RE: Roe v Wade

Not Ontario

Most of the time, I am in internet blackout. I'm trying to reduce triggers in order to focus on sobriety.

I learned through Possum Dreaming on my third day of sobriety that Roe v Wade had been overturned.

I want to let all of those out there who are shocked, saddened and scared that I support you and stand with you.

~Xesce, 04.07.22

This is not really a work of fiction. I'll avoid using any real life names. As for the rest, fuck it.

Blinky: Before I forget, there was something I wanted to say.

When people listen to stories of other people's trauma, I think it's natural that it might trigger memories of their own trauma, and that this is one of the reasons it's a good idea to be careful.

When people are reminded of their own trauma, they might not be able to concentrate on what you are saying. They might even become angry, and the default might be to make it a competition, at a time when it's not possible to be calm and to discuss it with care and compassion. Both parties might add to the burden each carries.

If I trigger people, such that they feel unsafe, I'd want them to care for themselves, to show compassion to themselves, and to seek out sources that feel right for them. If I trigger people such that they feel angry and want me to shut up because they've had worse, I'll say again it's not about one event, or two, it's about many events, layers and factors, and the object isn't to compare or invalidate anyone's trauma. I've often felt that people in this frame of mind have tried to invalidate my trauma when I'm trying to contribute to change.

If you want me to shut up and go away, you're fucked, dude.

Okti: In 1978, I moved with my mother, her partner, my brothers Boo and Cecil, and my sister Beany, to a very small town in Northern Ontario on the road to Manitoulin Island.

The population was listed on the sign as 52. It was a resort town, and visitors came during the warmer months. Smaller than the town in Ozark, but some similarities, maybe, if that helps in imagining the ambiance or possibilities.

I tried to estimate the population for myself, but the numbers didn't seem to add up. Maybe they didn't update for a few decades, but they definitely didn't include the First Nations population.

We were bused to the closest school, in Espanola. The indigenous kids were schooled on reservations.

It was my 6th or 7th school. I was told by residents that it would take about a week to get used to the smell of the paper mill, meaning, you were likely to feel sick to your stomach for the first week of school until you acclimatized.

I only felt nauseated for the first day, and then I was OK, but it's not like the smell was ever appealing, and it was noticeable a significant amount of the time. I always wondered if it would have permanent effects on residents' health, including psychological health.

I don't really know how my mother and her partner discovered this business opportunity to run a small fishing resort with a few cabins, a marina, gift shop and trailer park. I think I was impressed by the idea they were brave enough to move out of 'normal life', but we were kids who didn't ask questions. My mother's partner was a longtime friend of The Space Cowboy, my mother's sister's husband. In light of later events, (my mother's partner and The Space Cowboy both doing prison time, maybe this business was a Beard of some kind.)

Velvet: Let it be known that I don't condemn drugs. I want more drugs. I think drugs are the future, and that it will be considered a legitimate leisure and/or learning activity to explore consciousness, and pleasure.

I think it would be a good use of science to find ways to 'reset' those with dependencies and substance abuse issues, such that they could enjoy drugs without destroying their lives or health.

To work in drugs, you'd have to take risks others don't take, and if you believe that drugs are a necessary product, and you take a stand, maybe you are ahead of your time. In Canada, marijuana is now legal. It wasn't then. Think of all the people jailed and persecuted, judged and ostracized, before it became legal.

However, even if you're a visionary, it doesn't necessarily mean you aren't sexist or misogynist.

Dr Velvet Thong: We're on the same wavelength.

Okti: I've tried to set the stage somewhat, although it might seem irrelevant to viewers when they see where I'm going with this.

We were used to getting used to new situations.

Blinky: I think of our childhood as Ozark meets Breaking Bad meets The Shining meets 13 Reasons Why, but I think my siblings might still see it as more of a Disney movie.

Okti: At the start of the school year, I was 12, in 8th Grade. As soon as I stepped off the school bus, I had to run a kind of gauntlet in the schoolyard. Every day, I faced the possibility of boys slapping, grabbing or pinching my rear end, calling out comments and behaving in basically dickhead ways.

It didn't stop indoors. When it occurred in classrooms, usually when teachers' backs were turned, I was the one called out for causing a disruption, even though I was not a complainer. I was a shy kid, not very talkative, and I had been raised to believe my father would have been ashamed of a kid who allowed herself to be bullied without beating the crap out of the other, where on the other side I had a mother who was more into non-violence/understanding/compassion.

I didn't yell out, and I didn't hit or slap anyone in defense. I tried to just take it, with one exception. There was one boy in particular that I kicked once. It was a reflex. He was 16 years old. He'd been kept back a couple of years. He was tall and had a very athletic body. Indoors, he was the one who harassed me the most. On one occasion in the hallway, he went further than he had before, and I wasn't ready for it and I just kicked him before I could stop myself, to make what he was doing stop - and it did. I think I might have drawn blood, but as I usually wore running shoes in those days, I'm not sure that makes sense.

A teacher happened to see me kick him, and I was the one who was reprimanded. The teacher was so angry and full of self-righteousness.

All year, all those incidents, and I only kicked one person, once.

Aside from that, in that time period, at all the schools I'd attended and would attend later, there was a culture of silence. It was understood by all kids that you didn't complain, and I think we all would have struggled to identify bullying or harassment. It went pretty deep into belief systems. I didn't tell either of my parents about anything I had endured, in any school I attended.

Some of the girls who had no doubt experienced this kind of treatment, and were ignored by teachers and authorities, for years, probably developed hostile feelings toward other girls because they themselves had been shown so little compassion or support. Some of these girls behaved in threatening ways toward me.

The female toilets were disgusting. There was the usual smell of cigarette smoke, there were rumours and rhymes, insults, swear words, hearts and initials, but there was also blood and shit smeared on the walls. To me, that felt threatening. However, I just took it as my 'new normal'.

All year, I had a fantasy of moving in with my father when I turned 13, and I know that was probably a source of strength other kids who had no such possibilities didn't have. It may have helped me to endure and downplay the situation.

When I arrived home from school, it felt like a different kind of tension/stress, and while not technically as uncomfortable, it felt more dangerous. I was never at ease around my mother's partner. I wanted her to have love and happiness, and I did see his talents and good qualities, but for me, it wasn't enough to override the stress.

I've mentioned several times that my mother told me her partner had said he would kill her and/or her kids if she left, and that I told my father, who reacted in an immature way and the whole thing just seemed to be dropped. I think what happened was that my mother had to placate everyone, that she had to say that she was just a silly woman prone to exaggeration - and I think everyone was primed to believe that over everything else.

She must have felt very alone.

Now I want to mention two incidents. I didn't find them traumatizing at the time, and I don't find them traumatizing to remember. Others might be triggered. I am mentioning them to point out a pattern.

In addition to the rest, which was ongoing, there was an occasion when I had volunteered at the school for a basketball tournament which was held on a weekend. I think I had been sent to the store for something, and when I returned, to enter the school, I had to go past a large group of boys who were in Grade 3 or so. They were unchaperoned, and I don't know why they were out there.

I admit that I don't remember exactly how many there were. It was more than 5 or 6, and seemed like more than just one team of boys. In memory, it seems like it was closer to a classroom of boys, but I suppose for that to be true, it might mean that boys from other towns would have joined in.

They swarmed me and held me down in the snow. I was petite, but very physically strong for my size, and quite used to wrestling with boys (my brothers). Because they were so young, I was afraid of hurting them, but I was surprised by how difficult it was to get free.

The disturbing thing is that as a group, they didn't seem to see me as human. They poked and kicked and laughed like I was an animal. However, I was too compassionate and empathetic to condemn them or to yell, or do anything else but try to 'solve the problem myself, without excessive force'.

A few of the boys were more active than the others, but when I seemed to be getting away, the others would join in, or put more effort in than they had previously. I focused on the door to the school, and concentrated on getting there, inch by inch.

I eventually got there, and don't know if it was because an authority figure approached and they went back to civilized behaviour, or if I got there of my own volition.

I didn't dwell on it. I suppose I felt relief that another stressful but natural part of school life was over for now.

One of the kids involved had some relationship with Beany and/or Cecil - a friend, classmate, or hockey teammate, and was sort of known to my family as a 'good kid'.

I mention this incident because it shows that males from a young age can learn that it's OK for them to pin a female and do what they like to her when they outnumber her, that females have no feelings or rights, no control, and if one tries to escape, it's OK to use whatever force necessary to subdue or discredit her.

They don't think about whether or not it's fair, they don't think about whether it's cowardly, weak or shameful to greatly outnumber a female and overpower her in such a way. They believe they are entitled to own and control her, and that the burden of shame should fall to her.

Authority figures such as teachers did not reprimand these kids, and parents at home passed down beliefs, prejudices and hunting strategies, from generation to generation.

The scary thing is that because these kids were allowed to get away with such things, it is likely they are now parents with kids and grandkids who do all this shit, with the added help of the new tech.

Incident 2: This occurred near the end of the schoolyear on a trip to John Island.

The history: not long after I arrived at my new school, a boy asked me out and I said no. I didn't know who he was, I wasn't very articulate or socially adept, and that was it.

Later in the year, I was attracted to him and when he seemed to be sending signals, I responded. I went to his (group's) cabin at John Island, and it seemed like it was going to be my first kiss, with no hidden agenda, but a friend of his was at the window with a camera, and took a photo from a misleading angle.

I guess he held a grudge regarding the initial rejection. It took me a while to figure out that it had been a trap, so that they could get a photo to ruin my reputation. Actually, it took me decades to work that out. I just thought it was 'boys being boys'.

I don't know if the photo turned out clear, or if it was ever passed around. However, there was a rumour about me going around the school that I had had sex, intercourse. It was so ludicrous to me that at that time I just kind of shook my head at how silly the whole thing was, but later I understood it was more serious than that. It was a very short time until school ended, and I never went back, but if I had stayed, it might have been just the beginning.

Dr Velvet Thong: There is a town in North Ontario...

Okti: Not just one, and not just in Ontario. All over the world.

I suppose cynical viewers might suppose I plagiarized this story from 13 Reasons Why, and same goes for some of my other stories. Do people think they're just patched together from various movies and online sources? And when details from my own stories might seem to be repeated, inconsistent or confusing, does that make me seem untrustworthy?

What I ask people to think about is that these experiences are common to many females, and that they represent long-known hunting and control/domination strategies males pass on. In isolation, when you've only grown up in one place, it might seem like these guys show initiave and creativity, but it's not really the truth.

Velvet: At present, with the overturning of Roe v Wade, it makes me feel a bit like being held down by immature kids who aren't really conscious. Little boys who never found stronger sources of authority than their short-sighted fathers, who squashed empathy and creativity as threats to power, who grew old without evolving, because they're still afraid their fathers are going to spank them or not be proud of them.

And it's easy to see what's next: attempts to discredit and divide.

Even if you don't agree with everything I say, even if I annoy you in numerous ways, don't let them.

Okti: I've focused in on one schoolyear only. I lived in many different places, and attended many different schools. In every school I had different, but not necessarily less extreme experiences. In some cases, significantly more extreme. I wanted to mention the Third Grade boys, to show that certain behaviours and attitudes are present early on. All of these kids had parents. What would they have thought if they witnessed the scene? What would modern day parents think if their kids did something like that?

I only spent one year in that area, but my brothers were there for 4. I realize that boys have their own struggles to fit in, and I'm guessing that my brothers probably had to cater to a fuckload of misogyny, not just to fit in, but to survive.

In my first high school, I knew of at least two 'packs' in my grade alone who would single out a girl and torture her. I was one of the girls tortured. It seems to me both packs would be likely to have a pattern of behaviour. I witnessed the torture of another girl.

I realize boys have their own issues (probably about trying to make sure the pack doesn't kill them), and I am also aware I'm totally avoiding trans experience.

I know that a couple of years before we went to school in Espanola, there was an incident in which a group of older boys had 'hung Cecil up by his pants' at an outdoor skating rink in the park behind our house. I remember feeling shocked, first at the level of violence, and wondering if Cecil was OK, but also with the irrationality of the family mythos of incredible strength: even at that age, outnumbered, by bigger kids, Cecil was so strong, how did he not escape? We didn't really talk about it as a family. I didn't even know what being hung up by one's pants meant, but it sounded really bad.

Boo and Cecil (and Beany) also had to be the new kid many times, although not as many times as me. They were both very physically strong. However, when I try to see how well Boo gets along with males, including teammates, from a different perspective, and I remember how sexist/misogynistic a few of his friends were, I think he learned to value his survival as a male over female survival. And later on, I know that from time to time Cecil made misogynist comments, or seemed to have unhealthy ideas about women.

I think everyone in my family was affected by the longstanding tradition of devaluing women. That's why it was so easy for them to just dismiss me as someone who had 'always been off', and to never worry or care that I dropped out, or if I was happy or suffering. They had been taught to believe I didn't deserve more.

Society and our father taught them they had a right to feel embarrassed and angered by me, rather than concerned for my future.

For a moment, I want to talk about the film Promising Young Woman. I don't endorse revenge, and I don't really think that's what the film is about. Two promising young women, best friends, both dropped out of medical school after a sexual incident which was filmed and used to publicly humiliate one of the girls, the one who was at the top of her class.

Is this an acceptable form of competition? To look for the weak point in your opponent, get a gang to back you up and take her down?

Again and again in the film, although many might miss it, what was pointed out was that most people think something along the lines of: 'We can't ruin the lives of young men over something like this', and on a primal level, the beliefs are so ingrained, that we all feel empathy for men. We can feel how bad it would be to lose one's whole life over false allegations, or minor mistakes anyone could have made due to youth and inexperience.

People have been trained not to have any empathy for promising young women whose lives have been ruined. It's easy to spin, she's weak, she was a worthless slut - and no one sees that it can be hard when you're overwhelmed by the numbers. In war, don't we see that usually numbers matter? Yes, we need the inspirational stories of people who beat the odds, but that's not a logical or humane argument for why all women who have been greatly outnumbered, humiliated and/or ostracized by their social group 'should' be strong enough.

In the movie, the person who seemed to feel the most remorse was a lawyer who had been hired to discredit the young woman, to harass and bully her into dropping charges. She killed herself.

And that was the person Cassie didn't want to punish. He gave her an acknowledgement, and she understood he was already punishing himself. She could authentically forgive him.

The movie is less about revenge than it is about trying to get people to see how irrational and unfair they are for supporting this double standard. The 'reason', 'logic' and 'strength' that men pride themselves on, and that women support, are a joke.

Dr Velvet Thong: For a moment, I will comment on 13 Reasons Why.

While it's good to move the dialogue forward on suicide, it sucks that a male would write a female's story and profit from it. Is that really about compassion, or is it just another way of exploiting the pain and degradation of women?

Yes, it's not just one girl's story. Her suicide affects many lives.

But, what kind of comes through is a male perspective: it would be cool if a female wanted to get revenge for her suicide, and ruin some lives.

He might just know what will sell.

{Re: Season 1, based on the book by Jay Asher.]

I think Promising Young Woman takes the male fantasy of an angry and ideal Suicide Girl, and while objectively attractive, makes her scary, for effect, to prove a point.

While I'm here, I also want to call out an online counselling service for Complex Trauma and Mental Health issues. Not naming any names, and not quoting, because apparently if I quote anything, I'm fair game for prosecution, or I'm doing something bad or illegal.

They encourage people to share their stories/experience, but their Terms and Conditions are that once you do, you have no rights and they are free to do whatever the fuck they want with your story, with your life, with your blood, sweat and tears. They can use it to advertise their services! They are free to use stock photos of actors/models that they think go well with your story/trauma.

Is this really in the service of 'helping others'? Does it really help with stigma, prejudice and misunderstanding if people understand the only way to get better is if most people don't know you are 'one of those people'?

Can you say CLOSET? Everyone now.

Blinky: For argument's sake, for a moment let's say that all women face these pressures in school and it's part of the natural order and the weak can't adapt and the strong can.

Why is it a good thing to prevent or make it more difficult to access birth control and abortions? If males are stronger, form packs and have more power, what's so irrational, weak or immoral about women wanting to at least have these options?

And um, why should these weak women breed? I mean, wouldn't we want to keep their genes out of the pool?

Dr Velvet Thong: It's just another way to control females. Limit their options, their power, their status, their hope.

Blinky: Exploit them as a resource, then discard. Babies are a product, like anything else. Ads are holes in the road men have filled with their load, and so are their children.

They don't care about the well-being of children. They want bigger armies. They want more resources. They want more beings under their control. They want this world to be Westworld, where they can fuck and kill innocents in perpetuity.

Dr Velvet Thong: That is not necessarily incompatible with the hidden agenda of Westworld, but we'll leave that for another day.

I think males might argue that females are free to form their own packs, but they can't stop catfighting long enough to do so.

But it's another aspect of the whole. Early on, males learn how to divide and isolate females. This is a complicated subject, and I don't want to tackle it today. In a nutshell, the early experiences lead women to feel the stress of constant competition with other women for male attention and protection, and to distrust and devalue other women. Later on, men can keep putting on the pressure without really trying, because women have internalized it.

To be the only person who stands up for a female being abused is to invite danger. And the other thing is that most males aren't conscious enough, they don't think deeply enough to perceive what is happening, and afterward, they probably forget. That's really common in my experience. Males seem to forget a lot. Other people are probably writing about it better, but we're contributing what we can to raise the collective consciousness of all gender identities on this complex issue.

Velvet: I don't know how to find a pack.

I want to talk about online experiences as an extension of early experiences.

It's complicated. Online, it is possible that males who did not join packs in the early part of life, or at school, might form alternative packs, or might find alternative ways of dominating females, partly because they absorbed all the same unchallenged beliefs about females.

It might be partly about porn. You can't help attraction, because certain attitudes about women were imprinted during crucial stages of development. The more access you have to certain material, with no discussion or guidance, the more certain beliefs are reinforced on unconscious levels, and the harder they are to access or challenge. The new norm seems to be for more and more extreme forms of porn.

I've had the sense that the majority of males treat online relationships as a game, in which there are right and wrong things to say in order to placate or control women. There's a lot of contempt and anger underneath.

Cyberstalking and hacking are behaviours of entitlement and control, and they're even harder to address than schoolboys exhibiting pack behaviour.

What really sucks is when you know that human beings want warmth and connection, and you realize how difficult it is now for people to understand or trust each other.

But, I think that probably a lot of people have become dangerous. I don't know if this just means I can't adapt, but I think it's possible that the impulses and primal drives that I was subjected to when I was young have morphed in exponentially dangerous ways. They've been given more outlets and options for development and expression, unchecked.

It will be a good thing to reinstate Roe v Wade, but we also have to go back and look at what parents and teachers are passing on, now.

In Australia, there are fictionalized stories, like The Hunting, which address the issue, but in the end don't seem to have much of a solution. And IRL, we have private school boys singing army-style songs on public transit about how girls are 'holes in the road' they want to fill with their load. Is it irrational to ask people to question to what extent this is just 'boys being boys'?

In 1998, many of those who posted to Usenet didn't use valid email addresses. Partly it was to avoid spam, and sometimes it was to avoid unsolicited email or to protect privacy.

I considered carefully, and pretty much as soon as I posted a valid address to a suicide newsgroup, I received mail right away.

I was a complete noob, no experience with the internet or email. I was socially isolated and depressed, as evidenced by the content of my posts. Suicidally depressed, participating in conversations that in one way or another related to suicide methods, suicidal ideation, and death.

And the first person who writes to me, who's already had years of experience, tells me he's the webmaster for the associated website. I was receptive, yes. I was extremely isolated and had a strong sex drive, and I responded fast. He sent tons of email. That was my first experience of email. I had nothing to compare it to.

Within the first week, I had already received a massive amount of material, and I struggled to keep up with it. I was fairly sure he sent copies of the same fantasies and images to others and so it probably wasn't that hard to do it again, with a few tweaks that were specifically for me.

He also created a special webpage for me, one I could visit any time, and he'd often put new photos and words on it.

He let me know from the start that he was polyamorous, and I found that interesting. I'd read a lot about sex over the years, from a scientific angle, and in porn, erotica, classic literature, banned literature, etc. I finally had a chance to get out into the wider world. Basically, I accepted that he had a primary partner, and various others, and that his ideal 'family' would be maybe something like Stranger in a Strange Land, with everyone getting along, except with extreme BDSM and the religion of witchcraft thrown into the mix.

In hindsight, I think he had a vetting process, but I still don't know to what extent it was conscious.

I am not saying this such that reactionaries can say all online groups which allow discussion about depression and suicide are dangerous and must be shut down and we need to put up more Lifeline posters ASAP. Just give me some time to show you where I'm going with this.

He sent a lot of images, some from his real life, and many from other sources, but most included guns, knives, bondage, painplay of some kind, and within the first week he had sent a photo of himself naked, pointing a gun at the viewer (in this case, me). He was genuinely turned on by these things, and so it was not difficult for him to imagine other people being turned on by them. I was very open-minded, and I responded to the extreme attention, and to the creativity and uniqueness of the situation I found myself in. I tried to go with the flow, and for a month it was really intense, and then I was seeing it wasn't for me, and I wanted out. I wanted to be free to explore something else equally intense, but different.

The vetting process: I think that he sent out images and written fantasies, morning and evening greetings, jokes and puns, whatever, to see what would come back, and based on how people responded, he'd put them in certain categories.

He and many of those he had contact with wanted to explore fantasies of torturing and killing other people, not just a consensual act or fantasy between two people. I let him know from the start that I didn't want to fantasize about hurting others. I was able to grasp that people who do not intend to harm others IRL could benefit by acting out fantasies online.

I know there's a large BDSM community worldwide.

But for suicide, more men than women choose violent methods. Wouldn't that translate here? But he sought out women willing to participate in horrific, elaborate torture-murder-suicide fantasies, with endless variations on extreme torture, pain and gore.

He was in the position of power. He was a webmaster, and in addition he arranged his online details related to RL in ways that he said to me were about intimidation, although he didn't say it quite that way. Every step of the way, he seems to be conscious of consent issues. You want this or that to stop? Fine, we'll just do this.

And the thing is, it's reasonable. If you've had many weird experiences in life, this is just the next one. If someone has an unusual fetish or interest, where do they go to find people? I could recall that when I went to see David Croenenberg's Crash, I had made a similar comment to a group of people when discussing the movie. If you have an unusual interest, you have to be careful about who you trust. You need a vetting process., or fubar, for those times when FetLife is just not enough?

The vetting process was I think about seeing who would be into fantasizing about harming others, who could feed the primary fetish, who might be a good Beard, and who might be a good Target. I'm not saying I know anything, but I'm guessing that considering the number of friends and followers he has, the number of organizations and clubs he belongs to, that along the way he's encountered those with no qualms about doing more than cast 'suffering spells' on those they believe deserve it, and plenty of kind-hearted Beards willing to vouch for the purity of his intentions.

But from what I've seen, these people, including him, aren't objective or empathetic enough to be allowed to judge or punish others, and some of those closest to him that he respects most have a pattern of devaluing and undermining other women.

Perhaps I've not been more than the victim of a few catfishing scams or 'suffering spells'. Perhaps they've all wished me well all these years, or thought I was too boring or irrelevant to bother thinking about.

In addition to all the emails, fantasies, photos, updates to the webpage he made for me (NOTE: nothing to do with or any previous incarnation of my site), at the same time all this was happening, he started introducing the possibility of phonecalls, visits and presents, within the first couple of weeks. It seemed common that he sent a lot to others. It was hard for me to sort out. I felt a sense of obligation to reciprocate, or at least trust. He said he bought me a present, but that meant he would need somewhere to send it to.

To me, it seems that if someone is doing all this, and offering gifts, to pay for long distance calls or to be the one to plan for trips, they're trying to create a power imbalance and a feeling of debt/owing someone something, including loyalty. If you're not a suspicious person, you might think he's someone who really just has a lot of compassion for the suicidal, he knows a lot of us don't have much money, he is a really unusually kind and generous person, someone who would bankrupt himself or go into debt to help others, not someone with a serious fetish that was like an addiction. And back then, I wasn't as jaded, or experienced online, and I wasn't suspicious, or, I tended to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now, still in the early stages, I'm thinking of all the emails I haven't responded to or things I haven't given feedback to, and at that point I didn't really know that most people just ignore most things. I tried to respond to everything.

And I felt guilt about not wanting to give my real life address. I didn't give it to him, ever (in 24 years). I can imagine a lot of people being more trusting, though, and on the group, a lot of people posted about calling each other or visiting, or sending each other things.

But think about that for a moment. A noob with low self-esteem who is obviously very isolated is bombarded by a wide variety of material by a person in a position of power, who has a lot of experience, in a very short period of time. And then that person starts to characterize the noob as 'easily overwhelmed', seemingly in a benign way, but really it's like a kind of disappointment or challenge, to force the noob to 'try harder' or move faster, or to feel worse about herself, which might speed up her self-termination date.

And he makes clear how good he is with the law. I'm sure that's not meant to be intimidating at all. That's where he works, and so do key members of his coven. If you're not a suspicious type, you'd think that it was an ego/success thing, and a desire to impress, and that he was generous enough to want to share his talents and resources with those he cares about.

But when you know the system is unhealthy, it's hard to know why or if odd people with eccentric preferences might not have a better way. It takes time to think about, but it also takes time to absorb enough info.

Dr Velvet Thong: Do you think he did anything wrong?

Velvet: I don't know for sure how conscious he was, or if he tried to manipulate or harm me or others. It does not seem impossible to me that while he seemed to respect my boundaries and consent, such that if I did not want to give my address he was OK with it, I think he might have searched it early on, and then tried to obtain consent after the fact by getting me to provide it so he could send a present, or something along those lines. That to me does not seem unlikely.

I also think it's possible he knows where I live now, has tracked me and others through the years, knows it would freak me out, but chooses not to tell me, and has his own justifications. On the darker side: that he wants to be informed and close by (even if that means in a cybersense) when people kill themselves, that he would get off on it. I feel oppressed by his vibes, and that his email door is 'always open' - because he's proven again and again that he doesn't know who I am, and any contact I have with him makes me feel worse than I did before. I don't want to share my death with him, or with others who share his fetish, and it might not be all that uncommon. I might have somehow attracted more than my fair share of people with this fetish. I sometimes feel that his so-called 'caring' is just a means of trying to control me, like he's saying 'you can never get away from me.'

If he and his coven know where I live, have hacked, stalked or tried to psychologically abuse me, I think they've done something wrong. I think it would mean they have tried to control me, push me to suicide, tried to increase my pain and isolation, tried to invade my safety, that they have taken advantage of my psychological vulnerability.

Another angle that is essential: whatever his fetish and his methods, he's had contact with an incredible number of depressed and suicidal people over the years, but he is extremely prejudiced regarding mental illness and therapy - so he is more likely to encourage and reward people for feeding his fetish than to encourage them to seek help outside his domain. He is not able to listen or empathize or remember well enough to make suggestions relevant or realistic to an individual with complex issues. He supports the isolation and silence of individuals with mental illness and/or who are unemployed, so as not to contribute to stigma. (!) If I ask him how people feel, because I'm curious if they're no longer depressed or suicidal, he tells me about their jobs, and doesn't mention the ones without jobs. (It's a pattern.)

He used to think of himself as a Bodhisattva, or a Personal Jesus, and maybe still does. He identified as an Empath, an intuitive. He used to say things like: 'I feel that if you don't kill yourself within the next 2-3 weeks, it's likely to be another 2 years, at least. :(((((' Anyway, I don't think he has a lot of insight into complex emotions, trauma, addiction, mental illness.

I am not saying this because I think we need more censorship online. The groups I knew on Usenet are long gone already. We do not need more Lifeline propaganda. We need a more complex understanding of the issues. It could be that sometimes, people need to allow themselves negative expression in order to begin to understand it and where it comes from.

He's an unusual creature, quite fascinating in a lot of ways, and has overcome a lot of obstacles and hardships, so most people might sympathize with him. I guess contact with unusual people on the internet can be like an Extreme Sport, and individuals have to decide what is right for them, and how to protect themselves.

At the time, the experience showed me the potential of the internet. I wanted to boldly go so many places. However, I think my sense of trust and my self-esteem were damaged by the experience. On a primal level, I felt brutalized, and it took me a while to process. It was like I was a host on Westworld, starting to piece together my memories, until I could hear my own voice, and see the bigger picture.

Dr Velvet Thong: How does this last example fit today's theme?

Velvet: It's about how some of those who weren't members of packs in school eventually might have formed their own packs, and had similar but morphed versions of the same beliefs and strategies for controlling women. And morphed philosophies to justify a wish or fantasy to brutalize and kill women.

It's also about how through my experiences online, starting with this particular one, I was 'cracked open', such that I started to see men and life in different ways. I always used to look for the good, I used to interpret everything generously, but eventually, I found the data overwhelming, and could not suppress my findings.

Note: Today I have focused on groups who attempt to dominate or control others, and readers familiar with other things I have written about cyberstalking and hacking might feel confused, as if I'm changing my story. I'm adding another layer. I'm focusing on a different group I encountered online, or one I mentioned in less detail before.

Even males who support abortion, birth control, increased options for women, or who seem to support women in other ways, might still be part of the systemic injustice that leads some to try to suppress women's lack of autonomy.

If someone supports a woman's right to end her own life for her own reasons, that's one thing, but if that person offers support in order to feed his personal fetish, it's another - because it's harder for that person to be objective.

Blinky: In case anyone's wondering why I didn't talk about my abortion today, it's just that I wanted to approach it from a different angle.

Velvet: Although most people might not understand, partly because of that choice, which I do not regret, I have been able to make other choices, within my unusual circumstances, that have allowed me to live an alternative life. I don't believe guilt over the abortion made me unhappy or suicidal. The judgments and actions of people, which I had internalized, had more to do with that. But even in that state of pain, I've still always managed to make unusual choices. I've tried really hard to be free.

Okti: And I'm still trying to get to the door, inch by inch.

Dr Velvet Thong: A new door, to a new school.

->exile on meme st: a diary