If there is one thing I have learned over the last three years of being trapped in an almost constant state of political dramatic interactions and a social climate that is akin to somewhere between high school levels of desperation and outright political sabotage…its that absolutely nothing is at all as it seems. Ever. The moment you think that you understand things, you think you see them, you discover another layer of things that (should) enrich or even change your perspective.
More often than not though, what ACTUALLY happens is that we hear events recounted from a third person perspective. Often from friends, people that we trust and love – and we are presented with one or two peoples perspectives on a specific event, topic or even a general observation about a person. We trust these people, so we often take what they say to be valid without really looking into the situation further than that.
This would not be so destructive if this is where it stopped, but it is often not at all. Most of the time it is, in fact, the beginning. We find ourselves repeating what our friends have told us – and it must be true because…why would our friends lie to us…And pretty soon, a very hostile environment has been created.
Most of my direct experience with this has been in internet communication. Forums, Gaming – places where people do actually forge very deep and real friendships (and sometimes even romantic relationships that lead to marriage) but for the most part – it isn’t an actual person sitting in front of you (from your perspective in most cases. It is text on a screen, or a voice without a face.) This causes people to behave in ways that I would like to think they would never think of doing/being if they were face to face.
I’m going to try and be an optimist here, and go out on a limb and say that in “real life” most of these people would be compassionate, and understanding and that they would actually attempt to see both sides of the issue before repeating something as damning as “She’s a psychotic whore.” But maybe this kind of behavior that seems to get drawn out in the kinds of social circles I run in is (unfortunately) the true nature of humanity.
I know that many a thing gets said behind my back. If the nature of what is being said is kept from me by very good, tactful, loving friends – I can usually accept that no one is ever going to attempt to hear my side of things and that I have a small safe cocoon of amazing people who love me enough to not trigger the kind of unbelievable panic and guilt and shame and anxiety that comes from hearing daily observations like “She’s a psychopath.” or “She’s a whore.” Or my new favorite “She’s a manipulative lying whore.”
Hearing these things that I have no power to fix on a daily basis, usually being said by people I have had either very twisted contact with or very limited contact with – does nothing for my already very shaky self image, but it does nothing for my ability to have any faith in social interactions.
I’ve been misunderstood my whole life. I’m used to it. I expect it. What I was not used to anymore – because I hadn’t experienced it since leaving the walls of my prep school – was the outright venom and aggression and animosity.
In the last three years I have had total strangers go to such lengths as contacting clients, finding places that I have contracted for modeling and telling them that I am a “Manipulative Whore.” I have had people seek out relationships with me – romantic and friendship, with the sole goal of gaining my trust, only to take things I have said out of context – record or photograph the conversations, and edit them to serve their purposes and submit these things as “Evidence” to the people that they originally heard these things from. After the ordeal they all laugh about how “Stupid” I am and they all get a good laugh. Openly admitting to engaging in this kind of blatant sabotage – most of this behavior as bad or worse than what they like to accuse me of – but they are in the right so it’s ok. Their truth is that it is done out of a sense of justice so it is okay. Never mind that it is EXACTLY what they were accusing me of. Or worse.
Perspective plays a huge role in things like perception of truth. This perception is shaped by a multitude of factors from the people we surround ourselves with to our desire to fit in socially with our peers (Humans are social creatures. Pack animals), to a protection of what we think that we deserve…Our wants, needs, desires and goals.
The point of this post is mostly to vent frustration, and to state some of the observations I have made over the last three years. To all of you who are reading this and saying “It’s just a game. Pull back and it will go away.” I want to remind you that these people have engaged in varying degrees of immoral and or illegal activity to reach into my actual life and punish me for perceived wrongs. No amount of separation from the “game” will help me escape this. I’ve tried every perceivable amount of intervention from reporting them in game to actually taking my own money and filing protective orders in certain instances. Nothing seems to stop it. It keeps happening. I also know I am not the only one who has been treated in this manner.
All of this frustration came to a head again recently because some of the particulars of what exactly is being said this month got back to me, and some names came up that I was not expecting to be in the parade of bashing showed up saying some pretty hurtful things.
I try to step back and look at things from all sides. I know the destruction that can come from NOT doing that, but I’m not going to like…It hurts every time. I’m trying to make sense of it all. It looks like I will be having to cut more people out of my life in this ever present quest to be healthy, and I hate having to set that boundary. I just don’t hate it as much as knowing who my true friends are, who I can actually trust, and trying to be somewhere near an emotionally healthy state of being.
If you read it all, thank you. Love you all.