So in two hours it'll be Christmas Eve, and I normally do my Christmas update on Christmas Eve, but I'm going to have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow. I'll have three Masses to sing or play at in 24 hours, and that's just the start of it.
The most important recent development is that Seán, my fiancé, started a petition on my behalf, which seems to have done a little more than just smoulder. After suffering the incompetence of the Home Office multiple times over the last few years, Seán had had enough. (Well, so did I, but I was actually terrified of said petition. I put up a newspost about it on NG earlier but I didn't dare put it on the front page, and if I signalled people to it, I did so via private message because it was so hard for me to talk about it.)
But now, I shouldn't be afraid anymore. This thing is going FP.
And the news that really made it start to feel like Christmas for me was that I received a letter from one of the canons of the Archbishop of York (yes, John Sentamu, the one who famously cut up his collar upon hearing of Mugabe's abuses, and wore it back when Mugabe resigned). It looks like the Archbishop's going to write on my behalf.
The news came to me as a pleasant surprise, and I'm just grateful.
Over the last four weeks or so, the Soundskills people and I worked on a Christmas parody song, called Another Flippin' Christmas Song. I discovered today that the song's been frontpaged, and it put a little smile on my face. Thanks to whoever did this.
Suffering Home Office incompetence this month made it even harder for me to finish recording said song, but we all persevered. Seán is determined to not have me give up on my solo works at all, even if I feel like due to my dwindling mental health I've had to put a moratorium on solo works for the time being.
This year had one major project which went successfully, that is to say, that of Mio/Homura EXTEND ver. and its associated music video.
It would not have come to fruition were it not for Seán begging me, over the last few years, to revisit this. Past newsposts of mine reveal all the emotions I went through prior to the release of this song, and the positivity it brought when the video was finished.
This year also saw Seán and me move into our new home together. It has been a blessing for us to be together all the time, as opposed to families and major illnesses tearing us apart.
But otherwise, this entire year was a shit year. My mental health's worsened, Seán's physical health has worsened, I have been plagued by nightmares in my sleep nearly every night this year, and have been fucked around by bureaucracy in spite of having nothing to hide with regards to my past trauma and my engagement to Seán. I've had people happily assume that I'm something I'm not, over the course of this entire year, that I'm somehow making my past up.
I wish I made my past up. I wish I did, so that I don't have to bother people with these bad news stories that cannot escape my mind. I had an abusive family, I grew up in an abusive state, and I still reel from it every single day, with the memories and nightmares coming back to me unbidden. On many occasions I'd wanted to kill myself, and nearly did so multiple times too, because I was very much crushed, and I still don't know what justifies this sorry excuse of a life, or even its search for freedom and vindication. The only person keeping me alive right now is Seán, and he is also the person driving my creativity forward where I cannot do so on my own.
And as if it isn't bad enough that I feel like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, Seán did not recover the Mio/Homura dress when he moved out of his old place and now it's gone forever. There has been so much confusion and I'm fucking sick of it.
I wish for none of this to happen to anyone, not even to Seán. So to those of you who have indeed had a shit year, the least I can give right now is a virtual hug, and a shoulder to cry on. This is the one gift I think I can give NG this Christmas.
Now I'd best end this post, because I'm up early for the 4th Sunday of Advent Mass tomorrow, and I will be drumming again for the Christmas Vigil Mass in the evening. I hope Christmastide treats you all as kindly as it possibly can this year, and I hope that the new year shall bring hope. But even I am doubtful of that.
As I have mentioned previously on Newgrounds, I am still struggling to be allowed to stay in the UK with my fiancé, Seán. My newspost history, if you look through it yourselves, has many allusions and even direct references to what's been going on.
Seán started a petition on my behalf today. It's probably brazen of me to ask of this, but I'd be grateful if you could sign it. It's very, very hard for me to talk about this, and I appreciate any and all help from you on NG.
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.