From my private journal, please enjoy.
The day I walked away from the white nationalist world. Knowing full well it meant an entirely new friendship base, leaving behind a life, having to move out of state to protect myself, and rebuild a life from the depths of hate. At first I didn’t understand how brave this was, but it was the greatest change of my life, and one that came with pain, regret, and mental issues.
If I was to stay involved in that world, I don’t know if I would be alive or a free man today. I left, and I am here, but it came at a heavy cost. Self-worth was shot. I had to unlearn propaganda; I had to look at the world through a lens of gray, not a lens of black and white, and it forced me to recognize the damage I inflicted on myself and others.
I lost everything, and I had nothing.
It took 14 years to address the trauma, and when I finally came to grips with it all, the mental backlash was furious for me.
Relationships suffered in those years because I could not love properly. I couldn’t allow myself to be vulnerable and open. I was emotionally numb in a lot of ways, while projecting my insecurities and pain onto others.
I was toxic, and I know it.
I have PTSD from it all. The hate, violence, and what I saw will never leave my mind. It is imprinted forever, but who I am today directly results from the evil I witnessed and participated in.
I can never change it, but I am a better man today.
I remember the day I decided to finally leave as it was sitting in my head for months. It was too much, and I could feel the pain of my life's decision in my heart every day.
I disappeared. I moved. I started a new life in NYC.
That life cost me relationships, career moves, stability, friendships damaged because of my choices, and it took years of progress off the table.
In my mid-40’s I addressed the mental damage, and it was a level of difficulty I did not expect.
Never in my life have I made a decision that had such a positive and brutal impact on my life.
I would walk away all over again.
The self-loathing, broken marriages, and mental illnesses were worth it.
What was the alternative? Staying in a hateful world and ruining my life, or fixing the damage I did and building a life I am proud of.
I took the hard way, because the easy way wasn’t worth it.
I received death threats by phone and email. I had to learn how to be who I wanted to be, rather than be led by misplaced anger.
I am forever changed because of it, but that brave decision to change not only came with a cost, but eventually came with a reward of finding out who Jay Ashman truly was.