Can I be real a second?

Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond? Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second? — George Washington in Hamilton: An American Musical

Hi there. I’ve been quiet here lately. Even setting aside this place, my overall output has been inconsistent at best.

I’m going to be honest. Bare my soul to show the scars kind of honest.

Things haven’t been great. Not for a while.

I mean, it’s not like that’s news. Anybody who’s been paying attention can’t help but notice that.

But the last few weeks? They’ve seemed especially anti-great. I’ve been a simmering cauldron of rage and despair.

In the wake of the Weinstein story, there has been a lot of discussion, debate, and hot takes. In one sense, this is a good, important thing. There’s a lot of garbage that has been dredged up. A notable increase in the amount of people stepping up and saying, “We’ve had enough of this crap.”

I mean, there’s a lot of negative shit that’s come up as well. Exemplifying the reason it really needs to be stomped on. Hard.

It’s not just in Hollywood. The RPG industry (such as it is) has been dealing with this kind of stuff as well. And there are folks standing up and saying, “Enough.”

It’s awful. And necessary. And painful.

It’s also dragging up a whole bunch of personal stuff. I’ve been stewing on it for several days now.

Back in my teens and early twenties, I was an angry, repressed, unhappy young man. I was abusive, directly and indirectly, to people that were close to me.

I read these accounts. Stories being shared by courageous women (and men), stepping up and shining a light where it needs to be shined. Willing to take the abuse that will inevitably follow. And I think back to shit I did 20 years ago (or more). And I see my behavior then in today’s light, and I am ashamed.

I was a selfish, self-centered jackass who was more concerned with his own feelings, his own gratification, desperately trying to fill a void, make sense of his life. And being totally inconsiderate of other people, and their comfort, and their feelings. I have no doubt that I came across as a creep at times. I have no doubt that I made some women uncomfortable.

And then there’s the stuff I didn’t do, but witnessed, and that may have done the same.

If any of those women somehow find their way to reading this, know that I am sorry. I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I was so wrapped up in my own petty, egocentric, narcissistic bullshit that I couldn’t see how what I was doing hurt you. I am ashamed of it. Nobody deserves to be seen, or treated, in that way.

I have spent the last several years trying to be better. I’m far from perfect.

And even with this post, I feel like I’m hijacking the conversation. Making it about me. That’s not my intent. Not really. And I’ve been trying to peck out an ending to this. Figure out how to wrap it up.

I’ve been staring at this for a while wondering if I’m even going to post it. Because I’m scared. (For reasons that are their own neurotic ball of joy.)

I guess…

I’m sorry. I hear you. I believe you.