Sorry for the lateness. Goodness, I forgot how much planning these middle scenes require. The initial run was just a jumble once I got to the Academy scenes. But hey, more fun to flesh them out now. ♥ I want to get some wordcount down this week, and then use the weekend to plan the PATB serial's first episode.
Fucking done! Starting Event #7, scene #42 next! Gotta check my notes for the rewrite and make sure my dates are where they're supposed to be, fill in the new vocab I made up in my mini PATB glossary I'm building. Weee, so freaking glad to get past the first day! XD
Yay almost done with this event! (how did this part end up over 37,000 words? @[email protected]) I'm looking forward to the new stuff I'll be putting in among the next scenes to flesh the flimsy middle out a bit. And yes, there will be an exploding squirrel!♥
I gotta read this one more time when I'm not half asleep, but I'm pretty sure it's done. @[email protected] Sorry for the delay! I've been making a cover for the marvelous Wendy and multitasking is still something I suck at. Hoping to have another Blowjob King update this week too.
I've erased and rewritten this part two times and I'm still not loving it. I need to work on my transitions better. I feel like I've been losing some of the pace of this story over things that don't need the slow down. Then again, the next event to come had so many disjointed scenes that first time around... *sigh*
Okay, so the script writing for a visual novel is way easier than novel writing. I mean, there's a complexity with the branching stuff (and coding) but the writing in general is stripped the way I used to write comic books. Yay for less tedium ♥
So we knock into Antonio, and I have no fucking notes on what the hell he looks like. Bad author! T_T This weekend might end up with me organizing the old notes so I don't have to stop short and look through the drafts to get all that info I failed to turn into character bios the first time around.
Sorry for the mini update. My Luci-luv is dying. The poor kitty hasn't closed her eyes in hours, won't drink, won't eat, too weak to move. I have a feeling the next few days are going to be focused on her end of life and burying her.
Everything about these rewrite scenes feel like 1) reorganize data to flow properly and 2) get the characters our of their fucking heads and into the scene! Stop thinking so much when nothing is actually happening. @[email protected]
The idea hit me while I was, well, not thinking about writing at all XD and it just stuck, like, being all, this is so obvious. You’re being slow as fuck with your writing, just release it as serial installments! Duh. And then I thought, well, maybe if I have a cover, but covers are going to be a pain in the ass. Like, that’s time spent. And my brain was all, bitch, you got this shit. One evening of Photoshop–Go! And now I have a cover and really, very few excuses. I mean, it’s not a bad idea. Just release it into KU while it’s being written, and if peeps want to read ahead, they can check out the website. I mean, this project has just been so slow with my health being all wonky. I feel like I’ve put nothing out there in ages.
I’m not sure how I want to break the books down. My lazy self is all, covers are a pain so just put half or a quarter of a book in each episode so shit goes faster. But my more pragmatic side sees that as having a lot of time between releases, which is what this is supposed to avoid. :/ I’m going to think on it, see how much time I want to invest in editing right now, etc. But yeah, I think this is a fun idea.
Oh, what do you think of the throwback to the first original Demon Arms cover?! XD check it!
Winning at photomanips lately, yeah? I’m digging the little debris that makes it feel like there’s motion even though absolutely nothing is happening. 😉
Dealing with an unexpected problem health wise. And it might be temporary–it might be nothing. Or it might be a sign of something permanent I’m going to have to deal with all the time. No clue. It’s a very frustrating issue though, one that, when it hits like it did the last couple days, feels overwhelming and inescapable. It’s apathy.
I thought at first it was depression, but it was too different, too distinct from the symptoms I was once consumed with in my younger years. No, this just sucked the joy from my actions and thoughts, the motivation, the enjoyment. I didn’t feel impaired in any physical or mental way, but I also didn’t feel much of anything. I could see I wasn’t myself, but I couldn’t spark the normal chemical reactions that would make me enjoy things either. It made everything very empty and dull.
I guess this is something pretty common with Parkinson’s, and it doesn’t have much correlation with how far the disease has progressed. Even though I have been able to protect myself from the mold induced Parkinson’s and regrow dopamine receptors and even remove the neurotoxins from my body and environment that were triggering the Parkinson’s, I may not have a lot of tools to fix this problem. Although increasing/restoring dopamine helps, it hasn’t actually cured the apathy, and scientists have theories but nothing really solid when it comes to answers. This may be a level of permanent brain damage, and I have little guarantee of what the hell to expect.
The last few days were an extreme hit of this lack of enjoyment, but it has been happening for a while on a less intense level. I thought it was psychological as my health returned and I found myself doing the same thing day in and day out. With my brain repairing, everything just felt so obvious, and in a way, so dull with no challenge to reveal. But challenges are all around me; I just couldn’t get my emotions to respond like they normally would. I wasn’t feeling my writing, feeling joy from creativity, feeling satisfaction the way I used to, but it wasn’t until the feelings shut off completely that I could see that they were wonky to begin with.
So, yeah, an interesting couple of days as I try to figure all this out. What I’m doing now is really trying to work around the apathy when it hits to ensure I function like a normal person even if my drive/motivation/basic impulses are lacking. I’m forcing myself to exercise since it seems to have some positive effect–although the mood alteration was limited, only a few days, so I can’t say 100% what worked and what’s mere coincidence. I’m still not fully myself even if I’m at least back to the medium level of feeling I was before. I’ll have to track my symptoms as they hit until I get enough cause and effect to get a better picture. I might be looking into stims like caffeine, look at nootropics, reward, dopamine creating behavior, that sort of thing. There are plenty of paths to run down and explore to find the answers.
And I guess I’m looking to cope with facing how things may progress, and what it may be like to live a life I don’t fully feel emotionally. I suspect it will not be an easy thing if I go by the last few days. >_> I have faced a lot of shit, let’s be real. I’m not sure how to deal with something that strips my joy away on a fundamental level I can’t escape. It is a very cruel way to live, robotic, without not just drive but no goals, no intellectual curiosity or response to stimuli. No love of life or art or creation. It’s like going through the motions instead of living a life.
I am, at my core, a hopeful person. An optimist. To think that can be stripped away with a chemical switch I have no control over is, well, fucking shitty. Will the drive that has gotten me to find the answers to my health problems be stripped away too? It is a difficult reality I may find myself in if the apathy gets worse… Or I may be worrying over nothing as I get healthier. I am a terrible fortune teller but very good at worrying. >_<
One of the plugins decided to break–because computers are freaking fickle. But on removing it, the website is super fast in comparison. It was the disable right click thing. I gotta say, I will take the annoying constant theft if the website doesn’t lag like a motherfuck the way it did. What an annoying thing to compromise on.
This may seem rather obvious, but being broke sucks. I feel like a kid who has to wait to be able to do all the things I want to do, except I’m an adult and I’m stuck waiting because not having money sucks. Civilization needs to wake the fuck up and start implementing things like a universal income, but I suspect it will be a long wait seeing as humanity still can’t get over simple shit like equality and not murdering each other. *sigh* Fucking tribalism just won’t die.
I think of all the stuff I’d be doing full force if I didn’t have to worry about money, and it’s just frustrating. I could have gone into a ton of character creation and art for this VN already if I could just afford the full version of the cg program I’m using for reference. I could have started this whole thing sooner if I wasn’t caught up in publishing for cash instead of creating for enjoyment. And legit, I still have to go that route. I want the website to be enough, but it’s not yet. I seriously need to start focusing on publishing again before my KU income flat lines.
The pursuit of money has totally ruined a ton of my creative endeavors. My art is so caught up in the ‘will this keep me in a house’ bullshit that I just start to hate it all. Money is a shitty motivator for creative work. I have never looked at money and felt inspired to create or be a better person or do amazing things in the world. I look at money and I feel scarcity, or security, and it’s usually scarcity.
Blah. I’m just ruminating about the flaws of the world that could easily be fixed if society would just be better already. My car has over $700 worth of work I need to do to be able to use it again, my meds that sustain me are hundreds a month (and apparently I cannot beat the mold induced Parkinson’s without them yet–really painful lesson to face today,) and I just want to make cool stuff. Like, if I didn’t have to worry about money, I could have moved out of this moldy house already! Why is this shit so limiting?
Maybe I should try to convince myself to be more money oriented with the stuff I do. If I made a point to increase my income, these problems would be solved and more fun could be had. But I can’t even make myself want money, even though I can see how shitty it is when I don’t have it. It’s like I lack the basic instinct. I like to make things. I like to think about things, and I like to make things, and that’s about all I’m good at. It’s shit to realize the things I do can’t really matter unless I figure out how to monetize them well enough too. What a dumb thing to demand, society.
Blah. Guess I’ll have to make a million bucks writing. It can’t be that hard, right? *snort*
Okay, so I’m getting super excited now that I’m finally–FINALLY!–starting the Demon Virus visual novel project. I’m in the first scene, fleshing out the character of the thralls and I’m feeling so inspired! Mikey is back. Will is a total asshole who can’t help but taunt the fuck out of all the extremely horny thralls who have been forcefully changed by the same incubus who targeted Mikey. And I’m making a horny meter that, once it gets full, will decide if the thralls lose their shit or not. XD I love the idea of it. Like, how would I use something like that as a game element, and what would happen when it was triggered? It would have to change depending on which thrall, where we are in the story, who is around at the time. It’s a really fun concept all around and it’s just the first scene.
I decided I’ve been putting everything off for too long, and it’s time to figure out how to divide my time properly. This means working on PATB for an hour or so a day, and then spending the rest of my time on other projects. The projects lined up for now are the Demon Virus visual novel and Blowjob King. Blowjob King is a short story and won’t require huge amounts of detail and character arcs, etc–you know, something easy for a change. @[email protected] While Demon Virus is an interactive novel, although totally complicated as fuck, it’s something that needs to be tackled in small bites anyways. It’s either make a picture, or outline the plot, or create a character bio, or figure out the code, etc. It’s very step by step, portion to portion.
The main reason I’m tackling multiple projects is the hope to 1) stave off boredom, which will therefore drive me to be more productive, and 2) recover my brain function. It’s like a veil has lifted since I got the allergies under control, babes. I am loving life again, loving the world I’m in, but I’m not really living as fully as I think I can. the cobwebs are clinging. I need to ensure that I’m taking care of my brain, repairing the damage, and pushing to grow whatever might have atrophied. As complex as the visual novel appears, it has challenges that are going to help me without being terribly redundant. In a lot of ways it’s much easier than what I have to do with PATB. The writing is mostly dialogue mixed in with a bit of choreography/depictions of action. It’s far more minimalist, and requires less perfectionism as a result. It’s in the plot, the crafting of story, and figuring out the most entertaining way to deliver that story while creating a feeling of reader interaction where most of the creative requirements are going to be. And then just basic technical stuff I’ll need to learn when it comes to coding the game. Oh, and drawing, which is a breeze.
I like the idea of making an interactive comic book in a lot of ways, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the hell I can do with this project. I’m also looking forward to figuring out how to share the WIP aspect seeing as most of the stuff I’m doing is in the planning stages and isn’t in a game form. Maybe I can make a section on the website dedicated to the ‘how to’ process as I go through and figure it all out…
Just wanted to check in. So my Luci-luv passed away, and the same night we buried her in a sweet, little cat coffin, I caught the bug that’s been floating around my house. Fever, coughing, grumpy, foggy brain, headache, more grumpy, etc. I think I’m coming back to myself, and now I just need to wrangle my focus back. The fever is lingering, but eh, I’ve had worse. Also, got some thyroid tests back today and I guess my thyroid antibodies are still elevated, so I’m kinda bummed about that. But eh, for real, I’ve had way worse and I’ve got nothing to complain about.
Some mountains feel achievable because you’ve already climbed something similar. When I look at how every scene I rewrite for Demon Arms is turning out @ 3 times longer, I keep getting hit with doubt. I’m not even halfway through and I’m over 127,000 words and I feel kind of sick inside. Because I’m familiar with a certain wordcount. I’m familiar with a certain response to my older works, aka, my moldy brain writing. This has been a huge source of concern for me as a writer, as a creator-just as a human being. I have regained my very broken brain back and I’m worried my writing is now alien to who I used to be.
I personally think it’s a positive change, but does what I like even fucking matter when I’m trying to make a living? Broken Sadie has been tested and tried and has a fanbase who loves those old stories. Can not so broken Sadie live up to that? It’s an unpleasant feeling, these uncertainties. The reality is, all I can do is forge forward and hope people like my new style and ultimately forgive me for not being capable of consistency. I have a feeling everyone else is far more forgiving on me than I am.
That is something familiar that I don’t enjoy; my history of kicking my own ass over pointless shit. My brain changed. I have no control over it. Keep creating, yeah? I have to stop looking backwards for reference to feel validated in what I’m doing now. I just need to be in now, okay with now, and let all that other shit go.
I didn’t realize how long it’s been since the last newsletter. Time is just slipping by. Let me try to catch up while avoiding shit politics…
One of my cats passed away a little after the last newsletter. She was super sick for about a year, and we’re not really sure how old. Definitely on the older side though. Her quality of life had been good, so it’s one of those little tradeoffs. We took her in some years ago when she was really obese and a seriously grumpy cat. She was a fighter over nothing, ya know? (A girl after my own heart XD) So I’m happy how her mood changed and we were able to get her to a healthy weight and feel part of our little family while we could.
What else… I’m getting to the next part of the Demon Arms rewrite. Started getting back into making covers, too. Wendy is doing a re-release I’m super excited about. I’m in an artsy mood but there is just so much to do! Oh, and I did a little start on the Demon Virus visual novel. It’s going to be pretty sporadic until I get the final edits of Demon Arms and Shiny Thief done and out, but yeah, it’s been fun to look at what it’s going to take to make a visual novel. The script is so much easier than a novel. Minimalistic—fuck, I miss my minimalism.
I had my first serious run in with Parkinson’s sourced apathy aka emotional flatlining. I’m really hoping it won’t repeat—it seriously sucked. Oh, I should probably mention I’m better overall. Like, I don’t think I’ve had an immune response in weeks. I don’t get exhausted anymore. My body and brain are pretty with it. No dark hazes where I’m staring off into space—it’s been a long journey, huh? The neurotransmitter rich probiotics are doing the trick. I haven’t had an allergy shot since, and I only grab the antihistamines maybe 1-2 times a week. Even when I’m hit with mold, my reactions are completely different. The worst was mild pain in my back, little brain fog, and exhaustion while I was out for a day and found myself in a moldy area. I grabbed a kombucha from a store, and I recovered in half an hour and was able to enjoy the rest of the day like a person.
Did you know they have kombucha and other foods with cbd now? That was in that drink I had that helped me recover. I’m in Massachusetts, so I don’t know what the regulations are elsewhere, but cbd oil is supposed to be super effective when it comes to inflammation (and guess what happens when you’re low on dopamine or hit with neurotoxins from mold? Inflammation!) I thought it was super cool. I keep wanting to check out what cbd oil will do for me but my car needs repairs and I’m stuck at home and I’ve got no money at the moment. But for the future, yeah, totally trying that shit.
I gained so much back, and the apathy that hit threw me in a bad way. It’s scary to find yourself sitting in a chair and observing as all your feelings literally shut off. It wasn’t like depression or agitated depression, not disassociation or trauma. I’m familiar with how all those feel and this was different. I couldn’t spark normal chemical responses to stimuli. I wasn’t sad, wasn’t upset, wasn’t anything. It was very bland. I imagine if I were a robot (maybe a cyberman from Dr. Who—cuz I’m a nerd, babes,) a bit like that. >_>
I had no intellectual curiosity, no drive, no desire. You know, those things a creative like me lives off of. What worries me more is once those feelings shut off for @48 hours straight, it was easy to see how it had been happening in much smaller doses for a while now. Possibly since last summer, maybe a bit earlier. I have not been myself and I don’t know what I’m going to be allowed to get back of me.
I’ve gotten through all I’ve gotten through mostly because of my attitude, plain and simple. And suddenly here’s this very overwhelming thing that sucks my optimism away. It’s like having my personality stolen and not knowing if and when it might happen again.
I have a lot of research to do on it. Apathy is a problem with the dopamine system, but it’s not automatically repaired with the return of proper dopamine levels. But it’s tax weekend (why yes, I am the last standing procrastinator!) and what I found so far on the problem of apathy is fucking depressing, so I’ve been avoiding it a bit. But I’ll be looking at it more closely just in case—cuz let’s face it, given my track record of worst case scenarios hitting me, I’m not doing great.
I did find this cool 5 second rule with Mel Robbins that helped me get through when I realized what was happening and couldn’t get a lot of motivation to do simple shit. It’s basically on the lines of a brain hack where you override a part of your brain that wants to doubt and question what you’re doing by just, well, doing it within 5 seconds.
When I found myself all apathetic, I also found I had lost my underlying impulse to just DO shit. Full bladder was not motivation to get up and my body didn’t propel me out of my bed/chair. I literally had to make myself get up (hours later.) If you’ve ever struggled with dopamine issues, this might sound familiar. I have lived my entire life where my body reacts on impulse and then I rationalize after the fact, but when my dopamine system started getting fucked up from the mold, that changed. The video above is about beating your brain before it starts doubting, but the 5 second rule for me was about forcing my brain to start up functions in my body without my normal impulse.
We don’t want to have to give orders to our bodies all the damn time. There are things it should be able to do on its own, otherwise we’d have to pay full attention to when we’re driving, or walking, or hey, breathing. Every moment would be like you’re learning something for the first time. Having to put our mental attention into starting a task just doesn’t come naturally to most people because we are running on impulse (whether we’re aware of it or not.) So it was cool to find something so simple that allowed me to bypass my body’s flawed start up to engage it on my own. It didn’t give me my emotions back, my love of life, etc, but at least it allowed me to move around, exercise, and hopefully create dopamine that pulled me out of the apathy funk.
I’m trying not to worry about it too much and just find proactive things to do about it (just in case.) I don’t want to be a robot. I don’t want to be bored with life. My intellectual curiosity drives me in everything, and I don’t want that taken away. I like how I love life and laugh at pointless shit and connect with people and problem solve. It’s fun. I want my life to be fun, not me going through the motions.
Changing the subject to Demon Arms
Anywho… How about a peek at the Demon Arms rewrite? Much more interesting than my weird health shit. Oh, and some MM reads at the bottom!
“The fuck?” Wylie gasped the moment the garage door shut. He tried to push up from his kneeling position, but his legs were too stiff, and he fell back in a heap on the floor. The cigarette went flying from his lips, and he blinked up in surprise at the ceiling. “Shit.” While his muscles fought the remnants of the spell, Wylie began to piece together what just happened.
Dorian was gone. With one unpredictable spark, the guy had run from their kiss and him without looking back.
“I should have kept my mouth shut,” Wylie muttered as he used his claws to pull himself up into a sitting position. The muscles in his torso protested, but he could feel his dragon twisting inside, breaking through the magic with each pass. Wylie didn’t bother getting up. There was no point chasing after Dorian, not after that parting look.
“You stupid fuck,” Wylie berated down at his chest. “What the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t care how fucking horny dragons are supposed to be; that’s no excuse for freaking him out like that.”
The dragon’s growl rumbled through Wylie, and he glared in frustration as he was bombarded with thoughts and emotions that weren’t his. “Stop it. You can’t just say stupid shit like that to a guy. It’s creepy. You just fucking met him—you barely even met him.”
Wylie ran his tongue over the edge of his teeth and shook his head to clear his mind. The dragon’s emotions persisted in an annoying swirl. How he wanted to love Dorian, touch him, fuck him until he was too sated to ever want to leave. How he wanted to lick every inch of him and heal him so deep, Dorian would never get that pained, heartbroken look when he mentioned not being able to be touched.
“Just stop,” Wylie grunted. “He’s too hurt to just go saying crazy shit like that to him. Besides, sometimes people need their pain to know who they are. Not everyone wants it to be taken away.” Wylie made it to his feet and glared when the scales on his wrist accidentally sliced into the thigh of his jeans. “Come on, dude. Give me my fucking arms back already. He’s not even here.”
Wylie closed his eyes as he tried to will the dragon back. The dragon readily relented with Dorian gone. Wylie sighed in relief when the scales on his arms ruffled and smoothly slid back into his flesh. He opened his eyes and flexed his talon free fingers.
“Thank you,” Wylie said after a long pause. “Not just for listening. Thanks for not going crazy like you did earlier today.”
The dragon crooned inside him, and Wylie’s eyebrows furrowed down. The dragon was still as loud in his head as he’d been with his scales out.
“Stop,” Wylie insisted when the dragon hit him with a fresh wave of worried thoughts. “It doesn’t matter if the guy is interested. You heard him. Fuck, you were there for that spell. He was super clear.” Wylie pursed his lips when the dragon’s retort was to show him Dorian’s eyes again. The sorrow in his hazel depths was so great it felt like he could drown.
“Just stop,” Wylie whispered and ran his palm fiercely over his face. He lingered as his fingertips brushed his lips which were still stinging from the magical spark.
Dorian kissed him. This wasn’t a one sided thing. No matter how crazy his dragon might have acted, Dorian was interested on some level.
The dragon’s thoughts were a buzz that refused to silence. It was starting to understand the problem of having scales that would only ever cut the flesh of the mate he’d chosen, and it had no idea how to fix it. How could it help Dorian soothe the pain inside if he couldn’t ever touch him?
“I don’t know.” Wylie was frustrated with the whole thing, including the conversation he couldn’t escape. “Who cares if our claws never cut us? None of this matters. You never even asked me if I wanted a mate, you selfish ass. Now you think I’m just going to solve this fucking problem you’re the cause of? You’re the reason the scales cut everyone. You’re the reason I have scales in the first place!” Wylie slammed his hand down on the workbench and snarled. “Stop talking to me. Stop acting like you’re anything but the fucking monster who ruined my life.”
“Doe!” The garage door flew open and crashed against the wall.
Wylie whirled to face the other side of the room. “Fucking—Leo?” Wylie sighed internally at the sight of Leo hulking in the doorway. The shifter was filling up the space with his muscular bulk and his chest was heaving with barely restrained rage. For a moment Wylie had thought it was Dorian, and he hated how disappointed he felt to see it wasn’t.
“What? What do you want?” Wylie snapped.
Leo growled aggressively and slammed his hand on the wall.
Wylie rolled his eyes at Leo’s ferocious snarl. Ugh. Was this going to be a thing? Like, did Leo show up just to get his ass kicked?
So first, a quick check in. I’m trying a new experiment with my health, and so far so good. Things have flipped pretty drastically in a short amount of time. I no longer need allergy shots (we’ll see what happens once spring hits and the mold blooms,) and this is the 4th day straight I haven’t needed any dopamine supplementation for the Parkinson’s. I think I may have finally cracked this. I’m keeping myself aware—it’s all still experimentation until I can feel like this is repeatable and sustainable—but yeah, it’s looking good.
My key thought at the root of this experiment was the realization that it’s the gut that produces the majority of our neurotransmitters. Not through the gut itself, but the bacteria living there. If Parkinson’s is a sign of low dopamine (a neurotransmitter) and a ton of dopamine is created in the gut by our bacteria, then what would happen if I intentionally seeded my gut with probiotics designed to increase neurotransmitter production? AKA, why not farm my gut the way we farm the land to produce what I need to function?
The change was quick. Practically overnight once I started the probiotics and realized some store bought kombucha had the right bacteria to also produce neurotransmitters. I’m sure it helps I’m still on the Candida killing meds too. I have energy, and I’m more active in my life. I’ve been cooking (and eating) every day and I’m feeling really relaxed. I even started exercising on my rebounder again. I’m more active but it’s not that hyper energy I get when my immune system is flipping out. I just feel more me and more in my life.
I’m taking it slow, though. I feel like every time I push too hard when I see improvement, I undo the good. Which makes me think the extra neurotransmitters are helping with my residual anxiety. I’m really happy with it all so far.
I guess we’ll see how it goes. Hope is a double edged blade some days, so I’m just focusing on how nice it is to wake up on a Saturday, laze around, and still manage to write a Newsletter while also eating properly and thinking of creative stuff to do. I saw the Spider-Verse movie—the art style was so inspiring. My mind is a whirl of if I could do something similar in a visual novel. <3
Okay, some fucking kickass atheists!
I am in love with this video. If you’re bored and looking to see what it looks like when a brilliant atheist tears into an asshole who thinks homosexuality = aids, and homosexuality = pedophilia, check it out. What I love at the core is the message of freedom of thought and the problem with people who think a thought is an action. They are separate and don’t require judgment, something people really struggle with.
And if you’re interested in seeing an atheist view of sex work, and how even in secular spaces free of religion, society is still struggling with their personal shame when it comes to sex, check out this 9 minute intro—also, nipple at 11:46 😉
I’ve started watching things like the videos above because it is such a relief to find people who think like me. These concepts and viewpoints of the world seem like common sense to me, but I did not grow up with people who had common sense. The majority of the adults in my life were messed up and brain washed through social and religious means. It might seem weird that I see PTSD in practically everyone, but there’s a reason for that. I was surrounded by people who were traumatized, and these people never sought help. They just created a path of destruction everywhere they went. And I, a small child, was constantly being harmed by other people’s trauma.
Time for a personal ramble of my past
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I’ve been thinking a lot about where the thoughts came from that I, as an adult, am forever clashing with. Unfortunately, they came from home, not some external source. At times it was influenced by external sources, such as the religion my family believed in. At the core, I was raised mostly through trauma, not nurture.
I grew up in an environment that didn’t promote thought. As a child, I didn’t really understand it, and I certainly didn’t understand what it was doing to me. When my adoptive mother would burst into angry tears because I would keep questioning her stances and offer other view points, I didn’t understand WHY; I just knew I got quieter and quieter to appease her. Her plea was forever ‘why can’t you just agree with me?!’
Well, why couldn’t I? More importantly, why should I? Why did I, a child trying to understand the world, have to agree with a grown woman to make her feel validated in the world? Because she was damaged. The same way my biological father would beat his kids when they didn’t act the way he wanted. He was damaged and he thought to control a child would mean he had control over himself. He didn’t. Why did the children always have to change to make these unstable adults feel stable? The entire thing is flawed and proposed by adults who are too damaged to see they are the problem. Unfortunately, children are beaten down to believe the lie of the adult in situations like this, and they spread it later in their own lives.
When my adoptive mother would snap at me for speaking quietly, I only got quieter. I was attacked for speaking up and saying the ‘wrong’ thing, and attacked for speaking quietly for fear of saying the wrong thing; the clear answer was to just never speak. Especially when I knew the stakes of speaking up, because I was a foster kid until the age of 10—my experience was if you pissed off your parents, they either sent you away or beat you. My adoptive parents did neither, but they threatened to plenty.
I was a foster kid who came from an abusive home, and I was adopted by well-intentioned parents, one of which (my mother) had been a ward of the state until she aged out and had endured terrible abuse during that time and after. Some of that abuse was inflicted on her by her husband, (my adoptive father,) who stopped drinking by the time we were taken into the house and was thankfully not the person of his past. Whether she intended to or not, my mother abused me in the same way she had been abused when it came to thought control, self esteem and emotional manipulation.
She set a standard in the household that I should be ashamed or disgusted by my body. That if my hair wasn’t to her specifications, I was a ‘hag.’ I can remember her absolute disgust when I got a new bra, and the way she pulled it down my torso, scathingly telling me it belonged lower—because when it was higher, my breasts looked larger (the horror.) When I spoke back to her, or just did something she didn’t like, she would say ‘you have the biggest balls I’ve ever seen.’ There would be such disgust in her voice, I only know now through observing the pattern through other people that clearly someone had said this to her as a child, and it had been gendered to assure that she would feel repulsed every time she stepped out of line. Girls were ‘good,’ and they certainly didn’t have balls. What defined good? Not upsetting others, and not being free like men. She used that against me in the hopes to break me from being my own person. She would tell me if I didn’t like living there, I could go live under a bridge. Because that’s rational—telling a child who had endured years of abuse that if you don’t conform in every way, you can go die on the streets.
My relationship with my adoptive mother was extremely toxic and it was not because I, a child, had established it to be that way. And to be clear, I loved her, just as I did my abusive biological parents, and my adoptive father (he favored materialistic manipulation over emotional.) Love is not stopped by things like abuse, trauma, pain. I can acknowledge someone was horrible in action and still love them whole-heartedly, even if I have no interest in being around them any longer.
I think that’s hard for some people; they can’t speak bad of someone—they can’t speak truth—because they fear they will appear unloving, so the truth festers away inside like an infected wound, unheard and ignored by their own psyche. It’s a psychological cocktail of misery that can create more repression and lies. When someone tried to tell me my biological mother was a saint when she did nothing to stop my biological father from hurting me, or my biological grandfather from hurting me, or refused to create a stable environment to prevent her small children from being at the mercy of any stranger who could be called a ‘foster parent,’ it just made the pain worse because it was bullshit.
Adults are not perfect, and some adults are really fucking terrible because of what they do to others, and yeah, I can still love them but I won’t pad the truth. And because of that, I can talk about this stuff and not be in pain anymore. I’m not broken by the truth because I realize people are complex, fucked up, and even when we try our best, we are not always our best versions of ourselves. When we can come clean about that stuff, we can move on to do better. But only if we can be honest. All the people I know who didn’t face their shit, never changed, never got better.
So, some weird shit about the mother I loved, the one who took me in and gave me a roof over my head when I was at my most vulnerable. My mother fought me for my adoptive father’s attention like a scorned lover instead of a mother—talk about awkward. I would have to walk home from school (a good 2 hour walk) if I missed the bus because she didn’t like his time after work going in any way toward me instead of toward her. She got upset when I had my plays or music recitals at school because it took him away for a few hours while she wanted all his attention. Asking for simple things like to be driven to a friend’s house or the mall was met with argument after argument, until it was easier to not have a social life to keep from battling her at every turn. She hated having other kids in the house; she wasn’t a fan of me and my brother being in the house either.
It felt like everything was a constant battle of wills with this woman, and none of it made sense. Why couldn’t I just be a person? She didn’t care my grades were shit, that I wasn’t adjusting to school, none of it; she just wanted me to conform to whatever she wanted and it made everything else so much harder. It took until the end of middle school for me to finally break her hold on me, and I think this was probably much younger than other children who break away from their parents later in life. My mother ‘washed her hands of me,’ aka, stopped telling me what music to listen to, what clothing to wear, stopped trying to ‘help’ me by crushing me down until I could barely move without her freaking out. She also stopped talking to me outside of guilting me for ‘bringing this on myself’ because I was too difficult on her. This was suspiciously around the same time her cancer returned. She could only handle one battle, and it was with her own body, and her punishment to me was to cut me out of her life.
She never told me she lost a breast to cancer before they took us in. She never got therapy for it. I don’t think my mother got therapy for anything, from her life changing illness, the husband who used to terrorize her, to the abusive childhood she endured. When I started washing her clothes as her cancer returned and progressed, I found her bra with the padded breast. I can’t even imagine having something so profoundly intense happen to my body and not share that with my child, to not try to teach about illness, about the body and how it doesn’t always look how we want but we still have worth, still have value. But my mother never sought help, and she did not have a healthy perspective of what it meant to live in a body.
My mother had turned me shaving my legs into such an ordeal—seriously, she got my doctor involved—that the kids at my school who were making fun of me for having hairy legs unlike all the other girls were told by a teacher that I didn’t shave because it was a religious thing. No, it wasn’t religious, my mother just couldn’t handle my growing up. She couldn’t handle talking to me about tampons or menstruation. When I had severe, and as I know it now, not even remotely normal cramps, but horrendous reactions to the mold in the house that would send me screaming for 2 days straight every time I got my period—she would call me weak and throw it in my face how I’d never be able to handle the pain of child birth. (I’m likely barren, actually, from what the mold did to me.) My mother instead pointed out how she would go to school every day even though she also threw up every morning. Because she was strong.
That was how I learned just how damaged my mother was. Not with long, meaningful talks about her past, but these little moments she would bring up and use to stab me with guilt and shame as she bitterly tried to keep me from the reality at hand. She was winning a game of who could hurt who the most I didn’t realize I was in; I was just being a kid.
If I had been in pain for something not ‘womanly,’ I’m certain she would have handled it different. If my knee was twisted, she’d get me to a doctor. But it was my uterus, and it was a subject off limits. I needed help and instead of seeking solutions, she would attack me for needing help. The reason being, in her mind she did the same thing to herself. Her normal was to hate herself and blame herself for not being able to control her life. And I learned because of years of that treatment to be just as cruel, just as apathetic to myself.
I can clearly remember one day me coming home from school to find my room ransacked with my mother standing there with my latest library book in hand. I was a heavy reader—I read to escape a very unhappy life—and she just started screaming at me, and screaming, and screaming.
The book was for young adults (of which I was one,) and discussed things like puberty, making out, potential sex in the future for the characters, etc. I can’t remember what my mother actually said, just the disgust twisted on her face as she screamed at me for reading such a book and how filthy it was. The hilarity being, she totally missed the romances and books that had masturbation and sex that I had already read by this time. My mother actually wanted to give me a book about sex, a book that never materialized, and one she mentioned when I was 17. Because she was so fucked up about living in a body, so fucked up about sex in general, and so fucked up with her identity and needing me to be a reflection that she couldn’t face any of these basic things.
We could never talk, never connect, because she never treated the demons in her past. I had read books about cancer, specifically of a daughter my age dealing with her mother having cancer, before she even told me she had cancer. I was learning more about my own life through books because she was avoiding me experiencing life. When I was in high school, and her cancer got so bad I would come home every day after school to take care of her, cook for her, walk her to the bathroom, etc, we didn’t talk like people, like a family, like friends. I could either share her interests, or not exist. I had to be perfect, or upset her. I had to be perfect, or I’d be letting her die. I had to be perfect, and I could never be me.
It’s not unique
My childhood wasn’t particularly unique in the long run when it comes to being born into abuse, into religion, and into needing to adapt or rebel from a controlling parent. It certainly isn’t unique in being treated so apathetically that I learned to do the same to myself. What is unique about me, and it makes me so sad to realize it, is compared to the people I am surrounded by, or once were (I left a lot of broken people behind) I was the only one I knew who was striving to deal with my shit and gain a new life. I strove to break free of the thought control that lingered from people who were now dead but were still managing to fuck up my life.
So, when I see videos like this, of someone who understands the world in complete rationality and is also CONFIDENT in the perspective, it is beautiful to me. Because I wasn’t allowed to see the world the way I wanted to, the way I did, without waiting to be struck down on so many levels—and don’t even get me started with the all knowing God who would condemn me to Hell for merely thinking.
It’s a wonder I didn’t grow up to be crazy, yeah? It’s a fucking wonder anyone growing up in a restrictive religious household, or an abusive one survives to be any sort of adjusted adult. Our reactions to the world and our basic ideologies are established when we are at our youngest and most vulnerable, and this is when we can be least protected and least seen. This is when the adults in our lives don’t realize their stress and fears becomes a child’s literal perspective of life.
I can’t be in a crowded kitchen because both my adoptive parents were always freaking out with being crowded in a kitchen when cooking. When I first started dating, most of my reactions were to lash out at any show of emotion in my partner because my mother made me believe emotion was weakness, and that other people needed to stop having emotions so I could feel safe. Why the fuck should other people’s emotions have anything to do with me? Because my emotions were perceived as an attack by my mother on her. It is absolutely irrational, but it was the world these damaged adults created, and the one I spend every day trying to break apart so I can live healthily.
I want to enjoy reality. I want to enjoy my voice, which still sometimes gets quiet when people show up to freak at me because I see the world differently than they do. I don’t always feel confident in speaking my truth, but I do still speak it. I want that confidence. I want that place of stability to know if I say something that upsets people, too fucking bad; I won’t end up on the streets without my mother’s love.
I am not the keeper, the caretaker, or even remotely responsible for other people’s emotions, and I have no interest in trying to manipulate those emotions in any way. It is not my job to make other people feel good about themselves, and it’s not my job to go away because people don’t want to face the reality of a difference of perspective. Too fucking bad for them.
I talk a lot of shit about the LGBTQ community when they are acting shitty. When you have ‘real lesbians’ telling bisexuals they’re not really into women, or ‘real gay men’ telling trans men they can’t exist. When the community says gender doesn’t matter, then freaks the fuck out when they discover the gender of someone is not what they thought it was. When still, those within the community abuse those who are different in the community because they, like my mother, need everyone who looks like them (or identifies like them) to be just like them. No person is alike, but still we try to crush people down to fit into what we conceive them to be, and it is shit. In a community trying to break free of labels, there are so many fucking labels!
I get it; it is extremely hard to see past the false realities pain and strong emotions create. I had PTSD for over 30 years. I know damn well. I wanted people to be what I thought they were so that they made sense and I felt like I had control. But I also know what happens when we don’t try, and what happens when we get lazy and just shrug off reality as being less interesting than the many distractions or addictive anger and constant victimization. I still battle biases, still put a wall between me and people because I fear emotional manipulation even now.
I would rather live in a void than go through something like what I did with my parents—and that’s fucking tragic. Human beings are social creatures, and my coping strategy that got me through a difficult time in my life is still being habitually used to destroy my ability to connect. Because someone once told me to suffocate myself was a sign of strength, and when desperate for love, I believed them.
It is beautiful to hear other people describe the world as it is, instead of through the lens of a broken, brainwashed human being. If you’re well adjusted (I’m sure such people are out there and congratulations!) it might seem boring and mundane, but damn, I have heard so many skewed versions of the world full of pain that creates more pain, and I’m just tired of it. I want the bullshit to be gone already. I’m tired of entire institutions and societies promoting fucked up ideologies that make little girls feel like they’re nothing, and grown women feel like their only worth is in how good they can moderate the feelings/stresses of others, or through stereotypical gender roles. There isn’t a single movie out there lately with a female main character that isn’t torn apart because she’s a woman. The pathetic old cry of ‘gender doesn’t matter but don’t go shoving your female equality in my face by being equal’ just won’t shut the fuck up already.
I want to hear reality, every damn day, until people can distinguish they are hearing reality and not another insane ideology that only lives in the brain. This is the education the world needs. Every human being should be able to find the base reality and see through their own bias. When you can see reality, you can live in it—you can alter it like I’m doing with my health instead of waiting to appease some imaginary divine being to heal me, or appease a doctor in a lab coat who was so certain my problem was something else and believes I should conform to that reality instead of fixing the problem. When you can start in reality, you can distinguish when your brain chemistry is fucked, understand the thoughts you have (be they depressive, anxious, irrational predictions of the future, etc,) aren’t real, aren’t from you, and you don’t have to act. You don’t have to give up your life because you know where reality is, and that unbearable situation you feel trapped in can be left just by walking away or turning off your screen.
We need more reality and less irrational ideologies. We need more loud, proud atheists who are willing to shut up a homophobe who hides behind ‘stopping aids’ as their rational of hate. That’s the world I want to be a part of. I don’t want to apologize for irrational thought; I want reality repeated.
As I sit here, staring at my computer, all I can think about is the shit I don’t want to talk about, you know? I am so exhausted and frustrated with the world. It is gorgeous weather where I am, no mold yet to be found, and I just want the world to stop being insane and join the happy train already. Selfish, sure, but hey, sometimes we need to be selfish.
So I’m going to talk about all the awesome shit I want to do, and how I can’t time manage my ass into gear (what gear would that be…?) to get it done. Ugh, why am I so bad at juggling things? Like, people do things all the time, every single day, and I’m just fumbling between eating and writing. @[email protected] Come on.
Things in the works…
The taboo guest author spotlight for mm writers. I gotta create a form or something, guidelines, what have you, but I really love this idea. And I was thinking later it might not have to be just for taboo writers, but it is my focus atm because of the whole censorship and discrimination taboo fiction faces verses any other fiction. I really do want a place where even if social media platforms start banning things—you know, the way Tumblr banned anything adult—you don’t have to worry about these links disappearing.
A new short story—and that is the key here, I want to make a short story I’m going to freaking finish, and it’s going to be full of nasty sex. This has been such a problem for me lately. It’s not just that I can’t split my tasks up so that I do a little bit of one thing at a time; I’m not finishing anything. These wonderful, long novels are sucking me dry, and I need to make a damn commitment to getting a project done. Any project at this point. Even when I get an episode of Demon Bonded done, I still feel like I’m only chipping away at a mountain, you know? It never feels DONE. I don’t even want to look at the old series at the moment because I just know if I go to add an episode, I’m going to want to change the beginning that was full of my moldy brain. So we’re starting fresh to keep my neurotic tendencies at bay.
I need to adapt to the whole website content creation thing instead of the publishing game. It’s hard for me to break out of the habit of rushing toward a goal when I need to start looking at multiple goals and planning my days around each. Right now, I’m jumping between the Demon Arms rewrite and Blowjob King—an incest filled, brother fuckfest with little to no plot. ^^ Back to basics. I’m hoping the contrast will keep me more motivated, as will finishing a damn project.
Oh, arting again too! Check it. The Blowjob King characters. ^^
I decided to try an experiment to see if I could do some character creation in a much shorter time frame. I think it worked out well. I’m rusty as an artist. I don’t art daily anymore; I barely art monthly. I’m hoping to find little ways to get back into it, and hopefully, once I get a smooth system going, start on the Demon Virus visual novel project.
I want the right amount of challenge in my life when it comes to creative work. I get bored. I know that’s probably terrible to say, but it’s real. I need some sort of mental stimulation if I’m going to sit in a chair for hours on end when I could be out enjoying life now that my body is working again. But I have to fight my own brain which likes to turn everything into stress.
It’s tough. I think I just got used to it. Years of anxiety and then of being sick has turned my base state of being into assuming the world is going to end if I can’t reach my goals. But my goals still aren’t immediately reached and the world is still here, and all that changes is I feel fucking miserable. Guilt! The fucking guilt of not getting shit done in a timely manner manages to make me slower. It’s a vicious hate crime on my own brain. I think that’s partly why I get so caught up in one project and can’t break free to do other things; a part of me is still switched on thinking if I don’t put all my time into this one thing, I’m automatically failing myself and others. Even though it doesn’t happen faster. My brain is just mean. =_=
So this is my tentative plan to work on all that. Find ways to add challenges while removing stress, and help push me to learn how to work on multiple projects again instead of throwing myself into one that lags on and on because I’m bored. I remember back to my school days where I could jump from subject to subject depending on the class, and it was fine. My brain is capable of it; I just need to find ways to enact that in my current life once again. I just have to remember how to juggle and get back up to pace… totally.
Not having my own room has been a big obstacle in all this. I have no office, I have no space outside of my shared bedroom, and once someone is watching TV (he knows who he is) my concentration is completely shot. We lost half our already small house to mold and yeah, it’s not great for my productivity.
I feel good—I feel healthy and am ready to take on the world—I just also still feel a little trapped by my circumstances and my crazy brain. But again, I think those are all things I can overcome. I just need to find creative solutions and keep working on letting preconceptions and stupid thoughts go. Fun is a state of mind, and I need to get back into that place. I love everything I do—I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise—but I’m having trouble making it fun again.
No goodies this week :/
I went into my old Facebook haunts to see if anyone had any deals this week. Nothing. @[email protected] I’m going to poke around a bit more, but it might just be a slow week. It is a lovely day… er night. It’s now night outside. >_> (Where the fuck do I go when I type? It was light out moments ago, I swear!) Maybe peeps are all out enjoying their weekend? I may have to go in search of this stuff more in the future. I know I’ve been slacking. I need to up my game and make sure you’re all getting some fun reads hitting you from authors you might not even know exist.
Peace, babes. Hope your weekend is wonderful, and the crappiness of the world doesn’t define your personal reality. We all gotta cope with an insane world, but we don’t have to go crazy with it.