wordsmythe: (fairy)
[personal profile] wordsmythe
I've mentioned here before that I'm someone who watches ASMR videos because they help me calm my anxiety, relax me, etc. That's what they are meant to do. The people who make them are typically really giving, kind people. They are also, well, people.

One of them, a woman known as Springbok, left her channel. I'm scared for her. She has her own mental illness to contend with and the trolls and people just *needing* her so much have just pushed her too far. She posted a farewell video but it has been made private. I'm including the transcript in full. It shows her beautiful spirit and also the horrible way that internet trolls and people without boundaries treat content creators like robots.

The transcript is behind the cut. It's one of the most terrible and beautiful things I've read. I am scared that her mental illness may take her completely. I hope not. I hope not.



"Hi guys.
I felt there were some of you that deserved more of an answer, so I'll try to...
Making asmr videos has been the happiest thing I've ever done. But at the end of the day, you're all right about me. I'm sensitive. It's really hard for me to accept the tribal knowledge that confronting issues that are deeply problematic in a rapidly evolving social system like the internet is somehow backward. Or naïve.
I'm not the person for this job. I never saw it as a job. People asked me, like they ask most creators, if they would open a donation page, so they could donate to get better equipment to support what we do, and every time I see someone set up a Paypal page, a donation page, we do that even though we never ask for it in our videos- I can't think of a single artist who asks for money in their videos, ever- we say ok. We set up the Paypal. We get the good mic. Then people tell us we're not really using the equipment as well as we should. So a lot of us take classes, a lot of us read books, a lot of us buy software. We buy recorders, cameras, lighting, things like that. And people ask. People asked me for months and month to set up a Patreon. I was mixed about it, until i realised it was chance to send you guys little letters, care packages, which brought me a lot of joy. At that time I was really ambitious; I believed that asmr was actually going to become the thing that I really really did. I have so much costume and setup that I guess probably won't ever get seen.
If you read my blog, if you really hear me, you'll have learned a few things about me. I'm bipolar. I've had that diagnosis since I was a child. Recovering from a lifelong eating disorder- thats why I would wear a wig at the beginning, because I was ashamed my hair wasn't full enough, since chunks of it had fallen out over the years. At the beginning people would call me stupid, they said I seemed vacant, like a dumb blonde, and that I wasn't accessible. And then I became more comfortable. You all shared a lot with me, and it made me feel like I should share back with you. Then people said I was trying to get sympathy.
There was an incident around Thanksgiving. I wrote about it in the blog, but I'll just say it: I grew up with abuse, and the first day I made my first video was the day I told a family member about a lifetime of abuse, and that family member chose to blame me for it, even though it started when I was a really young child. So maybe yes; to put something positive into the world, which I always believed in. There's nothing phoney about the love I believe in, the hope I have for all of you. At first I spent hours a week, sometimes 10-15 hours a week responding to every message. To this day I probably get between 5-10 messages specifically asking for help in situations where people are very suicidal. That's very hard for me. I want to help you, but i can't save all of you. I can't make anything better for you, but I've tried to give you comfort.
I've been called slut. I've been told I deserve to be raped, multiple times. Having my address, medical history and things like that posted online. I dealt with that. And people who don't usually follow [me] a lot interpreted it sometimes as me being upset about small, y'know, small criticisms of videos and things like that. We all know how that manifests, right? if we're an asshole in traffic one day it's probably nothing to do with the traffic, right?
I've lost a significant part of my family this year, and i've gone into some very intensive trauma treatment. I've become deeply agoraphobic; I go outside rarely. I'm not asking you to feel sorry for me. But some of the things you tell me... the reason I started telling you my stuff back was because I thought you deserved it. You were courageous enough to tell me the things you were dealing with, and I wanted to rise to that level of courage. I was a little girl, and then a teenager, and then an adult, with no-one to stand up for me. I'm learning to stand up for myself now. But when people say things that I find fundamentally flawed, and rhetorically dangerous, I refused to accept the tribal knowledge of 'dont feed the trolls' and a lot of you think that makes me theatrical and dramatic and thats fine.
(I cant do anything right...)
It's been to scary to go on camera. You can look at me. This is my body. People like to talk about my body a lot. People photoshopped my face onto pornographic images, took metadata from a picture I posted of a cat on my blog and distributed those on the internet. That stuff, guess what? I could handle it. I am strong. A lot stronger than some of you seem to think. I know what some of you deal with. Some of you have been in war zones, some of you have been displaced and lost loved ones, family members, some of you have come to asmr to overcome addiction. To recover from self harm. And being a part of that, for you, if I was, in a way, at any time, has made it all worth it.
You're under no obligation to read my blog, and I realise something now: you want asmrtists you can connect with. You want us to be open and real, so there's a real connection. I didn't run away ever- from reddit, or anywhere else, out of fear for myself. There was this one time i made a video about Formula 1, which I happen to love, and some people were harsh about, and i was a little bit sassy with them, saying y'know 'I do my best'. That was also the day I was uninvited from Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family for the rest of my life. Because my stepfather told me that he would rather be with me than with my mother. And somehow, that became my fault.

I tried to raise money, for a really wonderful organisation. Some of you were meeting, sharing your stories about mental illness and things you deal with, and it made me wanna be brave enough to say: 'I have bipolar'- 'I am a person with bipolar'. I made it a year. You can look back other the last year; I almost made it a year. Most days I would've told you I would've made it ten years. I definitely had videos planned for ten years.
You see a small amount. And you want us to be real, but just real enough. I have received threats, the police were at my house twice last night, because of some very specific threats; a viewer deciding he was in love with me, and choosing to make threats to copy another famous killer, who went on a rampage and killed a lot of women because the one the loved didn't reciprocate it. I get messages that you wouldn't believe. So when you say I'm dramatic, that I'm theatrical, and that I can't handle things, know this... you're right. I know a lot of the world. A lot of people called me a dumb blonde when I started, and I think if you go through my videos, you'll understand that I always critically engage with the world. I consider it deeply. I read broadly. I travel. And I find more and more love in the world. And have actually found millions of you to love. That's what makes this killer hard.
I did get surgery, in January. That's when I made my album, because I was surrounded by people in hospital waiting rooms. They're so scared. I wanted them to have something comforting. Portable. So I teamed up with a company. I don't know anything about distribution, I'm not an audio engineer, and we came up with the absolute lowest price point. I'm making a fraction, I think, of what you think I'm making. Charging anything for it was to support the work of people who helped me distribute it, put it together and make it happen. Maybe that bothers you. Maybe you're bothered by a lot of things. Maybe I'm oversensitive, and maybe if each and every one of these things I've said has pushed a button that makes you think I have an agenda. Maybe I'm not just the one with the problem either. I was raised to keep my mouth shut. No matter what was happening to me. The day I made my first asmr video I started using my voice again. I can never thank you [enough] for that.
I ended up back in the hospital this month. They said I tried to kill myself. It didn't have anything to do with you guys. It's hard to believe, but there's life outside the internet. But there's a life, where... enough can happen to you. I know what happens when you don't speak. And you can speak softly, or you can shout. Asmr was my voice. And I know I'll go find another. But if there are things you think I should've let go, I don't believe in a society where its okay to sling racist slurs, to attack one another ad hominem for fun. And I certainly don't believe, for the younger girls who watch my channel, or the younger men, and be told everything that's wrong with my body, everything that's wrong with your body. There's nothing wrong with you. The world is beautiful. And brutal. And you have everything you need to get through it.
I thought my path was gonna be to be there with you. And when I was in the hospital, I wrote my entire Rhetoric and Composition course to teach you. And it carried me.
What can I say.
You're alright. Most of you have been more supportive than I knew possible. A lot of you expect a lot. A lot of you get mad at me if I don't respond to you again, and again, and again. Thousand, thousands of messages. I don't know how, I don't know how to be just real enough.
Listen to me now. You and I have so much more to do. So don't give up on me. And for those of you who think that you make yourself stronger, or smarter, or better, by tearing someone else down for your no-good reason, and then saying they should be able to take it; or for poking and prodding at someone, and then cringe at the fact that they squirm- that's wrong. You're better than that.
I have some videos made on things I thought were really pretty cool, so I dunno, I'll put them up or... whatever. I was working on a book for you guys, a book about how to sort of unplug from the internet for a while and take your life back. I'm warning you now. If you want real people to keep making asmr content, treat them like real people. If you want impenetrable automatons, then treat them that way, and that's what you'll get. You'll get actors and actresses who can imitate whats already out there, and maybe you'll be free of the drama that you so theatrically loathe. Ironic, yeah?
But I'll tell you. there wasn't one single time where I didn't do my best. You would know.
All I can think is 'I love you'. I know, I'm really gonna miss this. But I'm spring, I'm not winter, I'm not summer. My petals, they bloom and then they blow in the wind. I'm not a tough one. But I can't take another day of being accused of things that I know that I am not.
I'll leave my channel up, because I hope it brings you some comfort. If I owe you rewards on Patroen, I promise, they're either in the mail or in my bedroom, all ready to be mailed.
I've said it- 'the world ends with you'. Go make your world big and beautiful. Mine- mine will be. But, like some of you, I'm fighting to live. I'm fighting to survive. Fighting to believe in a future so much softer.
Please, stop posting threats of violence against me, my family. Please don't take it personally if I haven't responded to one of your comments.
And go ahead. Tear me down. Hyperbolic. Dramatic. Unsuited. Frail. Have at it. I don't think I even wanted to be brave. I just wanted to be kind. Thank you for being so kind to me. Almost all of you. And to the people who have never done this, and have a whole lot to say about it- I'm not listening anymore, to you. Be really, really, really good to each other. Be especially good to the content creators I truly love. You may see them as rock stars, impenetrable- they're real. They are brighter, and stronger than anything I fooled myself into believing I was.
Love you. You. Because whether you like me or not, whether you understand me or not, we're a part of each other. So what can we do but love each other.
I'll love you."
-Springb0k.

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