it has recently come to my attention that someone is alleging that i have sent them threatening emails. i have not been told who has said this or where they said it or what was supposedly threatened, nor have i been told why this person thinks i am the one sending the threatening emails. the person who informed of me of this situation is someone i have known for over a decade, so i have no reason to believe they would lie about it.
this whole situation is just getting uglier and uglier.
i have never sent threatening emails to anyone. i have no idea why the person claiming to have received threatening emails from me is claiming they were from me. i have no idea if these emails actually exist. i have no idea who wrote them if they do exist. i have no idea if they were anonymous or written by someone claiming they were from me.
all i am sure of is that i most certainly have not sent threatening emails to anyone for any reason.
this whole drama thing in slam has been so very frustrating, but i really want you all to know that i am taking this opportunity to check my behaviour and my assumptions about myself, so i am pursuing counseling.
i was talking with a women slam poet who i have known for a long time about this whole situation, and this is what she suggested i tell the therapist during my intake interview (since i have been given no specifics about my behaviour.) i basically said exactly what she asked me to:
"I have recently become aware that a lot of people in my community see me as a sexual predator/problematic person. I'm not exactly sure what specifically that entails, but I am here in good faith to work on the issues I have around sex and consent and predator behavior in order to make myself a safer person for other people to be around."
i am going to work on this with everything i have. i want to learn. i want to atone for anything i may have done. i want to apologize to anyone i may have hurt. i want to prevent any future incidents. i want to heal and allow healing to begin.
this is going to be a real challenge since only one person has talked with me about something i did that made her feel uncomfortable, but i am diving in anyway. i gotta do something. it's the only way i can make sense out of a senseless situation.
there's not a whole lot i know, but i do know the following things, and there is no one who can refute me:
1] i have never raped anyone.
2] i have never taken advantage of anyone who could not offer consent due to being drunk, stoned, asleep, or under the age of consent.
3] i have never stalked anyone.
4] i have never sent threatening emails to any woman ever.
5] i have never hounded anyone to go out with me (although i have sent a "say anything" love letter or two that failed utterly, but further communication after said overly-earnest letters was stopped as i crawled into a hole and died of mortification.)
6] i have never physically hurt or threatened a women ever (although there was a male poetry slammer with whom i had an unfortunate altercation at the minneapolis nationals back in 2001.)
having said these things, i also know there are forms of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour that might not be as obvious as the things i've listed that are just as emotionally hurtful.
i most certainly have said things that may have been unknowingly (or even knowingly) inappropriate to people who were then offended by what i had said, and i am working to understand these situations better.
i have done things that have made people uncomfortable, i am sure, and i working toward recognizing those things and taking steps to correct any toxic behaviour.
i very definitely expressed romantic interest in people who ended up not being interested in return, but i most certainly have not continue unwanted affection after being informed of a lack of interest.
it is hard to defend myself when i am not being told what it is that i have supposedly done or to whom. there are so many people who seem far too willing to join this mass tirade and allege anything at all, and while i am not being allowed to hear these claims or answer them or atone for them, i am most certainly being being held responsible for them and am being punished for them.
this is not right, no more than it is for any woman or man to be made to feel uncomfortable by someone else's lack of self-understanding or outright predation.
whoever is spreading this nonsense about me sending threatening emails is not telling the truth. i have no idea why they would claim this if it weren't true. i have no idea why they think i am the one sending them. unless they were signed "love, big poppa e" or came from my personal email account, i am not sure how they can be linked to me in any way.
i am doing everything i can to make something positive out of a extraordinarily painful situation, and the last thing in the world i would do is willingly dive further into this morass by threatening someone.
if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
i am not sure what else i can do.