I'm gonna tell you guys a secret about Scott. He's so used to being 'famous' that what I do online doesn't phase him. Not even the picture of him in his underwear. That's a more obscure post, this post got way more hits, like several hundred, lol. And I totally forgot about this other picture of him in different underwear. It's had thousands of hits. Sorry about vids missing, I still have lots of stuff to fix from the server migration.
It's all Scott's fault. I often trailed around behind him like a fruit loop, have always been a bit goofy from the git-go, so none of this is my fault at all. We got our first computer from Doug Pitt shortly after he started his computer business. Yes, Brad Pitt's brother. I like making a point of that because 1- I'm so aspie I don't care, and 2- I've had friends in the past who kept name dropping and I never once dropped my own list of names. They had no clue because I'm not into convo competitions. However, I do love irony and I just think it's funny that we bought our computer from Brad Pitt's brother. I'm not particularly a Brad Pitt fan, but I think Doug is pretty awesome.
Scott very generously tolerated a couple of people digging me up and showing up on our doorstep after I got involved in a big fan group. One of those people showed back up without warning a few months later and camped on our couch for five days. I was in the middle of lupus flare and an uncle had just died in a nasty accident and it was nearly Thanksgiving, so those were five very weird days that unfolded into finding out she forgot her blood pressure pills, she was having a breakdown, and she'd brought a gun. Nothing bad happened, thankfully, at least not in my house. Very quickly on internet, however, she ran a coup and I resigned my group to her. My friends at the time never had a clue I was so very sick or that there was a death in the family and that what was happening online was an extension of her psychotic break.
Scott is the bad guy who got the pictures at MegaCon in 2007. I shared them to one person who had nothing to do with MegaCon except to report it in Russian. That the pictures went worldwide in 20 minutes flat was not something I had planned at all, but wound up branding me. Scott's originals are gone, and they're very difficult to find on the internet now, and the only ones I have left are like this. This is the first time I have ever shared that picture. The big deal was that the person in the picture had been playing her followers for a long time. Everyone believed her to be a young, savvy, hot vixen who knew her way around the industry. That she looks like the rest of us was a huge deal. Pictures of me raced around the internet, as well. There were other fans there who privately divulged their user names to me and asked me not to tell, but they wanted to meet me in secret so they wouldn't be shredded online for having been seen talking to me. The gossip bashing got so ridiculous that even the actors got pulled into the mess, and I wound up the focus of a witch hunt by one of the actors in his own forum. Over what? Most people would laugh and shake their heads. But you know what? I found out that day both how strong I am and that bad press rockets people to fame and glory. Bad press doesn't frighten me.
These are only two stories out of many more. I am well aware of how rough the internet can get, and how difficult it is balancing one's private life with being a public figure. That's where Scott has been a godsend. Scott doesn't care. All this hooplah is just silliness to him. His reality is about work and fantasy teams and deer hunting and his kiddo and her burrito. This week his reality is about his mom going through major surgery and having a sorta rough time with a couple minor complications, and the next couple of weeks his reality will be about her recovery and burrito's birthday and all kinds of other stuff.
I tell Scott **everything**. He knows everything that happens with what I do on the internet. He doesn't jump in and boss me around, he doesn't spy on me, he doesn't get jealous. But he does know everything. He's been through all my ups and downs with me, and he's the anchor that makes it all cool. I don't care what happens online, things are good in my house and I have rock solid support in everything I'm doing.
Many people I hang out with online don't have this kind of support at home. They are still learning how to juggle their real lives with their internet lives. They are mixed up about how to balance their public selves with their private selves. It's not easy. I've been doing this for twenty years. I've had professional PR advice, and I've sought professional guidance on how to handle social interaction. I've spent the last seven years working on becoming a better public figure. It's. Not. Easy.
I'm used to being privately contacted by all kinds of people. Private contact is usually temporary, sometimes I wind up with a really good friend here or there. Most of the private contact is about peeking out of caves and closets, taking little steps out into the bigger scary world. I've had lengthy private discussions through the years with people about mental illnesses, sexual orientations, self harm, being terminally ill, severe depression and anxiety, loss. Sadness. There is a lot of sadness out there. For some reason people feel compelled to tell me their stuff. Yesterday an Amish woman out of the blue told me all about her struggles with torn ligaments in her shoulder and the only recourse is a very expensive very complicated surgery. Her unspoken words were How can I have surgery? I don't have insurance, it's against my religion, I'm too young to lose complete use of my arm... I have an invisible sign over my head that says "I LISTEN", but I did also happen to know what she needed. I grew up without doctors because my Mennonite father didn't believe in them. I have some pretty horrific stories to tell. She needed someone who cared about her point of view.
I'm not a professional counselor. I'm not even a very good friend. I suck at all kinds of stuff. I'm more aspie than most aspies I've met. I'm oblivious to other people's feelings, I don't get jokes, and I'm very annoying to blurt. I'm comfortable with myself, however, because I accept who I am. I'm not afraid of people. I have been getting pounded and bashed and kicked in the head all. my. life. The reason people like me is because I don't do that stuff back. I've been through a lot of other people's meltdowns, in my jobs, in college, in relationships, online... I've been threatened with beatings, screamed at, even got a death threat. All these incidences were very public, some of them on jobs, some of it on film from MegaCon. Some of the private threats I've gotten are both stunning and laughable. I've got years of experience being mistreated. You know what? Every time someone does that I just get more powerful. It's like the screams they harvest in Monsters, Inc. Someone's canister pops and it's like magic fuel that makes even my softest whispers travel farther and faster than ever.
I'll tell you a big secret bonenado's keeping- I'm scary, too. And mean. You gotta be mean to get through mean stuff, like living with Nerve disorder's pain so bad it's called the 'suicide disease'. But that doesn't mean I will stoop to treating other people badly because I'm having a bad day. That's important, especially if a person is trying to find balance between their public and private life. We've all seen celebs go through very public epic fail. No one wants to be remembered for that kind of derp.
I have a lot of support now, something I never really thought I'd have but was determined to get my stuff done anyway. I have friends who make me feel pretty awesome and I'm really glad they are my friends. But even if I felt all alone (and some days I do, because depression lies), I would still be doing what I'm doing because I believe it's important. There are other people who feel the same way I do, this is just one example. "I want it to be perfect because a ton of it is about mental illness and that’s a subject I can’t half-ass because it’s that damn important." And not just mental illness. I've been through weird abuse and negligence that would curl your hair. It's important that we ALL start sharing. I see no faster way toward healing as a society.
Scott is watching all this. He is my biggest fan and I'm grateful for that. I know I'm super lucky he's my best friend. Even when he's grumpy he watches out for me and takes care of me. He is so used to my goofy ways that he automatically does all the little things. I noticed the other day that as he stepped off a curb in front of me, he automatically looked down and back and held out a hand. One year I needed his complete assistance to step off curbs, including him telling me they were there because my eyes were so bad I couldn't keep them open in sunlight, even in dark glasses. My muscles and joints were so bad that every movement was hellish, and falling was a constant risk. That was years ago. Scott has grown so tuned into to my every movement that he still automatically thinks ahead for me. He knows every derp I'll make before I make it, and he has never once mocked me for it, although he has laughed himself silly.
I know it's hard for people trying to find their balance without that kind of support. Hang in there. Scott and I have been practicing the public figure stuff for twenty years. We're holding our breaths about what will happen when I'm published and people we actually know in real life finally find us online. Yeah, I KNOW.