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There's been a lot of lag. I'm running against a massive backlog, as always. But this time I log back in here and clean up my drafts, and bam, realize that most of what's still unpublished dates back to 2015. Meh. Even worse, a little bird in my head says we should finally get off our ass and post the rest of the Isabelle and Dragon story. Another little voice grumbles about this horrible procrastination, considering that the last bit of that story was actually written back in 2011. But as I have to, I assure all the other crazy noises in my head that indeed, things take time; there are no coincidences here. Thanks, e, for undeniably giving me that pinpoint of inspiration. You are continously writing everything that apparently I need to read, just then. The universe is a weird, magical place. Regarding that, I have not forgotten about moeyz and jessicaj. I hope you haven't died on me yet, and I mean that sincerely and very hopefully, because I am so horribly late with the snail mail. I just somehow got lost in real life in 2015. I swear, this has never happened to me before. It was an inexplicable first. And I am still lost in real life. It is surreal, wonderful and amazing. I have actual, tangible goals that are realizing themselves (what is this insanity?). So many knots that have untangled themselves simply because of time, time, the thing I never thought to be on my side. I have already outlived the span that seemed realistic about 15 years ago, and I am stronger now than I was back then. It might be a miracle, but I am actually stronger now than I should have been regardless. And yeah, I am indeed hiding a cascade of wounds, scars and other disfunctionalities as I go about, but I found my way into acceptance and therein, quiet. Against all the horrifying background noise of all that _they_ needed me to do, all that _they_ needed me to be; never enough, never any good, blah blah blah. I just let myself slip into my own grasp, dismantling all those years of bullshit, building a completely new castle right onto the old one. I'm still a vague, derelict ghostship of sorts, but the flying dutchman taught me that it's ok to be burnt alive, as long as you learn how to walk through the fire. It was all I needed. From there on out, I saved myself. Maybe this is why I need to finish posting a story that was written almost a decade ago. Because the fragmentation had already taken root, the change in me had been rolling about for years; just as my defenses take a long time to come into full view, once they're up, your time is up. Right then. Right there. I've continuously walked myself into situations wearing no kind of skin at all, my heart and soul on the outside. Gods, I got burnt a lot. Love is not a weakness, people. Not being able to hate anyone, no matter what they did to me, is my greatest strength. I bend so far, I've never broken fully.

I mean, he said it a couple of days ago and it"s still ringing in my head; I'm weighing it up and down, over and under. How strong I've gotten. Not just physically. It's taken a decade, and I am slow at catching up with change, even when it's happening to me. But what was buried beneath layers of trauma has at last emerged fully. I kept writing about it all that time, I dreamt about it. It was so vague back when I was a child and suffered so much abuse, but somehow I still latched onto it. For years, I was feverish and delirious in my pursuit; in the end, I was only looking for myself.

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