My counselor actually pointed out to me that this is a therapeutic technique, that I’m doing. Something called ‘Narration therapy’, that people can do when they’d been manipulated and left with very little control in the past.
It’s very helpful for that. But since discovering that I’m hardly the only victim in the ol’ “We knew each other in a past-life” pick-up line, this blog shifted away from a need to vent to a purpose.
Have any of you ever heard about the Final Fantasy House? Here’s a summary if you hadn’t.
I couldn’t help but wonder over the past several weeks. My DID made me especially susceptible to this sort of manipulation. I imagine those on the schiz and psych spectrum are very much the same in that. Why do brains have to be so damned suggestible?
Due to the stigma of admitting, “Hey, a group of people convinced me I was a Final Fantasy Character/Ghost/Vampire/Fae/Werewolf and that it was my destiny to be with them so if I seem near-catatonic after we have a falling-out, it’s not just because it’s a ‘bad break-up’, they literally just used my mental instability to validate their in-real-life LARPing and it mentally broke me.” I imagine this happens a lot more than people admit. In the same way as being catfished is also an isolating, stigmatizing, potentially devastating manipulation.
Even worse for the people who still believe it afterwards. Who are still in love with a catfish, and therefore undergo more of a grieving process than an erasure of love– who still hold the belief that there was something more than a lie, and likely always will.
In my eyes, for so long… Arkady and Ash were perfect, and my life would have been perfect if it’d just been the three of us. I thought that for a long time.
After all, Zara and March are the incarnates of toxicity, and Ash and Arkady had gotten along swimmingly before the both of them.
But a new source has come out– a rather unreliable one, yes, but one with proof. And even some good news.
See, months ago, Arkady– my Arkady, who’d called me ‘husband’, who swore revenge against April and all she did to me, who said I was family, who solemnly swore ‘forever’– told me not only that Kieran and April had melded into one like some sort of horror film, maybe never having been separate, but also admitted that he knew what April said about me. Said that April considered us all just role-play characters, who she could kill off as she pleased, or if she got bored.
And somehow Arkady saw this as a mark against me. And I saw the fact that he had gone to April as a blacker mark against him, and it honestly somewhat maddened me for once to come.
I do hate assumptions, myself. That being said, I’m very much sheepish of the one I made against Arkady. That he was the one who went to April. Hell, he was almost too shy to offer my father medical advice on Facebook.
I actually ran out into the woods behind our house and threw up when I found out. The utmost safety I had ever known had taken my abuser’s advice.
I feel like my mum could remarry my paedophilic abuser and it wouldn’t make me feel as utterly sick as that made me.
But foolish me, I’d forgotten who he was. And who Ash was. I’d forgotten that when I’d asked everyone to block my abuser, it was Ash who refused. Arkady hadn’t. I’d forgotten that the first to go through their journal was Ash. Arkady had criticized the idea. I’d forgotten that Ash was who reached out to my therapist. I’d forgotten that, when I’d brought up Arkady’s betrayal after watching “The Invisible Man” with Ash and they had shut me down. They were the one who went through March’s personal personal documents. They were always the one who went quiet when I brought up that particularly nasty breech of trust. See, Arkady was contrite, but Ash was silent.
I’d never asked Arkady directly whether he had gone to April on his own.
And come to find out, it wasn’t him.
Funny enough, Ash has been the only one to reach out to be since August 5th, to make sure their alias was far enough away from their name. Ash, whose reputation must be protected. Ash, who somehow always managed to seem pristine in any conflict. Ash’s whole friend group inexplicably hating Arkady, calling him abusive when Ash and Arkady weren’t on the same page. Ash, who was the only filter between my communication and Zara and March, who had volunteered to be the ‘mediator’ between Arkady’s and my disagreements.
Ash, who has always objectively and mentally had the most control. Ash, whose was the only name on the lease. Ash, who was the only one out of the four of us with direct relations nearby. Ash, whom I was talking to in private when I received a death-threat from Zara out of the blue. Ash, who could cry or freeze up or walk out of a conversation anytime they didn’t want to be held to account.
Ash, who, after March’s trespasses, made him their ‘Knight’ and demanded his absolute loyalty.
To perhaps lead to disgusting actions like this:
See a similarity?
I felt so many things upon receiving this information. One, oddly, was a rush of love. The one irredeemable act (in my eyes, at least; I have Low-ass standards) was going to my abuser. I felt nearly giddy with relief that it wasn’t Arkady. The other one was a feeling of disgust and violation. Twelve full days after the first time Ash had gone through my journal, had admitted that it was wrong of them, hospitalized me–it happened again, was shared to a group chat and Ash had fully known. And also, I felt a bitter, vengeful, cleansing rage.
This happened after Story and I were contrite. This happened when we were kissing ass so often that our breath smelled like March himself.
It was only after this revelation that I remembered Ash. Really remembered them. Remembered how the first time Ash and I had met, it’d been before Arkady and I had the chance to, and how Arkady requested that I not let Ash, to put it indelicately, have me– before Arkady could get a chance to beforehand.
See, I’m a slut. I sleep with appealing friends when they want me. So, when Ash whispered in my ear, on top of me, grinding into me, ‘But he never said anything about you fucking me–‘, my alcohol-addled brain thought, ‘Fair enough.’ I had been turning them down for the past three days, but given my– ahem– openness, I didn’t really mind.
But what if I did? What if I had been monogamous? Less sexually-inclined?
I’ll admit, in the summer of 2019, when I’d heard Spectre had been calling Ash and Arkady sexually praedatory, I doubted it mainly on Arkady’s behalf. He was like me, at the time. Ricocheting between hypersexual and sexually-repulsed. But on Ash’s behalf… ah… I could see it.
It turned out, Spectre wasn’t accusing Arkady at all, like we had been told by Zara.
Interesting how this group decided to drop Spectre, who wouldn’t do as Zara asked, who wouldn’t put out for Ash. Interesting also, how Arkady believed that he was being accused as well.
Also memories came back to me– how I would be singing Arkady’s praises to Ash, and how Ash would shoot them down with a , ‘Well, I had to cover his deposit in the first apartment.’ ‘I had to put up with a lot.’ ‘One time, I told him I felt only conventionally attractive and he agreed with me.’ ‘He would never do a lot around the house.’ ‘He’s never been too responsible with finances.’ Like nearly constantly.
And my loyal-to-a-fault-ass was always like “Okay and?”
They even went on to me about how Arkady had proposed in a way that was– less than ideal. I repeat, Ash was engaged to one of the most amazing people I have ever met and, because Arkady did it impulsively, or did it without their parents’ blessing, Ash resented it.
When Ash ‘lost’ their original engagement ring, they said told me that it was a bad sign, and that Arkady hadn’t proposed properly.
As much as I hated myself for doing this, I agreed to try to subtly sway Arkady into doing a ‘new proposal.’ After all, Ash was beginning their transition, looked different than they had during their first engagement photos– all good points for a ‘do-over.’
But gods, I.. didn’t like doing it.
I never wanted Arkady to think he wasn’t enough the first go-’round. Arkady, who tends to turn into a dick when he’s back against the wall like I do. Knowing he isn’t ‘good enough’ fucking broke him, I’m convinced of this.
And once I learned that he wasn’t the one to go to my abuser, that he was only taking the fall for Ash…
“Knowing this, I feel scared for [Arkady]” is what my outer friends and headmates have collectively said.
I still remember a story they’d both tell me– about how they were driving home from a Halloween party some years ago, just the two of them, and how Ash tried to drive off the road and kill them both before Arkady grabbed the wheel.
And hell– Arkady, I don’t know if you read this blog. But I do forgive you. You’ve never lived on your own. Your future in-laws are willing to pay for a wedding, my parents definitely are Not. Loads of your friends are mutual friends with Ash. And Ash– has that way with people. Where they can come out unblemished and you would just be fucked. I’ve gone from thinking, ‘How could you do this to me, [Arkady]?” to “How could you do otherwise?” Hell, you met them after your dad died and shortly before your mum abandoned you for another state and another relationship. You’re surrounded by known liars, manipulators, abuse apologists, pretenders, and a group mentality more deadly than a virus.
And I arrived to you as something less tame than yourself. Less obedient. Someone that depended on alcohol a little too much for Ash’s taste. Someone that could break away and might ‘live’ to tell about it.
For I had seen Ash’s self-demeaning rants disguised as compliments for themself, to the point where I had to ask them to stop praising me in comparison. “Xanthe, you’re just… so amazing. And me? I’m just ordinary, aha.” Even Arkady had noted their inferiority complex, but is it to the point of manipulating people to quarrel amongst themselves while keeping their image spotless?
It must be, because they channeled ‘Thysia’ despite that being exclusive to ‘my’ world that they’ve since discredited.
Want proof of that? Here.
Not only that, but the very first time I had ever video-chatted with Ash, they decided to channel my late Elisabeth.
I’d known Ash had feelings for me. I’d even expressed to Arkady a feeling of foreboding that came of my declining to return the affections. I had this innate fear that not loving them enough would come back to me with a vengeance. And even though Seven’s energy was clearly not a fit as a housemate, it was only when they claimed to be Fae– thus trespassing upon Ash’s Unseelie territory– that I knew they’d be thrown out in a matter of weeks.
Of course, they did deserve it. But no moves were made until faeries were involved.
Then, Ash went to us all to rally us against Seven.
And the question remains. Even if Arkady did disagree with this, what could he even do? Standing up for me would be standing against holidays with more than three people, weddings that have to be skrimped for, no safety net during financial hardships, his dreams of being either a cafe owner or a farmer dashed. If he even acted like he didn’t viciously loathe me, what would even stop the tide from turning against him?
I’m not saying a part of him doesn’t hate me. But I am saying…
I don’t think he has a choice.
Do I think Ash is evil? No. But the truth seems to be that that they’re so easily influenced by whoever is their favourite person at the time that you practically have to cryogenically seal them in order to trust them– Encourage a friend’s suicide? Blame Lapa. Turn on your fiance? Blame Sedona. Go through March’s documents? All my influence, obviously. Going through my journals? All Seven. I mean, all justified– I mean–
They’re not going to be the good person they pretend to be unless they can accept what they’ve done. To myself, to Spectre, to Arkady, to who knows who else?
And as far as Arkady goes, I have to say…