The role play referred to in this entry is the same as in my Black Sheep entry. I'm not calling anyone out, and I'm not trying to play the victim. All I wish to do with this entry, is document my own side of things and get some of those repressed feelings out. No one party involved was at fault any more than the others, but I believe we all did make mistakes.
A lot has gone on in the past few days, a lot of unexpected things that turned me from my usually passive self into something vicious and hostile. There isn’t any real way for me to tell my side of things without seeming biased, and I do apologize for that. Things in that particular role play went the way they did after a very long build up, and I believe I covered a little bit of it when I wrote my “Black Sheep” entry; I eventually cracked under the weight of what I was holding in through my attempts to remain civil and kind, and all it took was the lightest nudge in the wrong direction to make it all come erupting out. This entry is my reflection: I will make no attempts to demonize and slander any of the parties involved, and I will do all I can to remain as un-biased as one can be when retelling a personal account of the matters. I would also like to make a formal apology for the actions of a handful of my long-term friends, whom I’d been talking to on the side to try to keep from lashing out and who also spammed the thread in rage on their mule accounts when they learned what had happened. I didn’t give them any sort of ‘spam order’; they did what they did of their own choice.
I can’t give a precise time when the buildup of things began, but I do remember the atmosphere between myself and the thread creators suddenly taking a change. Things appeared to go from friendly and welcoming, to a sort of distant and difficult to grasp air. The first point of conflict I remember arising was being told that my character, who for all intents and purposes was an outcast and strange individual, was too self-contained and needed to be more social. I could understand this, to a point, but had already been trying to get my character into more interaction with others - including those of the creators - but was having little to no luck getting involved in the current goings on in the plot. Whenever I built up the courage to bring a matter of concern - of either mine or a friend’s - to light via private message, it seemed that things were listened to, but quickly dismissed in favor of a “I know what does and doesn’t work in a role play” sort of attitude and a tone that felt as though they were speaking down to me like an unruly child. Now, whether or not this genuinely was the tone the creators were trying to convey is unknown to me, but that was certainly how it felt when I read the words on my screen. While it stung, I took it in stride and continued to enjoy the role play as best as I could - putting forth my whole-hearted effort to take part in everything that was, more or less, expected of me.
As things continued to progress in the role play’s plot, and things in my life outside of Gaia became more busy and hectic, I found it more and more difficult to get so much as a nod toward any ideas I’d try to bring to the table as well as the majority of character plots I would attempt - even if they were backed by my fellow role players - and the few ideas that were acknowledged were often found to be unsuitable in one manner or another. By this time, the story had begun to convert from a campy murder-mystery to the beginnings of a war story. When the holidays rolled by, and my job was starting to swing into peak season, I was scolded for inactivity and asked whether or not I could still handle being a member of the role play. Up to this point, I would be able to log on rather sporadically, but I would make attempts to at least stop by my subscribed out of character threads to say my hellos and contribute what I could. I created a few role plays, and joined a few over this stretch of time; I don’t know if this agitated the creators or not, because they never stated anything implying such a thing, but I found myself barely spoken to or acknowledged for a long stretch of time after that. We would have weekly questions, or something fun go on in the out of character thread, and it would seem as though everyone except for myself and a couple of others would get a response for their contribution. All of this stung, but I was afraid to say anything out of fear of being called selfish or immature for stating that I was feeling left out - or worse, once again being presented with the option to leave because I “couldn’t handle” things. I began to frequent the out of character thread less and less, feeling as though I was no longer welcome after being open and honest with the thread for so long. They knew the every goings on in my life, that I was busy and there were things that occasionally kept me away, but that subtle feeling of someone not wanting me around - or that my continued presence was a bother to them - was always lingering. So, instead, I began to talk with a few of my friends about what I felt... because I was almost positive my feelings and concerns would be dismissed and I would once again be offered the door to leave.
From these conversations, I learned that others were also feeling slightly spurned for being in other places. Though I only know one side of those stories, I’d heard of friends being scolded and almost blatantly ignored for starting role plays of their own, as though they’d offended the thread creators for wanting to have a bit of diversity in their current role plays. Absence from the thread, even for illness or outside circumstances, became risky without managing a post in the out of character thread at least once a week. Messages would be sent, questioning if a role player still held interest as though they were absent by choice, and characters were presented with the threat of termination should their creator not agree to become more active despite their present condition. All of these things came to my attention at approximately the same time, causing me to withdraw any and all personal feelings from my interactions with the thread creators out of the fear that there would be some form of repercussion for admitting that others had told me of their interactions and that I was feeling a mixture of being unwelcome, spoken down to, and now even slightly lied to when I compared what some parties told me as opposed to the thread creators’ words. I would bite my tongue and lose myself in a different role play whenever these feelings persisted, feeling that my concerns would be swept aside and the door to leave would be opened again when and if I ever spoke up - which was anything but what I wanted. I had friends and a character I cared deeply about involved in that story, and I would have been betraying both had I allowed the pressure to break me and quit.
Things continued to build. I began to feel frustrated about the creators’ characters seemingly having interaction that rarely strayed from one another, sometimes going so far as to give the role play a subtle 1x1 feeling to it. I managed to plot a brief interaction with one of them on two occasions, it was very difficult to accomplish and the interactions were ultimately very minor, but it felt as though they didn’t really have much desire to plan with characters outside of their own. During the chats that were implemented later on in my time as a member of the role play, at least the two I was able to attend, things didn’t seem quite what they appeared. While all members of the thread were invited, and all were permitted to offer their input, some members offers were skipped over. I initially thought that this was because of the pace of the chat, but the skipped notions appeared to only be from a select few people - while my own attempts for further character development were met with a degree of resistance or seemingly scrapped in favor of others. I understood that my ideas most likely didn’t fit, and that was why they were discounted, but the others I had been talking to had brought an idea of their own multiple times - presumably in hopes of discussion or at least to be told it whether or not it was an acceptable notion - only to have nothing of or about it said beyond their initial mention. It struck me as a little irritating, but something that could easily have been because of the number of people talking at once.
My boiling point was reached from a mixture of private messages shared to me from friends, the scathing tone that was used in those messages, and finally a message sent to me regarding a simple opinion post - which I had given the courtesy to conceal in a spoiler with ample warning of its contents. Up to this point, I had never been stubborn or confrontational with the thread creators, but their request to delete my post struck me as a little unnecessary. I edited my post with a touch of satirical humor to show there were no hard feelings about my being hesitant, only to receive an angry message stating how inappropriate my post had been. After editing my post again, this time replacing all content with a cute animated GIF, I was informed that that there were a lot of things going on behind the scenes - putting the creators on edge and causing them to be a little snippy at those who didn’t immediately listen... and posed the question as to whether or not I would stay in the role play if some of my friends left, whether or not I would remain loyal, place my trust in the creators and “follow them without question”. That question left a bad taste in my mouth, particularly that last part where such phrases are most commonly associated with cults. I told myself that most likely wasn’t the intention, and continued to talk with my friends - one of which who was issued a link to a private chat with the creators of the thread.
By this point in time I had become more than just a little bitter from my side conversations with friends, hearing their own stories about how the creators had tried to change their characters or threatened to kill their characters due to absence. I had even heard that I had been called “unreliable” in a chat that I missed due to a family medical emergency, though I don’t know the credibility of this statement due to lack of physical evidence. Hearing these things which I could do nothing about - or was spoken to about when I tried - and everything I had kept out of the thread in the interest of being civil and trying not to ruin anyone’s fun, had begun to push the cork out of the bottle it was kept in. Where a friend contacted me before the creators of the thread, I made a small remark about this when I first entered the chat and was immediately scolded for having an attitude.
It quickly became apparent that the reason for this chat was to have my friend defend her reasons for wanting to remain in the thread after being purposely absent after feeling rather spurned - which appeared very bleak, considering that one of the creators openly stated that she was just about done with my friend’s antics - instead of what we had initially hoped for, which was bringing some of our concerns to their attention instead of allowing them to fester further. She was, more or less, given little to no chance to defend herself... and that was what finally set me off. With each interruption to her typing, I became less understanding and more furious until the point where I finally exploded. Yes, I admit that I was less than amiable and outright hostile with my outburst, but both my friend and I felt cornered and put into the spotlight. I will admit that I referred to my character as “an accompaniment to a 1x1 that the two of them were running under the guise of an actual role play”, but with all of the quiet building of uncertainty and feeling as though the creators thought I wasn’t good enough, there was little I could do to filter my words. My weariness of the way all of their messages to me had been worded, the feeling of being unwanted - which had seemed more or less verified shortly after this meeting began - the stress of work, and the combined equal feelings of the friends I had spoken to, feelings we were organizing and preparing to bring to them to discuss openly, all exploded out at once. I was added to the ignore lists of the moderators and kicked from the role play before I even had the chance to leave the chat. They had stated they assumed my outburst meant that I wished to leave, and that was the end of the story on their end of things. I feel that my friend and I were not given a chance to say what we wanted and, partly, needed to say. I feel that the thread creators allowed assumption to drive their responses and force the two of us into an uncomfortable corner, from which our only option was to become defensive.
I know that this is only my own side of things, and that it would be impossible to write this without bias, but I also know that unless I write it somewhere that it’ll never be heard.
I felt unwelcome and unwanted...
I felt afraid to say what I should have, which probably could have prevented all of this, because it felt as though my words would be ignored or misinterpreted...
I felt as though the fact that I had other priorities in my life cause me to in angry cross-hairs...
I kept it all inside...
I listened to my friends...
And I finally exploded when I felt cornered and unable to help someone that I’ve now known for over two years...
For those of you still in the thread, I hold no ill will, and my only shame is that I wasn’t offered the chance to bid you all a farewell before this happened. That was the majority of my story, and I suppose this can be my farewell to the thread and those still a part of it.
Those who have gotten to know me have, and always will, be my second family.
I wish the best to you all, and hope that you can understand.
"Hate me today,
hate me tomorrow...
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you.
Hate me in ways,
yeah, ways hard to swallow...
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you."
~ Quote from Blue October
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