Dear 2016 Me
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Why do we fall?
So we might learn to pick ourselves up again.
The Christopher Nolan Batman Films
(I started with a pretentious quote, sorry)
Brexit, Trump and another coup against Jeremy Corbyn. The nazis are sending packages to your door and scaring your family to the point where police are regularly popping round. And you’re still dealing with Kallman’s Sydrome, Growth Hormone Deficiency, Dad being a monstrous cock and the guilt of that fanfic. And oh yeah, banging your head against the brick wall of universal credit.
I wish I could say things get easier. They don’t. Putin’s started killing gay people in Chechnya. Your sister has revealed herself as not only emmigrating to as different country but also a staunch defender of your father. Illnesses plague the family and you gain another medical diagnosis, which thanks to NHS underfunding may actually get treated by the time the conservatives are no longer in power. And oh yeah the conservatives are still in power, despite another election, propped up by bribing terrorists and the news cycle is now all Trump being a stupid git, all the time. Except when caring about sexual assault becomes news, then most of the (1% owned) media curiously has amnesia about Trump saying he grabs women by the pussy.
So yeah, things don’t get easier. The world is fucked and it is only getting more fucked because as money concentrates in the hands of fewer and fewer people there is less that can actually be done to help or change anything. After all America now runs the world and America is a place where bribing Senators is free speech but a sports person kneeling during the pledge of allegiance is a disgrace that must be silence.
So why am I writing this? Because you get better.
It really doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I am a house built on the edge of a cliff where the ground is eroding away beneath me. I’ve deleted my youtube videos, changed my name online and rebooted the continuity of my fiction. I have run and run and I am so tired and in so much pain and now when I feel the clusterfucks of drama bombs landing I am ready for death. Except the end has not come and I don’t honestly think it will.
I think my father, the government and that prick who thinks I wrote Adam Godwinson about him will keep screaming in my face. I think that when people are desperate they will rage at me that I should try harder, push harder, care more. I think I have passed the point of caring what these morons think. Ohj I know they’ll keep trying to destroy me and my family. Father threatened my mother that he would reduce the share of the money she got from the house if she didn’t do more work round the house. A gamer spotting an obvious weakness and attacking it with all the subtlety of a dalek.
I think things aren’t going to get easier, I think the anxiety this cruel sadistic world exhibits upon those I still care about will keep creating drama until the day I die but I know now that I can take it. It’ll hurt like hell and I might have to be cold as fuck and cut vulnerable people off while I heal but I will survive. At least until the filthy cockteases finally pull the damned triggers on those guns they keep threatening me with.
You see three years ago - Or is it four? - I started playing video games because leaving university gave me the time and dreams of being a letsplayer gave me the motive. I don’t play games a lot, not nearly as much as people would expect, but I favour the same games and I play them over and over and over and I keep getting better.
Why does that matter? Because it’s a microcosm of what’s happenning to me in reality. I’m getting better at dealing with trolls, getting better at living among feminists and trans people online despite my ignorance and desire to share that ignorant perspective. I’m biting my tongue, I’m listening and I am getting better as a writer. Even the descriptions and the portrayal of women.
Do I have a problem writing women? Yes. Do I have a compulsive need to write submissive women into my stories? Yeah. I do however think that I am finding ways to square the circle and at least make clear that the fetish romances are just fluff and not a statement on how I think the world should be. That I can provide representation for women that is nuanced individual and rich even if I’m writing young submissive supermodels as well because I’m a pathetic lust filled virgin.
More importantly though I am slowly starting to forgive myself for my sins in the past. For the ways I tried to give representation that fucked up immensely. It’s not been easy and I have written loads I am not proud of but I am getting better. And here’s the thing, I know now now that others I respect can see that I am better. The brash anti-feminist bragadocio has been replaced by a cautious feminist and trans ally who does not want to harm those he sides with.
I was bought to the point of tears after Nine Worlds Geek Fest because I didn’t believe the change that my friends could see. I thought I’d lied to them, manipulated them, that I had been a shark swimming among seals convinced I was not a danger and that I had been tremendously irresponsible. I used to think I was a bad man with rules but bad men do not spend years grieving in distress for the harm they unwittingly caused. I just couldn’t see what those around me could. I couldn’t see the danger and I couldn’t see how I had changed.
I have changed and I am still changing. I don’t know what I’m changing into but I don’t think I’m becoming Gordon Gecko. That’s not where I am putting my skill points. I am a kinky autistic writer with an interest in scifi and fantasy and yeah I’m going through a lot right now. I’m still riding out delayed puberty, I’m dealing with medical condition after medication and at some point my father is either actually going to die or allow the house to be sold (that’s not a threat by the way, he’s just a very old man).
At some point the house will be sold, my hormones will have settled down, I’ll have all the appropriate medications sorted and have at least one book out. Beyond that I don’t know but I am getting better.