Other than posting my own art, I’ve been fairly silent the past two months. This was, I think, necessary — after having a public emotional breakdown on Twitter, I backed off and took time to focus on my physical and emotional health.
I think this was the right decision. Especially with politics being inescapable on Twitter right now, backing off to recover sanity and emotional balance is probably the best thing I could do.
Given my usually candid and good-natured humor, which contrasted heavily with my awkward-to-gut-wrenchingly-painful posts prior to my departure, I’ve felt awkward, estranged, and extremely ashamed of how I’ve treated people publicly. I was too candid about raw and emotionally-charged problems in a public forum — which I hadn’t realized was happening. I realized way too late that public Twitter was no longer the analog to private conversations on LiveJournal that it had once been to me, much to my horror when once very good friends of mine (reasonably!) stood up to my behavior. I erred, I hurt and estranged several people I deeply care about unexpectedly, and I am infinitely sorry for having done so.
“But how could you possibly think that,” someone in the back of the room shouts, “you have over a thousand people following you on Twitter. How could you possibly think this is a small audience?”
They have a point. When I approach Twitter and social media, I assume that the vast majority of readership is passive. While my profile lists 1,329 people (at this writing), only about 15-20 people comment or acknowledge what I write regularly. This causes me to substantially undervalue passive readership, which over time, caused me to be as candid as I would with close friends. Candor which, lacking the benefit of context, can be awkward or even dangerous to other people.
And so, when I tried using my public Twitter to discuss difficult social problems in my life, shit hit the proverbial fan. Ohhhh. Awkward.
Regardless of the content of my message, I screwed up. I brought drama unwittingly to over a thousand people when it’s not my normal modus operandi. And I legitimately had no idea until way too late. This post cannot contain enough instances of “sorry” for how I feel about that.
“Hang on,” the same person shouts from the back of the room. “You’re telling us you have over a thousand followers and a multi-year Twitter and forum history, and you don’t understand how drama works?” As hard as that is to swallow — yes. I am practiced at avoiding and diffusing drama, because that’s my nature. I try to be careful, methodical, insightful, and productive — even in the face of extreme abuse and antipathy. Forum trolls suck, yo.
But the flipside is I have absolutely zero experience at handling situations when drama is unavoidable. This usually leaves me hiding under my pillow fortress of choice, cowering in fear, rocking back and forth trying to convince myself that things will be okay. Give me a cell phone at the wrong time during that process, and…
“So what you’re saying is you have this stoic and calming public image, and you had an emotional tirade on Twitter?”
“And that caused people to lose trust in you?”
“Dude, we all have those. It’s okay.”
Even so, I’m still very sorry that I hurt people. I’d really like to reach out to people and reconnect, but I’ve been feeling scared to do so for months due to feeling extremely awkward and scared that people will keep bringing this up. Shutting myself in and isolating myself from people I care about for that long has been one of the emotionally hardest things I’ve ever done to myself.
Help me help you. If you’d like to reconnect, drop me a line? The usual channels, including Twitter, work. If you have no other way to reach me, send a quick email to goldkin.drake at that Gmail thingy, and I’ll get you set up.
And again: sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry (ow, said it too much). If you choose to reach out, do be gentle and patient with me. Even after months of self-care and therapy, I’m still emotionally raw, and I’ll freely admit that I’m still not back at 100%. But, I’m trying my very best.