Geekery · Health · Real Remarks

Pokemon, Friends, and PTSD

pokemon-ptsd

This might be rather long, and even rambling in some parts. Friends who are mentioned will only be referred by the first letter of their first name. This post will also mention sensitive material around the cause of my PTSD, thus being the first time I openly speak of such a thing. And my ignorance at the time.

As a child one of my favorite media franchises was Pokemon. I watched the anime, got the figures, collected the trading cards, and played a related board game all the time. Sadly, I never had the chance to play the actual video games. We couldn’t afford everything after all.
Plus, I think I wasn’t even aware of them. For shame, I know.

During my junior year of high school a friend introduced me to a guy who happened to enjoy my favorite anime at the time: .hack//SIGN.

“But Stephy, what does this have to do with all that Pokemon talk?” you might ask. Don’t you worry, I will get to that in due time.

As usual, I thought nothing odd about this guy when we first met – except his claim of liking fire. Though I’m of the impression kids say that to sound ‘cool’. He was even the first person to even mentioned the words “I love you” to me in years. Not even my family said those words.
Regardless of that lie I believed it at the time. After all, hearing you are loved is a wondrous feeling.

We were together for about three years, and sometime during the first two was when the rape occurred – within my own bedroom. I stayed with him regardless, after all he told me he loved me and I deserved nothing better.

Shortly after high school we lived together in a trashy trailer, paint peeling off the walls and badly covered up holes in the floor. I thought I wanted to live away from my family, as their antics got to me awfully. Our only means of communication was through a shared cell phone with limited minutes. At times we could access the internet from our family’s or friend’s internet.

I spent that time emailing one of my best friends L, requesting that she sent me snail mail since I felt lonely. She did! Hearing from her really made me happy. I am so thankful for her as a friend, as she’s always stuck with me regardless of the circumstances. I can’t wait to see her again and give a big hug.

My other best friend S, this time more local, often visited me so we could work on our story. I also used this time to share my feelings of our situation. Us laughing and have a good time with the story helped me a lot; this is one of the reasons I can’t seem to let our characters go (as well as because my closest Michigan friends were characters as well – like we were all together in this fictional city). I miss those days and I miss talking like we used to. Now we are almost like strangers.

S aided in helping me get out this by bringing in a new friend, A. She thought he would be good for me. He was the one who got me to pack all the stuff I could, take my cat, and drive me back to my family. He was the one who would talk to me or help me get food when that boy stayed at his aunts days at time, leaving me only Banquet dinners.  I was happy for his companionship and newer, happier memories. We are still acquaintances, but like me and S, strangers.

I miss all my Michigan friends so much.

During this time, living in the trailer, I passed a lot of time playing Solitaire and writing crappy books. He passed the time playing the Gameboy Pokemon games on the Gameboy, not doing anything with me until night came, when he desired that.

For so many years I loathed one of the things I used to love. Anything Pokemon related reminded me of him, even triggering bad memories, thoughts. How I was ignored, living in that place, feeling alone. I refuse to eat Banquet meals nowadays. Any guy that resembles his distinguishing features freaks me out.

When it comes to Pokemon, I’ve been re-introduced. My current significant other became a fan again and never understood why I disliked it so much. Yes, I explained it, but I suppose it didn’t make much sense. Somehow, I came back to Pokemon regardless. Perhaps it was the insistence of me being able to use Vulpix in the card game and video game, or the fact that in Pokemon Y I could customize the appearance of my trainer.

Two of my weaknesses.

This is a step for me. While the bad thoughts remain, I didn’t let them stop me from enjoying this media franchise anymore. I’m about to beat my first Pokemon video game and I had a good time playing it.

If you are struggling with your past, you don’t have forget it and move on. You just have to keep going and don’t let it stop you from enjoying what you used to love. Stay strong everyone.

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