The past few days have been some of the absolute worst of my life. Given how awful some of my life has been, that’s rather saying a lot. I don’t want to say too much, in case it comes out wrong, I’ve been doing more of that than anyone should lately. I’m still very very upset. I’ve made some awful, terrible mistakes in the past few days, saying things I’d never even consider doing, wording things badly, just… fuck up on top of fuck up. I’m so very sorry for any hurt I caused. Hurting other people is the top of my list of things NOT to do. While it is absolutely no excuse, I wasn’t myself. I was terrified at losing everything I’d worked years to build. I was angry and hurt. I know it doesn’t help, but I also had no idea what their accusations were because of mutual blocks. I only got to see what they said and accused me of extremely early this morning when my friend sent me all the screenshots. I’m not trying to hide behind my neurology, I fucked up, I know it, and I need to point out that I was also melting down in the autistic sense. (I really suck at knowing I’m starting to meltdown, Alexythemia is truly wretched sometimes.) I’ve learned in the past few days of some areas of my personality that definitely need some more work. I’m doing that work.
I don’t use the concept of friend, or even friendly acquaintance easily or lightly. I’m incredibly hurt by people I actually thought of as one or the other abandoning me at the worst possible time rather than calling me in and discussing something they didn’t like. The ironic thing is that they did stick with me through the actual events my harassers used as ‘proof’, but they wouldn’t stick with me through the smearing. The gist of what happened is this…
The person responsible for my doxxing and the people responsible for my years of harassment ran a smear campaign on Twitter to ruin my name. They and a few others involved have huge accounts (I don’t) with a lot of reach. They accused me of racism, then pulled a lot of extremely old (3 or 4 or 5 years old sometimes) words/actions of mine up as ‘proof’. They used misinformation, exaggeration, and outright lies to ruin me. It was their intent and they succeeded. I wasn’t their first victim and I probably won’t be their last. To my knowledge, there are now 13 neurodiverse authors who have been driven off of Twitter.
They didn’t include my apologies, the public conversations where I was helped to learn better by other people, and the acceptance OF those apologies in their smears. That would actually be a fair and accurate representation. They didn’t want that. This person bills themselves as a social justice warrior for BIPOC people.
They either forget or want to erase me because I’m light, but I’m BIPOC too.
Directly due to this person’s actions, I lost my book deal. My publisher said they did an investigation, but between the time my harassers started and when the publisher threw me to the mob, it was something like 20 hours, much of it night. I don’t believe they did any research or any sort of investigation. They certainly didn’t ask me what it was all about. I don’t think many people believe they did any sort of research, not based on the angry letters of support sitting in my inbox. The timing just doesn’t support it. I lost my Twitter account because I had to close it (possibly temporarily, most likely not, I really really loved my Twitter account, when I wasn’t hating it) and my pseudonym is forever tarred as a racist.
I’ve fought racism since I was four. That’s when I can remember having my first argument with my father about how everyone is a person regardless of their skin tone and due the same amount of respect. (Being mixed race, don’t ask me how my family can be racist AF, but they are.) I’ve always done my level best to be anti-racist.
I’ve made mistakes. I’m human. Everyone makes mistakes. I’ve also owned and apologized and done my best to fix those mistakes as much as possible. Every time I’ve fucked up, I’ve tried to learn from it, so I won’t do it again. This time is no exception.
You know, I always thought the whole concept of social justice included room for people to learn, grow, and do better. But I guess it doesn’t include room for making mistakes.
I’m looking at my options for moving forward including deciding if I want to or not. I’m alive, if incredibly broken. I’m breathing and being taken care of by people who actually ARE friends and know how to BE good friends. My partner has my back and while extremely concerned for my well-being, is also here for the long haul. (After 22 years, I’m still so glad of that.) My therapist is on stand-by in case any of my mental illnesses get beyond my abilities to deal with them.
The best way to reach me at this point is my email address if you’re not part of my friends’ group on discord. firstname.lastname@example.org If you use discord and we’ve been close friends or friendly acquaintances, you can ask to join via email. Please understand if I’m slow responding. It took me over 5 years to build what I had, and my harassers took most or all from me. My own actions lost me a couple of friends, and it doesn’t matter that I didn’t know what virtue holding was, it doesn’t matter that I didn’t mean the words the way they sounded. I would never ever point the legal “justice” system at POC. It doesn’t matter what my state was when I wrote the things I did. I still fucked up. I’m sorry.
I always thought friendship held room for making mistakes if you were willing to learn, apologize, and do better. I know my idea of friendship includes the benefit of the doubt, understanding that traumatized people sometimes don’t act the best way when under stress, and a willingness to at least call someone in and see if they’re willing to learn/change. But even my therapist tells me I’ve got a weird idea of friendship.