Being Groomed By MethodJosh at 14 - My Story
Hello everyone. I cannot believe I'm doing this, but the recent posts have given me enough courage to fight back for what I know is right.
This will be all over the place, for which I apologize, but I am very emotional right now.
I'd like to start off by saying that I am currently 16 years old, turning 17 later this year. I first came across Josh through his stream - my WoW friends loved watching him and making fun of his "persona", and I decided to tag along.
Not too long after, I found out about his discord and decided to join. What's the worst that could happen? It's not like he'd notice me, some random 14 year old, right?
I was often in his chat, talking to people and having a laugh. It wasn't until a little bit later that I decided to message him, striking some casual WoW talk. To my surprise, he responded, and I was the happiest I had ever been. I remember that day, I was wearing a hoodie and a pair of jeans and I remember putting my phone in that little pocket on the front of it, feeling like I had achieved something great. Little did I know, that was the beginning of my nightmare.
During that time, I turned 15. He asked to see me, to prove I'm a girl and not some random fanboy, so young me sent him my Instagram. He complimented me, made me feel so pretty. I was starved for any kind of attention, and I was receiving it from *him*?!?!? We had one (1) normal conversation until it turned sexual. And no, I didn't hide my age. Very quickly into the conversation I let him know I was underage, to which he replied with "Oh, I'm sorry kitty, but I can't speak to you if that's the case. I don't want any trouble." I figured, "That was expected" and as I was about to send that message, he sent me his Snap - Atacamite. I thought to myself "WTF?" but my heart was happy. Why wouldn't it be? I was getting recognized by a person I idolized. Someone I looked up to.
Soon after, everything began. He started being flirtatious with me, openly suggesting threesomes, asking me to send photos, etc. You might be thinking "Please tell me you didn't do that", but I did. Yes, I was young, naive and stupid, and to an extent I still am. Except I'm scarred.
I started sending him pictures and I received some of him back. And not of his face.
Somewhere around that time, I started having panic attacks. I started shaking uncontrollably, dissociating from my body and losing sense of where I was or what was happening. I was so afraid of disappointing my idol, I was ready to do just about anything. And it hurt. The Gods know it did.
This kept going for a while, until an article came out later in January 2019. (link: https://kotaku.com/when-your-favorite-streamer-turns-out-to-be-a-creep-or-1832734851 )
He panic called me, yelling at me if I had reported him and making me promise to always deny, no matter what. He'd go on to say the exact same things on Snapchat.
After that, he'd ghost me for weeks at a time. Call me every now and then so he would get off, then would make up some BS excuse about how "he had to go do something else" and leave me there. Just like that.
We stopped talking around May of 2019. Until he reached out to me in February of this year, 2020. He wanted me to be his third in his relationship with girlfriend, Olli. And no, I'm not going to keep her name hidden, because she was aware of the fact I'm underage. She's guilty, too, and I'll be damned if I let her get away with this. Her name is @introverb on Instagram.
I played along, I tried to get him to trust me so I'd get more screenshots, more messages. It was going okay, until my panic attacks came back. My PTSD symptoms, my dissociation, all of it. I couldn't do it. I could do it for only a few days before I had to block him.
I'm going to therapy because of him. I'm seeing therapists and receiving help because what he did was traumatize me to the point that I could trust no one. That I felt replaceable. My self-esteem was crushed. I'm not okay and that's okay, because I'm on my journey of self-recovery. I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to stay silent. I've done that long enough.
Shame on the people who hid this about Josh back in January 2019. SHAME. ON. YOU!
SHAME on everyone who made excuses for him. Shame on everyone who tried to keep things silent. You're the worst type of people. PEOPLE IN METHOD KNEW! Not all of them, that's for sure, but some did.
To the people who said I was lying when I shared with them, to the people who said it was "his persona" and that I should "stop being dramatic": How does it feel to be slapped with the cold truth?
I'm so sorry. To everyone. To all the other dozens of girls, who met the same vile person and were trapped in similar situations. I'm sorry that I took so long to speak up. I'm sorry that I wasn't brave enough. I wish I could protect all of you.
I'm scared, I really am. I'm afraid he'll reach out to me, or that he'll hurt me, but I know I'm on the right side of things right now. I know so many people have my back, and that I've got theirs.
SCREENSHOT LINKS: (I'm sorry if they're messy, I've never used such sites to share pictures before.)
https://imgur.com/a/wXp09bl (most disturbing one for me, personally)
https://imgur.com/a/vRNOwBz (proof it's my discord and my messages)
Stay strong. Justice will be served.