Jasmine Dawn commented on a post on Blogger.
Will,

I’m speaking as someone you’ve hurt.  You will not recognize this name; I am using a new handle for my own protection against retaliation.  (I hope that in itself will help you understand how far you have strayed from who you wanted to be.)

I wish to say something different from what the other commenters have said.  I am speaking sincerely, and I am speaking in a genuine spirit of compassion.  My words are not intended to hurt—not you, not anyone else.

Will, your online behavior has hurt me.  Not once, but repeatedly.  I need to be honest about that, so you understand where I am coming from, that I am speaking from a genuine place as one of your ‘angry lash out’ victims.

In this post, you say that the mobbing during Racefail ’09 is the impetus, the catalyst, for this new you that your friends don’t recognize.  I believe you were hurt during Racefail.  I believe you sincerely suffered.  I am not doubting that.

But the pattern of your online behavior goes back further than Racefail.  You have been getting into compulsive flamewars for many, many years.  This behavior, even pre-Racefail, has created rifts with your friends, within your professional communities, for years.  

You have apologized before.  Been forgiven before.  
You have promised to stop arguing in a space—only to comment again within minutes.  

You’ve been banned from a space and taken the argument back to your own blog, not once but many times.  

You’ve promised on your blogs to stop blogging—

And then you’ve returned.  Promised to leave again. 
 Returned briefly to edit your leaving.

Deleted the blog.  Deleted the journal.  Deleted the twitter.  Left the list-serve.

Apologized.  

Asked forgiveness.  

*

And then, Will, you’ve returned.  

*

Each time you apologize, you appear completely sincere.  In fact, even as one of the people you hurt, I believe you are sincere.  In that moment.  

But the moment does not last.

You blog again.  You show up in other people’s spaces.  You resurrect your old blogs, your accounts, your journals.  You write books or screeds or run ‘countdowns’.  

Then you crash, hard, and apologize.

And the pattern resets.

*

You’ve blamed various outside forces for this.  Remember when you said that it was because you’d become vegan?  
I believe, sincerely, that you have been damaged in these online arguments.  You have lost friends, colleagues, professional contacts, been banned from communities, and now you say your marriage is at risk.  

Dancing is not going fix this, Will.  Talking to friends and loved ones will not fix this.  Vitamin shots, more protein, will power, apologies, none of those things will work.  

Why?

Because you’ve used those before and they demonstrably are not enough.

You say you don’t want any therapy but dancing.  Nobody wants therapy.  Nobody wants to go to a meeting about compulsive behavior.  Nobody wants to go to a mental health professional and say, “I can’t control my own behavior.  I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I can’t.”  Nobody wants to say, “I have a problem.”

But you do, Will.

You have a big problem.

This problem has gone on for many years, and it keeps costing you.  It also costs the people around you.  It costs the people you rage at, the people you insult, the communities you stir up, the loved ones who try to deal with the fallout.  

It’s time to admit this problem has moved beyond just being angry on the internet.  It has become a serious compulsion.  And problems this serious need equally serious, professional medical and therapeutic solutions. 

 Period.

If white-knuckling-it worked for this, you’d have managed to stop years ago.  

There is no shame in asking for help.  The only shame comes from not asking, from not doing the work.  And getting better is work.  It’s hard, it’s painful, it takes a long time.  

I have written this comment from a place of compassion, Will.  You have hurt me, and this is what I am asking of you: I do not want an apology.  This is what I want, this is what I am asking of you, if you are sincere, I want you to do the work necessary to stop hurting people on the internet.  

Get help.

Go to an Al-anon meeting.  Find a therapist who specializes in compulsive behavior.  Join a support group.  But seek help.  Keep seeking it until it works.  Do it for yourself, do it for your marriage, do it for your victims, but DO IT.
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