Ramble: In Twitter You Shouldn’t Trust

by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. -Friedrich Nietzsche

The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be- and when they’re not, we cry. -Unknown

This weekend has been about revealing truths and half-truths. This is only my third blog in this space and I promised myself I wouldn’t turn it into a personal diary, so I won’t. I just wanted to get this off my chest a bit.

This first week of 2010 has been about stripping the residue of 2009. I was hoping for a hot bath, instead, it’s been more like that Silkwood shower (Youtube it). My dear friend, Saeed Jones introduced me to the power of chanting in Nichiren Buddhism. It has been one of the most cleansing and centering experiences I’ve had in a long time. It’s helped me steady when the wind is too much like tsunami in me. If anything, it gives me moments of comfort and balance where I can speak and listen a bit more clearly. If you know anything about me (or know me via Twitter or Facebook), you know that that the rapid fire exchange of words and ideas is right up my alley. That’s how my brain works. Twitter… oh how you’ve ruined my life. But this isn’t about that. This is about people. And trust and learning to be careful what you ask for because the universe will make certain you receive it in a truckloads. I’ve been chanting for clarity and truth to be revealed.
And it has been. Part of me wishes I could put it back and take a time machine to Thursday and ask for something else. But the part of me that knows all of this is necessary is grateful that I’m loved enough to receive exactly what I ask for… um… even if what I ask for is usually more bank account in the 7 figures  than “you see those people you thought were your friends? Yeah. Well, they’re not.” I was supposed to have learned that in the 6th grade. I’ve always been a little slow… 

Remember a few sentences up when I said my brain was all over the place? Yeah. It’s still true. Because now I’m thinking about regrets. A few months ago, I tweeted/twambled about my years long battle with bipolar II disorder. I don’t often talk about it in that much detail because it’s not something that I’ve found OTHER people are comfortable with.  At the time, I received an outpouring of love and support and encouragement. It was very empowering and it helped me to finally start the book I was too afraid to write for the last 5 or so years. I felt that being open about my life with mental illness would help others feel less alone. I remember how alone I felt when I was first diagnosed. I honestly believed I was the only twenty-something, black woman on the planet with this particular disorder. I had no other proof. As a matter of fact, I didn’t meet another black woman with bipolar II disorder until 2 years ago. It was like that scene in Color Purple when Nettie and Celie reunite (that happens right? I’ve never actually seen all of the Color Purple movie all the way through. In my defense, I’ve read the book like twice… so… I’ll be keeping my black card thank you. It’s overdrawn anyway.) I met one and then I met another and they were brilliant and successful and I loved them instantly. I loved that they were able to spot me like Where’s Waldo after a few hypomanic interactions. I felt like I belonged somewhere.  And because of that overwhelming feeling of joy and interconnectedness, I became a bit more open about my struggles. I was open about what it felt like and what it meant when I did something a bit “quirky” or “overwhelming”. I’m painfully self aware so I tend to come off shy and withdrawn until I get comfortable just so that I won’t be “too much”. I know how draining it can feel to be friends with someone with mood disorders. So I’ve learned that it it’s up to the person with the mood disorder to temper their behaviour a bit. Have one or two friends that you trust that will understand what it means and how difficult it is to live let alone watch. I draw boundaries for myself. I give myself space when I’m involved in situations that trigger anxiety or depression or hypomania. I remove people and things that don’t respect that. These are the decisions I have to make.And up until very recently, I don’t share some of the ins and outs with people I’ve just met or strangers. They never fully understand.

I thought sharing on Twitter was a good idea.  I needed to get it out and I wanted folks to listen. I wanted them to understand themselves or their cousin or their mom or their old college roommate a bit more. To know that they weren’t just being standoffish or obnoxious or my favorite “draining and too much”. I was also having an episode and was acting out. Twitter was about exchanging ideas quickly. And it worked well with the rapid fire circle of words in my head.  Full ramble can be found here:

http://basseyworld.tumblr.com/post/233932988/twamble-admitting-that-you-need-help-and-sleep

Afterward, I was overwhelmed by tweets and DMs expressing so much gratitude and various choruses of “me toos”. It was amazing. And it made me feel like the slight tinge of regret for doing it was worth it. I wanted to remove the stigma at least in the circles I danced in.  What I do regret is being as open because for all the supportive, there are the others who use the openness to make snide and assumed “backchannel” observations. Putting their own spin and definition on moments. Thanks to the devil that is Formspring, a lot of it has been called to my attention.

The whole point of my opening up was so that when these confusions and frustrations take place, you can JUST ASK ME. ASK ME. Tell me that I’m too much. Ask me to step back a bit. Tell me that you’re overwhelmed.  It’s not fair to me or you to take it on and then forget to mention it when it’s too much.  But here’s what I will say: You will never have to worry about my moods or my moments ever again. I regret ever opening. I honestly do. I also regret some of the people that entered during that time. The ones whose smiles flashed support and their eyes cut to the side so fast, they would have leyomi dropped out of your head.

So yeah, maybe I was taking Twitter a little too seriously. I took it as a fantastic playground cocktail party of like minded individuals, teaching and learning and sharing ideas and information and laughing and supporting. And allowing folks the space to be who they are. Isn’t that why we fell in love with Twitter? Because you could be you, unapologetic.  You in all the strange and random and Jermaine Jackson’s hair that it is.

Dream Hampton famously tweeted three things that I need tattooed to my wrists and neck:

  • Don’t treat twitter like your sacred sister circles.
  • Sometimes people are just mistakes in your life; not lessons.
  • Life is hard, twitter shouldn’t be.

For those that helped me create twitter’s version of a sacred sister circle, I am grateful for your honest and true and liberating friendship. For those who are the mistakes and not the lessons, karma ain’t half as cute as I am. But I wish you well… um… actually, I wish you well enough. Or I wish it doesn’t itch too badly.

And for that life is hard, twitter shouldn’t be. Nothing should be. Nothing should be at all. So for that, it’s not worth it. I’m going to build another way. Fashion it out of trust and truth and honor and flood lights.

I’m not perfect but I will be the first person to admit that. So I’ll also usually be the first person to be blamed for it. Long hair; don’t care.

This was hella long and not even well written. Oh well, blame the Ambien I took about an hour ago. Next blog will be about something more awesome. And it will have pictures! And um… video! And… a button where you can get free candy! And… um… making out and stuff… it’ll be way awesome.

See how Ambien does? It just makes you feel like you could talk forever.

Anyway, love someone and mean it. It’s the mean it part that people tend to forget. They claim love and hold love but when they’re confronted by something that makes them own it, the shrivel. Don’t trust those people. Don’t tweet them either.

Love someone and mean it. If they don’t mean it, then you must leave it…. *sigh* where is Johnny Cochran to make that sound more awesome? *pours some henny out for the forgotten.*

Tomorrow’s blog will be about unicorns and Pharell’s fabric softener (I’ll give you a hint: tinkerbell’s wings).

You’re welcome,

Bass.

PS and in your DM conversations when you talk about how childish and passive aggressive this blog was, I’d like you to know the real pronunciation of my name. It’s Bassey. Pronounced “ahhhh” like a sigh. *deuces*

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