Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thank You

The outpouring of support and unconditional love which has come as a result of this post has been nothing short of astounding. I have been called beautiful, brave, an inspiration and all sorts of other wonderful things. 

While I am indeed grateful for these compliments, I need to explain to you how my brain processes them so that maybe you can understand how I feel.
  • Why is everyone calling me brave? All I've done is say "Hey, I wear a mask, and here's the real reason why." I'm still completely chickenshit because I still hide behind that mask. How is this at all courageous? Courage would be if threw the damn mask away and posted under my real name and showed my real face. Anonymity is cowardice. 
  • Why is everyone supporting me? I'm just a voice in the wilderness. 99% of you have never met me. What have I done to earn this amount of love? Because I feel like I've done nothing to deserve it. For whatever reason, my heart or my brain or whatever has decided that I need to earn goodwill, acceptance and love, like it was a paycheck I could cash at the end of a week's worth of working my ass off at being love-able. 
  • Seriously, have you all gone insane? I'm not worth this. Go get your heads checked. Don't waste this on me, I can't appreciate it (see above points). Spend your emotional currency on someone who deserves it, like your family or your friends or that homeless guy down the street, because (perversely) even though I crave affection and acceptance like a junkie jonesing for a fix, I just can't take anything that's freely offered. 
And then, way, way down the list of neurotic "They're just being polite, they don't really mean it" BS, we finally get to
  • Still and all... I am completely flattered by all the well-wishing. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it's not appreciated. 
Before anyone gets offended, I want to point out that it's not a deliberate reaction. I don't mean to spit in anyone's face. I've just lived with the belief that I am ugly and unlovable for so long that I am a bit like an abused dog who thinks that every hand coming in for a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears is actually another punishing blow. I wince reflexively in anticipation of the strike because it will hurt less that way. 

Or, to put it another way:  I'm not calling you a liar. I honestly believe that you believe it. Now you need to help me believe it, too. 

Ye gods, I am needy and high-maintenance, aren't I?  In fact, the geekiest compliment I ever got was about high-maintenance I am:

"Erin, you are like the Millennium Falcon. You need constant attention and TLC or you'll break down. But when you find that one person who is willing to devote that much effort to you, you outperform everything else in the galaxy."

The sweetest thing that's been said to me so far has been from A Girl and Her Gun (who is basically the gunblog community's girl next door):
I know we are not the same. We don't think or feel the same and our experiences are not one. I mean this only as a way of trying to share and nothing more. Sometimes it doesn't really matter why someone cares or even if we deserve it (we deserve it by the way), sometimes it is healing for both us and those trying to offer support if we just accept the gift. We are all hurting, struggling, dealing with life and most of us recognize a piece of ourselves in others struggles. The details often are different and how each one manifests itself is surly not the same, but the feelings of wanting to be accepted and loved are universal. Few are brave enough to admit those struggles and even fewer are willing to have the courage to accept help and make positive changes in their own life. Courage comes in all forms. Exposing yourself to a group of people who may judge you is a very brave step. You reached out and it's ok to accept the hands reaching back.

You don't have to change anything to be accepted. Many people wears mask, but they do it more slyly. If you are unhappy, that is the only reason to think about making some positive adjustments, otherwise maybe just let others like you and accept you.

Not meaning to lecture or be long winded.
Well now. That wasn't a lecture -- that was a love letter. And now I'm all sniffly and weepy.

And now, as a thank you to my readers for wading through this self-indulgent crap, I give you PONIES WITH GUNS.  Enjoy!

Art of the Tactical Carbine by Vombavr

M14 EBR, also by Vombavr

assdfdsgsg by stupidyou3

Mares in Black by Template93


  1. Day um , you ain't the hot babe that I've always envisioned ?
    Well shit, guess anyone who likes Pink Ponies can't be all bad either...

  2. #1. Yep. bravery isn't telling people you're afraid. Bravery is facing that fear.

    #2. I don't get it either. Best I can say is, you sound like a fun person. People like to be around people they see as fun. Maybe it's programmed. Women get patted on the head and encouraged. We can't help but do it. BTW, can we assume that you are, in fact, female?

    #3. Well at least you are self aware enough to see that you are begging for attention.

    So what are you going to do about it? You could go be awesome, or you could just hide and pretend to be someone else. That's pretty much your choice.

    Sadly, I can't saw off some of my arrogance and give it to you. You'd have more, I'd have less and we'd probably both be better off.

  3. .. I'm not really sure how I feel about your comment. 

  4. 1. Just because it's easy for others, doesn't mean that it's not hard for you.  Bravery is doing the hard things that you know need to be done.  Especially when it's something the other people assume you can do with ease.

    2. Well, for starters, you're the type of girl that likes posting pictures of ponies with guns... which is awsome.  Other than that, I'd say "sorry, gonna have to accept that there are people out there that actually like you."

    3. Are we crazy? ummm.... possibly, but that's a damn shame.  We still like you.

    As for the "hiding behind a psuedonym" part, don't worry about it.  I probably have more people that know me by "Oddball" than by my real name, once you get outside of those that work with me.  We are who we are.  After hanging around enough hackers and gamers, I can tell you that the name doesn't matter.  I once had to explain to my grandmother that "yes, my roommate's name is Dementia."

    Oh, and one more thing... I think you just inspired a post on my blog. :)

  5. I think you just inspired a post on my blog

    Oh Christ, now I'm REALLY worried. 

  6.  Annnd it's up (

    Also, Naienko has a great quote on a fridge magnet that her mom gave her: "Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"  -Mary Anne Radmacher

    Thought it was fitting.

  7.  Annnd it's up (

    Also, Naienko has a great quote on a fridge magnet that her mom gave her: "Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"  -Mary Anne Radmacher

    Thought it was fitting.

  8. Ms. Erin--OK, so you use avatars, big deal.  here's what I say:

    If we ever go shooting together, I'm gonna make sure we go to the upscale range and let everyone see that I'm shooting with you! 

    Your blog is refreshing, and has corrected some  misconceptions I have held for years, to include some about My Little Ponies!

    It take courage, not to go forward unafraid, but to go forward when afraid.  you're brave, and I'm pretty sure your cool as sherbert! 

    Dysphoria or not, I think you're a cool woman.

  9. I'm glad A Girl made the best comment.

    Especially as it meshes with her post here:

    You are many things but you are not harmful without cause and you are not boring.  That counts for a lot.

  10. A Girl is Best Pony!  ;)

    (Another image from Vombaver.)

  11. In today's society I see a lot of people who fall through the cracks.  I see lots of liberals who are only willing to help people they can pity.  I have a strong calling to help the people who are being forgotten, the people who aren't making the newspapers.  I'm slowly putting myself through Unitarian-Universalist seminary to get the training and credentials so that maybe I can help some of the forgotten people.

    In the mean time, you may want to find a 12-step program to help with your attachment to those plastic guns...

    You own a Mosin-Nagant, so it's a step in the right direction.

  12. In the mean time, you may want to find a 12-step program to help with your attachment to those plastic guns...

    *rolls eyes*

  13. Erin,

    Regardless of the fact that it's a pseudonym, "Erin Palette" is, for all intents and purposes, your name when you put yourself forth in the online community. As Erin, you have a rep and a history. You're not anonymous and your bravery is commendable. 
    All of us deal with issues of love and acceptance. And your act of reaching out is as much a blessing to us as, hopefully, our responses are to you. 

    Love can't be earned. Only accepted and given. It's not currency. It can't be owned, or bought and therefore, can be lost. A lot of people appreciate you. Your writing these posts, shows you have the courage to deal with that idea. I would like very much, to see you choose to believe it. Take care,James

  14. #1) On the bravery thing, yes you were brave in admitting that you have a problem.  Not only did you admit it, but you stated it to the world.

    While  you may have done it under a pseudonym you did so under one that many of us recognize. You didn't go create a new blog to vent, you blogged under an existing one where there is a large group of people who know you under the pseudonym.

    Admitting weakness is an extremely difficult thing, humans like most animals are wired against it.  There was no reason that you needed to share that intimate detail with us, even from behind the curtain of your avatar.  But you did.  Not only that but you did it from an avatar recognized throughout a community you're active in.  As you said, you care what a person thinks, more specifically that you would care how we reacted.  While I could never see anyone in this community react negatively towards you and that post, it still is was a risk.

    #2) As for why we're listening, that's quite simple.  You're our friend and we know you'd do the same for us.  As A Girl said, you have worth and your friends around you know it.  Even if you hide behind an avatar, we don't care, there is still a person behind it worthy of respect.

    What have you done to earn it?  You've been kind and respectful to the rest of us.  You got some of us hooked on MLP and give most of us a good laugh, especially when we need it.  You provide a voice that is worth hearing.  If you didn't why would any of us listen.

    #3) You are family.  It's not a waste of our energy and we aren't merely freely offering it.  Do you think any of us would provide this kind of moral support if say you were Robert Farago?  No, your payment is that just like that when someone ends up in the dumps you go and send a MLP with a gun picture... Or you break out a video of a MLP with a Bass Cannon.

    This isn't a group of people arguing over who's gonna pay the check at the restaurant.  This isn't us merely throwing monetary items at you.  This is us giving emotional support to a friend and member of the extended family.

    Yes I am going to be here whether you like it or not.  If I'm in GBC, feel free to PM me, bump me on twitter, the facebooks, whatever.  A Girl has made the comments about this community she has for a reason.  You're discovering it first hand, you just can't currently believe it.  That's OK, one day you will be able to.

  15. "Why is everyone supporting me? I'm just a voice in the wilderness."

    This is true. But you are an intelligent voice in the wilderness and that's rare.

  16. A voice worth listening to is still worth listening to when in the wilderness. Sometimes listening takes a little more effort, like to a friend of mine with spasticity.

    You can't spend emotional currency. Talking (and listening) to a formerly homeless guy every once in a while for several years wasn't much, but seeing him sobering up, taking better care of himself, getting and keeping a steady job, and moving into a flat was a real reward.
    Massaging away a friend's painful hardened muscles resulted in me discovering that I can do Reiki, even without official training.

    As for supporting friends and family - I try to follow the lyrics from "The End" by The Beatles:
    And in the end
    the love you take
    is equal to
    the love you make.


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