Alexander Gordon Jahans
Life is still tough and the anxiety over the offense I have caused has not gone away, merely broadened. It wasn’t just the fanfic and it never was. I grew up in a toxic environment and I learned it as though it were normal. I don’t know how much of this is autism and how much is stupidity but as I look back over the stances I have taken I realise how dodgy and gross some of them were. It’s easy to bicker about the issues with feminism for example when you have never needed it.
I’m not a monster but I am a privileged idiot who has been parroting toxic ideas from a position of ignorance.
In some ways I am tempted to never actually release the document that is still called BDSM And The Art Of War. Schrodinger’s Amy, the story that ties into the collection I am writing, tells the essential story and the consequences they set up anyway. I still keep Green Eyed Nothing in the canon and that has never been released.
I have laid the ghost over my guilt of that fanfic to rest and instead I have to face the reality that I have been an arsehole and I need to radically improve my writing and the way I speak when I am around people. My lack of a filter means I have been incredibly creepy. I think the thing that I can mention because it isn’t too terrifying but does neatly sum up this stupid lack of self awareness happened one time at a convention recently. After a panel on writing in wrestling I went up to one of the panelists, a woman wrestler who could have snapped me like a twig, and proceeded to lament my inability to not write submissive women in my fiction.
I am clueless and I wake up terrified over how creepy I must have seemed to people at different points. I guess this is why I talk about Doctor Who so much. It’s a safe mental store of bullshit to churn out when I can’t think. Did I really tell the host of a panel on environmentalism in genre fiction that I was using cannibalism in fiction to put people off their meat? I mean that is why I write such horrifying stuff but how creeped out would you be if a six foot nervous guy started telling you about his cannibal fiction?
I swear I am too fucking awkward to live. I am a writer - Well, I am a person who writes a lot - but my ability to think through how my words will be received and interpreted is shit. It’s not just transphobia or misogyny, it’s a general blindness to how I am coming across. How much of that is autism? How much of that is me?
Maybe I should take up nice safe hobbies that I can’t be accidentally creepy or offensive about? I mean when your whole life is writing stories about horror and bdsm and you quite literally don’t have anything else to say beyond repeating jokes you heard on a letsplay or podcast or talk about politics. Mind you even there I find myself hoping people don’t ever hear out of context moments from the podcasts I have been writing.
Everything was so much simpler when I was just the guy who talked about sharks all the time.
Anyway, that’s me. Stupid as fuck.
I wrote half a million words on the subject of abuse, ptsd and monsters trying to seek redemption. I come away happy that it was written, glad of the insights I have gained, exorcised of toxic narcissistic guilt, happy with the progress made for my story collection and aware that I am still healing from the harm I have suffered from others and the dread of how I come across to others.