Friday, May 4, 2012

Forgive, Not Forget

What I've posted below I received as an anonymous comment. Although I don't generally publish anonymous comments, I think this one says what I tried to put into words much better.


Buddy is very, very sick.  He has quite publicly admitted that he suffers from Bipolar disorder, and that he's been in and out of the hospital since March.  This decline has been well self-documented, on twitter, audioboo, and youtube. He has also quite actively resisted help during this dark time in his life, even threatening the very people trying to help him.  He has repeatedly gone off the meds that help him get better.  He has, during the height of his mania, hypnotized at least one person, and offered hypnotism as therapy to many more.  He's also made countless threats of physical violence to a large amount of people, including myself.

The choices he's making now?  Absolutely not within his control, and absolutely a symptom of the disease (resisting help and meds is quite common).  However, he made the choice to not seek help when it was obvious that this was coming, which I personally suggested when he said he was starting to feel the start of the mania.  He made the choice to not see a doctor for a disease he's known about for over a decade, thinking he could manage it on his own.  And the first time he went into the hospital, I was hopeful.  Hopeful that he'd get better, hopeful that he'd be able to salvage his reputation.  A few long months later, I'm just hoping that he'll stay alive. 

I'm glad that people are offering support to him - he'll need it.  I'm happy that people will be there for him when he exits the mania and enters depression.  I hope he can forgive me for the things I've had to do to ensure my own safety, but I am not optimistic.  

I think the people that have been deliberately poking him online to get a rise out of him are giant assholes, especially if they knew that he's mentally ill (I'm positive a very large portion of them are aware of his condition).  Deliberately baiting him by asking if he's taken his meds or creating a "banned in Boston" fetish is childish and serves no purpose to make the situation better.

But this post - I don't understand the backlash to Silverdream's post.  When Buddy is better, and I hope that will be soon, I'm always going to be braced for the next episode.  I hope he'll accept my friendship, and I hope that he'll find places where he's loved and accepted, but I would never let him top me, or recommend that anyone else allow it either (though obviously, the choice is theirs).  I would recommend that newbies not play with him.  At the end of the day - a sociopath is suffering from a mental illness as well.  We're not going to forget about the harm they've done; why would we forget the harm that Buddy has done?  In Buddy's case, I can forgive, absolutely.  But never, ever forget.

So I thank Silverdreams for this post.  She's not kicking a man when he's down - she's speaking for people like me, who once again feel like we can't speak for fear of hatred from the community.  I've agonized over the actions I've had to take to be able to feel safe.  I have felt achingly alone.  I've come dangerously close to needing to go to the hospital myself for the emotional damage caused to me directly by Buddy, and I'm not the only one.  Where is our support?  Where are the people saying "wow, it is not okay that you had to experience this"?  Because some of us really need to hear that.

My Thoughts:
I think this post shows is the feeling that, while giving Buddy all the love and support you wish to, it's not easy for the people he's hurt to have their voices ignored. Or worse, to have their concerns treated with such disdain by people who purport to know better.

I, for one, will take all the heat that anyone cares to throw my way. I'm far stronger at the moment than many of the people who are hurting so much and if you wish to tell me what a horrible person I am for not having compassion or understanding a "sick man", then do it here. Because I'm sure as hell not going to let these people suffer without having any voice at all.

For the record, I do have compassion. I do wish him well. And I do hope that there are people who will be able to support him.  You may assume what you like. You may assume that I have no experience with mental illness and seek to "educate me". You may assume that I'm just another one of those people who like to tear people down. You may have a pre-existing grudge which colors your opinions or you may just like to argue to show how much smarter and more worthy your own opinions are. You may assume that I'm a rotten person and that I just don't understand. You may wish to attack my opinions, and you may do it as passive-aggressively as you'd like. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, If you're going to do any of that, then please never speak to me about support for the people who have been hurt by this if all you're going to do is bitch about how unfair I'm being to Buddy.

And no, I'm not going to give the identity of the commenter, so don't send me emails asking who it is.

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