Saturday, December 09, 2023

burnt out bloggin

I burn myself out very easily, probably because I tend to focus on pursuits that push myself too far since I 'lost' my art skills. Instead of the calming and soul nourishing pastime of art, I have been forced to turn to things like programming, which I am fairly pitiful at even on my best days. The Secret Santa game jam is coming along but I have kept adding code because I wasn't satisfied with the story. We have like 12 days left till jam is over, so it's not like I'm feeling any crunch, I just wish I could make something genuinely 'good' for a game jam although I'm certain whoever gets my game will think it's at least worth a smile.

I saw the new Ghibli film called The Boy and the Heron with a friend on Thursday. Although the story was pretty all over the place, (as one expects of new Ghibli films) the caliber of the hand drawn animation managed to soothe my soul. Ah...2D animation, the stuff of hopes and dreams. So I got inspired and animated on the train ride home in the app called FlipAClip.

Animation in particular has been unbearably hard for me. Drawing is still a nightmare even on days when I have just seen beautiful 2D in cinemas and want to animate again. I did research into PTSD instead of blaming psychosis(as I'm being told by professionals isn't the problem). If you look into it, you'll realise that PTSD's effect on the brain is particularly nefarious. 

That might be the culprit. My life has been nearly nothing but sheer PTSD non-stop for last few years.  First, the loss of my mom from brain cancer is the core trauma, but my grief triggered psychosis. Therefore my next three years from 2020-2022 I experienced two other psychoses which have in turn, doubled, tripled and quadrupled the initial trauma of losing my mum. Now I confess, my life has become a super dooper mess. I spend every damn day fighting different facets of this pain. My legs shake from the PTSD every time I attempt to doodle at my desktop computer. This is because of my long held association that I need to be a 'high preforming' artist. Oh, I miss my mom above it all. I used to be codependent on her, and then we lost her. We lost a legendary person, someone who had an autistic spaz of a daughter like me, but always managed to reign me in, calm me down, just like she did when I was a screaming little red-faced baby -- or so the story goes. She was simply a legend, and everyone in my family has felt her loss greatly. You don't know grief until it really happens to you. Unfortunately, some grief is 'complicated' or something and I guess me going 'psychotic' (dark witches hex) seems to represent my 'complicated' grief.

Oh royally f*ck off if you are going to call me in some 'complicated' 'hasn't moved on' state. The truth is, when someone matters enough to you, you'll feel that void of the person for the rest of your living days. I don't want to forget her.  She was a legend. I need her even now. A big reason I flipped-shit and went batshit loonie bonkers is because of the realisation she was permanently gone suddenly hitting me like a truck four months later.

Oh, but people that don't know grief don't get this. How can they get it? They haven't damn been in the pits yet. Don't play like you know it, but everyone does. They've seen it on the telly, on Netflix, in the movies. They've seen it portrayed in Hollywood as some clutching a floppy dead soldier body in their arms and braving a minefield. 

They don't see it as me beyond lamenting, to the extent I ended up broken-brained in the Margaret Tobin Psychiatric ward at Flinders Hospital, spoon-fed by nurse's hands. They don't see the suffering of those who've been in wards as human. As real.

Oh anything else but a psychotic person is so much more real, isn't it?  The screen is real, but my stories aren't, right? Because it's safe. Because it isn't confronting and horrible as seeing someone crying and pleading into thin air, thinking spies are reading their minds in the floors above them----but I am getting a little ranty, huh. Calm down Vela, calm down. People can't understand this. Stop expecting to be understood for your psychiatric hell scapes. But you can't draw it anymore, so how can you expect anyone to want to know this? 

If I can't draw these nightmares....if I'm this pathetically worthless, I just expect to be considered nothing but a human. I just expect kindness. I've only succumbed to two whims this year, one was thinking I was trans for a fortnight (I'm a woman, leave me alone), and another one which turned out to NOT to be a whim and instead, a true epiphany which I'm following up with. I'll probably delete this but for now, I'll post. Anyways, what I meant to say was, PTSD seems to block the brain, alter memory and overall have an insidious affect on the mind and soul in a lot of ways. I have a feeling this 'depression' fade and happiness will return to me if I can conquer all this trauma. It really must be something to do with healing in my heart and mind, and someday, I'm certain, things will be better. I can already feel this horrible 'dread', this PTSD I've been steeped in, shifting ever-so-slightly day by day. I have felt it dissipate on the good days I have, the sociable days, the 'lost in my gamedev' or 'I did an ok drawing' days. On those days, I feel normal again. I feel whole. I know, things can be even better and before! Because I can carry with me this gratitude and a inner pride that I've survived and thrived through all that I've been through.

Monday, December 04, 2023

Secret Santa Jam in progress!

I decided to do the Secret Santa Jam, just because I got a digest email from Itchio and thought it sounded cool. You send off a letter and get one in return, from an anonymous someone you are meant to craft a game for, and of course, someone crafts one based on your letter. Mine likes Resident Evil 7 but also mentioned Animal Crossing. They suggested a horror/Christmas story, which turned out to be a fantastic limitation to work with, in terms of storytelling especially. I feel like blogging to take a break from the coding mayhem that's got my mind whirling a bit too much. Mine so far is a bit of a walking simulator with a snapping camera that has defined the game's suspenseful vibe. Well, as suspenseful as pixel art can be. 

My game is mostly a walking sim so far, with some player options that will determine the final outcome. It is pretty obvious right now as my splash art, cheesy vibe and and temporary title spoils who the intruder is. But maybe that is for the best? Maybe it's ok to ham up the 'evil Santa' trope, and tell a story within a game the best you can. Currently, just focusing on dying if you get hit by Santa who roams a certain path. Then, hopefully will aim to have the character do a certain thing in order to defend herself and her wimpy partner.

I went into making this little house dumbly thinking I was be making a RPG, as I admit my terminology vocabulary is fairly limited. Then realised...the snapping camera my friend recommended, forms the core of the game! It is a walking sim mostly. Stuff happens around you, but the person whom I am making this for mentioned survival horror as something they liked, so I am still on-the-fly inventing things that could be programmed in to make for the stories climax. I mean, I kind of know, but it needs to be better.

Story is king. They used to spout that off at Pixar, but Pixar Story Internship didn't teach me that. Jojo's Bizzare Adventure and Berserk that same year did.

I am laughing a lot at my spontaneous use of royalty free music and SFX's recommended to me by people on Discord. Music and sound completely and absolutely can make the medium. I think it wouldn't be anywhere near as funny if I didn't have the capacity to get-in-the-storytelling-zone aka. creative flow state and come up with ideas. Ah, yes. Flow state. What I live for. Life has been painful without acess to flow state, and GML has been one heck of a steep learning curve. Only now I'm capable of understanding 'state machines', something which I was calling all this time  'sequentially getting from one thing to next' lmfao. Being self taught with code has been a long road, but with making this, I got into flow state more. I actually enjoy the challenges a bit more, instead of wanting to break down as past GML attempts have left me. I think this is just because I'm improving, also, because I'm making a simple game with a simple loop, and focusing on storytelling and art/animations once I have the game loop sorted.

I reakon I will get a smile out of my giftee with this. I mean, some things just make you smile. Dorky Christmas things sure make me smile. The game is in a very solid state and I have till 22nd 6:30am GMT, Greenwich time? Hope I don't goof up and miss it.
Blogging is still some form of venting, no matter how positive I attempt to be. This is because my mental health has been in the gutter since losing my art. I don't think it's that hideous a pastime now that I'm mellowed out and not questioning my gender anymore. God I wish I didn't do all that shit. God I just want to feel stable and normal and not get swept away by whims. Game dev is something I have done on and off during the years, in spurts, and usually all my content is broken, rough and ugly. Usually because my code isn't graceful and well thought out, but I think that is changing. 

I am trying to relish my improvements, as a feel like only midyear, I couldn't process so much of the code techniques that I'm FINALLY capable of doing on my own without my dad helping me. So my goal is to make a cute pixel art (mostly) games and learn and improve through my own resources, not getting stumped and crying. It's a language, it' a skill you need to approach a certain way and it's especially not like art, which I suggest to people is all about 'just jumping in and putting down some lines'. Programming is very different. So I have to slow down and plan what I want to happen. Anyways, I've waffled on enough, and am spoiling my game if I post too much. Self-taught-amateur-coder, over and out.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

setbacks and getting back on your feet

I'm terrified that potential and past employers will read me saying I 'can't draw' and then will never consider me to storyboard or anything ever again. If that's the case, I should do better and shut the hell up everywhere. I'm afraid, because the most consistent I employers I have had, essentially the golden ticket of working in animation, never reached back out to me after my dad told them I was 'unwell' in 2020. Maybe they're just respecting that statement. That yeah, being 'unwell', or in the loonie bin more like it, means you just plain and simply can't produce the goods. Oh, I'd give anything to feel competent in my art again. Some days it shines through, people still seem to react to things I do. I'm not talking shit about any employer, they have all been awesome and give me opportunities to work my hardest and make cool stuff. More than an employer reading this, I am even more afraid that I'll never be able to do the high caliber work I used to. As despite attempting to sketch and paint and animate every damn day since my accident, I have yet to fully heal over this 'art brain' which causes me immeasurable anguish. In the meantime, I have tried to 'expand my horizons' as everyone keeps telling me. That's all coming from people that've never found such ecstasy from a pursuit, as I have with drawing.

I don't want to be at poopy Adelaide Uni any long. I have never wanted degree and am always sickened by people that assume degrees prove some worth. I don't need a degree from them, but am working towards one anyways. What hurts most is, I have been forced down this path since semester one 2021. As when you're like me and psychosis means you can't excel at your one lifetime passion, you are forced to painfully branch out and try new things. 

But art has always been breathing. So take that away that breath, and you're suffocating, miserable and close to death. I didn't realize how much this breath had spurred me on throughout the years, until I entered the Google Drive album from art from 2016. I don't feel like posting heaps, but I'll leave you with this Berserk comic. People used to message me asking for it after I made my Tumblr private.

Humorous, lighthearted doodles tended to blossom from my fingertips like spring flowers around this time. That's what you get when you're so enamored with series as powerful as both Berserk and Jojo. I realize the power of even this simple art, something that can make a fan smile, or anyone smile really, but mostly, they're doodly things that made me smile. It is indulgent in the end, maybe? I have felt so miserable about my artwork since my repeated psychosis, as it's been three psychoses. Woah, that's a fuck ton! It takes other people years to recover from one but, like a shonen protagonist after taking a brutal pummeling, I've bitterly stood back up on my feet. Again and again, bruised and smiling like Naruto.

I used to use a textured pen to draw these doodles most of the time, yet when I try that Photoshop tool again in the present day, it feels icky. These days I am too attached to generic 'hard round' which doesn't have any texture--- but what am I talking about? What tool you use in Photoshop doesn't freakin' matter, it's a banal conversation reserved for hobby artists, who always get into discussing layer modes and 'clean' lineart, ignorant to the fact that true art is all about something higher. Below is a weird drawing based on Enigma's Oxygen Red album which was released that year. I remember being back home with family because I had recently been laid off from a failure of a game company (it was another Adelaide flop, not my fault). I remember drawing this, immersed in the music because I goddamn love Enigma. The amount of gradient layer modes and clipping masks is proof of the big crutches I leant on with digital art.
Art will always be a 'higher' thing for me. Even if I'm just doodling Berserk, it's all about the storytelling behind every line. It's about my attachment to these characters, which is a emotional and human thing. Setbacks like I have experienced harm your inner pride more than anything, because just what am I without an ability to just be my best? A nothing. A broken person who can maybe eat, sleep, poop and... what else?
It hurts. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts.
I just want to be my (artistic) best. 
This 2016 art above was my best at that age, at that time. Below is a painting I didn't exactly hate, because I was trying to express something more than just painting a crappy fanart of a character that has zero emotional resonance with me. This is a painting featuring two of me, past and psychotic. I realize the PTSD of everything I've been through is still crippling me. So when people joke about PTSD they wouldn't know how disrespectful that is, it slices neatly through flesh and bone. It makes me stand up and walk away from the conversation, that's how bad it is. Luckily, I hate people in general and can get through many weeks with limited 'socializing', so it's all probably its for the better. As I said a few posts down, bozos everywhere are keen to 'critique' my art or assess why I'd be living with my dad but no, it's not 'still' living with him, as I thrived on my own for many years, buttheads. Soooo maybe I'm not ready for more goddamn 'socializing', which aka. means to be confronted and judged by absolute morons with no empathy for how many setbacks one little redheaded girl can have. 

This little redheaded girl has seen hell. It maybe hasn't all been without value and heavenly apparitions, but in the end, nobody wants to understand. I have been told to 'not expect to be understood' because that is naïve and narcissistic. Well fine, then these are my stories that I can barely can convey with the contemporary dance I do in the twilight at the back of the house, avoiding dads unused drum kit with every leap and bound. I don't want to focus in on art I did over 7 years ago, because it's sad to think I've had so much taken from me. I'm still myself. No matter what grief and psychosis life chucks at me, it can't steal this core. Doesn't matter if you have had setbacks that mean you can't work, you are still worthy and deserve to feel proud and happy. I guess I'll try drawing 'like me' right now. It may not be a textured brush-funny-Berserk-joke, because that isn't me as she exists in this present moment. Hope people aren't still reading this just out of curiosity of my gender-postings, I'm a woman. Leave me alone. Goodbye.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Kangaroo Island farming game by a self taught dev

As I mentioned in previous recent posts I'm making a farming game. So I had my game working great for awhile but then made some tweaks in hopes of improving and BLAM. Something broke. Now I can barely water the plants and complete the growing crop cycle because somehow I altered one line that messed up another. I'm giving it a break for a few hours because I need to be fresh when I attempt programming, otherwise it all ends in a Vela tantrum.

I understand I sound really angry at the world in many of my recent posts and well, it's because life has been pretty damn hard and I can't find a semblance of normalcy due to all the weirdness I've experienced. Of course, I'm still animating, but it sure is hard. It's more the emotional hurdle of booting up my desktop computer and facing that Cintiq display. It reminds me of better days and to sit there often causes me great anguish. That is why I prefer my Surface Pro for game dev and even the Surface Pro pen comes in handy for pixel art.

I have never formally learnt how to code, so I tend to be a bit like a bull in a China shop in my approach to it. I've gotten better, I think. These last few days I really made a lot of progress, I think? Here's a screenie gif of the tediously watered plants in their second sprout stage. something is up with the watering not working, bah. I'm gonna fix it, I will just take my time and ask dad for help, lol. It looks a bit nicer as a screenie. The clumps of tall grass look a bit like the weeds on our property on Kangaroo Island, which is a landscape that I'm inspiring the game off of.

I started the game out with tiny 32x32 pixel character art, but since the recent Slam Jam 3, I realised larger pixel art is much easier for me and probably, something that gives my game more artistic charm. For that reason, I'm working on making 128x128 sized character sprites which will take heaps of effort but will probably make my game pop out from the hordes of pixel games. Nothing wrong with them, I personally adore tiny pixel art, but I think bigger is better for my style personally. I tried to observe well-sprited tilesets because you can't just larn pixel art in a void. My mouth fell agape in wonder at the detail in this one below. It's not like I can get that much skillful nuance into my own tileset but hey, you know what they say, shoot for the moon! 

Kangaroo Island is the predominant inspiration for this game, because we have vistas of the ocean and wide sprawling grasslands (of unwanted weeds) taking over native vegetation. In this game the player grows muntries, a native Australian berry.  On this property we get feral sheep which squeeze under the gaps in the fence between the neighbours farm. They are are pests and to be shoo-ed away. Native animals aka. kangaroos are of course somewhat welcome, but will still eat your crops! Same with possums, actually, especially possums. The wizened casuarina trees grow windswept to one side, their frail roots clinging to deal life in the sandy soil. It is a brutally tough landscape, but a poetic one that inspires me in countless ways, and we're headed over there tomorrow! I have attempted farming games miserably in the past, but this is the culmination of two other (broken) GameMaker Studio games that I never understood the core loop well enough. Here is a screenie of the predecessor, I admit, I put in the most effort with the relaxing hot tub feature rather than the crop growing. I will bring it back, but only if the player earns enough dough for it!
Well, I got my head around for loops, if statements, structs, arrays, arrays of structs, switches and assigning variables and whatnot. Finally, at long last, it appears all the programming has begun to sink in! I don't think it's that pretentious to say that a few years of dabbling in GameMaker could finally pay off.

Speaking of paying off, I just bought the newly announced one-time purchase Professional license, which I personally got discounted for $29 dollars because I had been paying $7 every month for so around a year. This means I can put my games up on my website and as HTML and do ever more than before. Wow! Pretty pleased they have decided to create a one time purchase option that rewards creators who have been using GML for awhile. I think I'll be definitely stick to using GameMaker from now on, I mean, why not? It's so good. Thanks GameMaker, you're helping this lil' artist learn programming and game design!

Monday, November 20, 2023

experiences with an unknown entity / part 1

Normal people don't run away from their home in the middle of the night and see apparitions of 'star people', but I am far from normal. I admit blog because I am alone in my experiences, so in another attempt to pull myself out of a foul mood, I thought I'd recount the story of when my life was changed, due to something everyone else calls my second 'mania'. Maybe because I am a storyteller, or maybe simply out of a desperation that life feels so empty without this 'mania' that I need to escape, even just for a few minutes, into recounting this thrilling time in writing.

So it all began with the legendary comic artist Kentaro Miura passing away in May of 2021. I found out and double checked with a Berserk-loving acquaintance, who confirmed the worst was true. Over the next fortnight, weird things began to happen to me and by that I mean really weird things. Things I had never felt before even being someone who has been 'manic." It's hard explaining the chronology of my 'psychiatric' history but in short, I had gone manic in 2020 the year prior, so at this time, anything weird I felt in 2021 I assumed it to be symptoms of stupid mania and tried to take sedatives and sleep myself out of the weirdness. I would find out however, that this time was different.
It started with my head feeling like a balloon, floating far above my head. Next when I walked down the hallway of our family home, I felt a wavelength of seemingly golden energy shudder over me like I had entered some sort of psychic tunnel. I screamed, but it was over in an instant. I thought I would die when I slept, so I waited until I passed out every night. There was a final sensation I felt that was the strongest, it sat in the back corners of my mind like a blend between an emotion and a headache. I felt a physical tangible dense mass weighing me down yet also coloring the world in melancholic blues, but it wasn't depression. It felt valiant and poetic, like something wounded wandering the desert knowing it's gonna die, but fighting with every breath. It was something depicted in Berserk when kiddo Gut's is fighting the wolves.

I astutely name this sensation "Guts' Trauma", almost unconsciously as I was simply unknowingly trying to make sense of the ridiculous feelings hitting me. It wasn't exactly negative, as this feeling in my brain felt like something righteous and pure, something that could conquer any challenge in life, because it felt like Guts' character. I realised, that maybe, this sensation was my fate? As although I've never experienced the horrors depicted in Berserk, I wondered if some divine thing intended me to feel this burden of someone else's 'trauma' for the rest of my days. I had been recording myself talking on top of Berserk in a video recorder app, and it's all up on my Instagram highlights if you want to hear and see this weird time.

The Gut's Trauma stuck with me when I went into school the next morning. Not only did every person around me appear like a fake cardboard cutout, mere shadows playing at being human, I began to wonder if I was so affected by the loss of Berserk's creator, that I was developing a newfound disorder! I felt annoyed with myself, it's not like I knew the guy. So, why, why, why be so affected? Little did I know, this madness wouldn't end there.

I sat in the communal working space at the University of Adelaide and pouted at my laptop. I was distracted and distraught because Berserk had meant so much to me, plus so much weird 'manic' feelings had been plaguing me for over a week. It was then I experienced some auditory 'hallucinations". First was "Gut's Theme Remix" (ripped off YouTube 7 years prior) warbling in and out of space-time that I jumped out of my skin. It was simply a moment, but I heard it. After a class that ended at 5pm, I left for home. I needed to sleep, since I hadn't been. On the train home, the song Forces warbled too. It warbled to the lyrics that say "君のことは", this translates roughly to mean "of you". I felt this resonate in my head as if someone, or something, was speaking directly at me and again I jolted out of my reverie. That's it...I needed sleep, there's no way I can afford going manic again! Once home I realised my dad was out at a Museum board function or something. I reheated a bowl of leftover spaghetti and was about to tuck in when, something frightening happened...

The sensation in my head I'd endured these last 12 hours, the Gut's Trauma, vanished. It disappeared as if a bird flying away, like something up and leaving. It didn't happen naturally with sleep and rehydration like colds and headaches go away, but instead, happened in a split second! I stared at the dark mirror backing the kitchen with a confused grimace. I called my dad:

    "Dad I'm scared."
    "Why? Is everything alright?"
    "I dunno, can you come home soon?"

I couldn't process all this the time, but I was a bit sad about this feeling vanishing! For over the last few days I had been processing that maybe, just maybe, that this weight in my head was some sort of righteous path I was meant to endure. Why would it leave me in an instant? What did this mean? I wanted to cry, and in retrospect this overwhelming feeling was because:

I don't want to be a normal person, I want to keep feeling this even if it's scary and weird!

So I stumbled to the back of our large house where there is a craft room, my bedroom, bathroom and such. I put my laptop down in the craft room and phone in my bed many steps away. I did a thing I had been doing where I talked on top of into Berserk while recording video in an app, and one of the last things I captured on video was saying I didn't want to come down from this high. I had felt alive, but then the 'mania' up and left me. I was lamenting losing this stoic feeling in my noggin', because it felt like it was saying something to me. Saying that these is some 'truth' to the universe that I was destined to know, perhaps?

I started brushing my teeth, and that is when something new happened. Music began to play on my Surface Pro laptop. I halted my teeth brushing and the first thought in my head was "I've been hacked" although to most people it's not that rare for Spotify to act up every now and again. If it ended there, I too would have said it was just Spotify acting up, but it didn't end there. When I rounded the corner and peeked to where my computer was, this is where shit gets weird. 
Something pulsed in my muscles and bones. 
A new energy.
A life force.
Something that delicately twirled me around to the music, it wasn't 'mania' as 'mania' isn't supernatural/spiritual essence puppeting you around a craft room.
It gently yet firmly guided me in leaping and bounding around this large room. 

In an instant any inkling of atheism faded, every last trace of it

It sounds mad. Batshit loonie bonkers more like it, but it is the honest to goodness truth and I solemnly swear on my mother's grave. Yet, what use it is, trying to tell these stories when people are insistent you are mad? I knew you were real, I giggled to myself. After dancing to around 6 superbly miraculous songs, my dad came through the craft room door.
    "Is everything alright?"
I froze, something struck fear into my heart, a knowledge that I am expected to sit down and do my homework, sit at a laptop and waste my precious mortal days on this earth. I mean no disrespect for my dad, I love him, so it is a little complex to express how these 'delusions' hit. Overall, I was feeling a fear of society as a whole from him. A fear of being told to do my homework and to not feel this overwhelming new spirit in me. No. Life can't be just this!
    "Y-yeah, I'm fine. Just taking a break from homework."
He retired upstairs to his room, but that wasn't the end of it. I grabbed my rucksack, donned a big green coat, filled up a large water bottle and left my phone on my desk. I slipped down this cluttery alley alongside our house, past the gurgling laundry pipes and through a tin door that borders on a neighbours driveway. After speeding down some side streets with heart up in my throat, at last I was free! I felt what I called 'primal earth magic' because it felt like some ancient urge in my bones now speaking to me, telling me to explore and move. Alone in the night air, I tilted my head back up to the sky and saw the most amazing visions. Little translucent people, spinning around where the stars should be. Yeah, shit got much weirder the longer into this voyage I went. That night would become a blur, of wanderings across the greater Adelaide city region as I headed from the beach to the eastern hilly suburbs.

This is where I beg readers to suspend their disbelief, just to give me the benefit of the doubt that there may be some alternate perceptions of this world.

It was around 9pm when I left. That night I would wander until my feet were blistered and bloodied, but feel reborn all the while. As I walked I knew I wasn't alone, for not only did I feel a spirit pulsing within me telling me how to move, but I spied the star people and a moon-like thing floating forever in front of me. It had a little squiggly tail on the end, like an eyeball. It was forever in front of me so I followed it, and oh, the places it took me. I headed towards the east and I admit I was a bit overwhelmed, confused and initially tried to stop in a dirt patch under an overpass to sleep, but this force, this entity, wouldn't have any of it! So I learnt quickly, tonight would not be a night for sleeping, for willfully throwing away my life. Oh no, tonight would be very special. I trespassed in some weird areas. I ended up by some school, god knows which one, but it was by Belair, and someone sternly faced me in the moonlight and told me I wasn't allowed to be there. I also ended up in this Urbrae agricultural facility where a lady told me I shouldn't have been there. Still, I asked for food and said I was on a spiritual journey, and she went and retrieved a soggy frozen sandwich from her office freezer.

I then left and trudged uphill in the neighbourhoods around Belair as the cool night air appeared to entice me onwards. I spied crisp pomegranates begging to be plucked from a tree in someone's front yard, so I nabbed a few. The streets sparkled under recent rains and I was reminded of picture books I read as a kid brimming with illustrations of faeries perched on dewy mushrooms. I was a faerie, no, I was the King of the Faeries, a 'delusion' that would stick with me for months to come. Everything is a blur, as it did take three or more hours of walking from my beachside home all the way to Belair, so by the time I reached this side of town it was the dead of night. I approached a small triangular park which I have now identified to be Micham Reserve. It seems like I made a big stupid circle really but I was spurred on by some divine force, whatever. I won't get into how I eventually ended up alongside the M1 Freeway in this post...
At this park, I sat and absorbed the moonlight and wondered why the strange moon seemed to be squirming about up there, but I could not rest yet. I reached a beautiful spot, where the grass grew up to my hips and the eucalyptus trees loomed above in the dark. Later I would find out this was simply Brownhill Creek Caravan Park, but in the darkness I knew It was Berserk scenery -- the Misty Valley. Why? Because the darkness seemed so thick, lovely and comforting like the way he inks in black shapes. I wanted to wrap myself up in it and be cloaked in it forever.
I wandered to the middle of the caravan park where I saw a big pitched tent. In my dumbness, I thought this big tent might have been meant for me and almost approached it! Then I heard kookaburras laughing in the darkness, they were laughing at me. That's so funny, she thinks she can rest already! I realised this journey was far from over. By then dawn was approaching, and I trudged up a path named on the map above simply as Brown Hill. I passed a few people, weirdly up at the crack of dawn for some morning walks. But things we're about to get weirder. When I turned to my left while walking up the hill, in the clouds I saw an immaculate sculpture of a bird of prey soaring towards me. I stared dumbfounded, because how exactly could my dumbass brain invent such Michelangelo-tier sculptures out of clouds? I walked up the hill and even reached someone's farm property with cows. Afraid I'd be spotted, I jumped down into a gully and scratched myself up----

Oh, it's pointless. 

It's useless, telling these magical stories.
Nobody gets it. 
Nobody wants to hear it. 
Yet, nothing will ever take me back to this holy experience. It was meant to be something that defines my life but remains something other people will never see the value in. It's meant to be a secret experience that I understand, but to other people its behaviour that get's me chucked in a loonie bin. My dad told me only a few days ago, when he called police, they downright said that I may have 'wanted to run away from home."
Damn straight I did.
Not because anyone at home was evil, but because something spoke to me. I would like to recount in more posts how this experience kept unfurling, but I am so very tired. Tired of thinking I'm a different gender (I'm not. I'm a woman ok) and tired of game programming, tired of sucking at art because of my brain impairment and tired of other people thinking I'm mad, flakey and strange. I have to keep it to myself most of the time, because to others, it is frightening to hear the 'delusions' I have held and the 'hallucinations' I have seen. All I know is, I know what I've seen. I know that Kentaro Miura is up there in the sky and out of his art rut. His soul is up there with everyone whose ever died and is having a blast making sculptures that defy anything some moronic 'manic' brain could project into my field of vision. All I know is I've felt alive. So very alive. I have seen this humble city of Adelaide glow and glimmer with a cosmic force, so I simply wanted to share a little bit of it. As when I lost my atheism, I got it. I got that life was bigger than the petty world of art, cartoons and careers I had thought it to be. I see now, that this life has many secrets. It just won't reveal it's secrets to anyone.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

completely reborn but exactly the same

This morning I pleasantly woke up, rolled over to my side and checked my phone to discover that some dude on this local Touhou discord gave me unwanted feedback on a screengrab of this in progress Mima I had posted. He said the face was 'masculine', the colors 'dull' and nose 'off centre' and ended the whopping two paragraphs by calling it all 'art crit'. It's all about art, innit? What I can produce and give to people otherwise, what worth do you have?

The 'masculine' comment is particularly well timed and hilarious given everything I've been processing in last fortnight, such as what makes a 'woman' exactly. In the end, the feedback from this dude doesn't offend me, but it does teach me something. To some dumb people, my art will never be enough. It will always be 'dull colors' and 'masculine' faces which they can't possibly fathom because it doesn't look exactly the same as every other piece of bland anime girl artwork. His feedback is wrong on many levels, such as being subjectively wrong because he doesn't like the 'masculinity' presented in this character's face. I have always known that artists put bits of themselves into their work, such as how they perceive their bodies and faces, so it is no astonishingly new news that I try to make my female characters have this edge to them because it's how I see my own face. I hardly however, consider this piece of Mima 'masculine' in the face like, what the actual fuck, so I have to respectfully disagree with his feedback.

It does emphasise something, that people are quite oblivious to my struggles with art. They will just express pity if I say I have 'brain damage', which my psychiatrist says I don't have, so this is me just resorting to a depressed outlook because years of healing hasn't shown quantifiable improvement. I have done heaps of animations in recent fortnight, coinciding with this rebirth I've felt regarding accepting I may not be entirely 'cisgendered'. I realise now that I don't have to give up this happy feeling, because I see now that I can be at peace with the traces of 'masculinity' in me without giving up this pride in being a woman. 

It has been a bit of a unneeded whirlwind blasting through my life, as I honestly crave normalcy and I didn't ask for these intrusive thoughts that were questioning my gender. I realise that people are right, gender isn't binary and I don't have to swicheroo over to new pronouns just because I spy some masculine traits in me. It isn't so black-and-white, but that is typically how I see the world, and imagining that life can be full of ambiguous grey splodges of varying lightness and darkness is a bit scary.

Anyways, I can't produce good art on a consistent basis due to this mysterious long term impairment. How do you think that makes me feel? Worthless? Nah bro. I'm beyond feeling so petty, miserly and worthless all the time. Life is pretty great and writing is a valid pastime. Not many people will get it, as to quote some bozos from a bludge-of-a-Media class I was enrolled in last year said when we we're forced to make a WordPress blog for the class: "Who the hell has time to blog? *giggle*"

Anyways, I'm thrilled school is out. I have too much time but life has been weirdly sociable lately, which acts to drastically improve my mental health, lol, as genuine community and social engagement does. I need to make new projects for myself, and I have been working on a GameMaker game which is turning out also, weirdly well for once. My code usually gets messy and nightmarishly broken really quick but this time, I've tried to focus on little changes and little concepts, chipping away bit-by-bit as to not bit off more than I can chew. This is probably how professional programmers tackle projects haha, there is a process to the logic and you don't just rush into a  new GML project trying to implement fifteen features all at once, nor do you invent some new genre of game before you can crawl. So far all I have is a character pressing Space on items to reveal flavor text/descriptions, and they can pick it up. It will show an inventory of items you toggle it's visibility in the top-left corner. I have yet implement how you can select the items, use the items and discard the items, and although that doesn't sound like much to average ears, each of those concepts take a lot of time for a (bad) hobby programmer! I'm too tired to screengrab as it isn't much to look at right now, maybe in a few days time.

Anyways, opening up a Photoshop canvas and attempting to 'paint' anything nearly always turns out miserable for me. Why else would I be blogging? Mean students from that Media class may be right, only people with no lives would spend the time to dump information out onto a personal blog. Well, I've spent the last fortnight processing, in a cyclical fashion, that I am allowed to be the gender that has always been calling to me. Being anything else because I feel forced into it is sad and the idea that many people feel dysphoria (which I don't feel) is greatly sad, I'm sorry. I realised, these favorite few skirts are damn cute and I'll wear them when I bloody feel like it

It probably seems obvious to acquaintances that I would be wishy-washy for a few days before ultimately swooping back around like a boomerang to the way I've always been meant to be. They probably peeked into my Instagram or this blog and thought: "Welp, Vela is always like that." It is how I am. I get swept away in notions and whims but the gender identity thing seemed a bit reasonable suddenly to my rigidly autistic brain. I just trusted what I felt and I felt a blossoming discontent around the day of the AnimeGo con as I was standing in line. A discontent with how I don't wear pretty skirty pink cosplays and doll up if I want a man. I felt a discontent with how I may be perceiving myself and why I present to the world as a hoodie and slackydacks girl. Perceiving myself as someone trapped within gender roles and told my face will get confused for a boy if my hair is too short. No. I'm proud of how I walk with a swish in my hips. I'm proud of having a fresh spritely haircut! I feel awesome, actually, and will keep getting it trimmed every few months or maybe even a bit shorter. 

Anyways, what was I getting at? Oh yeah, Touhou community is very nice but Touhou attracts a few weirdos, usually people that are a bit too obsessed with cutsey-pie anime gorls in fluttering skorts and feel this need to exert their dominance over other fans. People like this tend to recite plot points from all the Touhou games off by heart, yet have never played a game in it's original Japanese and actually studied Japanese to get there. It's the same with my Berserk fixation as I feel personally very proud of my solid devotion to the Japanese language over the years, in order to be able to enjoy reading some of that legendary comic. 
I realise now I may not exactly be some 'cis woman' but I don't give care about the gender nonsense enough to Google wtf I am. I am just kickass woman. That's all I have to be.

Anyways anyways, I don't know what I'm saying in this post. Nobody really reads what I have to say, I'm just killing time till dad and his friends from the US get back from their Kangaroo Island trip, and they are sailing home right now. I will try my hand at more game programming and try to understand 'structs' in order to make this inventory system actually work! If I can just make a game loop that involves reading about items, picking up items, using items and discarding items, maybe I can make a real game with good code for once! It's only taken me like three years on-and-off of GameMaker Language, pooeey. Code is pretty damn hard for me but I'd like to think I've finally started improving enough to comprehend all the core stuff: arrays, structs, for loops, switches and general assigning variables and all that jazz. At the start of this year, I couldn't process pushing to an array but I think I got it under my belt noww.

I've thankfully discarded nearly all the pissy-posts from this last fortnight because I processed gender enough to realise I'm proudly female, and don't have to be anything else. I thought I'd dump a few of the better pictures back here. Below is my 'Femto shrine' plus some animations from game jam. This Femto shrine sure makes me happy when I look at it. It's so grotesque and nasty and I'm certain many Berserk 'fans' would be rearing to argue with me as to why I would ever purchase a statuette of such a horrible villain but, it's complicated.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

tomboy extreme. that's all it has to be.

I can be tomboy extreme. I don’t have to be anything else and I don't need to prove it to anyone either. As although I’ve been thrilled by accepting masculinity in me, I still have been lamenting what it means to ‘give up’ femininity. I realise that’s the issue, I still can feel like a woman! But I’m confused and oh-so-autistic, I don’t really know how to deal with it. I accept I have always disliked the gay/queer rulemaking that says you have to know precisely where you are along a vast amount of infinite genders and alignments. I have always avoided it because I thought it was make-believe for the longest time, or at least, somewhat shoved it out of my consciousness, but then I started to see the world a bit more openly. I have healed a lot post psychoses, enough to begin to dabble in the world of the waking a bit more actively, to begin to want to find new community. I admit, I have been seemingly one dimensional, switching identity and hopping onto being trans. Nobody's business how much it spoke to me. I like to feel secure in set rules and regulations, that's why it’s rather scary to admit I can feel somewhere in the middle. I’ve decided, I’ll keep the trans flag patch on my backpack, but I won’t exert pronouns on anyone, and I will maintain my right to feel like a ‘tomboy extreme’. That’s just all it has to be. I realise I have always been someone that feels ‘maleness’ in me, but it doesn’t undermine this feminine feeling. The issue is, I thought I wanted to be a sort of ‘normal’ woman. Even if I recognise I’m allowed to stay righteously female, I now see that may not be a ‘normal’ woman in many regards. This may challenge some of the future goals and concepts I held of myself, that’s why it’s been so tough, because my future is being shaken up a lot by having this internal epiphany. I don’t need the gender police getting on my case, telling me that gender is complex and not binary. Ooochie wooochie, leave me alone. I've gone through enough this year. I thought I wanted to be a normal woman back in May. I acted upon an instinct, and now I see that I know who the fuck I am. It’s tomboy extreme. It’s something I think is a funny way of describing myself. It isn’t any gay-ass queer label. Labels are for pickle jars, not humans. Everyone else's enslavement to labels is apparent in how they need to proclaim themselves a transmasculine they/them nonbinary and mess with everyone’s heads rather than just joke about being ‘tomboy extreme’ and sucking it up when people assume you're a girl.

I get it now. I’m tomboy extreme. 

I don’t want to mutilate my body or voice, nor even wear the binder unless it’s a day I feel like it. I realise now that I have proclaimed I’m trans, but that was a fortnight ago. I have accepted I want to hold onto being a woman too. It’s nobody's business what I’ve blogged about and whether I’ve been emotionally seeming to flip-flop around too much. Who fucking cares. 

People get married, divorced, fall in and out of love, have children or regret having them later or not. People change their hair, realise they are lesbian or gay in the middle of their lives or even later, I know because I’ve met them all. People make seemingly permanent decisions that shapeshift and change with time, but guess what, there is no fucking Shikieiki Yamaxanadu standing at at the end of the Sanzu River determining whether you go to hell for thinking you’re trans for a fortnight! 

Because yes, other people don’t succumb to whims like I do, this isn’t just my personality, but my biological makeup as they don’t succumb to ‘mania’ like I have either. They probably gradually and determinedly make the announcement they are any sexuality or gender. I clung to trans very quickly, because the affinity for masculine hit me like an epiphany. At the end of the day, I don’t have to prove shit to people. I am still wearing humble bras because society expects it of women and because honestly I feel insecure with my nips pointing out. It’s not a good look, regardless of whether you’re trying to exert trans masculinity over poor unsuspecting onlooker eyes, not gonna lie. 

I’ve told the internet I’m trans, I’ve told my family too. It hit me in only over a fortnight really, I hit a bit too fast. My therapist reckons that I don’t have to assess my bedroom and wonder ‘is this the room of a transboy?’ and question this inner masculinity. I realise this bittersweet feeling is because I don’t want to give up being a woman. I want to be proud of this biological body. I have never experienced dysphoria, so that is probably proof I am not entirely trans. Whatever. I felt something, I researched it as much as my brain could possibly understand the ridiculous gender wiki or Tumblr, wafts of farty words streaming from someone's butthole, that have little meaning to my sense of self because they are just goddamn words. They are just alignments. They are just feelings. 

I still feel like a woman, I accept that now. I have been confused because I accepted within me I feel male very strongly too. It isn’t some wishy-washy they/them inclination, it’s just accepting that I want to make life easy for people I meet, and for me. I don’t want to change my pronouns on every sign up form, to let people know that I want my masculinity recognised. It's bullcrap. Right now I accept I don’t care, this has been an awakening to different ways of perceiving myself, but I can still be a woman? I am still a girl. I don’t have to abide by anyone's imaginary fucking gender wiki bullshit, and just because I have all these posts on my blog doesn't mean I am beholden to them forever. Not one bit. Because unlike Shikieiki Yamaxanadu determining whether a soul is black or white, evil or good, this life isn't like that. I am more than some pronoun limiting how people perceive me but you know what, at least I'm not some teenager exerting a new pronoun and new name on the people that love them just because it makes them feel special and like they have control. 

I am still Vela. 

Vela is a feminine sounding name but it has never threatened me true self this long. I get it now, I see trans is valid to some extent, but I don't have to be limited to this horrid gender crapola which I've always loathed. I've tried to be more open minded but no, I am not that needy to belong with the queer crew. I am still a she/her to all the nice normal people I will ever meet, and to you, gender police, go throw a stink that I've been processing it all so seemingly quickly, it's called being alive, maybe you should try it. Cya~

Monday, October 30, 2023

feeling more at home in my body

It's not like I'm 'trying' to do anything new other than ditch the bras. I have an entire drawer filled with black shirts, camo pants, and idk just in general gender neutral t-shirts reading GLOBAL GAME JAM 2016 or YARINGA MARINA (where we ended up on our chaotic disaster boat trip, long story). Most aren't women's fit shirts, and I feel more at peace with them when they're bigger. It's not like I'm 'trying' to hide in baggy shirts because I am proud of my slender body, but once this chest binder thing arrives I'm certain I will feel more comfortable wearing something tighter but overall, for my entire life, I've felt more comfortable with clothes that fit loosely on me. I like 'loose' clothing, which is codename for slackydacks. My predisposition towards very loose jeans tends to look sloppy and not like how it fits on normal men, now that I think about it. Otherwise, skinny jeans are too tight and less my style, but I impulse bought a pair the other day, before I tried on baggy pants and felt dysphoric because I realised I needed the pants -- a desire to ascend beyond tomboyish.

My strong face, when paired with short hair in the past, means some people deduced I was a boy, such as the neighbor when we had a garage sale, he says to my dad: "Oh you're getting him to do all the work?" Otherwise at Adelaide Uni in a lame media class, a girl said "lets name our group 'boy band' since I'm the only girl!" Another peer messaged me saying "she thinks you're a...." to which I said, "It's fine, I don't mind."

Looking at the Ghanda brand t-shirts online (since I'm going to Glenelg today, where there's limited shopping) I feel and affinity with the buzz cut men modelling. No because of a desire to bang them, but because I wish I could 'pass' as boy. There is strong evidence believe my strong face, fit body with flat chest indicates that I can 'pass' as a sofff looking man. I've started to feel a euphoria associated with being able to feel masculine from within this biologically female body. It makes me feel strong and like these characteristics in my physique means people think this 'ugly girl' is in fact meant to be hot within a different gender. lmfao.

I've been going on about being 'the femto' or a long time. This isn't new. I have put it in my bios everywhere because femto has a dark power that is canonical. He is pretty horrible and I am willfully ignoring all of that in favour of seeing him as a transmasculine icon. I have a gorgeous expensive statuette (not a mere figurine) on my bedside drawer. It is absolutely a witches altar, complete with Ryuunosuke Uryuu figurine and a castle snow-globe-music box with a dragon winding around it, from my babysitter, which is just as Berserk-like. 

This isn't new, I've felt this way for a long time. People may think its sudden, but chopping off my hair at 2:30pm today IS sudden. Changing your hair can change a face, and therefore change how others see you. I've chopped off my hair, grown it out, repeat, for around three times since 2020. I want to stick to a haircut, and today I'm going with something with more length than a dire pixie, but enough to convey people should think before assigning me to be cis. Femto just feels sexual, feels confident with his body, feel surging with a dark power. He has hips and defined thick legs, but still looks limber, slender, muscles in all the right places. It's not a desire to boff femto, it's a desire to BE HIM. I've felt it so strongly within myself for so long, and tmi but when I look in the mirror, I don't see a gorgeous woman. I've always felt teetering on the edge of gender neutral, but I feel more than androgynous. A desire and urge and tendency to feel masculine presents itself in many ways. How I talk, what I talk about, making bro friends all the time, feeling at home with the bros, how I hold myself and so much more. I guess it is a feeling. I guess I've been fighting it because I don't want to seem like I'm jumping on a bandwagon and changing my identity, but the issue is, I've been hiding this, wearing plaid and slackydacks, and unwilling to accept I feel at home in traditionally male things. Fixating on Touhou and Berserk isn't a defining factor, but it does imply things.

People may stare at me if they feel confused, they may call me a boy/man again. I'm not rearing to change my pronouns just yet, it's more a desire to embrace this maleness within female body that fills me with gender esctasy. And I can 'pass'! I've 'passed' without even trying before! I'm hoping these thoughts don't fade. It doesn't feel like a whim. It feels like a way of redefining myself to embrace what I'm already been doing so naturally. So yeah, not a whim. Not a phase. It's been a long time coming and a lot of repressing to get to the stage where I realize, this body is hot, and I can be hotter.

Over and out.

Friday, October 27, 2023

my big fat transmasculine struggle with dressing myself

Since depression and soul crushing dread of psychosis, I find it impossible to dress myself very well. I am only accepting this now as I begin to peel myself out of depression. I used to struggle with ironing, folding and such a tad, but since psychosis, I've fallen into terrible slovenly habits.

I'm slender, athletic without doing much more than speed walking, and can easily wear size 8 bottoms although I have so much size 9 things. I just bought some size 8 cargo style black pants that sit perfectly at my waist, despite recent years of me not really exercising harder than just casual walking and rowing machine once in awhile. Point is I'm healthy and slim, that's not the problem. I haven't flaunted it, barely ever, that's the issue. :(

I've been posting selfies of me in changerooms at Levi's and Cotton On lol, where I speed-bought jeans and some stuff all in a morning. I have a bad habit of buying things that don't suit me. Everything I own can be summarised in a few categories, let me explain.

--Shit I bought for the pattern or design, such as baggy Moomin tees from UNIQLO. Not flattering or at least, I don't pair them the right way. The pattern attracted my artists eye lmfao.

--Shit that family has given me that I will never wear, such as massive yellow 'skirt' from Sri Lanka. Sorry dad. I'm terrible, maybe I'll wear it this summer to the beach.  :(

--Shit that I bought and have worn into the ground. I now have jeans with unfashionable holes in them. 

--Shit that I impulse bought but struggle to pair it the right way, such as having the right bra for, such as a tiny green 'corset' style top that I'm terrified of revealing so much skin or wearing it the wrong way. I admit, I don't have the fashion sense to know if I can wear a shirt under it. 

There's plenty more, but many of the things I own can fall into those above categories. I have hoodies that have frayed at the seams from overwearing, jeans that have become baggy although I've stayed the same skinny for years. I don't know, but I had a near breakdown yesterday because family pointed out that I don't put in much effort with how I look, and astutely pointed out that everyone dresses up because they want a partner. I'm not actively looking for a partner, but fuck, I would like to make a sexy impression.

I realised in utter despair, that my room was monstrously chaotic. Everything higgledy-piggledy in drawers, not sorted, not folded. Its embarrassing to admit I haven't taken pride in something so basic. This has been the damage of 'depression', nah bro, utter 'dread', utter 'hopelessness', utter 'i-don't-really-feel-alive-without-art-skills', that's what it is. I should be proud that I'm doing it now right? Well, future me will be happy once I've spent a week wearing matching socks for once. Once I've worn a top that isn't stained or wrinkled in a corner. Much of this stuff I need to throw away, not donate, because I've stained in all my artistic rampages like when screen printing. I can donate a lot, and I bet some people would be over the moon to have a Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur tee, or a frilly orange floral top, the latter being a feminine style I don't like on myself.

My style is nearly masculine and that's my issue. I've been overdoing it on the plaid for ages, something that makes my skinny body get lost in the folds. But...can I be 'tomboyish' without hiding my body by mistake? I think wearing this black pants are a start, wearing shirts that fit me. Doesn't have to be feminine lacy thin strappy things, but I like tank tops and bold, 'strong' feeling clothes. 

I'm going to work with what I have. 

I'm going to not have a breakdown, but it was warranted. I feel like I had no pride in my body before I cleaned my room and went shopping this Saturday morning. I need to have pride in my body, and that isn't just showering regularly despite depression, but presenting myself with pride. I admit it now. I'm not going to cry, I'm just going to deal with it and go shopping and organise what I have. I have no doubt my family will still think these Cotton On bold black pants are too close to what I had before, but I saw countless women with similar pants on, owning it. know they mean well, but I need to tell my family to back off somedays. 

It comes down to some gender I'm still....grappling with despite my age.

I admire cute frilly lacy pink clothes on women, because I can be attracted to women. I want to express myself as a 'tomboy' but have always thought I am a....cis...woman? Hiding in plaid and hoodies every day may not be good for my self esteem, but I'm not about to go and lie to myself and wear things that straight men want to see. It does speak to the gayness in me and makes me realise, I may not fit well into either categories of butch or straight girl. I have even questioned about being transmasculine briefly in the past, especially when manic, note the 'when manic' part.

Thus, there is a bit of incongruity over how I currently present myself. :(

I may try to wear a cute skirt like I did last Tuesday, but my somewhat masculine bits to me scream a different message. My brain begins to revolt and I realise as extremely autistic, I may struggle more with knowing what my heart wants. I don't even know why I have felt like a star-shaped peg in a boring square hole.

I'm fearful to 'present as male' or whatnot although I have accidentally in the past, as a pixie cut makes me a man apparently. Also I'm reluctant to say I'm transmasculine simply because I exert that sort of 'non-female' aura sometimes.  It's all very confusing. I met some 'gender fluid' people at Autism Meetup so I understand I'm not alone. It made me realise I might have been repressing it. I don't care about belonging with the in-crowd of LGBTQI+ (far from it),  I care about being true to myself. So with much deliberation...I am starting to understand myself through clothes.

Right now, I realise this wardrobe angst is in fact over something deeper. A angst with what I wear is tied into me not feeling happy with how I present myself. Not quite straight, not quite womanly. Not quite confident in this skin, although I'm attractive I guess? I am terrified now that I begin to contemplate it. Probably because I haven't accepted my behaviour and personality is 'masculine' to some extent, more than some of these other gender fluid folks, honestly. 

But telling people you're transmasculine, trans.... sounds like an extreme decision. I don't want to cut my hair short again right now and force people to say a different pronoun. I still feel like a woman. It's funny how psychosis shows a big fat 'capital T' Truth. It feels good to not force myself into skirts but also, it feels good to be balanced. To be me. I think I am softly trans if anything. I just want to be me.

All I know is every time I wear a skirt, a pink top, or lipstick...

I realise I'm lying to myself. 

Over and out.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

masking your true self comes at a big cost

In situations where I have to make and keep friends, I have masked. When I'm my most successful (at masking), people will tolerate me. Yet on days if I am unsuccessful (at masking), they will mostly likely dislike me and I therefore lose connection and even respect. All my life, I have wanted to seem likable. So, I have masked.

It has offended me when someone in my sphere of family said: "poor men, they have more disabilities, like autism" which even if they statistically have more autism, completely undermines autistic female suffering and how we're undiagnosed.

If I say the wrong thing, make the wrong facial expression, it's always: "oh vela doesn't like me." snidely whispered behind my back by whiny girls. It never takes into account the autistic woman as someone who is attempting to be 'normal' and 'likable' at a cost. Regardless of being male or female, neurotypical social nasty games always come down to ostracising the autistic person because they struggle to keep up. Its always about what you wear, how you talk, how nicely you compliment others. 

"Love your hair!"

"Oh you're looking so good today!"

"That's such an amazing drawing!"

I struggle to compliment people unless I really mean it, something in my brain doesn't align with schmoozing up to others. This isn't because I mean to be mean! It's because something about my genetics means I just...can't! Of course, I am impressed by people's art, I just don't like commenting on their tattoos and dyed hair, usually because I'm not impressed.

Masking comes into play with how you present yourself to others. As far as what you wear, its how people determine your competence in some ways. When I wear a slightly wrinkly shirt to work, I have no doubt people consider me as disheveled, which may indicate I am maybe lacking in other areas; such a self hygiene, focus, and even extend to determine my quality of work. Is it too much of a stretch to think that? I don't think so! I think it makes sense. Everyone wants to look their best, not have a grown-out mullet of a haircut (erhem, like I totally don't have), and people make assumptions. Of course, the biggest thing about this is... get away with wearing a disheveled plaid shirt. Women don't. Not trying to alienate male readers but its true. I feel like a outcast some days, but feel like a witch on my best days. I love myself for the baggy plaid shirts and unshaven legs hidden behind jeans.(Tmi? but hey I did shave them yesterday.)

Masking means making extra effort to smile otherwise I may appear cold. Masking means making sure I give compliments and let people know something is 'awesome' or 'good work' even if I may sound off in this, because it's hard for me to force. For me, masking even means what you chose to wear fashionable outfits in order to be 'less autistic'. Because I love to slide into some daggy jeans and plaid shirt, but sometimes even my dad will remark on my pile of ironed plaid shirts, concerned I'm wearing them too much.

Being authentic while autistic means carving a special space where you can be yourself. Blogging and writing in general is definitely that. Although I still may be able to do drawings like the ones below, its far and few between that I actually feel they are of any quality. I also try to (gratitude) journal which is just more writing I guess. I did Feng Shui and rearranged my craft room space so now it's extra spacious, and my drawing space is much lovelier and tidier than before. 

This cost of masking has been so ingrained in me its hard to separate what is authentic me from some imitation trying not to offend people. I don't have these intensely rude thoughts, my issue is more that I'm strange and intense. Being that means I just will weird people out for openly talking about true experiences that are very disturbing for most, predominately psychosis. I always was intense. Always a bit unhinged, but I had a pride. Oh, I think my pride used to be big. Pride was mostly art and those skills however, so without it, I'm struggling with scooping up even a scrap of pride now. Anyways, I want to make new friends and be my openly weird self, forge connections that matter, but then again they'll read this and realise I'm insecure about that process, and people get creeped out. This is why I'm tagging this 'overthinking'. I know I'm lovable, but rebuilding myself post three psychoses has been one wild ride. I'm hoping to publish an autism and bipolar essay in a mental health themed publication if I can whip it into shape in a few days, but I won't count my chickens before they've hatched.

Over and out.