This post is deeply personal and is being shared publicly only to allay concerns and miscommunication with my peer group since 2015. Content is unfiltered and may not contain appropriate warnings.
In late 2015, I separated from long-term previous roommates, whom will not be named here. The emotional trauma of that separation, contributed to by repeated miscommunication and an aura of suspicion and defensiveness, caused me to have a prolonged, low-grade emotional breakdown that concluded one year later.
This postmortem is to give insight into what happened to me, why I acted as I did, and why I chose to separate myself from my friends as I did, so I can move on with my life and give closure to friends both current and former.
Why are you (the author) choosing to talk about this now?
Because people are still understandably afraid of me after I emotionally collapsed inwards and pulled away from most people I care for. I’ve tried writing this several times before and could not explain it succinctly or well (at current tally, I have over a dozen separate drafts in WordPress alone over the past 12 months).
Emotional issues, especially those of trauma and mental health, even those of temporary emotional breakdown, are difficult to discuss openly without inviting attacks or eroding one’s own credibility.
I feel it necessary I discuss this to help rebuild trust with people I care for. Having one open central document seems like the most efficient method of doing so.
What caused you to emotionally break down?
Extreme suspicion and anger directed towards me in a situation that was extremely socially precarious and, in many ways, toxic. Tension had already been building prior to this occurrence.
After I had been given multiple assurances that I might be moving into a new home with my previous roommates in 2015, a single individual of that collective triangulated me by telling me otherwise, then repeatedly silenced my concerns and dissent.
This led to an extremely unhealthy dynamic of escalating tensions that led to me fleeing my home temporarily (in August of 2015) to relieve social and emotional pressure. This person’s influence also led to my being suddenly and forcefully ejected from an arrangement I believed I was a part of (I would thereafter fall back to my original plan, moving into a house with a different good friend of mine) and a flotilla of rumors about what had transpired. Many of these rumors and speculation centered on my alleged attempts to emotionally harm my then friends, which were and remain flatly untrue.
Several months and one house purchase later, after a long hiatus and separation from friends to let the matter cool, I was invited to attend mutual gatherings of friends whom I had not seen for some time due to the complexity of these issues. To allay potential upcoming social friction, I chose to approach the same individual that had triangulated me before in good faith, to apologize for my part and to own up to my own poor behavior.
This apology backfired. I attempted unsuccessfully thereafter to approach the friends running the gather for advice. When this too backfired due to ongoing unaddressed suspicions from the community, I fled that community — and subsequently emotionally broke down on Twitter, causing friends to (understandably) distance themselves from me further.
Why did you go into hiding?
At this point, I chose to part with my entire community and contingent of mutual friends to give myself space and emotional bandwidth, as well as to distance myself from alleged rumors that I was attempting to cause harm. Full separation seemed to be the best and only course of action here, as any action or inaction on my part could easily be misinterpreted as proof of alleged wrongdoings that I, myself, did not even have full information on.
This was not easy. After assessing the situation at the time, I chose to make this change public. I also chose to provide a private account of what happened to mutual friends, so they could better understand what I was dealing with.
However, I failed to respect just how much I had pushed myself and how much I could emotionally handle. Without the support of my community, with two therapists themselves utterly paralyzed by the complexity of this issue, and with multiple barriers to effectively using a private account, I chose to unpack this issue publicly on Twitter to relieve mounting emotional pressure. This led to my being — understandably! — called out for making the matter public, and directly led to my subsequent temporary resignation from the service for the entire month of September (2016).
Since that time, I have pulled back considerably from most of my friends and chosen to not speak about the matter at all, until I could do so in a manner that was effective. I feel that I have recovered enough emotional stamina to be able to do so here.
Did you really try to [harm anyone’s relationship, take advantage for personal gain, or add rumor here]?
No. In fact, the very allegation is what caused me to back off so much and give people space away from me.
How could this have been handled better?
I’m not entirely sure. More experienced counsel and a process to have handled this within my community would have helped tremendously.
I used every tool I had available to privately and professionally handle this situation. I certainly should not have disclosed it publicly on Twitter — though please understand that the disclosure is an outgrowth of several key communication and procedural failures leading up to what eventually became public.
I choose not to address what could have been done better by other people here. That is their own personal business.
Please forgive me for pulling back so far after accusations of bad faith were leveled at me. To not interfere with an ongoing romantic relationship I was accused of straining, I found it best to sever all ties to prevent any allegations of meddling.
Most importantly: the presumption of good faith was and still is needed. I am terrible at explaining all this, terrible at drama, terrible at complex social relationships, terrible at managing the individual emotional anxieties of a chaotic community, and terrible at emotionally handling being thrown into a triangle dynamic that broke longstanding friendships I cared deeply about. Please understand that I am true to my word and sincerely want my friends to succeed.
For reading this. I’m sure this does not make a whole lot of sense to people not involved, but to those that are, understand that I did my very best here to navigate one of the most socially treacherous situations I have experienced to date.
Please understand, despite all appearances from having pulled away and isolated myself, that I do care. I did not want to make things worse. This is why I chose to step away.
I sincerely apologize to anyone that I scared or made fearful, both for the lead-up and for having publicly emotionally broken down last year. I really did try to do my best. I’m sorry.
With that said, I’m not going anywhere. If any of this is helpful or needs further discussion, please feel free to contact me privately — on Twitter, on Discord, or on Telegram if you already have that contact. If you do not, please feel free to ask for my private contact on public Twitter.
Thank you again for reading.