Why not just reconcile?

I hit 200 followers! *party noises* thanks you guys!

Want to hear a crazy story?

Life happens weirdly doesn’t it? Yesterday we were just minding our own business, and we got a message that our dad was having a medical emergency, alone at his house.

My energetic aunt who lives, like, a 1,000 miles away from us, was somehow the one trying to organize all this, and my dad was calling a bunch of people, but didn’t think to just call a taxi.

Later we found out, to add insult to injury, he’d actually almost passed out several times earlier in the day, but neglected to go to the doctor then, instead he still drove home. I believe they call this “dumb luck”.

After he finally was taken to the hospital probably an hour and a half after he should have just called a taxi or 911, they discovered he had a heart attack and he went in for immediate surgery. The attack was bad and could have killed him.

I haven’t talked to my dad in about 18 months, give or take, and this was the first time I spoke to him, but, with an emergency like that, it would have been cruel not to.

Getting on the speaker, we all talked to him. Almost the first words out of his mouth, once he said “I really would like to talk to the girls in case this is the end for me” or some rubbish like that, were “God has really been working on my heart, and I’ve changed a lot… and I believe with forgiveness should come reconciliation, that the Bible makes it clear they go together.” (I paraphrase a little for clarity, but I assure you I am not exaggerating, I don’t do that, the truth is bad enough on it’s own.)

I suppose it sounds innocent enough, to someone outside the family, but those of you with toxic family members know hot there are certain phrases and words and tones and references that have been built up over the years a s part of an intricate web of manipulation, usually disguised as harmless so that others don’t catch on. But the family members know themselves what it means.

You see, my dad will use the bible as a weapon to cover his own bad behavior. He’d yell at us and rage and throw fits, and use “honor your father” as an exude, ignoring “don’t provoke your children to wrath.” He’d storm about not being respected as “the head of the house” but ignore “love your wives as Christ loved the church.” You’ve probably met people like this too.

Abusive parents tend to use love as a requirement only when they want love, and then deny it to their victims especially children if they are the most insecure about children, or their wife, if they are more insecure about romantic relationships. Depends on their own background usually. Most of the time, it’s both.

My dad also swore to us more times than I can count that God was working on his heart, and he was a different person. He treated us exactly the same every time, and treated God the same too. My dad lives in a fantasy world when it comes to spirituality. It’s simply a game of rules and appearances to him, not depth.

He also said he’d been healed of a lot of stuff, I don’t buy that for an instant.

Later on, he told us that if this was his last request to us, he wanted us not to hold any bitterness or resentment in our heats because God wouldn’t like it. And that he loved us so much, and missed us, blah blah blah.

He didn’t ask once how we’d been doing, my sister told him, but he barley listened. He talked about how he’d been doing most of the time, and how he might die, (though it wasn’t actually that likely), yada yada, and reconciliation, and it was so nice to talk to us again. It was almost worth it for this to happen just to be able o talk to us…

I sympathize with the fear and terror of a medical emergency, I’ve driven my sister to the ER when no one else was home and she was throwing up and having other signs of a concussion. I’ve taken care of my other sister after she fainted from sun poisoning. I’ve had terrible moments myself, especially last year. I am not one to put that down.

But, none of us use medical emergencies as an excuse to be vindictive and manipulative. Amidst all this chaos, my dad still managed to impress me with how petty he can be.

I mean, if it truly could be your last words to your children and wife, would you spend it going on about how terrible you were doing, and how they made you so lonely by not calling, and poor you.

I know I would want to spend it saying things that would leave good memories, if nothing else. It’s not he time for final digs.

I concluded he never really believed he was going to die, as indeed, it was past the point where that was likely anymore. It was an attention grab.

It may sound terrible of me to think so, but his mom pulls stuff like this also, and he’s done it before, and it’s really much sicker to do it at all than to realize someone else is doing it.

I suppose we knew deep down he used his health to manipulate us for pity and attention, I just didn’t think of it much with all the other, more violent stuff, but this one was always so blinking unfair because how can you get angry at soemoen who’s sick? Even if they are making it worse on purpose?

The man says he intends to go right back to work instead of resting like you are supposed to do, I doubt he’ll actually do that, but he wants us to talk him out of it. These tricks are as old as our lives.

I don’t intend to try, but it’s very frustrating to hear someone be such an idiot, and just to garner sympathy.

My aunt was no help, she just encouraged it, and event old my sister “can’t you put aside your feud for a short time?”

Yes, a feud, that’s all 20 years of abuse, neglect, and folly was… sure.

Because none of us have proof of physical damage, our family has elected not to take us that seriously, at least, the one who listen to my dad and aunt in the first place.

Based on my studies and comparing to others who’ve undergone the same treatment, we more than qualify for all three types of abuse, with Emotional being the crowning one.

My dad is something called a “dark empath” if I understand right. He know what you want to hear, and need to hear, but instead of genuinely giving it to you out of compassion, he gives it in a fake twisted way, that always brings the focus back to him. I’ve almost never heard the guy shut up about himself in the whole time I’ve known him.

In conversation with me, it has never been about me. Same with all of us, including my mom.

He’s not totally without sympathetic feelings, but it’s a superficial kind that always ends up becoming about him after about 5 seconds. I don’t doubt he feels bad, but empaths can take our feelings into themselves, and then reflect them back. A dark empath can do that, in a bad bay, making the misery all there own and expecting you to feel sorry for them, when you’re the one suffering.

In proof of this point, my aunt entered her late son’s name in a walk-a-thon for charity that she asked us all to participate in. She asked my dad not to start telling stories about the past and making it about him. That was what he immediately did after she asked, including telling them her embarrassing nickname and encouraging us girls to participate. I declined.

My father is cruel, he was cruel as a kid, he’s cruel now.

Yet, he has the audacity to say he loves us so much while crying and acting like he’s in the worst pain in the world. Like we ever did anything to him. Sheesh.

Okay, as you can tell, I am blowing off steam and I may regret being so raw after I’ve had a few days to think about it.

But I bet you’ve felt the same, and maybe you even understand why it would bother me how he acted.

But is it worse that none of it really surprised me? I didn’t call him when he got Covid-19 because I knew he’d say stuff I didn’t want to hear, and I wouldn’t be comforting him at all, save for the sick satisfaction he gets out of having us pity him and kowtow to him. Perhaps he imagines he is making us feel guilty.

And I called this time only because it might have been my last chance, and however terrible a person he might be, I don’t want anyone to die without hearing some last kind words form the people around them.

I didn’t expect him to really appreciate that, and I was not disappointed in that, but he went further than I would have believed, it took him less than 5 minutes to say something manipulative.

All the nice things he said just because he’s been told to say them. It’s nauseating. I felt my throat tighten up.

I wanted to laugh, my sister held me back, she felt the same but didn’t want me to visibly show it while he was still on the line, especially since we were on speaker. I held back, but if he hadn’t been about to go in for heart surgery, I’d have given him a piece of my mind.

I hope you understand I am not advocating bullying someone who’s potentially dying or in a lot of pain. I am saying it was out of basic decency that I didn’t do that, but I assure you, had our position been reversed, he would not have afforded me the same courtesy. That’s how delusional he is.

I believe we have to show mercy, so I told him I loved him, and we’d forgiven him. That was when he came back with that “reconciliation” crap.

Since he brought it up, and some of you might have similar problems, perhaps I should answer here what the Bible’s idea of reconciliation is.

In the Old Testament, there are far more examples of reconciliation than in the New, because it talks more about people’s stories. The best examples or Joseph with his brothers, Jacob with his twin, Esau and also his uncle Laban; David with Saul; Hagar with Sarah, and Hosea with Gomer.

In only two of those examples did reconciliation involve establishing close contact, or living in the same house. Joseph, and Hosea both stayed in close touch with their family, though we don’t know how often Joseph saw his brothers, or how much Gomer reciprocated Hosea’s love (that was a direct assignment from God to give an example of loving an unfaithful woman. But Gomer was not abusive.)

Joseph did not reconcile with his brothers until he was in a position of power and it was entirely safe to do so, and after testing them to see if they really had changed. Once they proved they had truly repented and regretted their wrongs, he revealed himself.

This is where most therapists will leave it, if you have proof they changed, then you can become close again. I don’t think Joseph intended to kill his brothers if they didn’t change, but I doubt he would have revealed all to them in the same way.

In the other examples I listed, peace was made, and the people went their separate was to live out their own lives. Even Hagar eventually left Sarah’s service, and she was a slave who couldn’t legally do so on her own, but Sarah chose to send her away, and God made it to be for the best. Later in the New Testament, Hager is used as a metaphor for how the slave to sin must be driven out so the child of the promise (us) can flourish. A powerful symbol for abuse also.

“Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”” (Galatians 4:30)

So, my dad has no real basis for using the bible as leverage here, but it’s an old trick he clearly thinks we will still fall for.

As for the New Testament, it was actually or inspiration for kicking him out. When we talked to our mom about it, we reminded her of how Paul kicked some people out of the young church till they could learn respect for God and stop teaching false doctrines. Two people who tried to deceive the believers dropped dead on the spot (harsh, I assure you it doesn’t happen often, I’ve near heard of another case, I think it was just to make a point).

Paul also says that while we are not to judge the world for being the way it is, we are not to associate with people in the church who claim to be holy but still act like the world.

“I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:11 (This version includes “abusive” others don’t, but the idea is there.)

This gets me to thinking about how people tend to split into two camps about abusers:

There’s the people who are so angry about it they stop seeing abusers as human. You should see the death threats against fictional characters that Webtoon and YouTube are littered with, and probably concerning real life stuff also.

Then there’s people who recognize abusers are still wounded human beings, but use that as a reason to stay with them and give them a sort of emotional life support that just barely keeps them functionality at status quo, usually worse.

I am not in either camp, but I do lean more toward staying away from them, as I think the Bible teaches to do anyway.

There’s an anime coming to mind that depicts this struggle well, called Torodora

Image result for Toradora images

(Tiger Dragon for you language buffs) in which the main girl had a toxic father, and the main guy encourages her to “reconcile” and give him a chance when he shows up randomly in her life, her dad says all the right things, and seems really repentant.

Image result for Toradora images Taiga and her dad

Then after things go well for a few weeks, there’s a play that Taiga (the girl) is going to have the lead role in, and her dad promises to come see. As you can guess, he doesn’t show up, and instead of calling her himself, he calls Ryuuji, (the main guy) to ask him to tell her for him, that something came up.

Ryuuji can’t understand how the guy could be such a jerk, after seeming so sincere, then Taiga’s best friend drops the final death bomb on him by informing him that the same thing happened a year or so ago, same act, and Taiga went with it, only to be disappointed. Ryuuji feels horrible for not listening when she warned him, and pressure in Taiga based on his preconceived notions of her situation, but he learns from it.

Ryuuji makes the same mistake I’ve made myself, and have felt other people made with me, and still do. He judges by his own experience and the very few things he sees about someone else.

People who haven’t had abusive parents tend to hear how we victim-kids talk about our parents, and think “Wow, they’re a brat.” Because we’ll say things like “My parents don’t love me” and “Yeah, that’s my dad, what a jerk.” “I just can’t believe him” “I don’t miss him” etc.

And yeah, bratty kids do say it, but we have to remember, everyone who fake whines about stuff that’s not actually bad is doing it in imitation of people who have had serious problems.

Like people jokingly say they have depression because depressed people abound so much right now, but it’s not a joke to someone who really has it, and it probably feels like overstating it to them, whether they say so or not.

Or people saying they have a problem with binging when they really couldn’t, while people suffer with real additions around them and don’t think it’s funny.

It’s the same with having bad parents, people will joke and whine about it who shouldn’t precisely because of the attention it gets them to sound like people who do. It’s the difference between real and fake ailments.

And anyone with experience with learn to tell the genuine victims from the fakers very quickly. I’ve gotten fairly good at it myself in a short amount of time.

But I’ve been treated like a faker. Faking my problems to get attention has always been disgusting to me, I can’t say that even as a kid I would do that very often, if at all, and as an adult, I don’t pretend to have problems I don’t have.

The lasting damage from being emotionally abused is that I assume everyone disapproves of me, constantly, and it’s taken a whole year and a half away form my dad to even crack that image enough for me to see some light on the other side. I hope one day I will not feel that way at all, but it’s been hard to shake, even after years of trying.

My aunt has been treating us like fakes who are making a mountain out of a molehill, and our dad talked to us the same way. It’s like it’s nothing to them that we got so miserable we had to kick him out or we’d run off ourselves. They don’t get it.

Well, people who refuse to see the obvious cannot be taught, it’s the sad truth.

Remember my last post, when I talked about PH, and how the truth sets Lauren free?

See post here:

Leave Will Smith Alone, gosh!

Can you imagine this happening 100 years ago? I can’t. Probably no one would have thought twice about it. And if there was a little hot temper involved, oh well, people knew you didn’t say things about other people’s wives in front of them.

So I watched Encanto…

But if you can feed yourself with colorful, but empty visions of meaning, you can fool yourself into thinking you’re being cultured, but you are really being conditioned

Well, it does when she accepts it, there’s plenty of truth she’s still fighting in the story, that’s at the basis of her dysfunction.

And to tell the truth about yourself is very, very hard.

For me, it’s a question I have a lot. Am I a worse person than I realize? Do I lie to myself. Am I not as kind and compassionate as I think?

But even asking that question, in earnest, shows I am more those things than someone like my dad, who will make excuse possibly to his dying day, if yesterday was any indication. I know his father did, I visited him just a day or two before he died. Still full of dishonesty, though he had made huge strides in forgiveness compared to how he’d been a few years ago.

I will say, trying to be better than your abusive parent is a low bar, my dad aimed for that, and failed because he had a warped perception of what “better” really meant. If better meant not smacking us as hard, and raging at us over every little thing, he only succeeded at one of those things. If better meant being less selfish, he never succeeded at all.

“It’s been a long road losing all I own, you don’t know what you got until you’re gone, and it’s a nasty habit, spitting at all you have,

but if you’re doing all the leaving, then it’s never your love lost, if you leave before the start, than there was never love at all.

Heaven knows I’m prone to leave the only God I should’ve loved, but you’re far too beautiful to leave me.” (The Oh Hellos, In Memoriam.)

You shouldn’t aim to be better than someone else, you should aim to be as good as you can be. As loving, as pure, as brave, as wise, and then you have no real limit, you can always grow.

My family and I will find some way to deal with the crazy of our relatives, but we don’t intend to be a part of it.

My sisters and I laugh about how whacked our situation must sound to people who don’t know the intimate details. Our little unit was supposed to be the “normal” one in the dysfunctional family that was the stuff TV shows are made of. My grandmother once attacked some police officer. My step family got into occult stuff. My uncle was in a cult for years. Because my mom is the “sane” one, no one could believe she married my dad, and it’s the main reason us girls turned out as normal as we did. No one thought we’d be the ones to kick someone out and actually mean it, not just doing it for a power move like the rest of the family.

I am learning to think about it less often, I’ve gotten used to it.

I wonder what my dad would think if I told him we’ve been perfectly fine this whole time without him. In fact, we rejoice in his absence, and all of us have had nightmares about him returning. I’ve said I’d go through it all again before I’d live in the same house as him ever.

You can’t imagine till you’ve gone through it what an utter relief it is not to feel your life and happiness depend solely on one person.

I’m sure he can’t fathom it. He thinks we’ll cave. We’ll get tired of this. He doesn’t know I’m already planning my whole life out without him in it as more than a vague figure. Sometimes, the abuse seems unreal to me, like the difference between then and now is so great, I almost can’t believe I was ever in that place.

I am getting used to not being treated like dirt, and I’m determined never to go back to that willingly.

Because I am doing better, it’s easy to question if we have overreacted. If I were just going by my awareness of it, I might think my aunt was right.

But, I know what God has directed us to do, and I do have people to confer with to remember what happened. I don’t think we should harp on it, but it’s important not to forget, because you have to be able to protect yourself by setting boundaries.

All this progress could go away if we let ourselves be deceived again, but we don’t have to let ourselves, it’s a delicate matter, but it’s not impossible.

As far as I’m concerned, reconciliation means we forgive and can be on peaceful terms. We are ready for that, my dad is the one incapable of letting it go. So, it’ll be on him, and there’s nothing more I can do about it.

And that’s okay.

And if you have someone like that, just try to believe, it is not your job to take care of them. You don’t owe them anything.

All we owe each other in this life is love, and respect for each other’s humanity, anything beyond that is something you have to choose carefully to offer the trustworthy people. No one can demand it, if they try, they won’t get it.

I think that’s all I got for now. Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

More about MHA ships, and what they tell us about our culture.

Another fun post for me, let’s talk about shipping wars in MHA.

I have strong opinions about this, but if you’re not a fan, this probably won’t seem very interesting to you (then again, who knows, maybe I’ll surprise you.)

What I think it intriguing about the “Art of Shipping” (yes, I’m sticking with that) is when Fandoms all agree about one basic aspect of the ship, and the MHA one is perhaps the one I’ve found this trend in the most, though the Naruto one has the same thing.

Bascially, if you take out the ship haters, and the people who ship anything just because they want to see people kiss/bang, you are left with a few groups of shippers who have actual reasons for liking the ship (yeah, salt). And to my surprise, those odn’t usulaly come in differeent flavors. We all agree onw hat we like about a ship.

To take the top canon ship for example, Dekuraka (Deku x Uraraka), many people find it boring, but those who don’t all seem to agree that the nice thing about it is the anime staple of pureness and puppy love. But even more, people like Uraraka trying to respect Deku’s life by not complicating it (I personally don’t agree with her philosophy of love, but it’s more anime acceptable.)

I don’t have much more to say about that one, since it’s not the one I find most interesting.

I could list after other simple ones, like “Kamijiro (Kaminari x Jiro), Kirimina, (Kirishima x Mina), Whatever the Froppy x Tokayami one is called, and more.

The ones I see the most fan stuff made for are Kamijiro, Todomomo (Todoroki x Momo), and usrprisingly, Kachako (Bakugo x Uraraka). I’m not gcounitn the homo ships because I don’t support them.

But I suppose I should say a word about it.

My overall issue with yaoi or yuri shippers (BL and GL for non weebs), other than my religion, is that I find the ships extremely boring. It’s all about the homo part, and rarely about anything deeper, so there’s not much for me to get into if I see it.

Kirbaku fans at times try to accomplish something deeper, and Tododeku fans, but it’s usually no deeper than “They like each other despite have difficult personalities, or trauma” and oddly, the Tododeku people focus on that less, despite the more canon basis for it, while the Kiribaku venture there usually only for humor. If there are exceptions, they don’t frequent the forums I’m on.

I find homo ships to be shallow for the most part, and I have not seen enough counterexamples to change my mind on that. So, I will stick to the straight ships for my point.

Todomomo is my favorite, or my first favorite ship before I learned about the other one. I liked the dynamic after the episode “Yaoyerozu rising” where most of us got on board that ship. but I also liked the CD drama (semi-canon stuff) because it did what I’ve actually never seen an anime do, maybe why it was snuck into a CD drama.

Todoroki, in said CD drama, actually opens up to Momo, in a nuanced way, about his feelings about his family, though he immediately becomes embarrassed about it. I’ve read that that’s a cultural no-no in Japan. Momo seems to be unsure what to say for that reason, but then tells him she’s not just “Someone else” (like a random stranger) but she’s his classmate. Meaning that it’s okay to talk to her because they have a solid relationship as fellow students.

For anime, that’s about as bold as it gets, and it’s cute.

More importantly, it’s what’s at the core of this ship. The theme of Todomomo is helping each other deal with your past, and your insecurities. Mostly the fans make cute stuff about them building each other up, inspiring each other, etc. But the more hardcore AU (alternate universe) writers have tried swapping their backstories. And seeing how Todoroki does with Momo as the traumatized one. I prefer it as it is, but I find the more different the AUs are, the more it tells you about what the fans agree about. As I said, it’s the theme.

More about themes in a second.

My other fave is BakuCamie (Bakugo x Camie,) which hasn’t gotten a lot of love since Camie has barely been in the show, but the Manga fans are more into it.

What my sisters and I got hooked by with this ship was the potential for shared difficulties. I didn’t really like it at first, because I thought Camie was supposed to be an airhead, but after I did some digging and my sister gave me the pitch discussing it, I came around.

Bakugo and Camie both have the experience of being targeted by the League of Villain solely, instead of in a group. While Camie cannot remember hers, and Bakugo and probably never forget, their victimization led to some of the same things. More people freaking out about the League, and victim-blaming.

We see Bakugo get victim blamed by the media and heroes. Because he is angry so much, they say, the villains are trying to turn him. (At this point, did anyone even know for sure that was their goal? I don’t remember it being stated in the attack). And while typical in anime, it’s pretty sick to blame a 15 year old kid with anger issues and bad parenting strategies, for being kidnapped by villains who already attacked his school once, and who he kicked the rears of so they might very well be out for revenge or to eliminate a threat.

I actually started loving Bakugo in season 3, and I wan’t the only one. Surprisingly, he doesn’t really get mad at anyone for blaming him, maybe since they don’t do it to his face, or because he blames himself too and his mom doesn’t help(I like her, but I would not want to be her kid).

Camie, on the other hand gets victim-blamed by her own classmate, giving us a peek into the very different Shiketsu dynamic than UA’s very supportive class system (pardon my terrible joke). Shishikura is an ass, and I was glad Bakugo kicked his rear in the exam, but he still gloats and looks down on Camie for her “flighty” or ditsy personality, saying she got kidnapped for that reason.

Now, we are presented with a surprising similarity here, Camie has everything Bakugo lacks. She’s subtle where he’s blunt, friendly where he’s antisocial (or shy), and relaxed where he’s a live wire, she’s got all the people skills to be a fan favorite in the hero world, and in the real world, yet… she and Bakugo are both blamed for their personalities.

What the heack is wrong with these people?

I notice that in anime, often it doesn’t matter what the reason was, if you lost, you are a loser. there is no honor in defeat, even if it was the best you could do. If you are wronged by someone, it’s your fault for not being smart enough or strong enough to evade them.

It doesn’t matter that Camie was drugged, and Bakugo was jumped in the woods by a trained magician,

Atsuhiro Sako | My Hero Academia Wiki | Fandom

they should have somehow been able to avoid that if they just weren’t so… them.

Yeah, there’s too many layers of NOPE in that way of thinking for me to even get into without turning this post into a rant, but, it’s very very common for characters in anime to spout that sort of thinking. And it’s very damaging, even in the fictional circumstances.

That being said, the fans have tried to remedy that problem by making Bakucamie about them helping each other heal and gather strength to keep going. Also making each other stronger. Camie smooths Bakugo’s rough edges via humor, making him more friendly, while Bakugo defends Camie from getting attacked by snobs by just being around her. That’s the general feeling…but also, people feel he just gets her, in ways no one else does.

To me it makes sense, Bakugo attracts weird people. Ones who don’t feel like they belong, or are ever strong enough, because just being around him makes you feel stronger. That’s true even for a fan watching the show. We all love Bakugo because he speaks to that crazy side in all of us that we want to be confident about instead of insecure.

See, it’s not about the anger. That’s just the vehicle that makes it funny, also the only way shonen anime know show to do confident characters without making them flat and stoic(prove me wrong), it’s that Bakugo embraces what he thinks, even if it’s not always flawless, and we want to be able to do that.

The reason fans have been drawn to Camie as a shipping partner for him, since her introduction, is because Camie is the same way, only she relied more on humor than anger. But Camie is unashamedly who she is, and blows off Shishikura’s criticism like it goes over her head.

The fans have read into it, however, the suspicion that Camie is not really oblivious, just knows better than to acknowledge priggish slights at her personality, since it only encourages them. We think that her ability to throw shade at Bakugo proves that she is not oblivious, just sly, in a good way.

Actually, Camie is the one who intiatilly suggests the idea that works, jus in the one ar she’s in, and my faoviretie thing about Horikoshi’s wriitng is how he subverts sterotypes. Bakguo is angry, but he’s actually sensitive, Camie is an airhead who’s actuallys mart. It would be in form for him.

I think th emanga has alreayd added to this, but I’ve only watched the show, and manga spoilers woudl be mean anyhow for any fans reading this, so I’ll stikc to fan stuff.

I was surpised, whien I was diggin for more Bakucamie content, to find a theme of deep emotional/ menatl helahty issues. I found a comic about crying that remeind me of a depression uote I saw once:

Not the full strip, you can find it on Google somewhere.

This isn’t the only fan creation like this, I found one about bulimia, and another where Bakugo was depressed. I thought those were extreme, but I noted that the theme is still they help each other, they lift each up, and the make each other better.

And I found way more serious ones than humorous ones, which surprised me because Camie is meme gold, and I expected more fan made stuff about that.

The themes can surprise you, but, I think that it’s telling when a ship spareks the imagination in almost hte dsme way.

It leads me to ask, why?

I mean, people come form all walks of life, with different goals. How is it we see the same protential. To me it means that ships strike our core needs, and that’s why, I often find shippers understand the characters far better than fans who stick stirctlyt o plot.

In fact, when I’ve watched reviewers who focus on plot, and think ships are a waste of time, I usually end up shocked by their take on the character and show’s tone overall.

To be fair, shippers can also ignore a lot of important red flags in order to ship. I ignored those because it really has nothing to do with my point, but yes, it has it’s drawbacks.

I guess it’s also fair to mention that Bakucamie’ does have a red flag in that, Bakugo can be qutie mean verbally. Though, he’s not suuallymean to Camie, but if you want to get in deep, you could arug he’s not really suited to being ina relatinship period.

I’d answer that, irl, I might agree, or I’d at least proceed with caution, but that fans only have the present to work with when they ship, and Bakugo is already growing out of his meanness, so in a few years, he could be totally fine, and we can look ahead. Realistically that ship can’t happen until they graduate anyway.

Todomomo has no red flags and is probably the purest ship on the freaking show (I don’t think Dekuraka is as pure simply because Deku is too self destructive to be attentive to a girlfriend, as of now, imo, but I don’t object to it.)

It’s interesting to note that as stupid as most of us find shipping wars, shipping is one of the only things fans go to war over. Other then political controversy, and problematic content, shipping is the top positive aspect of a show that people fight over.

And with a vengeance.

Why do we care aso much about it?

Like I said in my I ship it! post, Love, even fictional love, is powerful. And we can’t help but get involved in it. I sometimes are about couple I really hate, just because I can’t gt away from thinking love is important.

Often shipping is the biggest focus a story puts on love. Stories that focus on different types, like Violet Evergarden, tend to not create as much shipping controversy.

But what the critics of shippin fail to realize is how much it upholds the basic need we have for emotional peth in a story.

If we focus only on action, and plot, and drama, it becomes stale. I get bored of superhero shows that don’t include relationships.

And parent-child stuff is often made the problem, rather than a good example in stories. Friend-friend is usually better, but more rare. “My Little Pony” stays fresh to the very end because Love and relationships never feel truly old, even if you’ve seen it a hundred times. When a show is built around it, you keep people reeled in. A more grotesque example would be classic soap operas.

For the average show, though, shipping is the main exploration of love, and relationship dynamic. And while you can’t build a show on it, you cannot really max out the potential of any character driven story without shipping. At least, I’ve always felt dissatisfied by one.

Before I close this post, I’ll return to why I think these two ships in particular are important to look at.

Whether they become official or not is not really the pint, it’s that they took the direction they did.

People are really hungry for healing right now, especially after last year. They are drawn to ships that center around characters helping each other be whole and happy. It gives them hope.

Sometimes, too much. Just go on Webtoon sometime and see how important people find this stuff. They say they live off of it… literally.

You learn a lot, that’s the truth. When you can’t get out an talk to people, fandoms sure are a great (and terrifying) place to learn about them.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Fruits Basket: So far

Sorry, it’s been a while, I tried to write, didn’t end up finishing anything.

But today the final episode of Fruits Basket season 2 aired for non premium users, so I assume I can now talk about this show with no fear of spoiling it for anyone who was invested enough to care, and for anyone who’s not into anime, but reads my posts anyway out of curiousity, welcome.

I won’t bother with a full review of all the good and bad elements of the show, writing, and art. I do really like the art style, and I will commend it for how well they do facial expressions, particularity the eyes, since it contributes to how one reads the show, but other than that I don’t want to get into all those logistics.

We’re all here for the in depth hot take right?

Well, I probably couldn’t’ make any observations about the depth that hundreds of other people haven’t made and microscoped far more than I have time or energy to do, plus I think the show speaks for itself character wise, and doesn’t need a lot of dissecting.

But I want to talk about the themes of the show, that’s what makes it most interesting for me, though I do love the MC Kyo (best boi), Momiji, Haru, and the two best friends of Tohru, (the main main character,) Arisa and Hana

So if you don’t know, here’s my short synoposis of the important stuff:

Tohru Honda is an orphan, homeless girl who lives in the woods because she’s got a complex about being a burden to people and her granddad wasn’t ready to take her in yet, she gets found by one of he classmates, Yuki Sohma, and his cousin (sort of) Shigure, turns out she’s on their property. After her tent gets buried in a landslide, they insist she stays with them until her granddad can take her in.

Just as you think you see what kind of anime this is going to be, andother family member, Kyo, crashes in the window, and accidentally Torhu bumps into his chest, he turns into an orange cat, then the other two try to help and turn into a rat and a dog.

First Impressions - Fruits Basket (2019) - Lost in Anime

Turns out the Sohma family is cursed, 12 members of their family are possesses by the spirits of the Zodiac, 13, as it turns out later there is also a god character.

Tohru is surprisingly okay with this, like any true Disney Princess type would be, and agrees to keep the secret. A lot of hi-jinks ensue, she meets all the other zodiac members, including the psychotic Akito, and the… strange but lovable Ayame, Haru, Rin, Kisa, and all the others I can’t remember the names of, plus Kagura who is kind of likable at times and not at other times.

With time we learn more about the backstories of all the Sohmas, most o them are tragic, a few had happier lives but were burdened with knowing how bad it was for the tohers, and knowing that evenutally Akito would want all of them to come live with her. This same Akito who tries to flat out murder one of them, and beats up and mentally and verbally abuses the others.

Akito is strangely isolated, depsite supposedly being in charge. I hated her at first, and then I started to pity her over time. At this point, the only thing I really couldn’t get past was the attmepted murder, it feels too unreal…or too real, not sure.

I didn’t know when I started the show that it was written to be an in depth metaphor for abuse and family sins, I saw an ad for it, but no one I knew had watched it so I went in pretty blind.

Something that still boggles my mind about it is that the week my sisters and I watched it, was the week my dad was gone ballistic and we were trying to come up with a plan to get him out of the house, and then he did move out. Needless to say, Fruits Basket could be triggering for me, for both of us, but it was also a bit cathartic to see it enacted out and see other characters mirror our own feelings.

And yeah, I’ll get this out of the way now. Yes, Akito does remind me of my dad. The temper tantrums, the mood swings, the long speeches telling people how much they suck, the manipulation, the promise of love that everyone, even the recipient knows is bullcrap.

I don’t know that I really see myself in the other characters too much, because the striking difference is that most of them don’t talk about it being “wrong” for Akito to act the way she does. They are still in the cycle where you just can’t question it, it’s just normal, but they imply it. Most of them are more apt to blame their parents or themselves for being monsters.

Akito uses the word “monster” a lot too. It’s notable because that’s what victims of abuse often feel like they are made into, a monster. I felt that way. My father felt that way. Turns out when you are not loved properly, or worse, when out of love you are told that these terrible things are true about you.

But the way the Sohma family curse is handled is perhaps the most spectacular aspect of the show and manga.

My expectations kept getting subverted, in a good way, watching. AS a Christian, I know a lot about curse, especially family ones, what most people call inherited traits, if they have a name for it, addictions being the most easily recognizable one medically speaking (that’s self inflicted) I don’t know that the name really matters much, but I find Curse the most appropriate term.

Like FB states, the curse is a bond. Shown by the woven cords anime likes to use to symbolize an eternal connection. A bond that Yuki (I think) tells Tohru was initially meant to be a good thing, but somehow overtime it became a loss of freedom and choice for the cursed members, and became toxic for the whole family. We later find out that when the animals meet Akito, they cry and feel both an attraction and a revulsion, “beloved” “Hated” they think, “Come closer” “get away.” Etc…

Very much true to real life, with abuse. There’s a sickening sort of attraction. I still sometimes feel it thinking of my dad. I got to where I loathed the sight, sound, smell, feel of him and anything that reminded me of him, but I would still be drawn to be around him and want his approval. Over time apart my revulsion has died down more, but if I try to picture being around him it often comes back, I am still healing.

Interestingly, I was told I cried whenever my dad held me as a baby, somehow I picked up on the unrest in my house hold, babies can sense stress even in the womb, it’s proven. But I yearned for closeness with him as I got older. Drawn, and repulsed, as long as I can remember it was like that. He was always very rough, he’d hug a little too tight, too long, something I found out was symptom of BPD, who knew?

It was strange, the hug thing, like it was purposefully too tight, like the intention was to cause pain, even while gratifying himself, I know because I used to do it to, on purpose, I’ve become gentler, I wasn’t always that way, I think I picked up the habit from him.

“I still taste you on my lips, lovely bitter water. Terrible fire and fuel to burn is honey on my tongue, and I know I shouldn’t love you, but I do”-The Oh Hellos

The Sohma family bond was forged to keep them from being alone,just like God created family in order so man wouldn’t be alone, but as man corrupted, so did family. We aren’t told why (so far) but clearly the same thing happened to the Sohmas.

It’s a truth that we humans are too messed up to stay bonded generation after generation and not corrupt, it’s why we have to leave our family, we have to explore. Ever wonder why evil empires almost always have a primary family in charge? It’s not that family is evil, it’s that when you inbreed, and try to keep a family the same, not letting the members forge new families like God said “to leave father and mother and cleave” to your husband or wife, then the same sins become out of control.

Staying connected, but not staying so close you can’t breathe, that’s the key.

So, FB is quite accurate. But it goes even further. Characters struggle with love, being able to love freely, or love at all, and we learn more about the curse.

The Curse primarily affects love, there seem to be physical effects also, some member get sick easily, some get abused by their parents just because they are cursed, both in some cases. And of course, animals follow them around…some of them. Let’s hope a tiger doesn’t show up some time around Kisa… though that might solve her bullying problem (also apparently int he Japanese Zodiac a tiger is different from a cat, even though they’re the same type of animal…? I guess they both get picked on a lot.)

But all the Cursed members either can’t love properly, or they fall in love and it goes wrong. Usually because of Akito, but it seems to go wrong even without her help too, there’s often something too desperate about it, as you would expect.

Being emotionally unbalanced is a part of the curse too. It also seems to effect only some people, Haru goes dark and destructive, Kagura had moods swings and destroys stuff, the monkey, whatever his name was, is way, way too insecure… I mean sheesh.

In Season 2, Tohru decides she wants to break the curse, but no one knows how. She decides to join forces with Rin, who is also desperate to break the curse, but neither of them have a clue, they are just trying not to despair.

Tohru has of course, fallen for Kyo, the cat, and gotten close to Yuki (rat) in a more platonic way, as well as the other younger members, and Hatori, the doctor/seahorse.

It’s basically Beauty and the Beast with abuse instead of pride as the big shadow over the family.

Then in the final episode today, we find out that one member has already been freed of his curse, but not told anyone till Shigure called him on it. Kureno, the former Rooster.

Kureno is not my favorite, I don’t get him, and I’m puzzled by his role in the story, plus he’s shipped with a 17-18 year old and he’s like 27. Age gaps don’t bug m too much, but the guy is weird and he’s Akito’s sex toy, so I’m not sure how to feel about that. He needs therapy.

But his role in the curse is interesting. He got freed one day of being an animal, but he doesn’t know why or how, he remembers nothing significant about it it would seem, but Akito flipped out and got so hysterical he promised never to leave her anyway… which as Tohru points out, is basically just the curse without the animal side effect, but that’s family soul ties for you.

Kureno feels guilty for being freed while the others are not, so he keeps it to himself. Contributing to the cycle. roving he is not in fact free.

I was puzzled at first, I got this spoiled for me when I looked up info about the show, but I didn’t know exactly when or how it would happen, so I forgot about it. I thought the curse would be broken with love, but Kureno seems not to need love to break it.

But then I thought, maybe this twist is good. I’m not going to be that girl who justifies everything just to keep liking the show, but there is a way this could be better.

Since we’re not clear on what the curse is, we can assume it affects everyone differently, perhaps if just needing to love someone else truly was the answer, it would have been discovered long ago, after all, all the Sohmas have fallen in love, right? Or most of them have.

The only hint from Kureno’s story is that is might be some kind of revelation. Whether that comes form love, or from some other source, who knows.

In real life, though, sometimes the moment when you are freed from your family really is hard to pinpoint. I’ve had times of relief, where a cloud just lifted off my mind, but I know that I built up to it over time with prayer and consideration and better choices. I know people who’ve not had that moment yet. I haven’t had the ultimate one where I realize I’m over the damage.

I understand Kureno’s survivor’s guilt. I get it too. While his life isn’t easy, he feels it could be easier for him to leave, to be free. But the very knowledge keeps him bound up.

It proves the curse is in their minds just as much as their bodies. In a way, his freedom made him more bound than ever. Which, I can attest to, without God, freedom is just another form of bondage because you have no skills to be free, most freed people just end up slaves again in another relationship.

Why the curse is accurate in another way is that death doesn’t stop it, it reincarnates. While I mostly think that’s a stupid idea, it works excellently to show generational sins. Death cannot be he answer for the Sohmas, but life seems not worth living for them, most of them sink into a kind of resignation.

Which is quite dangerous. It’s giving up. It may not make you into a psycho, (though it usually does eventually), but it makes you like a robot.

Kureno was the most resigned of all because he chose to remain chained when he could have been free, recognizing Akito’s hold on him didn’t just have to be the curse, it could be through pity also.

But Akito really hates all the people she loves, she knows she will never have complete security, she fears the breaking of the curse because it would leave her alone, and her mind is the most wrapped up in it. It makes sense, all the others are just bound to her, but she is bond to all of them, making her even more stretched between two worlds, two feelings, two desires. Freedom is something she seemed to give up on a long time ago.

I won’t ever justify abuse, but I do understand it. I understand it because I see the same profane love in myself as in an abuser. I don’t believe there’s a single human who never hast hat temptation. My favorite book is “Till We Have Faces” which is C. S. Lewis fictional exploration of Profane love vs Holy love. Most of us call it Unconditional.

Parents say they love unconditionally, and bless them, some of them really do. I love those parents.

Some, however, mean that it don’t matter how bad you screw up they will love you…as long as you don’t leave them, don’t stop loving them.

True love is love even when there is no love in return, it’s giving whether or not you get anything, but it’s not the desire to not get loved in return, it’s the constant hope that you will be, and even if you aren’t, you recognize love is the Right State of Being, and you will not come out of it for anything so petty as demands.

But a True Lover can receive love better than anyone else also, because they know it’s worth, they will not scorn it, because they know it can’t be bought, they will not worry about deserving it. That’s why to understand True Love is to be emotionally healthy in every way, and none of us are,

But the closer I get to Real Love, the closer I get to being whole. I at least now know what not to want.

FB does not present this kind of love as a whole through the main characters, it presents parts of it. We see it the strongest in Tohru’s mom, her best friends, and in Momiji, (the rabbit and also one of the best people on the show).

That's a Secret | Fruits Basket Wiki | Fandom

People who both give and receive love much more freely than even Tohru. Tohru is loving, but she sucks at receiving it. What’s great about Momiji is he’s so open. He hugs Tohru even if it changes him into a rabbit because what does he care? Hugs are more important than curses, right?

Breaking the curse would be simple enough if it was just the animal things. A Christian could do it in two minutes.

But breaking abuse just isn’t done in minutes, or days, or weeks. As long as the curse is tied tot hat, it will be a process. Even if the beast part goes away, they will have to heal.

I think that is the real point of the show: Healing is a process, and if you don’t give up hope, if you stay open to love and face your demons, you can get there. And those who give up, draw back, and embrace their darkness will become worse than they were before.

I look forward to Season 3, I will probably refer back to this show again when I write more about abuse and recovery and anime, but for now this seems like a good place to stop.

If you watch it, what did you think of the ending? What do you think will happen (no SPOILERS) and who do you relate to the most?

Until next time–Natasha.

Killing God With the Power of Friendship: an anime conundrum.

Okay weeboos, let’s do this.                              image (27)

If you’re not into anime, stick around, this should still be interesting.

You know the famous (and depressing) philosopher Nietzsche? The guy who reputedly said “God is Dead.” Or, that God never existed and the idea of Him is what is in fact dead.

I am starting to think almost every single writer in Japan is with Nietzsche on this one.

Since I got into anime about a year or two maybe ago, I’ve seen maybe 20, not nearly as many as die hard fans, but a fair amount, and I’ve heard the plot of other ones from reviewers and my sisters.

And I started noticing a really weird common thread in Shonen or sometimes Isekai anime.

Shonen anime is basically superhero/special power adventure type shows.                                                                   katsuki-bakugou-my-hero-academic-4k-3o

Isekai is AU, or other world based shows, where the premise usually starts with an ordinary guy or girl somehow being transported to another world, sometimes through reincarnation, sometimes a summoning, etc.                                                          HappyColor_19332

There’s a few anime that are kind of a combination of genres that also would fit what I’m about to describe.

Nearly every anime of this sort that I’ve seen ends in, or has some plot at some point, that involves defeating a character that is said to be either a god, or basically the equivalent of a god, or maybe even The God.

The character is typically a villain, of course, and usually cruel and power mad and ready to wipe out or enslave the human race.

An then the protagonist will either use paragon powers, or the power of friendship to do what everyone swore was impossible for the whole show, and kill this god character.

If you think I’m wrong…well…

Naruto, easily one of the most popular anime of all time, ends (SPOILER ALERT) with Naruto and his team effectively killing or defeating at least, a god and…maybe another god? It was unclear (honestly most of the fans agree it was bizarre).

Fairy Tail, another really popular and really lengthy anime, also ends with a character who had basically become a god (or was cursed by the gods) being killed. Two characters, actually. Along with a host of other very powerful, god like people. There were even “godslayers” in the show.

I recently started Katana Maidens, it ended the first half with defeating an evil goddess.

What’s funny is if the show doesn’t kill the god, they end up subduing it to the hero’es side. Like, the heroes will still beat it, it’ll just become their friend then.

Examples include Dragon Ball when it got to Beerus (weird but funny)

Probably Fruits Basket, so far it hasn’t concluded.

Freaking Boruto advertised the killing god ending in the first episode

Full Metal Alchemist, from what I hear.

Not to mention a crap ton of video games made in Japan also have you fight gods or fate, and defeat it.

Speaking of Fate, if we counted the amount of anime that have people declaring they’ll change or resist Fate, we could count a lot of  Rom Com or slice of life or sci-fi anime also.

And it’s starting to trickle into American Media influenced by anime.

 

she-ra-season-5-netflix     NetFlix’es She-Ra ends with a character who claimed to be like God dying.

The freaking Guardians of the Galaxy kill a god in their 2nd movie. Thanos gets killed in Endgame.

But those examples are a bit more shaky, Anime is what has the gods actually have followers, and a lot of power and they are almost always evil, or else stupid or lazy like Konosuba’s (I suppose that beats evil.)

Personally, I prefer anime that just stay off the subject, because once they introduce a god, the show always gets much, much darker.

Oh, yeah, that new BNA Netflix show also has a god battle in the end… I guess I won’t spoil what happens (I think the show really wasn’t that good but some people like it.)

I’m sure a hardcore weeaboo could name a bunch of stuff I’ve missed too. But I think you get the idea.

What the heck is with this trope? No one ever talks about it, but it’s everywhere.

And if we extend it to how many anime have a weird Catholic-garbed religious sect as the evil villains in at least one arc, then pretty much every shonen and isekai would now be on the list.

As a Christian, I find it pretty creepy when elements related to my religion are turned into some weird cult thing on a show. I hear that most people in Japan don’t even know much about the Church, they just think the outfits look cool, and the symbolism. Ever wonder why so many anime villains wear crosses? Yeah… I don’t get it.

Personally, I really think the writers could bother to look it up before using it, a lot of Christians watch this stuff. Why be insensitive?

Not that Christianity being villainized is anything to be surprised at.

As I noticed this trope, I began to wonder why it was so prevalent. My sister told me that in a video about Christianity in Japan, people admitted that it was rare, and that people there are often afraid of religion. They might acknowledge Buddhism a little, but they don’t have deep beliefs in it.

Kind of how many people treat yoga and other Eastern teachings and practices. Like a buffet you can pick and choose from.

I think that it’s interesting that anime comes from a culture of not very serious religion, and it itself often treats God as the problem, an obstacle in the way of harmony, peace, and our own human happiness.

It makes me kind of sad actually. God is so different to me.

Many people, even Christians, think of God as distant, angry, or cruel. Unwilling to help us. Thwarting our plans, etc.

God does do that.

But I don’t think most people stay away from God because they think He’s cruel.

I don’t think, at the heart of anime and possible Japan, if one could know that from its media, is truly the fear of a cruel God.

What the real fear seems to be is of the all consuming nature of God.

We, in general, are okay with dipping our toes into religion. Maybe trying church once in a while, maybe reading a little about it, maybe praying to God, maybe not any specific god.

Even Christians live distant from God. Many religions teach that God or the gods are distant on purpose, only a few enlightened people can get close to them, only a few should. The rest of us should just live ordinary, good lives.

Generally, only the best and brightest of us humans can approach the gods. See Greek Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, any mythology…

Christianity shocks people, and scares them, by bringing God too close. It slaps you in the face with it, and pins you down till you squirm.

We’re told that God searches the hearts of men.

David even prays for God to strike his enemies in the face, a very personal kind of blow compared to just “smite them”.

And the story of the Israelites at Mount Sinai, when they begged Moses to go speak to God for them, and they wouldn’t themselves, they were afraid they would die.

God’s might and power and holiness are what scare us the most about Him.

In my own life, I grew up knowing God was good, but the sheer greatness of Him frightened me. I thought God would control me in a way I would hate, and I could never escape it, so I hid from Him. (Sounds like an anime to me.)

Later I found out God doesn’t force us to do things in that way. Not when it comes to accepting Him.

God can be puzzling to people. Eastern religion tries to reconcile the good and evil in the world by saying there must be an equal amount for balance.

The God of the Bible can seem like a collection of contradictions. He is Just, He is Merciful. He is a still small voice, he is in a whirlwind. The list goes on. But always, He is Good.

It’s overwhelming all right.

I understand fearing God. But I don’t know how anyone could believe God was defeatable.

The arrogance of anime is astounding. Especially since it comes with a lot of very wimpy messages.

They go to great lengths to kill the god characters…and ironically, they kill their own moral standing.

If you think about it, if God is real, or the gods are real, and they are in control of the world…then if you kill them, you’ve kind of doomed us all.

I find many endings to promising animes unsatisfying. They can’t commit to a message. Naruto most infuriatingly ended the show still never answering Pain’s excellent question about how he intended to heal the world.

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I think the writers must know deep down it’d be ludicrous to say one human could do all that, but they have cut off their only viable option, a Divine Being… so they are forced to just leave the question open ended.

Think about how many anime end with “basically everything went on the same way it always had” That’s not an ending. That’s… stalling.

Characters usually talk like this “I think maybe this…” or “I have hope that somehow…” Like, they never know anything. They never have logic, or an argument, or proof. Just blind hope in… nothing. They hope for hope’s sake.

It just doesn’t work for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy many shows, and I like the more pure characters and romances. Those can be done decently well.

But the moment any major statement about the world is made, it’s weak.

The reason is obvious. Without God, there is just no moral standard anyone can possible be made to conform to. Maybe you can just pick one out of thin air (I doubt it) but you have no right to complain if other people disagree with you. Meaning Unity is virtually impossible.

People complain about organized religion without realizing it is the only reason society can even exist. Religion decides morals, morals decide the justice system, and no society of 5 people, let alone 5 million, can survive without a justice system.

Without God, what gives our lives meaning? There’s a sadly high suicide rate in Asia, Japan is no exception.

A lot of anime try to encourage kids not to kill themselves over failed work or grades or goals, to keep trying.

As if trying ever cured depression.

I appreciate the effort, but it’s hopeless. It’ll never work.

The ones that say love is the reason to hang in there are much closer to the truth.

I’ve mentioned that I deal with depression, sometimes suicidal thoughts. Though, I more of mean, I wonder why I don’t give up. I wonder what keeps me going. When so many people take that way out, what gives me any reason to believe I won’t or can’t?

It’s weird, but my dad often got depressed over work and feeling useless, so anime can be very familiar to me. And it make me sad the same way my dad would make me sad. It causes me to wonder, what will my answer be to the same failures and disappointments? Will it be his, or will I have a better one.

Slowly, God is helping me answer that question.

The more I learn, the less I think the “Try harder” message will work.

And the less the “killing God” message seems like anything but emotional suicide to me.

I know I can’t assume Japanese people really think that way.

But, if they did, I would feel very sorry for them. It’s all about being strong enough yourself to face life, not needing anyone, not needing help. Definitely not needing God.

(The implied message often is, no one will be there to help you anyway.)

But what other foundation could someone find their worth in? God made you, God put you here for a reason.

In the end, trying to protect yourself from God is like trying not to breathe. It’s the very thing you need to live, and you can’t get away from it.

God can be like water. Try to block him out and the pressure will build up until something explodes. But accept Him, and it’s like going into a pool. At first it’s a shock, but then it’s a relief.

Anyway, that’s enough for now, maybe I’ll explore this more in the future. Until then, stay honest–Natasha.

 

Miraculous Ladybug is an Empath’s Nightmare! (And other things)

Chloe is best girl, yeah, I said it.

Man is this show hard to watch and not get involved. Especially if you can sympathize with almost every villain, and the main one. Even if they annoy me.

Now that I finished Season 3, I think:

A. What the heck is wrong with you Natalie? Natalie, vous-ete (est?) tres stupide!

(I took French last year, this show keeps reminding me of it.)

B. Why, oh why, are they dragging out this ship, everyone knows it’s endgame by now.

C. They are wasting Yagame as part of a triangle, she’s freaking awesome, she should be a separate character.

D. Chloe is hands down the best character on this show. Sorry, HawkMoth, go suck an egg.

I am not crazy about the finale, I think they did my girl Chloe dirty, she slowly won me over as the most complex, sympathetic character of the main cast. Unlike the villains, she occasionally makes good decisions, and improves herself.

But by far the crowning moment for Queen Bee was being the very first person to successfully throw off an Acuma (the moth mind control thing, if you don’t know.)

The Mary Sue Marinette does dodge an acuma a couple of times, but only Chloe has thrown one off after already being infected.

Until suddenly, she’s too stupid to know HawkMoth is just using her, or too petty to care. This show has a habit of scrapping Chloe-character development whenever it’s plot convenient.

Even if it did make sense, it’s pretty negative to have a character regress so often, and I don’t see how it helps the message of the show.

But as an empath, this show can be one heck of a ride. The fact that negative emotions are the main antagonistic feature is both interesting, and difficult. They keep it PG, but some of the stuff is very adult, even so. Jobs, money, fraud, all that stuff that adults and kids alike have to worry about.

They have this little sociopath Lyla on the show now, and she’s officially the worst character.

But Lyla provides an all too ugly example of the kind of people we’ve all meant, the ones who embrace and nurse their wounded feelings, and choose hatred and spite on purpose, no matter what someone tries to do to make up for it.

Any little thing is enough to offend those people, and if it’s a big thing, you can be sure you’ll never hear the end of it from them.

One can’t help but think while watching about how we are tempted by our own negative feelings to give into them.

The show does not hide that many of the people who get acumatized feel ashamed afterwards, their private feelings were just displayed for all the world to see, and they do not even remember it.

The show even acknowledges that some people would begin to find the city of Paris a too dangerous place to walk around in freely, but the wiser characters remind them that giving into to fear will only make it worse.

The show kind of skips the distraction of politics that usually make it hard to focus on the point of whether living in fear is wise, or necessary, instead it goes right to showing how living in fear is the worst response to a threat because it gives it more power. Intimidation is a key component of any take over, the season 2 finale even shows this brazenly in its plot.

That being the case, we can draw some interesting parallels to many things in our world, where our fear makes the situation worse.

People decry the world for getting too relaxed, lazy, indolent. Shows like MHA, and RWBY, even have the villains taunt heroes with that attitude, but the fact is, fear driven societies are disasters. They are miserable, and there’s a collective wisdom in our desire not to dwell on fear.

How to Cope in a Fear-Driven Society | Psychology TodayIf It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media ...

The idea that we should not dwell on our negative feelings is one that strikes home with me too, as you may remember, I have been dealing with depression.

Happily, it’s gotten much better, I don’t think it was ever full force anyway, but I had to do some soul searching, and I came to the conclusion… soul searching doesn’t work.

There are times and phases in life when you have to look at yourself and ask “what the heck am I doing?” but not when you’re depressed, stressed, or anxious. Introspection is a real pain when you aren’t feeling great about yourself to begin with, and it’s rarely honest.

Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. 3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings cannot be searched. ” (Proverbs 25:2-3) 

C. S. Lewis gave up keeping a diary because he saw no use for focusing on his own thought and feelings so much anymore. As a young teen, having a journal kept me sane, I did not have a lot of people to talk to.

Now, I still don’t have a ton of people to talk to, but I think I understand emotions a little better than when I was 13.

I do still keep a journal, but it’s become less of a comfort, it can be fun to write out good things, but the hyper-focus on what’s wrong no longer helps me process, it’s become rehashing the same thoughts over and over.

I think journaling does work, but perhaps God has not put his hand into that at this time of my life. So, I switched to therapy.

And in my last talk with my therapist, she told me again that my controlling father will probably not change, after decades of getting away with the same behavior.

At one time, I would not have wanted to hear that. While he was around, hoping he’d change was about all that kept me from despairing of my situation, up until last year, I never imagined he could leave. It’s still remarkable that it happened.

I can’t say I enjoyed hearing that it may be hopeless, but I did realize something, a lot of my hope depends on the idea that other people will change, or that I myself will somehow learn a new trick to manage my life.

In therapy, I’m being encouraged to just keep doing what I’ve already done, with few extra tips. Turns out, maybe therapy is  support system for what people already would need to do, but we can get so psyched out if left to ourselves, and not make those decisions. We need someone else to back us up.

See, the approach so far is not that I need to be “fixed” like I thought, but that I need to be encouraged to keep making the right choices, it’s having someone else on your team.

So, if you’ve ever considered therapy, at least Christian therapy, let me say, don’t expect it to be carrying you, but it can give you more resolve and help you feel there’s a way to move forward.

I now don’t think I’d have lost my mind without it, but it is hopefully shortening the amount of years I’ll spend recovering from this, since a huge part of recovery is not walking in the same circles of anxiety.

How does this tie in to the show?

Well… everyone on this show needs therapy. They need to learn ways to make better choices.

Chloe had the right idea, having someone you can trust to care about you is  good first step, you need to have hope.

Chloe hit the wall of having hope in a human being though, they will not always understand, or make wise choices.

Honestly, one of the ironies of the show is that Marinette, the person with a good background, loving parents, loyal friends, can be the most insecure, immature person in the main cast, save for Hawkmoth, ’cause that guy is whacked.

However, I’ve been thinking about that.

See, my dad had a royally flipped up background. Some of it might blow your mind, but some of you might have had similar experiences, I’ve discovered that suffering and evil are not what’s uncommon.

I know people with better parents than mine, too. But I have still been lucky in some ways.

The thing is, the people with good parents, aren’t necessarily the strongest, neither are the people with bad parents, despite what anime seems to think.

Trauma+tragedy is not a recipe for strong, brave character. In many cases, they are the most afraid and abusive of all.

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But, good family also doesn’t make you compassionate. Marinette is a perfect fictional example of how it make you less able to understand what others go through, while Adrian is far more sympathetic to people’s difficulties.

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Miraculous Ladybug is Adrien's Story: Here's Why

I used this analogy the other day, your background is like being dealt a hand of cards (I borrowed this from Stasi Eldredge).

The thing is, in most card games, you don’t win with the hand you start out with. With games like Shanghai, you have to add and replace cards slowly over time to get the right combinations.

A hand of cards at the start of a game of bridge - ABC News ...So, whether it was good hand, a bad hand, or in between, you still can’t win, unless you play the game, and play it well.

The game is life, bro.

What I mean is, you can choose to discard what was negative in your life, to stop listening to that, to exchange it for something better, in a Christian’s case, a new history in God.

How To Play UNOYou can get help, you can change your course. You can build on a good background, if you have one.

Whether you start off bad or good, you choose where it goes from there.

On the show, Chloe has to look at the very bad examples of both her parents, and realize she wants to be a hero, she wants to be kinder.

77.9k Likes, 709 Comments - Chloe Bourgeois ...Thomas Sanders just released a new video talking about almost the same thing, and asking the question “Why should we be good? What’s our motivation.”

I could have saved him 45 minutes of screen time, I have the answer.

Because God made us with that purpose. God requires goodness of us, and God has provided a way to be justified in his sight, because we cannot pull it off.

When you love God, you will want to be good. You will be able to be, more than if you were just trying for some abstract standard. Love is really all that motivates us.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

And for me, I don’t love myself so much I want to be a better person just for that reason, I do want to be happy, but there are times I loathe myself, not because I think it’ right, but because I have issues. I can’t always feel pleased with who I am.

But what I don’t do, is hate on myself when I feel that way. I try to remind myself God has a better vision of who I am.

And for the love of God, I can keep trying, He is the one who’s there for me, and I am so grateful for that. Even on days when I feel down, and feel like it’s not worth it, and I’ll never be free.

That’s just an illusion, a Lie, if you will.

Volpina (2016)Gotta watch for that.

Until next time–Natasha.

If you want to support my other writing, check me out on Kindle and Wattpad 🙂

 

 

 

 

https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj

 

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj

Why Miraculous Ladybug is actually brilliant (unironically).

Well, when in Quarantine, start binging new shows.

One more episode, please?: Why we can't stop binge-watching on ...

Why We LOVE Binge Watching And What It Does To Your BRAIN - YouTube

I’m always behind the latest fads, either because I don’t really care what everyone is watching, or because I don’t have NetFlix (isn’t that really the same thing?)

So, though I’ve heard about Miraculous Ladybug for quite a while, I never though it was worth checking out, but my sister finally convinced me it was kind of interesting, and we started watching, and it was way better than either of us thought.

The show has a genius concept, it allows for all the plot convinces you could want to keep anything from having consequences, and the only time it breaks the suspension of disbelief is when you can’t understand why no one knows the true identity of the heroes and villains.

I am only on season 2, so I don’t know all of what happens, but I thought I’d talk about what makes the show intriguing for a 21 year old like me to watch.

I am not venturing to say how it will end, so this is just about the hook of it, not where I think they are gong, I can’t really predict it.

But the show’s hook lies in two very interesting and rarely used concepts that render it almost impossible not to find intriguing.

The first is the villains:

MIRACULOUS | 🦋 HAWK MOTH - Transformation 🦋 | Tales of Ladybug ...

Miraculous Ladybug villains are mostly innocent people being controlled by the real villain in the shadow. HawkMoth (weird name I know, get used to it) possesses something called a Quami (or Kwami?) It’s like a genie that can only grant a specific kind of wish, but his allows him to grant people superpowers, but at the price of controlling them through their negative emotions.

The person never remembers what they did afterward, indicating that brain function is hindered by the process, but they are still left with enough willpower to purse their own twisted desires, but they also have to do what HawkMoth wants. It’s kind of weird.

But what makes it genius is the writers neatly escape any need for the audience to feel conflicted about the villains. We both pity them and know that they are doing what is wrong, but their wrong doing does not stop us from rooting for them to get better, because the whole point is they need to be rescued from themselves.

You skip all the debate over if they redeemable or not, because the whole point is that they have to be. Yet the emotions they show are ugly and ones we recognize in ourselves, just blown way out of proportion.

It’s so perfectly simple that it feels like the writers are cheating, but it’s hard to really complain because it would be awful to have so many people really just be evil on purpose. (Kind of MHA’s problem, but MHA solves it by equating super villains to regular criminals int he world, so it’s not that special to run into them).

Also the show gives Ladybug the power to undo any an all damage, from evilized (their word not mine) victims to broken buildings and time rifts, which is also genius, because they get to have death defying, surprisingly well animated fight scenes that can destroy a lot, put a whole city underwater, and break priceless objects, and none of it has lasting consequences because the in universe rule expressly is that Ladybug’s power is to restore it all. The characters themselves even comment on it, and save time worrying about property damage.

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But there remain stakes, because we are never told that people cannot die, one of the main issues of the plot is that someone wants to be able to control life and death, which suggests even Ladybug’s power is limited, in a sense.

This is really just me complimenting the authors on how genius it is to write this way, it’s like getting all the pros and none of the cons. I’m just impressed, because as an author, dodging these bullets often makes me jump through a lot of hoops and make internal logic in my stories, which I try to keep child friendly because those are my favorite books anyway.

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Aside from how the action and opposition is written in general, there is HawkMoth, who is also a rather uniquely written villain, basically Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin, but with more of heart, and a son…yeah…well, later.

The other brilliant but annoying thing is the Shipping.

There’s the most bizarre love square between the main heroes and their secret identities. It’s hard to follow, and messes with your head, but it’s cure enough that you still enjoy it.

Marionette (I hope I spelled that right) and Adrian have some good moments as friends, despite her weird stalker-ish tenancies (at 14, I doubt I would have been that much more mature though) and his insecurities.

As Ladybug and Chat Noir they have a reversed dynamic, but that’s what makes it interesting.

One feels that if they ever blended their two lives together, they would end up realizing they both liked each other the whole time.

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i have to say, and this is of shows in general, that kids shows tend to portray a “crush” as much more like real love.

A crush is obsessive, but it’s rarely as mature as what shows do with it. The kids just want to hang out and talk, and flirt, and kiss, maybe, but when it comes to understanding each other deeply, they haven’t learned that yet, unless maybe they were old friends who developed feelings for each other.

Most 12-14 year old’s idea of depth is talking like a Romance Novel, and fahm, that’s not what real people sound like when they share their feelings.

I’ve had a crush on a guy for almost 4 years now, but we’re also friends, and if he talked to me like that, I’d laugh, I could never take it seriously, nor would I talk like that… I’d laugh at myself.

By contrast, kids shows depict the kids are far more mature than kids their age are, I get why, it’s a better example, but it’s impossible for kids to live up to it, you haven’t had enough experience at 10 to know what it’s like to be mature in your romantic interests (at leas I hope not).

And yes, I’ve never dated, but my idea of what men are like, what relationships re like, had changed a lot over time, and I’m glad it had. I’ll never be fully prepared for marriage, but I’d like to at least not be totally delusional about it. (Is that possible?)

So, I am not criticizing ML for this, because I think it’s the best they can do, showing kids actual crushes does not make for good romance writing. Honestly, adult shows are way worse about relationships.

While kids shows have been somewhat honest, in my experience, that people have issues and that is what causes fights, and you have to forgive them and be more considerate, the average adult show just makes it about sex and flirting and high action scenes, if you’re into that kind. It has very little to do with the real part of relationships that requires learning to get along.

It’s sad when we’r e more honest to kids than to adults, but there it is. I hope the kids learn from it.

That’s also why I believe young adults like me are drawn to the good kids shows, we want to hear more than just sex get talked about, we want to see people really trying to understand each other, because we’re old enough now to see how rare that is, while the target audience often isn’t.

But then, children’s stories have always been the way adults choose to express to each other the things they really want to say, without having to dress it up in adult language and situations that usually only serve to cloud the truth.

Per example:

You can portray someone’s damage from their past and their insecurity by having them drink a lot, or sleep around, in an adult’s show. But then you have to talk also about if alcohol is a bad or acceptable way to deal with, is sleeping around wrong, or is it normal? Ect.

Contrast that to a kids show, which can make the same point, but use something much more obvious, like the kids yelling at each other, or trying about not having friends, or in this case, getting turned evil and taking it out on other people in destructive ways that are literally destructive, and you show it, and skip the debate about whether those ways were acceptable or not, of course they weren’t.

What’s clear in the kids show is that the reason behind it was bad, even if what thy were dong wasn’t bad to being with, it becomes bad when done for that reason.

Like when the artist stops trying to use their heart to praise people, an uses it to hurt them instead.

When giving people ice cream to celebrate love becomes punishing them by freezing them if they aren’t showing enough love.

That’s some in depth stuff that adults can appreciate, but it’s also clear enough for kids to follow.

No debate, the message is made apparent.

That, to me, is the reason kids shows are better. Adult shows often don’t make any real point at all, and you wonder why they bothered writing the story int he first place. Do you ever tell someone something without a reason for it, even if it was only to be funny?

So, that the genius of Miraculous Ladybug, it creates a vehicle for it’s plot that evade a lot of the roadblocks most shows have to deal with.

It’s flaw is often not exploring its own great ideas in depth, even at  a level kids would understand. It’s getting a little better with time, but a lot of creativity goes to waste.

However, the fans can do that part themselves if they wish, maybe I will in a futre post, for now, I just tip my hat to their creativity.

Until next time–Natasha

And if you want to check our some of my other writing, I have stuff on both WattPad and Amazon Kindle under Natasha Queen. I am also working on a longer book in a different genre, so I’ll be updating you on that too.

https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj (cover art by my sister)

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj