Tonight I made it my mission to face one of my biggest fears with everything that has been happening. I decided that it was time to reach out to some of my friends and let them know what has been going on.
Because of my stature and involvement in the community, word of my misdeeds travelled very quickly and it was only a matter of days before the rumours made it to the ears of most of my connections and friends. At that time, I received a few messages from some that were particularly angry, understandably. I couldn’t do much when I received these messages, they had every right to be angry and disappointed. My actions let down an entire community and had broken trust with so many people that I admired and respected, and of those that admired and respected me in return.
I had decided at that time, that it would be best if I just disappear for a while and not make contact with anyone. I sent a few emails out to people that were directly affected by my actions, but others who I considered friends, I just disappeared.
For a few days, nothing happened. I am sure the rumours continued to fly, and as a result more and more people would develop a negative image of me. Again, understandably. I chose to stay out of it all and stay silent. Eventually those rumours would dissipate. And besides, at this point, what did it really matter what people thought? I had done something horrible, and no amount of anger or disappointment from others, would make me feel worse than I did already.
It has been just about over a month since I made my exit from the community. Over this past month, I’ve received numerous emails and messages from people wondering what was going on. I thought surely they had heard the rumours by now, why would they want to contact me?
Reading through the messages tonight, I started to realize that, yes, they probably heard all of the rumours, but despite what they heard, they still wanted to reach out to me. They still wanted to make sure I was okay. At first I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t feel I deserved any concern from anyone, and really, I still don’t feel I deserve it. But I do understand it. They cared for my well being, despite my mistakes.
Tonight, I felt I should reply to these people and at least alleviate their concern. There was a time during all this that I thought I would hurt myself. Something I am sure crossed the minds of others looking at my situation, and I didn’t want people to worry.
I sent out messages tonight to everyone that contacted me over this past month. I said that I was okay, explained why I decided to go silent, and that I was dealing with everything in the best way I could. I wanted them to know that I was regretful of my actions, but that I was taking this as an opportunity to become a better man. I didn’t want to assume they had heard any rumours, but I mentioned the rumours in my messages and invited them all to meet with me once everything was settled. When I sent them out, I didn’t expect a single reply. I figured that once people knew that I was still alive, they would breathe a sigh of minor relief then just ignore my existence and move on.
Something happened though that I didn’t expect. I started receiving replies from people. Each reply was positive, and understanding. Each person I have received a reply from so far understands that this is a difficult time for me, and despite what they have heard (yes, they’ve all heard what’s been going on), they wish me strength while I move forward and learn from all this.
They all said they are there for me.
For the past month, I’ve felt that I was completely alone. I expected this to be the case until I ended up leaving this community and started a new life elsewhere. I’m starting to find that even though I’ve done something completely reprehensible, people are still there for me. Despite my disreputable actions, people still feel that I am a good person inside.
Knowing this feels me with more hope and motivation to succeed than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
People will always surprise you.