Some of you know my story already but for those who don’t I am posting it here. A little background for context before I get into what has turned me. And it’s important to me to make my story public. It gives me the closure that I haven’t had until this point.
Back in about 2007 I started out in OpenSim and realized that content was needed badly. So I started making things. It was when I first learned to make animations. It spurred me on to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Life was good.
By 2010 I had joined the InWorldz Grid. It was a really good grid and I am assuming it still is. But like any neighborhood in any part of the real life world there were a few bullies. I won’t post names of these 4 girls so I just call them the “mean girls”. They bullied me so bad by commenting awful hateful things to every blog I wrote on and every tweet I made and every group chat I tried to participate in until I was actually, seriously, rl suicidal. I cried daily and I left IW. But that didn’t stop them. They still trolled me on twitter and blogs and even wrote awful blogs directed signally at me. And what made it worse was I had no idea what I did that turned their attention and meanness onto me. So then I left all aspects of social media.
So alone and depressed and suicidal I decided that maybe I could make someone else’s life better. Years of being in therapy taught me that I will feel better if I can reach out and help someone else. So I set up a standalone region on my computer. It wasn’t hypergrid enabled (not sure that was even possible at the time from a standalone). And I started creating stuff. I got a domain and learned how to set things up on it for people to download. And because I was all alone I had plenty of time. So I created and created and created until I wasn’t depressed anymore. The more downloads there were of my things the happier I got.
It started out as something I wanted to do for the Opensim community that would allow people to have building tools or just things to make their OS life a little easier that they could use without fear of anyone taking legal action against them for ip rights or copyrights. So that they could have a sense of freedom. And so that some could find a way to have an income from it.
I put no TOS and no rules, but my hope was that people would use the tools I gave out freely and be able to add some textures or put things together in some way that would allow them to sell or give things away themselves. Many did that and every time I saw it I smiled. I smile when I see things I made altered a bit and sold on the Kitely MP or in world. I love when I see that people take the time to set up freebie stores and that my creations are part of that.
When someone talked me into coming back into OpenSim I was very hesitant. I did come back and it allowed me to see more clearly what was needed. It got me interested in learning blender. I made a couple of wonderful friends. And it allowed me to see that people were enjoying my efforts that I put into the things I created.
I hated being “known” but I wanted to be strong and use my real name and I planted my feet firmly and was ready to take on bullies. But, lets face it, I am no good at taking on bullies. I spent a ton of time lashing out at anyone that even had a hit of being mean to me or to anyone else for that matter. I was determined to not let bullies have their place in the sun. So over the years I lashed out at a lot of people who may not have deserved it and many that did. I became a bully to the bullies. And I hate myself for that. And in turn, I built up a good number of haters.
When I got back into the social media I joined in everything and voiced my opinion to the point of nauseam. It really got out of hand. I started seeing how I was unraveling all of the good I had tried to do. My haters didn’t stop using my creations. But it no longer made me happy to see my creations out there.
Some amateur psychology in my head was telling me that when I wasn’t in world and I would see people downloading the things off of my website it made me feel like they liked “me”. But when I got in world I had to face the fact that most didn’t like me at all. Once confronted with me in a real way they didn’t like Linda Kellie the person. They liked Linda Kellie the creations. So then I was faced with that. And honestly I can’t blame them. I don’t like “me” either.
Over the years I have left OpenSim and come back many times. I’ve tried to put up new download websites (like this one) a couple of times to try and get back the thing I messed up so badly. Impossible.
You all can thank the “mean girls” for all of my freebies. Because without that experience I would never had started the Linda Kellie Freebies in the first place. I’m proud of myself that I picked myself back and turned it around.
But this time I just can’t turn it around. There is so much bitterness in OpenSim and so much hate.
My creations are no longer needed. Not only are some so old and ugly that I am now ashamed of them. But OpenSim is now full of items that are ripped off from SL and distributed freely. Most people are blind to it (either they don’t know or they don’t care).
A couple of years ago I realized that grid owners used me to help them. They didn’t like me either. But I made welcome regions for them and if they called on me to make a build that they needed I was right there. They saw my desire to please and used it to their advantage. To the point where I no longer trusted any grid owner. I just knew going in that I would be friends with them for one reason only…. they could get something from me. They knew I had contacts in the virtual world and they used me to bridge that gap for them.
At some point everything just built up. What I did that was once appreciated was now just expected. And my effort to help people have freedom by not putting a license on my creations were undone by a couple of people who took the stuff and claimed copyright on it and threatened and scared people with DMCA’s.
That was the breaking point of all breaking points. There is absolutely no use in spending one more ounce of energy on this project.
OpenSim is now firmly in my past. Linda Kellie (the freebie bitch) is now firmly in my past. Of course since Linda Kellie Henson is my real life name that will stay with me. I am not going to try and recapture the past. In the past when someone wanted me to come back to OpenSim I would get a little thrill at the thought of creating for the community again. But now……… nothing. I feel nothing.
I used to feel responsible to the Opensim community too. But I don’t now. I realize that I did my share. I owe these people nothing and from now on that is what they will get from me.
Thanks for reading my story.
Linda Kellie Henson