Jane, I had hoped the earlier part of this post would end this drama. I said I wouldn’t retaliate. But with your latest ”update” to your blog, where you connected your post to this one, and the many steps you and/or your supporters seem to have taken to help advance a very one-sided narrative via Twitter, you telegraph an intent to continue this jihad against me. And you’ve decided that any stone is fair game, deliberately promoting the old “Shoq-the-bully-abuser-impaler” memes that you knew had been out there for years, made up by vengeful bloggers and other antagonists who had never even met me. You once helped debunk those totally undocumented fables, but now you repurpose them and their memes to serve a personal agenda.
In so doing, you’ve empowered every Right wing dimwit or Left wing adversary with salacious ammunition with which to discredit me with their typical false equivalencies. Angry verbal exchanges over 1.5 years of a romance are not evidence of a “hatred of women,” nor a pattern of “abuse,” and you yourself have said as much. Your posts and tweets are a personal prism, but one that is being used to spread a spectrum of vicious distortions that you know are untrue. You’ve even characterized my genuine concern that others would use this public cat fight to find you and try to harm your career as some threat to stalk or harass you. There has been real harm to me from such specious claims, and I wish you would refrain from making more of them.
And no matter when you say they occurred *, openly publishing private recordings of me reacting vehemently during any one or more arguments, with virtually no context, balance or mitigating explanation is grossly unfair and you know it. Most times we’ve had such angry words were unique circumstances, often provoked by 3rd parties (such as Heather C), following bizarre circumstances, or my frustration at your frequent reluctance to discuss issues in any kind of mutually acceptable manner or timeframe.
* Update#2 (8/21/12): In an update of Jane's (@vdaze's) blog post, she uses the fact that I was confused about which recording was used to try and discredit everything and anything I have have said here (rather typical of her style). The incongruity in my narrative has a simple explanation. I had been read only the first lines of that voice mail over the phone by a friend. I wrote the first part of this post assuming the call was an angry skype call message which I didn't recall being all that angry, but since I was inebriated at the time, I figured perhaps I'd forgotten how strident they were in the weeks since making them. Trying to know what set her off, I'd placed those calls, which she did not answer (as usual). As she posted no date and time of the private message initially, it never crossed my mind (nor the person reading me the message) that she—a woman claiming to love me—would be reaching back 8 months simply to illustrate that I had once been verbally abusive on a phone call during a fight. A fight which she stilll conveniently seems to understate the causes and effects of to suit her narratives, which have in the time since this post, and despite my public mea culpa, revealed itself to be a full scale romantic vendetta, fused and hybridized (quite deliberately) with a multi-directional set of agendas and past dramas.
Again that doesn’t excuse my vitriolic anger, but since recordings only reveal my reactions and not what caused them, they naturally work for you among your friends, or anyone disposed to thinking that any form of yelling into a telephone answering machine is evidence of, or suggestive of some larger form of physical or extreme abuse in person. We both know that never happened.
As for your other characterizations of our relationship, we also both know that many of your complaints were because you resented (often with vehemence) that I could call *you* controlling and abusive at times, and urge you to “stop condescending to me like your subordinates” or some Twitter followers that you had much contempt for. We even spoke of you getting counseling for your relentless brow beating of me whenever we had seemingly minor disputes. None of that made it into your blog narratives. Nor did the 125 lb gorilla in the room, D, “that $%^@*&% whore as you called her” whom I had started dating “too soon” to suit your sense of propriety after we’d broken up (again).
Shall we now drag her and her daughter into this, too? What about her family? Her co-workers? And what about that husband you promised to divorce soon after we met, but whom you remain married to to this day? And what of your family, or your so very sensitive personal past? How many people, lives and private narratives should be impacted by this unfortunate romantic misfire that we could choose to just walk away from? One where you were no more a victim of me than I was of you.
This public drama started with your public airing of personal matters, calling me a "dysfunctional c___", and other gruesomely nasty invective in about 15 consecutive tweets without even telling me why. Any inquiry thereafter was deemed “harassment,” affording you total control over your orchestrated public vitriol with no possibility of discussing any of it. You constructed the ugliest rant that you could (which very few people have ever seen), implying that any vile invective is ok by you in public, but angry voice messages by me in private are out of bounds. Given all of that, I have still not publicly attacked you even once since this began, and our Twitter timelines reflect that. Nor have I done as you have in allowing open comments to supplement your blog, which you’ve let be used by any enemy with mud to throw.
Jane, enough is enough. We are destroying friendships, communities and reputations over a personal dispute at a time of national importance. I respectfully ask that you let this go now. Stop pushing our sad affair into unpredictable directions, dragging every willing friend, supporter, white knight, political enemy, and hopeful suitor along for the ride. It’s unseemly, unethical, and entirely one-sided.
You’ve had your day in the court of public opinion, generated lots of juicy tidbits to people who clamor for them, and it will now all live on the Internet forever. You’ve embarrassed me before friends, co-workers, and even my own mother, who is heartsick and anguished over our words. Those bells can’t be unrung. If that was your goal in all of this, you’ve achieved it. But please, let’s now end this gruesome drama and move on with our lives. Please.
I feel that you savaged me in your blog, for whatever reason, and now I’ve had my say above and beyond my first effort below, which tried to rise above it, but rather ineffectively. You can escalate further if you choose, but I am going to try hard to resist and make this my final post on this sadness. We’ve both lost far too much to “win” anything. I am going to try and get back to my work, focus on this election, and try to relearn the art of forgiveness. Of you, of myself, and of us. I am truly sorry for what so much promise became.
End note: I am sorry to my followers, family, friends and co-workers who were exposed to this ugly Twitter soap opera. Since it was done so publicly, I had a choice of letting it stand completely unanswered, or respond with just enough to reveal it for what it was: a romantic relationship that ended badly, with the oh so typical two sides of any such story feeling harm, either real or perceived.
A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable. Robert Fripp
You shared our lives in public. I don’t know why you chose to do that, and it saddens me beyond words that you felt you had to. Especially since you yourself had always had such contempt for people who would do that. But I loved you once, and I still have much love and respect for you now. I can forgive you for doing that to you and to us. I hope can forgive me for my inexcusable tone and words in that final voice mail. It was loud, intense, and used words I deeply regret. I am so sorry for them, and I wish I could take them back, but I can’t. I was furious. No, that’s wrong. I was totally and completely hurt and angry at you for taking our private matters into a public venue like Twitter as you had. And I was also quite drunk. After repeatedly asking you to explain what had suddenly angered you, knowing my countless enemies are always trying to game us and destroy me, I got no responses at all. Nothing. We’d sent emails back and forth that day, and suddenly, out of nowhere, you yelled in ALL CAPS that I was a liar and should never contact you again. To this day, I still don’t know what happened. How can I? You won’t tell me, and your friends won’t tell me. I remain in the dark as of this very writing. There is no greater pain than seeing such a long and mostly endearing relationship reduced to this rubble of riddles with no explanation or resolution .
But I finally did stop trying to reach out for an answer, as you asked. I gave up entirely. But a few days later, I came home from a party to see you and your friends gleefully tweeting smears, distortions and innuendo about me/us into your twitter stream, even engaging old enemies to help you do it. I was so disgusted, so outraged, and so hurt that I dashed off some emails to express my disgust to you. I reminded you of how worried you often were that our enemies would track you down by making yourself this visible. I should have stopped there. Instead, after a friend of yours I’d contacted to clarify what was happening shut me off abruptly, I Skyped you and let you know just how I was feeling in extremely bitter and angry tones that no one should have to hear. Again, I am very, very sorry for my choice of words, and that tone. There was no excuse for my channeling my anger in that way, other than that I am human and make mistakes. But you know that about me, as I know it about you.
I still don’t know what set you off, and you seem to feel no obligation to tell me. Did you feel you would get some kind of satisfaction by putting our lives on display before our twitter feeds, our families, our friends, and our co-workers? You did that before my voice message. And you’re now still doing it long after. But none of that excuses my message at all. But neither does my message excuse humiliating us in public for no rational reason that I, nor anyone else can understand. Still, I will not retaliate for that. That is a promise. I will not share details of your life, just to “get even.” There is nothing to be gained but more pain, and I care about you too much to hurt you more than you already are.
I hope our friends will see this as an intense exchange between intense people that spun out of control, largely thanks to unfortunate circumstances, my appalling reaction to them, the silliness of Twitter at times, the unrelenting nature of enemies and trolls, and the volatile and unpredictable nature of emotions. Especially in an information vacuum whenever love is involved.
I wish the angry exchanges had never happened. I wish we could be back in another time and place together. I wish you well. I hope someday we can find mutual forgiveness for our failings and our failures and be friends again. If you want to call me and discuss it, I assure you it will be civil. Perhaps then we can all move on from this grim chapter of our lives.
*The name is fictitious to protect your identity.
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.