As I mentioned on my own Discord server a few times, I've been moving house. The move's been complete two weeks ago, but in between tiredness, struggling to find a routine and suffering with many a PTSD attack, I've not been able to go online much. Now, here I am, and I hope to settle into some sort of routine.
It's a ground floor flat, shared between me and the fiancé, Seán -- albeit on separate beds because we're Catholics and we don't do the cohabiting thing and the closest thing we can do to avoid that is to have separate beds.
Two Wednesdays ago it was bare and Seán and I were eating chips in packets off the floor. Now, it looks a lot more like a home. It's still a work in progress, as you can see by the loose wires here and there, but it's a place we can truly call our own, and for this, I am really grateful. <3
With apologies to: @Whirlguy @BiPolarBeat @Chris354 @Kalviter @Kwing @Mawnz @Septyrikon @1f1n1ty @AceMantra @alternativesolution @Azhthar @Biggyzoom @Bosa @Ceevro @Ectisity @EverReverb @FGK2015 @Jassummisko @jaysummers759885 @JordanKyser @LadyArsenic @DarkRoxy @NekoMika @Rahmemhotep @SourJovis @I0TA @TheDukeOfJuke @Theepicosity @ToxicGeek @ChronoNomad @Rahmemhotep @Saminat. I have been away from the net for a fair bit and now that SourJovis is going to Draft 3 (or is it 4) of the script, I hope to see you all on the NGAP15 Discord server soon. How's tonight sound? I promise to be on at least a few hours a day, and I'll try and schedule it -- and then periodically check in either on the phone or the PC to see how everyone's doing.
Clicking on the image takes you to the track on Newgrounds. Thanks @DetiousMusic for letting me be a part of this, and congrats on 500+ fans!
If Soundcloud is your thing, you can also stream it here.
On a side note, it has recently surfaced to my attention that one of the mods who was responsible for frontpaging audio has FPed a stolen song. More to come on this issue at a later point. I have since taken it down as soon as it was pointed out to me, for I was so out of the loop, so badly out of the loop in fact, that I had said song in my favourites for a time.
Yes, an upcoming collaboration with @DetiousMusic. This is gonna be mighty fun!
Clicking on the artwork below takes you straight to the track on Newgrounds. I hope you all enjoy it!
As you may be aware, I do not normally put up a new post about a track of mine, let alone a frontpage post about a vocal track of mine, but this is one I hold especially close to my heart. This is as much as an outpouring of my heart as Mio/Homura was.
I sang this when I was sick, and going through a lot of mental distress. However, this piece is six years old; I composed the original instrumental back in 2011. The artwork above is that of Project Chaplaincy, a game I hope to make real. That, incidentally, also dates back to 2011.
Where was I during that year, both physically and in my state of mind?
Physically, I was in Hertfordshire, two months into my final year of my undergraduate law degree. I had met @Merlyne for the first time not long before, and we came up with Project Chaplaincy, or the idea of it, together, after I saw the artistic brilliance that was Okami. When doing the artwork for this I was in the university library, using their computers, going on DeviantArt and using their in-built Muro program to draw. I composed both at home and in the university library, and by that time I had already been gifted the Signature Bundle of FL 9, which later became FL 10 and then FL 11. We both dared to dream. He wrote, I drew and made music, and we needed a programmer, which, to this day, I still do not have yet -- but, I am waiting for someone on the programming front. Waiting, because there are several things he needs to do first, and in the meantime, I am working towards that high bar of musical and artistic quality I hope to achieve. I don't know if I ever will.
Mentally, I was still wrestling with my identity then. I was wrestling with a lot of harassment that my father, my paternal cousin and my extended family heaped upon me. I was struggling to come to terms with some of the things I'd been through. But, most crucially, I'd only been in Britain a year and a bit then, and much like someone experiencing freedom after having been in shackles for a very long time, I could not find the words to many of the things I needed to express. If ever I told people that I was a bad speaker, this was why. All the abuse I'd spoken of in previous newsposts of mine was still there at the back of my mind, but I'd not yet unearthed it the way I have now. If anything, it manifested in a zeal that I could not yet explain.
I have come a long way since then, and so has Re:Reveris. It is a vulnerability talking about spirituality and religion, a vulnerability that I try to sidestep by singing about it. Prayer has been cathartic as it has been fulfilling; sometimes I find myself surrounded with light and love, and sometimes, I cry bitter tears asking why things are the way they are. The past six years have seen me becoming more acutely aware of my vulnerabilities, and the past year alone has seen me becoming more able to put words to the things that I'd previously struggled to express.
In about two weeks, Seán and I will be moving in together (albeit on separate beds until we're married; you know, we hold fast to this sort of thing). Seán is leaving his unnecessarily large family home, a home which used to cater for five, but which now caters to just him.
It's bittersweet thinking about all the waiting and rejection before finally getting a home of our own. It's bittersweet moving out from the friend's place, the friend who put me up when I was in great distress last year. Neither Seán nor I can repay the kindness and support shown by this individual. He does not have much, but he shared what he had. I want to do the same.
So this new place is a flat on the ground floor, with front and back gardens and all that you would expect of a two-person flat. It's decently sized. This new place isn't quite ready, but if all goes well, we should be getting the keys in two weeks.
I wish to thank all of those who supported me in my darkest hours. This isn't the end of my struggles by any means, but at least I'm making headway against the wind.
I hope to be back to sitting down at Seán's ahem, rather magnificent desk and producing (as opposed to doing so in bed, contorting myself in rather uncomfortable positions and causing my spine to hurt). So, you'll likely see the return of the MIDI keyboard. I'd not used it over the last year.
Anyway, I'm just overwhelmed with emotion right now. It's something I didn't think would happen for a long time. I'd never had a place to call my own before, and this is going to be the first.
Before anyone asks, no, I'm not well enough yet to sing. My body still hurts and my throat and chest are still filled with phlegm. But I REALLY need to get this off my chest. Call it a 'vent,' if you must.
I'm not doing this to justify any actions (because I imagine each person has different ways of coping), but I'm here to tell people what it's like for me, and exactly why I get angry when someone wallows in self-pity.
In the daytime, between 6:00 and 9:30, I am woken up with a jolt, from having suffered an awful nightmare. It could involve my parents, or the school I went to, or conscription, or being raped or molested. All these things did happen to me in the past and now they are playing on repeat, the old spectres haunting me. This happens nearly every day, and I often need Seán's and my friends' help to remind me that it's only a dream. My memories take on nightmarish forms in my dreams, which is why when I remember that it's only a dream, it's only my memories. I may be in a much better place now with people to love and cherish me, but I am plagued by these awful things.
Sometimes I get flashes of my mother and father, with their angry, fiery eyes, ready to slam a massive spoon or a belt or a feather-duster or their fists straight to my body, then bruising me where it is least visible. They didn't want to attract any attention to what beatings I got, so any bruising would be covered by my school uniform. Where I grew up, many people mastered the art of torture without leaving a trace: they would hit areas that did not bruise.
I have been getting more of these flashes lately. My father treated me as his property, to be treated as he pleased, and married off as he pleased. (Bear in mind I was already a legal adult by this time.) His attitude towards me was simply shameful. You know the kind of father who sends his daughter off to be married and undergo FGM? Well, imagine that. Just without the FGM. Domineering, cold and unwilling to listen.
I remember the apartment where I grew up, in very vivid detail. I know where everything was kept, what everything looks like, and I can even see the images in my mind. I remember the room where I was nearly beaten to death multiple times, what it looked like, and I can still remember it in vivid detail. I was 2 when it first happened.
Yes, two years old! -- and that image and my cries for help have never vanished from my mind.
I remember the pain. I remember trying to run away from home -- but where could I go? -- I remember being treated like a pariah for my ethnicity and my supposed caste, multiple times, with people smearing my name, not wanting to go near me because I 'wasn't of their kind', etc., etc.
And that only covers a summary of the abuse from my family. That's only the tip of the iceberg, and my family weren't the only abusers.
Sometimes you feel you've overcome it, and sometimes you're struggling like a fucking emotional wreck. In those times it's easy to think that the whole world is out to get you, because you've had it happen to you many, many times. But the fact of the matter is, there are also people who are willing to love, and give, and not expect anything in return. It's easy to shut yourself away from these beautiful people, who make humanity good just by what they do.
I have suffered suicidal thoughts and on many occasions, have been close to doing it. It's easy to think, at those moments, that you don't have agency over your actions. But you do. All you need is just ONE moment of will to believe in the people who want to help you. It's fucking difficult to get to that point, but it's worth it. That one moment can change everything. The feeling of lack of agency will then pass like a ghost, and with it come cathartic tears. No one will judge a person for feeling suicidal after he's recovered. More often than not, people would be extremely happy that they managed to pull someone away from the brink. It feels like the one sheep missing from the pen that the shepherd has saved, while leaving the ninety-nine behind. It feels like the one denarius that the widow has lost and found again. That's what it feels like, both inwardly in myself, and outwardly from other people, when they manage to pull me back from the brink. People are proud of someone who has emerged from a suicidal stupor alive, and willing to seek help.
For all I know, one day, the PTSD will get worse and resurface, and much like a long, unresolved grief, I would have to go through many stages before coming to the point of acceptance. Self-pity is not a stage of grief -- or if it is, it is utterly damaging. We have every right to be angry and sad over wrongs that had been committed against us. And many of us fight passionately for that right. But if we're not careful, we could be thinking, "I'm a fucking joke," or somesuch. Self-deprecation and self-pity are two sides of the same coin.
And the problem with self-pity -- and I know this, because I've been in that frame of mind -- is that it shuts the door against people who are trying to help us. It shuts the door against any chances we make for ourselves.
If in the family home, I wallowed in self-pity, I would be no different from my own narcissist parents, who treated me as they pleased, and used that "oh poor me" excuse to justify doing whatever they wanted against me, because I was certainly lower in status than my parents -- I was a mere child and needed to be put in my place. "Oh poor me" was used as emotional blackmail against me, to never question their actions or to never call them bad parents -- which is what I really ought to have called them. If I went on to say, "oh poor me," I wouldn't be much different from my abusers. And they say that those who have been abused become abusers themselves.
But I don't want to. I want to break the cycle. That's the only way healing can happen. That is the only way we can go on.
And then you'll go on to say, "but Trois, you have a far better strength of character than I do, of course you can do it no problem!" BOLLOCKS. One, I am just as bad as any sufferer of PTSD going through awful episodes, and like others around me, I don't feel I am strong. For nearly succumbing to my suicidal thoughts, I feel I am weak. Two, if you want strength of character, then you gotta do it. There may very well be times that no one's going to tell you that you're strong.
As a result of the abuse my family (especially my parents) inflicted on me, I have lost ten years of my shitty life. Being forced to study what they wanted me to on pain of death, suffering constant harassment from said family, and then having no control at all over my future because I saw myself as having no means to achieve my deepest dreams. But life is only shitty if you can call it out for its bullshit. That is, if you can actually stare it in the eye, and say, "Oi, don't fuck around with me."
I do not trust my blood relations anymore. Now, my family is what I make of it. I love Seán, and I look forward to marrying him. And all the friends I've made these last few years, they are my family. They are the replacement for the strong and secure family unit that I did not have a chance to enjoy. No, they are more than a replacement -- they are family. It can take one split-second to make all the difference between embracing them when they're trying to help me, and rejecting them forever.
I got taken to hospital for a few hours on Sunday (the urgent care centre to be precise) when the doctors suspected I had pleurisy, because I had chest pains and it hurt me even to sit still or to breathe or to cough. After testing me negative for the worst possible scenarios -- deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism -- they concluded that it was an inflammation of the chest muscles, and rest and painkillers would help ease recovery.
I'm finding it hard to keep my pitch straight because of the phlegm inside me, that is proving impossible to come out at this stage. I cannot force it to come out, not even with a hot shower in the morning.
I have two solo pieces, one of them being vocal Re:Reveris, and I'm determined to release it, and my mind is at this stage where concentrating on other things is almost impossible without Re:Reveris being released. And, of course, I cannot record because my voice is wavering and this bloody phlegm won't fucking go.
IT HAS BEEN TWO FUCKING WEEKS.
Fuck this shit already. Those who said summer colds are the worst ain't felt nowt yet.
Happened about 6+ years since I set foot on Newgrounds, but it does seem that everyone does have their day. Eeeey, tá mé go hiontach. Go raibh maith agat, NG!
So, a warm welcome if you're on my page for the first time. Feel free to browse things I've submitted -- audio, art, newsposts, whatever. I'm not good at introductions, and I've spoken at length about myself in previous posts.
As the thumbnail suggests, I'm primarily a musician, and I do some ethereal and uplifting stuff a lot of the time. Meep. Oh, and I meep a lot. Meep meep meemeemeep.
In the last post I wrote about projects in progress. This time I want to tease a bit more, with cover/sleeve artwork for two which are either partly there, or near completion.
Attention @TMM43. ^_-
NB: The artwork for Re:Reveris' vocal version is a prototype of the Project Chaplaincy title screen; I'd been doing many title screen prototypes over the years. I thought I'd use it, just as a throwback to the place in which I stayed during my time at university, the people whom I knew there who have since been scattered due to their life's calling.
So what am I working on, given that I concluded a massive project just a few days back? (By the way, this particular link leads to Mio/Homura's music video, which I also mentioned in my FP'ed previous post because it's awesome. YOU SHOULD GO SEE IT.)
- In the immediate future, I'm scoring two animations by @Wondermeow. I was ill for a short while but now, I seem to have recovered, so I might as well start on them now.
- A collaboration with @TMM43, which will take its time -- and it is a remake + vocal version of something I've already submitted to NG
- A collaboration with @ProudAardvark, and this will be something new. I'll be providing vocals to his music.
- The joy from Mio/Homura's music video prompted a few friends of mine to collaborate with me on Akiko Shikata-like stuff, but methinks it'll take a life of its own rather than be inspired by anyone. Most of the collaborators on this project are not from Newgrounds -- they are from a band called harmonicblend. @Phyrnna is in on the project too, and we're all keeping our eyes peeled as to how this'll go.
- Starting next month, the musicians will begin work on the Audio Portal 15th Anniversary Audio Drama, so I'll be handling what projects take the least time / have the highest priority, and then take my time with the rest.
- I still haven't forgotten that I need to do O City That Was Not.
In other news, Seán and I have been discussing what our next big project should be. I'm not going to give away any pointers as to what it might be, but I assure you, it's gonna be as awesome as Mio/Homura is.