Hey, there. My name is William and I had been lying about my age on my Twitter for about a couple of months. I came clean to my online friends who were 18+ artists just yesterday. A big reason I lied was due to how the fandom treats minors who are just trying to enjoy themselves. But I still felt icky and guilty doing it. I told it publicly. Some were hoping to see me when I was 18, but I hurt one of my biggest friends and supporters, and I don't know if I could come back after 4 years knowing what I have done to my most loyal followers. Do you have any advice?
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To be frank, you have a lot of damage control in store for you. As you know, you violated people's trust, and it sounds like you did so for months (or years?) That ain't good.
There are several steps you need to take in order to try to repair this and move forward. Oh, and don't expect this to go quickly. You lied for a long time, and now it will take a long time to get back what you've lost.
1. Confess your lie not just once but two or more times--publicly.
2. Apologize profusely for what you did.
3. Explain why you did it, honestly, but also do not say that this is an excuse for lying.
4. Invite those you lied to to tell you how they feel about what you have done and read (or listen to) every word they say. Don't interrupt. Listen. Don't argue.
5. Make a promise and commitment to yourself and others that you will never ever repeat this mistake or lie again in any other way.
6. Do NOT indulge in creating a new fursona or other identity and then try to pretend you are not the same person because that is yet another lie, and, as a lie, it will eventually be discovered, and THEN you will have NO HOPE of recovering any legitimacy to your good character ever again. I've seen furries try to do this, and what happens is they end up on furry beware lists and become anathema to the community.
7. Learn from the comments you hear. Really listen to how you have affected others. Use this as an opportunity to grow as a person.
8. This step takes the longest: spend the next months and years being an honest furry, one whose word is as good as gold. You must rebuild your reputation not just with words but with actions. Be very patient because, as I said, it will take a loooooong time, but, eventually, people will begin to trust you again with enough evidence provided by you of your good character.
9. Accept that, no matter what you do, you will lose at least some of your friends. Not everyone will forgive you no matter what you do.
10. Finally, learn to forgive yourself. What you did does not necessarily mean you are a bad person, just that you have flaws. We all have flaws. The good news is that if we allow ourselves to acknowledge these flaws, we CAN change. I do not believe in the old saw that people don't change. They do; they can, if they are willing to put in the effort.
The good news? You're young. You have time to recover from this.
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