OldSnake's post got me thinking about my old account here.
Warning: bitchy story about my past.
So, a little about me personally. I was born with autism and I grew up to a single parent who didn't have much free time to raise a kid. Because of the two factors, my mom didn't bother teaching me social skills or how to act. I think her attitude was so long as I didn't hop aboard a stranger's van or sneak out of the house in the middle of the night, she was doing the best she could do, and didn't need to accomplish anything more with me. So I was this horny, whiney, temperamental man-child who didn't know any better. My autism and my childhood don't excuse who I was, but me being a normal, well-adjust adult wasn't a possibility back then. I had also never socialized with people outside of school before, and I had never talked with anyone about anything outside school work and what tv shows we liked.
And with that mindset in my head, I joined back in September of 2005 under the name CaptainAWB1. I was eighteen, just out of high school, not sure what to do with myself and without a job. A message board about my favorite manga at the time seemed like a good distraction from all that. I made a post in a 4Kids dub thread where someone pointed out whatever news I was trying to bring up had been discussed up and down for a few pages. My dumbass didn't bother to check what people were talking about. A sign of things to come.
I stumbled around the forum, making posts that were either superficial stream of consciousness or emoticon-abusing squeeing fanboy. I made friends, with some names still in my head like Silpheed, Snow Yeti, Omnichild, PirateNeko, Cosmic Debris, Taboo, Lalala, Usopp with a Pushpop, Mr. Bushido, Funky Funky Usopp, Bad Beat, and some weird vitriolic relation with Local-Chan for some reason. I also made a lot of enemies with Carter, Zephos, Aldritch, Zio, and I'm sure many, many, many others. I also helped run the first Other Anime Tournament despite not knowing like half the characters in that silly thing. I also had terrible habits of hitting on any profile with a female symbol under their username or writing up furious paragraphs in response to anyone who treated me as anything less than a superhero. Again, my childhood and my autism don't excuse that, but me NOT being that wasn't a possibility back then.
My ego was out of control back in the day. After about four or five months of embarrassing myself and earning a reputation, I pulled some story out of my ass about my mom whom I was living with finding out about this place and wanting me banned. I made up this lie so I could create a second account and abandoning my problems with the old one. Didn't work out.
I wasn't a well-meaning simpleton, mind you. I was envious of senior members. I saw those bolded names as a status symbol of importance that demanded respect. I guess it was the first ranked position I felt I could obtain. I wanted so badly to be a senior member and prove to everyone I was owed their respect that when a friend of mine said they were leaving the forum, I asked if I could have their profile. I checked out the senior boards lickity-split just to see what was there. I also sent some PMs under their username urging a friend I was on rocky terms with to smooth out their problems with me. That and a convo I had with senior member Roz on another forum about the senior board were dead giveaways something was amiss and my account was soon banned. I created this account about two weeks later.
I still remember being in a dentist's chair a month or two later, the banhammer still on my mind. Up until then, I had blamed everyone else for everything wrong in my life. But at that point, I couldn't deny that the one constant factor in every terrible moment I had had online was me. Getting banned made me realize I was the problem that needed fixing.
That's what I take away from this place: it was a school of hard knocks that taught me how to grow up. A lot of people called me out of my bullshit; they're the ones who taught me how to be an adult, how to fit in, how to act, how to be decent. I'm 33 now, I've mellowed out. I have control over myself now, gained with age. I know better. I don't read One Piece anymore so I don't participate that much. I haven't talked to any of the friends I've made in over a decade. We all drifted apart, mostly from me burning bridges with them. I still come here out of habit, just to see what the place is up to.
I met the user Shuhan through a request for a D&D group here. He's a been good friend, so this place is still giving to me.
I'm sorry to everyone I've hurt or abused.