New Beginnings and all that

It seems I only pop in here to complain about never writing, and proceeding to never write…
Well, to anyone reading this, Happy 2016 in any case! I sure hope it will be for every one of you!

A couple of days ago, I wrote on my author page: “4 days into the new year, and I’m already behind on everything”. I still am, which is why this end-of-year post is six days late, and might be kind of half-assed. Sorry about that, but I also hope that you will still read it, because there are some things I want to express, though I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to say everything frankly or not.

To start with; 2015 wasn’t all bad. In fact, it had a lot of really good things to it, not only to me personally, but for the people around me as well, which to be honest, is a really great feeling!
For me though, 2015 was also a really rough year. The latter half in particular, which is largely the reason for my absence on social media, as well as my lack of social life in general.

Last year, I wrote about 2014 having been hard, with the tons of private exams, the change of jobs, the class I had to take and also a lot of private issues that put a damper on an otherwise good year.
This time around, the stress and tumults of 2014 appears to only have been the prologue of what was to come in 2015.
I really don’t want to go into details, because the wounds are still quite fresh, and the road forward from here is unpaved, but basically, after a rough start of 2015, due to some chaotic personal events, the months February ’till late July were full of exciting, good happenings; catching up with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while, traveling to Stockholm to not only see, but also meet one of my favorite bands, cosplay events, festival events and preparations for Torucon and so on.
From late July and into August this kind of died down, and though there were assorted flecks of light, most of the time until right before Christmas was fairly dark and depressing.
I had to take time off from social media, even tumblr, where I wrote a short notice on having become ill, but not elaborating.

It’s no secret that I’ve had my bouts with mental illness for most of my life, but for the most part, it’s manageable. The past years have been relatively stable, so when it it again with such force, I was completely bowled over by how bad it used to be. I haven’t been this sick since 2008/2009, and I was hoping I’d never have to be here again. This time around, I’ve got so much on my plate, obligations and expectations, and no idea how to decide whether it’s time to stop and move in a different direction. Making the right choices is terribly hard, and so I’m stuck in this stand-still, where nothing really improves, trying to move forwards as best I can. Because of this, I’m probably going to remain offline and vague about things for a while longer.

In many ways, 2015 was a complete hell, but I also had a lot of good times. Particularly the last couple of weeks of the year, spent entirely surrounded by the best people; my family and friends who were all home for the holidays. I know I am going to crash when these days are over, but it was nice to have a break, and things to look forward to for a while.

As usual, I kept one of these:

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A jar of lovely things that happened over the course of the year, and though the latter half of 2015 was so hard,  I still had a lot of good things happen that made me smile throughout the year:

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From the simplest signs of spring, to the greatest of 2015’s moments, some of the good memories accumulated this year included the following (no fancy image this year, because I had to reinstall my laptop and I haven’t been bothered installing PS yet):

♥In spite of it all, going to the reunion
♥Good friends and warm hugs
♥Sisterly bonding
♥Flopping bunny
♥ADAMS live
♥Meeting lovely readers
♥Reliving childhood, aka sliding down a hill
♥Surviving
♥Cosplaying Pinky
♥World’s best Gran
♥The year of BL (hopefully) (Comment; despite writing this down early in 2015, I’ve barely had time to check out any of these new BL things!) ♥Taking a walk for the first time in forever
♥Love and understanding
♥Hyde Cosplay ♡
♥Friends who buy you energy drinks and snacks
♥Still having things to be happy about
♥Love letter from Outland
♥“Team Bastard” vs “Team Loser”
♥Tears of happiness
♥Fanmail about Love Addict
♥Building a snowman despite the terrible snow
♥Crying Torucrew
♥Being a trusted ally for a friend
♥Shibuya-ward legislation!
♥Laughing again
♥Verdens kleineste filmkveld
♥Gaming inside with the storm raging outside
♥People being interested in Yuuki
♥Fangirling with Boo again ♡♡
♥Giving heartfelt compliments

This year, a lot of the loveliest things were related to love, support and co-dependency, personal feats and strength and…a surprising amount of mentions of food and presents (in the form of food) from friends, haha~ I’m lucky to have these people in my life!

I always like looking back at these notes of happiness in the start of the new year; to reminisce about every little moment, and smile at thinking about them. And it’s always so strange, like; there were some memories from last January, when we had a friend staying with us, of shopping, ice skating and trips to the forest – and then from December, having talked to the same friend on facebook. She’s back in Japan, and I received a present from her yesterday. It really makes you realize “Oh wow, it’s been a whole year!”
Amazing, but kind of melancholic at the same time.

2016 is looking out to have a rough first half as well, but I think eventually I’ll be fine. I have no resolutions, but I have made a few moves towards making a decision. I have some tentative goals. I hope that come summer, I will be back on track and back to writing. Even if this year won’t be the start of something grandiose, I think it will still be an exciting and challenging year, in a good way too!
Please wait for me 2016, I’m coming after you!

But first…I need to get to the doctor and deal with this eye infection. Such a great start to the new year!

If you read all of this, thank you very much!
I don’t know when I’ll be back in earnest, but I’ll do my best to hang in there. Take care guys, I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season

 

 

Honestly speaking.

A while back, I wrote a review-ish entry about ”LIFE”, Keiko Suenobu’s manga. In the same entry, I said that perhaps I would share my own experiences. Making the decision to do so has been tough, and honestly, I’m not sure I’ve actually made it. But over the last few days, I have randomly stumbled across so many entries, documentaries and stories, I almost felt like I had to post this. So here we go.
Let us start with a gif:
And for a second, let us pay no mind towardsthis being a gif from Toddlers and Tiaras. Let’s focus on how it makes me physically hurt when I see people’s snarky comments, laughing at this little girl.
Okay.

I could start this entry by telling you how I was a naïve child, who loved cats more than anything. I have an obsessive personality, so when I get really into something, I’m really into it. One-tracked. But at 7, how was I supposed to know that saying something like that would haunt me for years?
I could tell you how I thought that other kids were also playful, childish and kind-natured, so I’d tell them these things, unabashedly.
I could tell you how my mistake at 7, continued to follow me for the next 7 years of my life.
What started as something I had said to my friends and classmates, was quickly picked up by the 2nd graders. I’m not sure how it escalated, but it did, to a point where I was bullied by the whole school. I’m hesitant to give the details around it, because even now, in my twenties, I’m afraid that people will laugh at what I said when I was 7 years old. I’m afraid that as a somewhat public person; with a blog and as an author, people will pick up on this and start throwing it in my face again. So I won’t tell you everything, because it’s still too difficult.

I won’t tell how it escalated from “have you become a cat yet”, to “where’s your tail?”, being yelled after me as I passed the elder kids in the school yard or on my way home.
I’m not gonna talk about how they found other ways to pick on me, like how I have a fierce temper, and they’d reel me up just to make me angry, then laugh at me. I’m not gonna talk about how I was in the 7th and 9th grade, being bullied by kids younger than me. Or how I would sometimes find myself face to face on the road to school, or at the store, with someone who would just stare at me and then say “you’re really ugly.”

In truth, my experience wasn’t the worst.
I was never subjected to physical bullying; nobody ever beat me, shoved me or took my things. This was in the 90s, so we had no internet or cell phones. Compared to kids these days, I was let off easily. I’m also a very strong person; I’ve never really cared about what people think, or been afraid of being me. So it wasn’t like I went home crying day after day. What was my biggest problem was the fact that I hate feeling patronized. Whenever someone like my friends, would speak up against the bullies, I’d feel like I was unable to fend for myself. When my friends got angry and yelled back at the other kids, I just wanted to sink into a hole in the ground; because I was weak, because now even more people knew that I was being bullied, and because I felt like they were looking at me with condescendence.

My strength falters at one point; I’m horrified of making mistakes. But I was never good at sports, and I’d always be yelled at, even by kids who were my friends during gym class for example. I was never fast enough, never good enough. At this point, I’m getting more personal than I’d like to be. So I’m not going to talk about dealing with anxiety at a very young age, and having it grow from there into something I was unable to handle, causing me to drop out of school at seventeen, after hitting rock bottom. I’m not going to talk about the extreme pressure I can subject myself to, just so I will exceed at something and thereby erase my own failure, or at least divert people’s attention from it. Or the fact that I, despite my extreme confidence and carefreeness, still worry that I’ll say something that other people can laugh at, or pick up on and rub in my face.

I’m not going to talk about how I find it incredibly strange that even when I was being subjected to ridicule by kids from every class at school, nobody put a stop to it. I know that the teachers were aware of it. I remember brackets of conferences where they would ask how I was doing, and if I was still being bullied. I’m sure there were concerns, but for some reason I can’t remember if there were active measures taken to stop this. I remember writing a text for my midterm in 8th grade, about the past 7 years, and the teacher gave me the highest mark for it; but she didn’t ask how I was doing, or if it had stopped.
Several of my friends were also bullied at some point; for being geeks, for being “ugly”, for not fitting in. I can’t remember those cases being dealt with either.  None of the cases were invisible, so then why?

To some readers, it might seem like what I went through is nothing like “real bullying”.
Because there was no violence, because nobody told me to go die or the likes, because I was capable of getting through it without crying myself to sleep every night, and because it was generally anxious and that was why I had a history of absence.
I even catch myself thinking that way sometimes; “was it really that bad? Can it be called proper bullying?”
But then I remember that I was 7 when it started, 14 when it cooled down – or at least when they found new reasons to target me, but at which point I had gained strength and some allies that weren’t easy to mess with. I also remember how my group at upper secondary school stood out, and how we were easy targets – how easily I would tear up when someone who hadn’t known me longer than a few months made almost the exact comment I’d been hearing for seven years of my life.

In the end, I think someone I know was right when he said “It’s the victim that defines what bullying is.”
But for safe measure, let’s have a look at a definition, from Wikipedia:
Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.[15]
Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is “exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons.” He defines negative action as “when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways”.[16]

That says it all. You can’t write off that someone’s being bullied because “kids will be kids”, or because there is no violence or legitimate threats in the picture.
Many kids who are bullied are feeling humiliated, and the humiliation will increase if they tell someone and that person takes action – especially since these actions rarely have consequences, and the bullying often escalates.
Many kids suffer in silence. For many, the roughest time might not be while they’re going through it, but afterwards, when they’re trapped in their own painful, unresolved feelings from early age.

Discomfort is enough. It doesn’t have to reach the point of self-mutilation, suicide or anxiety or depression. Discomfort, stomachaches, restlessness at the thought of the weekend almost being over… Telling someone that they’re not being bullied is not okay. Claiming that “there is no bullying in this class” because nobody’s going through the things you see on the news, in documentaries or in movies, is not okay. Telling people to “die/hurt themselves/fuck off” on the internet and claim you’re not serious is not okay. Because you don’t know what people have gone through, or the insecurities they’ve been through in their lives.

I think I went way off chord here…
And part of me feels like I shouldn’t post this. That would be the part who’s afraid of becoming a target again, the part that feels like what I went through wasn’t bad enough, the part of me that fears that others will claim I’m just whining without knowing real pain.

But I’m going to post this anyway.
Here goes.

Returner

I apologize for my absence. I have several unfinished drafts to blog posts sitting on my desktop, but I’ve neither had the time or the energy to finish writing them, much less posting them. As usual Winter break didn’t have much of a break to it at all:people to meet, things to do, and school work to plow through, and on top of that I juggled Jaded drafts and the actual scripts. Then I took the past week off and went underground for a bit.
My beloved Grandpa passed away last Monday, and I didn’t feel right about posting as usual, so I went on a hiatus. It also felt a little too personal to be throwing around online, so I’ve held it off for a while. I needed to process my feelings first, before deciding on how much to share.
I also dreaded the funeral, but it was, although incredibly sad, very beautiful. Although the grief and some of the shock still remains, it’s time to stumble to my feet and get back on top of things, time to start writing again.

To start off, I need to catch up on my school work, as I’ve completely abandoned it. And then I’ll get back to writing.
But I’ll be back again from now on, just as sporadic as usual.
I’ll also try to get Maaya back online on fb, as the chat-sessions were getting somewhat regular. His birthday’s coming up, so watch out for all of SNOWcrew going online at once!

Well then, I’m going to work on some literature history again. Hope everyone is doing well~♥

Oh~ And happy Women’s day! I don’t have time for much other than a quick note about it, but I’d like to point out that just like with other important topics there are still those who have a long road ahead of them, and equality is just as important tomorrow, next week or next year.