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A Personal Look into My Life - Who is Morgan Brooks, Athena MacDonegal, Catherine Wright, and Jason?


"The swords are another empty costume." I think that rings true. Every abused child wants to believe they became a sword, or something more than the hollow shell they think they were left with, but the truth is, not all of us are sharp enough for that. And I don't know if I was hollow because everything was taken from me, or if it's because it's all I could do to protect myself.

I have very few memories remaining from my time visiting [father] after the divorce. I think that was another thing to protect myself--since nobody seemed to really be protecting me. I now know my mom was doing everything she could to help me, but I was avoidant, I was afraid of retribution from both parents, though one was a clearer evil. The things my mom did came from a place of frustration that she couldn't do more until I was older. The things [father] did? Well. It's funny, really.

I ruminated on all the things he did to neglect me for a while recently. I can't tell you what triggered this. I don't know. But I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more, and I realized why [father] took me to all of his stupid bullshit. If he left me alone at home for several hours a stint, it would be charted as neglect and I would get out of there right away. And since I was young, I couldn't just say "no". I didn't have a choice.

So, I went to all of his stupid bullshit. I went to all the polka dances, I went to the grocery store, I went to Toledo and Birch Run and Detroit and Bay City. I did all of it. I was an upset teenager. I was heartbroken all the time, and to add on it, I was being emotionally manipulated by my partner at the time. I was really suffering and I felt I had no one to turn to.

See, the one thing that finally lit a fire under [court-appointed case manager]'s ass was a very stupid rules list [father] typed out. I can't remember all the things on it, but I took a photo of it with my shitty Samsung S3 cellphone and kept it safe, kept it hidden. I don't think [father] thought I would do that. But I did. That's one thing I remember.

Another thing I remember is only having autonomy in the form of going to the local park. So that was what I ended up doing pretty often, was walking to the park in my shitty blue jacket, bloodstained on the sleeves from biting my lips so often until they were chapped and scarred. I'd go to the park and swing on the swingset, listening to music until my hands hurt, until I got blisters, until I couldn't move my legs any more. It was the only way to get away from the oppressive air of [father]'s house. I hated his new wife.

[stepmother], that absolute bitch. She picked on me for just about every little thing. My choice of dress, my avoidance, my weight (take a damn look at yourself), whatever she could. And get this: she's a substitute teacher! Does she give a singular fuck about kids or not? No, she hated me because I was the reminder that my father was married before her. My sister was able to get out of visitation pretty quickly--she's got four, five years on me.

[father] always came up with excuses. Whenever we'd bring up how he'd neglect me, he'd say, well, I took [my name] to a movie last weekend. I took him to the library. Good for you, I guess. Oh, library. I'm sorry about all of it, really. I would only pick up Garfield comics. One time he took me to a second hand bookstore. I found some Calvin & Hobbes comics, they were my favorite, they still are. I picked out three or four of them. He said I could have one. The books were probably a dollar a piece. [father] makes over $100k a year at his company as the Chief Financial Officer. Cunt.

For the longest time, I thought to myself, well, maybe I'm the one not trying hard enough. Maybe I'm the one who needs to try reconnecting with my dad, maybe I did something wrong. But communication is a two way street, and [father] failed to ever talk to me about anything. He didn't care about me.

My final memory of me asking him to come see me was when I needed an escort to a practice venue--it was a local high school. We were working towards our big winter concert. I was excited. But I also had a lot of residual anxiety, and was still nervous to be in a place in public like that for a long span of time. So I asked him to take me there. He agreed. I asked him if he could stay the whole time. He said no. "Why?" I asked. "Because you'll be fine there on your own. I won't feed into your manipulation." I was broken. How did a 16 year old kid manipulate a 58 year old man? I still don't know. I was just anxious and wanted one of my parents there. Is that such a problem?

Anyways, my worst memory of him consists of the first time he brought his then-girlfriend over. He was court-ordered not to do this. Yet, there my sister and I stood. We were angry as could be. And I did the only thing I knew how to do--I locked the two of us in our bedroom. It was one of the few times I had seen my sister genuinely bewildered and upset. I remember looking to the window, thinking about opening it and jumping out. I never did, because we also had the dog along with us in a crate. I only knew to call my mother, who called her friend, who told my mom to call the police, which she did. I remember bright flashing lights, and sitting in the car, steely-faced and cold. I just remember being in that room. Locking the door, staying pressed up against it so he wouldn't even think about trying to get in.

"The swords are also an empty costume." My hurt didn't sharpen my blade. In fact, I don't think I was a blade in the first place, really. I think I was an egg, and all of those experiences cracked my shell, scrambled the yolk and white within, let it spill out. I wasn't empty, but what was left of my shield was shattered, and what was left of my insides were ruined. The abusive partner thing didn't help, either.

You know, sometimes I feel like my experiences aren't as cared for since I have no physical wounds. I don't have any scars, any leftover bruising, no healed-over bones or inflamed clumps of cells. But I'm angry all the time; I feel like I want so much power.

I write a lot of poetry now about gaining power. Whether it's through death, killing, through ripping out someone's heart and eating it, consuming people whole. I just really wanted to feel in control of my life for once, because people took that away from me when I was a teenager. I guess if I could, I would want to switch places with Utena Tenjou. She has a sword. She looks powerful. She looks like she wants, or can at least, control her fate. I felt my fate, at that time, was uncontrollable, like a wild animal. Now, I feel a little more in control, but not very much. Now I'm wondering what comes after college. Now I'm wondering what happens when [father] dies.

[father] never asked me about high school graduation, or my 18th birthday, or starting college. And I doubt he will ask about my second year, or my 19th birthday, or my college graduation. I hope that when he dies, I don't weep. I don't scream. I don't react. It's not like I can anymore. All of my feelings got buried by medication and scars.

Utena, I need your sword. Another empty costume... it's all empty costumes with me and her.


There came a point where I realized I was on so many levels of repression and subconscious burying that even I didn't know what I truly wanted. I mean, I guess I do know, deep down, what I really want, but I've never told anyone out of fear. Fear for what, I couldn't tell you, but it's fear.

I lied to myself and to others because I thought, much like confidence of being up on-stage, you could fake it until you made it. And that was true for a little while. For a while I felt like a real person. But the soul in me knew that I wasn't.

It's a lot of emptiness, most of the time. A lot of wondering and wandering in the mind. Questioning the paths I've taken despite being told multiple times to not. And a sort of pulling, tugging, wondering when I'd come back to the controls and take over. I play all these games, I make all these attachments, and they're not real. You hear it on the radio, the TV screen, you hear it in your shells.

Before I knew it, I was several layers deep in my own lies and pity. People don't know me. And I know me, and it's the worst thing. Because I know what I want, I know how I want it, but it only comes out as trails of drool and drops of blood. One of my escapes was writing stories--I would write until my arms were sore from carrying the worlds beyond my imagination. Another was art, but that, too, got buried, and now it feels more like creation for profit rather than pleasure.

I didn't know pleasure and some affirm I still don't. I guess I'm alright with that for now. In the future, I'd like it to change, but if it can't go now, so be it.


I started thinking to myself while getting a snack today, maybe I should write my thoughts like this down. Down like this. Down. Like this. Because I think it's important to know how I'm feeling, but I don't always like sharing that feeling publicly.

So today's 10/18, it's a Tuesday and I grabbed my nightly snack. And I was thinking to myself, "what's wrong with me?"

It's a loaded question. I only ask that because I was on the verge of a mental breakdown just around a few weeks ago when I was buttering bread before putting it in the toaster, much to the disdain of my mother, to whom I replied "I've always done it this way!"

I have never done it this way. No one has. Butter goes on bread after you toast it. And I messed that simple task up. Something I had made countless times, toast with butter. Why, I asked myself? Why?

My mom reassured me after I said I was upset after (because she did, in fact, laugh). She said, it happens to everyone. No it doesn't, or at least it shouldn't. I'm 19 years old. My frontal cortex should be almost fully developed, same for the rest of my brain, and most of my body. That kind of memory lapse and judgement lapse doesn't just happen to people like me randomly.

So that's why I ask what's wrong. With myself. Because I don't know. I've looked into countless diagnoses. ADHD. Autism. OCD. BPD. PTSD. Does it even matter? I can put whatever label I want to my damage--it doesn't make a difference, it's just another jumble on my medical history. Gets overlooked. "Have you tried losing weight?"

Yeah. I'm afraid of turning to the adult side of healthcare and suddenly hearing that more than actual diagnoses. I'm pretty healthy. My diet's relatively balanced (though I could serve to eat more veggies, but doesn't everyone?), I get some physical exercise in, et cetera.

That's enough for now.


It's another day, another dollar. Or, no dollars, considering I'm not working. I don't want a job. I've tried to edge this off to my mom, but she doesn't seem to get it, and every time she talks to me about wages or pressures me to get out there, it makes me feel sick and upset.

Not that I don't want a job, of course. I mean, I don't want to work in certain places--I worked once at a grocery store and now I don't want to do any job like that again. I'd be better off pushing paper or doing desk work. Unfortunately nobody seems to want me.

She says she doesn't pity me, which I believe, but the way she tells me I need to "get out there" feels condescending. It makes me feel like a child. And I'm not a child. Not anymore. I need to make those kinds of decisions on my own, when, where, how... I don't want to feel like my mom is calling all the shots in my life.

I want to be independent. Or, at least, not dependent on her. Not because I don't like my mom, but because she feels like an overbearing force sometimes. It can make it hard to talk to her about anything regarding my mental health, because she thinks the end goal is no medication, whereas my end goal is just feeling happy and enjoying my life.


I keep thinking about what my final goal is for my mental health and I'm just stuck. Like, is my mood *really* bad, is it really neutral, or is it just that I feel that way because I'm partially isolated?

That's the problem with this pandemic, for me. There's no way for me to really "get out there" and figure out what's wrong. Sorry, the thought of getting another retail/customer service job just makes me sick, it's awful! My previous job sucked. I'd rather get into some computer job... but that can be hard.

I have this really deep fear. It's that there's nothing really wrong with me, and I've just been wasting time and money trying to find something that isn't there. Or, even worse, possibly, it's something that can't solve, or something that can only be solved with a lot of therapy.

The math is simple. 25 dollars per visit, one visit per week, 52 weeks in a year, ending up at about 1,200 dollars a year spent on trying to fix my brain. I don't want to call it a "dumb brain" any longer. It's just my brain... if something's wrong with it I want to fix it.

But I guess I want the "easy" way out, medication. I just don't know. I just don't know, maybe I would feel better if I weren't so tired all the time, maybe I'd feel more motivated.


I'm listening to The Mountain Goats right now, their song No Children. It's one of their live recordings, from 2006, I believe. All of the people there in the crowd are singing along to the song, not very well, but it's real.

I've been starting new medication and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. The amphetamine salts, definitely not sure. I feel like I can finally use all the energy I had mentally... at a cost of being jittery all day. And being really thirsty, thus having to pee a lot. More than normal. Pee, pee, pee! I feel like a mouse drinking a Big Gulp!

I like to think I'm in a slightly better place than I was three, four months ago when I wrote all of those things above. I'm still struggling to figure out my life, I still have problems with my mom, but I'm here, I'm alive, I exist. Talking to people helps, I mean physically talking. I take some time out of my "busy schedule" to call my friends on Discord--if you're reading this, hi!--and play games with them or watch movies or videos or just hang out. I'm truly appreciative of that.

I'm still scared of the future. I'm still worried about money, and getting a job, and being an adult whose final stages of prefrontal cortex development happened during a global pandemic, because that's a thing that's happening. Heart goes out to any other 16-22 year olds who are feeling the same. I've become a bit of a hypochondriac.

But still, I want to try... I want to try, even when the people around me say that trying isn't enough, I think it is. It's hard enough to just try, so I'll do what I can. I want to help, I want to learn; I want to make people smile. I want to sing again, even if it's not as good as I once thought it was. I want to play the piano and dance on stage and bloom into the person I dreamed of being. So, I won't give up... even on my worst days, I won't give up, I will keep trying and I will fight to survive--no, I will fight to thrive, to live!

I hope you fight, too. And Jason, if you read this someday again, I hope you're still fighting. I hope your heart is full and gentle again. It's never too late, no matter who you are.