• Out of Character • Crash Course to Incoherency

The occasional bout of word-vomiting.

This section is for players to post about things unrelated to the Standing Trials roleplay. You may talk about anything from world issues, to your personal life, to funny things you found on the internet. You are free to use this forum to express yourself as a player and not as your actual character. You can also post in other players journals so long as they give you permission to. Please remember not to post anything relating to pornography or anything with extensive use of profanity.
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Anomaly
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:11 am

Hey there. I've been debating with myself for a while if I should be making a personal journal here. Well, I'd intended to, but kept putting it off. I don't really have anything I want to share off the get-go (that I can think of), but I figured I'd start with something simple like... an introduction, maybe?

As you can tell, I'm Anomaly. I've been on the site now for about six months, and I came here as a result of a Skype conversation with Peake. It didn't take very long until I joined the staff from the moment I registered on the site (less than 24 hours actually), hit with a bunch of inspiration and energy. I'd had some history that was known to the staff body at the time, which is likely what permitted me to join up as quickly as I did. I'm very grateful for it, because as much as I've been on-and-off with my activity levels, the site has been very good for me so far. It was a place to scratch some of my creative nerves that hadn't been scratched in a very long time.

So, uh...

I'm Swedish. That's probably the most interesting thing about me. I speak Swedish, and while I fancy myself fluent enough in English, I still have a pretty recognizable accent (as evidenced by the Let's Play videos I've been featured in on Basilisk's channel). So, English is my second language, which would be the cause of most if not all of my mistakes that I'm sure I keep making without realizing it. It's a constant work in progress.

I live on my own, presently, in a small apartment along with my two cats; Habibi and Abbidaz. Odd names, I know. Two boys. I've had them since they were born, and their mother was my old cat before she died.

Writing has always been a passion of mine. I love it, always loved it, and I've dreamed about making a living off of it for as long as I can remember. The idealist in me took a step back once realism hit me, though, but it'll always be a secret ambition of mine to be able to write for a living. I like to create and to tell stories, live the tales I spin and surprise others with their twists and turns. I like to feel my stories, and I love it if others can feel them just as much. I'm very immersive, which goes for my roleplaying as well. I share a special bond with most of my characters while I play them, which is what makes the experience so special to me. It's why I cherish it so much, and why I can't get enough of it.

I started roleplaying in 2004, on a forum online. It was a freeform forum with no real rules. I went to my first LARP in 2006, and proceeded to try tabletop RPGs later the same year. At some point after that, I tried WoW and discovered the world of MMORPGs and the roleplay communities therein, and I've been an active part of the WoW RP community since then, along with jumping between online RP forums and participating in tabletop groups both offline and online.

I'm a NEET. While that may sound like I have all the free time in the world on my hands, that's not quite the case.

I'm only a NEET because of my health. Those who know me and know who I used to be before Standing Trials would know about this in more detail, and I may try to explain it at some point in the future. I've had a whole slew of health problems for most of my life but they only started escalating in the past two and a half years, resulting in me being hospitalized many, many times. In fact, I'm writing this from a hospital bed. Imagine that, lmao. If I ever go absent for extended periods of time, that'd be why. I try to be more forthcoming and upfront about it these days when my health gets in the way, but it's usually easier to be quiet about it. It hides my shame and embarrassment. And guilt.

Beyond that... I'm a vivid dreamer. And I'm very interested in the occult and paranormal. I guess you could say I'm a very curious and open-minded individual. Emea is the perfect place for me to be, with that in mind. ;)

Uhhhhh...

And that's about it. I really hate talking about myself. Ask me questions and I will happily answer, though. Will probably use this journal to spew out random notes about things as I think of them. Or hospital stories. Who knows.
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:40 pm

Perhaps it's more tragic than not, that the realm of dreams suited me so well when I started out here on Standing Trials.

For one, I've always had a very vivid imagination which has translated to incredibly vivid and detailed dreams. This includes the nightmares, some of which have been very disturbing. But, it also translates well into my own attitude when it comes to the integrity of the mind and the human soul, tying into my spiritual beliefs. I hold perhaps more liberal beliefs than most, which isn't entirely without reason. I was ill, very ill, two years ago. Almost three, now. In the end of July of 2014, I was hospitalized for a month because they were saving my life from Necrotizing Fasciitis, or Flesh-Eating Disease. It very nearly claimed me, and I was lucky to have survived it with as little damage as I did.

While I was in the hospital, at least during the first week, things were rough. I had many chances to explore my own beliefs in greater detail than ever before and, in a sense, I'd come to rely on them when I remained there. After the first surgery of nine I underwent that month, I seemed to recall a dreamlike sequence a couple of days later. What happened during that surgery was... they had to force me to start breathing again several times, as I stopped repeatedly. The last time, they almost weren't able to get me to start again. That's how close I was to slipping away. But that dream, when I recalled it... It was in such vivid detail, and the contents of it... Well, let's see.

When the dream started, I found myself sitting at the corner of a hallway, the hallway turning off in front of me. To my right I could see the light of a lit up salon, but ahead of me... I saw only thick darkness. I was sitting there on the carpeted floor wearing my hospital gown, hugging my arms close to myself. I recall the old and exquisite tapestries of the hallway. They were soft, expensive, covering the whole walls. Looked like an old upper-class apartment from the 50's. Eventually, an older lady appeared from the right, she was medium height, wearing a tight skirt that went to her knees and waist, and a buttoned-up blouse. She had glasses, and short, dark and curly hair. I remember trying to pull my arms up in front of my face, as if I was trying to shut her out.

But she pushed my arm away, pushing them down and telling me to get up by gesturing to me and saying "chop chop!". Then she left, swiftly moving back in the direction of the salon. I got up, reluctantly, and I followed her. On the way there, I recall passing by an alcove in the hallway where a stairwell lead up to a door which presumably lead to a second floor of this place. When we got into the salon... well, it was bright. There were large windows with satin curtains draping around them lining the walls of the entire room, a long table with cushioned and decorative chairs sitting in the center with a crystal chandelier hanging above. To my right, the room again continued, where a small space was prepared like a lounge with two couches and an armchair sitting in the middle of the floor, which had been lowered slightly so you had to step down into the center area. We passed by it and again turned to the right, into a whole new hallway.

In this hallway, we didn't move very far. We moved into another alcove like the one I'd seen earlier, only this time she stopped next to a small door in the wall, barely reaching up to her waist. She stood there quietly and looked at me, but I understood what she wanted me to do. She wanted me to open the door, and take things out of it. And I remember thinking to myself that it was very important that I remember what the things were that I took out, so I sat down on my knees, opened the small closet-like door and I started picking out items: A pair of porcelain dolls, scissors, a plastic hand-mirror with a decorated silver frame, a pair of old sneakers, and a small box which held a gold ring with a rose petal motif at the top which had a tiny ruby mounted in the middle.

Then, I don't remember anything else.

When I told my mother and grandmother about this experience, they were convinced that the lady I had met was my great-great-grandmother. The apartment I described was apparently eerily accurate to the place she used to live in, barring a few details. What's important is to note that I never met the woman, much less visited her home, because she died before I was born. The scissors and porcelain dolls, my mother told me, was a message specifically to her. She had a habit when she was young to break into her study and act a hairdresser to her precious and very expensive dolls. The rest of the items, however? I have no clue what they mean, but I remember them. They are burned into my memory.

So, they believe that she guided me back. I don't know what to believe about it, personally, as it could have been a dream just as well as it could've been a vision, like they believe, while I was still in surgery. Either way, it's something I still carry with me and won't forget anytime soon.
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:26 pm

I had a conversation with my mother the other day.

That's one way to start an entry, right? It wasn't anything bad. It wasn't really related, not directly, to what I'm wanting to write about. It was in a discussion regarding some of the medications I've found myself dependent on in the past couple of years, and how I don't really "feel like myself" some days. She made an interesting point, right then and there... that, fact is, I might not actually know who "I" am, yet. And I think she may be right.

My life's been tumultuous in a lot of ways. Medically speaking, there are a lot of things about me that are plain wrong, and a large number of things working in tandem to create an abnormal situation by all standards. Most of my life has revolved around forging an identity for myself as a human being, refusing to be defined by the diagnose that someone had labeled me with. I developed certain core traits and principles that I held on to with zealous fervor as I grew up through adolescence, my teenage years and my early adult years. Certain mantras and laws by which I swore to live, to be the person I wanted to be. The person I would always strive to become, against impossible odds. I set expectations for myself that were oftentimes inhumane and unrealistic, setting myself up for inevitable failure. A classmate of mine in high school used to say; "Shoot for the stars and land in the trees. Shoot for the trees and you'll hit the ground." Set goals for yourself that are difficult to achieve, because at least you'll have gotten part of the way there even if you don't reach your end goal.

How does this come back around to what I said earlier? Well, you see...

In these past few months, I've had to realize the truth in what my mother said. For many years, I've been in a constant struggle to define what it means when I say "me". What sort of person I am, all things considered. I haven't been able to find a good answer to this, in part due to these core traits that I referenced earlier. One of them is adaptability, for better or worse. I adapt to my surroundings and readjust my appearence or expression accordingly, in order to "blend in". In a lot of ways, I'm a social chameleon who adapts to the environment I find myself in, defining myself by others' perceptions and ideas of who I am or who I need to be at any given time. My sense of self and worth comes solely from what is assigned to me from the outside, which I'm already aware is an incredibly harmful mindset. It's mine, though, and old habits die hard.

It's been especially apparent in times I've felt especially down, or when dealing with people who know me especially well. I flounder about and forget how to behave, as if I've lost sight of who I am or who I've been trying to be. I forget how to speak, laugh, joke around, read cues and explain myself. I tried to explain it to a friend once upon a time, how it feels during episodes like those. It feels like I'm sitting in the passenger seat, watching events unfold through the windshield while someone else is head of the wheel. I have no control. It's a very powerless feeling, and I've been cornered by it with increased frequency these past few months. The girl I'm watching through the window isn't me. I know it isn't, but I don't know how to take back control because I have no clue what "me" actually means. My sense of identity and self has been very fragile for a very long time, unfortunately.

I don't remember if I was going somewhere with this, but... Oh well!
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Mon May 29, 2017 11:20 am

"There's an unexpected clearing in the middle of the woods that can only be found by those who are lost."

- Tomas Tranströmer


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Crash Course to Incoherency

Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:55 pm

One of those things that always helped inspire me to write and helped me weave fantastic stories... is love. Love and affection and everything that tends to come with it.

Sadly, however... I don't suppose I've ever had a real appreciation for the word, or the feeling. I've been in love plenty of times and been touched and moved by love stories in popular media, emphatically shedding tears with some of the best written characters in fiction because they tugged on my heartstrings and made me feel on a level I can't even explain. It's why I love the Mass Effect series so much, I think. Before I had real exposure to the concept of love in my daily life, Mass Effect was always the closest I would ever get. The immersion into the universe and the characters around me... I fell in love with the story, the characters and the storytelling as I progressed through the storyline, up until the very end of the third game. I was one of those who didn't mind the ending and felt fulfilled and satisfied with my journey regardless, because I was swept up in the stream of emotions that surrounded the character I was playing at the time---on my first playthrough, I played a female Shepard who chose Thane for her romantic partner. It was a heartbreaking journey, for me, and I grieved. Between him and Garrus, I don't think I've felt so strongly for fictional characters (or, in general) since my first celebrity crush when I was younger (Legolas, my greatest shame).

Emotions play such an important part in writing. Love, especially. And I didn't have a real appreciation for it until recently.

My significant other and I met in a tabletop game on Roll20 about 4 years ago. We didn't actually speak to one another much outside of the game, and this was during the time when I still refused to ever use my microphone and there were precious few on the internet who knew what my voice sounded like. About two years ago now, the two of us were invited to another game together by the same DM who'd ran the first game we were in, and we started to communicate more seriously on the side. We became fast friends, and I invited him into everything I loved in order to make sure he stuck around and shared everything I enjoyed. I introduced him to my other friends, and I nurtured my little circle of close friends for some time. He started falling for me early on, but I was caught up in a very unhealthy crush on another mutual friend of ours for a while. It led to some very difficult situations emotionally, where his admiration and care for me caused him pain and he considered distancing himself from it all on several occasions, though I somehow managed to talk him out of it every time. I cared deeply for him and I wanted him to stay. After all, he was my dear friend.

Eventually I got over my crush and things started to calm down. Around the middle of last year, we started to consider the possibility of all of us getting together sometime to meet in the flesh, our little group of friends. He readily volunteered to help fund my flight ticket, since the trip from Sweden to Florida is very expensive and I was on a very tight budget at the time (Social Services, basically). It took some convincing before I agreed to let him pay for the trip, but once the deal was made, everything went smoothly. We talked more, and we started to explore the relationship between us. The friendship started to mature, slowly but surely, and we confessed our attraction to one another along the line and shared things that we'd never before shared with anyone. Still, we moved cautiously, waiting to see how things would feel once we met in person. We didn't make anything official, refused to seal any sort of deal between us before we knew if we clicked once we saw eachother in the flesh.

Once I got there, I was too exhausted to pretend to be a human being and crashed on my bed the moment we settled back at his house. We shared our first kiss the next morning. Suffice to say, things felt great, from the start.

It's been almost five months since I came back home to Sweden, and we've talked every day, at length. Some days we feel the distance more acutely than others, and those days are particularly harsh and painful for both of us. Our financial situations prevent us from bridging that geographical gap on demand, and while I'm saving up money for my next trip to Florida, it'll be a while before I'm able to travel again. His financial situation is unstable and uncertain, so it'll be a little while before he's able to fund a trip either way.

With that background out to the way...

Since this started, I've experienced things that I previously had no frame of reference for. Before, I had no idea what it felt like to want nothing more than to reach out and touch someone's face, look them in the eye or feel their unique scent. It's an intrusive yearning that I've never felt before. Some days, it's good. Other days, it's extremely difficult.

I've been in strictly online relationships before, a couple of times. Nothing quite compares to what I've found between me and my significant other. Perhaps because we started as best friends, we found a comfortable space of belonging almost immediately. We skipped the honeymoon and exploration phase and now... we feel completely and totally safe around eachother. Everything is effortless, which is incredibly valuable for two relatively low-energy individuals. It's been particularly important for me because of who I am and what I've been through. I've always been a very overweight individual and my body image has been a central part of my life since I was very young. The very idea that someone could look at me and want what they saw has been alien to me. I'm still struggling to come to terms with that idea, and fully grasp that the love and emotional connection is more important. That connection alone is more than enough. There's nothing superficial about it. He loves me. Nothing else matters.

Perhaps as a result of this awakening, I find myself crying a lot. Just listening to certain soundtracks or songs can make me well up with nostalgic joy that overflows in wild sobbing. I find myself thinking about him a lot, seeing him in the shower or imagining his warmth coiled around me in bed. All of these things are phenomenon that I've written about before, romanticized for the benefit of the reader and the telling of the story. I just never had a proper reference for any of it. I'd never experienced first hand what this kind of infatuation could do to a person. I find myself wondering if it'll at all affect my writing in the future, or the kind of immersion I'll be able to achieve together with my writing partners. Love is something you can portray without feeling it first-hand because we're spoonfed it through fiction and media and live it through our hobbies, be they reading, writing or video games. I feel I have a new appreciation for it now, however.

Maybe it'll show.
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:15 pm

I'm not gone. Not yet.

I'm sorry for my absence, once more. Somehow, I found myself in one of the deepest slumps I've been in, ever. I've been struggling with depression for a very long time, going from slump to slump with brief periods inbetween of energy and positivity that I can spread and harness to get things done that I've had to post-pone or completely neglect for one reason or another. There's so much that I want to do, that I've got in progress for as long as I've been around, but that never truly reaches completion. I have several projects like that here on Standing Trials, though many of them are close to completion. Hopefully, once I'm out of this slump, I'll be able to complete and release what I have been working on.

Every time I wind up in a slump like this, it comes with a number of self-realizations. I come to understand myself a little bit better, and I see the scars a little more clearly every time. I understand where they come from, and how they hamper me today. How some parts of my past still poison my thoughts and slither their way into everything I do, every project I partake in, every group I join, every friend I make, every bond I manage to form and every independent thought that goes through my head. It makes me paranoid, sometimes. I can't deal with feedback in a constructive way because of it, because I hear a lot more than what is being said. There's a hidden undertone, a voice behind yours, that only I can hear---because it's mine. It's the voice of my self-doubt and self-loathing that twists and turns your words in ways you never intended, cuts deeper than you ever could and breaks me down when you'd intended to help me grow.

I've tried so hard to explain the way my thoughts go to my significant other. It's difficult. Nothing I can say can truly convey the way that I feel about myself.

Strangely enough, there was a visual novel recently that did a strangely good job at explaining it.

My significant other and I watched a Let's Play the other day of Jesse Cox and Dodger playing the visual novel "Doki Doki LIterature Club" together.
Very strange novel. Starts out as any other dating sim, and takes on psychological horror elements and surrealism after a while in a way that has earned the game some critical acclaim and positive reviews. Very interesting. What was really enlightening to us, however, was the character Sayori.

If you haven't played the game, I recommend at least watching a playthrough or getting it on Steam. It's free.

Either way, Sayori... She is a happy-go-lucky character, very trope-y. Your childhood friend of the game who has so much glee and happiness to spread around herself to other people with a somewhat ditzy personality. This, of course, hides an extremely depressed girl on the inside. A particular conversation you have with her hit a little too close to home for me to be entirely comfortable, but when we watched this scene together, my significant other and I, he slowly grew to understand me a little bit better. It was a trope, but it still did a fantastic job at putting words to things that I have struggle with explaining for a very long time. It's the pair of conversations you have with her before she leaves the game, provided you didn't romance her from the start. They sucker-punched me, hard. I cried harder than I've done in a while, and it caught me completely off-guard. The conversation I'm referring to happens towards the end of episode two of the video series above.

Strange how realizations like that jump at you out of the most uncanny of places.
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Crash Course to Incoherency

Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:09 pm

In the past couple of years, I've grown increasingly reluctant to speak much about myself or really be open about what is going on in my life. Part of me feels ashamed and guilty for the fact that I can't seem to pretend that everything is fine anymore, at least not to the degree that I used to. I often feel like I ruin the mood. That my presence brings other people down and changes the atmosphere at times. I don't mean to, and honestly, half the time I don't really realize that I'm acting any differently, which leads to people asking me what's wrong and I spend the rest of the night second-guessing myself and wondering, "Yes, actually, what IS wrong?". I become self-conscious about the way that I sound and what I say, because I start to feel guilty and embarassed about the fact that others seem to notice that something's going on and, for once, maybe I felt like I was having a pretty good day? Or I was trying my darnedest to ignore how I was feeling, so I was blissfully unaware of how badly I was failing at concealing it to the rest of the world... no matter how well I'd managed to make myself forget, even for just a moment, about whatever it was that was troubling me at the time.

And the other half of the time? I know that I'm not feeling well. I know that it's showing, and I know there's very little I can actually do about it. I feel agitated, annoyed, tired, paranoid, anxious, stressed, exhausted, afraid, lonely or... sad. Inexplicably sad. Even then, I usually don't know right away why I'm feeling that way. It takes some serious soul-searching before I'm able to start narrowing down the reasons I'm feeling any of these things on any particular day, or moment. Once I start to narrow it down, I transition into a whole different kind of guilt. All of it is associated with some form of guilt, for me... but this kind of guilt is something that's brought on by doubt. Seriously invasive self-doubt that I've cultured since I was very young. I second-guess myself in every part of my life, every moment and about just about everything you can imagine. I second-guess everything I think and feel, because that's what I was taught, and that's what I know. I spent most of my adolescence being corrected about what I thought and felt when I dared express myself, where my thoughts and feelings were fed back to me as something completely different than what I originally thought. I didn't feel the way I thought I was, and not for the reasons I thought or said. All of it was corrected, so to the point that I just stopped trying to express myself on a regular basis and "trusted" in others to know what was right, because evidently what I thought and felt was wrong. Now... I know that doesn't make sense today, and trying to explain that to anyone is very difficult, including any sort of explanation for why that impacts the way I think and feel today and why that has seriously slowed down any sort of progress I would've been able to make with regards to finding and getting to know myself, my problems, my weaknesses and strengths, and how to overcome them and survive in spite of them. I had no real clue, because I did not have enough trust in myself, my thoughts and feelings, to make any sort of progress. I put my faith in my family, and the medical professionals. That's all I had---putting my faith in the fact that others knew what was "right", because I believed that I didn't. Some part of me still does.

I don't like to talk about myself, because I'm the sort of person who, more than anything else, wants to make others happier. I want to be a positive force in other peoples' lives. I define my self-worth by how successful I am in this, and especially in recent years I haven't felt particularly successful. I never feel like I have anything good or inspiring to say about myself or my life and with the sort of progress I've been making offline, it's becoming more difficult for me to conceal... anything, really. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing. It means I'm starting to accept and come to terms with all those things that I've been ignoring or otherwise been unaware of for so long. All the problems that I wasn't initially aware were problems at all, and all the pain that I started to realize wasn't normal. I don't know what "normal" is. I never knew how much pain was "too much", and to a certain degree, I still don't. It's a work in progress, and something I learn more of every single day. Even so... I realize that talking about myself is, perhaps, one of the things I need to get better at. I need to be able to talk about all that is going on, because I never knew how, before. And before I know how to explain what is happening, I can't move past it, and I can't get the help that I know for a fact that I need.

I made a lot of progress recently, though it's been equal parts terrifying and scarring. A lot of things have moved and shifted in my life, in mostly good ways, but it's been difficult for me to keep up and I've been forced to put some faith in people I never thought I'd have to be involved with. Agencies and social functions that existed but I never knew about or had the wrong idea of what they actually meant. I've had to learn to ask for help (which is an ability I previously did not possess, and still experience great difficulty with) and then accept the help when it's offered to me. All of these things are incredibly difficult for me, for reasons I can't adequately explain right now.

Last Monday, I was officially diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was something I had suspected for a very long time, but it wasn't finalized until this last week. A lot of other stressful events surrounded this particular incident, but of everything that's happened... That one is good. I know that without a doubt. It means we're making progress, alongside all the other things that are currently being investigated so that we can start making real progress in any sort of treatment. But, the most important thing, to me... was the sort of affirmation you can only get when someone looks you in the eye and tells you, with finality; "You're not just making this up. This is real. It's not just your imagination."

"You're not crazy."

That last one was more internal. Because one of the things I've been particularly bad about for many, many years... was to think that I was crazy. That it's all in my head, that I shouldn't be feeling or reacting to things the way I am, that the "mood" I'm picking up on in conversation is nothing more than my paranoia. It's not hard to imagine how stressful that was for me, and how much worse it made it for me at times. When I freeze up in fear and anxiety because I have to look back at what is happening and second-guess myself and my reading of the situation, how I'm thinking and feeling at the time, because something's "off". Something doesn't feel right. I don't know what it is, but it's there, and no one else seems to be able to see it but me. Of course I'll start to question whether I'm just losing it. It's been a desperate uphill battle at times for me where I've clawed my way through in desperate anger and frustration because it all feels so "wrong", and I feel so deeply, intimately violated by my own self-doubt, like I'm being crushed from the inside even though, for once, I actually know that I'm not crazy. I know I'm not imagining. I know I'm RIGHT, but I can't accept that without tearing myself apart. Without second-guessing, and without doubting.

And now, because it's on paper... even if it's just one thing, four letters, it's a massive relief. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy.

I'm not crazy.

I have a long way to go before things will start to feel okay again, but it's a step in the right direction. There's a lot of stuff in progress in my life right now which has kept me busy, hence my absence on the site. I intend to change that because, at the end of the day, I enjoy being here and doing what I do. I just needed a bit of time to process some of what has happened, and land in my current situation. And, of course, to put a few words to the whole thing. I know it doesn't necessarily make sense, and it lacks a lot of the context, but it was a valuable exercise for me. I need to get better at doing this, no matter how much I dislike it, because it helps me think. It helps me sort and organize my thoughts and feelings and, more importantly, come to terms with them and accept that they are mine, that they are real, and that I'm not just imagining it. That I need to trust in what I think and feel, for my own sake, and putting it in writing is one way for me to grow more familiar with it all.

I'll be okay. Eventually. :)
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