Thursday, October 26, 2017

Life in the 80s

Kit
The 80s.
So, Stranger Things 2 is coming to Netflix.  I watched the first one, and it hit my 80s vibe so much.  There were a few things that I was disconnected from - living in Calgary is completely different than living in the USA.  But there was enough that hit home for me.

Back behind the Mobil home I lived in was a bunch of dunes we called the 'dirt tracks'.  This was dug out dirt that wound around the region - undeveloped land.  I'd go there with my friends, bike around the dunes, play with our action figures, and do jumps off this one space which was perfect for that.  Two or three or more of us would line up on one side, and someone would shoot down one side, up the other, and sail over us.  It was cool.  There was a pond with salamanders there as well, and we'd catch them, and let them go, or try to raise them if we could get an aquarium.

My mom and dad didn't want me in the house that much.  I'd go out, spend the entire day wandering around, doing what I wanted to do.  Sometimes this was hanging out and playing Dungeons and Dragons (hey!  like the kids in that show!) on someone's front porch or in their house.  Sometimes it was out to the 'dirt tracks', sometimes it was down at a friend's place, almost an hour's walk away, or a trip to the swimming pool, which was almost two hour's walk away, or sometimes it was to the closest shopping mall, well over two hour's walk away.

I didn't tell my parents where I was going usually - as long as I was home for supper, it was okay.  And if I was out after supper?  Home by 8-9 pm.  Not, you know, that I really paid that much attention to that.  I was sometimes late for dinner, and sometimes out a bit too late at night.

Some people talk about the tension in the 80s.  I never saw it.  Then again, I was naive as all hell.  There was this threat of nuclear war - but that worry was distant - in the back of my mind, as something that 'probably isn't going to happen'.  I didn't worry about it, I had other things on my mind.

So... here's where things get interesting.
If you know me... and if you've been paying attention, you know about Legion.  And, while I was completely unaware of them, they existed back then and went about their existence as best they could without me being aware.

We built entire mental scapes in my head for them, and what I thought was just 'hey, imagination!' was them doing things to enjoy themselves.  'What if this was real?'  'Let's set it up so this is going on', and other stuff.  They'd then inhabit what was built, and just entertain themselves.  It... was distracting.  Or, if I'd be going someplace, they'd swap me out, let me enjoy the stuff built into my head, and take over, enjoying the scenery as I walked from one end of Bowness to the other.

I think to some extent, they also protected me from the worst that was out there.  I can't tell you where the tipping point was.  I just know sometime - between Grade 3 and Grade 7, there was a change.  I went from 'me' to 'we'.  Or... maybe it was even before that, but... I don't think so.

My fights with Kyle?  Not always me.  It was probably Mark who chased Kyle down the street to defend our friend Brent.

The person who stood their ground for half an hour or more against a would-be-bully, laughing at the thought of seeing what this guy could do?  Not me.  Probably Shawn.

The person who threw themselves at a student in Jr. High, without any thought of who the person was, or personal safety?  That was Dark.

The person who *almost* clocked a teacher in the back of the head for insulting us in front of the whole class?  Probably Shawn - and THANK THE GODDESS I stopped him before it happened.

But these were also the people who kept me company when I was alone at home.  I wasn't allowed company over, so if I wasn't outside, with friends, I was alone.  So they kept me company.  We'd play with my action figures together, giving them names and personalities.  They'd help me work out ideas in my head - thinking about distant places, or 'what ifs'.

I just didn't know it at the time.  But then, I didn't have any point of reference - I thought everyone talked to themselves, and heard themselves answer in other voices.

Daryl was there - my younger brother.  Immature, impulsive.  There was Sonic as well, who ... well, admittedly, was very, very strange.  Bard was there, playing constant music in my head (though these days, it sometimes sounds external, too.)

I wonder what it would have been like if I knew who they were.  If I realized 'I' was 'we'.  I honestly don't know, but I'm kind of sad I didn't get to acknowledge my brothers (and sister) when I was a lot younger.

---

I remember some of the girls I hung out with and knew at the time.  I had no idea how to deal with women except for 'hey, it's a person I know, and I shouldn't treat them differently than anyone else - except no hitting.'  Initials go here. RL, MB and CL, J? and SD, RB and PG.  And of course, there was the woman who lived across the street from me - I don't remember her name, but... seriously.  I was 18, and she was well into her 20s, and what the hell did she see in me?

There's things I remember from my time in Calgary about them, and some of these things... I don't think they remember.  RL didn't remember when I'd hurt her feelings, but I feel glad that I was able to call her up and apologize.  Seriously, when someone's model-level attractive and you have no idea how to even comprehend they're in the same airspace as you... yeah.  I shouldn't have teased, but I didn't have any idea what to even *think*.  I still have a soft spot in my heart for Bluehawk.  She's shown up a few times in my D&D games.

CL triggered my ASMR one evening.  Sitting in a semi-dark room, laying backwards from one another (head-at-ankles), and she just started running her hand along my shin and ankle.  I mentioned that was relaxing, so she kept doing it.  There was nothing sexual about it - we were just talking about things, and then my brain switched off because OMG that was relaxing.  I could have sat there for hours, just talking, half-out of focus because it was so soothing.

Which reminds me - one time on the school bus, some girl behind me started stroking my hair.  My brain simply shut off, and I enjoyed the entire bus trip in a trance.  To this day, I've got no idea who it was - but whoever it was?  Thank you, that was ... bliss.

My friend Neil, at one point, found a letter from MB to BM - her boyfriend.  I got to read it briefly, and... you know?  I was a bit amused at what was said - but on some level, I got it.  She liked him, and that was fine.  I didn't mention this to anyone, because as far as I was concerned, it was private.  I was naive, sure, but... these were friends, and I saw no reason to tease them over a love-letter.  MB did me a favour once, though it was weird.  I'd never had a girlfriend, and she was sitting in BM's lap.  So, I asked if she could sit in my lap.  She did... and it was interesting.  I was like 'huh, okay, so this is a thing'.  It didn't get my hormones revved, but it explained some things to me, and ... I'm actually grateful.

J? and SD.  Two girls I seriously liked.  Those two girls were the ones who set my 'type' for the next decade.  J had almost-red hair, SD was blond, and ... while I didn't know them that well, they were kind of a 'night and day' for me.  SD was petite, and J was a touch tomboyish, and I was drawn to them for those reasons.  SD ... barely tolerated me, which is okay, because she wasn't cruel or anything.  J... I actually got the guts to ask her out once - and got shot down.  But she was nice about it - a simple 'no, sorry', and that was that.

RB.  My 'girlfriend'.  In that a common friend of us ours set us up as a pair.  Considering I knew nothing about how to handle a relationship, I... was okay.  We went out on a date once (to see Rooftops.  I won two tickets from Much Music).  That was fine.  We played RPGs together.  I kind of wish she didn't smoke.  And we never did anything really 'coupley' until my 18th birthday.  She put her arms around me, and I had NO IDEA how to react to that.  And ... I moved away that month, to Ottawa.  She wrote me, once.  I lost the envelope with her return address - then the letter from her disappeared.

That's my last regret for Calgary - that I have no idea where she is, how she's doing, and I never got the chance to write her back and say 'thank you'.  I hope she's doing okay.

PG.  She's on my list of 'solid friends'.  I hung out with her and her brothers, we played D&D and other games, and she was a solid friend.  I liked her, enjoyed hanging out with her, and while sometimes I was a brat, she was nothing but nice to me.  Heck, she let me sit in her room and read her Amethyst comic collection (which was kind of cool, honestly).  She was, at the time, the ideal of the 'platonic girlfriend'.  She's the person who pretty much trained me that 'you know, you can have friends, who are girls, and ... that's okay'.

---

The 80s were strange.  Complex in a lot of ways that I didn't understand, and incredibly simple in other ways.  It was like, my personal space was simple.  Life for me was simple.  But there was so much going on that I simply couldn't comprehend - I wasn't a part of it, it didn't touch me, and that was okay.

I remember someone having broken the wing of a seagull when I was in high school.  I went out, captured it in my sweater, put it in a box, went through class with it, and then took it to a wild animal clinic downtown with another student.

Had no idea who that student was, but she sat with me on the bus, helped me get it to the clinic, and that was that - never saw her again.

I remember my Phys Ed high school class, where a student suplexed me so hard it knocked the wind out of me.  That Christmas, my Phys Ed teacher (as Santa) brought me down in front of the entire school during assembly, sat me on his lap, and gave me a 50 pack of MUSCLE action figures as 'bodyguards'.

I laughed.  It was great.
Then I went home and wrote a wrestling-based RPG, because that's how my mind worked.  And then I sold it to my friend David for $10 before I moved to Ottawa.

Then I wrote it again.  Tweaked it a bit.

---

Things were not as fun or simple once I got to Ottawa.  Moving into a new house, not knowing anyone, trying to find a niche in high school where nobody knew me.  The stress my parents were going through, and me just not knowing how I 'fit' anywhere.

Rod was probably the greatest thing to happen to me, when I moved into Kanata.  Cat was the greatest thing to happen to me once I met her.  Rod was an anchor - he grounded me, and was the brother I needed.  Even when he moved away, he kept in touch with me, and I needed that.  When he moved back to Ottawa, it was great, we picked up as if we'd never parted ways.

---

Is there a point to this?  No, not really.  Just... I've not done this in a long, long time.  Just writing, and writing, and writing, letting my thoughts flow out.

It feels good.  But I should stop.

Goodnight.

Monday, August 28, 2017

I'm home!

Samantha:  Well, I'm back from Montreal, and while there were some frustrations, overall, it was a wonderful trip, and I hope I can do this again!  The experiment was both a success, and a failure.  It was a success in that, yes, I was able to be in control through the entire week without complication.  Kit was a bit of a jerk though - there were some things I didn't want to do, but he was all like 'well, you're in charge for this week, so you get to do those things I would normally be doing for you'.  :<  I tried some Nair, to see how it would work for me.. and the answer is 'not very well'.  It might have been because it was the 'gentle' version, and we might need a stronger version.

So, the bad thing.  Well, I was trying to have fun with my partner, and everything was set up and while I was nervous I was excited to try out some new things.  However.. when I'm active, certain parts of our anatomy 'doesn't exist' for my awareness unless specific attention is paid to them.  Even then, it doesn't feel normal for me.  Well, that disconnect prevented me from being able to.. umm.. 'perform' in the required fashion.  I tried, and.. well, nothing really came from it.  It was frustrating, and a bit depressing.  So yeah, learned something new:  'Samantha's enough of a woman that she's not able to do this kind of thing'.

Let's see, what else can we talk about?
Well, yeah.  Wednesday, made it to Montreal, hung out with my friends, and got along well with my partner's significant other.  They were cool, and we had some similar interests, so we got to chat about that.  Thursday, I took my partner to see Spider-Man - and screwed up getting the tickets.  I got them for the wrong theatre.  So that became a more expensive trip than we'd hoped.  Got to wander downtown, and went to McGill university, and enjoyed the farmer's market there.  Also went to the 'gay district', and enjoyed wandering around and taking pictures too.

Friday was 'the experiment', and.. well, like I said.  It didn't work out like I'd hoped.

Saturday, my partner had to go out for dinner with their significant other.  It was a bigger affair than they'd expected, and ran late.. and I was lonely as hell.  And apparently, the medication we're taking for our moods - St. John's Wort - isn't working as well as we'd hoped, because I crashed hard.  And I've noticed we're reacting to some things a lot harder than we expected to.  This isn't good.  We may need to either up the dosage, or get the hard stuff, and we kind of wanted to avoid getting the hard stuff.

Sunday, we went to a 'munch', where people with a certain interest were able to gather and talk about stuff, knowing they have a common interest, and being able to be normal around one another.  After hanging out for awhile, it was time to go home, and I kinda slept and rested on the bus ride home.  Once home, Kit took over, and went to the Loon and Arrow with Cat.  The serving girl was awesome, and it was a pleasant wrap to the trip.

So, looking forward to another trip to Montreal.
Looking forward to spending time with my partner.
Looking forward to seeing what I am capable of, and what we can do together.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Vacation!

Samantha:  Kit's given me the chance to go on vacation for the first time, so I'm spending five days in Montreal. I've never been in control like this, and I get to try being my own person during the trip.  Sadly, this also means having to adult as well.

So far, so good. Though I had a weird dream, where I was talking to an artist friend online, while playing with myself. It wasn't sexual, when I did that, I sounded like a sitar. My girlfriend was there with me, as was her kind of furry persona, though human still.  And then my sister in law came into the room, amazed at the sound I could make.  We were at our old place.

Yeah, weird dream.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Does It Have to be Complicated?

Samantha:
I'm going to enjoy myself.  I have to.
I'm heading to Montreal for a few days to see someone, and I'm looking forward to it.  It isn't 'Kit and Cat are going to Montreal', it's me.  Kit's giving me some time for myself - a few days - and I can spend it with someone I care about.

But there's complications.
See, a few days ago, we were discussing things we'd be doing while I was visiting, and some of them were.. well.. personal in nature.  They hit a lot of my fun buttons - and while I was a bit shocked and shy about it, I was like 'oh, this is going to be interesting!'

And I was thinking 'I get to spend a bunch of days alone with her!'

And.. while it's true.. it isn't completely true.
There's going to be one day where her boyfriend's going to be staying over.  And if I came earlier - which had crossed my mind - there'd be a few days where he'd be there, saying over.  Which means I'd be in the living room.

Not with her.
I don't think I'm ready for that.  I can probably deal with one day like that.. but not multiple days. And on the weekend, she's going off to his parent's place with him.  I won't be going.  And I'm going to have to deal with that.

I'm the 'on the side' in this relationship.  As much as I don't want to be.  But I have my limitations and she has her limitations.  Different cities, different needs, that kind of thing.

That.. kind of took the air out of this some.  I do want to go, and I do want to spend time with her, but I've also tried very hard to ignore that there's another relationship involved.  I keep on thinking 'oh, this is that guy, her friend' - not 'this is her boyfriend, who she has a relationship with'.

And.. it makes me think of the stuff we talked about a few days ago, and suddenly, I'm wondering 'do they do that kind of thing?'.. and a part of me is worried that 'yes, they do', and a part of me is going 'you really don't want to know the answer, in case it's 'yes'.'  And.. the fact it might be yes, kind of makes me want to cry.

*sigh*

Friday, June 2, 2017

Light, not Shadow.

Samantha:  So, my brother's starting his first Blue Rose game.  He owned the 1st edition for quite some time, and he's been looking forward to the 2nd edition game ever since he saw it coming out on Kickstarter.  For those who don't know - this is a Romantic Fantasy game - you play Romantic Heroes. This means you're the good guys.  Not the 'troubled sort-of good guys' or the 'gray guys' or the 'anti-heroes' or anything like that.  You're the good guys.  End of story.

One of the players kinda missed that - thought his character might hunt down some fleeing bandits and kill them because of a flaw he has.  My brother warned him - he does that, he gets a Corruption point.  That's kinda a signal you're doing something wrong - you don't want any of those.  Well, the character went off, killed people, rolled, and got a Corruption Point.  Then found out just how shitty those things are.  Since it was the first session, my brother allowed him to step back and get a do-over.  He beat the bandit and dragged the guy back to the camp as a captive.

Yeah, the game rewards you being big damn heroes, and it punishes you to hell and back if you start doing evil shit.  We're good guys, act like it.  I didn't make a kill bot, or someone who wiped out the enemy in the first round or blew everyone away or whatever.. because the game doesn't want that.

So.. anyway..
My boyfriend was invited into the game.  I was really looking forward to seeing what he was going to play, and my brother was curious too.  He makes interesting characters, and we were really hoping he'd make some kind of paladin, or something.

Didn't happen.
He wanted to make a "mage".  You know, spell-tossed.  But they don't have spell tossers in this game.  Not really.  "Adepts" are kind of close, in that they get some kind of animistic / shamanic / psychic kind of abilities, and those tend to take a heavy toll on the person.  So right out of the gate, things weren't going well.

Then, he got some shitty die rolls for his attributes, re-rolled, and got worse.  An offer was made for another re-roll so he could get, maybe, better than average, but he declined.  Well, okay - it isn't the end of the world, each time you level you can increase your attributes, so you can kind of build the direction you wanna go.  It isn't horrible - it just means your character's more of a normal person rising up to be the hero, rather than starting there.

So he came up with a cool idea.  You take an Adept, make it a character that can create and use psychic weapons, and there you go.  I could build an entire thing around that - in fact I did.  Her name was Lilith, and she was a psychic-knife using assassin.  Note 'assassin' there - not someone I'd use in Blue Rose.  Instead, I'd probably have made her a duellist - someone who defends the honour of others, because that's kind of the way the game runs, you know?

But he dropped the idea, saying if he was going to be using weapons, he might as well have made a warrior.  And.. isn't that kind of missing the point?

So he's not playing.
And it's kind of sad, because I think he'd have enjoyed the game if he'd let himself.  But he kept looking at the negatives, and not the positives.  You get to be a hero, you get to do good, and feel good about it, and there's not this moral ambiguity.  The game's not made for moral ambiguity.

You get to stand in the light, be the good guy, do right.  The game doesn't want you going around and killing people, you're trying to save lives, rather than end them.

A mage, using fireballs and lightning bolts and such isn't helping people in this setting.  It's hurting people.  And the game tells you this - it's in the setting, it's in the mechanics, it's part of the core of the game's very being.

And.. the game asked the players to make relationships - bonds with other people, whether they were other PCs, or NPCs or enemies or friends or whatever - to connect yourself to the people around you and to the world itself.. and that was apparently too hard.

So, it feels like he didn't even try.  That this idea of there being a world of light and goodness, and being a part of that, and striving to work towards that, of being connected to other people, in a positive way, from the get-go, was too much.

It's a shame.  Because when we got to playing, the ideals came out quickly, and it worked.  We were the heroes.  We saved the captives, and we didn't kill anyone.  The questions were asked:  'Were they forced to capture people?'  'Should we take lives?'  And those were the right questions.  And now that we have the captives, they get to wander off to prison, and then get put on trial.

If this were D&D, everyone would have been killed, and.. well, sure, it's satisfying to just kill everyone off, get the XP, and carry on - but this isn't D&D.   You don't just murder people - if they're breaking the law, you try to bring them to justice.  That's what makes us civilized.

And it was kind of cool.  I'm looking forward to the next session..
I just wish he was there with me.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Always something there to remind me.

Kit.
Usually, this blog is for the rest of Legion - a place for them to write about things important to them. But after something that just pulled up a bunch of memories, I felt I should write - since it's about them. You see, from time to time, I kind of like to think 'you know, I'm not as bad off as I thought'. I kind of hear Legion in the back of my head, but I can filter it out, and I can go around thinking I'm healthy and everything's fine. Then something happens, and I'm reminded that my existence, my 'sanity' is always at risk. That I'm on the razor's edge between being 'together', and having something else take over and leave me on the dust. It's those bad days that reminds me there's a reason my life is the way it is.

When I was younger - when I was first dealing with Legion as an active force in my life that I was aware of, there were triggers. I never really knew what would pull one or another up, and I didn't always have the tools necessary for dealing with it. There were a few members that would help, but we weren't used to the idea of something else wanting to pull itself up and take over, and the results were rarely pretty when it happened. Typically, it was Dark wanting control, but not always. Sometimes it was Sonic, sometimes it was Daryl, something... it was something deeper, and worse, and those were the really bad days.

It was hard navigating what was okay, and what wasn't. If I was a teenager at the time, I could have chalked it up to 'teen drama', but... it wasn't. It could be a song that would send me over. It could be some sort of interaction with someone that hit me the wrong way. It could be a lack of interaction, making me feel isolated. While we were trying to get used to one another, there were significant shifts in emotion, and that could get the ball rolling from 'I'm fine', to 'hold me down'.

I remember some of the events from the Year of Hell, and I have to admit, it's embarrassing - more so when I wasn't at my own house, in my 'safe zone'. If I lost control at home, I could lock the door, and let things run its course until I was okay. When I was at someone else's house? ... I have snippets of Cat's friends holding me down, thrashing around, trying to claw and bite and attack. I don't remember what set me off - like I said, the triggers were all over the place - and sometimes I wonder what these people thought when Dark or something else wanted free.

(I sometimes wonder if my friend Christine wanted to do an exorcism on me at times...)

But, sometimes I forget that this is still a risk. I remember listening to a song (for those interested, Gowan's "Moonlight Desires") at one point, dancing with Cat at a friend's house, and mentioning to her that the song was a bit triggering. It wasn't a bad song, there weren't any lyrics that were bad for me or anything - it was a combination of the music, the tone, the emotion in the song - it would set Dark off. And I remember dancing with her, and her arms around me, helping me to keep things together as Dark pulled itself up to the surface.

And I was thinking 'oh yeah, that song' as I was listening to it today, and then I felt Dark start clawing its way up to the surface again, and I was like 'what, still?'. It was a reminder - I'm not as 'healthy' as I may think I am - that this is still a thing - I have triggers, and they're not all mapped. It reminded me that Legion is still there, and not all of it is under my control.

I've noticed Sonic likes to peek out from time to time lately, to say hi to Cat, and get some attention. I wonder if I should take that as a warning - that the more instinctual members of Legion are more active than I might have thought - that there's something that's got them agitated, and I should keep a tab on things and see if I can fix it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I wasn't dumped.

Samantha.
So, that's a thing that happened.  I had a friend I'd see online on Friday and Saturday nights for 'dates'. In that we'd roleplay, make characters, interact, and fuck like rabbits.  The sex was fun, we tried all sorts of interesting things - but that wasn't the only part of it.  It was the roleplaying.  The world building.  Making a place, giving it consistency, and looking at it as well.  Setting up scenarios, and trying out new things, and going places.  It was exploring boundaries, and being able to do that with someone.

And my friend would make characters for me to meet.  I didn't make as many.. she was mostly having fun seeing how I reacted to things - and every now and then I'd make a special evening for her to relax and enjoy herself.  The more recent one was taking her character to see an aquarium, look at the fish, and I was using one of my favourite fictional cities for this - expanding a bit on the 'mythology' behind our stories.

So.. yeah.
Tonight, she came on, and I was thinking about what to do - but she had news.  Tonight was her last night.  She decided she needed to leave the MUSH - to leave online RP for good.  No more dates.  No more hanging out.  It hurts.  Her reasoning behind this was solid - and I can't blame her for it - but it still hurts.

See.. it means the characters I made - the characters she made - they're in limbo.  They're not going anywhere, they're abandoned.  And I feel for these 'people'.  Their stories have come to an end, no happy ending, no ending at all.  And that makes me sad.

Thank the goddess she took the time to come see me and let me know.  Thank the goddess she agreed we could talk on e-mail from time to time.  Because .. well.. it's so much better than what I'm used to.  Where the person I decided to get close to just disappeared on me without a word - to never speak to me again.  To not know if they're okay or not, to not know what's going on, or why they left.

At least it isn't that.
So.. small blessings.
But it hurts.