A Rather Interesting Story About "Strangers" Online...

Nicholas Rothstein

Feb 7, 2019
Hello, my name is Nick.

2019 was the worst year of my life. In January I got a severe concussion and could never play sports again. I used to do Judo and Wrestling. That incident set off chain reactions in my life that I never knew could happen, everything that happened last year was affected by one night. In February I joined this site, I was lurking on here for a couple of months and finally made an account. Because of my injury, it would take me ~10 minutes to type something I could normally type in a few seconds. Still, I conversed on here while the world around me fell apart.

Throughout March and April while I was recovering conflict broke out between all involved parties. I sustained my concussion during Judo practice one day. I won't get into the details but things got messy as people's true character emerged. I lost people who I thought were family. But still, with my sub-par motor skills, I took care of my animals (I'm not the only one who was surprised I did not get bit during this time XD). I still logged on every day to read what was going on. My neurologist encouraged my care for animals as it relieved my stress and let me focus on something positive. Though he did limit my electronic usage as it was over stimulating my brain.

I was unable to take my science fair project to its full potential. This crushed me. I had taken pride in my work, something that I rarely felt. I did take my project to the end. I only won a small recognition from The Society for In Vitro Biology. (today I am still continuing my project, bigger and better.)

In May things took a turn for the worst... again, my parents started fighting. At a time where I needed my family the most, I did not have them. Only my twin sister, Alysha, knew that I needed to both be happy and healthy. I still logged on every day, reading day old to decade old threads, learning more about my favorite animal.

Throughout June and July, the conflict between all parties began to die down. But my parents got worse. They nearly divorced in July. I was finally ending the recovery road, only somethings never healed.

In August things started to look up again. I had got glasses for my convergence insufficiency and my family was healing. I was getting off my feet again.

In September nothing amazing happened, the stress of school was normal. I finally felt my life was fixed. I continued interacting and reading on this forum, something I looked forward to in my day.

In October I started applying to colleges, life was a bit stressful but nothing I couldn't handle. And then on my birthday, October 13, my EX told me that she just wanted to be friends, we were together for nearly two years at that point. I had been building back up my life and forgot about the most important people around me. Little did I know our paths in life had split.

In November I thought I had patched up my relationship. Everything seemed great. I was nearly done with my college applications and my finals were looking easy. I didn't come on here as often because I was a bit busy but I still did.

And finally December. On the 14th my relationship ended. I had just given her a Christmas gift, an ornament I made from melted glass. I was cracked wide open again. This time I couldn't pull myself together by myself again. I failed all of my finals. I was derailed from my college applications. Everything was ruined. But, I got help, I sought professional help. I picked back up the pieces and started moving forward again. Someone I look up to told me that Resilience is my greatest quality. I had never gotten that compliment before. Usually, people just say I am smart. After each event, I kept moving forward.

Now you're probably wondering, why did he tell us this? I'll tell you why. You played a small but important role in my life. Online "Strangers" were one of the few gleaming lights left at the darkest points of my life. I think it is very important to show gratitude and thanks. You never know who is on the other side of that screen.

Thank you, from each small interaction, no matter the content or context, you helped me.

Now here are some happy pictures of happy centipedes I took tonight:
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Nov 14, 2011
I admire your resiliency. Keep moving forward buddy. Nothin to it but do it.


Active Member
Jul 11, 2016
@Nicholas Rothstein, whoever told you that you are resilient spoke the truth; to still be here, a year later, still moving forward, you are truly strong. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be without familial support, so to hear this deeply saddens me; I pray your parent's relationship will be healed, and that you will find new friends who truly seek the best for you.

May 2020 be much, much better for you and your family. I speak peace to you and your family, friends, etc. in this new year.

And I can say interacting with you online has been a pleasure; I look forward to continuing to hear of your exploits in the invertebrate hobby :).