jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I spilled an entire cup of orange juice all over my laptop's keyboard.

[tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is paying for the repairs, but it's still kind of traumatizing. >_> This is the first time this has happened to me in ten years of owning (and eating around) laptops, and of course it would happen to the expensive one.

Anyway, our writing may be slowed down a bit in the meantime. >_< We're currently using [personal profile] chozomind / [personal profile] burning_ground's spare laptop, Hiraeth, and it doesn't have anything set up the way we are used to.

(Incidentally, the tarot deck that [personal profile] chozomind made is really cool! You should check it out.)

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We're still trying to do this Fate Core RP, but we're feeling like we're in a little over our head.

Insecure foxraptor is insecure )

tl;dr We're doing our best but we're afraid of messing up, and this is making us avoidant of working on RPG things.

However! We've kept to our schedule so far, and as of right now, we've contacted both [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27 about the last details that need to be clarified on their character sheets. If we can get that sorted out, we are going to write the first public RP post this weekend.

Sorry

Jun. 22nd, 2014 04:59 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Had a bad depressive episode tonight, complete with seizures. Haven't had those in awhile. >_>; A lot of things came to a head I guess. Feel exhausted and hyper at the same time, like we were physically assaulted.

Mostly okay now.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Growing up, I was taught to believe in a god who will only save us from Hell "after all we can do." I was told that it was ridiculous to believe in a god who doesn't demand sacrifice, because sacrifice itself was holy and had saving power, even human sacrifice if you were ever asked by God to perform it. You were given no rewards for empathizing with your victims; only for obedience.

Likewise, I was terrorized by my parents of origin, who physically beat me and emotionally scarred me. When I won trophies and awards for them, they bought me game consoles and took me out to buffet restaurants. When I let on that I masturbated, they made me believe I would be destroyed for it. When I did what I had to in order to live -- throw down the knife, walk out of the house, come out as transgender -- they threw my things out after me, told me not to come back, and jeopardized my housing situation where I ended up living on my own.

You learn things from this kind of treatment.

You learn that all love is conditional. Not that people are lying; that's a cynicism thing. You start to see the conditions on everyone's love.

If someone tells you that you're cute or beautiful, you know they will stop loving you when you become ugly.

If someone tells you that you're insightful and talented, you know they will stop loving you when you write something they dislike.

If someone tells you that your pain hurts them too, you know that you need to perform wellness for them, or again, they will stop loving you.

Love itself becomes not an unbreakable bond, but a peace treaty with an aggressor that's much more powerful than you are. You know that it's going to get broken sooner or later. It doesn't matter how or by whom. There's nothing you can do to prevent it. The only sane, rational thing to do is to forestall it as long as possible, because forestalling it is the only thing that will keep you alive for another day.

But every now and then, you're confronted with the fact that eventually your luck will run out, and there won't be any other days.

And even if you live for decades, and pass away in the arms of your loved ones, the last thought on your mind is that if you don't do this dying thing correctly, then they'll be unable to love you forever.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I feel bad for saying this, but I'm actually not sure how much most of the comments and compliments I've received help, after reading this essay on /r/raisedbynarcissists.

I think a lot of it may have to do with how my ego was inflated, growing up, as a homeschooled Mormon. I was told over and over again that I was part of a chosen generation, I was a prodigy, I knew better than almost everyone else, I had more authority in my little finger than the Pope did in his whole funny hat, I was going to live while the earth was cleansed with fire ... a lot of things designed to inflate the egos of young people and tie their self-worth to the church, which I was explicitly told to do.‏

Then finding out that in order to keep getting that treatment, I would have to lie. But not processing it that way, because lying was out of the question.‏ And not realizing that the people around me did it anyway, all the time.

I think I eventually saw that in the situation I was in, all the ego-inflatingness I received really said more about the people dispensing it than myself. People would tell me things that reinforced their own cultural narrative. They liked that I exemplified some part of the story they told themselves about how the world works.‏ Sometimes it was painfully obvious, like when a mentally ill "friend of the family" who was staying with us told me how I would pilot the spacecraft we apparently kept in our basement.

They didn't really want to know that I masturbated, or was depressed, or felt sick very often, or had never had a full-time job. They wanted me to exist in their minds as an object.

I understand hugs, and listening, and mirroring my distress, as signs of love and affection. Compliments just go right past us. We used to treasure the ones that we got for our writing, but somewhere along the line we started to feel they were so hyperbolic as to be unbelievable.‏ We're not sure why.

Compliments based on the kind of person we supposedly are don't even register. They are like telling us "God has a plan for everyone," or having cishets ask about our relationship when they assume that we're in one like theirs. It's at once disturbingly personal and very impersonal, and it doesn't bother us so much as make us nervous. Because we feel like the person is outlining the conditions on which they will relate to us, and if we do something that contradicts the image they have of us in their mind they will shun us.

I feel like they don't know what they are talking about, and even if they're saying something nice they're really just saying how much I affirm something they believe in.

I think the compliments I've been most touched by are when people describe the effect that I or my writing have had on them. That feels like a thing I can take credit for.‏ The best I can say about myself, then, is that I remind other people of what's important to them, or have helped them escape from a bad situation.

The worst I can say is that I'm terrible and shouldn't exist. I tell myself that at least ten times a day, just as a reflex. It's usually brought on by either doing something I find enjoyable, or hearing someone tell me that I'm awesome.‏

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

It means a lot to us.

We were in a bad place when we wrote that last entry. We had a number of trigger events happen in short succession. We are doing somewhat better right now, although we're still physically ill.

We are not in immediate danger, and while we will have to work harder to maintain our living situation I think we are up for it. We have been getting some help from Yuro's family of origin, grocery-wise, and we are also being switched to a new prescription antidepressant which will hopefully have fewer side effects.

We are sorry for distressing you and we hope that you're all doing well.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Over the past week or so, our sleep schedule's been shot to pieces thanks to factors beyond our control. In addition to that, we've had to deal with a few stressful things. This has left us especially fragile and moody, and feeling that strange combination of "I should be able to do this" plus "why am I having a breakdown?" that apparently comes with mental illness.

In between things like this, we managed to get a few things done.

  1. We've started on [personal profile] citrakayah's story, and have written a few hundred words for it. It's very unorthodox and requires a bit of debugging, but I am excited about the experiment.

  2. We're starting to write a few articles again, about a dozen a month at a reduced rate. The Major News Site no longer lets us write for them, but we're getting a surprisingly decent bonus this month for not having gotten anything published recently. We're going to apply to another site soon.

  3. We're still working on learning to write apps, but since it's the thing with the longest-term payoff we keep postponing it.

Besides that, we're trying to revise the [community profile] fursonarpg. After working with players and noting their confusion, at our adaptation of Pathfinder's rules, we're trying to change things around a lot to remove unneeded complexity. Discussion of specific ways under the cut.

Read more... )

The ideal we're shooting for is that your character sheet will be a single page that's mostly an illustration, sort of like a Magic card, with a handful of easy-to-scan stats and special abilities which spell out exactly what they do in simple language. Spellcasters might need the back of the sheet as well, but still. The rules themselves should also be modular and easy to comprehend.

That's all, I guess.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

"Why me?"

That's the question you ask when you pity yourself. And the insidious thing about abuse is that it gives you an answer: "Because you deserve it."

Self-pity is nauseating when the privileged elite (in whatever context) are publicly feeling sorry for themselves. But I feel the biggest reason it nauseates is because it, like everything else in their lives, is just another example of taking more than their fair share. "First World Problems" aren't a meme because it doesn't suck to get the wrong kind of tablet for Christmas. They're an overreaction to facts, that many don't know how to deal with, like how comparatively no one is talking about how much it sucks for millions of people to get sold into slavery today.

But what happens if someone really internalizes that attitude, and thinks all their problems are irrelevant because they live in the first world? Or worse, that they're terrible because of it?

Content note: Abuse, suicidal depression, violence, and spoilers for Final Fantasy XIII and Ender's Game.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I feel extremely uncomfortable about some of the essays I've posted recently, including the last one.

I think it's for two reasons:

  1. I'm not completely sure of myself, and feel that I'm being more definite than I should.

  2. I'm scared that I'll alienate others, or include someone I shouldn't or didn't mean to in a condemnation.

I don't know how much of this is real and how much of it is imaginary because of what I've been shamed for or argued about.

Edit: I think I also just feel like I'm not allowed to talk about some things, I remember feeling this way earlier, and I think I'm feeling this way again because of the last couple of conflicts that I got into.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Or at least add a disclaimer that the conversation I had with [personal profile] aliaspseudonym was prompted by discussing the good points that [personal profile] armaina made. I don't agree with everything she said, in the comments on my first copyright essay, but she reminded me that I did not use the best example and that some legal protections are needed to preserve individual creators' brands.

I was trained to be a submissive perfectionist. I'm supposed to back down if I anger someone. And I am not supposed to make mistakes. So when something I write angers people, and I can tell that I did or said something wrong but can't put my claw on what it is, it unnerves me. It unnerves us a lot.

I just get mad when I read about terrible people doing terrible things. I want to talk about it someplace where like-minded people can empathize, and others can show me what I'm leaving out.

I don't want to intimidate people. I don't want to be attacked by people who don't share my values, like what happened when I tried to write for Planet GNOME. And some of the arguments I've gotten into lately with people I care about and respect have been draining. I feel like there's something wrong with me, like I did something wrong, like I didn't explain things well enough, like I'm a terrible person who really ought to shut up.

Especially when I realize that I am at least partway wrong about something, like I was in this case and did not specify clearly enough.

I'm cutting people off or distancing myself from them, for the sake of my own well-being and sanity, more than I'm gaining new readers and contacts. And that doesn't sit well with us at all.

Edit: From an earlier essay:

... pretty much everyone thinks they're a nice person. The difference is what you do when you're confronted with evidence that you've hurt someone. Is your priority to save face or heal them?

This is why the follow-ups that we wrote didn't sit well with us. We weren't giving credit for or really acknowledging how we were changing the way that we looked at things. This is how one acts when one wants to pretend one's infallible. We are not. We are sorry for doing so.

We're still unnerved and unsure of ourselves after all this, and feel unpleasantly reminded of how immature we still are.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

In the past week or two we've had to deal with losing our job (and the attendant nervous breakdown), doing a ton of paperwork for federal and state income taxes, renewing our lease, applying for food benefits, and attempting to defer or avoid jury duty because of scheduling and lack of transportation.

We've also experienced harassment on the bus, and are extremely stressed because of that.

Finally, we only have until the end of this month to write articles which we'll actually get paid for. Afterwards our "hours" will be cut drastically.

All of which is to say that there are Reasons we haven't been good at replying to comments lately, haven't updated [community profile] fursonarpg, and haven't posted new fiction yet.

Expect these situations to change starting in May, assuming that we've recovered by then.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

From the "job" I had writing for a Major News Site, which was really an independent contractor's position. Meaning, I don't get unemployment benefits.

I'm going to look for other sites to write for. I am also going to try to jumpstart my furry writing business. My old FA page has over 100 watchers. I will try to contact them and let them know what is happening.

If none of that helps, then starting May 1 my income will effectively shut down and drop to 0. I don't have any savings of my own, and have been relying on [personal profile] aliaspseudonym to pay about half of our monthly bills already. That's all he can afford.

I need at least $500 a month to maintain a reduced standard of living, and stay in this apartment and keep [personal profile] rev_yurodivy from having to move in with family. I don't know if I can make that much. I don't have any family that I can move in with, and their family will not take me, nor would it be good for any of us.

I'm scared and don't know what to do.

I'm sorry.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
This is a phrase I hear a lot in exmormon circles. The idea is something like
They think you're a worthless sinner now, and that you're going to go all out on hookers and booze now that you've left the church. Prove them wrong! Keep being the awesome successful person you are, except now without Mormonism to hold you back. Show them you're just as nice and caring as you ever were, and make their brains break when they see how you're doing and realize the other shoe may never drop.
Closely related is the idea that Mormonism itself is somehow good. That yes, it's a manipulative cult, but that it "teaches good principles," and that "clean living" has value. The people who hold this idea, like Mormon Stories founder John Dehlin, genuinely love and cherish Mormon culture to some degree. They just wish the Mormon church hadn't lied to them and hurt people they care about.

I'm not so sure you can separate the two, though.

Read more... )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
I realize EVE Online caters to the griefer crowd, the paranoid scheming and infighting crowd, the "internet spaceships are serious business" crowd that sees themselves as Loki-esque trickster gods. When what they really do is choose the easiest targets available and press their biggest, most obvious buttons, in a game that uses its lore and its atmosphere to lure in the suckers for them without their even having to do any work.

I realize FPSes cater to the douchebag crowd, the "cry moar" crowd, the "your tears are delicious to me" crowd that sees themselves as professional e-sports athletes. When what they actually do is find games that let them grief their competition mercilessly while they're still newbs, so that they never have to face them at full power and have their precious e-peen shrunk down.

I realize the likely response to this all is HTFU, which I've learned is EVEspeak for "I can't be arsed to inconvenience myself."

And I realize that griefing and playing for dominance are seen not as extraneous, but as a vital part of the game most people here signed up for.

But I personally don't enjoy being spawn-camped. I don't enjoy spawning next to players from the opposing team and instantly dying to them. I don't enjoy being sniped out of nowhere. I don't enjoy running around trying to figure out what's going on and running into a vastly superior force. I don't enjoy spending 90 percent of a Skirmish mission trying to claw my team's way back from the grave and dying a million times. I don't enjoy losing to a team that seems to have bought its way to victory, and having to figure out how to spend my fake moneys. And I especially don't enjoy being humped by the guy whose armour I just repaired, or cringing the whole time I'm on the war barge and hoping some guy doesn't invade my personal space.

Improving my skills would fix some, but not all, of the above problems, for a value of "fix" which means "shoddy hack that should not have had to be implemented." Most of them I see as the consequences of extremely poor game design. I have more fun playing a generic-brand Modern Warfare I picked up for $0.99 than DUST 514 most days, even though I like the atmosphere and the lore of DUST better.

I'm trying to play a fun, heavily thematic first person shooter which is one of the few that will let me play a female character. And I'm getting a steaming pile of crap where the FPS part's only part of the game, and the rest of it is getting bullied and ganked in between reading a spreadsheet.

I'd already figured out that the only two kinds of EVE players are sadists and suckers. I think that applies to this game as well, I think that's intentional, and I think the design reinforces that. I'm not enjoying the time that I spend in-game, and I'm not going to recommend it to friends.

But hey, I got the voucher for it in my new PS3 box, and I sound obviously hurt and upset. So I guess both the developers and the players are happy with that. Glad I could make your lives better.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Trigger warning for abuse and self injury.

Read more... )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
A few random things, in order from least to most depressing and building up to unpleasant realizations.

Trigger warning for talk of depression, parental abuse, terrible trouble with socializing, and canned sandwiches. Especially the canned sandwiches.

Read more... )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
  • When I moved here, I basically plunked us down in the Eternal Suburbs half an hour from any bus stops and several hours from the cities where stuff actually happens. And when we do get on the bus, people here treat it like their living room and have loud conversations with each other about how people like me ought to die, or yell at me about how Jesus saves. And they don't even know I'm trans yet.

  • There is no one in my life right now that I've known for more than four years. Except for my aunt that I call on the weekends.

  • There are games in boxes, that I'm sorting through, that I haven't played because I was waiting to play them with mom like we used to when I was little. Except that she never did, never would, and now never will.

  • There are so many times I tried to share something with one or another of my parents, some game or movie or experience, and they either left partway through or turned it down outright.

  • There are so many conversations I had with them trying to tell them about something important to me, even as basic as vegetarianism or my love of Free Software and the Creative Commons, and they were skeptical and incredulous and took it as a personal affront.

  • I used to pray for them every night. "Heavenly Father, I thank thee for my family and friends. Please bless them that they'll be okay. Please help me to please them and do good things for them." I wanted it so much. I'd pray for them individually sometimes, and promise to do things for them, and apologize for not doing enough.

  • Now when I find myself praying for that, I have to remind myself of who my family and friends actually are.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Matthew Garrett's recent post on depression touched a nerve, because I've been dealing with it for most of my life and it was especially bad all of last year. I'm trying to arrange to get help, but even that is extremely difficult right now.

I'm going to try to add some things to his post without going on for too long. Specifically, I'm going to address ideas we have and stuff we take for granted that makes the experience of being depressed much, much worse.

The "Just World" fallacy

This is a fancy name for the idea that people tend to get what they deserve. Here in the States, we call it "liberty" and "objectivism" and "reducing dependence on government." In the Linux and Free Software communities, we call it "meritocracy."

It's an extremely convenient belief to have if you're at the top of your pecking order. It tells you that you deserve to be there, because of how awesome you are. And it tells you not to worry about anybody beneath you, because if they're deserving they'll make it eventually. And if they're not, well, don't worry about it. It's their fault, and helping them will just keep them dependent on you. Better to throw them out of the nest and watch their carcasses smear on the rocks, until you find one that can fly like you could.

This mindset stigmatizes being weak or in need of help. It turns being a newb, at life or at Linux, into something to be ashamed of. And when you have this mindset yourself, and are weak or injured, you're ashamed of everything. You have a desperate need to please others and show that your life is worthwhile. You're afraid to admit failure, to yourself or to anyone else, because you know that you'll be destroyed and it'll be your fault.

Preordained winners and losers

If you aren't so conscientious, of course, none of that matters. Of course you'll get the help you need. Of course you deserve it. Ayn Rand herself went on Social Security. My parents have no qualms about getting cheques from the government, via dad's military retirement. But I sold off almost all my possessions to keep from needing to apply for "food stamps," which are one of the only reliable social welfare programs here for people who aren't senior citizens. I didn't want to be a burden.

And that's what these beliefs are all about. They take people who care about others, who want to help others, who want to be part of a team and community and work together to do something awesome, and very often make them into nervous, self-loathing wrecks. At their best and most productive, they may have impostor syndrome and depression, may fail to promote themselves and their projects, and may put up with crap no one should. At their worse, they may want to kill themselves, like I almost did a few years ago after being thrown out of the house.

The fact that my parents let me back in an hour or so later didn't change anything. There was no apology. The status quo, in which this event wasn't even surprising and I just needed to live with it, did not change. And my family laughed and joked with each other later that day, without saying a word about what'd happened, as I went catatonic right there on the couch. I knew now that I was worthless, and no matter how much reassurance or encouragement I get from others that "fact" is still the core of my being.

I guess what I'm trying to say is,

The idea of "meritocracy" causes depression and kills people

And so whenever I see people glorify it, I know right away that to the degree that they take this belief seriously I'm looking at a good ol' boys' network with preordained winners and losers. Where people they like and consider worthwhile get rewarded and get away with anything, and people they dislike get blamed for their "failures" and punished.

This is why there's historically been so much hostility towards Apple, and towards everything in GNOME and Free Software and politics that tries to make stuff easier for newbs or bring new people into the fold. The people complaining have decided who's a "real" hacker or gamer or contributor or American, and who's undeserving of the label. They want the undeserving to run off somewhere that they don't have to see them, and they close their eyes so they don't see the smeared carcasses on the rocks.

When you grow up with this mindset and then realize that you're undeserving, you want to die.

I guess that's all.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
And neither does getting upset at people for not reading your mind, and knowing you "didn't mean to offend them" by saying something incredibly mean.

Case in point: World of GNOME's recent review of Fedora 18, which earlier today included a paragraphs-long joke (right after the winking smiley) about how it can be a good or bad thing that Fedora's more stable now depending on if "you" have a "hot" or "ugly" girlfriend, because a more stable distro = fewer visits to do "tech support."

A lot of people left annoyed comments on that version of the post, unsurprisingly including Fedora (and Red Hat)'s resident UX expert Máirín Duffy. It's unsurprising because when you put a lot of time and effort into a Free Software project you love, you really don't want to hear "jokes" which suggest that you suck at it; that you're only here with your boyfriend; and that you're only worth anything if you're "hot."

The post, as originally written, created a sickening grunch which reminded WoGue's female readers that we are women first and geeks second, if at all. Which made many of us feel like the blog's only written for guys, even if they interview women (including my awesome mentor from the 2012 OPW), and that we will always be out of place there.

WoGue has removed and apologized for the offensive material. Author Alex Diavatis deserves (and has received, in the comments) credit for doing so. This post isn't meant to shame him. It's meant to let people who may have read the original article know what's happened since it was posted, and to draw attention to a comment made by Bess Sadler:
I am baffled at how someone who programs computers can make the argument, "I know I said x, but I MEANT y, doesn't that count?" No, in natural language, like in computer code, it is what you ACTUALLY SAY that matters. Regardless of your intent, you have written something that is damaging to women. When you write software that has a bug in it, and someone helpfully points that out, you probably don't respond defensively and claim that because your intentions were good the bug doesn't need fixing. Please extend that logic to your non-code writing as well.
Bess left this comment for Alex because his first reaction was the same one a lot of people have when they're called out for doing something hurtful: Saying "but I'm not a bad person!" as though that undoes the hurt they just did.

This is not the correct response to a syntax error.

The correct response is to take bug reports seriously, patch the bugs when they come up, and apologize for your mistake. Because whether or not you personally think you're a "good person," or a "good programmer," or even "totally not sexist," ceases to matter if the code doesn't compile.

All you can do is fix it.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

Subscribe

RSS Atom

Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Feb. 26th, 2017 05:27 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios