A couple weeks ago, I got around to playing a new text game by Porpentine, a trans woman game designer, titled “With Those We Love Alive.” It deals with themes of being transgender, self harm, depression, religion, and eldritch abominations which rule over humans.
So, you know, pretty much right up my alley. I mean, self harm isn’t one of my interests, but the rest is all stuff I’m either into or dealing with.
As the music throbbed in my headphones, I found myself falling into a routine-
-Look around the Palace
-Check out the dry canal
-Check out the city
–See if the dream distillery is open
–Look into the temple see what’s going on
-Return to the Palace
-Check for supplies in my workshop, find I’m too tired to work
As I went through, I found the deal about your character’s history of being abused, and what the dream distillery is doing.
I stop going there.
I find that sometimes the temple has divinities.
I go more to catch a glimpse of them.
I meditate at the river.
I find myself anticipating the hormone treatments after I catch on and it becomes a ritual as my psyche creates a coping mechanism for this artificial world.
I dutifully craft beautiful things as the empress needs of me.
I scribe the sigils on my flesh and realize quickly that it symbolizes self-harm, and find that it very much embodies that act, becoming another anticipated part of the cycling ritual.
And then your character’s friend comes in.
Anyway. It’s an awesome game that struck a big cord with me.
I’m a genetic male genderqueer individual, meaning I identify somewhere in-between the Male and Female ends of the spectrum of gender. I am overweight, and so I simply present as male, because it’s hard to find feminine clothing that fits a person of my size, expensive too, and hard to find clothes which will look good if the first two things are taken care of. I want to transition eventually, but being genderqueer, as well as other issues, make that a very open issue.
But With Those We Love Alive gave me the push I needed. It pushed me to get serious about crafting the body I want. In the game you play an artificer. In reality, I find the result of chaotic nature and lack of maintenance to be unsatisfactory, as regards my body, and so it falls to me to shape what nature has given me into what I require.
I’d recently started going to the gym, but WTWLA prompted me to get a bit more serious about that as it’s a stepping stone to my being ready to start some form of transition process, in my mind, anyway.
It also prompted me to go and check out a community clinic a few friends had told me about which works with the LGBTQ+ community and offers counseling. I have this thing where if the way to something isn’t clear, I kind of never do anything about it, so some counseling would be helpful with figuring out the mess of gender and transition issues before me, I figured. Last week I went out to check it out, got my name in the system, and yesterday I had my first counseling session.
I’m not sure to what degree it helped, but they charge on a sliding scale, so I can afford to give it a few more goes before I really decide whether it’s helping me or not. I’m hoping it will help me with my depressive tendencies too.
Losing weight will be a struggle too. I have to relearn eating habits and consistently make better choices. On the other hand, I realized earlier today that a pound of carrots is only about 160 calories or so.
In other words, I’ve eaten a pound of carrots while sitting at Starbucks over the last few hours.
I intended to do something more mystical inspired by this. I probably will still get some mysticism/occult sort of writing mileage out of this, since there is a powerful metaphor there for taking hold of things and changing them to your whim through struggle and discipline. WTWLA also gave me a few other idea seeds, so I’ll be writing some other stuff inspired by it. But I wanted to start a chronicle of the transformation I’m trying to enact. Every person who knows about my intent makes it harder for me to cut myself slack and give up.