Once upon a time, there was a girl who dreamed of a world where she could be happy. She was newly 12 years old, suffering due to moving from place to place, experiencing bullying for her autism and anxiety no matter where her family took her. She was very sad, and longed for a life full of friendship, fulfillment, and hope.
She went on the internet and found a forum for a show she enjoyed. It was the environment of her dreams; a safe place where she could reside within free of judgement, free of the cruelty that had kept her pinned down for so long. So many opportunities for friends arose. She wanted so badly to sign up for this board, but there was one component keeping her back...
There was an age limit. As far she knew, any registration at the time for anyone under 13 was in violation of the website's policy. Unsure of what to do, she panicked. She knew it would be wrong for her to join at her age, but at the same time, she was desperate for some kind of social interaction that didn't involve her getting her heart broken; becoming riddled with anxiety.
So she did what she thought was right. Or rather, what she knew was wrong, but chose to do anyway.
She told a lie.
And that girl was me.
I'm Aisling, but you can call me Ash. If you knew me on wiki, you knew me as an adult woman in her twenties, but that isn't true. I’ve never been in college like I said I’ve been; I haven’t worked a day in my life. Heck, I've never even been asked out before. I’m actually 18 years old. I go to high school… well, sort of. I’m enrolled in a credit recovery program, as I missed most of my senior year of high school due to a mental illness. But I do plan on graduating this year, so I promise I have some sort of compass point due north.
It was all a lie. Everything aside from my relationships and interactions with people on that wiki, as well as my interests. was completely fabricated. So, essentially, if you stumble across one of my old personal posts, or any mention of my "university life", you can assume it is untrue, because I made a whole new persona at the tender age of 12; Ash! Ash was happy, mentally stable, and intelligent. She got into university at age 16, graduated early from high school, and had a whole life ahead of her. She went on dates, and was in romantic relationships with attractive boys. She had a tragic backstory where she was sexually abused, and had an eating disorder, to mirror some of my own personal experiences (yes, the former is true, but the latter is not), so she was far from perfect, but she overcame those issues like some kind of heroine. She wove a tale that existed merely within my daydreams.
The reason why her story is so in depth and fully layered is because, well, I was always a person who loved to create, and I wanted to make my internet personality as believable as possible just to cover up the unbearable truth. I realize now that me signing up for the website at 12 years old isn't even that awful, but at the time of my account's creation, I genuinely did feel that way. For once, I wanted people to not be able to see a girl I had spent so many years running away from; so many years attempting and failing to change.
I was stupid, so stupid. But I didn't let that didn't stop me.
I lived a whole other life on wiki, and I was practically pleading for approval online, which resulted in me severing my minimal relationships with people in real life as well. My grades dropped, too, and I fell back into a pattern of severe depression and social anxiety disorder because I practically forgot how to interact with people outside of the internet. Even worse, I had romantic feelings for two of my closest friends on wiki (yes, Lizzy was one of them), but I wouldn't even think of ever confessing my feelings to them, because not only was I shy, but also because they recognized me as Ash, a woman in university, and not Aisling, a 15-16 year old girl, and I knew that in the rare chance that they reciprocated, it would only dig me deeper and deeper into the already massive cesspool I had buried myself in. But I didn’t care about how this fib was affecting my day-to-day life. I was too caught up in who I was on wiki, and I was personally invested in my relationships with fellow site members. I was getting so good at what I was doing, and was at a complete disregard for what else was going on behind the scenes of Aisling’s life. As long as Ash was happy, so was I. I know the separation psychology is cheesy, especially since it’s not like I have a split personality, but I feel like the metaphor would make this easier to… well, understand, I guess.
I’m so, so sorry I lied to everyone. I am selfish, incredibly manipulative, and I will probably never know what it's like to truly love as a result of the way I treated you all.
This isn't the first time I've made this confession. A few weeks back, I told my very best friend from wiki that I have continued to speak to on almost a daily basis that I am actually 18, born on May 11th, 1999, and not in my twenties. I even included some parts of the conversation we shared in this blog. She was the one I trusted the most with this information, and she very kindly allowed me to take whatever time I needed to reveal my true identity to the wiki itself. I owe her so much. She saw right through my lie long ago as a result of accidentally seeing my actual birthdate on my Skype profile, but she chose and still chooses to remain by my side. We even plan on meeting this summer.
I don't expect all of you to react in the same way she has, especially since I haven't been active on wiki for a year and have already cut ties with most of the friends I made there.
It took a lot of time for me to finally own up to my sin, due to a crippling fear of being rejected just as I had when I made the decision to lie about my age in the first place. I highly doubt I'll ever be able to atone for it, either. I do plan on visiting my local Church for a session in the confessional, in which I will express these regrets. But I'm not afraid anymore. This is who I am, and I can't live with myself much longer knowing there are still people out there who still think I'm practically a grown adult and not a soon-to-be high school graduate. If you need some kind of proof of my genuine age, let me know. I will probably update this blog with graduation photos when the time comes. But I suggest you don't deny this now, and simply accept this information for what it is, because it's already likely a lot to take in if you haven't figured out the truth by now. It will make the closure a bit easier for the both of us.
Again, I can't fully describe how sorry I am. Regardless of what the status of our relationship may be now, user, I hope you've gained some insight into what kind of person Ash is. I know it's too late at this point - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the wikians have long forgotten my existence. But better late than never, right?
Thank you for reading. I hope this life treats you well, and God bless you all.