Back on March 8th I announced in a quick little paragraph on the front page of the site that I might be taking some time off from here because of some issues. I never delved too far into it. Outside of my good friends, those impacted by this all, and 1 or 2 people who i really feel are capable of keeping a secret, no one else knows even a fraction of the details.... and this post isnt going to really inform you fully. But, it will give a sliver of insight into the plethora of issues I have on my plate at this time.
Lets start off with, I made a LOT of mistakes in my personal life.
These issues have nothing to do really with my professional life. In that regard, whether you like what I say/do or not, I stand by my decisions in that section of my life. I feel I do what I do quite well.
For awhile now I have been aware that I have been involved in some unhealthy & unwise habits. I have been aware that I probably have been in need of some type of counselling/guidance/something for a long time. I know I act like a pompous know it all jerk sometimes on twitter, and unfortunately, that "know it all" part is a bit of a double edged sword in this case. I am smart enough to know I wasnt doing well. But "stupid" enough to think I could handle it myself. I knew I needed help, just too lazy to ask. Like most of society, I had the naive notion that I had my problems "under control". Ironically, I am the first to tell people that I think all adults should be in counselling. The world is just too complex & hard of a place for us to not have emotional baggage to work through by the time we are adults. Yet, it wasnt till I was essentially forced into a situation that I finally got my own. I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of that. I am also the first person to state, everyone is a hypocrite, myself included, on something or other in their life.
What was the final straw? An intervention/confrontation by some of the people I offended/emotionally hurt with my actions. The sad part of all of this is, what turned into some pretty nasty & ugly things I said/did were to people I admire & to their credit, they didnt just cut ties with me over it (yet?). I was nothing short of a monster to these people in the way I acted, and they still seemed in their actions to be as concerned with my well being as they were with getting some type of understanding of what I said/did to them. To give you some idea how much thought they put in to how to approach me on all of this. This was an issue they were aware of for 10 months, and for the past 6 weeks leading up to the intervention/confrontation, they got together daily, for several hours, discussing what & how to say everything they did say.. They could have easily 10 months earlier just stormed up to me and angrily pointed out the things I did and they would have been in their right to do so.... and frankly, had they done it, I wouldnt have blamed them too much. They really had every right to be angry with me, and while I am sure some level of anger is there, they also have shown compassion & concern.
That alone would have been a serious eye opening revelation that would have sent me reeling for the counselling that I now have sought. Hearing their anger/disappointment/disgust/concern over all of it would have been all that I needed. After all, I knew I needed it.... I just I guess had to hit "rock bottom" before I looked for it. But it of course, in typical Canadagraphs fashion, doesnt end with 1 problem. If I am going to have a serious life changing problem, there has to be multiple layers.
Due to what I said, I was asked to move out of my place. After all, the people I am talking about are part of the small community I was living in. Although they never actually said the words, it was kind of implied by the actions & tone of the talk, there was concerns with safety for some there. I didnt for a second dispute that their feelings were illogical. While I assured them I wouldnt be any type of physical threat to them and that obviously the things I did to make this issue even come up were done, I completely understood why that couldnt be enough of an assurance for them,.... so, I left, that night. There was a "plan" in place by someone they had come in to help them with this talk, but that seemingly fell thru, and for that... and a few more mistakes on behalf of the 1 party, I do hold some misgivings about how all of this played out. The short term plan was to have me go get a Psych exam, and I did. They took me to the hospital, I checked myself in...and after a couple of hours, mostly spent waiting in the waiting room... I was released because the Dr. didnt think I was a threat to myself or others. So, with that situation abruptly ended, I found myself officially homeless for the 2nd time in my life.
The first time I ended up homeless, it was about 2 weeks, and it was shortly after my mother passed away & happened because I lost a fight with my landlord at the time in a tenancy dispute only 3 days after her death when the moron in charge of the case opted to disregard EVERY single thing I submitted because it wasnt in on time..... that date that I missed btw for getting everything in by.... the day of my mothers death. That time I filled a few of those days with couch surfing at a next door neighbours place, then later spending nights sleeping in an internet cafe (ironically the very one I am typing this out in currently.... still in business 11 years later). Eventually, I was lucky enough to meet an advocate at First United Church in Vancouver who eventually put me in touch with the people who were my landlords for the past 11 years, till I messed that up.
This time, things were different. The last time, I had warning this was coming. This time, it was just dropped on me. I had so many things on my plate that I was trying to balance at that time. Work stuff, personal things, and the pointless little things that seem so important when your life is functioning on a semi-normal basis. One day, I had a house, my belongings at my disposal 24/7, internet, and the next.... none of those things. I spent 6 weeks homeless. Living in a homeless shelter. By the ways, I know that society has a horrible outlook on what a homeless shelter is, and I know that some of those absolutely exist, but I can tell you, from my experience, there IS some that are "as good as you can hope for". It wasnt obviously as good as having my own place, but it was a lot better than I envisioned it could be. I really do owe a huge thanks to the Lookout Society for keeping the one I was in reasonably clean, serving good food, and having a staff of experienced problem solvers. They were singlehandedly responsible for helping me find counselling, giving me advice on things to do with the problem I had, and most importantly, they found me my new place. The 1 ray of luck this disaster has shone down on me, is I found a place thats clean, and RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the downtown core, and it is even $25 cheaper than the last place I was at.... but, it is also 2x2 feet smaller.
So before you start thinking....well, sounds like crisis averted, all is well. Theres more to this story. Remember, I dont do single layered life changing problems. Mainly. legally, I might be in trouble. At first, the idea of any criminal investigation or even talking with the police about what I was doing wasnt even a serious notion in the initial talks. However, after more & more talks with some of the people, it seemed to everyone, I should go turn myself in & hope that it isnt. The biggest concern that came up was with the fact that someone I talked with online COULD potentially be a REAL threat to people, and I was really the only one that could offer information on that...... the problem is, by doing so, I would be turning myself in for things that I did that it turns out were illegal as well.
While I am aware that from a moral standpoint I was doing things that werent terribly nice, I never at any time would have considered them legally wrong. As it turns out, I may be wrong on that. As with the way I treat what I post on my site, I am pretty thorough on most everything I do. Including in my private life. Am I a saint? NO. I've gambled online. Viewed porn. Probably even been mean to someone enough that you could say that I bullied them. But do I think I did things that were terrible enough that criminal charges could ever come from them? No. In fact the very matter I am dealing with, I was "reasonably certain" that I hadnt. Since all this happened, I have read up on the Criminal Code of Canada, and it turns out I have. Now, that said, theres entirely the possiblity they dont actually charge me with anything. I'll be brutally honest, and this isnt me saying it because its me, its me saying it because I know the context of everything, I dont think there should be charges. If for no other reason than the parties impacted by it have already dealt with me, and I am dealing with them in trying to correct the issue, the crimes involved compared to what I have seem others charged under the same part of the law with, this is incredibly minor. Not to say what I did was nothing, just in the context of this part of the criminal code, its as minimal as it probably gets. I've used this analogy quite a few times in trying to explain it to others.
Theres two cars.
One is driving along, going about 4-8 MPH over the speed limit, when 1 of his passengers tells him hes done so, he goes and finds the first officer he can find & tells him what he did. Now legally, he committed a crime. Would an officer charge him? No, of course not. Would an officer even give him a speeding ticket? More than likely, probably not. Perhaps, at most he'll give him a warning, or tell him to go to a driving class. This is essentially, after doing lots of homework on this stuff, is where I see what I did comparison wise.
The second driver. He is doing 120 MPH over the speed limit. He has run a red light, he drove on a sidewalk, destroyed some property, and has been chased by the Police till captured. Now he committed the same crime (as well as others) as the first guy, he sped. Would an officer charge him? YES. Not even a question. That guy will absolutely end up with jail time. As he should. He knowing put the safety of society at risk and seemed unwilling to own up to it til caught. This is what I would call the type of cases the part of the code applicable to what I did was made for and seems to ACTUALLY go after.
One of the positives thats come out of this so far (hopefully permanently) is the thing that got me into this trouble, I have managed to completely ignore doing since. I had done varying degrees of this stuff for several years.... and had tried quitting a couple times, and eventually, boredom kicks in and I would resume my ways. But I dont ever recall those other times, having the complete lack of interest in trying to do it again, where as the times prior, there was always the interest to... just was mentally trying not to.
There is however a plethora of negatives from it.
First, I dont have my computer, and 1 of my external hard drives which were VOLUNTEERED (not "seized" as 1 detective claimed in an email he sent me.... cant seize something thats given to you), this means I have had to work from internet cafes (like the one 11 years ago that I am currently in) and at the library. This is why I havent been able to post blogs nearly as often. It is why my photos have big watermarks on them and seem to not be as well lit as before, because I dont have my program for doing that at my disposal now. Thankfully my external with 99.9% of my bts/candid celeb photos I got back... but I am still missing 3-5 sets that I shot in February that I clearly will not get back in time to ever use.
Secondly, having the discussions with my friends about it. There was a lot of confusion from some, as well as even more questions. Thankfully my friends know me well enough to know when I explain to them WHY & HOW I ended up where I did, that it wasnt intentional & not who I am. More than one of my friends even stated they arent shocked at what I did, just that I did something in it that was illegal.
Third. Its been bad for my business. The 6 weeks without my belongings at my disposal 24/7 cost me a lot of work opportunities, and even more sales, as I had NO access to my belongings for about 10 days, and then after that, was working out of my storage locker, then out of a friends spare bedroom an hour away. It made doing things efficiently, impossible, and in turn it cost me a few "I need this soon" type of sales. Luckily, one of the other local dealers here gave me some work on some days early on when he knew I needed the help. So I wasnt completely incapable of working, just vastly limited in how much.
Fourth. Its cost me financially. Theres been a plethora of costs I usually wouldnt have in a month, including the fact I now pay for internet by the hour, instead of using the monthly internet I STILL am paying for (oh contracts how I hate you). Theres the fact the area I live in now will cost me more for food, as there isnt the same places to buy groceries here, not unless I want to take an extra long bus ride now. Theres even more financial issue to come, as I owe the people I hurt $$ for costs they incurred in working on how to deal with this. They put out their own $ & time on the matter, and it is wrong for them to have to have taken that on... so eventually I need to pay that back as well. So this is going to cost me a lot of ways financially.
Fifth. Definitely some shame/humiliation/pride thats been swallowed over all of it. Even IF there was no legal issues over it all, having the people I offended confront me was a pretty humbling experience in itself... and all the pieces that followed has added onto that even more. Telling some of my friends what happened was difficult. Even writing this, despite not delving into major details, is pretty humbling. If all of that isnt enough, dont forget 1 of the parties offended/hurt by all of this is/was someone I had a lot of interest in. Theres been a LOT of things from this entire situation thats sucked, but thats definitely high on that list.
Sixth. Mental health. I have definitely struggled with that I think for a long time. I am obviously not "mentally ill" as society likes to label it with an easily recognizable "disease". But I clearly am not a person who is also completely fine. I am functional, but that doesnt make me well. While I definitely brought on the issues I am dealing with now, it still goes on this list, that the stress, and anxiety and probably even some physical issues I deal with all the time, has been compounded by all of this. Not a day has gone by since all of this unfolded that I havent thought about some aspect of it at least a few dozens times. Its mentally exhausting. Its a larger reason than not having my computer on why I havent done a lot of blogging lately, I just am not mentally focused enough to do them efficiently.
Mostly though, knowing I hurt the feelings, and possibly done long term emotional damage to some people, including a couple that I think are pretty amazing people, from what I said/did is the largest negative of all of this. Thats also not me saying it to give them a pseudo apology... I am actually working on that separate from this which WONT be public since its for THEM and not everyone, and I dont expect them to ever see this, I have no intention of telling them about it. This is to "inform" my followers/viewers a bit on what is going on with me.
So now you know..... a bit more. With any luck, I will never have to come here to explain any more. Comments will be closed for this post....because it isnt a place where people should speculate, because you will almost certainly be wrong. Its also not really a post where you should say "its ok, hope everything works out" because really, your basing that off my interpretation of things & knowing of me thru autographs, awards & blog posts I bring you. Like the celebs you come here to admire, just remember.... no ones perfect. Myself included.
Today is January 27, 2016. To most people, this is just another day on the calendar. To some, its probably a special anniversary or birth date. To others, it might be something different. A reminder of something less joyous.
Today is important, whether you were born on this date, got married on this date, or simply don't have a personal attachment to it.
Today is Bell Lets Talk day. A day when 1 of Canadas largest telecommunications providers uses their influence and deep pockets to spur on the idea of getting people talking about, and hopefully helping deal with, Mental Health issues in our society.
The Bell Lets Talk cause has been around since 2010 and has now raised over $100 Million dollars to help people with Mental Health issues.
Everyone who has even a moderate amount of people in their life has someone they know who has a mental health issue. Some of you even reading this surely have ones as well. It is no longer that rare thing that people whisper about behind peoples backs, and the Bell Lets Talk cause has really helped with that. Just as many of us know someone who did suffer from any variety of mental health issues, that is no longer with us because of it. This movement is about helping to prevent that from happening again.
Today (till 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time) any tweet or Retweet made with the hashtag "BellLetsTalk will be met with a 5 cent donation from Bell.
As well, any share of their Facebook posts today will also be bet with a 5 cent donation.
While the site itself doesn't have at least not an easy to find one) place to donate directly, there are plenty of places you CAN donate if you want to set up a social media challenge like the one I did on twitter.
As for this blog post. For each unique user view it gets today, I will also donate an additional 5 cents (along with my twitter donation) to the Canadian Mental Health Association of British Columbia. For each comment FROM A UNIQUE USER, I will donate 10 cents, up to a maximum of $25.
So after you are done reading this, comment on it. Everyone has a story of someone they know who is dealing with mental health issues, or has in the past. Then share it with your friends, family etc. Then go on twitter and tweet, a LOT using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, and go on facebook and share their posts.
But most importantly, be willing to listen, and talk to anyone who may need it. Not just today, but especially today.
You can find more info on the Bell Lets Talk cause HERE
For the Bell Lets Talk Twitter account HERE
For the Bell Lets Talk Facebook page HERE
For the Canadian Mental Health Association HERE
About this blog
Canadagraphs personal blog page - rants, praise, observations and opinions.