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"TFF Confessions," lol

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Remember those times I would start a thread, titled something like "TFF Confessions," or "TFF Regrets," or something along those lines? Like, I would decide I wanted to come clean about something, and then, for whatever reason, I thought that other people on the forums would also want to do this. Except usually, people would just respond with nonsense, making fun of the concept, because y'all are trolls, lol Was reminded of those earlier, for some reason. I guess because a guest was viewing a thread called "TFFers you hate" or "don't like," or something like that.

I guess this is a blog instead of a thread because I know better than to make a thread like this, now You can still respond to this if you want, I guess. Obviously. I don't really have the power to stop you...

But yeah, my thought when I saw the title of the thread that the guest was looking at, I thought, "...did someone say something about me?" And so I looked, lol. So insecure. Not as insecure as I used to be, by a lot (I hope), but there was still something inside me that was like, "I would like to be angry about something that I can't respond to, at this point." Because reasons.

I recently told an old user to "eat shit, fuckface," if he ever saw that thread. I could start going off on that person here, but I don't feel like that would be productive. Suffice to say I never really liked that person, and always found him to be full of himself and an overtly opinionated asshole. At certain points, I think I tried to get along with him, but those times didn't last very long, and I decided pretty much to just avoid talking to him. By the time I had seen what he said about me, it was years after he said it (posts on the internet are forever, unless they're not). I shouldn't have cared, but I felt this burning sensation rising up my spine to my head. I was talking to Dodie at the time, and she told me, "don't worry about what he thinks. He doesn't know you." She was right. But here I am, recalling it. Again.

I have all these memories of various exchanges I've had on this website, that pissed me off at the time. When I remember them, I get all pissed off, again. Part of the problem was that I never fully leveled my opinions at those people. I kept them to myself, because I was worried about warnings, or what other people would think, or--dumbest of all--the other person getting upset with me. I didn't want people to be mad at me. And I wanted everyone to play nice. For fuck sake, that was a fucking pointless, stupid, wasted effort on my part. People still didn't like me, I still didn't like people, and no one was going to play nice, regardless. All it probably did was make me look worse, because essentially, I was two-faced, that way. I should've just told people what I thought of them, there in that moment. It's usually what I do on Twitter now, if I engage. Most of the time, afterward, I don't think about it anymore, and if I do, I'm like, "YEAH. I'm GLAD I let them know how it is!"

Of course, there's the opposite problem of letting your emotions run away with you, and telling someone off when they don't deserve it, because it's actually YOU who is in the wrong...

When I was in the Air Force, I tried really hard, like on here, to make sure no one got mad at me. I tried not to get in trouble. Guess how well that worked in Basic? lol... I was one of the people singled out in my flight, because I was always so anxious about getting shit right, that not only would I fuck it up anyway, I would fuck it up at the slowest pace of the entire flight (I also had an as-of-yet untreated anxiety disorder, but yeah). So I thought I was trash. Then I got to Tech School, and I barely moved or talked when I was around other people there, because I was still super scared of getting into trouble. The School House Instructors went over my whole class, describing our personalities. When they got to me, they were like, "...and [Taco] just stands there..." and that was it, lol. The one time I DID talk in the hallway, I immediately got caught... and everyone, including the instructor, just laughed at it being the ONE TIME that I talked in the hallway.

When I first got to my Active Duty base, in Arkansas, I was so well-behaved, lol. The NCOs would point me out to the other newcomers, and be like, "see [Taco]? Notice how he's only been called out TWICE since he got here, and both times were for GOOD reasons?" See, the thing about my office was, not only were there a few newcomers who were always getting in to trouble, there were also at least three NCOs (two or two and a half, depending upon how you count it) who got demoted back to airmen while I was there. My first supervisor got demoted back to Senior Airman, and then kicked out. The other NCOs that didn't get demoted... weren't exactly model citizens, either. I'd sit at my desk right next to theirs, as they bitched for hours about their superiors--which led me to believe that that was an okay thing to do, heh... Regardless, after the first few months, I started to think my shit didn't stink, in that office. I was even put up for Airman Below the Zone, a program for early promotion to Senior Airman.

The reality was, however, that, due to my anxiety disorder, as well as being thousands of miles from home, and relying way too much on Dodie for my happiness, that I was having a kind of nervous breakdown. When Dodie broke up with me that November, that was the worst month of my life (at least up until that point). I had put forth quite a bit of effort to make things work with her parents, to try to not offend them, and to make sure they liked me. If I had frustrations with them, I didn't voice them. Well, there were things about me that they just weren't going to like, such as drinking. There were also expectations they had of me that I had no idea of, until I didn't meet them, like going on family outings I was invited to that weekend, as opposed to what I wanted to do, which was just relax with Dodie at their house, until I had to go back. Eventually, they totally flipped out at me, and said I was unwelcome to stay at their house. One of the principle reasons was that, instead of talking to them about something, I called my mom first, and one of their daughters overheard my conversations with my mom. Dodie sided with them (also because I was pressuring her too much to get married too soon, because I was super lonely and had terrible separation anxiety whenever I had to leave), and broke up with me shortly thereafter. That was my first instance of learning that, try as hard as I might, some people are just going to hate me. So I was broken for a while.

At some point in the following months, I was noticing one of my coworkers wasn't doing his job as fast or correct as my other coworker and I. As a result, we would all get in trouble, because we were a "team." I had actually told off the other coworker at one point, and he took what I said to heart, so I figured I could do the same with this coworker. He did not take well to it, however, and we started bickering a lot. This attracted the attention of the NCOs, who sided with this other coworker. At one point, our supervisor, the section chief, my two coworkers and I were all in a room together, and the two NCOs were lecturing us about working together or some nonsense. It was then that I just let the NCOs have it. I told both of them off for putting us in this situation, for giving what I considered preferential treatment to the one coworker, and also for putting unwarranted abuse on the other coworker (which was also going on). To my surprise, I did not immediately burst into flames. So I decided, "it's okay to just tell people off!" (spoiler: it wasn't). Over the following months, there was trend of the abuse formerly dropped on the one coworker, switching over to me. Every disagreement I had with anyone, the NCOs and other upper leadership would immediately side with the other party, and I would get a lecture about my behavior. Eventually it was so bad that I decided I would just stop interacting with anyone unless I had to. That didn't work, either, and (due to my own attempts to make it happen), I am now in my second year of not being in the Air Force.

The biggest thing that experience taught me was that, regardless of what I do, some people are not going to like me, and some people are just going to be assholes. Which brings me back around to my earlier thought that I wish I had just let people know what I thought, here on TFF, back in the day.

Except that I've also learned that you have to pick and choose your battles. There are times when it's worth it, and there are times when it's not. I chose to battle nearly EVERY time, that one year in the Air Force. That didn't go well for me. Things went a bit better when I interacted as little as possible, but at that point, I think the stage was already set for what was to happen.

There are people who are in control, and there are people who are not. In every situation. Even at the lowest levels you can imagine. Being in the Air Force, the only thing I could control was how I reacted to stuff. Really, that's still the case, now that I'm out of the Air Force. That's pretty much the case for everyone: we can only control ourselves. We can't control how the other person is going to act. Trying to do so is pointless.

Blah blah blah, life lessons with Tele, for some reason.

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