Why you should care
Because our advice to you is this, Claudius: Trust no one.
This story is very hard for me and, to be honest, I’m scared to share it. Please don’t judge me too harshly. You see, I’ve been thinking long and hard about it. As it is a true story, I can say only that it is one-sided; I can’t speak for the other side, and I have never told this to anyone. It could prove to be a cautionary tale, or it could cause me to be a laughingstock. I think the two are sometimes intertwined. This happened over the course of a week, maybe two.
It started when I saw a story about a woman being the victim of an attempted rape by a friend’s bandmate. I decided to add her on Facebook. I thought of her as brave and fierce for speaking out against such things, so I commented and decided to send her a message. I tell her that, fuck, it’s an awful thing, and I am sad to see so much sexist bullshit and plain hatred toward her. Couple of days go by and I hear back from her; she tells me thanks and that it’s the usual bullshit you get with these situations.
That’s the point I should have left well enough alone. I mean, I don’t know this person, so what business did I have to delve in deeper? But I did, and it turned out to be one of the worst decisions I have ever made.
One night, drunk as fuck, I decide to send her a voice message on Facebook spewing all sorts of stupid Scottish remarks and slangs in an attempt to be funny. I told her I loved her band. They were venomous and angry. Just the sort of thing I like. She tells me she loves my accent and could marry me for it.
I brush it off as just fucking around. She asks me to read things like poetry and lyrics in my accent; she tells me I am lucky to live next to a beach and I should be there every day. I had just lost my job and started another mind-numbing one. As I said, I can tell this only from my side, and at the time I was going through a really bad bout of depression. I get so caught up in things, and emotions seem to magnify tenfold. This isn’t some excuse to try to get away with the pain I feel or explain away something as “the depression made me do it.”
A couple of days go by, and my girlfriend was away at the time, dealing with some family troubles.
Things started to get heated between me and this other woman. The love of music seemed to be an aphrodisiac of some sort, and things start to take a turn, and I found myself being really attracted to her, or the idea of her, as we shared similar fetishes and had massive control issues. As I ask more about her life, it turns out the bandmate of the dude who tried to rape her used to be her boyfriend.
She told me this dude had major issues, won’t let her be happy. At this point I begin to question my sanity, but despite telling her I had a girlfriend, things continued on. I started to hear less and less, and most of the phone conversations turned to things like suicide: She told me how she was almost killed by a dude in a car, had her throat slit, then she was arrested for prostitution. I try to talk rationally; she talks on about how she would be better off dead. This was often the topic of conversation.
She talked about how no one would have her, covered in scars. I tried to tell her that it didn’t matter, and I asked her if she had thought about seeing someone to combat her depression. She tells me that she just wants to go over the bridge on the East River and hang her German shepherd over that bridge. She calls me one last time to tell me she’s medicated and in a secure unit.
I am at work but take the time out to talk because this is important. I’m worried.
I don’t hear from her for a while. I message her again, as I’m worried and completely sucked in by this point. She starts to say don’t contact me, you have a girlfriend. I want to know why. I want an explanation, and I think I deserve one (I don’t). She has blocked me.
Then I find out she’s been live-tweeting our conversations.
She and her friends are laughing at this sad dude who can’t take a knock back. I was completely humiliated, probably more so than I have ever been in my life. Shaming online — not just for sensitive preteens, apparently.
I learned a lot that day. You don’t know someone online. You have no idea who they are, even if it was real. And, oh, yeah: My girlfriend also found out about it. Which caused a rift I don’t think will fully heal.
How can I be trusted?
I could sit here and say there were factors to blame — depression, conflict — but it would just be an excuse. I had fucked up, and for what?
To be laughed at online by quite a lot of people. I was one of those people that I have chimed in on. Crazy fuckers like me who will try anything to fix an unfixable situation and ultimately end up in deep water. A total drag. And will probably never be anything but.