Here’s What Happened…
It all really started going sideways the morning of the first Republican primary debate. Tamron Hall said something on the Today Show about it being the same night at the last Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I mockingly replied with a tweet, “Owned by the Parent Company of this Network” as was Jon Stewart’s favorite line when talking about Fox News. Then I said something flippant about “almost like it was planned”. Tamron recoiled and thus began my most recent “Day of Days”.
Everyone has a story, I’m not different it’s just that as my therapist says, for me I’ve got more than one and they’re not all good. I grew up in a broken, disfunctional and ultimately abusive home. Not the kind you image in after school specials, something different but that’s for another day. I had a love-hate relationship with my parents, until the day they died in a murder-suicide.
That one event alone is enough to leave post-trauma effects, so combine it with my childhood, cancer, and a litany of other strange life events and you get Me. I call myself the “Forrest Gump” of bizarre shit. It seems that I attract the unusual. The odd right into my life. I am a true 1% in that aspect. If there is a rare side effect of a drug, I have it. Strange blood disorder affecting .5% of the population? Done. This is who I am. As my dear friend has told me, “Mickey, you are a Unicorn. There is only one.”
I would only add, “Thank God.”
So when I tell you that everything you’re about to read is 100% based on actual events and people (some you may know), keep that in mind.
On that day everything changed, I was busy tweeting away desperately trying to warn people about Donald Trump. Quoting Andrew Breitbart along the way saying “Donald Trump is Not a Conservative”. I realized I was getting negative feedback at a higher rate than usual and it had a more sinister tone.
As I continued to tweet my warnings, I realized that many of the accounts were accounts I’d followed for awhile that suddenly turned racist and threatening. I didn’t understand what was happening at all, now we know these packs of trolls as Trumpkins or as they are better known, The Alt-Right, but at the time, I’d never seen or experienced anything like it in all my years on Social Media.
I reached out to people I thought I could trust and to this day I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do. At the time I was desperate though, as the trolling had increased from mere tweets, to DMs from very random famous accounts. Then e-mails went out to people suggesting that I might harm myself, even though I’d indicated nothing of the sort. Anyone who responded to me would also be shamed or harassed. I was advised that I was about to be swatted. I contacted my local sheriff and eventually the FBI. As all of this was happening, the people behind these accounts made an ominous threat towards a family member. My sister. The single most important person to me in the world.
The fuse was lit.
When I attempted to explain to those I loved what was happening, they flat out thought I was crazy, and then I caught up with their expectations. Turns out I was sitting on the edge of a mental health crisis. One I didn’t ever see coming, one I had no idea could even happen.
As my real life friends don’t use social media in the way I do, the language and words I was using may as well have been Manderin. All the while online people were taking this opportunity to mock my closest friends and relentlessly bombard me with attacks.
I remained determined to spotlight the inconsistencies in some members of the “Conservative Media”. I questioned the motives of Media outlets, certain members of the media, even a few twitter accounts. In looking back I wasn’t conveying my message very clearly, and that probably hurt my cause a bit, it was just that I didn’t realize someone was tweeting lies and innuendos using the now infamous “Jig Is Up” hashtag. Making it trend. I blocked around 300 accounts that day, then something happened. Over 1100 of my followers accounts were affected, some blocked, some harassed, some unfollowed.
I’m not sure when the anxiety turned to paranoia turned to full blown delusions, but all it took place off-line. By the time I had hit the worst stages of my breakdown I had already gotten off the internet. I know that during that time I was in my mind and in reality, routing out what we now call Trumpkins, but I also was so confused that some innocent people were dragged into my search for “bot like accounts” or at that time what appeared to be “fake accounts”. Again now it’s easier to tell the story, we all know who Trumpkins are.
More importantly, we’ve all seen them do this same thing to many different figures on social media, through doxxing and threats. It’s entirely too common. I had just never touched that side of social media before, nor did I ever expect it to reach out and touch my family.
I had my first ever break from reality, as a result of PTSD. I spent nearly the next entire week in a facility that isn’t fit for man nor beast as Yukon Cornelious would say. My life changed in an instant. Again.
When I returned to social media, I had no idea what all had been said about me throughout my circle of “friends” and followers. I went straight in fixer mode, ala Oliva Pope as is my natural reaction to everything. I attempted to tell my story, but at that time it seemed many were content to believe the worst about me. Some even seemed to relish in what they saw as my “fall from grace.”
In my absence some had claimed they spoke with my family and it was a publicity stunt of some kind. Others spread rumors about my mental status. I was not at any time, suicidal by the way. I’m one of the rare people whose break involved Princesses and Happy Endings, so it wasn’t what you might be picturing, if you think PTSD flashbacks. I believe I told you earlier, I’m a Unicorn, I promise, the more you get to know me, the more you’ll believe it.
When I returned to social media I tried to do damage control as quickly as I could to restore order to my world, never mind the damage control I was trying to do in my real life. I had just hit the perfect storm of a personal crisis and suddenly I was standing there without a friend in sight. I was always the one who had the answers, always the one in control and they had seen me in a very fragile state. Not sure they wanted to own up to their part in my admission to the hospital either. It was all so messy, it still is.
My husband gets me, always has this was a difficult time for him though as you might imagine. He had reached out to our friends that fateful morning, the friends that took me to nearest “mental health” facility. As I previously mentioned, this place was hell. It felt more like a jail than anything. I was put in solitary. I faced a magistrate. I shared bunks with heroin addicts & criminals. Of course I had an adverse reaction to the “meds” they gave me inside. Needless to say I came out with all new problems than what I had been admitted.
I felt so guilty, so shamed. I wanted to apologize for everything. Anything. It was all so confusing, and my limited trust of people was taken down even further upon my return when instead of a sympathetic ear I was rejected by even people who had known me for years. When Trumpkins and some accounts I would have considered “friends”, began assaulting me when I returned, threatening to “out” my story, I refused to be blackmailed. I contacted Ed Morrissey, a dear friend who allowed me to give a summary of my story, so as to avoid it being used “against me”.
Since then, I’ve buried myself in my writing. Focusing my energy on what I could control. Day by Day and all that. I’ve spent every day since then rebuilding my reputation, my relationships and my own life. As this dreadful election finally comes to an end, I wanted to share my story, more like I felt compelled to tell my story, in the event that it might help someone else. I’m living at Day Plus-Whatever, as I refer to it, a nod to “Band of Brothers’” time keeping in reference to D-Day.
I am an imperfect person, each day I work to improve as much as I can, some days I’m better at it than others. I’m blessed to have been able to stabilize my world through triage and good people. This is where I am now. Owning it, if you will, as I begin the next phase of my life.
To anyone still reading this, thank you for letting me begin to tell my story… the only one I have.