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Thanks for this Tim. It was relieving to get some more insight and context around how this is playing out for the boys.

Your take on Justin’s motivation I think is right on the nail. I’m angry, and perhaps embarrassed, that I didn’t see it sooner. While he’s clearly no PhD, he’s not stupid either. And when things started to fall down is was almost too cliche. His other profiles (if they are truly not him), with fable like sounding names and cartoons for avatars. Their semantic naivety and almost universal similarity of the writing style, argumentation, and bait game Forest was using couldn’t have been anymore obvious. Smart too, as my first thought was to dismiss something that blatant. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

My cynical nature suggests to me we haven’t heard the last of him, but the requisite untethering one naturally feels over being deceived might just be part of the game. Who knows. If anything he can take credit for my flags being raised and my comfort level getting a few needed jolts.

At the risk of sounding trite, more than anything this event has shown me that the way these things are managed post fallout, both the conversations that take place and the structure in which they occur, who it is having the conversations, what are the metrics, but most importantly, who and what are we missing in that conversation.and why. This is so important. Because the answer is usually the ones with the most to loose. As you have movingly shown in this post, the often forgotten aftermath is always just as impactful, if not more so than the actual trauma. I knew that intellectually, though I feel as if the experience has (thankfully) ingrained the instinctual.

Lastly, please let the boys know that any work, poetry, images, writing, are all welcome at CG anytime. I want them to know they are considered writers here at CG if they wish to be. I’d be happy to showcase what they create. Partly because I am moved by their story, more so because I have seen them create stunningly evocative writing and art.

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