I realize I can be very polarizing. It seems like people on this forum either love me or are extremely frustrated by me.
Believe it or not, I hate being the center of attention. Thus the reason for my frustration in my previous thread about politeness and internet culture where somehow, for reasons I honestly don't know, the conversation stopped being about that and became about me. I felt personally attacked when another poster accused me of "bashing everyone who tried to help me" and "wallowing in self pity."
I invite anyone who feels I have bashed or jumped on them when they tried to help to work these things out with me individually. I would be happy to correct any misunderstandings and hopefully make new friends.
Regarding self pity, I get where this perception comes from. I am depressed. I'm very open about that. But I came to this forum thinking that I could help myself by talking with people who had similar interests and experiences.
I just want to say, this year has been very difficult for me. I have struggled with mental illness all my life. 8 months ago I had a job, a place of my own, benefits... I was independent. I lost the job because I went overboard trying to protect two kids I was very close to from severe emotional abuse at home. I was fired the day after my birthday, and then when it came to UC benefits, my company really screwed me. Then Congress cut the Unemployment Extension, and I was forced to move in with my parents. I lost my pride. I lost my self esteem. I lost my sense of self worth. I am really hurting, and that's why I'm here, to find ways of dealing with it. By no definition is that "wallowing in self pity."
I felt I needed to stand up for myself make these statements (and the above invitation) because I feel at times (like today) that I've been personally attacked here.
Now take this with a grain of salt: I'm a very sensitive person. I don't want to say "oversensitive" because that makes it sound like sensitivity is a bad thing. But how a person speaks to me matters, sometimes more than what they say. If I feel I have a person's respect, then the disagreement isn't personal. And that's the best way to approach me, frankly. If I feel like you're attacking me or being condescending, I might respond in kind, and then the unhealthiness of that communication spreads and a really well-intentioned thread (like the one I mentioned before) becomes... something it's not at all supposed to be.
I really would like to get to know the community and the people who are part of it better but at the same time I don't want to be misrepresented. Seeking help is not "wallowing" and disagreement isn't "bashing."
All that being said, as I stated before, I don't like to be the center of attention, so if you feel like responding to this post of mine, please contact me via private message. I feel like making this post is a necessary evil, and yeah, it feels a bit hypocritical doing it, but I feel there is damage that needs to be repaired.
I plan on trying to take a break from the forum for a while (or at least take a break from the heavy topics) and come back with a clearer head.
I just want you all to know that I'm not the wallowing attacker some people have made me out to be. I don't know what else to say. I came here looking for help and acceptance. I feel like some people have responded well to that, and others have misinterpreted a lot of things I've said or focused on things that I clearly said when I was angry and didn't mean. I just want to clear all of it up so that I personally feel safer on this forum and so that there will be less conflict in the future. I very much dislike conflict. I'm a collaborator. I prefer to be the one linking people to each other and greasing the engines of progress. I don't want to be made to feel like the black sheep here.
I think one perception of me is that I can't take criticism. This isn't true. I've taken criticism well when it's presented respectfully. Many have done that here, but I've had more than my share of being misrepresented and cast in a bad light by other posters. I understand this comes from frustration and that I can be a very frustrating person to be around but I am working, extremely hard, to make positive changes to my outlook. Unfortunately, that doesn't work overnight.
And this perception that I "jump on" or "bash"... I honestly would like you to PM me if you feel I've done this to you. Maybe it was a misunderstanding, maybe I owe you an apology, maybe we were both in the wrong. Whatever it is, I just want to work it out non-confrontationally.
Give me a chance. I'm more than my illness.