March Madness: Prelude

There are two months I hate the most out of the year, no matter the weather, or what state I reside in. March and April.

They hold the most amount of ‘traumaversaries’ for me, as well as the birthdays for the two worst people I’ve personally ever known. April is not my abusive ex’s name, nor has it ever been. Nor is March the name of my ex-roommate. But in this context, they’re very good aliases.

I’m not even sure he deserves an alias. I don’t owe him protection to his reputation. Indeed, I don’t owe him anything. None of the three of them want me talking about this at all. But if they didn’t want me to vent publicly, they might’ve let me journal in peace.

I began this arc wanting to go straight into venting about him. His made-up dead twin, his hypothetical psychology degree, his insane tantrums, the Turcott’s incident, the Rosenkrown incident, the mock-class he accidentally inspired Asra to make on how not to edit your selfies. And I will get to it, be patient.

But to understand how much he disgusts me, I must paint you a portrait of what he took from me.

He actually told me, in that hour-long tirade when I returned to the house on August 5th, ‘You need to stop talking about our world!’

Story, through my mouth, told him she was sorry and that she wouldn’t anymore.

If she wants to keep his manipulation and hypocrisy his dirty little secret, that’s her decision. Not mine.

Spring of 2018 is when I fell in love with Arkady. He was sweet, beautiful, an absolute corvus sassius of wit, and we had a mind-boggling amount in common. Including, but not limited to, having secret social circles that seemed straight out of a Holly Black novel. I couldn’t have stopped falling for him if I’d tried.

Arkady and Ash had been a lovely couple of four or five years at this point. I adored them both beyond measure. Tragically, perhaps unjustifiably, I still do. By 2019, it had already been decided that I would move from my cozy set-up in Georgia’s Savannah Historic District flat, and all the financial advantages that came from it, and begin a life with them as my family.

Of course, my blood relatives were fractured and distant to me most times, so the idea of holidays actually meaning something other than trauma– family vacations, support, growing together, learning together– that sort of unconditional love that I hadn’t yet known, and likely never will. Since April had manipulated my inworld, I’d worn my independence like a protective shroud, built an aged castle of wariness around my heart. My life had enabled me to haunt day from the next, then drink myself into a manic stupor. Before this, I was planning to save up for trying to move to Europe, then likely dying there when the economy likely fails me.

What more is there to do through middle age?

But I digress.

Ash quickly became my beloved metamour and best friend at the time. I adored them platonically, but had turned them down for romance, as I hadn’t been in love with them at the time. (I would later fall for them just a year later.) It was a spiritual household and, whether my past-lives were translated into DID on this plane, or if the histories of my alters have occurred exclusively in my head, we’d discovered we’d all known each other before this life. Arkady and I had been brothers, on more than one occasion. Twins, usually. Visarden had loved Oscar Wilde, and Ash occasionally channeled Oscar’s younger sister, Isola Wilde. Ash and Arkady both had also channeled my dearly departed Elisabeth to comfort me in my grief. And Ash channeled Thysia, from the Chaos religion. April had obviously used my world as her own personal puppet show before, and I almost wonder if all that was just that all over again. But much of my lives/alters were connected to Arkady, and Ash had reproachfully confessed that they were jealous, and also wanted a twin.

This will be important later.

If my theory is correct, that these alters of mine had all lived their lives elsewhere and elsewhen, it would make sense that this would occur. Maybe these are, in fact, spirits or selves from another realm and it’s only manifesting here as DID. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense for March to later on roast me about my experience with past-lives. But not much that March had done has made a whole lot of sense.

If this is true, then Ash and Arkady are forbidding their people from seeing me, at least in this world. They’re denying centuries of knowing my soul because a lie seems more convenient. Perhaps William, Visarden, Rebecca, Luce, Arannan– everyone, is horrified at what Ash and Arkady had been led to do and are exasperated by this millennial polycule household drama. Was Visarden agonized that he couldn’t say happy birthday to his partner on the 16th of this month? Does William know how badly I wanted to give him well-wishes in the beginning of September? Are they worried about me?

The other theory is much darker. I’d come to realise, via April, that my inworld has the suggestibility of Play-Doh. If these people were just alters, having lived only as long as this body’s existence, they very well could have been manipulated to ‘remember’ having met Arkady’s/Ash’s roleplay characters. Was this all a role-play for them, too? One that they kicked me out of because I played wrong? Or it was becoming disturbingly clear that I believed them? Was my mental illness taken advantage of twice? Trying to use my deceased partner to try to persuade me to fall for Ash, for example?That’d be sick and sadistic. Even worse than what April did, as she at least never made me false promises.

I don’t want to believe that theory.

As my partner pointed out, cheekily, Ash’s argument of, ‘I can channel my people because they’re real.’ Sounds an awful lot like ‘My OC’s better than your OC!’

Just as it had been with April, this has always been real to me.

In the good old days, my alters fucking loved this spiritual household. After April had fucked me up so badly, I’d been quiet about them for years, and they’d stopped reaching out to others. I felt closeted in this. But Arkady had told me he had past lives with vampires and that Ash was an Unseelie Fae King– You can imagine that I didn’t think I’d be judged.

I recently told Kaspar, ‘I think I’ll start to make it a deal-breaker for dates if they claim to be a vampire. It never ends up well.’

Kaspar quickly replied, ‘Don’t fool yourself.’ It didn’t have to be in my head to know that one.

“Tell me about yourself,” Ash had prompted, two years ago. “You can’t be human. Where did you really come from?”

So. Sheepishly, I told my story. I used my usual disclaimer, ‘This will be weird, but this is my experience. I’ve never known if it was real, but it’s real to me.’ It’s the same that Cotton’s gotten, that AJ’s gotten. About how Neb was here first, and how Phisoxa had crafted me to bring her novella’s OC to life and end our cyclical curse of falling into abusive relationships. I was a Frankenstein’d soul in a watch, then a clockwork crow, then I awoke in the modern age with a British accent.

And they accepted it.

I didn’t have to hide anymore. The relief I felt was immense. They could both relate– they could relate to having magical friends no one else could see, they could relate to feeling not of this world, they also were able to go into different worlds that didn’t follow mundane rules.

On my 25th birthday, Arkady held my hand and guided me through my inworld– successfully, I might add. “It’s real,” he whispered to me on the roof, grinning. “You’re travelling to other planes. It’s always been real. I’m so proud of you.”

It was something I never thought I’d have, and it was so indescribably precious to me that I wanted to hang onto it until my hands bled. (Said figurative hands are practically bone at this point.)

Someone that Ash ‘channels’ (an alter?) even thinks of me as his child. Another one even adopted me. I had children with Ash, in that other world. Is that just all null and void because Arkady’s friend, dying to be a catalyst for anything, decided to hate me?

Wow. I’m depressing myself with this. Moving on.

I’d known March somewhat impersonally through Facebook for two years, at this point. He sent me message, something along the lines of, “One of my exes is telling my crushes that I have a crush on them so I’m contacting you so that you hear it from me first! I hope this doesn’t ruin our friendship or anything.” What was interesting is that he sent this same message to AJ, Ash, and a few other Facebook friends. This ex never did do this, and was never named. It was never proven if it’d even happened at all.

I’d known March’s relationship with his live-in partner, Vic, was going badly. I’d seen a couple of awkward moments on my feed. It seemed like this almost like putting out an ad to fill Vic’s tenuous position. And Ash was the only applicant.

Well, Ash and March got together in January of 2019, and began a long-distance romance. It was something both Arkady and I supported, much to my immense regret. Then Valentine’s Day came and went: Apparently Vic and March had gotten into an argument, and Vic pushed March off a hill. Or March was atrociously drunk and fell. Both were plausible and I may never know the truth. March ended up pretty banged up either way.

Then March asked, ‘I know we were planning to meet over the summer but my partner is physically abusive, can I move in with you soon?’

Ash and March had known each other a month and a half, at that point. I had awful trust issues and had practically ran Ash and Arkady through a background check to make damn certain that they’d never betray me. To add another in to what seemed so unlikely and precarious, even with all of my efforts otherwise, seemed terrifying.

For me to let March in was a gesture of complete and total trust in that Ash and Arkady would never let anything happen to me and my one chance at having a family. I remember even telling them, ‘If this ends up toxic, we’ll just keep an open communication between the three of us, and we’ll figure it out together.’

That was the beautiful, trusting set-up I had.

And March came through like a goddamned wreckingvall.