So the title isn’t 100% true. I’m still a fan, not much could shake me off those nerdy-ass voice actors playing D&D permanently, but my enthusiasm has definitely waned, and my participation in the online community is null.
I’m an OG Critter. I remember the days when subs were celebrated each and every time with a dance. When they knew us all by name. And I miss that. I mean huge kudos to them for taking something they love and growing it so large they confound con organisers with their legions of fans. That’s great. But I miss the early days. And that is partially why I’m writing this… because the incredible growth of the fan base left me feeling squeezed out. (note- ME FEELING… not saying anything about anyone else and how they feel.. This is MY feelings only).
In the past 2 years I’ve seen certain groups of fans get celebrated, each and every week. We all see it. Again, I’m not saying they are wrong in recognizing amazing art. But as someone who has trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, I’m instantly out of that group. And with the fan base growing into numbers so big, we can’t expect them or anyone to know who the non-artists are. So that is one reason I’ve left. I sincerley felt/feel that I have nothing to give to the fandom and thus nothing to give to the CR cast. I don’t art, I can’t buy merch, I can’t cosplay, I can’t go to cons… and those are the fans that matter now. (again, MY opinion and MINE alone, here on this posting)
The community isn’t a community any more, it’s a horde… and I don’t do well in hordes. I barely managed when it was a community. Even in the bygone days of 2015, cliques grew, and I’m not a clique person… mostly of my own insecurity. Too afraid to say something stupid so I don’t say anything. And honestly, being online all the time was killing me. And that’s the second part of this story…
About a year ago, through Critter Twitter, I found a game after one I was in for more than 2 years just stopped playing together and slowly drifted apart. A game I liked, with people who I thought I instantly clicked with… a rarity in any long distance online grouping. We shared ourselves, and maybe I shared too much. After one game, which did have tense moments, mostly due to my mic not working so no one could hear me try to diffuse the animosity b/w characters, I was told that I was disruptive to the game and not playing nicely. I apologized and volunteered to take a day or two away from the group… I never heard from a single one of them again. I reached out and nothing. I attempted to talk to the DM and was told again that I had been a disruption to the group, this time for over a month and it would be weeks, as they “needed more time”. A few weeks after that I logged into the gaming site to another game and saw that I had been permanently removed from the game… not even giving me the courtesy to have access to the image and character sheet for my character. No communication with me at all. I was hurt. I am hurt. I was angry. The first few days after the initial talk down to me I cried endlessly. I had extra therapy sessions just for processing it. Months later she still asks me how I’m doing with it.
But it lead me down a hole that I had been circling in the Critter Twitter community for months, where I would constantly check to see if someone… ANYONE liked a post of mine. If anyone even knew I existed. (nope) I was lost. People I thought friends, whom I shared deep secrets with just disappeared.
At the same time I was managing to pull myself out of deep self-hate inflicted by this “break-up”, my family was hit with some pretty devastating news that has entirely changed our lives. I became very jaded about “the wonderful supportive Critter community.” No one was there for me. I became bitter. And obsessive. Constantly checking tweets… not just mine. Other people’s… stalking. It was not healthy.
I quit the CR fandom this week, as I am permanently quitting Twitter. I don’t see the love and support there I once did. And, and yes, this is ME. I didn’t feel the support. The community anymore. I’m in no way saying it’s not there, or that others aren’t getting the support they need… I am saying ME, not anyone else. Me is to blame for setting aside my “irl” relationships for 2 years for online ones that faded (or dropped suddenly).
It’s been a long and emotional few months. Since August I’ve been building up to this. To trying to re-establish in person relationships again. Some lost, others gained. Many others from online that I wish I could find a way to be how it was. I miss them dearly, those that held special places in my heart from the OG days. Those that never knew I existed, but I rooted for online daily. And those I called family. They are all good people. It’s obsessive socially awkward and insecure me that was the problem and me that is leaving. I wish them all the best in their lives and have no ill will towards a single person.
I’m trying to find my value again. My joie de vivre. My me I’m happy with. The me that doesn’t crave to see someone online, anyone, notice me. I’ve got a long and winding road to walk along to get there, but I’m ambling at my own speed. Progress is being made.