Hi Ziggity Zack. You are right that the T&R might unravel completely. Some do, some just loosen. Never re-tighten them though. Your Question "Did I not T&R them tight enough originally"- you don't want to do them tightly ever, if you do they would not mature properly. I have a few thin ones that I did too tight, and they are definitely not dreading how they should, instead of loosening, shrinking and thickening, they have stayed tight and are just zig zagging along and in no way in shape or form do they look like my maturing dreads, That is why they say that T&R is one step forward and two steps back, they need to loosen & or fall out. T&R are only the blueprints to your dreads, they are not dreads at all. Your hair was pretty short to start with, so that is probably why they are all coming out. Maybe your hair is telling you that is just wants to dread freeform/neglect method.
At you local drug store, in the vitamin section, there is a product you can buy called Biotin for under $`10. Take the 6000mcg strength and in 3 months you will notice hair growth. Dreads like to start to form on hair 6 inches or more, shorter than that they will section for sure, so don't worry, but the knotting process may or may not happen until they grow.
Be patient and don't worry, and don't re-tighten, hang in there....Peace