posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 06:18 PM
What I appreciate about ATS...
Five years back the woman I had literally, finally, fallen head over heels in love with ( after realizing that, even after two marriages, I'd never
actually been in love before ) broke up with me and left me shattered, empty, and totally lost. Being that I'm one of those idiot types who will
likely end up taking eight or nine extra steps after my heart finally stops beating ( someday ) simply out of spite, I found myself lost in a full on
breakdown, but still trying to function. I was going to work, paying the bills, going out with the few friends that took my side in the split with the
ex. But much of the time there was nothing to do. Nobody around. An empty house.
I watched every DVD and VHS movie I owned... probably 20 times each. I wrote Myspace blogs that literally were thousands of words long and made no
sense at all. I did anything to fill the vacant hours. To make my empty home feel less empty.
ATS was a site that I visited regularly and had even signed up for at one point, a very long time ago ( '03 or '04 I think ) but I never used the
login. I had no real urge to create or participate. I just liked to read the alternative news stories and off-the-wall theories. I surfed all the
obligatory alternative sites, but ATS was almost my top choice.
One night my blogging became an issue. A distant relative found my blog and went haywire, causing a ton of family drama over the fact that I was
"hanging my laundry to dry in public" and took great offense to this. So, suddenly not only was my very bitter ex, and her clique stalking my blog -
but so was my entire, extended, Irish-American family ( literally between 100 to 200 relatives ). It got to the point where I'd blog "Today I ate a
hamburger" and I'd get fifty comments, in minutes, admonishing me for causing family problems by being too public. And it hit me... ATS is a place
where I could write and express myself...
So here I came. After about an hour of trying to unsuccessfully figure out the username on my previous account, I finally gave up and created this
one. I lurked for a few days, nervous about posting. It was a new environment, with a lot of rules... and I was positive that I'd post something and
immediately get flamed with some of the jerkish reactions we see here from time to time....
"Hey, idiot, there's a search engine!"
"Really? You think we care about any of this?"
"Can I have my two minutes back"
But, eventually my need to preoccupy myself won out and I began posting replies... and then a thread.
The rest is literally in my history ( on my profile ).
So, what do I appreciate about ATS? Almost everything. I could do without the troublemakers and trolls. But, hey, this is the Internet and keyboards
seem to inspire boundless courage in dolts. But aside from that? I appreciate the members here, many of whom I call friends, and many more of whom
have touched me, often without even knowing it. I appreciate the diversity.
I can sit in the chat room and talk to my South African friend, my Norwegian friend, my Californian friend, and my Brit friend all at the same time.
And let me tell you, for those who have never clicked the "chat" button... some of the best folks you'd ever want to meet are waiting on the other
end of it. So I do encourage giving it a shot. From chat, I appreciate the connections.
The staff? I'll let you in on a secret. Accuse them of being spies, spooks, agents, aliens, Nazi's, tyrants, whatever you wish. But the reality is
that they are some of the best folks I have ever met. Don't believe me? U2U one and ask for help with something... anything (legal and within T&C)
and see what happens. So I am appreciative of their friendship, their guidance, their support, and their faith in me.
I appreciate being able to have a voice and to be able to use that voice in a crowd that is, for the most part, profoundly insightful, courteous, and
Ultimately I appreciate that ATS is a big reason why my empty house is no longer so painful to be in. It's given me a second home within my own home.
It's given me a family. And it's given me a chance to feel proud about myself again.
Sorry for rambling Jude....but ya hit a soft spot in me. Thanks for posting this!