Several months ago, I suppose some of you wondered what I'd been up to after being released from StyLiS. As of now, I feel like sharing what happened in the previous months up to this point. Hopefully, it'll give you a comprehensive run-down of how my life is going.
Warning: This is a long post. TL;DR version is that I'm experiencing lots of hardship both online and IRL.
Ground zero of the entire scandal - Many people DM'ed me asking about what happened. A few of those users provided useful information, helping me lead my own investigation into the circumstances surrounding my ban. I left all StyLIS-related Discord servers as a result.
I needed a way to vent my emotional pain away before I reached a critical point with my mental state. As such, I posted a brief description of my dilemma on the old forums with the limited information I knew about. I also talked with a few users on Discord, who assured me that the situation shouldn't affect my life greatly and that I'll get myself out of this mess.
One user told me that my ex (The source of the evidence against me) leaked DM's to 4 users. I later found out two of the users engaged in the same conduct that got me terminated. To make matters worse, one of the two users forwarded the explicit DM's between me and my ex to StyLiS out of spite.
I subsequently dealt with the situation by getting my ex banned from StyLiS. Was it a good call? Probably not, but it didn't feel right letting a backstabber roam free on the StyLiS Discord.
I decided to drop the personal investigation as it wasn't worth tracking the person who ratted me out anymore. Eventually, one of my online friends invited me into a small hangout server they were active on. I shared my predicament and emotional response to the people there, afterwards adjusting myself to a new life on the server.
The people who heard me out resonated with the ridiculousness of the situation, going so far as to condemn people that ruin others' lives after a break-up.
While having fun in the hangout server, more users on Discord reached out to me with more information about my ban in StyLiS. I learnt that a server staff member said my actions were deemed illegal and of a harassing nature, This was made even worse since both my ex and I were minors. In terms of the laws, Discord ToS/partnership and StyLiS's reputation, their decision to ban me at the time was justifiable.
Shortly after hearing of this, I relapsed into a period of depression, wondering how things should've been better had I not been in a romantic relationship with my ex. By extension, the explicit DM's wouldn't have existed or gotten leaked, saving me from the StyLiS Discord ban.
I received an invite into a larger hangout server by another friend of mine - This was the point in time where I met a female there who I really connected with, forging a strong friendship between her and I. Unfortunately, one thing that concerned me was how interrelated our dilemmas were - Turns out that both of our exes engaged in explicit DM activities after I got banned, which made both of us angry. Adding insult to injury, the user who supplied me the information about my ex leaking DM's to 4 people was her ex.
I migrated over to the larger hangout server, adjusting to the server structure and the new circle of people I found myself in. The friendship with the female I met the month before improved even more, where I participated in VC's with her, watched movies online and had daily conversations in DM's with. Given our past with our exes screwing over part of our lives, the relationship between us remained platonic.
I also started experimenting with ROBLOX Studio, Blender and Photoshop to create artworks of my ROBLOX avatar, of which I spent hours creating each of them. This month's PfP theme was for Halloween preparations.
After Halloween was over, my second themed PfP was themed toward the summer months (This is the PfP I have on my profile). I continued to talk with the people in the hangout server, as well as talking to my female friend. Unfortunately, she started to fall into a state of anguish, caused by her separation with her ex. As such, I tried my best to console her to limited effect. I assured her that it's not the end of the world and that the special one for them is still out there.
I empathised with her emotional pain while consoling her, providing background information about my own break-up. I couldn't help but feel guilty about how intertwined our past love lives were - Even more so since I was the one who set the motions by breaking up with my ex in the first place. If anything, this vulnerable moment strengthened our connection even more.
It was time for the 3rd iteration of my themed PfP project, this time for Christmas preparations. I had a blast creating it, although it took up 4 hours due to Photoshop crashing a couple of times from the complexity.
Things weren't going so well for my female friend, as she was still relapsing into a state of despair regarding her separation. However, things eventually culminated in her being in the hospital because of a throat infection, something that's affected her a couple of times before. This was when I learnt while the medical staff were monitoring her infection, they also diagnosed her with temporary stress cardiomyopathy, AKA "broken heart syndrome". In short, she had an abnormally strong response to the separation from her ex such that the stress affected her heart's functionality.
Fortunately, the treatments prescribed by the medical staff helped her both physically and mentally, and I noticed her slowly recovering. It was at this point that my female friend told me she made it into the application stage for StyLiS staff. I was really happy for her, as we both saw it as a way to distract herself from earlier worries. She was ecstatic about the acceptance as well.
Christmas day comes by, and my present to my female friend was a photo pose of our ROBLOX avatars in a cabin, along with words of affirmation for our friendship. I reassured her that she was one of the most remarkable people I've ever met in my life, and 2020 would be her year to shine and break away from 2019's troubles.
My semester 1 high school exams happened during the break-up I had with my ex, as well as the timeframe where I was banned from StyLiS. The emotional trauma impacted my ability to focus during the exams, which placed even more stress on my mind.
I also sought help with managing my online behaviour to reduce future instances of the dilemma I faced, especially when it comes to relationship stuff and professionalism. The advice was effective and helped ease my worries at the time.
The results from the exams were released. As expected, I received poor scores - Only one of the 4 exams I sat met the passing grade of 50% or higher. The results didn't just discourage me from studying, they also made me realise I was at risk for not making it into university with the low exam scores.
I also told one of my IRL friends about the situation I found myself in online, venting my thoughts and emotions to them. They understood the severity of the situation, and it answered their question on why I wasn't performing well at high school. After hearing their advice, I made an effort to focus as much as I could on my studies.
This point in time was where I focused on class tasks and such, as well as receiving important information regarding university options. Hearing from uni representatives helped me gauge how likely I was to pursue university after graduating from high school.
After gathering the information about the courses I wanted to study at university, I selected my uni preferences via the tertiary centre's online application process. Since I wasn't confident in my scores allowing me direct entry, I elected to apply under a portfolio submission as my 2nd preference.
At this point in time, this was where plenty of changes happened that would set me my direction in life.
Semester 2 high school exams took place. While there were improvements to all 4 exam's scores, they were still lower than my ideal scores. Fortunately, I did well enough to qualify for high school graduation.
Midway through the month, It was time for me to join the graduating class of 2019 in a special graduation assembly. It marked the last day of me being required to return to the school for learning purposes. A week later, the official graduation awards ceremony took place - I received two vocational qualifications there, which will help my employment prospects when I seek work.
I also became an Australian citizen this month, which is an absolute privilege to have.
The academic stress wasn't over, though - I still had to do the final external exams throughout this month. Four exams spaced out over 2 weeks, having a 50% weighting on the final combined course score was enough to make me feel tense.
After the external exams were over, I submitted my portfolio submission to the tertiary centre to be considered for the December round uni offers.
The external exam results were released. After looking through my scores, I realised my ATAR of 54.85 was insufficient to grant me direct entry. Fortunately, my portfolio submission was accepted by the uni I wanted to enter. Even better was the fact I received a scholarship from them as well, courtesy of my high school teachers nominating me as an eligible candidate the month before.
I received good news from my female friend, who revealed that she made it as a trial StyLiS staff member. It was definitely worth cherishing the moment with her, which also led to me typing an appeal to return to the StyLiS Discord. Unfortunately, at the time, the appeal was rejected - A senior staff member saying that I'd "have a better chance" in 6 months.
However, towards the end of the month, I noticed my female friend was becoming more distant from me with our DM contact. At first, I figured it was because she was starting her final high school year of study, along with StyLiS duties. Unfortunately, what happened next month revealed the true cause of the inactivity...
"Pinch and a punch, first day of the month", so my IRL friends would say. Well, it was more like a truck colliding into me at 100 km/h.
My female friend told me the true reason why she couldn't talk or be around me in general anymore. Turns out a senior staff member saw her screenshare showing me messaging her. As such, they requested my friend to show the DM's between us, given the past scandal that got me banned 6 months ago.
Sure enough, some of the messages I sent to my female friend were deemed concerning. After being questioned by the senior staff member, my friend said to them she felt disturbed by those messages. Because of those messages I sent, I'm never allowed to return back into the StyLiS Discord and my female friend had to block off all contact with me.
I felt, and am still feeling devastated by my female friend's revelation, with the scandal that happened 6 months ago worsening the outcome. I feel like I can never talk with the people in the StyLiS Discord ever again, especially the recently selected/current staff members I made friends with beforehand. That one mistake, along with the concerning messages in DM's apparently dictate that I'm an evil person that shouldn't be allowed to be on their Discord.
I'm still grieving over the situation since the female friend I connected with months before is no longer in my life because of my earlier poor judgement. While it's not even a week since the situation, it's affected me to the point I believe I can never redeem myself from my past mistakes, and that it's costing me my relationships with others.
My mother broke the news that my grandmother had sudden heart failure in China. As a result, my mother had to leave home and travel to China to tend to her. The stay was meant to take 2 weeks, but it was extended to over 1 month due to the coronavirus outbreak occurring in China. I'm worried about both my mother's and grandmother's health, hoping they don't fall ill.
I'm also dealing with academic pressure at hand, with plenty of documentation and information being exchanged to prepare for my first year in university.
In light of both the IRL and online events, I'm currently seeking mental health support from an Australian mental health service. So far, they've helped me with ways to cope with these events and controlling my online behaviour more effectively. The clinician also suggested face-to-face counselling at a nearby centre. I've also talked about my dilemma with my stepfather, who assured me things will smoothen out over time.
So there you have it. I'm in a rough spot right now, and all the online drama started from the explicit messages I sent my ex being shown to StyLiS 6 months ago. I can only hope for the future, in that things improve over time, along with my own efforts to reform my behaviour. In the meantime, I feel like sharing my story so others can see the extent of the situation and know where I'm coming from.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.