My emotions are all over the map

Four hours. I sat here for four hours, staring at the computer screen, debating on whether or not to even post. Am I being dramatic? Is this worry and doubt for nothing? I feel kinda dumb for even bringing it up, but I kinda sorta need to tell someone. It’s a long story, and probably boring for most people, but that’s my life. Boring. Although I prefer boring to dramatic. My emotions are already all over the board. I don’t need drama in my life. And this story could be so so SO much longer than what I have.

Keep in mind, this was all online, so this is all from my perspective and what can be construed from someone through the internet. It was all either on YouTube, Facebook or a personal website, although most of the things I explain here happened through Facebook.

I was a part of an art community for about five years. I “volunteered” a lot of my time, and about three and a half years ago I became pretty close to the head of the community. I’ll call her Abigail. (No, I’m not using any real names. I say “volunteered” because some of it was kind of forced on me. I told Abigail I didn’t want to do a bunch of the things she asked me to do and she gave me the tasks to do anyway instead of finding someone else. She knew I would do what she asked even if I didn’t want to. It made me very uncomfortable. Some of the things I did voluntarily and was happy to do, other things no so much.)

About two years ago I met another community member who I became pretty close to. I’ll call her Kristen. She was one of those people who pulled you in and made you laugh at the same time she drove you nuts. For about the last year, I wasn’t able to volunteer for Abigail the way I used to. I was still helping out somewhat when I could, but it wasn’t anywhere near as much as I used to. She used to message me within a few hours, at most a day, about what steps she wanted me to take if I messaged her about something to do with the community.

Early this year, Abigail started ignoring me instead of letting me know what to do. She read my messages. I could see she read them, but she never replied. She also lied to me about a couple of things last year. I felt like she didn’t want me there anymore. I told Kristen several times in the last year that I wanted to leave the community. She told me each time that I was being selfish and only thinking of myself. Abigail is a busy person. I needed to give her more time and be more lenient. To be fair, Abigail is busy, but it isn’t the first time she has ignored me, and she has messaged me a couple of times and apologized for ignoring me. BUT she also always messaged me within a month or so when she ignored me before. This last time there was nothing from her for a long time.

I left the community two months ago, in July of 2019. I sent Abigail a long note through messenger on Facebook about how I didn’t feel as if I was wanted or even needed in the community. I gave her the reasons why. I told her that I hope her community continues to thrive, I pulled myself out of everything that was related to the community. I was ready to move on. I knew it would be hard to leave a community I was with for so long, and I knew I would lose a bunch of so called friends who I met in the community. I lost some friends that I expected to lose, a bunch I didn’t expect to lose and kept a few that I thought I wouldn’t.

I also lost Kristen as a friend that day, the closest friend that I had in the community. Probably the closest friend ever in my life. I don’t have a lot of friends because my ptsd, anxiety and depression make it hard for me to let people in. I messaged Kristen that I left. I was completely heartbroken when I told her because, even though I did it willingly, it was still hard. It’s hard to close a chapter in your life that was important to you for so long, even when you want to do it. I didn’t stop crying for probably close to a month afterwards. I was looking for support from her. What I actually got was, she immediately messaged me and told me I was wrong for what I did, among a bunch of other things there was something to the effect that I was emotionally abusing Abigail for leaving. Apparently she didn’t really care about what I felt, as long as Abigail was happy. She invalidated my feelings and said they were wrong.

To be honest, two months later, I still am ready to be done with the community. There is where Maxine steps in. The day after I left the community, someone else from the community (I’ll call her Maxine) sent me a message and told me that Abigail was spreading around some nasty rumors about me, and that she (Maxine) was kicked out of the community because she defended me. I didn’t really know if Maxine was telling the truth as I’ve had little interaction with her and I wasn’t in any of the groups or sites to do with the community anymore, and I’m suspicious in nature due to my (insert your favorite bleep word here) family. In my heart, I couldn’t believe Abigail would do that.

I messaged Maxine back and told her I was sorry she was kicked out of the community, and that it doesn’t matter what Abigail says about me, I didn’t want to say anything bad about her. Trying to take the high road, I guess they call it. I really don’t want to sit here saying untruths about anyone. Honestly is the best policy, no matter how uncomfortable it makes a person. I try to be honest in everything, although I will admit there are times I have told some small untruths. I’m not perfect.

Maxine messaged me a couple of times after that and complained that Abigail wouldn’t talk to her, and I always tried to message her back and be supportive of whatever she was complaining about. To be honest, the last time Maxine messaged me about Abigail, I did ignore her for a week or two. She said Abigail finally was talking to her.

I just want to move on and get away from this community. It’s been two months. Two months. Why can’t I seem to get away? I just want to get away and be done with it.

I finally messaged Maxine and told her I was sorry it took so long for me to reply but I just really want to move on. The next time she messaged me was just to show me a painting she was working on. Found that to be a bit strange since she never did that before, but whatever. At least it was something different than her other messages. I was feeling a little free-er by then, because leaving that community was what I needed. I needed it so badly.

So Maxine messages me early this afternoon. Message just says, “Don’t know if you knew her, but I thought I should pass it on just in case.” And then there was a picture attached. It was a screenshot of a message Abigail sent her. It said Kristen passed away unexpectedly yesterday.

Kristen died on Saturday. She died. She died. She was only in her mid forties, and she died. I sat there, blankly looking at the computer screen for a while, probably for half an hour. And then I cried and then spaced out for a bit and then cried and then spaced out for a bit and then cried.

Kristen is dead. I haven’t been friends with her for two months. She’s dead.

My suspicious nature kicked in,especially with the conversations I’ve had with Maxine up until this point and I decided to search to see if I could find something that would confirm it. While in my heart I believe it to be true because of the screen shot, the picture could have somehow been manipulated with photo-shop or whatever program people are using these days. I need to see more proof than that. It’s too early for an obituary, I think, so I checked Kristen’s FB to see if there was anything written on her wall. There is nothing (that I could see.) The only thing was a public post she made two weeks ago complaining about a “former friend” was saying nasty stuff about her. I know she was talking about me because of things she said.

Except… I never said anything about her. I only ever messaged two other people to let them know I left the community and I was no longer friends with Kristen. I also messaged Maxine, but only when she initiated the contact and then I refused to say anything against anyone. But that was all. I never told any stories or rumors about Kristen or Abigail or any other community member. I’ve been on Twitch most of the time for the last four or so months, or I’ve been adulting. Thing is, I can’t really prove it unless I take screen shots of every conversation I’ve ever had on messenger, and at this point I’m not even sure it matters.

I mourned the loss of Kristen after we had that fight about me leaving the community. Do I even have the right to mourn her now? In reality, I lost her two months ago.

Should I message Abigail and tell her to watch out for Maxine, that she might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Or should I just let it go? I’m not sure she would take me seriously if I did send her a message, but I also don’t want someone spreading rumors like that about me.

If you believe in heaven, and if Kristen is there, then she already knows the truth.

My emotions are so all over the map today. I don’t know what I should think, or how I should be feeling, or which way to turn.

Four hours. I sat here and stared at the computer screen for four hours before I finally decided to type this up.

Sorry for such a long post. I didn’t know what category it should be in.

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Hi Daisy,

Wow, there’s so much here…not in a word count way, in the fact that there’s so many relational dynamics you’re trying to juggle – the previous disrespect of your boundaries and then eventual betrayal from Abigail, at the same time the potential misinformation from Maxine and the potential betrayal from her, and the beautiful connection and then tragic loss emotionally and then physically of Kristen…and that’s just the externals, not including the feeling of belonging and connection to this community, then the gradual wearing on your heart, and then the break, and then the longing and desire to return mixed with all of the relational events and how that’s flipped your heart back and forth between should I return or should I stay gone for good?

It’s so hard because literally every time something comes up from that community or about it, it feels like your heart returns to it as if it was never gone…it was such a deep part of your identity for so long, and you feel like there’s this part of you that longs to belong there again. So when there’s an opportunity to do that, a part of you – even if it’s just a part – lurches for that chance. But then it spirals with all of the other emotions and you re-experience all of the betrayal, the wearing down of your heart, the highs of what it felt like to be loved, and the lows of what it felt like to be cut out…

Feels like you’ve got so much going on in relation to this place, and it’s so hard to decide up from down.

“Why can’t I seem to get away?” – I used to ask myself the same question when my girlfriend of multiple years broke up with me in college…I kept getting hit by these waves of sadness…then the first person I wanted to talk to was her, which only compounded the problem…then I went back to my dorm and literally everything in there reminded me of her…there was a moment I had with myself where I realized I was causing myself more pain by allowing for her to be in my life in all of these small ways – social media, decorations, photos, being in my phone, etc. I did a purge because keeping it hurt me more than letting her go. When I did I was finally able to give space for my heart to heal as opposed to re-wounding it every day.

“Do I even have the right to mourn for her now?” If you feel the need to mourn, mourn! You have the right to feel whatever you need to feel.

“Should I message Abigail and tell her to watch out for Maxine?” I think involving yourself in anything with that community is unhealthy (re: “why can’t I seem to get away”). Additionally, I think your policy of not talking bad on anyone is a good one.

I hope that you get the space your heart needs to heal, and I hope that you can find a new place where you feel you belong <3


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Nate- Thank you for your reply.

What I don’t understand is why Kristen was so against me leaving the community- It’s the only thing we ever argued about.

I did purge MOST of the things in my life from my time there- the only thing is I learned most of my art skills from that community so I can’t get rid of everything unless I plan to never art or paint again- I got all of my paints, mediums and tons of canvases and whatnot while I was in that community- probably close to a thousand dollars worth of supplies, maybe even more than that. I took down all of the paintings that remind me of that community because they were associated with it, except for one because it’s so big it’s not even hanging and I’m not sure what to do with it. I’m not comfortable selling my artwork and I don’t want to just give it (the big painting) away. I usually don’t notice it anyway. I do give some artwork away. My icon is actually a painting I did for Big Cat Rescue in Florida and I make small paintings (trading card size) to give away.

I won’t say anything to Abigail unless she initiates contact first- I’m just disappointed that after all of that time in the community, even if it was only social media encounters, that either of them would believe I would go around to a random person (or even multiple people) and speak badly of anyone. I never did in all of that time. I know emotions are in play, and maybe that’s why they believe it.

Sometimes I wish I could give life a high five right in the face. :man_shrugging:

Yeah man it just sucks…the whole thing sucks…feels like it taints something that was so beautiful. I’m sorry, friend…

As far as Kristen, I can only guess, but maybe it was because she didn’t want to lose you. <3

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In case anyone is interested, I did find evidence that Kristen died on Saturday.