How’s the Living Fiction System these days?

(TW: sexual assault prophesies, brief suicidal thoughts mention, manipulation, magic used as manipulation, car wreck, pictures injuries, alcohol, religious manipulation.)

The entirety of this blog talks about the past, but I don’t actually reside in a never-ending flashback. Well, full-time at least. I have two jobs, the occasional spot of drama which thankfully is sans faeries, and I’ve been getting to know the rest of my system.

One of the biggest changes has been in my writing career. I have to be honest, I never expected this blog to take off like it did, or make nearly as much of a difference as it has and continues to. See, Ash’s past victims have been antagonized against one another, despite having immensely similar experiences. But– this was the first platform in which we’ve been able to find each other and compare notes. And rebuild burned bridges for the sake of helping one another heal or at least find closure.

Ash and company have five different victims that I know of, and that’s only if we’re counting each system as one unit. Four others, excluding myself, that have sought me out to tell a story that sounds painfully familiar. All of them traumatized, most of them systems, all of whom have tales of being intimately manipulated by Ash’s spin on ‘magic’ and ‘past-lives.’ All of whom have struggled to understand who those extra people were apparently involved in their relationship with Ash, who all have dubious means of existence. Most of whom have been slandered online directly afterwards and have been left hurt, struggling, and missing time.

And almost all of us blamed ourselves at first. Until we started comparing notes.

I don’t know why the fuck these screenshots always pixelate if they’re past a certain length. My audience can read it, right?

And not only do I have closure, but I’m making some lovely new friends through it.

As it turns out, this manner of manipulating systems or similarly vulnerable folks is not isolated to only Ash. I’ve had systems in other countries reach out to me and thank them for helping them recognise red flags and dodge bullets. Or even people thanking me for discovering that they’re a system themselves.

When I first began this blog on August 2nd, 2020, I was heavily suicidal. I’d known nothing but setbacks, gaslighting, terror, and the slow and agonising death of my ego for months. The blog was started as… a sort of self-made obituary? The way I saw it, the burden of holding both myself and Avery up would soon financially cripple me, I’d be homeless, and even life’s simple pleasures of writing, air conditioning, and cocktails wouldn’t even there to distract me.

Also, I felt like I had been condemned to that nebulous, beyond-reach ‘crazy’ and would probably lose all mental faculty. So, at least I’d have some archived explanation of why I’m yelling about faeries while lying drunk in a European alley somewhere.

I was certain I was going to die soon, and I wanted everyone to know why.

And even more than that, but I’d just been dealt a devastating blow. I was treated as though I were less than human, mocked with nothing short of glee by those I’d trusted. And this didn’t happen to ordinary people. I was thrown into these absurd, gutting situations every couple of years and I didn’t know the cause.

I think my making memoirs, I was trying to pinpoint the exact time in my life wherein it was decided that the majority of life’s peaceful, healthy, well-rounded paths were forever closed to me. What broke me to the point of no return? What turned me into less of a person? I wanted to know, overwhelmingly, why.

He’s not wrong.

God damn Asra and people like them, who had asserted that I was only so bereft ‘because of a break-up’ when these people synthesized a past, family (parents AND children included), and future for me and this was ripped away for justifiably unstable behaviour.

I didn’t think I’d be alive and typing a year from then. But I am, and this actually acted a sweet career boost. I have an audiobook nearly entirely completed on the way, this blog is available on… nine platforms? I’ve made money from it, I have loads of new followers and people now interested in my fiction. And hell, March was even kind enough to leave a false review on one of my books, boosting my profits for that month! I’ve been writing more over the past year than I had through most of my adult life.

Life really looked at me and said “Sorry for your irretrievably broken heart and your lost future of stability and mutual love, but how’s a more viable way for your writing career to happen?”

There will be an end to my blog’s story, eventually. I plan to end the story the month that Avery moves out of my house. I’ll still probably post odds and ends that I remember, and even discoveries and advice that I make in modern times– maybe additional anecdotes of my dubious life, as a treat. I will then be transferring it to a novel and sending it to multiple publishing companies. I’ll also be making it into a Youtube channel.

Right now, I read my blogs aloud on Spotify, for the fans of mine that have trouble visually reading. That’s what that little ad is up there, to the right of the page. See it? We’re going places.

I also plan to host interviews with my fellow victims, or witnesses of this. I know a Lot of funny people, so I’m sure that it will be comedy gold.

And after that? Maybe a feature-length film or Netflix series, who knows? I realise that I’m putting myself, my flaws, my regrets, my alters, my delusions, for all to see but it’s worth it for the serial predator I’m taking down.

The serial predator in question?

Ash.

Ash is a predator.

They go after systems and traumatized, mentally ill persons without a solid sense of self. They seek the under-aged or monster-like alters or “past-lives” for their own sexual gratification. They will synthesize a sense of belonging using religion and magic, and then turn the tides against you once you either learn to say ‘no’ or you start questioning too much.

I 100% believe they’re financially and psychologically in control of the entire household.

March is an easy target, but overall, not really even his own person. One of my favourite lines about him was that he was attending a mycology summit to figure out new and exciting ways to grow out of Ash’s shoulder and it’s something that rings true constantly. He’s rarely ever spotted without Ash by his side, as if physical distance would make those puppet strings snap. Thereafter, he’d just crumble to a heap of wood. He’s who’s tried to sabotage my means of making a living– a job that’s very unrelated to our drama. He also sent me that fake legal notice, which can be likened to a subpoena written in Crayola.

I think he’s harmless enough on his own. Blameless? Certainly not. His emotional blackmail and the damage he’s done against the DID community alone is despicable. But I don’t think he’s truly much a threat– or a person– on his own.

But he makes it SO EASY.

But Ash? I’d be more than happy to take them down. Or at least make it so they can never hurt anyone like that again. They had the most control of the situation, they have the most instances of the manipulation, and people only start getting ostracized once they and no one else have deemed it necessary. They seem to have taken all of the wrongs done to them by Lappa and their childhood abusers and replicated it to anyone who had the audacity to fall from a pedestal they’ve put them on. From sexually manipulating and seeking out systems, to forging a multitude of ties with one person to make it more harmful to leave them, to nearly murdering Arkady and manipulating his alter into hitting him, to even seeking out my abuser and requesting a family portrait from them, it’s clear that Ash is a disgusting, vile amalgamation of all of the torments they’ve decided to regurgitate onto everyone else.

I only feel loathing for them. Especially with Harrow’s history to be considered.

Arkady?

He’s not blameless. I wish he were. I wish I could ignore the witness accounts and my witnessing him boasting about mocking people into suicidal thoughts, long before March and Zara were even in the picture. It’s no doubt he was deeply complicit in the converting and ostracization of the vulnerable. But I don’t even know where my Arkady ends and the rest of him begins.

That being said, I still love him. Would I get back together with him?

Arkady, you abusive asshole.

No.

There’s too much lost trust. I’d forever be jumpy about him getting some new friend that wouldn’t like me, and that would make him a cruel, ignorant asshole all over again. We might be friends. But he’d first have to stop being dependent on Ash, make an apology just as public as his slander, and be on his own for a long time. Which… I honestly don’t think he has the capability or spine for. Neither do most who have known him (or parts of him.)

He’s doubled down far too deep not to be in for an absolutely humiliating ‘I was wrong and you were right.’ Which also will likely come to admitting that he was either delusional or straight-up lying to his friends and family members. Or a fun combination of both!

But I would like to see William and Visarden again, members of his system who had romantic relationships to me that existed outside of that petty millennial drama. I think of them both often.

That is a love that I was frankly lucky to experience in the first place. I’ll always mourn it, but it’s not going to happen again. Not with him and not with anyone else.

I’m not capable of it myself. I’m hyper-romantic, but, like my ego, it’s a hollow and frivolous approximation. I adore all of the intoxication, flowery gestures, kissing, and trappings of romance. In that way, romantic love is very much like wine to me. It makes a good meal or a fireside perch all the better, but it’s not the reason I’m there. I’ll gladly tell any lover I have that when I say I’m in love with them, it doesn’t mean anything. Romantic love is stuck in the same expectation sex used to be of being sacred and pressurized, and I just don’t have the time for that.

My love doesn’t come with trust or escalation or even the desire for continuation. I just like being in love. But all sense of need, commitment, devotion, and dependence was obliterated from me the moment I split from Story.

I’ve fallen in love with mirrors quite a bit since– people who resemble my ideals until it’s time to start flashing the reflection of the next person they’ve decided to rip off an identity from. And I really don’t care, these days. Life’s too short– mine especially seems to be continuing at only an unlikely mistake of fate–sheer dumb luck, truly. I care about the adventures more than the person and that will always make me come off as a cad.

Perhaps Arkady was also a mirror. And the strength I saw within him when he was with me was only a reflection of myself. Just as he reflects Ash’s cowardice now. But gods, if that were the case, he was a glorious mirror. Opalescent, perhaps lined with moonstone and filigree. Gods, I could sing at that mirror for eons like the fucky parakeet I am.

“Pretty boy! Pretty boy! Give me kiss! Mmmmmmwha!”

Is that narcissistic? Yes. But hey, at least I’m honest about it.

Even outside of the ‘Ash tried to convince me I was part Faerie because they wanted to fuck me’ support group, I’ve been making a pretty good support network for myself. I somehow ended up with more friends here in two years than I had made in my seven years in Savannah.

I read nearly as ravenously as I write. Mt. Hope and Lower Falls have become kingdoms for me to explore, take selfies in, and find good reading spots. There’s hardly a greater bliss than lounging in that beautiful cemetery and reading a good book with a refreshing drink.

Even my inner sanctum has gotten to be more of a refuge. I use what used to be Avery’s room as a study. See, after they had thwarted the landlord’s attempts to fix an infestation issue by drowning the house in diatomaceous earth, I had a good friend of mine help me clean what Avery said they were going to. The infestation problem in question was cleared up within a month and a half of that. And now I have a pretty peaceful home for the first time since leaving Georgia.

Before:
Life looks better without life-sucking pests in my house. I got rid of the bed bugs, too!

I’m also a part-time bartender now and I love it. The history of alcohol, the science of it, the culture around cocktails, theory on flavour-matching. I can’t tell you how giddy it makes me feel when someone orders a mocktail and it tastes just like the bourbon drink they used to get. The culture of bartending, too. You find a good drink for people that they didn’t even know existed and you basically have yourself a new friend!

Look, it has a rosemary crow print! I made that!

I’ve been getting to know my system as a system. The majority of my world believe they exist outside of my body, which is fine. Some alters/headmates have outright laughed at me for thinking ‘the world revolves around me.’ Some know it does, much to their chagrin. The truth is, the majority of my headmates have no interest in fronting. They live in a world of magic, where they live in a mansion or some historic European city. Why the fuck would they want to go to my flat in Rochester for? But! I’ve also been working to create more of a cohesive team effort to keep this body housed, fed, and preferably not dead from liver poisoning before the age of 35. (You think I’m the only one who drinks to cope? Oh, honey.)

Made by Harrow who, may I add, ALSO DRINKS.

A few major changes had happened since the violent discovery of my systemhood. See, those that believe(d) themselves to be past lives had thought themselves restricted to only interacting with me or the outside. But now that we’ve discovered how this system works, they’re free to make a life and social circle for themselves. This has ended up with friendships that have transcended time itself.

Kajmir and Kaspar became friends, which should terrify anyone who vaguely knows the two of them. We’ve discovered a time-locked Chicago in which Jasper resides. The rest of the world (aside from odd parts of England, Germany, and France) are set in modern times, but as soon as you hit the limits of Chicago, you’re transported back 100 years ago. Which is neat. Harrow now lives with Jasper and is being taught to bar tend at their speakeasy, ‘Covered Tracks.’

Something incredible recently happened there, too. See, Jasper is one of those past lives that had lost a loved one when the tie between my system and Arkady’s was severed, as Arkady could ‘channel’ Jasper’s beloved brother, Jack. But the system retained enough data on Jack and realised there was a mighty need to keep Jasper out of trouble.

That is to say, the inworld now has Jasper’s lost brother, Jack Harvey.

They had a heartfelt reunion. They’ve taken Harrow in since then– I don’t think Jack can front, but what really matters is that Jasper couldn’t be happier.

Jack, interestingly, still retains some bits of Arkady– his pitch of voice, some general mannerisms Arkady’s system had when Jack was fronting. It made it nearly unbearable for me to witness on that first day. I popped down to their speakeasy and helped myself and chatted with Harrow for a bit. But this is a good thing for the system.

I much prefer it that I’m the only one who lost a once-in-lifetime mutual love. It’s a sign of self-sufficiency, I think, for my alters not to require Arkady’s system for fulfillment. It’s the same way JaK, Romeo, Prosper, Aberle, etc. came over to my system from Kieran/April’s roleplay.

Another grand development. Xhaxhollari and I are actually friends! It was an effort on both of our parts. Of course, I was entitled to my mixed feelings on him accidentally keeping our abuser in our circle. And of course, he did find out that I’m entirely responsible for Neb splitting instead of going dormant in a sequence that I thought was just an inworld fever dream!

Water under the bridge, eh?

No, really. I’ve grown to admire him a lot. He’s gone to Hell and back to keep us safe and sane(ish), even back when he thought we were roleplay characters he’d grown too attached to.

There have been growing pains. JaK Heart (different from Jack Harvey but their first names sound phonetically the same) reads my blogs and has been prickly, from time to time, about how he was used as a tool to torture myself and both his spouses. He’s uh… not quite a fan of me turning everything into a joke.

JaK’s sensitivity is rather justified. He’s had to come to terms with how someone he used to view as a best friend essentially tried to kill his entire family. Even worse for him, someone who he views as an arrogant nuisance has saved his family numerous times. You’re welcome, by the way.

We still argue– it’s anywhere from an obligatory hobby of exchanged quips to a full-on physical altercation. But we are united on the goal to never let anyone from the outside interfere with his family and children again.

Sound and I have also reconnected. I wouldn’t say we’re close friends, since she was much closer with Neb, but we hang out occasionally. We went to a drag show together a few months ago, sans the awkwardness that has been a barrier since Neb’s splitting.

I’ve also learned to appreciate what Xhaxhollari does for me. There was a humourous exchange wherein I explain that sometimes I zone out and ‘autism answers for me.’

He’d stared at me for a long time. “Wait. I was the one who answered that. You thought that I was your autism?

Oh. Oops.

And though we tend to have conflicting priorities and mostly find fun ways to gripe about each other, we’re pretty much friends these days. It helped when we both stopped wondering what the hell I’m even for.

Fate tends to answer in rather direct ways.

There was a moment, just this month, of my being triggered and self-destructive as per usual. I was wallowing in the ever-present possibility that I would never get that vacation to Europe that I’ve so desired. I’d gone to my favourite bar, even created a new cocktail and named it after my sorrow– and drank, like, a few. To further my need for self-destruction, I got a ride to a Grindr hook-up, because I really wanted to embed the idea that life is nothing but a series of regrettable disappointments.

The Grindr app is really like stepping into Ursula’s cave in The Little Mermaid.

On the way home from what was somewhat average sex, the car I was riding in crashed into another car and fucking flipped onto its side. Which side? The side I was fucking sitting on.

Can we appreciate how good my hair looks, though? And if you’re wondering if the first move I did was take a selfie before being checked out by an EMT, I feel like you must know the answer by now.

The fact that I was drunk is probably the sole reason I wasn’t killed that night. It’s true! Alcohol makes the body relax and makes your reactions slower. It’s why drunk people almost always survive the car wrecks while sober people are generally lost to it. We don’t tense up in time to snap our necks when things get all topsy turvy!

Oh, alcohol, ever my savior! Undoubtedly the most consistent comfort I’ve ever put my lips to!

And– since the accident was not my fault and there was some pain and suffering involved, well. Looks like I’ll be going to Europe after all.

If only I got rewarded like this every time I suffered.

It was when I was standing on that slick street, having adrenaline’d myself out of the topside end of the car to escape, taking a selfie when I oddly felt at home.

It was chaos that I was made for, these harrowing attempts on my life that I was meant to clumsily dance through. I was meant to romanticize my own suffering and see life as means to a triumph. And my haphazard ambition and chaotic joys helped us not only survive, but truly live. I realised that when I posted the pictures of my accident, the household was probably highfiving each other over a circle of candles to discover the curse they put on me worked.

Sweeping their abuses under the rug of time and arbitrary expiration dates on trauma would be so much easier if I had died. Which is why I can’t.

Plus, that wreck caught me off guard. If I don’t have some profound and witty last words prepared, and someone to witness them, what is the point of even dying?

There is a lot that life has to offer where it’s just too late for me. Sometimes– sometimes I try to see myself from another’s perspective, and gods, my life looks quite bleak. But this is what I was manufactured for. The brain needed me, and still does.

Once I accepted that about myself and Xhaxhollari accepted it about me, we’ve had a wonderful working relationship.

We’ve both accepted that I’m insatiable, hardly ever satisfied, reaching for opulence that this generation is scarcely offered. We’ve discovered that, though we’ve long grown used to immortal presences and eternal entities, that much of life is fleeting– temporary. And that this is okay. So are all stories. So are books. So are shooting stars, sunsets, and a fine glass of wine.

Experiences are all we have, in the end.

Sometimes I do still have suicidal thoughts, but I’ve ultimately decided– why leave the party early a quitter when you can get kicked out a legend?

We’ve had two or three instances where I’m overwhelmed and needed to retreat into my inworld for an extended period. It’s nice for those close to me to know that it’s Xhaxhollari, and not think that ‘Xanthe’s off.’ Xhaxhollari even has friends on the outside who refer to him by name!

Xhaxhollari is adept at working for the hotel, but does struggle with working as a bartender, though. That’s where Jasper loves to come in and cover shifts for me. Our accent probably sounds different with every sentence but, hey, that’s part of the game, isn’t it?

Also!

It’d been a mystery, of who Story and Star had been for a while. I’ll be correcting references as I see them, but I’d sort of thought Story/Star were interchangeable. I’d heard Neb referring to Star as someone she had split from in 2004, but I was also under the impression that this was the same person who had tried, and failed, to integrate with me in 2020.

It was only after I realised that only Neb must’ve split from Star and that Xhaxhollari had remembered being Star as well did I realise what the true layout must’ve been.

Story split from Star, along with Nebula and Xhaxhollari. Then she (they?) tried to integrate with me, but by then, our living situation was so dismal that I couldn’t survive shouldering their vulnerability. So, I split off, chunks of myself tearing off, and Story split into Averie and Harrow.

Those without a bubble had nothing to do with the creation of the host. Also, they are arranged in a semi-chronological order, as well as in proximity to the host they had known initially. I’m on there three times because I’m special. And because I wanted to depict the failed fusion of myself and Story.

Someday, I may try to layout everyone’s relationships with each other, but as this world is overwhelmingly polyamorous, that may take some red strings and an entire wall.

Another odd impression I’ve been having to dispel– my inworld is not ‘for me.’ It’s not a cast of friends and support systems whenever I need it. Most of my inworld doesn’t like me– many barely know I exist. Since I came out as a system, there are so many comments I get where it’s like “Oh, of course you and Kaspar get along, they’re your alter.”

Um, no, mate. We’ve been together for five years. We’ve had our rough patches and had to play the ‘trial and error’ game of establishing boundaries like any other couple on the planet.

“I wish I had a world I could escape to!” My inworld has caused me to witness death and carnage not even possible out here, sometimes it seeks to reinact my outerworld traumas, and I feel real pain in it. Yes, it’s more magical and more opulent than the outerworld, but also more horrifying.

And now, I will tell you hilarious and usually pun-based facts about my inworld.

JaK’s last name is Heart because it’s a play on ‘Jack of Hearts.’

Jasper’s favourite term for Jack is ‘Jackass.’

When Jack almost died, Jasper referred to the potential funeral as a ‘Jack-in-the-box soiree’

Sound will often tell his husband to come home to him ‘Safe and Sound’s.’

Calisto, the heir of a lost Russian throne, owns a salon named ‘Hairloom.’

Sumire owns a music instrument store. His company name is his last name followed by the words ‘Instrument Craftsman.’ So, the full thing is shortened to ‘Musé I.C.’

Now that Phisoxa’s time-locked home can be accessed by the rest of the inworld, people routinely send him letters complaining about my constant use of puns.

Phisoxa likes to send messages to me via clockwork crows. After one slammed into the side of my head, I brought it back to her, saying ‘We need to work on your communication skills.’

Oscar Wilde is one of the more scarce alters. Kaspar has quipped that ‘He must think we’re his publicist.’

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update. Ta-ta for now!