This is probably a bad idea. There are few rules to gaining and keeping an audience, but one of those is not to go on and on about personal problems. Of course, the other rule is to not go almost two years with no real content, and I’ve blown that one so let’s give honesty a try.
I’ve been kind of broken the last two years. Now is probably when I should say this is likely going to be an unsatisfying post. It will vague and disjointed. I’m still not sure, even as I write this, how much of my story I want to tell. But I think I need to tell some of it.
I’ve always been a person who likes to talk things out. Just giving words and voice to an issue is freeing to me. And I’ve held this in a while because it is potentially embarrassing. Some readers might not believe me and it could completely backfire. But I’m tired of holding the pain of this in. And, yes, there is a real chance that I am blowing this entirely out of proportion. But there you go.
And there is that other reason. I love writing and creativity. But I haven’t really been able to commit to my creativity. Not in a good while. Life has been busy and raising two amazing children brings plenty of excuses to not spend hours in front of a keyboard. But I’ve also been carrying around a real heaviness.
Okay. Let’s get to it.
About two years ago a one of my jobs a woman came forward saying I made her uncomfortable.
Just writing that down terrifies me. I feel it is all the reason anyone needs to stop reading this and forever avoid any content I’ve created, or am even associated with. And there isn’t really anything I can say because I’ve heard what actual malicious predators have said to defend their actions, and it sounds eerily like the same things I would say to add context to my own and it makes me think I should just stay quiet and keep things hidden.
But I am so tired.
Because, here is the thing. When the complaint was brought to me I was told that the claimant had been clear that I hadn’t acted aggressive or sexual. But I had given hugs and arm pats, and was older and loud and that made her uncomfortable.
I was shocked and appalled that I could make someone feel that way and wanted to apologize. I wanted to take whatever steps needed to make things right. I am not a perfect person and I make mistakes. I never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I was told that was enough. I was cracked, but moved on.
Flash forward several months later, months since schedules have allowed me to work with this company. They have an issue they need to discuss that might determine any future dealings they have with me.
This is where I am going to take a pause. I’m breathing in and out. I’m wondering if this is too personal. I don’t want to just vent. I just want this heaviness inside of me to go away. How much detail do I need to go into?
Do I need to piece by piece explain how facts were twisted and robbed of context to make me into an enemy? I don’t want to do that.
What I do want to say is that people I had known for years took the easier path of deserting me rather than trying to even hear my side of the stories.
Some have since reached out and apologized. Others, I’d be surprised if I ever heard from again.
Basically, right before COVID fully blossomed a whole aspect of my identity was ripped from me. And I’m still suffering from it.
I’m writing too much. I’m making myself look bad. I should just delete this. I’ve done it before. But then I’ll just go back to hating myself.
Because the action that set all this off was mine. I made someone uncomfortable. I did that. I didn’t harass, assault, sexualize. But I did make them uncomfortable and I still feel remorse for that. And, in my heart, I still apologize to that anonymous person.
But all that came after. That was someone’s vendetta, something I was more or less told about a month ago by higher ups involved. And those higher ups told me that when faced with hard road of trying to find a truth, or the easier road of stepping aside and letting me be persecuted, the higher up chose to move. Because stepping aside also shielded the higher up from accusations.
It’s hard to lose a community. To lose an identity. I’ve been carrying this weight for a while now. In groups I can smile and act normal. They don’t know the story. With my family, I feel their love. They know the full story.
But when it is just me and the keyboard, I feel lost. I want to write the story of how I feel betrayed. I want to acknowledge my own failings, but also shake my head at the untruths that followed.
In the last year, I’ve watched my Patreon members decrease. I’ve never had that many, but the number is dwindling. And I can’t blame them. I haven’t done anything to keep them. I’m surprised at the few I still have.
But when I try and write, to create, to edit, the wounds that I have yet to address reopen and all over again I feel alone and betrayed and abandoned.
So, I’m writing this here. Again, it’s probably a mistake. I’ve tried writing it down before and ended up deleting it. But perhaps it this time. Because this time I’m feeling lighter. I have more of the story now. There are still parts I don’t know, and a lot I’ve left unsaid.
Which reminds me of a very important thing. Let me be one hundred percent honest here: In my specific situation I feel that someone took and admitted mistake I made, and then sought out tales, and twisted stories to make me look poorly. I then think the powers that be decided supporting me, or attempting to look into accusations would make them look anti-woman. And these actions have had some repercussions, but mostly it has hurt my spirit.
That is my truth. But, I do not want anyone to take this story and apply it as an example of why harassment does not exist. It does. There are far too many men who openly disrespect women in a wide manner of ways. Harassment exists. And I hate that one of the repercussions of my own experiences is that now a little voice inside my own head now questions. We need to listen to women and there are far too many men who act is disgusting ways.
I don’t know how to transition after that. It is important and needed saying. I could do a rewrite to make things flow easier, but I worry that I would just delete this, bottle everything back up, and the poison inside would once again grow stronger.
Anyway. I don’t think I’ve ever been this personal here. I’m feeling very exposed. I don’t want to fish for comments, but I would also welcome any feedback. I already feel I’ll be questioning if this was a wise decision or not.
But again, I’m just tired of bottling up this negative experiences and feeling broken instead of enjoying the joy of creation. So, I do what I’ve always done. I tell my stories, and I hope to feel better.