Anime Therapy with Momo Yaoyerozu

I had to include the full name because there are so many Momos in anime😄😂

Well, I revamped my Bakugo post again, if you want to check it out– Anime Therapy with Bakugo.

I am still finding my level with how to write these posts, this one would be harder to do in second person form.

Ah well, just like before, this was partly inspired by CeCe’s Therapy at UA series, though she only has one Momo video.

Gathering Intel

CeCe’s analysis isn’t very extensive, just that Momo is one of the most over-powered characters so she should have more confidence, and that the heroes Momo thinks are stronger than her are “self sacrificial idiots” (which is true, most of the time, except for Todoroki probably).

I will have to expound on it myself, since, actually, I haven’t seen anyone else give the real skinny on what makes Momo an interesting character, especially through the lens of her issues. Though this will be less therapy oriented, and more an analysis of her character that includes her psychology and how it could change, but I don’t know if a therapist would give you this advice, since they are more focused on helping you accept yourself and be the best you you could be, not so much on transformation of who you are, that’s where being a Christian with a message comes in.

And if by chance you are one of the people, or know one, who thinks she’s boring and overrated, allow me the chance to change your mind, let’s go:

Momo has no real personality disorders like most of the boys do. She doesn’t overcompensate, she has no complex, and she isn’t mean or prideful, without being weak. She’s that anime girl we all love, the Classy Queen archetype. The Mom friend. The brainiac with a heart of gold.

So, naturally she’s my favorite, along with Bakugo. But she’s not perfect, and over time I picked out what I believe are her main issues and struggles that never get talked about.

Momo’s lack of confidence is not actually her biggest problem, when it comes to fighting itself. That’s easy to overcome, she just needed to succeed a few times, she’s already pretty well over it. And many might say that concludes her arc. But there’s way more to Momo’s place in the story than just her fighting ability.

Momo has been, from the start, highlighted by the story for her exceptional intelligence, perception, and use of her quirk. She’s the perfect student. A natural leader. She’s essentially, what Bakugo tries to be. To the point where even in season 1, when Bakugo is at his most prideful, he admits he agrees with her assessment of his actions (a little detail most Bakugo haters miss when they say he’s never humble, btw.) Since Bakugo never agrees with anyone, ever, about his actions, that’s noteworthy in of itself. Momo’s analysis is clearly superior if it can’t be argued with.

Yet, Momo often finds herself unsure what to do. It’s like, having all the talent and skill that most heroes dream of at such an early stage makes her even more uncertain how to apply it.

It’s been pointed out that, if she were a villain, the heroes would basically be doomed. Momo couldn’t be beaten if she were evil, she just couldn’t. Not by the students anyway.

And that’s interesting, because misusing her power as a hero is one of Momo’s chief concerns as the show progresses. It’s rather surprising that in the Bakugo rescue arc, it’s Momo who makes up the singular girl on the squad, instead of Uraraka, who’s loyalty to Deku and Iida you might expect to be more of a factor.

Momo’s reason is to keep them in line. She says she doesn’t think they should break the rules and use their quirks, but she “Understands how they feel” and will “Stand by her classmates”. This is an interesting point.

Momo and Iida share a lot of similarities, they are top students who value the rules, and can follow them with ease due to their status and gifting. They both veer more towards order and submitting to authority. You’d expect her to side with Iida on this issue. While she expresses agreement with him, notably her actions indicate more sympathy with the rule breakers. She understands how they feel more than she wants to avoid trouble. When it comes to the point, Momo doesn’t make any move to stop them from taking action.

What intrigues me further is that the MHA movies “Two Heroes” actually revisits this same issue, though I think it’s set before that arc, so you could also say it preludes it. In that movie, there’s a time in an elevator when the students all debate whether they should help or not, and Iida again says they shouldn’t, and Momo begins to agree, but Todoroki ask s “Is it right to just do nothing?” and Momo hesitates and says she’s not sure, “It’s complicated.” (Which, by the way, is one of the ways I ship them, their contrasting views have a lot to teach each other).

In the end, Momo still chooses to help, even to fight once it comes to the point. As, of course, they all do.

I have to love her, but all this wouldn’t have given me insight into her character if I hadn’t had someone else to compare her to, and that person is Bakugo.

At first, they seem nothing alike. But, as I talked about in my Bakugo post, it’s been pointed out by the fandom that he is “crushed by expectations.” That the pressure society puts on him is part of why he is the way he is.

But, look at it more closely. Bakugo is smart, talented, and has a great quirk. His strategy isn’t bad when he actually employs it, and he almost always wins. All that is true of Momo also, though, as girl on a shonen, she doesn’t win as often, but that she beats male characters at all is rather surprising (good for her and Mina, destroying sexism in shonen one small step at a time, right?) It’s not a stretch to say Momo is under the exact same pressures as Bakugo. She is able to please people more– so nartually that it’s too important to her.

The real problem Momo has is not her lack of confidence in her ability, it’s her lack of confidence in herself. She doesn’t believe she knows the right thing to do. She will yield to the judgement of teachers, and other students before she’ll trust her own. It’s brought to light in her episode with Todoroki where she worries that she has not done the “right thing” in the exam, but that could speak for her attitude toward life. Momo is constantly torn between what her heart tells her, and what her head believes because she’s heard it her whole life.

I some ways she stands to be more of a victim of her culture than the boys do. The very fact that she can fit the mold of what makes a perfect hero so well is not a good sign.

To fit any mold completely is to lose any individuality you have to pleasing others. It’s losing your spark that makes you human, not a Barbie Doll of an icon.

It was writing fan fic with Momo in it that made this clear to me. Confronting someone like her with ideas that question the whole foundation of society, you hit a huge wall. Can you picture Momo defying society? Can you picture her doing it, believing it was entirely the right thing to do?

See, not every hero needs to defy society to be considered a hero, but every hero needs to be willing to.

Society is just another word for what the Bible calls “The World” and warns us not to love it, “for the World passes away”. When the Bible warns us not to love the world, it doesn’t mean the world full of people, we’re told God loves the world in John 3:16, The World, in this sense, means all the sins and evils that are brought out by Mass Mentality, or a Mob Mindset, if you will. Peer Pressure, corruption of a whole country, glorifying evil as a whole. That’s the World. The World changes in what it holds up as the alternative to God, but, it never points us back to God. It will never be encouraging true Goodness, because the World doesn’t have any standard of it.

In the words of Switchfoot’s Rise Above It:

“Just because you’re running doesn’t mean that you’re scared, just because it’s law don’t mean that it’s fair. Never let another tell your soul what to fear. Here we go again, give it one more try, don’t believe the system’s on your side. Just another lover turned enemy fight…”

The Hero World, as the name says, is obsessed with Heroes as the alternative to any Divine Direction. Heroes are asked to be more than human. Never to be afraid, never to waver, never to make mistakes. And if they do, instead of it being written off as one person making a mistake, the whole society of heroes is called into question.

Really, it’s just asking for the League of Villains to knock down its scarecrow.

How does Momo fit into this?

Only too well, that’s the issue, as I said. She can be the ideal hero. There’s not one hero in a thousand that’s likely to have all she’s got going for her, on top of her natural talent, she’s kind and has major cash to back up whatever she wants to do. The girl doesn’t even need an agency, she could be her own Agency.

But, Momo is not just some ideal. She’s a kid, with fears and feelings of her own. Which her classmates understand, though it can’t be said many other people do. Aizawa even observes with a tinge of pity that she’s still got the emotional maturity of a 15 year old girl, like that’s somehow a problem. You could call it Pyrrha Nikos syndrome, as Pyrrha was the first character to introduce me to it

But, it’s a bigger problem if Momo becomes unshakable. Someone like her, firmly fixed in the ideals of society, with no filter to measure them though, is dangerous. She becomes a tool of that same society so easily. Much more than Bakugo is ever likely to, she can promote the ideal of perfection in heroes…until she snaps under the weight of it.

Momo’s greatest flaw is her lack of confidence, but curing that simply outwardly by giving her confidence in her hero skills, will actually be more likely to cement the deep issue she has of not following her own morality.

You can’t be a truly good person and spend your whole life doing what others tell you. Read that sentence again.

There’s a quote that’s gone around the feminist circles a lot, but it bears repeating here “Well behaved Women rarely make history.” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (You know that originally, it wasn’t “rarely”, it’s “seldom” but that’s another story, sorry, English class is kicking in)

It’s notable that anime preaches conformity, but fills its shows with characters who cannot conform. Whether because they are outcasts, monsters, or idiots. Any reason will do. The one reason you will almost never see is a rational, normal, intelligent person who simply decided the rules were stupid, and chose to rebel. (If you have a counterexample, please comment it below, I’d like to watch it for myself.)

Finally, Momo has one more issue that’s linked to all this, but is more of a microcosm.

Due to her exceptional ability, and her great levels of kindness and compassion, Momo tens to feel it’s her responsibility to fix problems win the class, even between other students.

She’s the Mom character. she wants to take care of everyone. I love her for that. It’s a good thing a lot of the time, goodness knows, it’s hard to care about other people sometimes, having a natural inclination to do that is a gift.

We see it when she encourages Iida in the festival, tells Bakugo and Todoroki to stop fighting in the Jump Fest OVA from season one, and tells the others not to pressure Jiro into playing in public. Momo is always trying to make people feel better.

But it is to the point at times where she feels responsible too much. Sometimes people should be pushed. Kaminari maybe understood better that Jiro really wanted to be valued for her musical talent, and Momo didn’t. Because Momo always wants there to be peace. But, peace is not always an option until issues are resolved.

Momo avoids conflict and confrontation. Because she is a people pleaser herself, and it’s easy for her, she assumes that it’s best for everyone to be that way. To not make waves. She gives way to others, even when it’s not a moral issue, but a matter of preference. She’s almost too giving.

She starts of in the class with this problem not being so developed. She’s willing to criticize and correct. She’s even a little sassy in the USJ incident. But what changes in her is I believe is the result of the trauma of people being hurt so often.

Momo can’t stop it, she can’t be in control and have a plan to keep everyone safe, and she copes with that by worrying even more about them constantly. Momo will treat every small problem like a crisis, even if it’s just someone getting minorly uncomfortable. She will downplay all her own accomplishments because it’s just not enough for her.

Momo might not have had this problem so badly, since she seems to come from a fairly stable background, if not for the UA trauma, but that’s kicked her to be in crisis mode almost all the time. It’s not that difficult to figure out psychologically.

I think it kicked in in the festival, but why did she take losing to Tokayami so hard? Because she felt helpless. When you’ve been in a life or death situation, any failure in training is going to feel like it’s endangering the life of you and people around you.

Even if in the actual crisis she always does something useful, in her mind that’s never good enough, because she couldn’t’ prevent it and handle it all perfectly.

Now that I’ve detailed the reasons behind her problems, what’s the actual therapy?

Believe it or not, this hits home for me too.

I’m not a hero, but I grew up in church, raised to believe there was one right way to behave. I still believe that, but I believe now that you can’t depend on one person to always tell you that. Or one system. There is no man, or man made thing, that will not make you into a villain if you listen to it exclusively. Just as C. S. Lewis pointed, there is nothing in human love that will prevent if from becoming devilish if you let it go unchecked as the Best Love, without moderation.

I don’t personally relate to Momo’s perfectionism. I was tempted to it sometimes as a teenager, but my personality makes it impossible for me to people please, I could never dedicate myself enough to destroying who I am to pull it off, and I’m not easy naturally. But, I do have a sister who’s a lot like Momo in that way. And after listening to her for years, I think I have an idea what it’s like. I also have a mom who’s much more like that.

It won’t be easy for Momo to let go. I think out of all our human failings, letting go of the need to control must be the absolute hardest things for us to do. Even people who embrace a chaotic lifestyle need to feel in content, notice how they usually flip their crap if you suggest any kind of order. To them control is not being controlled.

Other people love order so much it’s like an addiction, those people freak me out, but I imagine I’d freak them out too if they saw my room… yeah…

My sister had to work for a long time on it. She still prefers order more than I do, but she’s become less uptight about some of it. It took a lot of encouragement from us to get her to start loosening up on herself, not hyper scheduling everything, not having a checklist of things to do for every hour of every day.

She wasn’t happy that way, but there was a sort of satisfaction in it, there usually is.

But she’s much happier now, and less anxiety driven.

Another thing she had to do was learn to express if she wasn’t okay. For a long time, she couldn’t even form those words in a coherent way, she was so used to shoving it all aside to make my dad happy, or the rest of us.

I had to rag it out of her a lot of the time. And from what I’ve read, sometimes that’s what you have to do, push and push and push until someone tells you what’s wrong.

Just the thing Momo will never suggest doing, but she might need it done for herself.

I know a lot of people have probably been told that if someone doesn’t want to talk about something, you shouldn’t push them.

There are cases that’s true, but if you notice these warning signs, you might need to actually push them until they snap at you, and get some feeling out

  1. They never, ever, ever talk about how they feel.
  2. They always make it about your feelings, so you feel great, but its been years, and you still don’t know anything about what goes on in their heads.
  3. They constantly apologize if you do anything for them, and never ask you for help unless they’ve run out of every other option, and even then they feel guilty (I can relate to this one, though.)

If they do one or all of these things, you need to make them realize you seriously want to hear about em. They may start with just one, very vague negative feeling, but be understanding about that, and they may start to relax.

It’s important that they now it’s okay to feel that way, at least around you. Sometimes all someone needs is one person who they can be vulnerable with.

About people pleasing:

Again, I’ve never done it. I’ve tried to not offend people, that’s the most I can pull off–and usually I fail at that.

What I notice when other people do it though is that they never show me anger, or criticize me. They agree with whatever I say, and they make my happiness the verdict on how a conversation went, or how their personality is, or if they are succeed in life.

Yes, I definitely see Momo in this.

The only way to fix this is to work long and hard at figuring out what you want out of life. And then, choosing to tell yourself it’s okay to have it.

You won’t feel like that at first, if anything, you’ll feel like a bad person.

It’s then you have to choose to trust the people in your life, and the wisdom of many therapists, philosophers and even theologians that say it’s good for you to have dreams and desires of your own, and it’s good to show how you really feel.

Reach out for a hug sometimes. Other people aren’t mind readers. Try not to change the subject if someone asks how you are. Little steps, built up over time, will do wonders.

The deeper heart issues have to be resolved by feeling yourself different stuff. If you are around people who put you down, you need to look for better friend. It’s true, people who see you as a target will gravitate toward you, it just happens.

Even the best human will take advantage of someone they know will give in, I’ve done it. I try not to as much.

It’s okay to do that in a normal friendship, every so often, that’s just love. it’s not okay if it ‘s only ever you who’s giving something to them. Even if you are comfortable that way, remember, other people need to feel good for being unselfish too, it’s actually doing them a massive favor to make them feel needed. It’s critical to our psyche.

Read books that encourage you to see value in yourself.

In my case and my sister’s. it was getting closer to God, who values all of us enough to die for us. And choosing to believe hat, and t recognizing what our dad taught us was a pack of lies, and bullcrap.

I think the most fun thing you can do to get over this is simply choose to enjoy yourself.

My sister has started taking time purposely to hang out with people she likes, and do things she enjoys. It’s great therapy.

Some of you (I don’t think Momo is this far gone though) may be so damage you don’t even know what you like to do. I’ve been close to that place myself.

Then just experiment. Try stuff that sounds interesting, or at least different, try everything, like the song says. If you gravitate toward something, make it a hobby.

You will probably find friends doing that who will build you up because you enjoy the seam things. That’s the best way to become a real person, enjoying yourself. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.

Once you build up some confidence, don’t be hard to confront people to. Make boundaries. I would try to do with with the help of people you do trust first, my sister found that useful, even I find it useful, though I don’t need it.

Have good people back you up, especially if you are been abused or bullied, never try to confront that person alone. Have a witness. Record it if necessary. Police evidence might come in handy.

If it’s a decent person who’s just never been stood up to by you before, expect them to be surprised and to have a hard time adjusting to it, they never knew you had likes and dislikes.If they really care, then they will accept it once you explain why you never told them before, and forgive you (because eyes, it was unfair to them, but they’ll understand if they love you).

And that’s what I can tell you for now. That’s all a great place to start.

And I hope to see Momo grow in these areas, but, hey, if not, I’ll just write it that way myself.😉

By the way if you are interested in checking out my fan fictions, here is a link to my MHA story, I have two currently, and they are actually getting a lot of view right now. One’s only been up for 2 months we’re already at 600+ so not bad. Plus I have my own fan art that people made for me included.

MHA: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/195185530-my-hero-academia-mystery-from-another-world

MHA Fantasy AU: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/262518284-mha-fantasy-quest-for-the-sol

Hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful or insightful in some ways, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

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Coming Up

Y’all might be wondering how my recovery process is going… okay, you probably don’t actually wonder that, but you might not be adverse to hearing about it right?

Well, actually, these last couple months, I’ve been doing really well. My life coach has been very helpful, mostly she helps me realize I already know the answer, I just need to believe that I do, and that God has given me the key.

I actually had a brief bout with nausea that was the worst I’ve had in a while, but it lasted probably just 20 minutes or so, and I was able to stay much calmer than I used to and help it get lighter instead of stressing myself into feeling sicker than before. Mostly, I catch it before it gets bad now, but even so, now that I know it usually passes quickly, I’m less scared of it.

I feel fine most days. Though with the Summer heat coming, I may have to take more steps to stay cool if I want to avoid that heat exhaustion.

My mental problems are also at a new low for the last year. I really can’t believe how bad it was not that long ago, it seems foreign to me now. I’ve always come out of these periods, since becoming a Christian, after a year or less. Usually less.

I never came out of it when I wasn’t a Christian fully, I had better and worse times, but fear plagued me constantly back then, whether there was a trigger or not. Christianity works for me because that fact that I’ve known freedom at all is something I didn’t really have before. Something important to remind yourself of if you go through hard times again as a believer.

I’ve realized too that the person I a has never really changed, she just went into hiding for a while, only occasionally showing herself, now, I see her a lot more often. I needed to believe she was real in order to be her.

You have to believe in your own healing, in the healing that has already taken place, in order to keep healing.

If you live your life as if you are still hurt, even once you’ve healed, then you might as well still be hurt. That applies to physical and emotional injuries too.

I suppose it’s about time I mentioned that my step-grandmother’s memorial is this month.

I plan to go, but would you believe that my aunt has already been trying to get in some emotional manipulation on my sister over it. It’s so nuts.

I now my dad will be there, likely as not, and I am trying to prepare for it. I don’t know that’ll I’ll share my strategies here until after the fact, if they don’t work, I don’t want to take the chance anyone will emulate me, but I think they will.

However, someone in my position might wonder what the prospect of facing my abuser in person again feels like.

I’m not looking forward to it, but I am not utterly terrified.

It’s because my circumstances are a little different than one would normally have with a violent person.

My dad is aggressive, but he’s not generally the type to lash out in public at someone without provocation, and he would not be able to seriously injure me at a gathering like this without someone stepping in, because too many people would be there. He would not like to lose face, he’s never hurt me that badly, physically. My feelings were always more bruised than my actual body.

Some might not even call it abuse, but I call it that because of he power struggle and attitude involved, and the roughness of how he did it.

I don’t use the word abuse lightly, however. I see it all the time, people call stuff abuse that I don’t think should be called that. Abuse has a particular feel of powerlessness on the victim’s part, and sick satisfaction mixed with excuses on the abuser’s part. It’s more than temper, thought hat is part of it, it’s to break you, make you submit, feel like trash.

I mean, what’s abuse to one person isn’t to another, sometimes, but that’s a very vague line.

I guess what I mean is, sarcastic comments are abuse to some people, but to others it’s normal banter, and I don’ think victims should impose their standard on people who see it as a way to bond, the tone and timing will tell you whether it’s destructive or not. Someone should always back off if you make it clear you are seriously uncomfortable, but if you know yourself, and know you feel weird only because of past experience, and that this person in particular is not actually trying to hurt you, it’s also good to try to grow thicker skin. We have to heal from both directions, insider and out.

For me, a little light shoving isn’t abuse. I knew when my dad was being rough, I know when my siblings are being playful. I can compartmentalize.

I realize I am lucky to be able to do this so easily, at least in some areas, though not all. I am far more sensitive to verbal stuff.

I got into another work situation where I feel disrespected and criticized unfairly, and blamed for what is not my fault. I wonder why I keep doing this… and then my sisters stores of working at a sandwich shop tell me I actually ain’t even seen it all.

Seriously, I get people telling me I should work on my babysitting skills, she gets people telling her she’s got no idea what she’s doing. Whose job is worse? Well, it’s income.

We both like what we do anyone, but nothing is ever a positive experience 100% of the time, that’s not realistic.

Notably, this time, I am handling it differently. I’ve always been bolder that my sisters anyway, I stand up for myself. But I used to do it immaturely by getting really defensive and rude. Now I choose my words more carefully.

My dad responds to criticism by getting defensive and losing his temper, that’s not how I wanted to be, but I couldn’t go the route of my mom and just never stand up for myself at all. I literally can’t, I think I’m incapable… trying was excruciating, and I failed.

So, with no role model here, I’ve had to learn by trial and error, but I’m starting to get better. I try to acknowledge people may have a slight point, or grievance, but I refuse to let myself be belittled.

I had a mom tell me today that at my age (22) I may just lack the experience to understand how to take care of a 5 month old, and how a mother feels.

I asked her “How many kids do you have?”

This is her first. She’s 30..

I’ve been in childcare for 15 years. Paid and unpaid, private and in groups, doing int alone, and doing it helping adults. I have two younger siblings I’ve had to be basically a surrogate mom to for several years, at least in some areas. I have two cousins I provide love, attention, and mentoring too. I have taught Sunday school for over 6 years.

I looked at her and I said “I understand you are his mom, but I will not let my years of experience be disrespected just because I am a little younger than you and your other nanny.”

Where does this lady get off? Sure, she’s his mom, but this is her first kid, having a kid doesn’t automatically mean you understand child reading, as I think the loads of messed up kids form broken homes is proof of. I’m 8 years younger than her, so what? She didn’t give me any prior experience she had with children.

The amount of disrespect nannies get is unreal. We take care of children, the most precious things anyone has, and we get treated like barely above slaves with no rights to opinion, no better qualifications, and no right to complain if someone is literally filming us why we are doing our job, without our consent.

Isn’t that illegal in other circumstances? Sheesh.

And yeas, the nanny cam is real. Some people think it’s myth, nope, I’ve worked for two or more families at least with one. And one family just straight up spied on me with their friends. They told me this to my face.

Well, it would take a whole other post to list all my negative experience babysitting, but it has been a great trial by fire for seeing how well I can get past my issues.

If you have low self worth and want to get over it, there’s really nothing like having someone treat you like an appliance in their house and getting frustrated over it to push you to stand up for yourself. Seriously, if you aren’t annoyed, it’s probably just reinforcing your problems, not helping you grow, get out of that job.

But for learning self control, self assurance, and what you actually want, nannying has it’s benefits.

Back to the prospect of seeing my dad again…

I am nervous about it, but I’ve learned that if I acknowledge that, and decide before hand what to do, it doesn’t often turn into panic… actually, it never turns into panic.

That may not work for everyone, but I am a more confident person in areas that aren’t related to abuse, so channeling that towards he areas that are is mostly a matter of self control and prayer for me.

I also have learned not to overestimate myself. I should try to face my dad alone. I need other people around. I shouldn’t treat myself like I’m expendable and can carry the weight of everyone else’s problems by taking his crap.

While it would be theoretically cathartic to tell my dad off in person, I don’t expect it to happen.

At most, I think, I could tell him to leave me alone, that I won’t be engaging with him, and this day is about Grammy, not him.

Now, my aunt once tried this when her son died, my cousin, and my dad completely ignored her, so I don’t expect that to work.

But I have a few back up plans. It’d be really satisfying to just say: “Look, I already know what you’re going to say, and you’re going to be abusive, and manipulative, and there’s nothing you can say that will alter my opinion of you, and no apology you make will convince me you are sincere, and nothing you can say will make me feel guilty or bad for you. You abused me, end of story. Deal with that reality, or stay out of mine.”

I’d never get to finish that speech, even if it’d work. But it’s fun to fantasize about it.

The reality is, it’s best to just avoid talking to him. He will probably try to talk to me, unless he gets some idea of proving he doesn’t need me by refusing to talk, e might say “I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable” Which is a lie. He would only do it to show how innocent he is to the family, if we were alone, he wouldn’t hesitate, so I will have to take great care never to be alone where he can see me.

It’d be best to have another man around I can trust, as my dad will be more bold with women watching than men, I think, he can be a bit sexist.

Anyway, those are my basic ideas. But the rest will have to wait till after the fact to see if it worked.

Many victims remain oblivious to what their abuser will do to them, as long as they are locked i the cycle. There is strong deception associated with abuse, the perps lie, the victim believe them because otherwise they would despair.

Once you get out, mentally, not just physically, you start to see through it all, and you can predict their tricks. Then you can prepare for it.

I have picked up this stuff quickly due to be observant by nature, and I had to manage my dad for years before I finally got away from him. I know that I cannot win with him expect by not playing his game, he cannot stand that.

I also now that truth is powerful, but it must be worded carefully.

Pro tips for anyone consider in confronting their abuser:

Don’t try to be nice. Don’t try to be subtle, don’t be vague.

Don’t do it at all if you think they still have power over you, and don’t do it alone. Don’t do it in private either, they can hurt you if you do. Others should be able to see you, even if they can’t hear you. I’m not at therapist, this to me is just common sense.

Don’t confront them expecting to change them. It should be either to establish a boundary, or for closure. They aren’t going to change.

Don’t expect them to take it with any degree of dignigity.

You can expect immature jabs, passive aggressive digs, angry outbursts, accusations, or self righteous “I was only trying to…” statements.

I would say not to dignify any of that with even acknowledging it, say what you must, don’t change it no matter what they say. They won’t listen, but you need to know you were able to say it.

This is all assuming it’s the right time and right kind of situation for this to be appropriate. Some people should never confront their abuser, or go near them again.

I will have to do it sooner or alter, or else act like a pariah in my own family, and not all of them are bad people, so I prefer to make realistic plans for how to deal with it.

But some will not have the luxury of any family they can risk seeing again, and there’s no shame in admitting that and deciding not to see them again.

If it helps anyone else, these two passages have really helped allay any guilt I feel over not seeing my toxic relatives:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.” (Psalm 45:10-11)

The Bible is so kind to people who have toxic relatives. Jacob is told to flee his brother who is plotting to kill him. Joseph is put in a position of power over his brothers who sold him into slavery. Tamar is given justice for Judah holding out on her. The list goes on.

Contrary to what may Christians think, it is not Christian to stay with an abusive person. Especially if that hinders your walk with God. Plenty of Christians left their families and went on their own to serve God. It is Christian to be single, it is Christian to marry and have children. Paul says we should turn people who refuse to live in a godly manner in the church out.

He also says church member should be kind to their family, and if they are not, they should not be in authority, maybe they are even false, if we follow his logic.

When my life coach pointed out this simple fact, that my dad was deceiving us into thinking he was devout when he was really not acting at all like a believer, it was a game changer for me.

Suddenly I felt hte fiel of not haivng to call what my dad did “trying to be a good chritian ” anymore, he was not trying, he was whining. There’s a huge difference.

Who knew, I was lcoser to God when I stopped playing alon eiwht his chruch, his prayers, his devotions, becaue the fakeness isckened me too much. AS a churhc girl, It hought It hsould like all those things mroe, but the duplicity was too much.

I now hate hypocrisy more than almost any other vice. I can’t claim I am never hypocritical, but I try not to be.

One other big change: I am starting to really believe that I am Allowed to have a happy life.

Whooo! Somebody get excited with me right now!

Maybe it’s okay to like myself. Maybe I don’t need to punish myself anymore. Maybe my anxiety isn’t permanent.

Some of you are afraid to believe that.

There are a few rare cases where someone has something their whole life in order to learn patience.

But I don’t think God would command us to be anxious for nothing, if most of us were not supposed to be completely free from anxiety.

In fact, that verse makes me think anxiety is not one of those life long struggles we are supposed to have.

We cannot force ourselves not to be anxious, but we can learn to stop ourselves from becoming anxious. The Bible said that thousands of years ago.

Perfect Love casts out fear.

I don’t feel full of love all the time, but I Know God loves me, I believe, it, I remind myself of it, and I don’t need to feel it for it to cast out my fear, I just need to now it.

You see, God’s love is so powerful, even the knowledge of it crushes fear, and the feeling of it makes you forget suffering period. I don’t feel it as often as I’d like, but I also don’t need to, knowing it’s there, behind everything, gives me hope.

“And now abide, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

I hope this post encouraged you, until next time, stay honest–Natasha

Brought to you by Webtoon

I had a view from Israel today, my people! (not that they were necessarily Hebrew just because they were in Israel, but the odds are in my favor, right?)

I have to wonder how translate would do with English to Hebrew…? Ah well.

I have been wanting to talk about this, though I run the risk of exposing yet again how big of a geek I am. I mean, surely, only people with no life read Webtoon?

Just kidding. It actually took months for me to be convinced to try this app. Last January a friend recommended it, and I didn’t start reading it till like 7 or 8 months later. I didn’t really think I’d like it…well, now I’m hooked. I have daily updates on my subscriptions.

However, this doesn’t mean I spend all day reading it, the beauty of it is you can go through a few different episodes in 10 minutes, so it’s not an all consuming passion, though I did spend all day going through Lore Olympus to get caught up… and then regretted it because I had to wait a whole week.

I was kind of embarrassed by liking it so much, since I don’t usually read comics, and Spiderman and Mr. Miracle were the only ones that I felt really could be considered higher reading (both of those are very thought provoking, but Spiderman is superior, no offense to any DC fans, just from a written perspective, though Mr. Miracle has the more interesting concept. It just goes to show that any idea can be brilliant if you work it the right way.)

Not all Webtoons are really worth reading, a lot of them are translated from other languages, and the grammar can be sloppy. I still find them cute though, and the best thing is when the values of the story come across even with a language barrier. I read one called “Shoes For Cinderella” that is much like that.

Also, what I think draws (haha) the readers is getting to experience the author’s personality through their art. since Webtoon allows for more interaction between the creator and fans than in older serial comics. Of course, it’s also harder to get paid for Webtoon, but it’s free to use, so it’s a trade off.

I’d write on it myself if I could draw, but I can’t do art for crap, and I don’t do scripted stories well, I am literature all the way. I do enjoy them however.

So, I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. I will say, most Webtoons are completely predictable, and trite, most of the time. Which is what fans complain about. The average Webtoon is written likes it’s fanfic for an anime. Most artists like anime now, since is does feature some of the best mainstream art available (the art in anime is far better than the script most of the time). However, I will give them credit, I usually find it less disappointing than anime. The stories do progress, don’t always rely as much on tropes to solve their problems, and the art can be more diverse too, if that’s you main concern, it’s not for me.

The ones I like the best are the most like stories, and my top favorite is one that I think actually is just too good as a comic to be translated well into a book or show, and that is the highest worth of praise.

The first one I read was, of course, Lore Olympus.

Lore Olympus Returns for a Glorious and Dramatic Second Season

I read it because my fellow mythology buff friend and sister recommended it, and I liked the development, (the color palette was little hard on my eyes though) and I love a good retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth.

I am not crazy about Persephone, as I find her a little hard to figure out, but Hades is cool, and the retelling is quite creative.

This comic has raised some controversy actually, because of the age gap between the two leads, and the sexualization of it. Some have critiqued it because a rape scenario was thrown in there just so the “hot guy to the rescue trope” could happen.

To be fair, those critiques were earlier on, and were based on what people projected would happen, and I would have had the same concern, but I read it later, so the story-line had already gone somewhere.

What made me stick with the comic was the portrayal of abuse, domestic and otherwise, and trauma, and how it affects you. I could relate to it, as could many people, and to the people trying to help the others out of it. I play therapist quite often myself, as well as ask other people for help.

I do like that girls in the story support each other, though I think more of the men could be better, some are also quite good. More on the topic of abuse later.

I started reading other toons after that. I read one called WindRose that was adorable, then I just kept sampling a bunch. As of now, I still try new ones on a weekly basis.

Not all of them are really worth discussing, but the ones that are unique even for stories are what I thought I’d talk about.

My favorite is Purple Hyacinth, it took a while to convince me to try it, (my sister also recommended) but then I realize it was perhaps the best comic on the app. It’s just a work of art how they draw, do dialogue, and use music and sound to enhance the experience.

Petition · Let's get an animated series of Purple Hyacinth- · Change.org
Kieren and Lauren

But you all know me by now, I’m here for the message, and anyone who isn’t, is lying. Seriously, no one actually is okay with a story having no point (I don’t want to meet them if they are, they sound scary).

Speaking of lying, the hook I absolutely love in this story is that the MC can hear when people lie. Not to give too much away, I won’t explain how or why (we don’t even really know yet) but that in itself was genius. Can you imagine, if you knew when people lied?

The catch is, if the person believes they are telling the truth, she won’t hear it. And it doesn’t give her the magic ability to know the truth, she has to lay the elimination game, so, naturally, she became a detective.

Lauren (the MC) is a great character. I wouldn’t consider her a role model, but it’s easy to understand why she makes the choices she does, ad to want to see more of them. Most Webtoons have very annoying MCs, even if I like the story, but Lauren isn’t one. She’s the right amount of independent, but not invincible, so she needs to get bailed out by her partner, but also can handle herself, by turns.

Kieren, the other MC, is a complex antihero, who seems to regret what he’s become, but is willing to sacrifice his own conscience in order to take down the final Boss in the story. Again, I don’t want to spoil too much, this is really worth reading if you are able to understand English (I know people do translate pages like this, so I can’t assume for sure you can read English). Despite how that sounds, he is neither Deadpool, nor the tragic stoic weirdo that girls think is hot but we all find kind of bland after awhile. Kieran owns every scene he’s in, even in panels. He almost outshines Lauren, but she holds her own. Their interactions are definitely the best part of the story.

Then we have Will and Kym, the side couple, who got more attention than I expected, and I love every minute of it. Kym can actually be my favorite character. She’s basically the definition of chaotic good, and Will is a good foil for her, though e’s the most boring out of the main four. Every group like this needs a straight-man to be balanced.

The Webtoon Community — webtoon: NEW LAUNCH 🚓 PURPLE HYACINTH Her...

Kym is actually the most consistent source of strong morality in the story, which is why she does more than the typical best friend character in a comic. She is the most loyal to her team, the most shaken up when a person ear her dies, and the most compassionate and forgiving despite her boisterous, often provocative personality. She’s a solid character, and I find my self agreeing more with her world view than any of the others.

Pin by Otaku & Gⓐmer on faceclaim | Hyacinth, Webtoon, Purple

So with a such a great premise, and such good charctes, this comic seems destined for success. Id on’t know for sure, since stories ofen drop the ball after a certain point, if they drag onto to long, but not a sinlge scene is theis coic is wasted, so i ahve hope sthey will finish strong.

A little writing tip for any new authors: The best way to pace your story is for every scene to have a purpose. When I write, the comic relief is put in between important dialogue in each scene so that the scene has a purpose, ad when i write action, the only exucse to cut away is to provide more info on wha’t happening that the audience needs to know beofore the fight can commence or continue. Otherwise, it’s just ogont ot ake t hreader out of the story. Hpwever, only pracitce and experience with hone your abilty to spot useless scenes.

An example would be, any scene devoted just to one charcter thinkng about how hot the other is and how they might like them, is a waste. I work that into the middel or end of scenes that actually build the relationship first, and the best comics and other stories i’ve read do the same thing.

There’s other examples, but that might be the msot common.

Anyway, since most of the comic Ir ead are not finished yet, I can’t talk about the enitre thing. But I do think it merits attention when they do something well. The use of red ink to desginati when soemoen is lying in Purle hyacinth, it’s clever. The use of eye color changes in other stories, when it’s sublte, is also clver. Whend one right, it becomes a whoel other experiene than a typical story.

When done wrong, it’s just more exhausting than a book emotionally, with less brain work to shaprne your skills.

I guess it’s sounds like I’m debating the merits of reading comics in general. It wasn’t something I did a lot of growing up, and i don’t consider them to be literature.

The best way to look at a good comic is a hybrid between a book and art, it’s not literature, it’s not just pictures, it’s both. So, it neither had the benefits of reading a true book, nor the same drawbacks of relying just on art to learn. Because, to be real, pictures only will not work for every scenario. But a comic can fit almost any subject.

I have found the comics enlightening in another way though.

Many of them deal with mental health, insecurities, problems with relation to people, and abuse and trauma. One I just found that’s been really good for this is Socializing 101.

They are a little too good to be true, usually. I’ve never had friends who talk to me the way people talk to each other in this, and I can’t talk that way myself. Often, it sounds like reading off the script in a therapist’s office. I suppose because so many people go to counseling and therapy now, it’s becoming part of our vernacular, which is good, because some people who won’t go to therapy may still here some of the same advice.

Still, wish fulfillment is part of most fiction, and there’s worse ways than solid relationship advice.

I had heard most of it already, and I don’t think all of it is actually that helpful in real life, it won’t fix your problem to follow those steps, but it can get you through some difficult moments at least. If you’re a novice, you certainly would benefit from following the advice, such as talking to people about your problem, and taking it easier on yourself, believing you are worth spending time on, and worth listening to.

Some comics put a lot of focus on finding out the truth, handling situations with maturity, and learning to overcome your personal flaws, like a hot temper, usually. And how to be patient with people like that and try to understand them.

And how to choose to date people who treat you right.

this helped me to start getting my head on straight about crushing on people who show no interest in my existence. I think I have always done that because I am more comfortable with no attention, after getting mostly negative attention growing up, and then neglected when I wasn’t being abused directly.

I don’t expect people to like me or want to be around me, but seeing myself in the Webtoon characters, it helped me question it more than just hearing about it had in the past. Seeing these people get talked to , it’s easier to think “maybe someone could see me the same way, maybe people don’t all hate me as much as I think they do. Maybe it is a misunderstanding.”

While it’s not a solution, often the first step is recognizing your perception could be off. And being open to being proven wrong. You got to lose the pride in your own opinion of yourself (and yes, people do take a sort of sick satisfaction in depreciating themselves, it’s very sad.)

I feel that my outlook has gotten a little better. It can be frustrating to read about happiness you don’t have, but the best ones make you realize that you need to believe you can have it, and will have it, if you seek it.

C. S. Lewis wrote that “all get what they want.” All of us, in the end, will get what we want. Whether in this life, or the next. We should be careful to want the right things.

Wanting a healthy relationship is a good start, but many people, honestly, don’t. They like what is familiar.

You see, you think you want someone to really love you, but then you spook as soon as someone shows they might actually love you. I had this experience myself quite recently.

Changing what you want is a step by step process, and can be ungraceful, people who stick with you through it are your real friends.

So, that was what was brought to you by WebToon, hope you enjoyed, I will see if I can link the comics I mentioned in the post, 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.

BPD, it’s not an excuse.

According to my therapist’s recommendation, I am reading a book about BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder. Which my Dad clearly has.

My dad was once diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and ADD. But there’s now some clear differences between BD an BPD. With BD, mood swings last for days on end, and often come with manic bursts of energy.

I never saw my dad have bursts of energy, he was always tired, often depressed. His mood swings were by the day or hour, generally.

The rage, lashing out, and splitting (diving people into black and white sides of a question, with no room for nuance) are all part of BPD, but not BD.

ADD is part of it, or can be.

Perhaps this was all supposed to come as a shock to me, but I am not really astonished.

I figured he’d fit some category. Borderline is the borderline between neurotic and psychotic. A person who had really never grown up.

The book I’m reading “Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder ” is about learning to live with someone like that, and there’s another book “Stop Walking on Eggshells”. They might be helpful in the future.

But the book makes no mention so far of how someone with BPD could easily be abusive, usually they come from abusive backgrounds. With the outbursts of wrath, and manipulation, why not?

The books have almost a cavalier attitude toward the people stuck living with a child or parent like this (though, if the child id like this, it is usually is the parent’s fault, unless they’re adopted, it’s a learned behavior). Like “you can learn to manage this person.”

I could see some use for this in a day of arrange marriages, marrying for status, etc. In other countries where that’s still the case.

But if you have a choice, what self respecting person signs on for that kind of crazy. BPD people cannot maintain relationships, and should not be in romantic ones, the most intimate, challenging kind.

BPD, giving it a name, is kind of a self defeating thing to do. The Silence, by Bastille, describes it pretty well:

“Tell me a piece of your history that you’re proud to call your own Speak in words you picked up as you walked through life alone.

We used to swim in your stories and be pulled down by their tide, choking on the words and drowning with no air inside.

Now you’ve hit a wall and it’s not your fault my dear, my dear, my dear. Now you’ve hit a wall and you’ve hit it hard, my dear, my dear, oh dear.

“If you give it a name, then it’s already won. What you good for, what you good for? If you give it a name, then it’s already won.”

 

Bastille is right in a way, often when we give these personality traits a name, they win. Because it’s a human failing, to think once we compartmentalize and label something, it’s less powerful.

When really, we just take it less seriously.

That’s the power of stereotypes. You call someone a  hick, a diva, a geek, a nerd, a jock, and they lose some of their dignity. Between friends, being undignified is okay, even necessary, but when we do it in general, it’s to avoid thinking about the person, really, truly thinking about them. Understanding them.

You might argue, if we give it a label, people might be kinder. Like ASD, ADD, ADHD.

It seems kinder at first, but then people assume you have no choice, you become something less than human, if you have no control over the type of person you are.

I know that there are some things someone on the ASD spectrum cannot control, but those things are actually very limited. Almost all aspects of a condition can be temporary with enough years and effort. It depends on the severity.

Likewise, BPD is a condition people can grow out of, with or without therapy.

But if the person can grow out of it, could recognize it as immature, then they knew what they were doing was wrong. They might lack the self control to stop, but they knew.

I don’t like it when experts deny the obvious. That anyone with mental illness that they are somewhat conscious of has a choice. Good experts don’t deny it.

In my dad’s case, he did things the book hasn’t described so far. Threatening me physically. Being mean, on purpose, even when he was in a good mood, sometimes more so then.

My dad’s abusive nature colored most of his interactions. He had to be in control, even if things were good. So if he was having fun, he’d make you miserable so that it was in his power, he’d sometimes try to make you have fun, if he was in the mood.

Not everyone with BPD is like this. They are not all abusers. I actually have a few of the traits myself, but since I was raised in an abusive house, that makes sense, I don’t have it to the excess I’d be diagnosed with a condition.

But the temptation to always feel like the victim, to think every one hates you, and to desperately want them to love you, is part of my life. Also, the emptiness I sometimes feel.

Victims feels empty because we were neglected, and our expressions of love were usually tainted by manipulation so as to not be satisfying.

One thing that was interesting was the book said the BPD people with hug too tight and too long because they feel empty. My dad always hugged both too tight and too long…and oddly, both me and my youngest sibling hated being hugged and kissed by him, and even by anyone, as young kids. To this day both of us are hesitant to allow people to hug us, and I still don’t like kisses (I wish I did). We always wondered what made us dislike it, but the way he did felt off. My dad blamed us for not wanting to snuggle, thinking it wasn’t normal, but preditcatbly, he was the one who made it abnormal.

My aunt has excused my dad on the basis of being on the ASD spectrum, and having ADD, and BD. But I believe BPD is the correct diagnosis. The others all had holes in the theory, and he grew out of the ADD. He is still BPD.

Which brings me to my real point, my dad’s abuse is not explained away by BPD. It gave him issues relating, but it did not make him mean and controlling in the way that he was. It’s a choice to do those things.

Anyone who tries to say I should have stuck it out has not appreciated the danger of doing so on my mental, emotional, and physical health. My dad didn’t want to be helped anyway.

The bible has a passage about the same behaviors as BPD. Galatians 5:19-21 reads “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders…”

Heresies, my dad believes some weird stuff about God due to his inability to let go.

The Bible does not complicate things. Theses things are from the flesh.

Does that mean these people are all evil? No… but some are.

It’s strong language to say my dad is evil, but his delight in doing these things seems like wickedness to me. I don’t see the point of sugarcoating it.

I think we are too wimpy now. We won’t say certain people are evil. But calling it that was helpful. Because evil can be repented from, how do you repent of a personality disorder?

The bible makes no mention of personality disorders. That is not because it was behind the times, written before psychology, the Bible has many verse about psychology, stuff modern studies are just starting to catch up to. The Bible knew the power of positive thinking, laughter, and power thoughts long before we officially proved the brain and body respond to those things.

Think about it, if the Bible was right about all that, way, way before we could even measure brain patterns, then isn’t it just possible that it’s right when it makes no excuses for evil based on personality.

True Mental Illness in the Bible exists in the form of either demonic oppression, or strong delusion. Otherwise, we are held responsible for our mental health.

Jesus told his disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Meaning, we can choose to be troubled.

David said “Why so downcast oh my soul? Hope in the Lord” indicating he could turn his soul to hope, not despair.

There’s lots of others verses. I recommend “The Utter Relief of Holiness” or “Free to Live” by John Eldredge, for more on this subject.

In cases like mine, a lot of what we feel isn’t caused by our choices. But everyone has that problem. People can just be jerks.

Our culture encourages us to blame everyone else for how we feel, and not do a thing about it. Just to sit in it.

But while we can’t blame ourselves for being mistreated, we can’t just let those people control our lives. Think about it, you want the person who hurt you the most to be the one calling the shots in your life? Not me.

Maybe you can be classified with a disorder. Maybe some of it never goes away. It’s possible that we never forget what it was like to be abused. But that doesn’t mean we have to act like victims the rest of our lives.

If God gives me the time one day I will have lived longer not being abused than I did being abused. But even if I don’t, I’ll have an eternity of better than I can imagine.

One thing abuse forces you to learn, if you would be free, is that you can’t let people shape your idea of a good life. God is the only one who can give you that image. You will settle for less than you could have otherwise.

It’s not just optimism, people. I have to believe that if I want to ever move on.

A lot of trouble would be saved if people told each other one thing: You can believe what you want… but only believing in the right things will lead you to freedom.

And there are things that will free you if you believe them. The Bible calls them the right steps.

So, BPD or not, we decide what we will be.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

A difficult conversation.

Part of Recovery is facing your fears, and figuring out a new way to live.

I watched a movie about being in rehab, rehab for addiction and recovery from abuse have some striking similariaties, I guess abuse eats away at your life the same way addiction does, just one is self inflcited and the other is inflicted on you.

One of the reasons I’ve chosen not to drink for this period of my life is that I have alchoholism on one side of my family, maybe both, and drugs on both, and I don’t want to start making that my go-to during a rough period.

The Holy Spirit is the only coping thing I want to be addicted to, event hough it’s hard. It can feel like taking a pill or a drink would make it so much easier because physical symptoms suck, and make emotional symptoms worse.

I’ve had stress symptoms all this week, which seem to have been triggered by a difficult conversation with my aunt.

See, as part of not letting my dad control our lives anymore, my sisters and I have discussed telling our extended family about what happened.

The trouble is my dad cannot keep his mouth shut about any drama in his life, and he has already told half the family his version of the story. Which no doubt paints him as either the victim, or the person struggling to get over his difficulties (still the victim).

My aunt is the main person who informs everyone in the family what’s going on with anyone else, so all our uncles and grandparents are calling her asking about us…calling us directly would never cross their minds.

I don’t really mind it so much, except that a slanted version of our story is getting spread.

I called my aunt over the weekend, she’s my dad’s sister, grew up with the same crap as he did, and has a handle on many of his flaws.

She said she was wondering about it and would like to hear more, so I told her. I gave her the highlights.

The word that seemed to surprise her most was ABUSE.

She couldn’t seem to grasp that her brother could really have abused us.

I gave her the physical, verbal, and emotional examples. She actually witnessed when my dad punched me, and she said she would have probably done the same if her kid had hit her first. I explained why I did it and his history of barging into my room without knocking, etc, bu it didn’t sway her.

Though I told her that he’d threatened my several times before that point, and had threatened me afterward. When I said that it was over me not doing something he asked/told me to do, she said in her house she’d expect her kid to do chores too.

The crowning injury for me was when she said that she thinks there is no good guy, there is no bad guy, that there were things I could have done differently, things that caused incidents.

??????????

I really hope you are horrified right now, and that this doesn’t sound familiar, if it does, you have my sympathy.

Let me define some things:

After a certain age, I don’t think a kid should be physically forced to do things like chores. There’s other consequences.

Which is moot anyway, because I was a grown adult when my dad threatened that, capable of making my own decisions. It had nothing to do with teaching me to be a good kid, it was about power. That’s all it was.

And if you are threatening your child with violence to get them to do something, you are acting like a tyrant.

I believe you can punish children for disobeying, then it’s a consequence, I do not think violence should be a motivation for the action to begin with.

But it doesn’t matter, since I was not a child. My aunt seems to not understand the obvious difference there.

My mom didn’t threaten to slap me out of temper, that I remember, but my dad did. He flung me out of stuff when I had done nothing wrong save for being there first.

I told my aunt this, I told her how he would tell us things he shouldn’t, like he considered suicide a lot. I told her how he verbally abused me with criticism, blame, and just horrible mocking that no one should ever say to or about their kids.

I told her about the manipulation.

She said some of it seemed like him trying to be a better dad than his father, by playing games with us. Though I said that wasn’t for us, it was for him. If we refused he’d whine about no one wanting to play with him, sometimes he got angry and yelled about it. Blaming us for making him unhappy.

Also, when he was trying to get over his gaming addiction, he’d blame us for not giving him a distraction by playing with him. Like that made it okay to play video games all night long and yell obscenities at the computer while we were trying to sleep.

Sure, our fault.

My aunt did admit some stuff, like how he makes everything about him, how he embarrasses people when they most want him not to, how he exaggerates what others do to him.

She puts it down to him having Aspergers (which I doubt after being in a program that talked about it) and not being able to get a sense of what other people feel.

But I know that is not true, I lived with my dad, he could tell what everyone felt as long as he wasn’t the cause. I’ve heard him explain exactly what people were feeling, and sympathize or use it against them.

He knew I had self worth issues, he knew I struggled with anger over what people do to me, but he would blank completely that he was the cause of that.

He could explain why my aunt was bothered by the behavior of everyone else but him, he’d own up to it if my mom pointed it out, and he’d laugh at it. He laughed at my hurt when I didn’t like his mocking and exposing me. He laughed at everyone’s hurt.

My dad liked punishing people. He liked bullying people who were weaker than him, who would let him. He hated me for getting stronger than that, but as long as he could get a reaction from my mom or sisters over what he said, he’d keep doing it.

He treated everyone like his parent, not his responsibility, and he still does.

My aunt told me he’s talked to her a lot about it, and owned up to some of what he did that she herself pointed out, but she focused on what bothered her the most, not what bothered us.

My dad told her apparently that he always thought we’d put up with him no matter what, that he wouldn’t be made to leave.

So, did he get married and have kids to ensure an audience for his bad behavior? A well of unconditional love? That he could withdraw from his whole life?

I guess so, he always did say he’d move in with me once he got too old to work (that’s not happening.)

Dad could never be accepted by his family, so he made one where he though he’d always have to be accepted. I heard him brag to people that my mom loved him despite all the bad things he did that she didn’t know about before they got married, so she was the best woman in the world.

I heard him yell at her for how disrespectful she was too, if she ever dared to question his treatment of me, or anyone else.

My dad wouldn’t always snap right away, but he’d snap eventually and make a whole thing of it, so you wouldn’t try it again.

I grant that our family was different from his, my mom made it so, but it wasn’t necessarily because he was a better parent.

My aunt knows the truth now, but she still encouraged me to think of what I could have done to cause all this, and to try talking to him. That I won’t know if he’s changed or not until I do.

Like I need to talk to him to know that 3 months of self reflection and 8 months of blaming us, are not going to undo 20 years of an abuser’s mentality.

if it could be changed, it would take years. Humility begins with realizing what you did, but you’ll realize a whole lot more once you start that process.

My aunt also told me that she feels we are in the phase of being angry right now, but when we are over it, and have kids of our own, we’ll understand why our dad was that way. We’ll see it was because of his upbringing.

My sister’s response? “I hope not.”

Mine too, I hope I never start justifying myself to my kids because of my past. I hope my husband never gives me leeway to be abusive, even if I sometimes act like a victim because I was one.

I want to adopt, for crying out loud. A lot of orphaned or foster kids were abused, do I want to add my name to that list? Heck no!

What my aunt is doing by saying this was my fault, is saying it’s not abuse. Because you never, ever tell a victim they did something to deserve that. Their abuser might, but you shouldn’t.

Believe me, we deal with that thought enough.

I don’t generally ask myself if I did something to deserve it.

I did about the hitting, but most of the time I knew he was overreacting, and had no right to treat me like garbage.

You know what’s sad?

If I had turned it on for my aunt, if I had cried and told her all my hurt feelings, Maybe I could have gotten more sympathy. My very calm, mature way of discussing it can work against me.

I’ve seen it with other people too, they get put off by me not crumbling, crying, acting like my life sucks.

I get it in a way, if this really happened to you, how can you be calm? It’s horrible, people in movies cry, other girls cry so easily, why don’t you cry? We can do the hug thing and say it’ll all be better.

Two reasons:

  1. When I did cry, people didn’t ease up on me, they doubled down. They told me not to cry, that I wasn’t being attacked, that this was because they loved me… crying was blood in the water to the people in my life.
  2. I did cry, I spent years sobbing alone in my bedroom, at night, trying to get past it. Trying not to be miserable. I was less depressed then than I am now when I can’t cry and let it out because I’ve become so “mature.”

 

I can’t beg for pity anymore, I once did. I got it twisted around and shoved in my face, by the one person who begs for more pity than anyone else I know.

He’s doing it now. He just can’t understand why we won’t talk to him, he’s changed! he realizes he was a jerk now.

Like he realized it scores of times as I grew up, and did nothing.

Any excuse will do for him, I’m sick of listening to them.

But I know why my aunt told me all this and won’t call it abuse.

She’s lived through the same thing with her parents, she’s heard terrible things from them. She broke the most out of the cycle of words and actions, I think she got resented for that the same way I did. No siblings to cheer her on either.

She finally accepted the excuses her parents made, and accepted her place in it. She blames herself for causing some problems because that is easier than seeing it as senseless.

Abuse, cruelty, neglect, they are all senseless. I’ve said this before.

My aunt’s view is too cotton candy for me. It assumes people cannot just deliberately do wrong because they refuse to do right.

That’ just not true. I believe the bible, it says people are wicked. On purpose, and on accident. And all of us will do both. A good person might just be one who does the least on purpose.

But that’s a human standard.

A good person is one who can own up to dong all they did, and doing it knowing it was wrong, even if they didn’t see how wrong it was, they knew it wasn’t right, and then, they try to change. Failing to change, they admit they can’t, and fall back on God. That’s what the Bible calls being righteous.

The sacrificial system in the Bible is an acknowledgment that we will sin, we cannot stop, but God’s grace makes us right with Him, if we confess our sins. We can stop sinning when God gives us that ability.

I have not stopped getting angry, but I have stopped bullying my sisters over it.  I haven’t stopped feeling insecure, but I’ve stopped blaming the wrong people. I’ve stopped demanding my parents fix that for me.

There are days I hate being an abused kid. I hate the stress of it, and how my body breaks down under it after awhile. I hate how people misunderstand, and still think it’s my fault

As if you blame the slave for trying to run away from a cruel master, and say it was their fault when the master whipped them almost to death for it. Sure, they caused it by running, but would they have run if the master was kind?

I loathe many things about this process.

But I don’t hate my aunt. I feel sorry for her. She still thinks it was somehow her fault. She couldn’t tell me that if she didn’t believe it.

I’ll admit to all of you, I find the whole thing depressing and hard to accept.

But I’ll get through it, because I am doing something about it. In the end, the survivor is still the lucky one.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.