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Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 4

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.


So we’re finally moving onto a new set of criteria today that deals with avoidance.

C. Avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma after the event occurred (one needed):

1. Attempting to or avoiding distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the trauma

2. Attempting to or avoiding external reminders (people, places, conversations, objects, situations, etc) that create distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings closely associated with the trauma

If you’re a bit confused about how these are different, it’s okay; these two, in particular, are very similar, but they are different. However, in my own personal writing, I’ve found that they tend to go hand in hand. In tracking about twenty-some characters and their PTSD symptoms, I’ve found all of one case of them not going together. They do tend to feed into each other which is why.

These are both about avoiding reminders of the event, but the main difference is internal versus external. The first one is basically just trying to avoid any sort of thoughts or feelings related to the trauma. The second one is about trying to avoid external reminders or triggers. External triggers can feed into distressing thoughts and feelings about the trauma, hence why they can feed into each other.

In this particular case, I think I can make an argument for Yang displaying at least C2, so that’s the one I’ll focus on. C1 would be much more difficult to try to make a case for as it deals with just avoiding thinking about the trauma. As we never really get inside of her head and hear her internal monologue, it’s much more difficult to make a case for.

She does display C2 very strongly through on multiple occasions.

Two of the best examples happen in rather a quick succession in V4 C3. “Of Runaways and Stowaways.” 

[Image source]

[Image description: Yang sits on the couch off the right of the frame in the background. Three books sit on the left in the foreground. The bottom one has a burgundy cover. The middle one has a green cover. The top one has a brown cover.]

The first one is when Yang glances at the stack of books then looks away rather quickly. It’s a subtle thing, but she associates books with Blake, so by looking away, she’s avoiding the trauma. 

Issue 3 of the DC Comics, “Rebuilding,” illustrates this point pretty well.

[Image descriptions: Two panels from the DC comics.

The first one has a back shot of Yang holding “The Man With Two Souls.” However, only the text “The Man” on the first line and “Two Soul” on the second line is visible. 

The second shows Yang throwing the book with a “FLING” sound effect. The bottom of her right arm is still covered in bandages. Text bos says “Just sad.”]

Admittedly, this particular instance is correlated directly to a book that Blake gave her. It still goes to show her reacting negatively to something that reminds her of the trauma. She tosses the book because she doesn’t want to think about Blake leaving. 

The second occurrence is when she’s watching TV. 

[Image descriptions: Three images.

Top: Yang sits on the couch in her V4 attire in the middle of the frame. Subtitle says. “Multiple rumors continue to circulate as to who was behind the attack at the Vytal festival tournament…”

Middle: Focus shifts to the news screen which is projected. Lisa Lavender is the news anchor. Title on the TV screen says, “White Fang member, Adam Taurus, present during Beacon Grimm attack.” Dialogue subtitle says, “officials have confirmed that high ranking White Fang member, Adam Taurus,”

Bottom: Yang sitting on the couch, slightly off-center to the left of the frame, holding the remote to turn the TV off.]

Honestly, the first shot of this particular is very interesting and something I didn’t think of when originally writing the previous part.

If we go back to the previous set of criteria, we can see a minor incarnation of B5 and perhaps even B4 along with what we’re currently talking about. 

Just for reference, here are B4 and B5 again.  

4. Intense or prolonged mental distress at anything that resembles part of the traumatic event

5. Noticeable physiological reactions to something resembling part of the trauma

That little expression on her face shows that she is clearly thinking about the Fall of Beacon in general even if not necessarily losing her arm. 

The scene does go on for a little while longer, but after the White Fang segment ends, she simply turns the TV off. Basically everything on the news was a reminder of the Fall of Beacon and the state of the city. It’s just a general reminder of what happens, so she chooses to simply not expose herself to it any longer.

The last occurrence we’ll touch on is still in the same episode and, again, rather close to these two scenes. It’s the one with Taiyang bringing in Yang’s prosthetic. It’s a rather interesting one that honestly does a lot of showing while being subtle about it.

[Image descriptions: Two images.

Top: View from the kitchen looking into the living room. Taiyang is in the foreground off-centered left, carrying three boxes in his arms and two bags dangle off them. Yang in the background on the couch, off-centered right.

Bottom: Yang slightly off center-right, looking down at her missing right arm.]

This is the first bit of the scene I’d like to pick apart. Yang watches Taiyang bring in all the packages and mail and then glances at her arm. From the way Taiyang talks and the way Yang acts, it seems like they knew it was coming. Taiyang’s speech, later on, seems to prove it since he’s (somehow) been in contact with General Ironwood. 

But the part I want to focus on is Yang’s little glance at her arm. Without really saying anything, you can just sort of see the thoughts in her head. It seems like it basically boils down to “but I lost a part of me. How can you expect me to just replace it so easily…?” 

Moving on, we have her opening it.

[Image descriptions: Three images.

Top: Yang sitting on the couch, off center-right. A long white box sits on the table in front of her.

Middle: Close up of Yang’s face with her expression looking distant. Subtitle from Taiyang says, “But you earned this one all on your own, kiddo.”

Bottom: Almost the exact same shot as above with Yang. Subtitle says, “Yang: Huh?”]

This is a pretty interesting little bit of showing as her expression and body language speak volumes as you can see the continuing thoughts.

However, what’s most interesting to me is her reaction while Taiyang’s talking. 

I don’t know anything about camera work, framing, or anything of the like, so this is kind of just speculation and personal interpretation on my part.

I feel like this small scene maybe another small example of criteria B3 (Dissociative reactions (ie flashbacks) where the trauma feels like it’s happening again) though much less severe than the example where she drops the glass.

I bring this up is because dissociation occurs on a spectrum from minor, momentary lapses to full-blown flashbacks of some sort. Looking at this scene, it feels like she’s dissociating a little bit. The framing is focused upon her face and her expression looks rather distant. We have Taiyang talking in the background which is used in a lot of animation to indicate someone’s not listening. And then you have a slight pause before her “Huh?” which means she wasn’t really listening.

As someone that literally lives their entire life dissociated, this really feels like a subtle way of showing a small lapse into it. She’s spacing out, but it’s because she’s remembering everything she went through. She doesn’t seem to quite know how to cope with what’s in front of her, so she just lapses out for a moment.

And then comes the last bit. 

Image description: Yang sitting on the couch, center frame. Her gaze is down and to the right and hair covering her eyes. Subtitle says, “Maybe later?”]

Here’s the avoidance. 

This scene is very short without much said, but it’s expertly shown. As somebody with PTSD, honestly, this is a fantastic representation of how much more subtle it can be and almost always is. As I said in the primer, PTSD isn’t just about loud noises and flashbacks; it a subtle thing that changes your behavior. You do things like this. Even if something would be beneficial for you, it makes you avoid it because you don’t want to experience those thoughts and feelings again. 

With this covered, we can move onto Set D: alterations to the mood and perception of the world.

Sources: 

Ciccarelli, S. K., & Noland, J. (2014). Psychology : DSM 5. Pearson.

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is not something I’m good at in the sense that I can’t say no to people, I’m a giver by nature. However, I’ve come to learn that self-care is just as vital as caring for others because you can’t care for others if your cup is empty. I have a habit of helping others until I have nothing to give and I keep helping even after that, as a result, I feel drained beyond compare to the point that I can’t even help myself. With all this being said I wanted to give a shortlist of things you can do to help yourself and refill your cup so you can continue filling others.

  1. Do something you enjoy by yourself, play your favorite game, take a stroll, whatever you enjoy doing, do it and take some time to be alone and refuel without any distraction.
  2. Let others help you, there is nothing wrong with asking to receive back what you give to people. Let them tend to you to the best of their ability for a change and understand what it feels like to be the one being looked after. This will also help you feel better when you help others because you understand first hand how they feel, ideally speaking.
  3. Have a good stretch, stretching when I’m tired or stressed is something I’ve found to be very stress relieving and rejuvenating. It doesn’t need to be a full-on yoga session, just stretch your arms and legs, clench your fists and jaw and release, things like that.
  4. Take some time to ground yourself, make yourself aware of your surroundings. A good grounding technique is finding 5 things around you and describing them in as much detail as you can in your head. Walking barefoot, holding something in your hands, focusing on a single object and doing “hands-on” activities are also great ways to ground.
  5. Last but not least, get proper sleep. Our bodies simply weren’t made to run on a completely empty, rest is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy physically and mentally.

Photo by Tatiana Stec

My Weight Loss Journey | All Ages of Geek

Thousands of people work hard to try and improve their physical health every day, but it isn’t always easy to stay motivated sometimes we need help from people in our lives to really show us that if you never give up you can achieve your goals and improve your health and mindset, in this article I am going to tell you how I stay motivated on my ongoing weight loss journey.

Back in 2014 I was in the worst shape of my life, I felt really uncomfortable in my own body and I couldn’t even look in the mirror without feeling bad about myself, I would get bullied for the way I looked being called horrible names, and just being constantly mocked, I knew I had to do start doing something otherwise my mental and physical health were only going to get progressively worse.

Who really started to motivate me was my dad, who at the time he was already starting to exercise more often he would ride his bike to work instead of driving and go hiking up a hill with our dog nearly every single day, and he has had amazing success with his weight loss. I have always considered him my inspiration, so to see him do this truly inspired me to make some much-needed changes into my own lifestyle.

Now going to a gym 3-4 times a week is great and really does help but sometimes there are days when I just can’t bring myself to go, and I lack energy to even get out of the house, this is a problem I struggled to beat until recently as I have had one of my best friends join me on this journey he has encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone while exercising and try using the different gym equipment such as exercise bikes, and rowing machines, since we have been doing this together we have motivated each other beyond our limits and have inspired each other to reach our individual goals no matter how hard it may seem.

Another way I stay motivated is due to history of diabetes in my family so I try to reduce the risk of it affecting me later in life, by having a more balanced diet which I have received massive motivational support from my mother who has taught me all about these alternative healthier food options which I would of never of discovered myself.

I sometimes go online and look at other people’s stories of their own journeys to lose weight and I just think if they can accomplish what they want then anyone can. All of these factors may not seem like much, but they all play a huge part in motivating me to improve my physical and mental well-being. So far, I have lost 64 lbs and I am only partway through my journey, I will continue to gain motivation from the sources I have spoken about and others.

Never underestimate the power that motivation can give you if you are struggling don’t give up because you can make a difference for yourself and achieve anything you set your mind too.

Band Decisions: My First Trip | All Ages of Geek

So if you read my bio, I mentioned how I got fired from my band for not wanting to drink or do drugs, and I’d explain it in the future. Well since it is the time of motivation here at All Ages Of Geek, I might as well explain my beginnings in the band all the way to the bitter end but the bright side in all of it.

I’d like to make an immediate disclaimer before we continue and say that I will not be mentioning names and the name of the band and will use false names, as I absolutely do not condone attacking anyone who is currently or used to be in the band as I’ve fully moved on since, and I already slammed the door behind me when the firing happened, so it’s best not to cause any issues as this is old tea that has since expired.

I graduated high school on the 25th of June and got my diploma in two days on the 27th, and I didn’t really have intentions to go to college yet as I wanted to take some time off, but it wasn’t long until my calling happened two weeks after graduation.

I got a message from the lead singer to join his band “Cold Shoulder” as their inaugural bass player, and as an 18-year-old, fresh as hell out of high school who’s been dying to start a band or find one, without hesitation, I joined. My first day of practice was the 16th of July, and the band consisted of Johnny, the lead singer, Andy the guitarist, Roger the drummer, whom I’ll talk about later in the story, and myself, the young bassist. The age gap between the four of us was pretty major since Roger was turning 28 in August, Johnny was turning 25, and Andy I think was turning 23, so from 18 to 28, major gap.

It was a speedy start because the next show the band had, was on the 22nd of July at The Bowery Electric, so I literally had 6 days to learn all of the songs we were performing that night, and add my spin on it to give the band a wholly unique sound for the show, and would you guess it, I nailed it, and the crowd couldn’t believe that an 18-year-old kid, fresh outta high school could play as well as I could. It was a feeling I never experienced before, even though I was in a school band, rocking my five-string and my pre-stickered Thunderbird bass since I was 15, but it was something completely different, as it was a feeling I wasn’t gonna experience again.

August came around, and after a second successful show, we found out that we were gonna record our first singles together, which both are currently still on YouTube, as the songs are “Little Things” and “Back Against The Ropes.” I documented the experience as well on my YouTube channel, and we spent 20 combined hours in the studio working our asses off to make these two songs the best songs ever… but a dark cloud began to loom over while that recording process was being done on day two.

There’s really no way around it, but I got peer pressured into smoking weed. This was from the band, yes, but it was mostly Johnny and his friends who were putting in most of the pressure onto me, even when I was saying no. I just did it so it can shut them up, and that didn’t really help much. After the recording was done, Johnny invited me to his place to watch the GGG vs Canelo 2 fight that went on, and that’s pretty much where I saw his true colors. He wanted me to do more than just weed, as he also had mushrooms, and cocaine, which his comments before he did a line were “this is a big boy’s thing Dio, you’ll be able to do this when you’re older.”

This is where regret started to immediately set in.

We were back to doing shows in October with an acoustic set at The Parkside Lounge, and that was the last time I decided to smoke weed, as I wanted to get a job, but really, I was beginning to rethink my decisions and leave the band some time in the new year, and I was gonna focus on college as I had applied to start going in January. After another successful show at The Bowery Electric in November, we, unfortunately, found out that Andy would be leaving the band after our next show in December, and unfortunately, that was the show where we ended up flopping really hard, due to it being a cold night in Brooklyn, the fact that it was a local coffee shop, and we played last, and no one was there besides one of Johnny’s friends. And after that, haven’t talked to Andy since.

Joey was going to be the new replacement in the band and our new comrade in the band, stepping in for the departure of Andy, and he was a damn good guitarist. He was 20 years old and he was gonna turn 21 in April, and he had one hell of a dedication because he would travel from New Jersey to come to rehearsals, but unfortunately, he was no different than Johnny when it came to drugs and alcohol. The final show I performed in was at Arlene’s Grocery, on the 19th of January, 9 days before I turned 19. Now, footage of this show has since been deleted from the band’s YouTube channel, which I’d assume it’s to erase any existence of me and Jack as he’s no longer part of the band either, but I do have one song on Google Docs that I will be uploading to YouTube, which is the only remaining footage of me being a part of the band.

This show was riddled with issues, from my bass strings not being that good in my honest opinion, the sound guy was simply an idiot, and when I upload the video, my bass was completely inaudible for most of the song. Talk about getting the Jason Newsted treatment. Joey himself said that he wanted to “kick the sound guy’s ass” for messing up his sound, which I advised him not to as it would ruin any opportunity of the band making a second show at Arlene’s. After the show, I went back to Johnny’s place for his little after-party and played Smash with his friend, and this was where I had fully decided that I wasn’t gonna stay in the band anymore, as drugs and alcohol were everywhere. Mushrooms, Coke, Amphetamines, Ecstasy, Acid, Weed, you name it. All we needed was Ketamine and Meth and we’d be in a trailer park hoedown hootenanny in a barn in the middle of Nowhere, Alabama.

I had to make this a little bit funny.

After all the commotion died down, it was pretty much just me, Joey, and one of Johnny’s sisters and Johnny wanted to find someone to have sex with because his sister’s had some sort of argument. Yeah, that just shows why I wanted to bail. After spending an extra half hour at the place, I pretty much told Joey and Johnny’s sister about my bisexuality (which has since shifted to pansexuality), that I never told anyone at the time, and they welcomed me with open arms about it. I decided to leave a bit afterward because, well, Jack wanted to get down and dirty with Johnny’s sister, so basically, bro code, and I didn’t want to break it, so I obliged. Joey’s last words to me before I left were “I love you man, I won’t tell anyone” and I went home after that.

On February 9th, I got fired from the band by Johnny, as he called me and said: “I’m going through a different creative direction, and I’m gonna have to let you go.” Keep in mind, he said “I’m” not “I was talking to Roger” or “I talked to the others” “I’m”. After hearing about getting fired, I told my friends about it and saying how it honestly sucks that I got fired, but I forgot who the friends I told this to were. My friend Randy rather quickly went on to YouTube and voiced his displeasure of Johnny of my firing, criticized his lack of singing abilities and praising the talent that I, along with Roger and Joey had, while my friend Samantha only criticized the audio problems throughout the footage.

Around 11 at night that same time, Johnny called me in a high and/or drunken fit of rage about my friends comments, even going to lengths calling me “a self-absorbent piece of shit” and ridiculing me about my mental health, as I posted stuff on Instagram about my mental struggles, telling me “I’m fucked up in the head, and that I need help” which didn’t help because that plunged me into an even deeper depression knowing that he never cared about me. I’ve since made two posts on Instagram completely exposing him for his actions, as I wanted to speak up about it instead of staying silent about it. I hadn’t said a single bad word about him throughout my time in the band, and I respected him throughout my tenure there, even if the things he did were questionable, that moment where he disrespected me, he had lost all of my respect for him as a musician, a bandmate, and as a person. At this point, I had wanted to give up as a musician, and I was even contemplating on selling my basses. It’s probably the lowest I’ve ever been in my life.

“Hey dude. Sorry about the way shits gone down the past week. For what it’s worth, just wanted to say you’re a damn good bassist/musician. Bands come and go (I’ve been in like 8 myself) but don’t ever stop playing music! A good bass player is hard to come by, so I hope this whole thing doesn’t discourage you.”

Those were Roger’s last words to me in a text he sent me a week after I got fired. To know that he messaged me after all of the hate and anger I had aimed towards both Johnny and Joey, it pretty much made me breakdown knowing that he cared about me, even after I spoke up about what happened. I haven’t spoken to him since as I’ve distanced myself from anyone who associates with the band, but I absolutely respect Roger for being a professional and handling it properly and telling me to not stop playing music. Thanks a ton, Roger, you’re the man.

Since then, I’ve been on a musical hiatus, but my creativity has no boundaries as I do plan to start up a project or two in the future, as I don’t plan on giving up on music. What I’ve learned from this, is be careful in who you trust, because sometimes, that person you look up to can be your worst nightmare. But even through all those issues, not only do you have to enjoy the little things but even when your backs are against the ropes, you’ll have someone by your side, giving you words and encouragement, to never give up on what you love.

My Life With Depression | All Ages of Geek

In this article, I want to write about my life with depression. I hope I can help someone who is in a similar situation. I’ve been struggling since the age of 14, with partial severe depression and anxiety. This depression and anxiety were caused by heavy bullying during my school days. I also got a strong social anxiety disorder from the bullying, which still causes me problems today.

It’s therefore very difficult for me to forge social contacts and friendships. It’s difficult for me to trust other people because I’ve had a lot of bad experiences in trusting other people. I’ve lost all my friends because of my depression, and no one in my family wants to have anything to do with me.

The worst thing is the isolation, the loneliness, the sadness, the feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. Your negative thoughts can make you crazy and will finally destroy you in the end. Every day is a new challenge not to give up. There are days that are so bad that you don’t want to get out of bed. You just want to disappear and stop existing, so that this horrible feeling finally disappears. It’s difficult to fight if you know that you will lose in the end. I’ll fight until my little heart stop beating. But I also know that maybe it will never get better, but I will not give up.

I’ve gone a long way and can not just give up now. I have a good job and have found a great community that has given me new hope. My biggest problem is that I can’t talk about it. I always act as if I’m happy, but in reality, I’m the opposite. I always try to be friendly and helpful, but inside I scream for help. I’m always there for everyone, but when I’m home alone in the evening, night, and the weekend nobody is there for me. I have no family or friends I’m always alone. It’s a very hard time for me sometimes it is so bad that I don’t want to live anymore.

I know there are many in this community who offer me their help. I’m very grateful to these people, but I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems. There are also good days, not every day is horrible and bad. But after every good day, many bad days follow. The depression is patient because the slidest drop of rain will cause these seeds to sprout. The rain will come and the seeds will sprout. The depression is always with me, it’s in my little heart, it’s in my thoughts, and deep in my soul. My depression follows me wherever I go.

If you suffer from depression and anxiety then talk about it. Believe me, it helps. Go to a psychotherapist, do something that is fun to you. If someone offers you help, then accept the help. Never give up, it will be better again, even if it’s currently very difficult for you. Believe in yourself and please DON’T GIVE UP! Better days will come, believe me. My faith in God always helps me at this time. As long as you have faith in your heart, you’ll never walk alone. God is always with you on your way.

The reason why I wrote this article is, that I want to help anyone who experiences a similar situation. You’re not alone, depression is not a choice.

The Motivation Killer: Burn Out | All Ages of Geek

Hello class, please have a seat. We have a really good lesson prepared for you special snowflakes today. We shall be talking about what all YouTubers refer to as, “burnout”. For anyone who hasn’t studied, burnout is the term used to describe when someone spends all their free-time focused on one specific task until that task causes that person to feel unmotivated and even hate the task.

For example, if you are a creator who keeps a tight schedule, but leaves no room for other activities. Not letting yourself do something less stressful to cool off from a hard day of giving 100%. Then you will find your motivation reserves plummeting. Suddenly your creative outlet is just work, and work is all you know. It’s like all the color is zapped away, there is no substance. Quite the scary scenario. Burnout is the mass murderer of your potential. The silent agent that is ready to destroy your motivation. And when you aren’t motivated, why even continue?

I follow many creators on YouTube, who upload regularly, like clockwork. And never take breaks or holidays. While their comments overflow with suggestions and requests that their audience wants them to fulfill. They feel obligated to continue. Until they find themselves drowning in a silent sea. The S.S. Motivation, taking on water and sinking to the dark depths. And let me tell you, it is a sad sight to see.

My favorite YouTuber of the RWBY community Arnold, also known as MurderofBirds, gave his own experience recently while watching the Rooster Teeth series Red vs Blue. While the Rooster Teeth fandom can be very warm and welcoming, at the same time they can become obsessed with getting new reactors speeding through series without putting a foot on the brake. They are so excited to discuss future moments of a series that they are impatient and don’t realize when their demands are like me when I am at a buffet. Yes person scooping my mash potatoes, make Mount Spud-icus higher. Eventually, we hit the bottom of the pan. The food worker sheds a tear in dismay. His hard work, now a beacon of poor decision making on my plate.

On a Patreon update post, Arnold had been running behind on his schedule. He had been having trouble making sure to upload on time. Fans were hounding him, wondering why the video wasn’t up yet. Arnold had this to say. “I’m tired, guys. I put dozens of HOURS into Red vs Blue on a weekly basis. You guys might get 2-3 hours videos per week, of my reaction and in-depth thoughts and breakdown of the batches, with notes provided, but there’s so much legwork involved and I’ve been stumbling to keep up.”

To summarize, when you feel like you are drowning you search for the escape route. And when what is drowning you is the videos you are making. What is the solution? You stop making them. And this has happened. Many YouTubers end up ending their youtube channels after getting burnout. Some are gaming channels, sick of playing the same game over and over, a game that once gave them joy. Now feels like a chore. A past time spent to connect and create, suddenly a burden.

Now you may be saying to yourself. “Okay, Professor Kai, this is interesting and all. But how does this affect me? My motivation to do what I want. I’m not a YouTuber.” And it’s a simple as this. When you start to see your creative outlet as a burden. That is a clear sign to take a break. Motivation is all well and good. But one should never forget that they need to take a break from time to time.

And if you do feel like your motivation is waning. Try to mix it up. Don’t feel like you are stuck to one form of creativity. Or one format. Sometimes the best way to get motivated would be to stop trying to please others and please yourself again. Do not be stuck on making sure you don’t disappoint those you entertain with your creations. It is yours when all is said and done. Give yourself regular breaks, as well as getting out and doing things with friends or family. Go see the world. You’d be surprised how it will give you the charge you needed. And remember, we have an exam next week and I expect you all to ace it! Seriously this will be on the final.

All joking aside, thanks again for trudging through the word trenches with me, next time I shall make sure to pack an extra shovel. Until next time! Stay safe, stay motivated, and stay true!

Loss of Motivation | All Ages of Geek

Life isn’t about who is the best dressed or who has the most money, its more a puzzle we are all meant to figure out and finish on our own. For starters, most people who claim they have their life together don’t. And that ok. Most of us don’t. The point of it all is figuring out what makes you happy and the rest goes from there.

Now you’re probably reading the title and thinking “how does happiness have to do with motivation?” And I’m here to tell you. Let’s say you’re passion is writing. You write stories and share them with your friends, you post poetry online, and sometimes you submit articles to your school’s newspaper. Which is all great. But as time moves on you start comparing yourself to other writers and start doubting your abilities. You slowly start forgetting to submit articles, you haven’t posted poetry online for months, and you stopped writing short stories. Now, my friend, you have reached something I like to call “Loss of motivation.”

“Loss of motivation” is kind of like burnout but has nothing to do with the amount of work you have been doing. It kind of happens when you start listening to what other people are doing and forget about what you want to do. So let’s say you and your friend are both writers and she asks you for help with her poem. Which you can help her! But, do not stop doing what you want, to help other people get to where they want to be. Because you need to focus on YOU.

“Loss of motivation” can happen at any time. Insecurities, loss of ideas, or maybe just a bad day. BUT! Do not worry because there is a solution to all of this.

Remember at the beginning of this I was talking about finding what makes you happy. Again the point of life is finding what makes you happy. So when you lose motivation, think about what truly makes you happy.

Again you’re a writer. And you lose motivation. “Now what?” Just paint a picture in your head and think about what made you love writing? Was it your professor? A writer whose work inspired you? Your family? Whatever it is that made you love writing or the thing you call your passion, think about it in your time of “loss of motivation”

When you think about why you love doing something, you’ll forget why you can’t do it. Because there is absolutely no reason why you can’t. Everyone can lose motivation which is fine. But! When it becomes permanent that is not ok. We all have dark days but working towards something will bring us out of them.

Sometimes hearing what your friends and family have to say can help you gain that motivation. But I am a firm believer that your mind can help you. “Why do I love this?” Ask yourself that and continue to do what you love. Because we all create for something. A loved one. Self-expression. The desire to help others. Inspiration. Fame. God. The list goes on. Just find where you fall on the list and continue to do what you love when you find that answer. Stay strong and keep doing what you love!

The Importance of Community

Why is a community with others so important to us? Why is the pain of loneliness so unbearable? To answer this I need to share the time in my life when I first understood what community was and what it meant. When my first friend saved me from the depths of darkness despite my constant rejection of Him, the one who never stopped loving me despite how deeply my hatred for Him grew and the one who taught me who empathy and love are. The day I accepted Jesus as my savior and friend, my community, after many years of convincing myself that I didn’t need or want community.

Community isn’t just knowing of other people, the community is about being able to truly empathize and understand other people, to share your pain, your happiness, your despair, your joy and your passion with one another and grow as individuals and as a group. Community is something that has been vital to us since day one of our race’s existence. When God created Adam he was completely sinless and perfect and yet something was still missing, he had no one to share the happiness of the things God had given him with, despite being in literal paradise it wasn’t complete without the ability to share the depths of himself with another. Even in complete perfection, Adam could still feel the sting of loneliness. So God created Eve and only after that was Adam completely fulfilled in every way.

No matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise, we NEED people who can share in our joys and our pains, we need people we can rely on to steer us back on the right path when we stray from what’s good. God did not create man to be alone and no amount of trying to convince ourselves otherwise will change that. To say that we need no one to correct us, to connect with us, to bear our burdens with us is to put ourselves on the same pedestal as God himself and as we’ve seen in the past, those who do that get knocked down hard.

In this way, accepting a community is also a sign of being humble, to accept that you have limits and cannot do everything on your own. A community between us is the last prayer Jesus prayed before his trial and crucifixion began. The desire for community is something we simply can’t truly do way with no matter how deep we bury it. Community with others is what will keep us from destroying ourselves and it’s what will bring some semblance of peace to the world.

​Find a community and if all other communities reject you, create one!

Bullying Prevention | All Ages of Geek

Bullying is a serious problem in our society. I was bullied for many years, so in this article, I’d like to write about how to deal with bullies and how to help the victims of bullying.

What Can I Do Against Bullying?

Don’t look away if you see that someone is bullied. Be kind to the person being bullied. Show them that you care by trying to include them. Talk to them, invite them to something. Just hanging out with them will help them know they aren’t alone.

How Can I Defend Myself Against Bullies?

Talk to someone about the situation, a teacher, your friends, your parents. You can only get help if you speak about it. The longer you wait, the worse the situation gets, a bully thinks otherwise he can do anything with you. Please Ask For Help! Because a bully is a very weak person, if he knows that you are asking for help he will be scared because he fears the consequences. Don’t make the same mistakes that I made. I was too scared to ask for help because I was afraid of the reaction of the bullies and I was beaten up several times within two years.  In the end, though they can’t do anything to me when I ASK FOR HELP!

Treat everyone with respect, nobody should be mean to others. Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt someone. Keep in mind that everyone is different, not better or worse, just different. Bullying causes many mental illnesses, it causes depression and anxiety, borderline, paranoia, leads to burnout, and causes many other physical/psychic diseases. Through bullying, I got depression and anxiety, paranoia, two broken ribs, and a broken nose.

Types of Bullying

Bullying does not always happen in person. cyber-bullying is a type of bullying that happens online or through text messages or even emails. There are things you can do to protect yourself. Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Being kind to others online who will help keep you safe. Do not share anything that could hurt someone. Think about who sees what you post online. Private settings let you control who sees what. If a hater is attacking you ignore him, block him, and report him. DON’T LISTEN TO THE HATER! They are just little cowards who hide behind their screens. They are jealous of your success. Tell yourself:

“Haters don’t hate you, they hate themselves. Because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be“. 

Bullying can cause long-lasting psychological and physical harm to victims. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Be positive and positive things will happen.

All Ages of Geek’s Newest Writer Introducing Kayleigh (Kai) McRae

Hello fellow geeks and mafia members, welcome to my first article for All Ages of Geek. And today’s focus is none other than the 25-year-old college woman with a lot of free time, abundant depression, and a craving for anything covered in cheese, or snuggling with my Chiweenie Sugar whenever I’m too lazy to get out of bed. By popular demand, you have asked for me to introduce myself to all of you and now you are all stuck with me, welcome to my mind, don’t forget to leave a tip. So let’s get everything out of the closet where my sexuality used to stay and get this walking disaster under a microscope.

My Inner Geek

​For as long as I can remember I have had a large fascination with media, games, and literature. In my childhood, you would find me with my nose in a book, writing up future book projects, or gushing over my favorite television shows. Some examples are television shows such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Invader Zim, Generator Rex, Teen Titans, and many more. 

I can’t give an example for books I’ve read because I’ve read thousands throughout my life, but the genres I am drawn to most are, anything with fantasy, original worlds, and extreme character diversity and charm. Or even things from a point of view you would never think of. The more out of the norm the better in my book. Which is also what got me into things like RWBY as well. I don’t want to ramble about games yet we can save that for another day. 

My personal projects also follow this pattern which I think is what lead me to like Katya so much and connecting with her the way I have. I’m sure many of you can relate.

How I found Katya

​Alright so long story short, I am the sort of person who enjoys seeing other people react to or experience the same things as me. It gives me a sense of connection to the world around me. And as an introverted young adult, of course, the internet became my obsessive addiction, like my mother and her feelings towards root-beer, and the piles of empty twelve pack cartons on the dining room table. Katya Stec met all of those requirements, my socially starved brain latched to her channel, like a parade of lovable puppies that I let run me over in excitement and cuteness. I started watching Kat when she was reacting to the Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared series, and her Detroit: Become Human let’s play series. And once she got into RWBY, I was too far gone to be saved, I was already in that corner of the neighborhood owned by our don. And I signed my contract in blood and started sporting the colors. 

RWBY is a show I have a huge attachment to, not just with it’s story and characters, but with being an anchor for me when I was at my lowest and most lost. It saved me, and funny enough upon finding Katya I was dangling from that edge again. But her videos gave me confidence and strength, and her words always seemed to give me a boost when I felt I would lose my grip on everything. I may be dramatic but this is the truth, and I know there are others like me in this mafia. Katya’s message struck a chord with me. Like a flash of lightning to a lightning rod. Fandom positivity! And what it means to be part of a community where you will not be attacked based on any theory, ship, or preference. And also the fact that she also has struggles that she had to overcome. And I am so glad she seems to have found her stride. And I will be running beside her.

My Story

But okay, you asked to learn more about me. Not just interests and hobbies. But what makes me human. Well here is the summary of the life of the formless blob known as Kayleigh McRae, and how she became a they, and how the journey began and where it leads.

As a young tiny bean, (yes Kat I know you are reading this.) I didn’t have many friends. In fact, most of my school experience was one bully routine to another. The time I was supposed to grow and learn, the time I was meant to make friends and socialize. I was isolated, alienated, and made an outsider. Why was I targeted you ask? No idea. But it really affected me. From the physical tortures such as hair pulling, pinching, pushing, even so far as locking me away into closets or bathroom stalls. To vocal jeers, about my appearance, my background, my behavior, my skills made into things to be ashamed of. My voice snuffed out. It got to the point where I moved from school to school. But the bullying seemed to follow. When you find that no one wants to give you a chance. When you are ignored, betrayed, strung along, played with, and abandoned. Trying to hold on to even one friend at a time. It makes you hate yourself. And sadly, it was exactly this sort of treatment as well as home issues that lead to me having Complex Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.

I spent my free time reading, trying to escape the real world, it was so bad that I didn’t feel human. I even wondered if I was there at all. Which as a child is the worst sort of state you can be in. Constantly afraid, constantly on edge. Constantly wondering if today is the day your friends finally decide to leave because they are tired of you. And I still do.

(TRIGGER WARNING: for anyone with depression or any mental illness be prepared I’m about to share things that can be triggering to some.)

As I said I am in college and for the past three years my scars that I’ve tried to hide from over 20 years of abuse, at the hands of people I was supposed to look to as peers and friends, reopened. Suddenly I couldn’t handle the strain. I found myself isolating myself, avoiding doing anything but sleep. I would wake up at night and suddenly want to pull my hair and bash my head into walls. I had severe panic attacks and severe anxiety. Sprinkled together with a part-time job, commuting, and a 30-hour course load. I just started giving in. And I ended up…contemplating ending it all. But then would be overwhelmed with the guilt of the thought and then the self-hatred would start. And it would be like this on loop. While trying to juggle my adult life. I couldn’t escape into books or making stories anymore. I was questioning my sexuality and preference at the time. Discovering past friendships that I wanted to be more than friendships only to see those people get together with others, and keeping silent. But I proudly can say now is that I am nonbinary/demisexual, and dating my amazing girlfriend. But at the time I was scared to come out, and that didn’t make anything better.

If you wonder why I didn’t reach out, I didn’t feel I was worth the effort. And why not confide in my mom? Well, I am a very emotional person, and my mother was a single parent. Kids cry, and my mom never realized how hard it could be. I wouldn’t let her, I didn’t want to hurt the other kids. Yes, it was a sort of Stockholm syndrome I had for my attackers. Not that she didn’t know a good deal of what happened, like me coming home crying every day of the year, but after a while, I started hiding the abuse from her. I didn’t want to burden my mother with my problems. Yes, I know it is her job as a mother, but she was the only person who loved me for me and I wasn’t going to let my problems hurt that.

But this story does have a happy path ahead. I am finally letting myself be myself, and discover myself in many ways. I am making friends, some from this very community. And thanks to Kat I can write again. And now, I hope my voice can help others. Either with stories that can take you away from the pain you experience, or as a hand to grasp when the world turns an eye. Be strong, be positive, and most importantly be yourself.

Anyways thank you for reading, and thus we conclude my introduction. Please feel free to tweet me at @FilmGeekGoddess on Twitter. And find me on the All Ages of Geek Discord as GeekGoddess2.0.