Before there was a public world wide web, there was the world of computer Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes). People with modems dialed into the BBS computer to play text-based online games, download files, chat, etc. It was all wonderfully primitive compared to today’s world, but the BBS world is what really got us into computers. We ran one in the early 90s that was popular enough people would fight busy signals for hours just to get a chance to log in for 30 minutes a day (or more, if we liked you).
Putting together this website reminds me of the BBS days in some ways, because the number one thing a BBS was about was community. We didn’t really understand that at the time. BBS life was never lonely. You got together in each other’s homes, you helped each other out, and you chatted and messaged about everything under the sun, and I do mean everything. It was a kind of small, close-knit community that the Internet took away when it wiped out the BBS world in the mid/late 90s. Now we’re addicted to likes and views instead of knowing how each other are really doing. I want that old community back.
The internet turned us all into lurkers who thought they were developing relationships with the creators they followed by giving a few comments and likes. And, those creators were often just showing a controlled online persona. Neither side was being truly open to sharing their full, messy, human existence. Oh sure, there were exceptions to the rule, but mostly we were presented with the light, happy side of people – smiling, laughing, superficial. We LOL’d with them, but didn’t connect on any kind of deep level.
Of course, there is a reason for that. The internet can be cruel, especially to those brave enough to show their vulnerable sides. We’re so afraid of that cruelty that we’ve let it win. It has stopped us from making deep relationships with others, because we feel we have to hide our vulnerable sides for our own safety. It’s certainly something that gives me pause. But as I get older and sicker, it seems less important. It’s not that I don’t think there will be cruel internet folk – I actually 100% expect them. But that expectation and acceptance means I can plan. I can consider what my responses and boundaries are going to be when the inevitable happens. And then, knowing I have a plan, I can move forward.
The only way I know how to make friends is to be one. The only way I can expect people to open up to me is if I do the same. There is a price to pay to get a BBS style community back. The Electric Circus blog is now here as a down payment. In it you’ll find a raw look at t-e-c’s life. We don’t hold ourselves as any kind of example of healthy DID – sometimes we’re about a keyboard length away from being a total train wreck. But we’ve learned to always get back up, even if we fall down over and over again. You’re welcome to follow along as we document our lives. If you find you can relate, drop us a line. We’d like to connect with you. Not the edited perfect video of you, but the real you.
Any member of the dissociative.cafe can make their own blog from their profile – if you blog regularly, we’ll even give you a spot on the header menu of the site.
And now, I bet you’re wondering what the falling off wagons part of the title is about? Simply that I have totally slid off our diabetic diet into an extremely unhealthy one of fast food and soda in the past few weeks. Coke is my #1 comfort food, even though as a newly diagnosed diabetic it is sooooo not what I should be chugging. Sharon (a head-mate) is going to be PISSED with me.
I’ve been struggling with the holidays. They are always one of the Bad Times of the cycle of the year for us. I’m not even sure why, other than they are “family” times, and our family was a nightmare. I actually only remember very brief snippets of two Christmases and one Thanksgiving in my first 18ish years of life. I’m sure the rest of that data is flowing around somewhere in t-e-c. I haven’t gone digging. I’m fighting dissociating just talking about it. And that’s what DID is like sometimes – it doesn’t make sense. I need to post this while I can. Thanks for reading!