, you didn’t say “I understand how you feel”, you said “not my problem”. And now I have to open up to countless strangers.
And yes, 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 to grow from my own actions to better myself.
Again, I am still holding myself accountable.
It’s been amazing for my mental health and I've been making huge strides. I feel proud of my ability to overcome difficult shit so that I can rebuild for myself. I want that.
Despite 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, weaponizing my own autism against me, and calling me subhuman just because I opened up to you about extremely personal topics.
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 calls his victims “mentally ill liars” before he proceeds to use Larry the Legal Eagle’s evil twin to intimidate them into silence.
The one who is 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 because I’m sure you’ll agree with what he has to say about that:
“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.”
Keep in mind I said it looks like you were no better than that shitty abusive dude.
I didn’t say that you’re just like him. There’s a difference.
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 from right after the falling-out 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 fully make peace with the past.
After all of this, I’ve grown up. As of now, I’m living my life for me and nothing can hinder that anymore. I’m done with spending my time wallowing in self-pity and I’m finished with the toxic coping mechanisms. I don’t want to spend the rest of my days living in fear and I don’t want to live my life trying to please toxic people as it’s nothing more than an exercise in futility.
Case in point: my friends often point out that I get all agitated and stressed whenever I bring you up and mention the things you did, even when I don’t notice it myself (and they consider it to be uncharacteristic coming from me).
That ends after this statement.
After all of this, I am now setting my own hard boundaries and I am asserting myself for once in my life because I am not going to spend the rest of my days as a doormat.
I am no longer required to explain myself to someone who’s just going to:
-shun me with whataboutisms
-make fun of my insecurities
-reject evidence & reality
-favor comfort over learning
-prefer Facts & Logic over giving a shit about others
Finally, I share all of this with you because I am officially Done with This Shit(tm).
I am beyond tired. I am out of spoons.
Because you’re Never Wrong about anything. Because according to you, being human is now the Worst Thing Ever(tm).
Even when we were “good friends”, it seems like you’ve shown with your actions that you always held a very low opinion of me (and possibly people in general).
I’m frankly not sure what to think of you from this point on.
I never claimed my mental health/autism excused my behavior. It was a catalyst.
It took the brakes off 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’m still not ok yet, but I have improved.
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.