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Heartshine


Smol green pega that writes lots of words about ponies.

More Blog Posts53

  • 6 days
    3am

    Three AM and I have been seeing each other lately. It's a strange, torrid affair that always makes me feel far more alone at the end of the day. It's a weird time where the only sound I hear is the soft whispers of my computer's fans trying to keep my ancient desktop from overheating, the high-pitched electronic buzz that comes from my monitor, and the soft click-clacking of my keyboard keys.

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    18 comments · 221 views
  • 10 weeks
    Speak Dramatis Personae

    So due to the fact that Speak has gotten rather... long, I figured now would be a good time to post a Dramatis Personae. I will be updating it periodically as more information is revealed about characters, new characters are added, etc.

    Main characters of Speak

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    7 comments · 508 views
  • 13 weeks
    Speak Chapter 20 with the editors

    Sorry this took so long everyone! I've had a busy few months the past three months, and between travelling, life changes involving Bubblegum moving out, and hosting Novel Idea for a week kinda set me back with where I wanted to be with writing. But, hopefully it's worth it! Chapter 20 so far has over 13.5k words, and usually revisions add more to it. It spans almost 40 pages on my gdoc, and I

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    13 comments · 224 views
  • 16 weeks
    A Small Treatise on the Cult of Silence

    There's about three or four distinct things that made me need to write this blog. One was a rough crisis call last weekend. One was a conversation that came up during supervision with my boss at work. And one was Aquaman's Zealots of Canterlot. At first I wasn't sure on the title of that particular emotional brick to the

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    22 comments · 560 views
  • 20 weeks
    Thoughts on the Series Ending: The Place Where No Shadows Fall

    From time to time you will make mistakes. They're inevitable. Sometimes those mistakes will be huge. What matters is that you learn from them. There's nothing wrong with falling down so long as you end up just 2 inches taller when you pick yourself up off the floor. At times you may end up far away from home. You may not be sure of where you belong anymore but home is always there.

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    21 comments · 444 views
Jun
22nd
2019

Fae Courts as Metaphors for Reactions to Trauma · 1:18pm Jun 22nd, 2019

Those of you that actually pay attention to the drivel that runs out of my head and onto the screen on occasion know that I love my metaphors. Metaphors are a great way to talk about things without actually talking about them. Great stuff for indirect communicators.Which is why I was so very, very drawn to White Wolf’s Changeling: The Lost setting. On the surface, it’s a world of darkness role-playing game. You get to play people who were abducted by the True Fae and taken to another world, and are forever changed by the experience.

On the surface.

Below the surface, it’s a beautiful allegory for trying to find ways to cope with trauma, and how to manage after terrible things have happened to you. (Seriously, I wish I’d come up with this!) One of the most brilliant aspects of it is that it uses the metaphor of changeling courts to aptly discuss the various reactions people have to traumatic events. By and large, humans are individuals, and as such tend to react in their own unique ways, but… there are patterns to these. If you want get into a more Jungian psychology about it, the world’s archetypes are still set, even if individual experience varies.

“Yeah, that’s great and all, Heart, but what’s the point you’re meandering around?”

The point is this: one of the questions I am frequently asked when writers realise that I have a degree in psychology and am a practising therapist is ‘I broke my character, how do I unbreak them?’ To which my response is usually 1. Don’t use batponies as your magical method of therapy (yes, I’m looking at you Somber. Yes, it’s been 6 years and, yes, I’m still bitter), and 2. How are they showing the fact that the events of the story affected them. Which seems counter-intuitive, because most people are wanting the answer of how to ‘fix’ it. When really, how the character is responding in the first place is telling you a lot about how they are coping, and what their recovery might look like.

Definitions

So, before we start however, a few definitions of terms I’m going to be tossing around so we’re all on the same page, and because sometimes pop psychology overshadows how therapy and actual psychology actually works.

Trauma - in a therapeutic sense, this is a situation or event that happened to you, you witness, or happened to someone you know that goes well beyond what you would consider ‘normal’ for your life, and to this day still bothers you. That’s it. I’m not limiting trauma to the standard examples that young authors often try to tackle (often badly) of abuse, assault, or domestic violence. Realistically, PTSD can be activated within an individual by anything, up to and including car accidents and severe weather. There’s a complex mix of biology, situation, and stress levels that causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to become a disorder, but the important thing to remember is that not everyone’s pain is the same. I’ve met extremely resilient people who have been through things I couldn’t imagine (and frankly, would rather have not imagined in excruciating detail in which they were provided), yet their ability to cope outweighed the trauma, and the symptoms they experience don’t meet the level of severity and impairment to meet a diagnosis of PTSD. On the flip side, I’ve known people who have been in relatively minor car accidents that, when paired with other stresses going on in their lives, trigger a disorder that can be quite crippling for months or years. It’s also important to note that trauma doesn’t necessarily happen to you. It can happen to other people. Or you could hear about it. The dark side of the psychological world is the number of therapists actively living with PTSD that was brought on by vicarious trauma. We don’t like to talk about it. Which is…a rather shameful state of a community of healers who are trying to destigmatize mental illness.

Trigger - In psychology, a trigger is a psychological stimulus that prompts a recall of a previous traumatic event. These can be anything, and, often times, seem completely random to a person who didn’t experience the traumatic event. However, triggers often bring about extreme periods of psychological distress and discomfort.

Triggers are not things that make you intensely angry. The word ‘trigger’ was co-opted by communities on tumblr to mean things that it does not. Originally, ‘trigger warnings’ were used on the web to try to note that discussions may be happening involving violence against women or frank discussions of things like Eating Disorders and forms of self-harm like cutting. However, this has… kind of gotten out of hand, and there’s some (at this point, limited) evidence to suggest that trigger warnings are actually bad for folks with PTSD and that exposure to other people’s trauma and reactions to it can be helpful. So if there is a discussion that is potentially triggering in the sense I’m talking about, it’s best to step away and use coping skills to calm oneself down.

Which, really is probably good advice for anything.

But those definitions aside, let’s look at how characters tend to find themselves in different Courts, as it were.

Spring Court - The Antler Crown, the Emerald Court, the Court of Desire

The like, 5 of you that’ve actually looked over anything related to Changeling will note that I’m totally ripping on their phrasing for stuff, but that doesn’t change how awesome their metaphor was! It just means I have an easier time translating it out of game terms into real life ones!

Ah, Spring Courtiers! These are the folks who have been through hell and back, and are so very thankful to be back on Terra Firma! Yes, it was terrible! Yes, everything that happened has left you with scars, both visible and invisible, but let’s not think of those! Let’s dance! Let’s love! Let’s drink deeply of the wine of life and make sure that we keep the bad thoughts away by never thinking about them!

I tend to focus a bit on the Court of Desire for characters, largely because these folks are easy to spot. They’re the ones who you know have seen some shit™ and are still the life of the party. Perhaps, worryingly the life of the party. At its core, trauma often involves a loss, and characters who subscribe to the teachings of the Antler Crown feel the best way to deal with the loss is to replace it with something new.

Taken to a healthy extent, that may mean moving, starting new relationships, building stronger friendships and support structures, and working through your trauma to find meaning in your life. The Emerald Court seeks to replace despair with hope. Hope that the future is brighter and fuller with others, as hope alone withers and dies, but together, hope can survive to tomorrow. This may involve making changes in life, trying new things, and learning to live again, but a Spring Courtier who is making their life work in spite of their trauma is one who lives beautifully in each moment.

Taken to an unhealthy extent, however, these are the characters (and sadly, often people) who have gone through four partners in the past week, have a fifth whom they are sure is the new ‘love of their life’ on speed dial, and are actively waging a war against their liver. They may also be the ones who, in search of new experiences, are doing everything possible to make the dopamine receptors tingle because then you’re not feeling the fucking feelings that caused you to feel this way in the first place, right? Right? Glad we agree, now pass the Heroin. I wanna feel gooooood.

The dark side of the Court of Desire is that the desire that is spoken of is your desire and yours alone. In practice, the idea is to build that new community, that new support structure with others, and finding joy in meeting your own desires as well as theirs. But when it’s only your desires that are being satisfied, this is where relationships break down. Friendships are lost. And worst of all, the Spring Court character is left feeling painfully alone.

Which is never good. Spring Courtiers hurt the most when they are alone. Because that’s when the past that they have been desperately trying to dance away from comes sprinting ever closer to nip at their heels.

In fanfiction, Blackjack of Project Horizons is an excellent example of a fallen Spring Courtier. She drinks like a fish. She ruts anything that is vaguely capable of giving consent. More often than not, when the party does something, it’s because it’s what she wants, not what they want. And toward the end of Horizons, she loses a lot because of the fact that it’s her desires and hers alone that are being fulfilled.

Another good example of this sort of character is Nathan Ford of the show Leverage. In the first season, we see Nate fresh off of losing his son because the insurance company he worked for wouldn’t cover his child’s treatment. He realises that the group he hired works very well together, but as the first season progresses, his attempt to build new things is constantly stymied by the fact that he frequently is drunk, and takes risks that he shouldn’t. He very nearly drives the cast away at several points throughout the series, and nearly breaks down the things he has worked so hard to build for himself.

That isn’t to say that everyone who’s experienced trauma becomes a promiscuous, narcissistic, hypersexualized boozehound (dangit, I just described Blackjack again). More often than not, people do actually find balance in themselves. However, Spring Courtiers, no matter how well adjusted, can be easy to spot, especially when one notices the pain behind the laughter.

Summer Court - The Iron Spear, the Crimson Court, the Court of Wrath

Trauma, by and large, makes people feel helpless. They are placed in situations where they aren’t able to do anything to stop a situation or event, and the feeling of helplessness weighs heavily on anyone who’s experienced a traumatic event. And to some, that helplessness becomes a driving force behind their life.

The Summer Court is the place for characters who went through Hell and came out blood-soaked and swinging. They’ve felt helplessness, and they never want to feel it again. They are the ones who will defend their friends to the death if necessary, to prevent other people from hurting like they did. They’re direct, sometimes to the point of confrontational, and will not stand being slighted. Summer Courtiers who are doing well are often advocates and champions for justice and those that cannot protect themselves. Those that are doing well may well often look at the intricacies of the politics of a situation, and opt to use a vorpal blade to cut through the bullshit to get to the point. These characters may become even better leaders, because they know what it is like to take orders that suck, and will go out of their way to be just and fair. They use their anger to strengthen themselves and their position, to make sure they’re not taken advantage of.

But taken to the extreme, members of the Iron Spear are angry, confrontational, impatient, and more than willing to start a fight. These are the folks who will take offence at anything you say, no matter how kind it was intended. Every word, every gesture is taken in as a potential threat. These are the characters who, after a traumatic event, find themselves in an Alliance bar on Unification Day, and make sure to wear a nice, brown coat so they’ll start a fight. They may at times use that rage they feel to gain an edge in conversations. Socially, most societies aren’t used to open displays of rage, and nothing gets people moving like trying to stay out of the way of a very pissed off person.

I should point out here the differences between Anger and Rage. These are two very different emotions that are often used interchangeably. However, rage is the ‘fight’ side of the fight or flight response, and anger is a dominance display. Rage sends people straight to a fight, yelling ‘come at me bro’ optional. Anger, however, causes the body to relax. People tend to talk more quietly when angry. They don’t want to look big, like they do when enraged, but rather simply want to open up the possibility that if it goes to a fight, they’ll soak the first hit to put you on the ground. Rage is based in fear. Anger is empowering.

That said, the Crimson Court realises that it’s members need their friends. Ostensibly, to protect them. But also because those around a Summer Courtier can help ground them. Summer court members who aren’t doing well may ‘shun the weak’, but only to hide the weakness they feel within their hearts.

Sunset Shimmer is an excellent example of a Summer Courtier. She’s often quick to feel rage, and this does hurt her on several occasions. It also hurts her friends at several points as well. However, when she is able to turn that rage down into anger, she does very well to use that anger to empower herself and others. She’s able to encourage her friends, in spite of how frustrating they may be. She also has a bit of a fascinating reaction to the Sirens in Rainbow Rocks. My friend Nova Quill pointed out that, of all the characters, Sunset reacted to the Sirens like they were predators, but in the way a bobcat might respond to the presence of a cougar. Her human friends didn’t seem to have the same reaction she did, and Twilight, interestingly enough, seemed to be quite afraid of them. Which makes sense, given that ponies are a prey species. However, Sunset’s reaction kind of toed that line between a lead mare defending her herd, and a smaller predator sizing up whether or not she could compete with a larger one for territorial dominance without getting eaten.

If you want to see Sunset done well in fanfiction as a member of the Court of Wrath, I highly recommend Corejo’s Compati. Corejo explores what might have caused Sunset to become the raging she-demon she becomes in Equestria Girls, and does a wonderful job showing just how much a Summer Courtier needs her friends. Even when she insists that she needs to be alone.

Autumn Court - The Leaden Mirror, the Ashen Court, the Court of Fear

Some people experience trauma and… don’t come out of it okay. As opposed to the previous two courts where they do their best to avoid it, Autumn Court members try to understand the fear that they experienced. They try to understand what has happened, and how to avoid it. These are the characters that start becoming obsessive researchers about crime and criminals. They find ways to subvert their own fear by trying to understand it. At least, in the case of individuals who are trying to solve their problems proactively.

In the light, members of the Court of Fear learn to control their emotions. Characters who seem somewhat emotionless after a pivotal event happens in their lives often fall into this Court. They try their best to master their fear, and for better or worse, work to make themselves less afraid over time. They often know their limits and triggers the best out of all court members, but will often use the fact that they still have some lingering fear to limit their relationships to those that they alone trust.

The dark side of the dark Leaden Mirror is that the Ashen Court sometimes has Courtiers who become perpetrators. People who use the fear that they felt to… continue to spread fear. Emotionlessness can give way to narcissism and other cluster B disorders. In other ways, the darklings looking into the Leaden Mirror can use their own emotions to influence and cause fear in others. Characters who might be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are very likely to be members of the Ashen Court, as it forces others to adapt to them. While blatant disregard for others can be found in all 4 courts, when it shows up in the Autumn Court, things tend to go very badly for those around the Courtier. While thankfully people who re-offend after being a victim is very low, it’s… sizeable enough to note that characters who become what they hate most are often members of the Court of Fear.

Autumn Courtiers do need their friends. Often times they tend to isolate, and may try to avoid forming attachments with other people. That said, they do need people around them. If only to ground them in reality.

Batman is an excellent example of an Autumn Court member. He’s devoted his life to stopping the things that hurt him the most: criminals. He uses fear proactively to hunt ne'er-do-wells down. Depending on what canon of Batman you subscribe to, he uses the image of the bat because he’s afraid of bats, and he used that fear to forge himself into the master detective he is today.

In my own stories, Peculiar is definitely an active member of the Ashen Court. He uses magic, manipulation, and fear to get his way. He was able to get the townsponies of Fold to surrender without a fight through fear and trickery. And while he happens to be rather mentally unstable, he uses that instability to fuel his obsessions. Which, at the moment in Speak, is rather unfortunate that Threnody has become one of them.

Winter Court - The Silent Arrow, the Onyx Court, the Court of Sorrow

If I hide and don’t talk to anyone, they can’t ask me about it. If no one knows I’m home, they won’t bother me with silly ideas like ‘you need to leave the house.’ I won’t risk seeing ‘him’ if I never leave the house. Winter Courtiers know fear, and instead of using it, they hide. They hide from the world. From their feelings, and if possible, themselves.

The Court of Sorrow is for characters who experienced trauma and didn’t know what to do other than hide. In stark contrast to Summer Court’s fight response, they are flight. The bad things can’t get at you if they can’t catch you. These are the people who’ve gone through shit, and go out of their way to making sure you don’t know it. Of course, humans can be irritatingly perceptive, so sometimes they’ll notice anyway, and it makes you want to run away and hide and never speak to them again. Cause goddesses forbid they might point out that maybe how you are living isn’t working, and that maybe you need to fix yourself.

As an active member of the Silent Arrow, I… kinda understand this court a little better than I’d like. Characters in this court who are adapting well to life may be hard to get to know, but don’t do so out of malice. They simply worry what you will think of them. They know how to fit into any situation because they have to. It’s adaptive to know how to look like you belong. It’s also adaptive to sit in places where your back isn’t to the exit. It’s also normal to hold that sorrow close to your heart, and not want to share it with others. If anything, Winter Courtiers constantly fear they are being a burden. Smart ones realise that with true friends, they never will be.

What isn’t adaptive is when you let that fear and sorrow control your life. Onyx Court members who don’t leave the house, who delude themselves into thinking that life is clearly going better for them than it really is aren’t adapting well to the world. Additionally, Winter Court members will likely react badly when pressed. They’ll either cave in, or suddenly you’ll realise you are literally trying to move the immovable. Wanting to run and hide after experiencing trauma is normal, but it does get to the point where that means you’ve cut off all ties to the world. It’s not okay to live in such constant fear that you whisper every conversation, and wear baggy clothes to try to make yourself look as small as possible.

And that’s when the crushing loneliness sets in and a character realises that maybe the way things are aren’t working as well as they should. Or that person may double down on the ‘mysteriousness’, and live in constant fear of being known. Because if people truly saw you for what you were, that would mean they’d never want to speak to you again. Because clearly, as a consequence of trauma, you’re not ‘damaged goods.’ As much as they fear them, Winter Courtiers need their friends. The Court of Sorrow is a lonely court. A crowded one, but a lonely one at that.

From the world of Ponies, Wallflower Blush is an excellent example of a Winter Courtier who is not doing well. She ends up using her magic to make people forget her every time she does something she perceives as awkward. Which results in most people forgetting her, leading her to end up resenting Sunset and her friends for things they legitimately cannot remember. Which… is often a very Winter Court thing to do: members of the Silent Arrow are often as unobtrusive as possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re not listening.

Threnody is also a proud member of the Winter Court who is actively trying for the position of Queen of the Onyx Throne. Heck, Speak itself is a very Winter-themed story, in that so far most of the stuff that has happened in it has been in order to avoid Threnody’s problems. She’s… unfortunately found new ones to add to the old ones, but at the same time, she’s still not (yet) dealing with her own stuff. Threnody would rather run away and hide than face what happened to her in Junction City head on. Though hopefully, through the story, she’ll begin to realise that several of the things she is doing in the name of the Court of Sorrow may not be the most adaptive for her.

Conclusions

I don’t know if this was helpful, but it may at least explain why, if when speaking to me, I may reference character’s responses as ‘Spring Court’ or ‘Winter Court’. I’ve done that to about three of the folks who I know read these silly blogs before, and I’ve been feeling progressively more guilty about not providing a fair degree of context to them. If anything, hopefully this did make you think a little bit about how your characters are responding to the events  you toss at them. And if it did that, maybe it’ll help you shape their behaviours and characterisation if they’re not quite fitting into the court you wanted them to be in.

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Comments ( 19 )

It's always fascinating to see people take game systems and elevate them to something deeper and greater than the designers intended... though in this case, I could see the folks at White Wolf using this approach on purpose. Changeling is very much a game about trauma and how to deal with it. In either case, this does provide a great way to frame the ways in which the mind recovers (or fail to recover) from horrible experiences. Thank you for it.

Thanks! This was incredibly helpful.

I have a Summer Court protagonist who makes bad decisions. She also ends up literally in the Unseelie court, so your Changeling reference seems uncanny. Are you reading my notes? She has hard lessons to learn and I'm still tweaking the difficulty of them.

My secondary character is a bit of a blend. He starts by running away and living in isolation. He lashes out at those who approach him. He tries to erase himself but fails. He needs to accept the past before he can work towards a better future.

I'll still end up bugging you about particulars for a couple scenes and decisions. It's just taking longer than expected. My conversation with RoMS has led me down a winding path. The trees are thinning, but I'm not quite out of the woods yet.

One literary device you see sometimes is a character who (often metaphorically) confronts her trauma and overcomes it, learning that she's better than that and she doesn't have to be afraid anymore. I guess that would be Summer Court?

5077953
I'm 100% positive that WW intended it to be that way. It's a really lovely idea, and I've heard from people who've gotten to play with good Storytellers that it can be really empowering. But goodness of it doesn't succinctly sum up a lot of stereotypes of peoples' responses to traumatic events. And it does so in a hauntingly beautiful world that is made more confusing by what you've been through. Which is... painfully accurate to how it can feel after the fact.

5078067
I think so. Confronting things head on and physically or metaphorically punching it in the face and finding one's strength seems summer court-y. The court of wrath isn't always just about being pissed off. In a lot of ways, it's about finding your strength again after experiencing trauma.

5077984
Yay! I'm glad it was helpful. I... it's a hard topic to talk about, but the way my brain works it to find ways to like, break down big huge things like trauma into smaller pieces that I can use to direct character growth. And I'm glad it works for other people, too!

i woke up this morning, peeling myself away from the embrace of my two boyfriends. When i noticed that you had written a new blog i freaked, nearly knocking my bong onto the floor. Thankfully, i didn't and decided to enjoy a fat bowl as i ate my breakfast of cupcakes and read this.

None of that is important but i think with my trauma i closely resemble Winter Court.

I'm just gonna leave this here. And walk away. LEAVING THIS HERE AND WALKING AWAAAYYYY LA LA LAAAAAA....

"...ecch, unicorns..."

Okay but seriously...

Triggers are not things that make you intensely angry. The word ‘trigger’ was co-opted by communities on tumblr to mean things that it does not. Originally, ‘trigger warnings’ were used on the web to try to note that discussions may be happening involving violence against women or frank discussions of things like Eating Disorders and forms of self-harm like cutting. However, this has… kind of gotten out of hand, and there’s some (at this point, limited) evidence to suggest that trigger warnings are actually bad for folks with PTSD and that exposure to other people’s trauma and reactions to it can be helpful.

Can I paint this on the side of the UN Building?




You know, the one that looks like box the monolith from 2001 came in?

5078269
Please do. For the love of Luna and Celestia, please do. This is something that needs to be researched, but preliminary stuff says it's still better to face your stuff than run from it. Plus there's some forms of therapy that lets you process things better than retraumatizing yourself by constantly going over the event in your mind. So... it's finding the right person and trying to make stuff work for you. Scary as that can be.

...Or do shrooms or MDMA. There's a lot of interesting studies that are showing some clinical efficacy for people who are resistant to normal methods of therapy and medication management with PTSD diagnoses, and that's kinda cool.

In person I use metaphors too much and I use them poorly. Since I've continued to fail to properly use them, I consider myself lucky to have friends who don't let me get away with that periphrastic evasion; although it does end up leaving me with that selective mutism problem that I can't say I've been doing a great job of addressing.
It is fascinating to see this system of archetypes though. I now just hope I can trust myself not to start hard-categorising real people as them instead of actually treating them like themselves (as nuanced as those archetypes are); and instead see those archetypes' usefulness as guidelines in evolving story characters that feel consistent and believable like yours do. Thanks for showing us around another garden of words, and echoing FanOfMostEverything, it's fascinating to see when a game system can be so well extended into things like actual psychology.

This was a really interesting and insightful read. Thank you. I'll have to remember this.

It was pretty fun going through the different courts and figuring out which of my characters went where. The talk of the Summer Court and their relationship with helplessness reminded me of a challenge I had tried, where tried to summarize different characters and their arcs in a single sentence. I only ever did the one, but for that character (who falls under the Summer Court) it was: "Bitter frustration born of helplessness turns to furious wrath."

I found it cool how perfectly that (and the character in question) lined up with what you were talking about.

5078265
those were alicorns. Also, yes. unicorns are dicks

5078397
I'll respond to your post once I've sorted out my thoughts into what one might charitably refer to as people speak

I often wonder if it occurs to people that some people are just horrible people

I can't find a video of her, but I've read of a member of Obama's medical board who writes how curing diseases and genetic diseases is genocide because their getting rid of the disabled community.

As for the drug thing... eh, I gotta say that that school of thought is playing with fire. We already have a problem with drug abuse in this country, so I'm reluctant to support of not protest this particular notion.

If it helps, sure. Go for it. But delving into such forms of escapism are dangerous. Of course, what do I know.

5078111
... I've been told I should be upset by this, but really, I find no reason to care. I'm a libertarian apparently. Enjoy your no doubt well earned hedonism:twilightsmile:

Now... as for this...

Hmm... its an interesting view, I'll give it that. I've personally begun working involving ponies view of the seven deadly sins (they don't call it that, mind. If you'd like to hear more, I'd love to say what I've got so far.)

But I feel its... kind of limited. I'm getting some idea of what I mean, I'll get back to you when I have something coherent.

I posted a long winded expose on berserk before, then edited it since it didn't seem to grasp what I meant, but I think characters and the people who make them are a bit more complex then the Courts can cover..

Except Blackjack. She's just a blonde without the blonde:facehoof:

5080632
A lot of these are generalizations. I like to think of them as ways to conceptualise core symptoms and responses. Not everyone is going to fit into each court perfectly, but this gives you a framework to think about it from. How does your character act by default? Because really, everyone has the potential to respond with all at once. Or fragments of two or three courts.

5080728
This perhaps summarizes trauma best

Even if you force back what was lost, it still won't be the way it was.
– Guts

Huh, Changeling: the Lost huh? I feel like I should look into roleplaying games more, it sounds really interesting^^

Don’t use batponies as your magical method of therapy (yes, I’m looking at you Somber. Yes, it’s been 6 years and, yes, I’m still bitter)

Oh wow, that part made me laugh waaay more than it should, especially considering the overall message... and considering the reason for that "therapy" of my favorite pony :twilightsheepish:

She ruts anything that is vaguely capable of giving consent.

To be fair, "on screen" she only had sex with 4 ponies total in Project Horizons (I'm not counting... them from that chapter for obvious reason), I think with 3 more in Speak? I don't think it's that big of a number... although yeah, I don't really like that side of her, but hey, everybody has a vice.

Sunset reacted to the Sirens like they were predators, but in the way a bobcat might respond to the presence of a cougar.

Ooh, I liked that moment, it was so unusal to see somebody in this extended franchise address a threat in this manner^^

Very interesting and informative as always :twilightsmile:

PS: Sooo should I be glad that you hadn't read more into my story and start to analyse Angel's mind? Gotta admit, I'm curious if you'd see right through her at this point already... and a little worried if you'd call bullshit on it :twilightblush::derpytongue2:

Half a year late, but this is a very interesting blog for me, as someone who can see (but not, apparently, change) the way a lot of his maladaptive behavior is shaped as a response to traumatic experiences.
Also, I wish I could find a therapist who was both good for me and could talk about things in TTRPG terms.

5205857
I don't know that we ever really change our default responses to trauma, even if we've worked ourselves to the point where we can at least sit with it. The things we do in order to adapt to what happened to us are very difficult to change, largely because they're ways for us to feel safe, and in many cases, they were adaptive behaviours to keep ourselves alive. In game terms, having high clarity doesn't mean that you're 'over it', it just means you have a better innate grasp on the world around you and how it impacts you and your decisions.

That said, I'm sorry to hear you've not found someone who you click with. That's... always the most difficult part of trying to deal with the messiness left behind in the wake of things we're not meant to deal with. Trying to find someone who feels safe enough to talk about it with.

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