This last week has been a difficult time for a lot of people. After yesterday, I see now that my initial response completely skirted around what I should have been saying from the beginning. I allowed myself to get caught up in my own defense. I realize that an apology isn’t an actual apology when most “sorry”’s end in a “but”. I realize that it shouldn’t require 2,000 words to just be direct and confront my actions. At this point I’m not interested in explaining, defending, or excusing my side of anything, or gaining anyone’s sympathy. I just want this to be direct and to the heart of the matter; firstly for the women involved, but also for my own conscience.
Kristina, Whitney, I’m sorry. No dancing around or shifting blame. I’m sorry. The things I’ve put you through were, and continue to be hurtful and inexcusable. You trusted me with your thoughts, feelings, and most importantly, your heart, and the way I handled them was completely irresponsible and self-centered. This whole week has made it very clear to me that I need to be more sensitive to how my words, actions, and attitudes, has and does affect others. It’s become obvious that what I understood as an acceptable approach to relationships, wasn’t. I assumed too much, listened too little, and ignored too often. When a relationship becomes about proving who’s right, you’ve already lost. I’ve already lost.
You both deserved happiness and respect, then and now, and I completely lost sight of that due to a combination of my own issues and selfishness. I’m sorry for every time I let you down or made you feel less than. I have no excuses. I plan to take time off and reevaluate who I was, who I am, and who I should be; maybe even looking into talking to someone about it. I don’t expect either of your, or anyone else’s forgiveness, nor do I probably deserve it. I only hope the two of you find the happiness that I failed to give you, and know that I really do regret all pain I put you through. I’m sorry.
Kristina and I spoke about the issues regarding ALL CAPS today. We never settled up payments from our first album so today, I sent her the money that I owed her. I also apologized to her directly about the way I treated her while we in the band. Thank you Kristina, for taking the time to talk with me about that.
I rarely check Tumblr, but I’ve been on this site more this week than I ever have in my entire life. By now a lot of you guys have probably read Kristina and Whitney’s posts about me, and I wanted to let everyone know where I stand on this.
People make mistakes and I’m no exception. I’ve done things in the past that I wish I could undo. I feel terrible about the way things ended with Kristina and Whitney and I’m truly sorry. I’ve told both of them that, in private. If you walk away from this post remembering one thing, it’s that I am sorry about the way I acted towards them and I wish that I could take back some of the things that I did.
Growing up I was taught that being fallible was part of what made us human. It wasn’t something that excused our mistakes, but allowed us to learn and grow, and helped guide us through life. At this point, all I can do is confront the actions of my past, learn from them, and continue to try to become a better person because of them. My family is also very religious - especially my mom and sister who are two wonderful women in my life. If they read those posts I know they would be incredibly disappointed, and that only makes me more disappointed in myself.
Before I dive into this, I’d really like to set a few facts straight. I, in no way, am looking to discredit or minimize anyone’s pain, and I’m certainly not excusing any of my wrong doing, but it does make me upset that Kristina and Whitney’s posts seemingly lump me in with other allegations I have seen on Tumblr this week. The events that they recounted in their posts happened while everyone involved was of legal age, and were 100% consensual.
There are always two sides to every story. While most of the events that Kristina and Whitney shared in their posts hold truths, their perception and recollection of those events sometimes differ from mine. I also feel they left out some details, that I at least find important. For example, I genuinely cared for them when we were a couple. It’s easy to forget the good parts of a relationship; the positive parts that allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable in the first place.
I’ll get more into my side of this below, but the worst part about this whole situation for me is that I’ve been in their position before, and I know how terrible it feels. I’ve written a few songs about that pain, and one was a result of an incredibly painful break-up I went through 4 years ago. After that, I woke up almost every morning for weeks with an aching pit in my stomach. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. So now, you can imagine how angry I am at myself, knowing I’ve put two people who I cared about in the exact same position.
Kristina was a really important person to me. I wrote her a song shortly after I got to know her, and I meant everything that I said in it. Before we broke up, we had a long distance relationship and we would talk on G-chat every day about what we were up to. We’d plan new videos or share song ideas too. We had a successful band called ALL CAPS and I really felt like we were both happy.
When Whitney and I became more serious and started dating, it was years after Kristina. Whitney and I had been close before that time, but it wasn’t until this last year when I felt like I had a true connection with her. I felt like I could tell her anything, and I made sure that open communication was incredibly valuable while we were together. We had a rough past, so I was hesitant about committing to anything serious. I’m happy we gave things a shot, her company was honestly one of my favorites things about last year. I loved texting her when I was on tour about how excited I was to get back to LA to see her. Tour can be stressful, and I found comfort in talking with her when I needed her the most. She’s one of the best writers I know, and even helped me refine some song lyrics when I needed her. I enjoyed taking her out to nice dinners or confidently holding her hand in public. Every relationship has it’s ups and down, but when I was together as a couple with either of these women, things felt great and feel like they would both agree that there were good times while we dated.
Not every relationship works. People break up. Feelings change. I’m not going to go into the intimate details of why my feelings for each of them faded, because that’s not as important to this story. As more time passed though, I could tell things weren’t working out, and I felt like the best thing for both of us was for our relationships to end. So I ended them. A fault of mine has always been not doing what’s best, post-break, and that’s giving both people involved enough space, and time to heal. I tried to stay close friends with them. Kristina and I continued to tour with ALL CAPS and write music for the year after, and it was very difficult. After I broke things off in 2013 with Whitney, we would still nerd out together and watch the League of Legends championship series. During that time, both of them did individually bring up possibly starting a new relationship with me again, but I was very upfront and said, no, I didn’t want to commit to anything with them at that point, especially after it had failed in the past. That didn’t mean that there wasn’t hope for anything in the future, and I think that’s why things lingered much longer in the post-break area than it should have. I take responsibility for my share of that miscommunication.
Even though I wasn’t in a relationship with either of them, I kept making the naive mistake of not respecting the boundaries of the break-ups. I wasn’t denying the company of either of them when it was presented, and I myself would also occasionally go against my better judgment and seek out their attention, which I shouldn’t have done. Despite what my online image or more confident persona seems to be, I experience insecurity just like everyone else, and looking back I can see how my acceptance of Kristina and Whitney’s support, be it physically or emotionally, were moments of my own weakness. I should have had better foresight and done what was best, not just for me but for everyone. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and it’s easy to fall back into the security and comfort of spending time with someone you know so well. I can admit now that my actions at the time were a prime example of my own weakness, which manifested itself through promiscuity. I played with people’s hearts, including my own, and for that I’m truly sorry. It’s cliche, but hindsight really is 20/20.
I feel it’s important for me to convey that the vast majority of the traumatic events experienced by Kristina and Whitney in their posts happened while I wasn’t in a relationship with either of them. I think that’s important to try and keep in context while reading through their posts. We were single adults, making adult decisions. Is it true that I was intimate with Kristina and Whitney after our respective break ups? Yes. Did we make those decisions together? Yes. For me, there was no ambiguity as to whether we were in a relationship or not. We weren’t. However, relationships can sometimes be hard to define, I understand that. I can see now that Kristina and Whitney might have felt they were being cheated on while we were spending time together post-break up, but at the time all parties knew we weren’t interacting in a traditional “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship. Because of that verbalized, mutual understanding, it’s hard to entertain the idea that there was cheating involved. I made it clear that I wasn’t prepared to make any long-term commitments. Though I do know that doesn’t excuse my actions, and how they could have been perceived as leading them on, or even sometimes treating them as if we were together.
The accusations of manipulation brought up in their posts left me feeling both confused and conflicted. If there were feelings of manipulation, they were surely based on a lack of communication, trust and insecurity; not coercion. I never consciously made attempts at convincing them into intimacy, but if they felt that way, I really wish they would have said something to me at the time. I hate to think they felt that was my intention. I honestly never felt that I was being manipulative, especially not when it came to being intimate. Just the thought of that concept makes my skin crawl.
Part of any relationship, be it romantic or otherwise, involves exposing yourself to being vulnerable, no matter how serious that relationship is. Anything from going on a first date and getting immediately dumped, to something as life changing as getting divorced; it’s all damaging. No matter how vocal I was about not being able to commit to a monogamous relationship with either of them and no matter how much they knew what they were getting themselves into, I still caused emotional harm when I should have known better. We all need to take responsibility for our own happiness, but also be respectful of not causing someone else’s unhappiness.
I understand that for some, no amount of context will change how they view my actions. Overall, I know that I should have just been more mindful. Plain and simple, I should have put a stop to it and I didn’t. I’m sorry for that. It’s so hard to just stop pretending that everything might work out in the end, when spending time with someone who you once felt so close to feels right, even when it’s the most detrimental thing you can do after a breakup. That was my fault for not cutting communication so that we could all move on. Kristina and Whitney are both incredible people and I’ve learned a lot from them over the last few years. It was very hard to read how much I hurt them because that was never my intention. I realize now that I caused more harm than was previously expressed to me, and I feel truly awful about it. Normally I wouldn’t feel comfortable with these areas of my private life being exposed in such a raw way, but if anyone reading this is able to learn something from these mistakes, then it’s served a positive purpose, and I’m okay with it.
Lastly, I want to apologize to anyone that’s looked up to me as a role model and/or enjoyed my content. I’ve definitely let myself down, and will live with my actions long after most people will have moved on.
PS: I’ve received some questions regarding Kristina’s post about her feeling cheated on the first ALL CAPS album. I’ve decided to post my response to that topic separately. Those accusations are business related and I’d like to address them as such.