Sometimes, when I'm feeling nervous, I try to comfort my inner child by showing her stuff that she would have been amazed by. Remembering how I would have felt, if I'd gotten to see (for example) a handheld console that looked like my Game Gear* or GBA, but was much more powerful than even an N64.
My inner child is still afraid of anything that isn't sufficiently Mormon, though, so I also have to reassure her that stuff like cute visual novels isn't going to corrupt us or hurt anyone. ^^;
I don't think she's a literal person, so much as that when I get anxious I kind of regress to when I was living in fear all the time. Then I have to coax myself back out, or at least try to make myself comfortable enough that I start to feel better.
Does anyone else (not) do this? What sort of things comfort you? For us it's toys, games, and especially electronics, because we were privileged to have access to things like computers from an early age. And they were our escape.
* I bought it when I was 10, with the prize money from winning a regional spelling bee, and carried it with me everywhere. Even though I couldn't afford batteries (6x AA batteries lasted like six hours in this thing), and had to rely on AC and car adapters. It was my treasure.
This is a response to 'Hello, my name is Ally' -- how children are being exploited by YouTube predators.
The link goes into slightly graphic detail about fetish material. This short essay discusses in broad terms what's happened to me and to others, but is not itself graphic.
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With the release of Outlast 2, AAA first-person horror games set in the US' rural South are becoming their own genre. It and Resident Evil 7 have a lot in common: You play as a white man with a Northern accent, you're searching for your wife, and there's a ton of gross body horror.
I haven't finished watching the soft-spoken ManlyBadassHero's Let's Play of Outlast 2 yet (content note: "Game is Very Graphic In Every Way Possible"). But while RE7 just squicked me out, Outlast 2 genuinely disturbs me. I think that's because RE7 left out the biggest thing that makes the white, rural South terrifying: Their fiery brand of religion.
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At some point, my parents of origin decided that they were okay with only one child.
It wasn't me.
(Content note: Mental illness, toxic families, restraints, and spoilers for season three of Steven Universe.)
I'm reblogging this quote for truth. When I started becoming aware of systemic injustice is when I started being held at even more of a distance. My family and church didn't know what to do with me, and could only tell me to "stop reading those things." Individual people would come up and thank me, sometimes, after I spoke up on others' behalf in Institute, or tried to make sure that someone was okay. But to anyone who had any kind of power or privilege in White Mormon culture, I vanished except as an annoyance.
On the plus side, most White Mormon people are kind of boring anyway, except when their scandals show up in the newspaper. Being around other trans women and "woke" friends has been very good for me.
(About the word "woke:" Arinn notes that it has been appropriated by white people to mean "sensitive and aware," when it was originally used by black people to mean "alert to potential danger." She discusses the need for such a term, in a society that's even more hostile to people with black skin than it is to me personally.)
I am worth more than you have to offer me.
I am a better and stronger person than you'll ever be.
I am messy and inconvenient, gloriously and hilariously broken, and I will never be whole. I will always be damaged and leaking, not blood but words:
Of the pain of rejection,
of the loss of a life that I never had,
and of the horrible knowledge that I am as alien to your world as a Lovecraftian Elder God.
But just like the Old Ones of Lovecraft's mythology, the world that I'm a part of now -- the one I escaped to -- is more real, more solid, and more lasting than yours. And one day your world will collapse like a soap bubble, and reality in all of its beautiful madness will flood back inside.
You're scared of me because you know this. Because in my eyes, in my face, in my very existence that you tried to crush, you see the end of your world.
You should be afraid. Because when your fragile world pops, I will be there:
With my watery tentacles outstretched,
my flowing wings held high,
and my joyous laughter resounding through your flooded Heaven.
It will be beautiful.
And then, if you are still there, I will blow you a raspberry.