Two years of PTSD, nightmares, a suicide attempt, psychiatric care. Two years of daily paranoia and agoraphobia, grinding anxiety and periodic panic attacks. Sleeping pills almost every night. It's been longer than two years, but has only recently begun to seem anything like past. Two years with too much to think about and a life to put back together besides. A life in which, despite what anyone may say, i had already begun turning a major corner well before i even left California. A life half wasted among the lost, petty souls and toxic, half-baked crusades of the radical left.
I spent the greater part of my adolescence risking my health, safety and friendships trying to be an agitator; when i finally started getting some people pretty agitated, i was punished for it by people who i'd thought were (at least vaguely) on my side. I had so many chances to notice that all the actively radical people i ever came in contact with were just as crazy as i was, but we were all too busily caught up spinning our webs of codependent psychopathologies, just like in any 'terrible community'.
To use a word like 'community' in a purely appreciative sense today is to not understand one's times. Communities of true believers need bogeyman and antagonists to hold themselves together, pure evil as counterweight to the 'community''s inherent goodness and warmth. When the chosen enemies are too powerful, like capitalism, the state, patriarchy, etc, it's easier to find a whipping boy within the ranks. Preferably someone who has trouble getting along with people and has made a nuisance of himself to leadership figures. Preferably someone who's been targeted before in the milieu's beloved game of compulsive denunciations and self-righteous slanders. So many people who knew nothing or next to nothing of me, those i supposedly 'wronged', or the specifically alleged incidents and histories (which of course have yet to surface in any explicit and accountable form), were willing to believe any libelous gossip the rumor mill could churn out. People acquire power and influence in these scenes by making denunciations and ostracizing people; they make people scared of them, and feel the glowing certainty of holy warriors. And of course, preferably someone already leaving, who wouldn't dare return to the scene to face its secret kangaroo courts of 'general opinion' and dysfunctional 'accountability processes' that have never helped anything, or be supported by his 'comrades' for having left their ranks, but who would - in fact incidentally - be scarred irreparably, and prevented from living a normal life ever again.
...do you really think i'm that stupid? Or evil? I guess you could if you didn't know me. Or if you met me a few years ago, you would know that i could be pretty stupid. But, and for the last time, i have never had a malicious, violent or dominating bone in my body. The few acts of violent struggle i engaged in as anarchist, besides being few and far between, required tremendous force of will; in which i was never trying to hurt any living thing but attack a system of domination i saw as harming all life. Nevertheless, many anarchists including me have glorified violence, and it is for that if for anything that i feel guilty, and ultimately self-defeating. But for the last time, i have never and would never hurt or take advantage of anyone in a vulnerable or trusting situation. Anyone who actually knows me can tell you this: my family, my partner of 2+ years, any of our friends. Meantime, i only sleep soundly because i know that i possess effective and legal means of physical self-defense; psychic self-defense is not so easy to come by. I have been under psychiatric care, am still on medication and feeling better. But i feel like my life is going to forever be soaked in darkness and lived looking over my shoulder, preparing to defend myself.
I've had enough of this. I've had enough.