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Thread: Ending a false persona

  1. #1
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    Question Ending a false persona

    Hi all. I need some advice and thoughts on how to deal with a certain issue that's gotten out of hand.

    Way back when I was just a young teen I found the wonders of the internet. I read stuff, played games, and got hooked on MMOs. To start, world of warcraft. I made my character in it female (because it's much prettier to look at the back of when the game's camera is positioned behind your character, and that whole puberty thing kicking in). The problems started when someone in the game assumed I was a female player because of it, and I didn't correct them and went along with it.

    From there, this false identify has grown and developed, people much more willing to be friends with a girl they have never and will never meet face to face than a nerdy guy with confidence issues and a mild hunchback. As time went on, I met more people and refined this identify into the person I wish I was, but can never be. I have friends now that have known this persona for over six years or so now, two of them even admitting to falling in love with her. They were told that it was flattering, but wouldn't work, and are still friends, but you can tell they still push now and then for more.

    This leads to the next issue, related to this, but as of right now I'm already too scared and nervous with what I've posted to include it without seeing a reaction to what wrongs I've already done.

    For a little background, I'm a 23 year old white male college-goer in the south-west. I've been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and depression, and currently on semi-effective meds for them, and have been for around 12 years or so once things were correctly diagnosed.

  2. #2
    Moderator Mandy_Moderator's Avatar
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    Hello Zana,

    I can see that you’re feeling nervous about opening up here, but I think it was a really brave thing that you did in sharing your story with us. I can tell that it has been weighing on your mind for such a long time now, and I hope that in getting it out here tonight, you can feel a bit of that weight lifted off of you. Sometimes a false identity can lead to a point of feeling trapped, and it may be difficult to see your way out of it. These things happen more than you may think and for a number of reasons. It takes courage to be taking these steps, but it is possible to handle and move on from the false identity. As THIS fact sheet states, there are some steps that can make the process easier. The first step is deleting that account. It may be difficult, but it may also offer you a chance for a fresh start as your own person to show people who you truly are. Then, you may want to start deciding if coming clean to the friends you made is the right choice for all involved. Of course, try to be kind to yourself. You deserve the chance to move on from this, as well as support. Do you have someone in your life that you feel you can talk with? Maybe a family member or someone else that you trust? It’s helpful to have someone in your life who you can talk with, and who can also offer support through the tough times.

    I want you to know that we are here for you and always willing to listen. Stay strong! Brighter days are on the horizon!
    Note: The ReachOut Forums will be suspended after December 31, 2015. All existing threads and posts will still be available to read and review, but no new posts will appear. We hope to gain new funding, and be back soon, but in the meantime, here are some places where you can keep talking and get support:

    -- Your Life Your Voice
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  3. #3
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    I'm a horribly shy and nervous person, and would just die of shame talking about this to a family member/loved one. The main problem I face here is that two of my friends (and both of them the ones that have admitted to feelings for me) suffer from moderate to sever depression, and I'm one of only a few people that talk to them. I'm afraid of what the sudden knowledge that the girl they have had a crush on for years is actually a guy would do to them. Especially after some of them...erm.. *coughs* "intimate" conversations we've had. I can't see this going anywhere positive as time goes on. I suppose the question is do I tell them? Do I do my best to "fade away"? I couldn't just cut contact, as that would drive them sick with worry.
    One friend is in a really stressful time, and the other is in the middle of a slump (Dead-end part-time job, living with parents, no college education).

    As to that info page, I actually came across it while stumbling around before finding this place, and while it' useful, it doesn't have much in the way of detailed advice for volatile situations.

  4. #4
    Moderator Mandy_Moderator's Avatar
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    Hello Zana,

    It's OK if you don't feel comfortable opening up to someone in your family or close to you right now. Maybe eventually you will or maybe you won't. I'm just glad that you're here talking to someone, which just happens to be us! After you read through that fact sheet, specifically the section about deciding whether to come clean or not, do you feel it could help you to sit down and think on that for a bit? Maybe try writing it out to yourself first in both scenarios and see how you feel after that. If you decide to come clean, THIS fact sheet has some tips for communicating difficult news to others. THIS thread has a lot of great information from the ReachOut Expert if you'd like to read through those responses as well. You could even start your own thread in the ReachOut Expert section as well.

    Take some time to think it over, write it out as much as you need, and remember that we're all here for you!
    Note: The ReachOut Forums will be suspended after December 31, 2015. All existing threads and posts will still be available to read and review, but no new posts will appear. We hope to gain new funding, and be back soon, but in the meantime, here are some places where you can keep talking and get support:

    -- Your Life Your Voice
    -- Ok2Talk
    -- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    -- Trevor Project Trevorspace for LGBTQIA youth
    -- ReachOut Australia forums

  5. #5
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    Alright..thought about and read up on this some. Sorry for the delay. I've decided that while this will hurt badly and lose me friends, It won't do more than that and make me restart my "social" life online honestly. My concern is how this will affect the two friends of mine that are closest to me, and emotionally unstable. I'm terrified of the news driving them into a deep depression in what is already a hard time for them, and I can't think of any way to pad or soften this news to an acceptable level. U can't just vanish, as that will make them panic, but I won't be able to drift away, with how much they chat with me. The only alternative I can think of is getting them mad enough to cut contact with me, and delete all the accounts before they change their mind. It will still hurt them, but not as much I hope. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about this as gently as possible?

  6. #6
    Moderator Mandy_Moderator's Avatar
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    Hello Zana,

    It sounds like maybe the following portion of the Catfishing fact sheet could be the direction your thought process is taking you:

    If it will hurt them more to know the profile was fake, for instance if you were pretending to be interested in someone, you may need to stop communicating and not reveal the truth. While it may be difficult to not have a resolution on your end, it is kinder to the other person involved. If you need to talk through the feelings this stirs up, you can talk to others anonymously in our forums and receive nonjudgmental support (ReachOutHere Forums). Sometimes there is nothing you can do about the past, and the best way to make amends is to focus on being honest and authentic and going forward.

    I can understand your concern for their feelings, and knowing that they are experiencing depression can sure make it even more difficult. It's a tough decision to make, and one that, as you've stated, needs to be as gentle as possible. In the end, it's all up to you, and how you feel the situation may be best handled. If you were to take the method of deleting your account and making a clean break that way, how would you feel? Do they have support around them that you know of?

    This must weigh so heavily on your mind, and it can be helpful to have people you can talk with. The helpline Your Live Your Voice is available at 1-800-448-3000, and it's free to call! Additionally it's available 24 hours a day/7 days a week and confidential too! You can find out more about this and other ways to contact them by visiting their page via THIS link.

    We're all here for you!
    Note: The ReachOut Forums will be suspended after December 31, 2015. All existing threads and posts will still be available to read and review, but no new posts will appear. We hope to gain new funding, and be back soon, but in the meantime, here are some places where you can keep talking and get support:

    -- Your Life Your Voice
    -- Ok2Talk
    -- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    -- Trevor Project Trevorspace for LGBTQIA youth
    -- ReachOut Australia forums

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