It’s been four years since the last Summer Olympics.
It feels like it’s been longer. So much has happened in those four years.
On the night of the opening ceremony in 2012, I did not watch it. Instead I was at a gathering of people, getting to know new people. As much as it sometimes feels like a mistake as I ended up on the radar of a toxic person, it also planted the idea that I could look for a job in the city that the gathering was in as a stepping stone out of the small tourist town I used to live in.
The toxic person tried to reel me in with promises of things and I was slow in accepting and because of that I started to see patterns that were far too familiar. Trying to get me to move into their home even though I just met them and promises of a possible relationship. When I got the first chance to get out of this situation, I told them I needed to work on myself by myself and contact stopped. I blocked the person who I found to be toxic on as many places as I knew I could.
(This part of the story continues later, but not until after I had gained a certain stability that made me less vulnerable to their tactics.)
I fell into an episode of major depression on top of my usual background depression as a result of walking away from the social group that I had been interacting with. I came out of that situation with the feeling that I had no real value unless I had money and I was unemployed at the time. I had been made to feel guilty about the fact that I had not managed to get employed yet by the toxic person I had been targeted by even though I had Aspergers, knew I could not do retail or food service and had only just figured out how to get into office work via a temporary clerical work pool. This particular toxic person was unimpressed by the fact that all I had done was take the test to apply to get into said temp pool.
That was October 2012.
What I did then was write. I expanded on an idea that I had been toying around, writing a story centered around Koschei the Deathless as Catherynne Valente’s work had not satisfied me as I had wished it would when I read it. I combined it with another idea I was playing with, one that dealt with a dark lord who really wasn’t a dark lord. NaNoWriMo 2012 arrived and I threw myself into my writing, writing an entirely indulgent story that played on the things I wanted at the time, drew out onto paper the ache I had left from this toxic person who made me feel less.
This story was mine, though I would become very embarrassed about it in 2013. But it was a shadow work I needed to do and besides, first drafts are not final drafts. I let my main character hurt others and hurt themselves, become intensely involved with a demon (who would later become a land-spirit) and become a monster himself. I put in too much sympathy for the main character’s father and fridged his mother. But I wrote regardless because that toxic person did not understand why people read or why they wrote or why fiction sang to people’s blood.
That was the thing I found the most off putting to me. That they could promise relationships and room in their home, but they could not understand the most fundamental part of me, the most important part of me: that I was a creator, a person who imagines, dreams, writes and makes people’s blood sing just with the written word. The story was always the most important thing to me and I wanted someone who understand that. They would never understand that and it was not my job to teach them even if they had asked.
They were not a person I could allow into my world.
I also found a writing community online, though I was slow to get involved with it. I only managed to post one story to it before the end of 2012. That story is not canon in that universe anymore.
I met Veles, though I did not know that it was really Veles until the next year. He reached to me through the story via the character who first started off as the demon who seduced the main character with promises of power. Magical power that is. I just knew I was working with a spirit that lived in the other world, was associated with serpents and identified as a jotnar, inline with what my practice was (and still is to a certain together) like.
Of course, I also worked with Koschei via my writing. But in a sense Koschei stood for myself at that time. Because I felt like a monster who was too messed up to be desirable and that I needed to make myself better if someone would ever want me. Also I started wondering if I was transgender that year, but did not talk about it much with anyone except for a few people online and some people in the social group that had included the toxic person.
The toxic person said some pretty horrible things even if they were genderfluid themselves. They implied that the only “right” way to transition was to use natural foods to boost your testosterone and expressed disappointment that a DFAB genderqueer person decided to transition, including getting chest surgery. I was, at the time, a DFAB genderqueer person wondering if I was transgender and if I wanted to transition.
That was another reason I could not be around her.
2012 ended. I barely remember what I felt at the time, which probably is telling how bad my depression was at the time.