#the complete rejection and repression of traumatic memories
daylighteclipsed · 23 days ago
cant stop thinking of brenner stranger things’s quote abt the nina opera in relation to sora kingdom hearts forgetting riku’s sacrifice/death I am fr mentally ill
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hypercat · 6 months ago
A couple of people said they wanted me to post my PTSD headcanons about Charlie, so here you go!
TW: PTSD, childhood trauma, etc. It's about Charlie Kelly and his childhood so y'know
Everyone pray for Charlie Kelly bc I cannot stop projecting every single one of my c-PTSD symptoms onto the poor little guy, but he also has a bunch of symptoms in canon that are associated with it.
I big time headcanon Charlie to have c-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is PTSD from repeated traumatic events rather than just one. He has several canon symptoms--as in behaviors associated with the illness, not that he canonically has the illness-- such as:
▪︎wetting the bed from nightmares (p.74 in the Sunny book)
▪︎repressed memories (not knowing that Uncle Jack is the one who hurt him)
▪︎touch aversion (shying away from being touched by Mac and Dee, but he's a little more accepting of Dennis)
▪︎ asexuality (this one is more fluid; sometimes he is sex-repulsed and sometimes he isn't)
▪︎ SH, insomnia, mood swings, being easily irritable and on edge, and many, many more. Honestly, he has like every symptom. I think his odd relationship with food may also be a symptom.
I have some personal headcanons based on my own experiences with c-PTSD, and I could easily imagine Charlie having similar problems.
▪︎I can imagine that one of the reasons he moves around so much is because of stiff joints. PTSD can cause joint problems because of all the stress your body is under, and it can be very painful, but moving around and stretching helps. I've developed arthritis in my knees and I often wake up with pain in my neck and back, especially after nightmares, and Charlie has horrible nightmares.
▪︎Sensory issues! This one is semi-canon, he gets easily irritated by yelling. Bright flashing lights, loud music, repetitive noises, and bad textures bother me personally. I think this is one of the reasons he wears only a couple of different outfits, bc they're worn in and very soft and comfortable. He seems hypersensitive to touch so scratchy or itchy clothes may be upsetting to him.
▪︎Needing familiarity. I have horrible anxiety, and new experiences are stressful. Charlie doesn't like leaving his hometown, eating new foods, new clothes, etc. He prefers being around what he knows.
▪︎This one may be controversial bc people seem to have very strong opinions about it, but I think his childish behavior may be a form of coping with having a traumatic childhood. He has a very juvenile view of romance (stalking the Waitress like a male love interest in a Disney movie; not that it excuses the behavior, but it's clear he doesn't recognize what he's doing is creepy), he uses a little plastic art box to hold his art supplies and doodle in his notebook, writes simplistic rhyming poems to deal with strong feelings, and has unrealistic and outlandish views just about daily life. However, he's very intelligent in his own way and I don't think he's completely oblivious to reality, more like his brain rejects it in favor of trying to grasp onto a childhood innocence that was ripped away from him. I think his art is the best way for him to release this frustration with his inability to cope with his reality, and having a creative outlet is so important. I'm glad the gang supports his music and painting :)
This is all I can think of for now, feel free to add your own HCs! <3
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elia-de-silentio · a year ago
The overarching themes of Vanitas no Carte: Identity
The Case Study of Vanitas is a very good, too little known manga (I hope the anime changes something), with some central themes than are exposed in different ways through different characters. In this meta, I want to explore one that was brought to my attention pretty recently: here a little examination on the various ways to face one's own identity in The Case Study of Vanitas.
The Stable Identity( Noè)
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Let's start off with the positives, shall we? Noè has probably the most secure personal identity of all the bunch.
And this is pretty amazing, considering everything he went through. He has no memory of his birth family, but gets adopted by some nice people - who die shortly afterwards. Right at their graves, he is kidnapped by slaves, in an accident that left him injured. Then he is bought by someone who actually treats him nicely and is a good mentor for him, he finds many friends his age - and then one of them, the one he was closest to, turns out to be a cursebearer, kills all of the others and then tries to kill him; he is saved by the mentor, who beheads the friend right in front of him. The most immediate emotion is relief for being alive, and he will always feel terrible for that. Then, he has to witness his surviving friend try to cope very badly with her mourning by repressing her identity and try to substitute it with that of her dead twin. That's a lot.
And Noé reacted to all of this by becoming a confident person, kind and attentive to others, but not to the point of being a pushover. I'm not saying he walked away unscathed from the events of his childhood: he regrets the way he handled things with Louis, the way he didn't understand him, and has developed quite the savior complex as a result.
What I'm saying is that he is probably one of the very few well-adjusted people in the psychiatric ward that is Vanitas no Carte. He is still questioning himself, but in a normal way for a nineteen-years-old that has just left a sheltered environment for the big wide world. He is aware of some of his strenghts (his naivete) and is realizing others (putting unfair expectations on other people, underestimating other people due to racial biases); but most importantly, when he realizes these mistakes, he doesn't run away from them or obsess over them believing they make him a horrible person: he recognizes them, apologizes to the wronged person if necessary, and works on improving them.
This isn't to say he's completely happy-go-lucky with no regrets; he feels guilty about being relieved that he lived while Louis died, and he has a lot of uncertainties regarding his identity as an Archiviste and the impact his powers can have on other people. But he managed not to tie his entire identity to that guilt; and as for the second point, Teacher helped him rationalise that and figure out a conduit that didn't undermine him and at the same time showed respect for others. Noè went through several traumas, but received one thing most of the cast didn't: guidance and support from his environment. Whatever Teacher's actual motives are, he shaped a well-balanced person.
The Group Identity (The dhamps, appearently 99% of vampirekind)
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"Us dhams are only loyal to each other!" This is what Dante says in one of the first chapters, giving us the first clues to their status as outcasts.
The war between humans and vampires ended up with each deciding to keep to themselves, but dhampires are the living exception to that silent agreement. So, both societies decide to reject them, and they can't find a place in the world unless they stick to others of their own kind. This common history of traumatic experiences of abandonment and subsequent resentment of both human and vampire society for it goes on to create a very strong group identity: the only ones they give a damn about are those like them, everyone else is a potential enemy and is only good to be exploited.
Then, we have the vampire culture. I mean ... it might be because insofar we have met almost exclusively aristocrats obsessed with their respectability ... but they have a lot of prejudices.
You're born under a uncommon moon? You're a pariah. You're mixed race? You're a pariah. Your parents committed a crime? You're a pariah, and are used as a tool. You're born as part of a set of twins? Either you or your sibling are killed at birth, because of something that is SAID, not even a certified element of vampire biology. You're stuck with a curse? You're executed, no attempts to heal you.
Their society seems to run on an ideal model of person which depends on factors outside the individual's control, and whoever doesn't fit this description and deviates from the group in any shape or form gets ridiculously fierce punishment. They make the freaking Church look good by comparison, at least their repressive and racist side is composed of extremists instead of everymen.
The Clan Identity (Chloé, and partially Noé again)
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Chloé identifies with a group of people too; but it's not a race, it's a family. The D'Apchier family, the nobles who are responsible for Gevaudan. Her father made sure she had this idea in her right from the start, and she interiorized it.
And this had mixed results: while on the one hand she was chained to self-loathing by the guilt of having accidentally caused the massacre of the family and was only saved by Jeanne and Jean-Jacques reclaiming her as part of theirs, on the other she was able to resist to Naenia because of the love and responsibility she felt towards the people of Gevaudan. Chloé is, at this point, the only curse-bearer who managed to trick and attempted to fight directly against Charlatan.
Then there is Noé in relation to his Archiviste identity. He seems to think of it mainly in negative terms, very conscious of the living invasion of privacy it turns him into ... and nothing else. We have never seen him wonder about who his birth parents were, ask himself why he doesn't remember anything, why was the clan exterminated, or how he feels about being a survivor, one of the only ones if not outright the only. He sees his heritage as a burden,and hasn't thought of it in any different term. I wonder how a change in perspective could impact the above 'stable identity'.
The Someone Else's Identity (Vanitas, Dominique)
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I already dedicated a whole post to this trait they share, so I'll be short: both Vanitas and Dominique hate themselves and try to become something worthy by taking elements of people they admire: Louis for Dominique, a combination of his birth father and Luna for Vanitas.
The Object Identity (Jeanne)
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The very first thing Jeanne was said in her whole life was that she was an object. A vessel for something (or someone?) else, who mustn't have feelings or desires of her own. Encouraging, isn't it?
Luckily, this wasn't all she got in life. Soon afterwards, she was adopted by Eric and Louise, who loved her a lot, received kindness by Ruthven, met Chloé who became an older sister to her. Unluckily, all of this was taken away from her in the most cruel way possible.
She couldn't make any sense of her parents's betrayal and death, and the way her life suddenly changed; she rationalised it by telling herself that it was her fault, if she had been just the good object everyone told her to be nothing would have happened. So she accepts the Object Identity: she is a tool, so she doesn't feel, she exists only to obey orders, and as long as she is nobody else will ever suffer. It gets even worse after she fails to kill Chloè: she couldn't fulfill her duties, and both her and her big sis suffered for it. This mindset traps her in a world of pain, but also prevents her from facing the fact that she is subject to a senseless injustice, one she has no control over.
Vanitas managed to help her with that. He validated her feelings, and showed her that nobody had to die if she had them, solving the situation with Chloé and Jean-Jacques. This gave her a nice confidence boost, returning her to the cheerful attitude she had as a young girl; the consequences of this change remain to be seen.
The Unknown Identity (Luna)
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This one is interesting because Luna themselves is pretty explicit about it. They see themselves as something 'other', who is outside commonly used categorization; starting with 'male or female' (and here I am left wondering if they had specific sexual characteristics but didn't feel like they 'fit', or were intersex and nonbinary, or had an entirely different biology from both vampires and humans).
Luna doesn't like this condition: they said they tried to figure out what they were, to understand themselves, and they regret doing so now. Why? Maybe they didn't find any answer and were left perpetually unsatisfied, or they found an answer, and they found it to be awful?
Still, this indicates Luna has never been particularly happy with themselves, and this found no resolution. And then they died. Nice, uh?
Well, I think this was all. There are other characters I would like to know more about in regard to this, like Ruthven, Marquis Machina, and Mikhail, but there is still time.
All in all, I'd say Vanitas no Carte explores the theme of identity pretty throughly; many character arcs are still in progress, and I'm interested about how things will develope especially for Vanitas, Dominique and Jeanne.
Thanks to anyone who bothered to read my ramblings!
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determine · 8 months ago
that was all to say that if youre interested, i LOVE talking about wiped out (which is the name of the story i work on the most)
if you want to know i put some info about it below v it's me outlining story events but there's a lot of them so it's pretty long. tws are under the cut because the story has some heavy stuff in there
this ended up being a lot more than i thought so be ready lol
first and foremost there is going to be death and domestic violence in this and (VERY BRIEF) references to child abuse, so if you arent able to handle that you can click away haha
so the story is about lou (the one on the left in this image) having DID and it's very based in like. personal feelings and experience with ups and downs of having DID and recovering from it. lou himself was not actually the host until he was about 16 or so.
at really young ages he went through traumatic events that i leave unclear on purpose, and it was decided that since his parents didn't intervene in that situation at all they couldnt take care of him when his aunt tried to get custody of him
so yes he ends up under the care of his aunt, he represses almost everything, and beckett splits and becomes the "host" during this time. there are other alters as well but you only need to know about beckett and aether (who is the 'protector')
his aunt is supportive but not knowledgeable enough on how to help, so since beckett is extremely repressing everything bad and puts so much energy (to his detriment) at seeming 'normal', he's acknowledged to have ptsd and DID at age 14 or 15 ish but stops going to therapy because he doesn't think he 'needs' it and his aunt doesnt really push
anyway so he's in a new high school at this point, he's super behind everyone else because of everything, and doesnt have any friends, so he stays super isolated from everyone. this leads into beckett growing extremely (maladaptively) reliant on aether under the concept that aether protects him so he doesnt Need anyone else.
this backfires spectacularly when beckett is abused again (i have also not outlined the details of this on purpose), he lashes out at aether for not doing enough protecting him, but it's really just beckett trying not to lash out at himself. he rejects his own alters completely because he gets it in his head that the disorder he has, that's meant to protect him, didn't "work"
(this isn't how it works at all but keep in mind beckett is a very un-treated 15 year old at this point, most of his ideas of how his DID works are his own conclusions based off of very basic info he received and some google searches about it all)
lou splits to handle everything and to seem "normal" in front of other people, and beckett goes dormant. part of lou's role is that he has very little communication with his alters, so they 'fade into the background' so to speak since he doesnt really know anything about them at all. (theyre still there of course but it all becomes much less elaborated since he doesnt know them)
lou takes the appearance and name of their body and ends up with this whole complex about needing to 'feel' real . near the end of high school he starts being friendly with orion, who just moved there, but before they really form a bond the end of that school year comes up
it's not lou's graduation year (yet) but he meets julian, who IS graduating, at the graduation party, they become really close. i wont go into julians motivations but its like a whole thing. he and lou move out to an abandoned house in an abandoned area that was abandoned because of it being thought to be haunted (and there was a history of urban legend / accident type things that supported this idea)
lou and julian live in that house for several years and it's a really severe domestic abuse situation. lou spends most of the time too dissociated from his own feelings to react to it very much at all- his memory of the worst parts is sectioned off and sven splits to hold it all. sven also holds fawn response stuff towards julian about it all
eventually after a few years of this, aether stops being dormant, and upon realizing the situation they're in, reacts violently in self defense during julian's next abusive moment- julian falls and dies, and aether freaks out and runs from it all.
when lou comes to next, he's hit with the full force of everything that happened, and the rest bit of this story is about how the resulting turbulence from this causes him to make contact with his alters again and how they deal with it all
sven at first is bitter towards everyone and upset, but has a 'moment of clarity' near the end and decides to feel better at all costs to prove julian has no power over him anymore
another alter, jewels, who split to mirror julian and to handle the resistance to having autonomy over their own life, works with aether, who is forced to acknowledge that impulsivity and acting without thinking about how they're going to effect their own life has consequences, even if it was for a good intent
lou has to deal with the idea that his life is not necessarily only 'his' own, that all of the others internally exist no matter how much he thinks that they dont and that coming to terms with them and their feelings is equally as much coming to terms with himself
when they all get to a semi-functional point in recovery, sven calls orion (despite barely remembering anything about him) and after briefly explaining things ends up panic moving in with him. It's at this point that they all start working together towards things and the rest of the story at this point is mostly just autobiographical blah me processing my own feelings through these guys. of course their events are not literal 1:1 to my life but the overall feelings and stuff are. so i wont get too detailed bcs i dont know if you guys wanna hear about that all--
(beckett also stops being dormant after moving in with orion and the lou vs beckett push and pull is the main conflict after the fact since beckett has lou's issues (or lou has beckett's issues, since beckett came first?) but cranked up to 11. so its a whole thing)
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deafmatteo · a year ago
hi hi so first i really love your writing, it’s so comforting and lovely, and i look forward to every little bit of it!
and idk if you’ve already answered something like this but i was wondering about your thoughts on skam france season 5?
hello, thank u! 🖤🖤🖤
and i have talked a bit about skam france s5 when i was watching it live but im more than happy to talk about it again & put all of my thoughts into one post JFJSJD.
let me just put a disclaimer here for abuse, both personal & what was shown in the season. also adding a read more because this got LONG, i am so sorry. i talk a lot </3 (ignore the spelling errors, i literally woke up and saw this anon and jumped out of bed to answer dflkgjkdlg)
also! i talk about deafness as a disability in this but that’s my own personal experience & what was written into the season. we know arthur sees it as a disability because he was raised in a hearing society as a hearing person. not all D/deaf people believe this!! this isn’t universal.
first things first, i just wanted to let people know these feelings come from a very personal place. i lost my hearing similarly to arthur — i was beaten as a young child and as the years have gone on and i’ve grown, my hearing has gotten worse. i was hard of hearing with mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears and now i call myself deaf because i have severe hearing loss in my left ear & i am completely deaf in my right ear. (don’t worry about being apologetic or anything! i’m very open about how i lost my hearing because although it’s sad & traumatic, it’s talking about how trauma and disabilities are often more intertwined than people realize. you don’t ever see a disabled person thriving in their natural environment. you see traumatized disabled people learning how to survive.)
i don’t have problems with how arthur lost his hearing. i think it’s a very important story to tell & it’s one that does occur — even if people don’t recognize it. it added to the fear and isolation he felt during his season because he was suddenly extremely disconnected from his peers and the people he called his best friends.
i also absolutely ADORE noee and camille. having a Deaf* woman who was as sassy and blunt and straight-forward as she was is a good thing. people often talk about how D/deaf individuals can come across as rude or unattentive or too blunt and it can be true but when people often talk about it, they do it in a rude/offensive manner! noee did it in a manner that wasn’t stereotypical and felt real. she also had the distain towards hearing people because they continually traumatized & belittled her and they showed that in a way that you knew was justified. she had been hurt by these people and she knew what arthur was experiencing, hence why she was so warm around him. having a Deaf love interest who wasn’t a hearing-people pleaser or someone who needed approval from hearing people was so good because it helped add layers of her own identity that the audience may not even realize exists.
camille as well. having a hard of hearing gay (queer? i can’t remember what he labelled himself as) person on screen without fetishism or trauma porn was refreshing. that doesn’t happen and seeing it was?? amazing. he was able to have fun, be himself, etc. also him acting as a connector between noee and arthur is a reality as well. he exists inbetween both of their worlds and while it’s clear that he is comfortable and okay with it, it’s a reality that often stems into feelings of anger and hurt. (as shown in arthur!) it’s good to see a hard of hearing person who doesn’t feel ostracized from the Deaf community & or the hearing community. he’s just vibing!
the isolation that arthur felt. the lonelines, the pain, the fear—all of it is a reality of the situation he was in. even with his friends attempting to support him in the ways they knew how, he still felt alone. having noee and camille there was such a good!! good thing!!! to have. the way noee criticized his friends, the way ARTHUR eventually yelled at them (especially lucas, like wtf was up his ass), the growth of arthur from clinging onto his fantasy world and accepting himself. i geniunely enjoyed these aspects.
my biggest one is the abuse clip. it was absolutely unnecessary for them to include the audio (and the shadowing) of arthur’s violent abuse. i understand they needed to potray his dad’s behaviours but there were many other ways to go about it that doesn’t re-traumatize people. i rarely rarely get triggered by things due to desensitization & repression and this made me extremely nauseous and it caused me to spiral into memories of my own abuse. yes, i understand the story of arthur’s dad being the villain and contributing to the trauma. no, it did not need to be done in this way.
also the way it was brushed aside & arthur forgave him after the car accident. i know it’s contributing to the cycle of abuse and it will continue after the seasons have passed but i think it should have had more fear, confusion or anger. we could see that arthur hated his father, just by how he constantly attempted to fight back and argue. i understand that it was him acting from a place of survival and trying to mediate to make things calmer but this is his perspective—we could have felt the underlying emotions or seen a brief moment where arthur let his anger take over when he was alone. the abuse was written solely for hearing people. it was trauma porn. it was used as a way to make people feel sorry for arthur and to weaken him. it wasn’t written as integrated into the plot as it should have been and was brought up only to deter the plot away from his cheating. it was one of the things that made it clear the plot was more written for hearing people than for deaf people.
(again, it’s not the actual story i’m criticizing. it’s how they integrated it.)
the second was noee using her voice to essentially beg arthur to love her. using her voice was a moment of vulnerability and fear that they could have either: a. used in a different manner or b. not included at ALL. i am an oral deaf person—i was raised in a hearing environment & i went to speech thrapy for many, many years. i use my voice a lot. however, whenever i am without my hearing aid and i am tired, i don’t often use my voice because i am insecure about my deaf accent.
noee doesn’t use her voice at all. she has talked about how using only sign language gives her power and stregethnes her identity in a way that the hearing world would never be able to. it was a pivotal moment of her own identity and growth and they threw it out the window to tell arthur she loved him. he rejected her so she used her voice, something that reminds her of her trauma and pain, to beg him to love her back.
another is how alexia said that she wasn’t wired to love disabled people. i love alexia as well, except for this alone was enough to hurt my opinion of her. it’s a reality of abled people—they often act like loving a disabled person is more work and view disabled people as less than to avoid seeing them as potential lovers/friends/etc. my main problem is the fact it wasn’t ever properly addressed and they used it as a plot device after she had been nothing but loving and supportive to arthur during the beginning of his journey. she was so, so loving and caring and they could have used to as a way to talk about how relationships and perspective changes rather having her just be straight up ableist.
when arthur first got his hearing aids, he got smaller ones that were less visible to avoid having other people see. this is a big example of internalized ableism and is a very important point but they never touched on it again. i think it would have been more personal and monumental of his growth to have him go back & change the hearing aids he uses to better aid him in his day-to-day rather than aid his desire to be hearing-passing. i just wanted to see continuation of this.
the love triangle. ABSOLUTELY USELESS. i love both alexia and noee as love interests. they are well-developed women who both had vulnerable moments in the season where they talked about their insecurities and were vulnerable and still had arthur reject/use them both. this is more of a fandom criticism but the love triangle was used solely to demonize noee while they continued to put arthur on a pedestal. the season could have gone either/or with them as love interests or not at all. the season was meant to focus on his journey as a now disabled person and the love triangle took up a large portion of that.
(don’t think i’ve forgotten about people calling others fatphobic/biphobic for preferring noee as a love interest)
this isn’t entirely a criticism but a good point to note. i don’t think skam france had a plan in regards to season five when they casted arthur but he should have been played by a hard of hearing person and there should have been foreshadowing in the earlier seasons for this. i think arthur’s actor did a fantastic job with the content he was given but it would have been a bit more personal if played by a truly deaf/hoh person. noee’s actress talked about this! she said how good of an opportunity it was for season five to occur because it’s extremely rare for deaf people to get opportunities and casting designed for them. having a main actress talk about this and still having the main actor being abled is a bit? bad taste. i just think it’s a product of lack of planning, is all.
ALSO THE CAR CRASH????? this isn’t a big criticism, i’m just like HUH? me & arthur really out hear being deaf and getting hit by cars ig. arthur kinnie
*definitions that add as to why i use deaf & Deaf in this piece.*
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particularemu · 2 years ago
Insanity | A Hwang Hyunjin Series | Part 6
Parts: [Prologue] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13] [Part 14] [Part 15] [Epilogue]
Word Count: 4226
Warnings: insanity, self-harm, suicide, drugs, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, physical violence
Tag List: @arohatiny​​, @malibuxw​​, @jisungsjheekies​​, @channiesmixtape​​, @minnepinne​
Author’s Note: Guess who shows up in this chapter? 👀
Side note: y’all keep changing your usernames, which is making it very difficult to tag you. So if you guys don’t get tagged, I’m sorry ):
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When Hyunjin arrived in your room the next morning, he was surprised to see you were fast asleep. Since he started working at the hospital, you’ve always been an early riser. He couldn’t help but wonder if something happened after he left yesterday. 
“I’m glad you’re here.” Chan smiled at Hyunjin. The older boy looked worn out and tired. 
Hmm... Chan doesn’t normally look so worn out after a shift. Something must have happened last night. Perhaps night terrors? You’ve been having them sporadically over the past couple of months, but lately, it seemed as though you were having them constantly. “Tough night?”
“Very.” Chan sighed. “She’s been having nightmares all night. I tried to comfort her, but nothing was working.” 
“Oh no…” Hyunjin sighed. The poor thing just couldn’t catch a break. You’ve been through so much over the past few months and now you have to suffer with nightmares that keep you from sleeping through the night. He wished you would talk to him about them — tell him what you were seeing when you closed your eyes at night, but... he understood why you didn’t want to. 
“Dr. Douglas walked past her room when she was in the middle of a panic attack.” Chan sighed. 
Hyunjin mentally cursed his luck. “Of course he did. What did he do?”
“He let me handle it.” Chan paused. “He suggested more Peroproxin. I agreed, but I haven’t given her anything.” 
Hyunjin nodded. “Thank you.” Words couldn’t describe how grateful Hyunjin was for Chan. Every single time you take a dose of Peroproxin, you wind up having horrible anxiety attacks. Hyunjin couldn’t bear to see you go through that again.
“Of course.” Chan smiled. “I’ll leave you to it. I’m sure she’ll enjoy your company more than mine.” 
Hyunjin waved at Chan before heading to your bedside, brows creasing when he saw you squirming in your sleep. 
Oh no… 
Hyunjin wished he could give you something to take the nightmares away, whether it be a pretty dreamcatcher or a plushie to hug. Unfortunately, the hospital wouldn’t allow any of that. Hyunjin shook your shoulder, startling you awake before you went into a full panic. 
You frantically sat up, eyes scanning the room as you caught your breath. As soon as your eyes met Hyunjin’s you dove into his arms, startling the young doctor. Hyunjin wrapped his arms around you, so slowly — so gently, anyone would think you were made of glass. “Hey sweetheart, it’s okay. I’m here now. What’s going on?”
“I had a nightmare.” You sniffled. “A bad one… I think.” Your hands grasped Hyunjin’s shirt, pulling the doctor as close as physically possible. “I don’t remember what happened. I feel like it’s a memory, but I just... I can’t —” You started to tear up.
“Hey, it’s okay.” Hyunjin ran his fingers through your hair. “Don’t work yourself up.” Hyunjin leaned his head against yours. “You’re okay.” 
“I’m sick of not knowing anything.” You pulled back and wiped your tears. “I’ve been here for a couple of years and I don’t know why. I haven’t seen my family in ages. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just scared Hyunjin.” 
Hyunjin could feel his heart shatter as he saw the hopelessness in your eyes. You were giving up on yourself. He couldn’t allow you to do that. “I know sweetheart.” Hyunjin rested his hands on your shoulders, soft brown eyes boring into yours. “I can help you with that.” 
“You can stop these nightmares?” You sighed and wiped the tears off your cheeks. 
“No… Umm. I can use some therapy practices to dig those memories out of your brain.” Hyunjin smiled softly, eager eyes searching yours for any signs of hesitation. “Do you want to try it?”
You thought about it for a moment. Was that even possible? Would Hyunjin be able to help you recover your lost memories? You didn’t want to let him down. “You really think I can remember what happened?”
“Yes indeed.” Hyunjin pulled back, tapping his index finger on his temple, a strange habit you grew to love. “Memory repression was discovered by Sigmund Freud. According to him, people who suffer from severe traumatic experiences can unconsciously reject those memories. Patients have been known to forget the entire situation as if it never happened! 
This was discovered in the late 1980s when there was a series of allegations of child abuse in the U.S. With the help of therapists and counselors, the children were able to recall certain memories. Of course, psychologists wondered if the claims were valid.
There’s no ethical way to study memory repression in a controlled setting, so there’s no way to know how repression works. I’ve heard of many cases where patients tried to recover memories, but there were inconclusive results because the brain tends to replace traumatic memories with false memories.”
You couldn’t help but chuckle as you watched Hyunjin pace about the room. His eyebrows were knit in concentration as he spouted information as if he was a human textbook. A small smile tugged at your lips as you watched the genius's lips move, intelligent words tugging at your heartstrings as he told you about how fucked up your brain was. 
“That’s what I’m worried about with you.” Hyunjin turned to face you. “Recovering repressed memories can dig up some bigger issues. We can try using hypnosis or guided visualization, but some experts believe those techniques aren’t reliable.” Hyunjin paused, a small pout forming on his lips. “Sometimes recovering those memories can create new symptoms. You’ve been through too much already. I don’t want this to set you back at all.” 
You opened your mouth to speak, but Hyunjin kept going, making you smile. 
“There are many studies out there that have proven it’s possible for the brain to create false memories. Sometimes they can remember those fake memories in more detail than their actual memories. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell what memories are true or false.”
You couldn’t help but chuckle at the boy the longer the tangent went on. “Hyunjin?”
Hyunjin paused, eyes widening as his cheeks flushed. “Right… Sorry.” He chuckled nervously. “My point is, I can help you recover those memories if you want, but it is risky.” 
“How so?” 
“Well…” Hyunjin paused and sighed. “These memories had to be traumatic for your brain to stash them away. Are you sure you want to know what happened?”
You paused. Hyunjin was right. What if remembering those things would be too scary? What if you uncovered memories you never wanted to see? Maybe you were better off not knowing anything, content in your make-believe life you managed to conjure up while you were stuck in the institution. Still… that’s not a life. You were dying to know who you really were. You nodded. “I want to try.” 
Hyunjin smiled softly. “Okay, why don’t we sit on the bed.” Hyunjin sat on the mattress and pat the spot next to him. “Turn and face me, and hold my hands.” 
You did as the boy asked, sitting criss-cross in front of him as your hands slid into his. Anxiety bubbled in your chest as you prayed that you’d be able to uncover something... anything! Even if it was a small memory. You haven’t seen your mother in ages. Perhaps you could uncover memories of her? Hyunjin squeezed your hand and — God, it felt nice having his long fingers intertwined with yours. 
“Perfect.” Hyunjin smiled brightly at you, making your heart soar. “Can you close your eyes for me?” You shut your eyes, hands tightening around Hyunjin’s as you fidgeted. Sure, you trusted Hyunjin but having your eyes shut made you uneasy. The sounds of Hyunjin’s soft breathing made you feel calm. “Very good.” His gentle voice made you feel safe. “You’re doing great.” 
“I hope so.” You giggled. “I just closed my eyes.” 
“And you closed your eyes like a pro.” Hyunjin chuckled. “Now, I want you to think about that dream you had.” Hyunjin’s voice lowered ever-so-slightly. “Can you tell me what you saw?”
“I saw…” For a minute, you completely blanked. What did you see? Where were you? Oh… you were walking down the street at night. You could recall seeing a van. “I saw a navy blue mini-van.” You said. “I think it was blue anyways… Maybe it was black?”
“Very good.” Hyunjin’s soft voice made you feel safer. 
You could vaguely remember walking down the street, the street lamps illuminating the sign of a very familiar bakery. You could recall the smell of fresh-baked bread and pastries, the beautiful cupcakes resting in the display case, the art hanging on the walls.  “There was a bakery.” You smiled. “I used to go there every morning. My friend owned that bakery.” 
Hyunjin couldn’t help but smile at your excitement. “Very good.” He traced the outside of your hand with his thumb for no reason in particular. Your hands were so soft… he could hold them all day… 
Oh, but that’s not something he should be thinking about right now.  “Was it night?”
You nodded. “I was heading home.” Your brows creased. “I don’t know where I was, but I know I was trying to get home.” You walked right by the van and — you could see flashes of a struggle, a man holding your arms back as you thrashed, a searing pain in your head. 
Your eyes snapped open. “I can’t do this anymore.” You stood up and pulled your hands out of Hyunjin’s. “I can’t do it. I can’t.” You started to breathe fast, hands rubbing your arms. “I can’t.” 
“Hey, it’s okay.” Hyunjin quickly pulled you into his arms. “You did so well sweetheart.” He pursed his lips as he felt you shake in his arms. He was so curious — he wanted to ask what you saw, but now wasn’t the time. God, he shouldn’t have tried to resurface those memories. 
“Hey, look at me.” Hyunjin pulled away from you, resting his hands on your shoulders as your teary eyes met his. “It’s a process. We won’t uncover everything right away.” 
“You’re right.” You wiped your tears and sniffled.
Why did this hurt so bad? Hyunjin sighed as his chest tightened. It felt like his heart was being pulled in two different directions. Here you were, a girl who’s confessed, a girl who has admitted her love for him, and Hyunjin couldn’t bring himself to say anything. He couldn't find the courage to kiss you, to hold you, to tell you how he felt. All he could do was sit and stare at you.  
“Oi! Dumbass.”��
Yes, he was a dumbass. Wait…
Hyunjin couldn’t help but snort when Minho popped his head through the door, looking obviously annoyed. “It’s almost the end of my shift, I thought you were coming over like an hour ago.” He chuckled. “Are you coming or not?”
“Where are you going?” You looked at Hyunjin in confusion. He usually doesn’t leave unless it’s absolutely necessary. Frankly, you didn’t want to be without the boy. “Can you stay?”
Hyunjin smiled and grabbed your hand, lacing his fingers with yours. “We are going to meet someone.” 
You grinned and stood up, tightening your grip around Hyunjin’s hand. This felt so natural — like you were meant to have your hand in his. “Who are we going to meet?”
“We’re going to meet Minho’s friend. His name is Han Jisung.” Hyunjin followed after Minho as the three of you walked down the hallways to Room 318. 
Minho opened the door and rolled his eyes. “Seriously Asher? I asked you to watch him for five minutes.” Sure enough, Asher was lounging in one of the chairs, thumb swiping left and right as he swiped through a random app on his phone. 
“It’s not my fault you took so damn long.” Asher sighed. “I have shit to do.”
“Like play Candy Crush?” Hyunjin snickered, making Minho snort and laugh. 
“Shut the fuck up Hyunjin. This doesn’t concern you.” Asher took a step forward. The boy wasn’t quite as tall as Hyunjin — in fact, Hyunjin had a good few inches on Asher. However, the shorter boy was packing some serious muscle. 
You released your grip on Hyunjin’s hand, shifting behind him the closer Asher got to the tall boy. Your hands wrapped around his arm as you leaned your head between Hyunjin’s shoulder blades as if his back would protect you from the angry man in front of you two. 
“Asher, just get your shit and leave.” Minho sighed. “I’m not in the mood for this drama.”
You glanced over at the pile of papers Minho pointed to, immediately spotting your name. Why did Asher have your medical information? Do those papers contain information about your past? You slowly let go of Hyunjin’s arm and walked over to the papers while Asher had his back turned, attention completely on Minho. Every fiber of your being screamed at you to walk away, but there were so many unanswered questions. You were dying to know.
“Drama?” Asher scoffed. “You think I’m creating this mess?”
“No one else is talking.” Minho frowned. “You’re the only one with your panties in a twist about watching a patient for five fucking minutes. I’m back. You’re done. Now go.” Minho gestured to the door. 
Jisung burst into a fit of giggles at Minho’s words. “Panties!” He laughed hysterically. “I bet you wear those pretty pink ones.” 
Something completely snapped in Asher. Pure rage filled his eyes as he stalked towards Jisung, finger pointing in his direction. “You shut the fuck up.” 
“Hey!” Minho stepped in front of Jisung before Asher could do anything. “Get out now.” 
Your head snapped to the chaos as you reached behind you, grabbing the packet of papers while Asher was occupied. You moved quick, rushing to Hyunjin’s side to shove the papers in his chest. Hyunjin looked confused as his eyes quickly scanned the contents. “What is this?” He whispered in your ear. 
“Hide it now.” You were practically shaking, afraid that Asher would turn around any minute and catch you stealing from him. If he was THIS angry after being teased, you couldn’t imagine how pissed off he’d be once he finds out you stole from him. 
Hyunjin quickly slid the papers in his bag, confusion evident on his face as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on. He’d have to look at the papers later when the immediate threat of being beaten down wasn’t on the table. 
“I’m not done with him.” Asher snarled, hand curling up in a fist as if he was ready to punch anything standing in his way. 
“Get. Out. I won’t say it again.” Minho leaned forward, practically touching noses with the angry boy. 
God, you’ve never seen such fury in Minho’s eyes. Usually, the older boy had such kind, sparkly eyes. At that moment, they were filled with pure hatred. You hoped you would never have to see those angry eyes directed at you. 
“Just get out before you embarrass yourself further. It’s not like you’re a real doctor anyway.” Hyunjin crossed his arms over his chest, chuckling as Asher’s head snapped to him. “Oh? Did I upset you?” Hyunjin taunted the boy. 
“The fuck are you talking about?” Asher snarled. 
“See, I thought it was suspicious that you knew absolutely nothing about the prescription process, so I went ahead and looked at your records,” Hyunjin smirked. “Guess who doesn’t have a medical degree?” 
Asher turned bright red and lunged for Hyunjin, knocking him back into the wall. The man’s hand wrapped around Hyunjin’s throat. “Shut the fuck up!” You’d expect Hyunjin to look afraid, but the boy merely glared at Asher, fury evident in those chocolate eyes. 
“Jinnie.” You tried to run to his aid, but Minho grabbed you and pulled you away from the chaos, so you wouldn’t get hurt. 
Hyunjin was afraid — very much so in fact — but he couldn’t show any fear. He didn’t want to frighten you. He ignored the rapid thumping in his chest and practically growled. “Get out of this room, right now.” 
You could see what was going to happen — it was plain as day. You managed to slip out of Minho’s grasp right as Asher pulled his fist back. Before he had the opportunity to throw a punch, you threw your body at him, nails clawing his arm as you pulled him away from Hyunjin. “Stop please.” 
Asher threw his arm back, hurling you into the corner of the room. Blood ran down his arm as he stalked towards you, ready to fight. Your body was shaking against the cold tile floor. You just wanted to protect Hyunjin. Before Asher got too close, Hyunjin stepped in front of him. “Leave now, before I tell the whole hospital about this.” 
Asher merely chuckled. “Oh, and what good that would do.” The boy glared in your direction before heading out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him. 
You lifted your sore body off the ground and clung to Hyunjin’s side, making the boy’s heart melt. Hyunjin wrapped his arms around you, hand rubbing your back to soothe you. “It’s alright. He’s gone now.” Hyunjin kneeled in front of you, holding your hands in his as he asked, “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
You immediately wrapped your arms around his neck, throwing the boy off guard. Hyunjin wrapped his arms around you and pulled you close, whispering sweet nothings in your ear as you frantically tried to explain yourself. “I didn’t want you hurt.” 
“Shh. I know.” Hyunjin rubbed your back. “But that was dangerous.” 
Jisung watched the entire exchange intently, eyes narrowing when he saw the blatant affection. It was unusual to spot things like this in the institution. It was rare to find a doctor who cares half as much as Hyunjin or Minho. But that wasn’t a Doctor/Patient relationship… That was love.
“Well, now that asshole is gone.” Minho sighed. “This is Han Jisung.” 
Your cheeks flushed as you parted from Hyunjin, suddenly realizing how unusual it was to cling to your doctor. You smiled at Jisung, immediately noticing how confused he looked. Well… more like — he was out of it. Jisung looked like he completely understood what was going on around him, but it looked as though he was living in a fog. 
“I told Hyunjin this last night, but Jisung used to work with me.” Minho smiled sadly. “The hospital claimed he went crazy and killed a worker, but…” Minho paused, frowning. “I know for a fact that’s not true.” 
Hyunjin smiled and walked over to Jisung’s bedside. “You look well Jisung. It seems like Minho takes good care of you.”
“I always take good care of my patients.” Minho pouted, cheeks flushing slightly. “I’ve been taking away Peroproxin, but Dr. Douglas always has his nose down my back when I’m giving Jisung his medication.” Minho sighed. “So he’s still getting some.” 
Hyunjin nodded. “Do you remember how you got here?” 
Out of nowhere, Jisung burst into a fit of giggles. “Tell me… When is a doctor most annoyed?”
Hyunjin looked at Minho in confusion. “Uh —” 
“Yeah, he does that.” Minho interrupted Hyunjin. “He’s either spouting crazy nonsense, completely sane, or he’s making you feel like a dumbass with those riddles.” 
“You guys are too stupid to play with me.” Jisung pouted, making Minho chuckle. 
“Yep. All the people with medical degrees are dumbasses.” Minho laughed. “Even the genius can’t figure it out.” 
“Yes, I can.” Hyunjin pouted. “When is the doctor most annoyed…” He tapped his index finger on his temple as he tried to think of an answer. He was never good at riddles. Oftentimes, the answer is plain and simple, and Hyunjin’s brain always had to look into every single option. 
“Patients.” You whispered to yourself, catching Hyunjin’s attention. 
“You know the answer sweetheart?” He smiled. “What is it?”
Oh God, you didn’t think he heard you! You really didn’t want to chance looking like an idiot in front of a couple of smart doctors. Besides, you weren’t 100% sure that you were correct. You weren’t sure if you could take the teasing that would come with being wrong. “No, I didn’t say anything.” You grabbed onto Hyunjin’s arm once more, making the boy smile. 
Jisung giggled and made kissy faces towards the two of you, making your cheeks flush bright red. “Stop that.” You let go of Hyunjin’s arm, noticing the faint blush coating his cheeks as Minho burst into a fit of laughter. 
“Jesus, you guys seriously need to —” 
“When he runs out of patients.” Jisung interrupted the three of you. You were grateful to see Minho and Hyunjin’s attention completely on Jisung, teasing completely forgotten as Jisung started to laugh at his own joke. “Get it? Patience? Patients?” 
Hyunjin chuckled. “You deal with this —”
“Every fucking day.” Minho laughed. “He makes me feel like an idiot sometimes.” Despite the harsh words, you could tell Minho enjoyed spending time with Jisung. 
“How did you try to escape?” Hyunjin asked Jisung, eager eyes waiting for his answer. 
“Tell me, boy… There are two stupid convicts locked in a cell — or more like a dungeon of rock and rubble. There is an unbarred window high up in the cell. It doesn’t matter what these idiots do — whether they stand on the bed, or on top of each other — they can’t reach the window. They want to dig a tunnel out, but they give up on that idea because it’ll take too long and they’ll be long dead before they escape.” Jisung smirked and leaned forward towards Hyunjin. “One of them figures it out. What’s his plan?”
Hyunjin pursed his lips as he tried to figure it out. There are only two options, right? Either they dig a tunnel to freedom, or somehow they find a way to get up to the window… But Jisung just said neither was an option…
Oh! Hyunjin had it. 
“They’d still dig.” Hyunjin smiled. “They would dig and pile up the dirt until they could reach the window. They would only need to get enough dirt piled up, so they can lean the bed back on the headboard. Then they could use the bed as a ladder to reach the window.” 
“Wow, you’re a smart one.” Jisung laughed. 
Wait… Hyunjin pieced something together. “This had to have been your plan before you turned into a patient.” 
“Ding ding ding!” Jisung giggled. 
“How though?” Minho frowned. “That wasn’t in our plan at all…” He trailed off. 
“He was a hostage before he was a patient.” Hyunjin smiled sadly. “He was probably forced into a cell before he turned into this.”
You sighed. “How do we get out of here?” Your hands gripped Hyunjin’s arm tightly. 
“I can bring tears to your eyes; resurrect the dead, make you smile, and reverse time. I form in an instant but last a lifetime.” Jisung sighed, sadness evident in his features.
“A memory.” You knew the answer, it was a riddle you knew well from an activity book Hyunjin gave you months ago. “It’s a memory.” 
“What a smart girl you have on your arm.” Jisung smiled. 
Memories… Hyunjin pursed his lips as he tried to think. Sure, your memories were gone, and so were Jisung’s but what would recovering those memories do, aside from putting both of you through more fear and trauma? “I don’t get it,” Hyunjin mumbled. 
“I do,” Minho spoke up. “The best way to get out of here is to use the exit plan Jisung created years ago. We planned to leave with one other person…” Minho trailed off.
“Wait, you never mentioned another person.” Hyunjin frowned. “Who do we need to look for?”
“It’s because that fucker and I don’t get along.” Minho sighed. “Dr. Demain was the other party. We needed him to escape.” 
“What happened?”
“Well, Dr. Demain threatened to kill me after Jisung was taken. I only learned weeks later that he and Jisung were close for a long time. They created this plan long before I arrived at the hospital, but this dumbass felt the need to save me too.” Minho sighed. “I was the reason nobody escaped.” 
Hyunjin felt bad for the boy. Of course, he’d blame himself for this. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I don’t really know what happened, but you’re too kind to betray others.” You rested your hand on Minho’s, making the boy smile sadly. 
Jisung watched the exchange before speaking up. “There are what-ifs and why-nots in every memory, but good decisions come from mistakes you’ve made in the past. Without regret, you wouldn’t have a fire to light the torch — the torch that will lead you out of the darkness.” Jisung chuckled and stated calmly, “Every single wall in this institution is coated in the loveliest shade of red.” 
Hyunjin’s blood ran cold at Jisung’s words. That pretty much said it all. The institution was full of murder and deceit. He felt your grip tighten on his arm. The room was tense. Something was going to happen. 
Jisung laughed maniacally before he dug his nails into his own arms, drawing a decent amount of blood. The boy continued to scratch at his own arms, coating them in red as he giggled at nothing. 
“Stop!” You cried as Hyunjin left your side. Minho grabbed Jisung’s arms and held them away from his body, forcing the boy to stop hurting himself. Hyunjin quickly sedated the boy, heart panging in his chest as Jisung fell limp against the bed. 
Minho sighed and quickly pulled out the first aid kit. “Thank you, but you need to get her out of here.” 
Hyunjin shifted his gaze to your shaking frame, hand covering your mouth as you tried not to cry. He grabbed your hand and ran his thumb over your knuckles. “Let’s go sweetheart. You don’t need to see any more of this.”
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gracieart1 · a year ago
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Kabakov's Abyss
The viewer squints through a few crudely nailed boards to see a slingshot suspended from four corners of a littered room. A gaping hole has been punctured through the ceiling. Books, shoes, and paper clutter the floor. The walls are covered in red Soviet political propaganda. A shabby cot hides behind a board perched precariously between two chairs. A model city is illuminated by a single lamp. This describes the installation by Iiya Kabakov called ““The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment.” After the Soviet Police banned outside artist exhibitions, Russian artists began creating “aptart” or apartment art in their private apartments. Harriet Murav examines how the dark political past of Soviet Russia affected Iiya Kabakov’s career. Soviet Russia incurred a type of amnesia. “The past only had value as a launch pad for the perfection that was always just about to be achieved.” (Murav, 123) Socialism was theoretically the ideal communal construct that would trump all that came before and after. Soviet police controlled the media distribution. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union did memory return with full force, and among all the trauma laden in it. According to Cathy Caruth, “trauma’s ‘enigmatic core [is] the delay or incompletion in knowing, or even in seeing, an overwhelming experience’.” (Murav, 124) Russians experienced tremendous difficulty acknowledging the horrible atrocities that had occurred under the Soviet regime. “As Aleksandr Genis wrote: ‘Those forces which put Soviet literature — socialist realism — in motion ceased long ago. What remains are only the ruins of words’.” (Murav, 124) Murav explores contiguity and similarity disorder, two types of aphasic disorders that occurred after the Soviet Union. The Russian people were unable to verbally communicate a logically consistent story of what had occurred to them. Kabakov’s art allowed a way to visually process the harmful effects of Soviet Russia. Basically, he made art out of trash. Before becoming a professional artist, Kabakov illustrated children’s books. In 1960, he discovered a unique visual language and helped found Moscow Conceptionalism. In that paradigm, art is seen as a “series of practices and refusals, rather than a characteristic set of formal principles.” (Murav, 125) Moscow Conceptionalism rejected the art object and the civic mind of socialist realism and embraced private artistic practice. Verbal language became prominent in Kabakov’s work. Kabakov was adamantly against Russian socialism, saying “the entire cultural ideology of socialism, including all the generations of the avant-garde with their programs, didn’t care at all about the biological species called the human who was living on the territory where they conduced their manipulations.” (Muray, 129) Often speaking in third person, he created alter egos the teacher Rosenthal and disciple Igor Spivak to represent the timeless father-son story present throughout history. Born Jewish, Kabakov’s “The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment” features an object resembling a Jewish prayer shawl. The talis is associated with flight, as with prayer human beings find safety in God’s wings. The empty room in the installation symbolizes the disappearance of Christ’s body and the resurrection. The arrangement of the ropes themselves evoke a cruciform image. Kabakov did not hide the barbarism of Soviet history. He created art that symbolized the void existing in that historical moment. “Kabakov’s use of these spaces, coupled with his emphasis on Rosenthal’s painting as symptomatic of some of kind of pathology typical of his time makes a claim about blindness itself as fundamental to art.” (Muray, 131) Margarita Tupitsyn researched how Kabakov’s origins affected Kabakov’s personality. She describes “The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment” “This work consisted of a shack with a boarded-up entrance through which the viewer gazed at optimistic pictures of Soviet life collaged on the interior walls, where they clashed with the dismal furnishings of a communal apartment. Perhaps
agonized by just these kinds of dichotomies, an unseen character had apparently escaped through the ceiling, leaving a spectacular gash.” (Tupitsyn, 66) According to Tupitsyn, after immigrating to the United States from Russia, Kabakov planned to make up for 30 years of missed exhibition and promised in 1998 “I know for sure that I will never return to Russia.” (Tupitsyn, 66) Although eventually he did return to St. Petersburg in 2004 and Moscow in 2008 for exhibitions. Additionally, he returned in 2013 for his 80th birthday. As Kabakov grew older, he increasingly began to speak in the first person. “Are these indications of decreasing symptoms of what Freud diagnosed as the splitting of the self under repression, a condition that made Kabakov generate an army of characters? If so, Kabakov now seems ready to detox and reclaim his elusive authorship, free at last of the Magritte-stye dictrum ‘This is not Kabakov.’” (Tupitsyn, 69) Through his art, Kabakov’s endeavored to reconcile his Russian-Jewish identity with his principles. Schlegel outlines Kabakov rise to fame. Without his background, Kabakov’s work has less meaning. “Kabakov’s difficult process of transition from Communist Soviet culture to democratic Western Society is not complete, nor is it likely ever to be. Emigration has permanently changed the physical conditions of the artist’s life and artistic production, though he claims that, at least psychologically, he remains a Soviet artist. ‘I have to say that today I have a comfortable feeling that I didn’t emigrate, I didn’t leave my country.” (Schegel, 98) Kabakov compared himself to “a stray dog” (Schegel, 99), displaying an obvious identity crisis. As a young boy, he was forced to evacuated Ukraine due to the Nazi invasion. In Russia, he never became an official member of the upper class Soviet art community. His success in the West was due to his unique combination of linguistics and art. “Self-conscious graphomania is a narrative strategy that parallels West post-structuralist theories of authorship. Both do away with the figure of the author endowed with individuality, subjectivity, and agency, in favor of open-ended, indeterminate polyvocalism.” (Schegel, 99) Originally, Kabakov’s artistic process’ purpose was to survive under the strict conditions of the Soviet Union. But even in old age, Kabakov continued to demonstrate graphomania. Schegel speculates it was in an sustained effort to protect his privacy, which had been disrespected for fifty-six long years living in the Soviet Union. Through exhibitions in the United States, Kabakov became a public character. “My art has turned out to be oriented toward normal, general humanistic values of the little person; . . . my works rouse the appropriate reaction when it ceases to be important that I am a Russian, American, or German.” (Schegel, 100) He believed in the supremacy of installation art. “There will come a time when there are only installations, and . . . everyone will live in an installation.” (Schegel, 100) As the Soviet Union became a memory, Kabakov saw his art as pertaining to the world at large. “My art has extremely open principles in which each aspect has a very clear level and which everyone can relate to according to their own interpretation.” (Schegel, 100) Since most of Kabakov’s art is inspired by inner and outer turmoil, it raises the question: Is suffering necessary for creativity? Essentially, Kabakov’s art is a warning. “Don’t repeat our mistakes, look at your dreams clearly, but don’t sacrifice the people in the name of ideology. Stay together and don’t forget the past. Do everything possible not to repeat our mistakes and to make your dreams become reality.” (Schegel, 100-101) We should not emulate Kabakov. We should stay true to ourselves in order to find the identity Kabakov expended a lifetime to recognize.
Works Cited: Kabakov, Iiya. The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment. 1982-84. Murav, Harriet. “Iiya Kabakov and the (Traumatic) Void of Soviet History.” Slavonica, vol. 17, issue 2, Nov. 2011, p123-133. Schlegel, Amy Ingrid. “Kabakov Phenomenon.” Art Journal, vol. 58, Issue 4, Winter 1999, p98-101. Tupitsyn, Margarita. “Becoming Kabakov.” Art in America, vol. 102, issue 1, Jan. 2014, p66-69.
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likeabxrdinflight · a year ago
ADHD tumblr...I need you guys to help me out for minute, because I’m thinking of bringing this up with my therapist tomorrow (and yes, before you ask, all therapists have their own therapists lol. Or they should. Don’t trust one who doesn’t.) 
Anyways. I know I have some difficulty with executive functioning, the question is why. It is possible that I have been masking it most of my life with my intellectual giftedness, particularly in an academic setting where I tend to excel. And I am still managing to mask it all the way up here in a PhD program. But I struggle more with daily living tasks, and I’m afraid it’s going to get me in trouble someday out there in the real world where there can be legal consequences to things like forgetting to do progress notes for a whole month. So...I’m asking for non-professional opinions before I talk to the actual professional tomorrow. So anyways here’s a list of shit that may or may not be ADHD symptoms. For developmental context, I’m 28.
My memory is trash. I forget everything unless I write it down, including things I was going to do within a five minute window- for example I went to the grocery store today, came in, set the bag down on the counter, went to go wash my hands because covid, and then instead of going back to the kitchen, went into my bedroom. Three hours later I emerged to make dinner and the grocery bag was still on the counter, unpacked. (Luckily there were no perishables so we good there.)
Along this same line I have a hard time remembering to pay bills without an automated online payment (those are a lifesaver, but because they exist, this isn’t usually a serious problem). I usually remember appointments and meetings only because I make it a point to put those in my google calendar as soon as the appointment is made, and the alarm reminds me. Otherwise I would 100% forget at least half of them. 
I can’t start tasks to save my life. I will sit around all day thinking “okay I have three things on my to-do list” and I will not do them, or maybe I’ll do one or two of them. I get distracted, I procrastinate, I put things off, and I sit around “waiting” to start things- I tell myself I can’t do anything else until I do the chores but then I sit around on youtube for five hours (because I can’t do anything else). Rarely do I cross off everything that was on my to-do list for a single day- usually shit rolls over. The tasks do, however, eventually get done- just never when I planned to and certainly never in a timely manner. This can be mitigated by some kind of deadline (have to clean before leaving on vacation) or social desirability (like if guests are coming over, but I live alone so there’s very little accountability there).
The procrastination problem is also a problem for school work. I will get my work done but it’s usually right at the deadline. I’ve mastered the art of giving myself exactly enough time to get things done, no more no less. I never get work done early, even though I absolutely could and it would often save myself some time and stress. It takes hours to get started- I am often incapable of working in the mornings as a result.
I cannot get work done on the computer without getting distracted. If I’m writing, be it for school or for fun, I will inevitably check tumblr, facebook, emails, etc., once or twice every 30-ish minutes. It is not as much of a problem for tasks that are not on a computer as long as my phone isn’t right next to me. If the phone is right there, I usually check it.
Paying attention in classes is rough at the best of times, it’s infinitely worse now that everything is on zoom. When I was younger I pretty much had to be drawing all over my notes in order to focus- I have largely stopped doing this during my PhD level classes to avoid appearing unprofessional. It has absolutely impacted my focus in a negative way. 
I noticed in a meeting the other week that when I was twirling a keychain around my finger (out of sight of the computer screen) I was focusing much better. I also listen better when I’m playing animal crossing during classes (I know that sounds terrible, but hear me out...when I’m playing AC, I’m not as tempted to check emails or tumblr or facebook, so I’m not reading anything else. And AC is pretty mindless. Therefore, I can actually listen to the discussions.) 
As a kid I did well in school, generally, but the tendency to draw in classes started when I was like...7 or 8? I never got in trouble for it because my grades were always good. There were definitely times I would daydream, space out, or do other things in classes however. I was that kid who would read books during math (this I did occasionally get caught doing.) Despite this, I was always able to complete homework and in-class assignments easily, and always had good grades up until high school. I did not tend to forget assignments or fail to do them as a child. this may have been a product of my parents’ keeping a pretty strict homework schedule. 
The only way I know how to study is rote memorization. I’m pretty good at it. I’m excellent at multiple choice testing and extremely capable of bullshitting essays, to the point that I can skim through readings and manage to cough up As. In high school I got As in English classes while barely reading the books. 
In high school the only reason I ever did poorly in any of my classes was because of slacking off and not doing assignments. This was rare (I can only think of two classes during my senior year where I just didn’t do assignments). Typically I did my work, because I cared about my grades, but the issues of procrastinating were definitely starting to get in the way more and more as work became more intense. I can recall pulling some late nighters because I hadn’t started a paper until like 9pm the night before it was due. That continued through college. My grades never reflected this behavior in that I never got Ds or Fs in anything. Cs were rare.
I did however get a B in my intro to psych class because I would forget to do the online quizzes. I got a C in a Spanish class for the same reason- I’d forget the online homework assignments. I got Cs in one of my high school algebra classes because I chose not to do the homework (this was senior year, so take senioritis into account).
I could have had more 4.0 semesters if I hadn’t been that forgetful, but also if I had worked harder. But since I was breezing by with pretty easy 3.5+ semesters, I didn’t. My average GPA tended to hover around a 3.6-3.7 most of my academic career. I was capable of higher.
Along those lines, procrastination and trouble starting things also includes shit I want to do. I could be doing so much more with my life right now- I could be writing books, publishing papers, starting more research projects, writing a blog- there’s a million things I have the capability and potential to do. I’m squandering it all because I can’t fucking start or finish anything. I have so many unfinished projects on my computer, so many half-baked ideas that never get off the ground because I can’t take the initiative, or else can’t finish them. It’s one or the other, typically. I either procrastinate or just get distracted by other things and forget the idea entirely, or waste my days on mindless things like scrolling tumblr or watching youtube or tv. If a project is long and overwhelming it’s doomed from the start, whether it’s a research project or a fanfic. 
Hell, I even have a hard time committing to watching a movie sometimes. TV shows aren’t usually a problem unless they’re stupid long (like 100+ episodes). 
I am hella dissociative. As a child I could read books for hours and hours on end and get completely lost in them, to the point that sometimes when I did put the book down I experienced momentary depersonalization (this got worse when I was 14 and began to experience chronic dp/dr symptoms). I cannot do this anymore, but I do still dissociate and do still hyperfixate on fiction (as evidenced by this blog lol).
...and yeah, I do hyperfixate. If you’re someone who remembers my Cora Mills RP blog, you should know this well. I’ve not had a sustained hyperfixation like that in...a while, but when I do get into something I go all in to an absurd degree until the fixation changes. 
I know rejection sensitivity is an ADHD thing, but in myself I genuinely could not tell you how severe it is in comparison to a typical person with ADHD or if that comes from a childhood of being largely socially rejected by my peers or is more neurological. Rejection and feeling ignored does activate me emotionally to a degree that is...unpleasant, but it’s hard to separate that from some of the more traumatic aspects of my childhood experiences. Video evidence of myself at a young age suggests peer rejection in school and possibly a traumatic experience in the second grade may have changed my personality a bit- there’s home videos of me when I was in kindergarten and younger and I come across as quite confident and even a little bossy. I remember myself as shy and quiet, however. 
I am perfectly able to read social cues and came across as mature for my age when I was a kid. I have always had age appropriate friendships. I am a little behind developmentally when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships, but I attribute that to growing up queer in a sexually repressive environment + being demisexual.
I do, however, have a hard time keeping in touch with friends once we are no longer in each others’ day to day lives, even my absolute closest friend in the world. She does have an ADHD diagnosis and also struggles with the same thing.
I am not especially hyperactive, though I do bounce my leg a lot when otherwise sitting still. This started around middle school age. Rocking chairs are my friend, I’m sitting in one now.
I did not have meltdowns from being overstimulated like many kids with ADHD I have worked with. I was always able to flex with changes in routine and was not the kind of child that needed several warnings before switching tasks. 
I am not especially sensitive to sensory stimuli, though harsh flourescent lighting has bothered me ever since I developed dp/dr at 14. 
I do, however, lose track of time easily. 
Alternative explanations for all this may be generalized anxiety, religious/interpersonal trauma from growing up queer at a catholic school, or the brief bought of depersonalization/derealization disorder that occurred when I was 14 (this was related to the aforementioned trauma). The dp/dr symptoms got manageable after some time, to the point I know I don’t meet full diagnostic criteria anymore, but I was never the same after that. Most of the stuff mentioned above got worse after this.
I am a mental health professional myself with training in how to diagnose ADHD, and so the more I’ve been trained in that the more I’ve started seeing these signs in myself. However, without testing I’m not able to tease this apart from the other things that could be causing executive dysfunction in me. So I do want to take this to another professional- I suppose my only question is does the ADHD theory even hold weight, or does the dissociation/anxiety explanation work better. There are certainly some signs that as a kid I may have had problems that were well masked, but I know there was a deterioration when I was 14 that had to do with pretty significant dissociation. So that’s the question, I guess.
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thequietmanno1 · a year ago
Thelreads, MHA 226, Replies Part 1
1) “Time to see the truth with my own eyes, on Chapter 226: Bloody Love.”-
L: ‘realises the truth of Toga’s situation is that she was failed by both family, friends and society until she fell beyond the point of no return and became a blood-crazed killer without anybody able or willing to show her the proper way to live’ Me: Truth hurts, don’t it?
2) “Right at the moment her mask fell completely and she snapped, oh this is just what I needed…”- Judging from the way they refer to that Saito guy in the present and not the past tense indicates that he survived Toga’s love confession, but It’s likely the event was severely traumatic from him and his fellow classmates- dude’s probably still carrying the scars around with him at whichever school they went to- probably has trouble sleeping and such too, given how Toga’s been appearing on the news in nation-wide events like Kamino and then managing to escape law enforcement time and again- can’t be good for his mental health being reminded that she’s still out there, free and walking about, not to mention her quirk could potentially allow her to be anyone around him, still wanting to finish the job she started…granted, he can’t know Toga’s moved on to another lookalike, and has bigger concerns than him, but the poor guy must be having one hell of a hard time as the league grows in fame and notoriety
3) “Oh jesus fuck Toga, a fucking straw? Are you kidding me? That sounds ridiculous instead of disturbing.”- assuming it wasn’t something she picked out of the school cafeteria, it shows premeditation in Toga’s attack on him, that she’d planned on draining his blood in the most efficient manner to avoid splattering too much of it around and to most efficiently drain it from the wound- thinking about it, her needles and IV drips are basically just more combat-capable version of her initial ‘gear’ here, allowing her to drain the blood at a moment’s notice in the heat of combat without spilling a drop
4) “Uhhhhuuu… Alright, I take it back, it managed to get creepy. Really creepy.”-considering that Saito’s still alive and was clearly writhing about in pain on the ground in the prior scene, this panel looks like it was taken from his POV of Toga as she ‘kissed’ him, emphasising her horrifying nature to the victim, especially since her straw would have required her to lean close to him anyway. Poor guy was probably pinned down watching Toga suck away his life blood for several minutes before someone noticed what was happening, given how empty the corridors are- it’s likely he followed toga to a private location to give his love confession to her, only for that to backfire on him with Toga’s own ‘confession’
5) “Jesus fuck Toga what is with that face oh my god this is so messed up, considering this is supposed to be the moment she snapped and showed who she was behind her mask… She’s supposed to be happy here, and that just sent a chill up and down my spine.”- Well, she finally crossed the point of no return, and she’s experiencing a flood of emotions from what she’d doing- relief and happiness at throwing away her mask and indulging in her desires, free of the constraints her family tried to enforce on her, to the point that she’s moved to tears, but at the same time, there’s a hint of sadness in those tears, as someone as Smart as Toga must be aware that she’s now lost the happy ‘normal’ life she had before, including the friends and family she’d nurtured since childhood, and that loss must be affecting her to, even through the euphoria she’s immersed in. Toga’s just in a state of pure emotion right now, beyond the point of rational though, but she’s aware on some level that she’s lost something irreplaceable in exchange for the pleasure she’s feeling now. Not saying that she doesn’t feel it’s worth it, but it’s still got to hurt her a little.
6) “Oh boy, its the parents… Not showing their face, saying that they tried their hardest to raise her but its her fault that she turned out evil, and that she’s a monster…”-In retrospect, this does feel a little bit like a sympathy play to the media, putting the blame on Toga’s nature despite their best efforts and being too shamed to directly appear before them, but from their POV, this is actually correct. They saw that there was something different in Toga from an early age but their reaction was to try and stamp out the discrepancy rather than understand it and how to work with it. They could tell that this would spell trouble for Toga down the line, but they ended up framing this as a problem rather than an additional aspect to tToga that needed to be taken into consideration when educating their daughter. 
They were afraid that Toga’s abnormal urges, driven partially by her quirk, partially by her innocence and lack of understanding, would reflect badly on them as parents. After all, just like quirks can be hybrid blends of both parent’s powers, so too can Toga’s personality indicate similar ‘deviancy’ in her parents to an outsider’s POV. They wanted Toga to fit in, but they ended up pushing the agenda more from the perspective of the collective judging the individual, rather than working with Toga’s individuality and working that into society as an inexact fit, but one that would let Toga still live life as herself, without having to repress so much of herself until it exploded.
7) “Oh fuck, Baby Toga just fucking murdered a bird and drank its blood, going by her mouth.”-I think it’s more that Toga found the dead bird’s body and was fascinated by its blood, which adds another layer to her parent’s reactions to her drinking it- she’s basically eating raw roadkill, and treating it as the best thing ever, which is very unsanitary. I assume Toga’s quirk comes with a secondary effect of her not contracting Blood-Bourne diseases or such from her consumption from various sources, not to mention her ability to adapt to various different blood types, otherwise Toga might have gotten sick from consuming the very thing that powers her quirk.
8) “Manifestation of Darkness… What the hell are you even going on woman?”-From a certain Point of View, Curious isn’t wrong. Toga’s like a cautionary tale to others who would attempt to repress their child’s eccentricities for the sake of saving face and maintaining social status amongst their peers, hence why they should instead try to work with said individualities rather than against them- where she twists the narrative is reframing it as purely a result of the societal-driven quirk counselling sessions forcing Toga to her breaking point, when rather it was the authority figures in her life, her parents, teacher, neighbours, who all taught Toga to hide her ‘deviancy’ away until the needs of her ‘darker side’ overwhelmed her reason. 
Toga is the result of a social failing, it’s true, but said social failing is more on the behest of her family, rather than the system- there’s nothing inherently wrong with kids being taught how to control and use their powers in ways they can work into society, it’s when that gets taken too far and they’re taught to repress them to the point that their powers barely exist that things reach the tipping point of madness.
9) “And by God, Toga is even more out of touch with reality here, she’s barely conscious, and she still looks like she wants to murder everyone there.”- Well, I’d say that’s more the blood loss and massive internal bleeding making her woozy and light-headed- Toga seems to spend half this fight slipping into and out of her old memories of her past and barely conscious of what’s happening around her- and getting so light-headed due to low blood supply can make you feel giddy and disorientated- which probably tires into Toga’s attempts to ‘run away’ from the conversation. She’s unable to physically flee, but her mind is running back to happier times away from the painful present, back to when she felt happiest, as a contrast to her current misery that Curious is inflicting upon her. She’s basically half-dreaming for most of this fight until the end when she manages to get her act together enough to focus on her present needs, rather than her past wants.
10) “Holy hell, I wonder how Toga’s even alive at the moment, the adrenaline is not being enough to even let her stand.”- Pretty sure Toga managed to level herself up some whilst helping out Tomura- enough to the point she’s not going to keel over and die from enduing damage that would have wiped her out if she was still the same as she was prior to joining the league.
11) “Suppressed? Oh, what, you’re going to say that her power compels her to kill and drink the blood of others? Because I can’t see how not being able to use a shapeshifitng quirk would lead one to becoming psychotic.”-Well, in some cases, it’s possible for shapeshifters to become so mentally in-tune with the person they’re impersonating, that it’s possible for them to ‘become’ them, to a certain extent, at least in their heads, so Toga’s ability to physically become others may also lends a hand to her smarts and versatility when under pressure- she’s hard-wired to be able to become them in body and mind, which, when mis-handled like she was, becomes a desire to be anybody else other than herself. 
After all, if her own parents don’t love Toga become she’s different and there’s something wrong with her, then Toga just has to become somebody else they will love, just like any normal girl her age. She tried mentally shifting herself to being a ‘normal’ toga for years, but she couldn’t erase the ‘real’ toga and her desires no matter what she tried, and eventually the schism between the ‘real’ Toga, shunned and rejected by those closest to her, and the ‘fake’ Toga, who got all the love and acceptance the real Toga desired, drove her to the breaking point.
12) “Alright, but the actual answer isn’t that much better, as now they implied that exists some sort of counseling group that help people that have trouble controlling the urges their quirks give…?”- I think said group also drums into kids the inherent ‘wrongness’ of using their powers in excess or in public to an unacceptable degree, though given the variance in powers and utilisation of them between different people, what’s considered ‘excessive use’ obviously has a lot of grey area. It’s understandable though- if you’ve got a kid like Bakugou, able to create explosions from his hands at will, then obviously said kids is going to want to use his cool powers all the time, to play with them and have fun with them, even though it’s a dangerous ability if mishandled. But they can’t exactly take the quirk out of the kid, so they’re stuck trying to figure out ways to teach kids not to incorrectly use the guns that they’re born strapped to their hands with, and hoping that each kid takes the lesson to heart at an early age going forward, lest an accidental ‘mis-fire’ lead to tragedy.
As a side-effect, this also comes with kids getting taught how to prevent losing control of their powers by controlling the urges that comes with said powers. At the risk of minor spoilers, I read somewhere that there was a side-story at one point about how Izuku met a kid that was apparently causing villainous attacks with poison gas at people, only for it to be revealed that he was actually suffering from the side-effect of suppressing his own quirk for so long. Said quirk accumulated poison gas within his body over time, and after a certain point he had to release it, but the problem was, every place he went to be alone enough to release what was effectively a Sarin Gas explosion always had people in it, and the longer he held the gas within him, the more he started to suffer backlash, his own body physically breaking from the strain of containing the inevitable explosion for too long, and minor leakage from that causing his apparent villainous actions. 
If he kept holding back on what his body was compelled to do, was born to do, he would have suffered potentially lethal consequences, especially since the gas build-up was starting to concentrate within him to a level of toxicity even he couldn’t withstand. Toga is a similar case, except her quirk simply compels her towards blood, and doesn’t have any negative effects from not indulging in this craving, besides an ever-present itch that Toga wasn’t allowed to scratch, because he doing so was seen as abnormal for the image that her parents wanted her to have, and they went too far in trying to correct Toga’s ‘imperfections’. It’s for this reason that the quirk singularity is a rising concern, because more and more kids are being born with strong and powerful abilities right out the gate, and it’s getting more and more difficult to control them, not to mention there’s also consequences for activity supressing the powers in more extreme circumstances.
In Japan and other countries, there’s a common societal acceptance of conformity, and ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ is quite common, so Horikoshi’s simply using the contrast with how Japanese Society currently works with the individuality provided by western comics to show how illogical it is to try and apply an outdated mind-set to the current standard of MHAs world, yet, in order to keep a lawful, safe society functioning, that’s exactly what the hero society and civilians enforce.
13) “Alright, and so, it turned out it was a combination of both aspects, the quirk and her personality, fusing in a really bad way, I guess.”- The twist being, of course, that there’s actually nothing wrong with Toga’s personality or her quirk in themselves, it’s that she was taught from a young age to repress the ‘undesirable’ aspect of her natural self in order to conform with the majority, and Toga, in her innocence and desire to please her family, complied, not realising at the time how much sorrow it would bring her down the line, and once she was old enough to know better, things had been proceeding like this for so long she didn’t have it in her to confront her family with her inherent need to be herself, and just kept complying with what everybody wanted of her, until it reached her breaking point.
14) “Alright, now that’s out of the way… Holy fuck this is getting messed up, because they are treating her as a monster, even though she’s just a little kid that can’t understand what’s wrong.”- Toga’s childishness and carefree attitude may be partially the result of some part of herself never really getting the chance to ‘grow up’. She repressed her inherent instincts at her parent’s behest before she really understood them, and thus never really formed an idea about what to do with them, nor was she able to talk to others in a meaningful way about her inborn wants and needs because she was taught that showing others this side of her was wrong, and so a childish instinct to satisfy herself remained in Toga throughout her early years until she could ignore it no longer, until she finally decided that living life as others said she should simply wasn’t worth it in the end, if it made her miserable. 
Who cares what the majority think? If Toga lives her life the way she wants to, in a manner that she’s proud of, then it’s a meaningful life for her, far more so that the dull future that awaited her if she remained in the cage of society’s expectations of her.
15) “But okay, I have to backtrack and correct myself, Horikoshi is being consistent with the message here. Toga wasn’t born a monster, she was just a little girl with a weird fascination, that couldn’t understand what was wrong, and was basically called a freak and treated like a monster instead of being taught why killing things are wrong.”- I don’t know if Toga’s supposed to be representative of people with same-sex interests or ��inappropriate’ views and ideas in ultra-conservative environments that frown upon them for holding these views, but I’m certainly seeing the parallels here.
16) “Holy hell, if she has a thirst for blood built-in with her quirk they could’ve just get her a few bags of blood and it would be okay, but no, let’s treat her like the monster she is.”-I mean, if Stain could have a shot at becoming a hero with his power set before he chose a different path based on his own values and dissatisfaction with the system, then there should have been no problem with Toga doing the same. Heck, Vlad King uses his ‘own’ blood as a weapon, and he’s a teacher! In fact, I think the problem may have been that Toga didn’t use her Quirk at all whilst she was acting the ‘normal girl’. 
Her classmates seemed confused at her drinking Saito’s blood, when they should have known her quirk functions if she’d regularly use it around them, but it seems that Toga was taught to ‘never’ let anybody see her drinking blood to use her quirk- in fact, given that this was before she’d have been old enough to move into a hero course where she’d be free to use her power in a regular training environment, it’s possible that, since Toga’s power needs blood, and she had to hide that fact from everybody around her to appear normal, she was never able to practice with her quirk at all. Regular usage would have been impossible without access to blood, and the students weren’t old enough to train with their powers, so Toga’s desire for Blood wasn’t being sated in any capacity, which probably led to stronger cravings as time went on.
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trainwreck-in-glitter · 2 years ago
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Since everyone in the euphoria fandom seems to have differing sometimes extreme views on Jules (particularly her affect on Rue’s mental health, as well as her messy feelings around both Rue and Anna). I thought I’d make a bb thread on my take of what we’ve seen of Jules this season. Keep reading for some spoliers.
Jules & The War With Conquering Femininity
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since episode one jules entered as a very dynamic character, everything from her distinguished wardrobe gives her an almost commanding presence despite the innate softness she carries. Nate himself deciding to corner her publicly at a party explicitly saying “nobody that looks like you is minding their own fucking business” while getting up in her face. Jules grabs a kitchen knife before threatening Nate asking “do you want to fucking hurt me?” before she cuts her arm and holds it up almost like a flag? and declares “she’s fucking invincible.” with Nates fathers tapes at home, Nate has grown up with all the values of toxic masculinity engraved in him since birth, which definitely showed itself when he threatened to have her done for child pornography not long after cat fishing her all because she rejected him (MADDY S2 GIRL PLEASE)
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Jules was initially falling for Nate as he catfished her, and one night getting particularly intoxicated she hallucinates Nate and her having violent sex with him in which she is in charge. This counters all of her assumed very concerning risqué hookups with older men, in which she is usually more submissive. In one episode she states “it’s like if I can conquer men I can conquer feminity.” Being sent to mental hospital temporarily at a young age for self harm and severe depression likely linked to her experiences of gender dysphoria before and after transitioning, it makes sense that through these unsafe hookups Jules is getting affirmation about her place in the world and in her own body when you take this into account. This also seems to put a hurdle in the road when it comes to her exploring her own queerness, which she begins to do at later episodes particularly one sexual experience with Anna in which she hallucinates Rue a fair portion of the time even saying “you remind me of my best friend” before they hooked up.
Rules relationship/mental health
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Rue and Jules met after the initial party at you guessed it (another party, y’all I swear euphoria teens get out way more often then actual humans right? maybe I’m just sad-). Rue patched up Jules’ wound and they got high together , their faces covered in glitter and they dreamily gaze at each other in a tent. They are every arm linked never one without the other best friend pair in a matter of days, Rue herself becoming noticeably jealous when Jules was still invested in ‘Tyler’ the false persona Nate crafted in order to attract Jules online who to him is the ideal example of feminity according to his psychotic lengthy checklist (see below).
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After nearly seeing Rue overdose on fentanyl Jules is noticeably distraught and just manages to croak out that she’s “experienced enough traumatic shit in her life.” and “isn’t trying to be best friends with someone who’s trying to kill themself”. she tells Rue she doesn’t want to be around her unless she stops using, and Rue agrees too quickly for an addict. Too desperately, so much so that her attachment to Jules is even compared to her addiction Rue saying “nothing on planet earth comes close to fentanyl, except Jules.” who is apparently a ‘close second’. and then they’re everywhere in smudged liquid liner on bikes, tucking each other’s hair behind their ears and coyly smiling while gays everywhere crow and wonder if they’re truly just friends.
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poor mental health in general can make even small tasks or everyday life things feel like an overstimulation, Jules and Rue separately have and still do bear the weight of repressed sexuality/gender expression, addiction issues, manic and depressive episodes, self harm and more. when you add things like catfishing, toxic masculinity, teenage insecurity and puppy dog eye teen love feelings often get heightened and any negative experience can be rapidly blown out of proportion. It’s no secret euphoria is a show of extremes, as are all teenagers especially those struggling outside of growing up already. when rue gets caught up in a moment and kisses Jules who seems unsure how to respond, she finds herself moments later pounding her dealers door begging for anything to take her mind off of the present moment. Jules also finds herself getting uncharacteristically drunk on the Halloween episode at a party, just after dodging rues second attempt of a kiss. While intoxicated she kisses rue underwater, leaving rue confused and feeling completely used. It’s entirely possible Jules needed liquid courage to actually take the plunge, remember she isn’t used to any kind of equal relationship.
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they finally mutually kiss sober in collapse of sliding memories of the early friendship, most of which they are intertwined in bed. they both frequently tell each other that they look “fucking amazing” and even get matching lip tattoos of enneagram of their names ‘rules’. To me Rue seems like every textbook teenager smitten, on edge and bashful around Jules seen when she asks her for dinner per her mums requests. They are everything we feel and see and experience in school hallways and night streets and body odour reeking school cafeterias, the innocent lack of subtlety and pure comfort. however they come with a side mix of intoxication, mental illness, personal identity issues and themes of codependency (per the rues sobriety ultimatum and rues repition of affirming “Jules is the best thing that’s happened to her in so long”.
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with Lexi and others frequently commenting and or that alluding that Jules is responsible for Rue’s sobriety, Jules starts to visibly panic. her eyeliner becomes harsher and more ethereal yet at the same time more cutting around the time she starts to push herself away from Rue (a decision said to be deliberate by the makeup artist). Rue asks to go home with her one night to which Jules hesitantly agrees instead of declining, from Jules’ perspective it’s abundantly clear she’s feeling the pressure of keeping her ¿girlfriend'¿ alive. that impending guilt she’s feeling because she knows inevitably she will likely hurt rue somehow whether they drift apart, etc to me it’s clear she’s ready to run away from her unsaid role of caregiver.
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rue asks Jules if she wants to just pack up and leave and live in the city with her soon after she confesses to being in love with both Anna and her. Whether this was an impulsive attempt at getting ins first by rue or just a testament of how much Jules’ could dictate her life. Rue begins having second thoughts and Jules ends up tearfully leaving on the train without her. so why the fuck did she leave then? the pressure? the crazy ass town? the love she didn’t want to fuck up? or did she just want someone who would get on the train for her? many questions, probably more than one answer. this scene aside jules remains my favourite, and I’m still needing a hug from her 🥺
Conclusion of S1 Jules Vaughn =
I personally believe Rue gets more understanding for her complex character as opposed to Jules, who actively struggled with her gender expression and navogating her own likes and needs while trying to engage in an intense level relationship with somebody who has self destructive tendencies has made some mistakes in said relationship. Similarly so has rue, because it’s too fucking easy to accidentally cross toxic borders in relationships. I believe that if pray hope Jules returns from the city it’s in an extended time, when both her and rue have had the hours and minutes they need to grow and understand their own afflictions more. Ultimately Jules is just trying to decipher her own feelings for rue still, the hookup with Anna was all part of addressing that. Ultimately Jules is still trying to decipher her feelings, but for me she’s the most relatable three dimensional character to be shown on television. perfectly capturing the beautiful messiness in maturing, and the naivety in love and heartbreak.
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lizardkingeliot · 3 years ago
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So I’m just gonna continue screaming in the key of the monster’s sister being his other half directly mirrors Q and Eliot being two parts of a whole. The monster’s sister/other half being taken from him resulted in amnesia which at this point appears to be due to traumatic repressed memories. Memories he recovered mostly through the catalyst of physical affection from someone that reminded him of her. And there are actually three separate things happening here:
The repressed memories obviously mirror Eliot repressing the trauma of rejecting Q.
Q and Eliot both also needed a catalyst to remind them of their lives together.
Before we knew about the sister, we’d assumed that the monster’s body itself being dismantled and taken away was why he couldn’t remember. The part of him that knew things had been taken away, and Eliot being taken from Q means he’s lost the only person aside from himself that knows about their fifty years together.
Actually make that four, because losing his sister still was very much losing the part of himself that knew things, only instead of it being a literal physical part of himself, he lost and repressed his memories of her.
And I just keep thinking about this theory that Julia will use her binder to bind the sister to her body when she channels her/becomes possessed, and if that happens each side is going to be holding hostage some essential part that the other needs to be complete. And idk y’all just... soulmates.
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luckthebard · 3 years ago
Trauma, Faith, and Caleb Widogast
*As often with my Caleb meta, this is going to draw heavily from my personal feelings and experiences, not all people experience trauma the same way, etc.
I find it interesting that Caleb “I don’t believe in anything” Widogast is consistently interested in, encouraging of, and respectful of the other character’s religious beliefs (the only real exception here is an objection to the Betrayer Gods, which seems understandable). He asks Jester about the Traveler and tries to talk to him. Tells her “you have faith so you should have faith” when they discuss casting high level spells. When Molly first mentioned worshiping the Moonweaver, an outlawed goddess, Caleb’s only response was to say “I am satisfied” with Molly’s whole personal reveal. He’s interested in how Jester and Caduceus cast spells. He picked up a symbol to the Archeart, another illegal god, while in the merrow den, but Liam described it to Matt only by the shapes and as “from my memory” so it’s possible, being raised in the repressive Empire, he doesn’t even know what god that symbol is for. And while he perhaps took it only for the comfort of the memory, he hasn’t touched it or done anything with it since.
My theory therefore, is that due to trauma, Caleb admires the idea that faith can bring comfort, but cannot find it for himself.
I imagine Caleb might have been raised to casually worship one of the Empire approved deities; perhaps the Dawnfather because his parents were farmers. Or perhaps we might consider his first “religion” to have been blind belief in the Empire itself. But - and here’s where my own experience with trauma comes in - something earth-shatteringly horrible happening in childhood is a pretty good way to lose all ability to have faith in the religion you were raised in. This can also happen if people start to disagree with something serious within the institution or ideology of that religion. A few things tend to happen. Some people reject religion altogether, and condemn the idea broadly. Some people will seek out other faiths, if they like the idea of maintaining some kind of religious comfort, but just not in the same way as the faith they lost. But there’s something else that can happen where, as much as someone might learn about and admire the tenants and ideologies and histories of many religions, they just cannot find the ability to believe that way anymore. The shattering of that first faith was too complete.
So what happens is not the kind of rejection of religion that leads to a condemnation of all forms of faith as naive. Rather, it’s a personal rejection of religion that leads to wistful musings about perhaps finding another belief system, but never being able to take the leap. My understanding is that Caleb might be interested in the idea of religious faith, but due to his life experiences can’t let go, or let down his guard or personal understanding of the world enough to find it. 
I do think the loss of that first belief in the Empire is what allowed him to open up his empathy to the outlawed religions. It’s not even just a “he doesn’t care enough to turn them in” thing, he’s seemed to respect the belief system of every outlawed worshiper they’ve encountered. That’s an empathy that’s surprising to a certain degree, but ties into the idea that his trauma might have made him more empathetic to the histories and comforts of faith, without having his own.
While trauma along these lines can lead to anger, it can also lead to a distant feeling of respect that’s coupled with a firm understanding that this can never be something the traumatized person can have. The first one, the anger, is just as valid and perhaps more so depending on the situation, but the second one happens too. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about since Caleb declared he didn’t believe in anything - because I believe him that he doesn’t, but that’s rarely stopped him from supporting his friends (especially Jester) in their own faith.
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michaels-blackhat · 3 years ago
Me, watching you run
Remember when @reachedthebitterend wrote me a The Magicians AU? Well, remember how I have a habit of continuing things? So here we are... some dialogue taken from the previous installment to keep with consistency. Also, Rosa was not murdered and that’s all I have to say about that.
Also I’m on mobile so sorry for the lack of Read More
“You just walked away.” There is no emotion in his voice, no pain, no heartbreak. Hell, there isn’t even disappointment. All there is is one simple fact, and that fact is that Michael was given everything he wanted, was offered the thing he wanted more than anything, more than magic, and he just walked away.
“You should have known that this was it. This was the memory you worked so hard to forget. He loved you. He finally admitted he loved you. He was finally ready, and you couldn’t let yourself have one damn good thing.”
The figure in front of him was dressed straight from a Renaissance faire and Michael couldn’t take him seriously.
“So I have confront my worst memory, unlock a door, and hope that I find my friends and tell them I’m a live?”
The ren faire reject nodded.
“Should be easy. It’s not like I have 28 years of trauma.”
There was a plan and they were supposed to stick to it, but Michael knew the moment Alex said “I’ll do it,” that he would rather die than trap Alex for eternity.
“It’s ok,” he had said to the room at large. “I lived a full life. I fell in love, got married, had a family.” His smile was small and sad, nostalgia for a lifetime that technically didn’t exist. “I got everything I wanted. I don’t mind doing this.”
Michael couldn’t let it happen though. He couldn’t watch Alex die as a monster took over his body. He couldn’t let Alex sacrifice himself because he thought he had no future in this timeline.
“Alex, don’t,” Michael started but Alex cut him off quickly.
“As my friend, you should respect my decision.”
And didn’t that hurt, Alex’s constant reminder that that was all they were. Every “my friend Michael” and “you’re such a good friend” hurt. They hurt worse now than they had ever before. Somehow, it hurt worse when it was you doing the running.
Michael started with the murders and the coverups. Really, how could anything be worse than that?
“I don’t think this is the right place,” Fantasy Weirdo said as they watched Michael levitate three corpses. There was not a door to be seen anywhere in that god awful desert.
“How is there anything worse than when I helped coverup two murders? Lied to everyone I cared about? My first two uses of magic were to coverup murders!”
“But why did you do it? It wasn’t selfish, it was protection. There were bright points to these days.”
“You have to be crazy to think that there are any bright points anywhere.”
A screeching was heard in the distance.
“Excellent. Now I get to deal with physical monsters on top of my emotional ones.”
They fled the memory before they could be attacked.
Michael tried to kill the monster before Alex could trick it into his body and into the trap.
Michael should have thought this plan through more. The monster, in anger flew at Michael.
He didn’t remember the rest.
Max and Isobel were arguing about their summer plans when Michael heard a knock on the door. That wasn’t right. No one should be knocking on the house’s door now, it was too late and every student should have been in bed or in their own common areas. No one should be outside.
“I’ll get it,” Max had said when neither Isobel or Michael moved despite being closer to the door.
“No, don’t bother,” Michael had said, but Max ignited him.
The pounding grew frantic as Max made his way to the door. When he opened it, a man dressed in weirdly period, but obviously Fillory-influence clothing came in and slammed the door behind him.
“I have been trying to get into the Happy Place. Why would t you let me in?” He addresses his question to Michael, ignoring Max right in front of him.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about man.”
“We’re in your memories. This is your Happy Place, the one place we are safe from the monster.”
“Get out,” Michael has said, not wanting to deal with any ridiculousness. “Come on Max, make him leave.”
Max ignored him.
“He’s not really here. He’s a memory too. Just imagine he’s not here, see what happens.”
Michael did. Max disappeared. Well shit. Maybe the weird man was right.
“Huh, even in my imagination he ignores me.”
Somehow watching it happen all over again is worse than living through it.
“So every time we leave my happy place, we get attacked by weird dementor looking assholes. Or like, murderous birdmen.”
“Yes, which is why we have to stay in the Happy Place.”
“Yeah, not gonna happen. I need to make sure my friends know I’m alive. How do I do that?”
“You don’t just get out. We’re in your mind, in your memory. The only way out, even for a few moments, is to find the thing your buried down so deep and confront it.”
“What was yours?”
“The day I left my home.”
Michael looked at the man in disbelief. That was it? That was his most traumatic memory?
Alex was gone in the morning.
Michael tried hard not to think about it, any of it. He tried not to think about Alex’s body under his own, Alex insistent lips, and his own hunger. He tried not to think about the heat in his chest, the heat of their bodies, the slick sheen of sweat on their bodies. He tried not to think about how damn happy we was when he fell asleep and the emptiness in his chest the next morning when he woke up alone.
There was no door in that memory either.
They needed a distraction, a shield to stand between them and the monsters.
“Who are they?”
Michael looked at Ren-Faire-Reject and then turned around.
“These,” he said with a vague gesture, “are my most terrifying friends. Max, during one of his ‘Liz doesn’t love me’ rages. Alex, that one time he punched Valenti in the face. And Isobel, who is always terrifying.” He gave his memory friends a small smile. “They have my back always.”
He and his friends moved toward the front door. Memory Isobel smirk.
“I wonder if I can melt a monster’s brain too.”
“It was kind of...”
He and Alex stay in silence, broken only by the sob that Michael had tried to hid as laughter.
Michael remembers the feeling, the anger and resentment and pain. Michael remembers his bitter words even though he tried to forget them in the months that followed.
“You spent so much time angry that he kept running, that you never thought to ask why.”
Michael stares at himself as he stood on the steps with Alex next to him. Broken glass lay at their feet. Michael wonders if that was all that was broken that day.
Michael tried not to think about the scent, acidic and floral and strange. He tried not to think about the days of wandering, the week’s of waiting. He tried not to think about sharing a bed with Alex every single night and never touching him. He tried not to think about how he could tell Alex was in pain but he could do nothing, not without his magic. He tried not to think about the tiny tin of salve he made for Alex, and how that was apparently the tipping point.
He tried not to think about the fact that they spent fifty years together, in love and happy, and how he could never get it back.
It’s been months since that lifetime and Michael was exhausted. He didn’t know how Alex did this for years.
“What if you ask again, and I say yes?”
There was no door in the group home when they relived the exorcism and they lost memory Max to the monsters.
There was no door in the halls of the school library where he helped ruin Liz’s chance for revenge.
There was no door in any of the corners of his mind that he packed away. Not where he lost memory Isobel as they watched young Max and Isobel get adopted. Not when he buried a body at age 12. Not where he lost his engineering scholarship, though he definitely didn’t expect it there.
“Of course not,” said memory Alex. “If you kept it, you would never have ended up at Brakebills with me.”
“Do you want me Alex?” Michael’s voice was low, intentionally seductive. He had Alex pressed against the door to his room. Each sentence was punctuated by the roll of his hips and a kiss to Alex’s neck. “Do you want to date me? To be my boyfriend, be my lover, my everything? I feel like the world was frozen until you breathed fire into me. So tell me, do you want me?”
Michael closed his eyes as he watched. The answer had been no.
“This isn’t working. I suggest you just give up.”
Michael stared the weird Memory Guy. No way in hell was he giving up. “You have one friend left. You have no idea where your doorway out is. If you die here, you die for good. I suggest you stop and just enjoy your Happy Place.”
“Yeah sorry not an option.” Michael’s voice was flat. He confronted too many repressed memories today for any type of emotion.
Memory Alex stood off to the side. He kept his gaze on the list of potential memories to explore. All were crossed out.
“If you don’t mind telling us,” memory Alex said, “what was your memory?”
“It was he day he left home. Not every helpful.”
Alex looked at Michael, his gaze heavy. “I think that depends.” He turned to look at Memory Guy. “Why was it so awful?”
Memory Guy stared at the two of them in amazement. “What do you mean? I left home! Of course it was awful! I left the place that I was safe, where I was loved! I left the place that held everyone that I loved! I left them behind...” He trailed off, voice quivering and tears in his eyes.
Michael shared a look with his memory of Alex. It was an older memory, of when they first met. Alex was still in the tail end of his punk phase, nose ring and eyeliner. He looked completely different to the guy he was now, or the guy he was before a monster took over Michael’s body. Yet, he looked at Michael in the same way, the way that Alex used to say Michael looked at him with love and adoration. The way they looked at each other every day for fifty years.
“See,” memory Alex said. “It all depends. Home doesn’t mean much for us, not when we never had one. This,” he gestures around the house they lived in until recently, “this is as close as we’ve ever come. Remember what Maria said? Home doesn’t have to be a white picket fence...”
“It can be a person.”
Michael knew where he had to go.
“Apparently it only works if we don’t have any other choice.”
Michael watches himself break the glass and then break his and Alex’s hearts.
Michael watches as Alex turned away, as Alex desperately tries to hold his tears in, to hold back his sob with his hands. He watches Alex nod. “Okay, Sorry I brought it up.”
Michael watches as he draws closer to Alex. He remembers getting closer, reaching out his hand to offer comfort, to take it all back. He didn’t though. Instead he scoffed at himself and left.
Michael heats himself scoff, sees himself turn to leave.
“You spent so long being angry at him for never giving us a chance, and this is what you do? You tell him he’s scared and then you run away the moment he decides to be brave?”
Michael takes a step closer to himself, and then another and another. As he walks he says, “He asked you to give him a chance and you stomp all over it? You throw your fears in his face and say they’re inevitable? You were scared that someone so good could possibly love you for real, and you fucking ran.”
His footsteps lead him past himself, past the memory of the worst moment of his life, past the moment where he gave up his love and ran in fear. He makes his way to Alex. He faces the man he loves and cradles his face, the way he did every day for a lifetime that technically never happened.
“I’m gonna get out of here Alex. And when I do, I promise I’m gonna stop being a coward. I’m gonna stop running. The only running I’m gonna do is running back to you.”
He places a soft kiss to the Alex’s lips, an echo of how the memory should have played out but didn’t.
Behind him a rickety old door appears. Michael moves to open it.
In another place at the same time, the monster at the end of the world loses control over the meat suit he’s wearing. For the first time in weeks, the body’s eyes aren’t vacant. Now they are full of love. For the first time in weeks, the voice that comes out isn’t bored and malicious. When it speaks, Alex knows the truth. For one glorious minute it is Michael talking.
“I’m alive. And once you get this thing out of me, I will ask again, do you understand me?”
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supernaturalinguist · 2 years ago
s/i questionnaire: soren edley
Lifted from my friend @gaycopia! :)
1. What do they fear the most?
The thing with Soren is that they’re mildly scared of a lot of things, but don’t have a lot of end-all be-all fears. When they think about death, they do get scared, but mostly because of the sheer unknown nature of it all. They’re scared that everyone actually hates them and are just faking the fact that they’re friends. Of losing everyone who matters to them in their life. Generally common stuff. Death, failure, loss, rejection. The usual. 
Especially the fear that they’re lying to themself and everyone around them, and that they don’t realize it.
2. What is their worst habit?
Biting their lips and cuticles. Or self-isolating. Being too hard on themself. Not feeling able to express any negative emotions (besides sadness) openly.
3. What bores your character?
Math and music theory, as specific topics. (They just don’t get it.) Also, if you’re teaching Soren something and you’re not excited about what they’re supposed to be learning, they will be bored with you and not pay attention. Lack of stimulation, also.
4. Are they an optimist or pessimist, introvert or extrovert?
Spren wishes they were an optimist, and everyone thinks they look like they’d be an optimist, since they’re gentle and kind. They’re more cynical than they look, and because of a lot of negative experiences in their life, they’ve fallen squarely into the pessimist side. Soren’s a big introvert, but still likes going out with friends.
5. What is their greatest weakness and greatest strength?
Oof. Greatest weakness? Their inner critic, probably. Also, the fact that they can’t read people very well, and because of that, they’re often manipulated or accidentally put people off of them because they can’t parse their reactions well.
6. Do they have self-doubt, or are they completely gung-ho?
Soren is MADE of self-doubt.
7. What is the most violent thing they’ve ever done, and the most violent thing done to them?
Soren doesn’t really do violence. The most they’ve done is verbally dress someone down that hurt them. What they lack in physical ability they make up in mental acuity. They wouldn’t physically hurt anyone on purpose, unless they were cornered in a very bad situation. (Then, it’s likely all that repressed anger would just explode in a violent, feral cat-like rage.)
As for violence done to them? Let’s just say that they’ve experienced a...significant amount of abuse in their life. Not necessarily physical, but on the emotional, mental and sexual scales, they’ve been abused.
8. Who do they love the most, and who do they hate the most?
They want to say that they love their family--their dad and mom, even though they have a difficult relationship with them both, and generally try to stay away from them for their mental health.  And they love their friends, of course. But in the case of what sort of love they feel most strongly, it’s 99% directed at a certain Head Archivist. 
They hate their abuser, abuser’s friends, etc
9. What do they do in their spare time?
Soren has a lot of hobbies! Generally they like to study languages and linguistics, or do fiber arts (embroidery, crochet, knitting, you name it!) They also like to read, and to cook. Sometimes even write poetry.
10. How hungry are they for power?
Not very. They think absolute power corrupts absolutely, and don’t really know what they’d do if they had any.
11. How ambitious are they?
They have ambitions, in the case of wanting to expand their knowledge and understand the secrets behind events documented at the Institute. Honestly, they’re happy with where they are in life, but wouldn’t mind more money in their pockets (for going to Japan every once in a while and buying more craft supplies.)
12. Do they have a strong moral compass or are they willing to break the rules if it benefits them?
Soren generally has a pretty strong moral compass that they follow if at all possible. But it’s kind of a weird moral compass. However, they’re okay with committing infractions of the rules if they’re sure it’ll end up with a good outcome for the majority involved. (As in, they’ll be okay with torrenting and doing things to the detriment of large corporations, but draw the line at hurting other people unless it’s really and truly necessary.
13. Who is this character deceiving? (It may be themselves or they may be putting on a facade for someone else)
They think they’re not worth other people’s time. They think they don’t deserve good things, because they’re always swept up in when the next bad thing is going to hit.
14. What makes this character feel the happiest?
Spending time with their partner. Spending time with friends too. Also spending time alone in a peaceful area doing something that interests them (like a library with a pot of tea and pastries.)  Learning new things and actually understanding them. When people tell them that they’re “worth it”, or that they care about them. Eating good food with good people, or even alone. They find their happiness where they can take it.
15. What is their biggest secret?
They did some...sketchy things when they were with their abuser and are always worried if they were actually the abuser in the situation. Soren worries that traumatic experiences that are blocked in their memory are blocked because they forced themselves to block out the things they were ashamed of.
16. What is their sense of humor like?
Soren likes deadpan humor, memes, improv comedy. They make a lot of sarcastic jokes when they can, as well as the occasional nonsequitur in conversation. Soren wants to make people laugh and smile when they can.
17. What would this character do which would be out-of-character for them?
Hurt someone intentionally that didn’t hurt them. Be open about their dating and sex life. Basically anything openly sexual.
18. What are they superstitious about?
If they spill salt, they toss a little over their shoulder. Also they don’t say the word “Macbeth” in theatres, and will get very angry at anyone who does. 
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getallemeralds · 3 years ago
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tumblr is functional and wont let me actually do “reply in new tab”. okay
disclaimer: i came up with Kurousu when i was in, like, 6th grade. as a result shes kind of... weird? but also i love her to death so just try and ignore how fanfic-y she is bc i used to rp her on youtube of all places
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(pictured here without her sweater, long pants, or bodysuit because she tries to wear as much concealing clothing as possible)
Ku is a Mother 3 OC! sometime after the timeskip, the chimera labs were trying to like... make super-chimeras? by cloning psi users, like kumatora, or cloning non-psi users and giving their clones psi, like fuel. just all sorts of weird mad science and cloning going on. one of their projects was to try and clone the masked man, with the idea being that they would make an army of him that would be totally unstoppable. their only attempt that actually survived was a total failure, though, with pretty much no psychic potential to speak of (and also was a girl for some reason?), and “claustwo” was tossed aside with the other rejects. she ended up making friends with them, and badly mangled her designation into her name, Kurousu.
during her stay at the chimera labs, the pigmasks were trying to like.. train her and her fellow rejects to not be super garbage? except ku was just consistently not living up to expectations, and couldnt even use the most basic levels of pk w/o external assistance from a psi amplifier. they ended up deciding she was more effort than she was worth and locked her up with the ultimate chimera to see what would happen, which... nearly killed her! and then they reconstructed her into a mechanical chimera like “well maybe she’ll be useful NOW” except she was now extremely traumatized and couldnt fight at all without freezing up and having flashbacks.
angry at how their friend had been treated, the other rejects came up with a plan to like.. take ku and break out. go live among the other residents of nowhere islands, because with the exception of ku who was obviously half-robot they were otherwise just normal kids who were like.. grown in a lab and had superpowers. the plan fell apart at the last second, with only one of them successfully escaping-- the other was put into cryogenic storage, and ku herself was likely about to be decommissioned for her repeated failures if not for the intervention of a pigmask that had grown fond of her and kind of became her dad figure. when the 7th needle was pulled, he was able to take ku away from the chimera labs in the ensuing chaos and started a life with her in the remade world.
pretty much all of that got repressed, though! she had no memory of that up until she met Tank, Fuel’s “twin brother” who was strangely familiar despite her being certain they’d never met before.
kurousu is timid, stutters a lot, hates being stared at, and feels inadequate all the time. she’s got a kind heart, but the trauma conga line she got put through (and kept being put through throughout the entire course of the years-long rp) means that shes afraid anything she does might get her or her friends hurt. shes got a long list of phobias and her character arc was mostly learning how to overcome them and stand on her own, while also learning that there are people around her that want to support her and help her become the best she can be. despite her fears, she did her best to be the emotional cornerstone of the team and had an optimistic outlook on life, and strongly believed that regardless of her origins or what happened to her that she could keep moving forward to be something more than her scars or intended “purpose”.
when put under pressure or when her friends are in danger, kurousu’s personality suddenly flips and she becomes furious and single-mindedly focused on kicking as much ass as possible. she loses complete control over herself the longer she’s in this state, and her psychic powers get a huge boost in exchange for them hurting her to use. she has very little memory of what she does in this state, and to be honest it scares the hell out of her. the last thing she wants to be is be a living weapon, even though thats what she was created for.
also she was best friends with ninten and kind of had a crush on him? it was VERY obvious and never really went away, even after she started dating tank. he gave her the neckerchief she wears, and was her emotional support whenever the other two members of the “chimera trio” (kurousu, tank, and her “brother” vincent) werent around. ku was pretty sheltered even after leaving the chimera labs so ninten’s main job was trying to help her integrate to normal life and teaching her, like, pop culture things. it was honestly super adorable
tl;dr cinnamon roll claus clone that deserves the best. also she has wings because i didnt realize at first that masked man’s wings arent like, actually part of him, and by the way i hadnt even played mother 3 when i made her?
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alivinghopes · 9 months ago
Emotional Numbness
Weekly Discussion
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At some point or another we’ve all heard these words before:
“Suck it up princess!” “Be a man!” “Stop being a cry-baby,” “Get over it,” “Stop being so sensitive,” “Get thicker skin!”
While these words were likely spoken without consciously intending us long-term harm, they nevertheless point to a common and undeniably tragic truth in our society: that expressing your emotions is a sign of weakness, rather than strength.
If you were born into an emotionally repressed culture that valued the “masculine” ideals of efficiency and logic, it is likely that you struggle with some level of emotional numbness.
If you were born into a family that shunned any form of strong emotional expression, it is even more likely that emotional numbing is an issue for you.
And if you experienced an extremely traumatic life event that was simply too overwhelming for you to handle (from which you haven’t recovered), I can almost guarantee that you suffer from emotional numbness.
So how does emotional numbness impact virtually every part of our life? And what advice can I share with you after going through my own struggle with this issue? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
What is Emotional Numbness?
Emotional numbness is a defense mechanism employed by the mind to avoid intense and overwhelming emotions such as fear, hatred, jealousy, and grief. When you go emotionally numb, you lose the ability to feel and experience your emotions on a psychological and emotional level. In this sense, emotional numbness is often clinically connected with dissociation, which is the disconnection from one’s memories, identity, environment, body, or senses.
What Causes Emotional Numbness?
As with most issues, emotional numbness goes back to childhood and the way we were raised by our parents. Being abused by our parents physically, emotionally, sexually, psychologically, or spiritually can contribute towards our inability to self-regulate emotions, which results in emotional numbness. Feeling alienated or disconnected from one or both of our parents, or family at large, can also contribute towards emotional numbness. Being punished whether directly or indirectly for expressing our emotions in childhood also creates emotional numbness.
Numbing our emotions may also start after a severely traumatic experience, such as witnessing acts of violence, being assaulted, experiencing rape, suffering intense loss, or anything that we didn’t have the capacity to psychologically and emotionally handle in the moment. For this reason, emotional numbness is often a symptom of PTSD and various anxiety disorders.
Emotional numbness is also influenced by our culture and wider social circles, particularly those that emphasize being stoic, rational, and emotionally invulnerable (e.g., British, Chinese, American, Russian).
The Danger of Emotional Numbness
If you even have the slightest inkling that you might be emotionally numb, it’s time to listen up. Emotional numbness is not a small character flaw or minor area of self-growth to improve in – it is a serious problem which needs to be addressed immediately.
Speaking from experience, emotional numbness has formed the root of many issues I have faced (and still continue to face) in my life. Due to my upbringing in an emotionally stunted, dogmatically religious family whom I felt disconnected from for the majority of my life, I never learned how to handle strong emotions. I was punished verbally, emotionally or physically anytime I expressed strong emotions, and freethinking or any form of dissent was rejected, resulting in being ostracized.
The combination of having a British father and a mother who was traumatized by her own emotionally unstable mother – on top of an oppressive fundamentalist religion – led to grooming me as a stoic and “stable” person who was taught that expressing emotions was not only bad but shameful.
As you can see, sometimes there are numerous factors at play that may contribute to your inability to regulate intense emotions, and therefore resort to unconsciously numbing them. In my case, I learned that strong emotions = punishment in one form or another, and so I learned that they were dangerous to experience.
The danger of disconnecting from your emotions is that it can lead to a host of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual issues. Such issues may include dysfunctional coping mechanisms (obsessive compulsions), mild to severe depression, spiritual emptiness, inability to enjoy life, inability to form close and fulfilling relationships, disconnection from inner self, confusion, irritability, fatigue, addictions, chronic illnesses, and somatic illnesses (illnesses produced by the mind). In extreme cases (and I’m talking about situations where emotional contact is nil), emotional numbness can lead to acts of cruelty.
Why is it ‘the Secret Illness’?
I call emotional numbness the secret illness because it is so pervasive in our society, and so socially acceptable, that it often flies underneath the radar. In a society that largely doesn’t know how to handle strong emotions in healthy ways, being stoic and “level-headed” is valued – yet this very same calm and collected facade often conceals unhealthy detachment from one’s feelings. Thus, emotional numbness is a secret illness because so many of us struggle with it, yet don’t even realize that we have it until chronic issues start emerging.
13 Signs You’re Struggling With Emotional Numbness
Emotional detachment is not always a bad thing. It comes in handy when you need to maintain boundaries, avoid undesired energy overload from others, and even help others in crisis situations. But emotional detachment turns into its unhealthy twin (emotional numbness) when it becomes an automatic inner defense mechanism. “What’s so great about feeling strong emotions?” you might ask. The answer is that without feeling our emotions, we don’t have the capacity to live and learn from them or experience the beauty and depth of life.
Here are some of the most significant signs of emotional numbness that you should look out for:
Inability to express strong negative or positive emotions
Inability to “fully participate” in life (i.e., feeling like you’re a passive observer)
Feeling that life is like a dream (a sense unreality)
Living on autopilot
Lack of interest in activities others find enjoyable
Feeling distant from others
The tendency to withdraw from friends and family members
Emotions are only felt in the body as sensations, but not by the mind (or else are completely muted in the body and show up only as illness)
Dislike of people who express strong emotions (both positive and negative)
Not feeling anything in situations that would usually generate strong emotion
Panic or terror when strong emotions eventually breakthrough
Feeling empty inside
Physical and emotional numbness or “flatness”
In extreme circumstances (such as in PTSD sufferers), emotional numbness may even influence the desire to commit suicide. If you are considering suicide, please seek out support immediately.
How to Overcome Emotional Numbness?
Like any psychological defense mechanism, emotional numbing can be complex to deal with, and often requires support from a trained professional such as a therapist.
If you feel that emotional numbness is significantly impairing your life, please do an act of self-compassion and seek out support either locally or online (there are even free counselling services online).
For the time being, here are some helpful practices which I have personally found to increase my ability to feel, cope with, and express strong emotions:
Anchor yourself to your body. As mentioned above, emotional numbing is connected to dissociation (mental disconnection from one part of yourself). In my case, whenever I experience strong emotions, my automatic response is to either (a) only feel the emotions in my body, not my mind, or (b) to have a complete meltdown. In both cases, one of the best self-soothing mechanisms I’ve learned is to anchor myself to my body through mindfulness and physical contact. Similar to what a mother does with her child, I tightly but gently hold one area of my body – usually my hand or stomach. This method helps me to feel contained and grounded in my body. I also recommend using shapewear or a pressure vest to help you in extremely emotionally turbulent periods to anchor yourself to your body (here is a good example of shapewear). Shapewear is used by women and men to keep “love handles” and other body parts slim and defined. For our purposes, shapewear is like a hug to the body that will help you feel safe and ‘held together.’ Pressure vests are a little more expensive and they are used by people with sensory integration disorders (such as autism) to relax.
Deep breathing. Whether used alone or in conjunction with the above-mentioned technique, deep breathing is a simple and easy way to help you mindfully move through whatever you’re experiencing. This practice is particularly useful when intense feelings such as fear or rage break through. There are many books out there that talk about the importance of deep breathing (such as this one), and there are many online tutorials with breathing techniques. I recommend sticking to something simple, something you don’t have to think about too much, and something that doesn’t feel forced. The point of deep breathing isn’t to follow someone else’s technique perfectly, it is to use your breath (in whatever way suits you), to calm your mind and body. Also, I recommend breathing slowly, deeply, and softly instead of forcing deep breaths (which can increase anxiety) – let your breath be natural. Read more about how to relax using deep breathing.
Keep a journal of sad thoughts. I realize this suggestion may sound a tad bit melancholic, but it’s a practice worthy of your time and effort, particularly if you’re wanting to feel and express your emotions. Journaling is also a powerful form of shadow work (a way to express what you would usually suppress). In a physical journal or online diary, spend five to ten minutes every day writing down something which triggers even the slightest pang of sadness in you. For example, you might write down a memory of your dog who died, an issue in the world, something someone said to you, a scene from a movie, a daily struggle or virtually anything that is upsetting (or what you imagine would be upsetting). Creating a sad thoughts diary has two main benefits. One, it helps you express your emotions, even if in an indirect way at first. And two, it acts as a catalyst for feeling and letting out your emotions, particularly when you need momentum (I’ll elaborate more on this soon). Always try to finish your sad thought journaling with something uplifting, like reading the uplifting news subreddit, spending time with someone you love, playing with a pet, or watching something entertaining on YouTube or Netflix.
Catharsis (let it all out, baby!). When emotionally numbing ourselves becomes our default defense mechanism, we tend to have a huge amount of suppressed emotion lying just beneath our conscious awareness. In order to safely and effectively express your suppressed emotions, try some form of catharsis. Catharsis may involve screaming into or punching a pillow, using your sad thoughts journal (mentioned above) to stimulate sadness and crying, intense emotional-fuelled exercise, impassioned dancing, or dynamic meditation. Regular catharsis should be a must on your journey. Without regularly ‘letting it all out,’ you run the risk of experiencing the repercussions of festering emotions (i.e., depression, emptiness, chronic illness, etc.).
Yoga and self-massage. Yoga is a well-known way of helping to clear and balance your energy. Not only that, but yoga often has a way of releasing emotions stored in the body. I recommend doing slow and gentle forms of yoga such as Hatha yoga for at least ten minutes a day. Remember, the goal isn’t to become some Instagram-perfect yoga star; it is to connect with your body, mind, and heart. The truth is that our unexpressed and repressed emotions are often stored within our bodies. I like to think of our bodies as being reflections of our unconscious mind: they are maps that help us to figure out what we are keeping locked away, and what unresolved issues we need to face. In my article about chronic muscle tension, I list the nine types of emotions trapped in different areas of the body. In order to release these emotions, I regularly use something called the ‘Acuball’ to introduce fresh blood flow and energy into these tense areas. I like the Acuball because it gives me a deep tissue massage, while also helping me to stay grounded in my body, relax, and release pent-up stress. (You can get the Acuball here).
Creatively express your feelings (or lack thereof). Write a song, doodle in a journal, paint a picture, create a collage, find some way of expressing what emotion you last felt. If you struggle to feel anything at all, express that artistically. Grab those greys and blacks and turn that damn page into your own work of art. Pay attention to how you feel afterward. Does even the slightest feeling of satisfaction enter you? Journal about these emotions.
Take care of your inner child. As it was your child self that likely copped the trauma that caused you to default to emotional numbing, take care of this part of you. Practice inner child work and find ways of comforting and nurturing this vulnerable place within you. You may even like to create empowering affirmations for your inner child to help him or her access emotions. For example, you might repeat to yourself when you are in a difficult circumstance, “It is OK for me to feel,” “It is safe for me to feel sad,” “My anger is valid,” “Being vulnerable is being strong,” and so forth.
Dedicate space and time to feeling. In our busy lives, it is very easy to numb and distract ourselves with social media, the TV, shopping, food, social commitments, and other things that constantly cause us to look outside. Looking inside is much harder and requires far more self-discipline, hence why most people don’t do it. If you are serious about overcoming your emotional numbness, you will need to dedicate space and time to all of the activities I have mentioned in this article. If you struggle with self-discipline, I recommend making yourself externally accountable by joining a meditation group or other practice to help you turn inwards. Please don’t skip this step, it is imperative that you spend time exploring your inner self, and in particular, what you are repressing and why.
Emotional Numbness Q&A
Here are some commonly asked questions about emotional numbness. Hopefully they’ll answer any remaining concerns or thoughts you may have about this topic:
What causes emotional detachment?
The simple answer is trauma. Usually, emotional detachment (or numbness) can be linked to early childhood experiences such as being abused mentally, emotionally, sexually, or physically. However, not everyone who experiences emotional detachment had tough childhoods. Sometimes, other traumatizing experiences later in life can trigger emotional detachment as a protective mechanism (such as divorce, job loss, rape, illnesses, war, etc.).
Can numbness be a sign of anxiety?
Yes, emotional numbness can mask intense feelings of anxiety – it’s the mind’s way of protecting itself from being flooded by overwhelming emotions. Numbness is a primal reaction to fear and is also known as the freeze response. There are three main reactions to anxiety-provoking situations that we have: fight, flight, and freeze.
How to fix emotional numbness?
To fix, or rather regain the ability to feel again, it’s important to be gentle with yourself. Try reconnecting with your body, practicing deep breathing, doing some catharsis, journaling, and creating a safe environment for yourself. Seeking out professional support is usually crucial, as emotional numbness is usually a major sign of a traumatized nervous system. To regulate your nervous system, you need a safe holding environment, which a professional therapist/counsellor can provide.
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ursae-minoris-world · 4 years ago
KALTENECKER: Who is your favorite Voltron character? (part 2 : Keith)
...and, my last answer for @ashrayus‘s ask for the Voltron ask meme ! As a follow up to that one about Hunk !
Thanks a lot for tagging me, by the way, I’m having way too much fun doing this !
Sooo. I didn’t think I would get that much attached to that guy that fast. Oops.
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(Me : “oh, you think you’re cool ? I’m not impressed. No way I’m getting attached to a character like that”. Narrator’s voice : “it didn’t go as planned...”).
So yeah… the one that really grew on me was Keith, to the point that I think he’s probably my fave now (well I love him different ways that I love Hunk, if that makes sense ; it’s hard to compare). This is funny because when he was introduced, for some reason, I really wanted to hate him (lol).
He had this epic introduction scene and I just thought “Ok, here comes the cool guy, he’s gonna be the leader and overshadow every other character... and I liked the others, damn ! So annoying.” Which is funny considering it was Shiro who first was set up to be the leader and it became explicitly so pretty soon. But, even without the leadership, he had this sort of Main Character aura. Well I thought he would be the 80’s hero stereotype, and the others would be kinda reduced to side-kicks, and it rubbed me the wrong way. But then he kept surprising me.
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His soft, worried expression when he saw Shiro caught me off guard. Then, when Lance interrupted, and he wasn’t able to recognize him despite having been in the same class, and clearly trying honestly hard to remember, got me chuckling despite myself : “OMG, not good with people, are we ?” lol.
And him begrudgingly saving the garrison trio along with Shiro, and then being salty when they had the guts to complain about  how he did it was… more relatable than I expected. Also, it was pretty cool to see him using the fact that his hoverbike was overloaded as an advantage to gain speed. And when he excitedly drove of that cliff, it was kind of endearing.
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Then he brought them to that shack in the middle of the desert when I expected to see his family or at least a somewhat decent flat, and I started getting intrigued. Added to that heartfelt dialog with Shiro (“good to have you back”) and when he then admitted how lost he had felt when booted from the Garrison…  How his voice breaks, the sad look Shiro and him exchange… I started connecting the dots about their past. And getting really invested in it.
But a voice in my head was still saying “well of course the cool hero has a tragic back-story ! Don’t fall into this trap !”. I don’t even know why I was so stubborn about NOT liking him lol. But I couldn’t help but being fond of this emotional and vulnerable side I was starting to see in him, and that I really didn’t expect (same goes for Shiro, but I really liked Shiro from the start).
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(you all took that decision together as a team, Keith !)
And the moment I let go of that curious mindset of “I don’t like the stereotype so I’m determined not to like this character” was when, at the Castle of Lions, out of sheer provocation, Lance tells Allura that them being attacked has to be Keith’s fault. Keith starts sarcastically “Say whatever you've got to say to make yourself feel better.” And, as much as I actually enjoyed the reply, I was still thinking, a bit annoyed “yeah of course he would be more mature and not react to the provocation”. But then… Keith explodes. And I realized that he was not being mature, but trying to appear so by bottling up his emotions and that they had just...blown up on him. And that was such a good character flaw that it completely scraped the “cool guy” stereotype I had seen at first. And I started really liking him.
And he just kept growing on me.
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Basically, what really got me with Keith was this struggle he has, with desperately wanting to belong… But also being terrified to let himself get attached, because then it would hurt too bad if he gets rejected again. And how that ends up being a self-fulfilling prophesy. Because the way he keeps a distance by trying to protect himself doesn’t allow him to grow deeper bonds with others, or communicating properly with them. Which, in turn, results in misunderstandings and conflict. He ends up running away (come on, it was not the only reason why he left, but I bet this was at play too), isolating himself from the people he cared for.
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(Canonically his greatest fear is being rejected by Shiro...)
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(...and of course it ended up happening… or well, not really, it’s complicated, but it must have felt pretty close to him)
And it makes complete sense that he struggles like that , it all comes from his childhood trauma ; and honestly he keeps getting traumatized  again, like losing Shiro not once but twice already, and being there not only for Ulaz’s death, but also for Thace’s after having fought alongside with him, and Regris’, who was his teammate and with whom he had at least been on several missions ; that doesn’t help ! And the growing tension with Shiro after finding him again ; and the gap that has been slowly widening between him and the team (his “found family”), culminating in his decision to leave. Heck, even having to leave Red, with whom he had such a great bond, to pilot Black in season 3. And then, leaving Black too for Shiro’s benefit. So far, the story keeps feeding his narrative of “I’d better not let myself get attached” : it seems each time he bonds with someone, they end up separated, or, in worst case scenarios, that person even dies.
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It just breaks my heart and I really, really need him to solve this issue. He deserves to be loved, and for that he needs to learn to accept that love, too. Because more than once, we see him dismissing it or misinterpreting it when others try to show concern or support. I kind of hope the tide will turn now that Krolia is in the game. And I really cross my fingers for Kolivan to not being killed off, and forging deeper bonds with Keith as well, although I’m really worried about how that will turn out.
Also, I like how deeply emotional he is, but how he tries to bottle it up, and how that doesn’t work at all. Please Keith, please open up to others.
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I’m also extremely curious about all the secrets that surround him. We found up about his galra origins, we finally met his mother, but there is so much more I want to know. For instance, I’m dying for his back-story with Shiro. I need to know more about his family history, how his parents met, what happened to his father. I wonder if Acxa could, indeed, be related to him. I want to know more about this weird connection he seems to have with magic and quintessence. I want to see if those visions of galra invasions (both in his dream in “the Ark of Taujeer” and in his visions in “the Blade of Marmora”) could be repressed memories, like some theorize.  I want to know what happened between his father’s disappearance and the garrison, did he hop from foster family to foster family like many of us headcanon ? How did he get into the garrison ?
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(I don’t thing that’s what Kolivan meant by “undetected”, Keith !)
Another thing I like with Keith is how he is balanced. Yes, he is extremely talented in some fields. He’s an amazing pilot and a great fighter, and it’s really cool to see him improve in those domains. He’s also pretty good at improvising on the spot in dangerous situations. He’s extremely focused, loyal, dedicated and resourceful.
But at the same time, he can be pretty awkward in social situations. He has a hard time managing his feelings. He might be really good with blades and in close combat, but struggles when he has a gun. He gets caught almost every time he tries to be sneaky, which is both endearing and worrying, considering the risks of this while he works with the Blades. He is the worst liar ever and it’s hilarious (I hope Kolivan has given up any expectation to make him go undercover, that would be a disaster).
Anyway, some characters are well balanced by being moderately good at everything and being a jack of all trades (Lance for instance). But Keith… he’s amazing in a few domains (flying, fighting with a sword…) but pretty bad in others.
So despite his obvious talents, he is quite far from the cool, flawless character  that I first thought he would be.
Although he has a quite eventful and compelling arc, I don’t feel he overshadows the other characters as he’s often (and sometimes painfully) out of focus… We barely saw him at all in the last two seasons. And honestly at this point I’m invested enough in his story that I wouldn’t even complain if he hogs the spotlight a bit more at times.
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I ended up getting way too attached and it’s hard to watch him getting hurt by the story all the time. I really hope he gets some good comforting moments soon (same goes for Shiro, by the way).
Yeah, I also love Shiro very much, I think he’s an amazing character. Honestly, there is such a good cast of characters in this story, including really charismatic side characters (Kolivan ! Matt ! Krolia ! Shay !). So it’s really hard to pick a favorite.
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resmarted · a year ago
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i will shield you from all the ugly in the world, the snares of the fowler and the beasts that lurk in plain daylight, i’ll take a sword to their ankles and bring them all to their knees. i shalt not be afraid for the terror by night nor for the arrow that flieth by day, the whole shebang, baby. i’m elbow deep in your rib cage with a determination like no other when i ask if i’m coming on too strong. of course i am. of course i beckon at your feet like a dog in the night, of course i am ready to tear anyone limb by limb for daring to speak ill on your name. everyone has warned you about me. there was a time i would laugh at this in twisted delight, and to be fair i still am a bit, but i’m not laughing when i say i would keep you safe. the world moves at a different speed when we are together, slows down, becomes more malleable. you are a blood diamond, mined from childhood trauma and sculpted into this rare, beautiful thing. i waste away in the very idea of you, with such a sick craving that i should be ashamed. i should repent for impure thoughts and whimsical notions on lazy afternoons where all i have to dream about is a life outside of this that’s easier and fun, but we both know i’ll just keep doing it. we both know i’ll apologize only to remain unchanged, this endless cycle of failed repression and untamed desire. you are a tense jawbone and rigid movements, cautious and selective with every minute detail of your interactions, a wounded animal in a cage of its own making. i am a wildfire, a clumsy overgrown ball of restless claws that can’t help but pounce, the moth to the flame and all that. i bet that’s everyone though. i bet it’s so sickening. i can’t imagine having to live with the weight of such great beauty and the pain it has invited into your life from such a young age. this isn’t pandering, or at least i don’t mean it that way, but it is a world so beyond me and my scope of understanding that i wouldn’t know where to begin as far as the consideration of what might make one uncomfortable or how it’s not always as funny as i think it is. yes i am too handsy and too forward and too fast and too furious, have we gone over this before? it feels like we have been down this road and i feel like i go in circles saying the same things so i just stopped saying anything at all. i cannot stop being who i am, though. i don’t know if that’s too traumatizing for you, but you should surely stay far away if that really is the case. i can never tell if you’re being dramatic or if i’m being the monster, or maybe it’s a little bit of both, but i’m not into it. i cannot play this game where i pretend you’re a sexless being and that i am disinterested in that entire aspect of your identity and just talk about old episodes of the office in some phony social dance that doesn’t even make any sense to begin with. i cannot feel within my purpose if i am not able to give and provide, but i tend to give to all the wrong people while the deserving are left in sleepless hunger. what is that? that off-kilter aim on the compass, that pit in the stomach that can read through the eyes and souls of everyone around me and still chooses to see the good regardless of the consequences it may hold over my own well-being? is it a conscious refusal to allow the misplaced anger and trust issues of others to consume my inner joy, or just plain stupidity? i can’t stand the thought of hurting you or being any added pressure to the spiraling and the unnecessary amount of shit you put yourself through, you hurt yourself enough on your own and certainly don’t need my help. i wish it were different. i wish i were able to act like everyone else does and pick on you like you’re just up for the chopping block as per the social norms. but when have you ever known me to participate in social norms? seriously. when have you ever known me to do it like anyone else?
i know you are scared and intimidated and have this unreasonable fear of not being good enough even though i am outside of your window setting myself on fire for your affection, which is weird to me, but i suppose you’ve known me in every other life and are well aware of my tendency to become bored and let go only moments after something that once burned so brightly. and i get it, the pedestal only gets higher so the fall is surely to be harder, but i swear even if that were the case i would simply pull out my mod podge and put you back together again piece by aching little piece. i would prop you back up in bed beside me so you can say things like, did you notice the influx of olsen twin posts with irrelevant captions going around? and i will just say see? people get it. you will remind me that literally no one gets it. and that’s fine, that’s always been the case. i cannot live my life waiting around for other people to get it nor do i feel the need to help them along in any capacity, but for you i would pull out the charts and graphs with great enthusiasm and teach you every idiosyncrasy of the kardashian-jenner family tree like our lives depended on it. my favorite part about this image is the thought of you so vehemently rejecting such knowledge that it causes an actual fight because it’s already my fault you know anything about them in the first place. how cruel of me! how dare i infest your precious mind with such pedestrian brain rot. please forgive me, please send my love to the gods and a letter of appeal to my rejection from the heavens. i’ve spent my life keeping everyone at arm’s length, only letting them know the very careful and concise parts of me that i have meticulously presented, and it will likely stay that way. it’s no one’s business! it’s literally no one’s business. not what i do with you or with him or her or them or zer or whoever it may be, for as much as i love to shout declarations of love from the rooftops, i am shouting into a void where passersby are unaware of how lucky they are to even witness in real time. i owe nothing to those standing before me, nor have they earned the right to know anything about me beyond the vapid nonsense i spew for fun, and i think that’s fine. no one else seems to think so, everyone seems to tiptoe around the rumor mill trying to put the pieces together and i can only feel flattered that so much time and energy has been invested into me and my personal life. this is the thing i keep saying, the thing about how only two types of people in the world exist, the creators and the consumers, and they’re almost never the same people. there is an instinct to poke and prod, perhaps because everyone is so open about everything they expect you to be the same. maybe because it’s become the norm to discuss gargling dicks and eating ass that by comparison i am a puritan that wandered into the wrong century and am somehow still being burned at the stake by the very same people claiming to also be witches. isn’t that strange? i used to have so much fun, but i suppose i’m filtering out the parts of these memories where i became the topic of conversation every time i wasn’t in the room, where i have been a mystery everyone tries to solve or to at least break apart and conquer in some sick game of their own making. i am a closed off little hermit because i learned the hard way.
i keep to myself and wait for the day you feel better enough to look me in the eye again. the isolation you’ve put yourself through has been a fraction of the kind i’ve grown so devastatingly accustomed to. you think this is a one time deal or that it’s a rare once in a lifetime sort of thing that happens during youth and that there’s an expiration on this type of risky behavior and general befuddlement, but i’m here to bear the bad news that it happens again and again. you will fail and fuck up over and over again. you will deal with relentless disappointments and it doesn’t make you any less of who you are. people will continue to target you the way they always have, for different reasons than my own but mostly all relating back to the attention they have or haven’t received from you. they feel safer in big numbers and sometimes i do too, i think it’s natural. being a loner though, being completely fine with the solitude, something about that really rubs people the wrong way. i’ve seen it happen countless times, a friend to all is a friend to none, and such. i know this isn’t much, like i know your issues delve a lot deeper than this tiny little surface i’m scratching, but you’re not too crazy for me. you will never be too crazy for me.
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being-honest-with-myself · a year ago
So finally went to the Drs today for a consultation with a GP.
Seems it may not exactly be an OCD but an anxiety response. Which started off as a habit as a child but turned into a coping mechanism. That is one possibility.
The thing that made me take action and seek help was a comment on a friend who had a few particular traumatic experiences as a kid with older men.
She’s just had safe space training about how to protect children. And said she ‘wished I could have protected little me’.
We talk about this a lot but this particular instance really shocked me. I think partially because I volunteer with young girls and the thought of them going through anything so traumatic was horrifying and I just want to protect them. But also something within myself felt wrong.
Making me wonder if I had a repressed memory and if there was a traumatic cause relating to my dermatillomania.
When I was a kid my parents negative reactions to things caused me to tune them out because I didn’t want to hear it. I did this so much they thought I was going deaf, so I went to get hearing tests. And guess what? My hearing was completely fine.
I realised I’d been avoiding people for years and not letting them in. I don’t know when I started doing it but I’ve been to scared to be rejected for what or who I am. So I don’t give people the opportunity to reject me or make me feel embarrassed.
I get extreme second hand embarrassment.
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multiverseforger · a year ago
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Jack Ryder is a former Gotham City resident and is the host of a political talk show. He is fired after criticizing his own sponsors on-air and refusing to change his behavior or apologize. Knowing Ryder is a decent detective, Chief of Network Security Bill Brane hires the former talk show host as one of his investigators. Brane reveals that CIA contacts have asked him to help find Dr. Yatz, a scientist recently captured by local gangster Angel Devlin who is working with communist powers. Ryder decides to infiltrate a masquerade party at Devlin's mansion and visits a local costume shop. The clerk explains he mainly sells costumes for children but offers Ryder "leftovers" from adult orders. Ryder cobbles together the costume involving yellow tights, green trunks, and red gloves and boots. He completes the disguise with yellow make-up, a green wig, and a red sheepskin rug he decides to use as a cape. At the costume party, Ryder fights some of Devlin's henchmen, suffering injuries in the process, and then discovers the kidnapped Dr. Yatz. The scientist injects Ryder with a chemical serum designed to accelerate healing while also granting great strength and stamina. He also hides a tiny device of his own creation in Ryder's wound, saying it is the safest way to keep the technology hidden from Devlin. The device, he explains, can "rearrange the molecular structure of matter," making clothing or items weightless and invisible until needed. By activating the device now hidden beneath his skin, Ryder is able to instantly cause his yellow and red costume to vanish or reappear instantly.
As Yatz then destroys the evidence of his work, Devlin's men arrive and shoot him dead. In costume, Ryder escapes Devlin's party but is blamed for the chaos. Police arrive and one of the cops refers to the yellow-costumed intruder as a "creeper." Deciding he likes the name, Ryder later attacks and defeats Devlin's gang. He then reverts to his civilian guise and informs Brane and the police of Devlin's involvement in Yatz's death. Ryder then decides to continue secretly operating as the Creeper whenever he needs to fight crime. In his private life, he continues acting as a WHAM-TV network security investigator for Brane. A month after first becoming the Creeper, Ryder is assigned to help WHAM-TV weather correspondent Vera Sweet, who has been threatened. The two initially dislike each other, but over time they develop a flirtatious relationship.
Although the Creeper fights crime, he is frequently considered a villain himself by news media and authorities. During his first adventure involving a costumed villain, a man called the Terror, Ryder realizes that Yatz's implanted device has two side-effects: when he is the Creeper, it prevents his costume and make-up from being removed from his body, and when he is Ryder his superhuman powers become dormant, leaving him vulnerable.
During his early adventures, the Creeper regularly fights a shape-shifting terrorist name Proteus. At one point, Proteus reveals that he is motivated by being overwhelmed by how corrupt he finds society. He had hoped to find a friend in the Creeper and had spared his life before, but then concluded the yellow vigilante is actually an enemy after learning he is secretly Jack Ryder. While attempting another attack on society, Proteus seemingly kills himself and the Creeper muses whether he has lost both an enemy and a friend. Following this, the Creeper continues operating in Gotham City and Jack Ryder becomes a television reporter for WHAM-TV. He winds up teaming up with other superheroes often, most frequently aiding Batman. During an encounter with the Joker, the Creeper is rendered temporarily amnesiac and is tricked into helping the Joker plant a bomb, only realizing the truth at the last moment. He then brings the Joker to justice, not as the Creeper but as Jack Ryder.
Post-Crisis RevisionEdit
Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, much of DC Comics history is revised. The Creeper is given a new origin and interpretation as well. In the new continuity, Ryder is not a talk show host or TV reporter initially. Instead, he is a newspaper journalist working for the Herald Examiner and known for exposing corrupt criminal operations. Investigating the home of criminals during a masquerade party, he is ambushed and knocked out. The criminals knew he intended to investigate them and have decided to humiliate him before taking revenge. They drug him with a hallucinogen, one said to cause psychosis if used in too strong a dose, dress him up in a yellow and red costume with a green wig, and present him to the masquerade party as a jester called "the dancing creep." Drugged and confused, Ryder attempts to escape but is severely beaten. He is then taken some distance away, shot, and left for dead.
Ryder awakens in the home of Dr. Emil Yatz, a German immigrant and scientist who discovered the journalist dead near his estate. Yatz explains he used his experimental "inorganic matter transference" technology to heal and revive Ryder. Yatz explains he was rejected by the scientific community and became a science fiction writer before finding a sponsor. He created a device that can map the atomic structure of inorganic objects and then "swap" them with others, rending one temporarily invisible and intangible. Yatz realized his criminal sponsors intended to kill him soon, and when he found Ryder he decided to hide his powerful device inside the man's body. Attaching the power source activated the device now in Ryder's forearm under his skin, healing the man. After destroying his scientific notes, Yatz explained that the device's "sub-atomic matrix" has been imprinted with Ryder's costume since he was wearing it when the scientist attached the power source. Now realizing Ryder also had a drug in his system, Yatz warns the drug may have been imprinted as well, meaning Ryder will once again be in a drug-induced state if he activates the device. The criminals arrive and murder Yatz before the scientist can say more. Touching his forearm, Ryder activates the Yatz device and becomes the costumed, chaotic Creeper, bringing the criminals to justice with physically enhanced abilities and healing. He later wakes up at his typewriter, having no real memory of his activities as the Creeper but knowing his alter ego will be an effective weapon against crime.
Death and RebirthEdit
The Creeper appeared in the Eclipso: The Darkness Within crossover that happened in various DC Comics annuals in 1992. Tricked into being mentally controlled by the dark diamonds of the demonicEclipso, the Creeper is later freed by Bruce Gordon, the villain's longtime adversary. In the self-titled Eclipso comic book series, the Creeper, Gordon, and Gordon's wife Mona make a foray into a South American territory Eclipso has conquered. Later, the Creper joins government operative Amanda Waller and several heroes to fight against Eclipso. Called the Shadow Fighters, the group included Major Victory, the original Steel, and Wildcat II. In Eclipso issue #13, some of the Shadow Fighters venture into Eclipso's territory and engage the villain in battle. Eclipso uses his power to possess several hyenas, using them to track down the Creeper and literally tear him apart limb from limb, apparently killing him. The remains, along with those of other fallen heroes, are stolen from Eclipso's control by surviving Shadow Fighters.
Years later, the new series The Creeper Volume 1 reveals that the Creeper's healing ability increased in order to compensate for the damage inflicted by Eclipso, allowing him to heal and resurrect. He also now exhibits a weaponized laugh that can cause pain and even stun opponents. The experience of death and resurrection is traumatic for Jack Ryder, who becomes a patient to the psychiatrist Dr. Solos. While undergoing therapy, Jack Ryder considers the possibility that he has inherited his mother's mental illness and may have only mistakenly believed the Creeper's personality is a result of drugs and a scientific device. He later realizes that he has conflicting memories of the Creeper's origin. In one version, he remembers buying costume leftovers before infiltrating a masquerade party. In another version, he remembers being drugged and shot before Dr. Yatz resurrected him. He realizes the different versions of this origin include elements that don't make much sense to him and concludes that none of these memories are accurate, that he has repressed the memory of his origin and his mind created other scenarios he found more acceptable. Ryder discovers Dr. Solos is actually his old enemy Proteus in disguise and learns the villain is somehow connected to his origin. Further information is not revealed, as The Creeper Vol.1 is canceled.
Post-Infinite Crisis RebootEdit
Following the crossover Infinite Crisis, several areas of DC Comics continuity are revised again. Jack Ryder is a former journalist who now works as the host of a controversial political and news commentary TV show You Are Wrong!, where he regularly challenges criminals and politicians and often praises costumed vigilantes. Later on, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders reveals that in the new history, Ryder briefly dated Gotham photojournalist Vicki Vale when he was younger. His ex-girlfriend Vera Sweet is now a producer and on-air reporter for the same network. When he realizes others are becoming suspicious of his connection to the notorious Creeper, Ryder pretends to be disillusioned by that particular vigilante, promising $1million to the person who catches the Creeper and brings him to face the law.
The Creeper's new origin story is soon revealed in a flashback in the mini-series The Creeper Volume 2. Years earlier, Ryder is interested in the work of scientist Dr. Vincent Yatz, who is combining stem cell therapy and microscopic nanotechnology to create a revolutionary "nanocell" treatment called "smart-skin." This technology enhances a human body's regeneration, not only healing wounds but even preventing scarring and restoring burns. Local mobsters come to Yatz's lab to steal this new technology and Ryder accidentally interrupts when he arrives. Unable to escape but determined to keep the mobsters from taking his discovery, Yatz quickly injects the last sample of smart-skin, still somewhat unstable, into an unwilling Ryder. Believing that Yatz will create more nanocells if forced to, the criminals shoot Ryder in the head and throw him into the ocean. The smart-skin activates and revives Ryder, transforming him into a yellow-skinned superhuman with green hair and a mane of thick, red hair growing on his back and shoulders. The Creeper has Ryder's knowledge but acts as a separate personality. After the Creeper transforms back into Ryder, the TV host discovers he can still hear the Creeper's voice in his head, allowing them to communicate.
Batman encounters the Creeper while on patrol and then investigates the Dr. Yatz case, discovering in the process that this new yellow-skinned vigilante is really Jack Ryder. Ryder and the Creeper learn that Yatz secretly intended the smart-skin to be a weapon and that tests on human subjects repeatedly resulted in mutated monsters. To achieve better results, Yatz took on a silent partner who introduced his own chemical "nerve agent" to the smart-skin, which resulted in Ryder's unique transformation into the Creeper. The silent partner is revealed to the Joker, and the "nerve" agent used was a version of his Joker venom, known to normally alter skin and hair color in victims while inducing temporary madness and uncontrollable laughter before killing them. In exchange for helping Yatz improve his results, the Joker wants to use the man's technology to create an army of maniacal, super-strong, near-invincible soldiers. Seeing the successful results with Ryder, the Joker refers to the Creeper as "family." A similar batch of smart-skin is then used to turn dozens of others into maddened, yellow-skin soldiers with green and red hair.
Batman and the Creeper defeat the Joker and his operation with Yatz. Batman creates a chemical agent that can cure Ryder of the Creeper and offers it to the TV host. Ryder decides to throw away the cure and instead forms a truce with his alter ego, agreeing to let the Creeper out from time to time to fight criminals. This ends the flashback mini-series, and the Creeper shows up sporadically in other DC Comics stories, encountering Eclipso again and helping to fight the Sinestro Corps. During the crossover Final Crisis, Batman is believed killed. It is then revealed that Batman prepared for this eventuality by leaving instructions to recruit a team of heroes he trusts, tasking them to act as a new version of the Outsiders. The Creeper is recruited into this new team, though this version of the team lasts only a year. Later, Batman is revealed to be alive.
Reign in HellEdit
During the Reign in Hell miniseries, the Creeper was presented as a demon that co-inhabited the body of Jack Ryder rather than an identity he assumed due to scientific experimentation. The story shows the Creeper demon separating from Jack Ryder, having been recalled to Hell by Lilith, the mother of all Earthborn atrocities. It is later revealed that the Creeper demon is just one of a similar-looking species of demon. The Reign in Hell miniseries had many internal continuity errors that made its place in DC Comics canon questionable and the idea that the Creeper was a demonic entity was not repeated afterward.
The New 52Edit
In 2011, DC Comics created a new version of its universe called the New 52. In this timeline, the Creeper is first seen in a brief cameo when he is considered as a candidate for a new United Nations-sanctioned Justice League International team.[11] In Phantom Stranger #7 (2013), Jack Ryder is introduced as a talk show host at Morgan Edge's network who recently quit his job. After encountering the Phantom Stranger, Ryder is killed by a monster attacking Metropolis.[12] The Presence, in the form of a dog, notes that Ryder's story is not over, that he was not led to his death but rather to his destiny.
In Katana #3 and #4 (June 2013), it is revealed that the New 52 version of the Creeper is a malicious and fearsome-looking oni who regularly "rides" human hosts in order to cause chaos and violence. Unlike previous incarnations, this Creeper is a villain (though why he would be considered for membership in Justice League International earlier is never explained). This oni is revealed to be locked inside Soultaker, the mystical sword of the hero Katana, along with many other souls of enemies the blade has defeated over the centuries. When the villain Killer Croc breaks the sword, all the souls are released, including the Creeper who reveals that he sometimes whispered to Katana through the sword, pretending to be her dead husband. Seeking out a new body to "ride," the Creeper discovers the recently deceased Jack Ryder and decides to possess it.[13]
The relationship between this oni Creeper and Jack Ryder is further explored in Justice League Dark #23.1 (subtitled Creeper #1), part of the Forever Evil crossover.[9] The story reveals the Creeper's past in feudal Japan and describes him as a wild being who "justifies cruel temper tantrums under the guise of spreading chaos." Although his appearance in the series Katana indicated the Creeper was defeated by Katana herself and that he has possessed Jack Ryder's body before, the origin revealed in Justice League Dark contradicts this by revealing the oni demon has been trapped inside of Soultaker since the days of feudal Japan, passing the time by tormenting the other imprisoned souls, and that he never and could never have met Jack Ryder before meeting him after being freed. Possessing Ryder's body results in Jack Ryder being resurrected, unaware that he now shares his body with an oni demon who occasionally takes over his form and uses him to cause chaos and death. Ryder is confused by his occasional blackouts but continues working as a TV reporter for the show Life After Death.
DC RebirthEdit
The 2017 initiative DC Rebirth altered DC Comics continuity yet again, removing much of the New 52 changes and restoring several stories and ideas from comics published before 2011. Post DC Rebirth, the Creeper is reintroduced with his more classic appearance, once again the product of experimental science rather than a demon inhabiting a human host. While investigating a series of murdered criminals down in Chicago, Jack Ryder becomes the Creeper to battle a Deathstroke copycat, then is recruited by Bizarro to join the Red Hood's team of Outlaws. In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Creeper is shown to have been captured by Kobra's cult until he is retrieved by Black Adam.[14] He and Black Adam later attack Israel
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