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anonniemouse ([personal profile] anonniemouse) wrote in [community profile] tf_talk2015-04-09 04:03 pm

The Pit

For all your Andy-related info-dumping needs. If there's information you'd like to archive, please post it here, and feel free to link to it from the main post if you'd like to discuss it.

Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 1

(Anonymous) 2015-04-10 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
***Note: Formatting may be fucked as this was retrieved from a sporking.***

You have known me as Amy Player, as Strwriter, as Voyagerbabe, VB, Victoria Bitter, Mr. Frodo, and Jordan Wood.

I am NOT re-entering fandom by making this statement, and I want it known from the very beginning that I am doing so completely alone. No one knows I'm going to make this post, and I am probably going to catch a lot of hell from people who have told me that I should just move on
with my life and not poke the crazy online people.

However, I can't do that. It is basic ethics that when you have wronged someone, you cannot move on without apologizing, and I have wronged a lot of people.

What I am doing here is not a plea for sympathy, nor an excuse, nor any attempt to weasel my way out of anything. I am 23 now, an adult, and I need to take an adult's responsibilities for the actions of my teen years,
and for the ramifications they have had.

Not only that, but I don't believe that you are all just crazy people. I was one of you once, and I know that there are many very decent individuals among you who know nothing other than that you were lied to and used,
and you deserve to at least hear the other side of the story, both so that you can make your own judgments as rational people, and so that you can stop worrying that somewhere, out there, the next post in your favorite fandom might be VB, poised to strike again.

For the record, I have in fact moved on with my life, and have spent the last several years trying to make amends of it. I have gotten a lot of therapy, and what I am writing here is the product of a huge amount of self-exploration and difficult self-confrontation, as well as professional help and guidance.

I have re-connected with my family, moved away from Hollywood, have and intend to have in the future no contact with any fandom of any kind, re-discovered God,
changed my name, come to terms with myself as a transgender man, and am now seeking both gender reassignment surgery, normal employment, and a normal, healthy life.

As previously stated, this confession/setting things straight is part of that. I first came to online fandom shortly after puberty, under the name of Strwriter. I was a passionate Star Trek fan, and the idea that I might be
transgender had not yet even vaguely occurred to me.

What I did know was that I was unusually intelligent,
and that none of the other girls particularly liked me (I did not have any real co-ed opportunities, so all I knew of boys was from books and movies) and that I desperately longed to be accepted. I knew that on the internet people could have all kinds of different identities and be whomever they wanted to be, but I didn't understand much beyond that, and both through age (13) and the kind of blindness only the naively intelligent are capable, I didn't really care. What I knew is that I could type anything to anyone and they would like me.

This started getting out of hand beyond the usual teenage online self-role-playing when I discovered an entire new world on the internet...sex.

I was aware of the mechanics of it, previously, and that it was something that was very nice for married people to do, and terribly sinful and bad for unmarried people,
but there had never been any remote appeal to anything about it before. I had been warned that pretty soon, I would be wanting it with boys, but I dismissed that as utterly ridiculous.

It stopped becoming ridiculous as soon as I started discovering increasingly explicit fanfiction. However, it was a discovery far more upsetting to me than simply "oh, THAT'S what all the fuss is about." To my horror, I realized that I was a horribly perverted person. I was thinking about it all the time, but in badbadbad ways.

What I know now is that I was thinking about it from the male perspective, with an almost preternatural instinct to the male half of things, but at the time, I just knew that like so many things about me before, it wasn't SAME. I became fascinated and obsessed with boys, true, but not the way I was 'supposed' to be. I was tremendously covetous. I wanted to know everything about men's bodies and men having sex in the way that anyone obsesses about something they desperately and unobtainably desire to possess, and simultaneously, I was hungry for information about the women's side of things, hoping to find somewhere in all these women expressing their sexuality whatever it was I was missing. And always, always the hunger for acceptance. For someone to tell me - preferably many someones - that I was wonderful, perfect, fabulous, talented, etc. to counteract the constant sick feeling that something unknown was hideously wrong with me.

Of course, all of the groups that held adult fanfiction were off-limits to a 14 and later 15 and 16 year-old, but that was okay.

I needed in desperately, I rationalized, so I'd just make another identity. In retrospect, the choices I made there were psychologically pretty transparent.

I created an identity who was horribly scarred, sick, messed up, and dirty, with a terrible, sexually deviant past...but it wasn't her fault, of course.

Thus, I thought, I could explore as much as I needed to, and no one would hate me for being so hungrily curious about THAT, nor be shocked and hate me if I let slip any clues how messed up I was about it. Of course, I tried not to let that show, faithfully parroting the other women both in conversations and in fic, so that hopefully I could just find out what was wrong with me and how to fix it without them knowing.

Yes, I took it too far...WAY too far, including visits in person and telephone conversations behind my parent's back. But at the time, it seemed justified. After all, I couldn't let anyone know how bad I really was, nor could I stop what seemed my only hope for finding a way to fix it, as it was the only thing in my life that addressed sexuality at all.

Looking back at some of the stories I was writing then, I find it almost tragically laughable – there is remarkably good writing interspaced with saccharine pap cut and pasted straight out of the cliche generator. You can almost sort it sentence by sentence into "VB writing" and "VB Fitting In".

Then, at 16, I found slash. I had been in entirely het groups previously, who were very scornful of slash, and had simply dismissed it as BAD, but then I stumbled across my first one by accident, as it was unmarked. Like the old children's game of hot and cold, I practically heard my psyche whisper "warmer!"

The concept of homosexuality was even vaguer to me than that of sex had been. I knew it was men who did sinful sex things with other men, or women who did sinful sex things with other women, and that it was a lifestyle choice that they made. But here COMMA! for the first time, were stories about people wrestling with "I'm different, it's my shameful secret, it's about sex and gender, and I'm compelled to lead a double life to hide it."

All remaining vestiges of moral restraint went flying out the window, as I had to get into the slash community. Surely IT was there.

This was closer than anything I'd yet found. But it had to be hidden even more carefully, so the lies grew thicker and faster, and I got better at them, discovering refinements such as "if you're an American, you're a smarty-pants, if you're British, you're just cool" at blending just enough truth into my fictions, and playing different stories to different people.

The good news of this phase was that it opened me up for the first time to the amazing discovery that God created more variety among humanity than Heterosexual Male and Heterosexual Female, and that there were people out there who were tolerant of that.

It also, however, messed me up in a lot of ways.

Already socially awkward, I became flat out incompetent off the internet.

Already having serious problems with out of control behavior from the hormones of puberty (estrogen and I DO NOT MIX) I was further driven to
half-psychosis both by the stress of maintaining these webs and by the lack of sleep from regularly spending entire nights on the internet with my
new-found hope and curse.

Already having serious problems with the truth (never easy for someone who is lied to every day by their own body, as I've found out) lying was becoming more second nature than telling the truth as I tried to keep the increasingly growing spider's web out of my offline life.

I also at that time started to hate and resent my parents, my upbringing, and my religion with a desperate fervor. THESE people were far closer to understanding what I was, and the slashed characters were far closer to BEING what I was (ironically, I identified far more fully with the most well-written male slash characters than I ever had with female characters) than anyone around me, and they all hated and feared their families, the real world, and the Christian Church. Lessons learned and internalized with the uniquely stupid fervor of the very young.

Sadly for me, most people who are that phenomenally messed up at such a young age and with so little experience are usually sniffed out and helped for what they are very quickly. I was a little too good for my own good,
and although occasionally people caught me as a liar, no one ever saw past all the facades that were hiding THE BIG SECRET... that I still didn't even know the answer to.

At 17, I entered college, my first experience simultaneously with formalized education, with a full, co-ed social structure, and with living away from home...while leading a quintuple life online,
still struggling with my unknown terrible thing, clinically deranged to the point of paranoid episodes once a month, and with a psychotic, obsessive need to make people like me.

Oh, and I was abruptly adopted as the pet of an egotistical manic-depressive failed artiste with delusions of grandeur who was simultaneously the most loved and hated professor in the theater department, and by the most bohemian inner core of theater people, including trying to have a boyfriend with a semi-gothic Australian.

Yeah, that's right, I was in theater on top of it, having never been in any actual production since a summer-camp-type thing at the age of 10. If I had ever wondered what it must have been like watching the Hindenburg, ring-side seats to my mental health that year must have been pretty close.

The lying reached nuclear levels, and I was starting to lose touch with reality and begin facing an actual nervous collapse, when "salvation" came to me. Oh, Jesus Christ, if I could undo ONE mistake...

No one is probably going to believe me, but I can't even remember her name, though her face is as clear in my memory as if she were sitting next to me. She was the Priestess, and she had all the answers.

Yes, the Christian Church, my parents, and their narrow thinking were the problem. Yes, there was something different about me, but no, I wasn't messed up. Yes, I felt oddly divorced from my body, and increasingly from reality.

Yes, I had serious problems at this point being ABLE to tell the truth, because everything I said might endanger another lie and make someone not like me and/or find out. Yes, I felt terribly alone. But all this wasn't because something was wrong with me, it was because I was special, wonderful, gifted, a miracle, even.

I was a Paladin, she told me, a spiritual and psychic warrior capable of channeling the spirits of others... ghosts, demons, the living, the dead, even the
non-human. The Church would never accept me, but The Goddess knew what I really was and loved me, and the Priestess would help me love and understand myself as a rare lesbian Paladin.

The reason I felt divorced from my body is that I could separate from it to allow the souls of others...it's also why I felt so connected to the male characters from my writings, because male spirits regularly flowed through me because my lesbian energies were very compatible to them.

Already near my wit's end, I swallowed it, hook, line, and pentacle. It was the closest thing I'd ever had to an answer, and most tellingly, I thought, she had approached ME with it, telling ME my darkest shames and where they had come from.

At the time, it seemed an unquestionable miracle. Now, I see that I was flying psychological flags and signs miles high to anyone who knew how to read them.

All of this, of course, had to be carefully guarded against anyone who was Closed Minded, but the pagans have had to keep their secrets for millennia, so that seemed okay. I got drawn in deeper and deeper without even realizing it, and in hindsight, I honestly can't say how I managed to start believing that faeries and gnomes and dark wizards and all these non-human creatures straight out of Dungeons and Dragons were real...and talking to her through me. But I did. Profoundly.

By the time Lord of the Rings came out in winter of 2001, I had all but completely dropped out of the real world, existing only for my online web and my life as a Paladin.

I was spending weeks alone in my apartment, skipping classes, ignoring friends and family. My Priestess had told me that it was yet another example of how The Sacred has to be slipped in to the truth of the ages in a way unbelievers can handle, but that Tolkien wasn't just making a metauniversal statement. Nae, the Red Book of Westmarch was more real than the Christian Bible, being a single faded volume found by the Professor and painstakingly translated to prove the truth of a history lost to the brutal censorial axes of the post-Constantine Romans.

I was such a strong Paladin, in fact, that I could probably call forth a vision of the finding...
and, of course, I did, which proved it. But you know what? I can now say that I can tell every one of you to call forth a vision of Mickey Mouse beating
an elephant with a bunch of carrots, and you all will. It's the human imagination. A miracle in itself, yes, but...

Well, anyway. I was still keeping those lives mostly separate, and I got into Lord of the Rings fandom surprisingly separate from my increasingly bizarre spiritual journey through same. I was already active in
Sharpe fandom, Sean Bean was in Lord of the Rings...and when I followed the line, I found an enormously active slash fandom. In I went, discovering
that here was a place where my intensive immersion recently into fantasy thinking served my pen even more praise than my experience with 18th
century living history had served me in Hornblower!

The formation of BitofEarth the mailing list and website went exactly as it appeared...honestly, the best records of that are to be found on the list itself. All the shenannigans with me were happening on chats, my livejournal, and emails having nothing to do with BoE yet, and everything to do with what they always had: PLEASE VALIDATE ME!

Spring of 2002, I had what I now consider the beginning of my legal separation from reality. It's okay, we've had counseling now, and the relationship has been repaired, but 2002-03 were really close to the brink of divorce, and it began in March.

I had been recently informed by my Priestess that a halfling spirit from the past would soon contact me, that he was trapped in a terrible darkness, and that only I could save him.

I was already close friends with Orangeblossom, (though I am going to leave her out of this statement as much as possible, as I AM doing this alone and am not going to speak for her) and what happened next is already a matter of public record, and, fairly perhaps, ridicule. Yes, I did believe that I was channeling Merry, and then others. I believed it completely, and letting my desperate ego hide my low self-esteem, I believed it all the more because I didn't think I was good enough to make up anything as compelling as it became.

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-04-10 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
June of 2002, I went to meet Orangeblossom in person in Oregon. It was a deeply profound experience, getting to "channel freely' with someone else in person,
and there it wound up taking a still-further turn into the bizarre. Focusing on trying to 'reach' Frodo, I found myself 'bringing' Elijah Wood by accident. I since understand that what I was really doing was an uncontrolled mix of free-association and role-playing, but at the time, I thought it was all very real.

Though even I was reluctant at first to believe it could be possible to have channeled a living human being, my doubts were shattered when things I had "channeled" were proven to be true in the DVD release and in interviews that hadn't occurred yet. What had actually happened, of course, is that I already knew a near-fanatical amount about that young man from being a fan to the level I was, and any good profiler can tell you that someone with a gift for getting into the heads of others (like a writer) and enough information can often predict other people's actions to a creepy extent.

Yet from my point of view, it was irrefutable evidence, and this one felt more right than anything previous (no surprise, as I was for the first time role-playing a human male, near my own age, struggling with sexual identity issues and trying to juggle what people expected of him with his true self).

I believed heart and soul that I was channeling the spirit of Elijah Wood. I have tried to explain this away as just "role playing that got out of hand" before, or as "poking the tinhats", but that's just excuse-making to try and hide how phenomenally fucked up I was.

Being Elijah gave me the ability to be a boy, and I clung to it with a fervor I didn't know I was capable of, nor was willing to admit to. I believed that something had clearly gone wrong with the Paladin powers, because "Amy" was less and less willing to return (given the option, I was loathe to be a lesbian girl again) and Elijah was slowly splitting off a second consciousness from himself and taking over my body. This is about as far from reality as it ever got, and lasted through all of 2003. Yes, I thought I was the split-off duplicate channeled soul of Elijah Wood the entire time I was planning and attempting to execute Project Elanor and all the other BitofEarth events.

Yes, that is crazy.
Yes, that is fucked up.
No, I don't think that absolves me.

As Elijah, I tried to deal with the 'terrible situation' of being split off from myself and trapped in a girl's body (the closest I had yet come to confronting being transgender, as the only other exposure I had to the concept was MsAllegro, who sets off every NO alarm in ANYONE'S book) as best I could, even taking some people 'into my confidence' to 'tell them the truth.' Which was spinning farther and farther away from what anyone else on this planet knew as reality.

I also got BitofEarth into HUGE trouble from a fire triangle of three different major problems, all of which I am owning up to freely.

1: I was relying on a lot of "knowledge" which I wasn't aware I was making up.

This was primarily about the movie industry, publicity, and my "friends" on the cast and crew. Again, using the profiling principle, I was right enough of the time that I got an amazingly long way before it began crumbling around my ears, but in the end, the house (or the real world) always wins.

2. I was at this point completely unraveled from what was and was not true about my own life, and what I believed about myself and my past could change from moment to moment. This did not engender what you would exactly call a spirit of trust, which is something very important when you are working on a project of that magnitude.

3. Aware that I had lost everyone in my previous life - whether that was as Amy OR Elijah - I hung a crazed amount of importance on BitofEarth, the people in it, and them all continuing to like me at all costs. Especially Orangeblossom, whom I had fallen in love with by then.

In order to try and maintain this, I took on ridiculously more than I could handle.

If someone wanted it, I promised it. If I could find a way to do it - lie, cheat, hook, or crook - I did it, or if I couldn't, I came up with an excuse that made it not my fault.

I delegated my hugely overloaded plate to others, but when they weren't happy with the work, or if something went wrong, I took it back onto myself rather than confront them or drive them, even if I already had more than I could handle.

I considered the success of Orangeblossom's and everyone else's whims at BitofEarth to be the stuff of life or dearth, and had completely lost all perspective. And if you're fighting for your life, not a convention or organization, you'll do anything, say anything, promise anything, and prop yourself up on a house of cards hoping you can find glue before the wind blows.

Well, as everyone knows, the wind blew big time and I didn't have any glue. Seeing the sure destruction of TentMoot and the exposure of the lies I had told to try and pull it off, I tried to kill myself.

I am actually very thankful for this, as the mandatory rest in the mental hospital was my first step towards re-connecting with reality.

No, BitofEarth was not a scam. I was never trying to get anything out of anyone, and I have never profited so much as a dime from any cast or crewmember, nor anyone associated with New Line Cinema.

As a matter of fact, Orangeblossom and myself spent ourselves into destitution and still OWE about $1,200 to Jeanine in money she spent on us because we were pumping every dime into BoE, and about $100 to the Kiwi's for money they spent on themselves because we had abjectly nothing. I was never trying to con anyone, or to get anything out of it, even attention, as anyone who was in that inner circle can recall that I ducked the spotlight as though it were poison.

All I wanted was to make a lot of people happy,
but I did it in a way that was maladjusted to say the least, and with the facts as truly beyond the bizarre as they are, I can certainly understand and hold no malice against those who could see no possibility but a deliberate scam.

After the fall of BitofEarth, I tried a home-based business selling credit-card readers with a guy who I'd met at the mental home, but he WAS a scam artist, and I was soon standing on the sidewalk in San Dimas with Diamond, Orangeblossom, an eviction notice, and not a red cent to my name. Begging at gas stations for money and gas to get us there, we made it into Hollywood, where we crashed on a friend's couch for a few days until we could scrape together the money taking pictures as costumed characters on the Boulevard to get a cheap motel room.
We lived hand to mouth that way for all of 2004 and the first half of 2005, trying to repair our lives. The maelstrom that destroyed BitofEarth, horrifying and painful as it was, was, in the end, I believe, the work of God.

It also destroyed the 'duplicate Elijah' and I had to start over looking myself hard in the face. It was about this time that we separated from Diamond, who had begun having fits of temper where she would bite and attack us and herself, as well as stealing alcohol. We have heard several stories about her going through quite the litany of roommates with several different horror stories of lies and dozens of identities on her part, but I don't trust gossip, and it's not my business anyway. I haven't seen her in over 3 years, and I hope that she is well and has gotten the help she so clearly needed.

Terribly afraid at being pinned as a con artist when I hadn't stolen from anyone, and seized with panic attacks at the thought of being made to live as Amy Player, a girl, I tried to adopt a new identity so that I could sort myself out while still living as a male.

No movie stars this time, no big deal, just a drifting 'actor, writer, jack-of-all-trades' with a mysterious past he wouldn't talk about.

I got a lot of therapy, found out about transgender, saved up money, got an apartment, and started looking at building up a long-term life again.

In October, an opportunity presented us to move to Toronto to help manage a small cafe and live in an attached apartment as roommates with the owners. We felt that this was a perfect opportunity, as not only could we fully move back into the 'normal' workforce, but we could get a fresh start and be really honest with people, as we didn't have pre-existent relationships there created under a need to hide my insanity or my gender situation.

We told people that we were moving out East, flying to New York (this was true, flying to Buffalo and meeting our employers there saved over half on tickets) so that we could leave that far behind and live like normal people.
God, however, does not allow Jonah to flee Ninevah. The Toronto opportunity was a scam, and we were stranded in Buffalo. In early February. Of this year. Nothing makes you look at your life like twenty degrees below freezing windchill.

I had already become a Christian again over the course of my therapy, once I knew that I was just another example of God's infinite diversity and not some terrible creature,
but at the border, it seemed like He was speaking to me.

****You can't run. You can change, and you have changed, you can grow up, and you have grown up, you can mature, and you have matured, and you can go on to live a normal life, but you must deal with what you have done in the past. I may be able to wipe your sins clean as though they never happened, but that does not absolve you of needing to face those you sinned against.*****






So we called Orangeblossom's mother, and my parents, and we have reconnected with our families. I am home now, as I write this, patching things up with my parents, and at the end of this month will be moving on to a regular job and apartment with Orangeblossom and our little pet bird.

Our relationship has grown from two severely screwed up people clinging to each other to something amazingly precious and tried by fire, and we hope to spend the rest of our lives together.

I do not expect forgiveness or absolution from any of you, but I do ask of you one thing. Please do not try to destroy me any further unless I warrant it.

If I am caught with so much as a toe out of place in a charity, organization, business, or online, feel free to light the pitchforks, but as for the past...I beg you. I was little more than a child, and a profoundly messed up one.

There was a police investigation, charges were never filed, civil fines were paid. I am currently trying to set aside as much as I can per month of my paycheck (as soon as I have one) to pay off the last of my financial obligations to Jeanine, but I am really and truly trying to be a healthy and law-abiding grown man, no matter how disastrously crazy I was as a young girl. Please, please...you have my social security number, my date of birth, my other vital stats, many of you.

I live in fear every day that I will find things done in my name for spite, that I will get a job only to find people parked outside my office yelling for my head, that years from now I will adopt a baby and have people organizing an internet campaign to call Social Services and get it taken...that my life will be ruined because in 2003, I tried to organize a fan convention when I should have spent that year in a mental hospital.

I don't want your forgiveness. I'm willing to accept your anger, your hate. I don't think this will just go away. I know that the written word endures, that the things I wrote can never be taken off of the internet thanks to Google Cache and the Wayback Machine,
and that there will always be a book out there commemorating what I have done, and what people thought of me because of that. My lowest and darkest moments will always be public sport and satire, because I lied, and that is a sin, and to sin is both to hurt others and to bring their retribution upon you.

I am not trying to escape, indeed, I am confronting it all head-on and with what I hope you can see is soul-baring honesty.

Comments are not locked. I will even answer your questions on specific matters, and answer them in full honesty, as I know that however lengthy, this has just been an overview.

I have stopped running. I have confessed my sins. I await the consequences. I deserve no forgiveness.

I only ask to be allowed to have a second chance at life,
not at your lives.

God Bless You

Sincerely
Just Me

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-04-10 01:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Did anyone screencap the comments to this? I remember they were pretty epic.

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-04-10 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a few caps:
http://postimg.org/image/kz82ddbjp/

And also a cap for the second, angry "leave me alone!" four days later:
http://postimg.org/image/pwlmyhdit/

Text:
amy_player wrote,
@ 2007-03-07 19:31:00
I have said my piece and taken responsibility for all my lies and misdeeds in the fandoms I was involved in and all the people I hurt, and I have clarified the things that were unclear. I will still be watching this for people whom I owe private apologies to to come forward and give me contact information, and I will send those people apologies individually as needed. However, I am not getting drawn back into fandom, and there will be no more public posts under this or any other identities, and private correspondance will only be forthcoming with those whom I had an actual relationship with.
God bless you all.
Me

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-04-10 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
SA fucked up the url: click on the image to get the non-blurry version!

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-04-11 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks, nonny!

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 2

(Anonymous) 2015-05-13 01:06 am (UTC)(link)
I don't have the fully-expanded versions, but here are backups of the archive.org caches.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ga8f6s6v4actsq3/amy_player%20%20I%20have%20said%20my%20piece%20and%20taken%20responsib.htm?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u2uzumsrosq5zys/amy_player%20%20To%20Whom%20It%20May%20Concern.htm?dl=0

Re: Amy Player Deleted Apology, Part 1

(Anonymous) 2016-04-26 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
Link to archived version, complete with very obvious Andy sockpuppet comments:

https://web.archive.org/web/20111121023545/http://amy-player.livejournal.com/668.html