• Member Since 4th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 11 minutes ago

Estee


On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)

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You pity her. You see her, you speak with her for a few minutes, learn about the myriad of tragedies in her life (and there's always something new), and you just feel bad for her. You want to help. Really, it's easy for Rarity to let somepony stay with her for a little while, just until that guest truly gets back on their hooves, because the mare needs help.

You pity her. And when the pity runs out... that's where the self-loathing starts to come in.


(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group. New members and trope edits welcome.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 55 )

*Reads title.

uh-oh.

Author's Public Note:

I try not to tell you about the bad stuff.

Would you like to hear about the bad stuff...?

Starting from early May and ending -- I hope -- a few days ago, I went through a bad time. Some of you -- those who've followed my blog for a while -- may have guessed some part of what happened, along with identifying the source. For them, and everyone else, I'll be blogging the true details at some point. Soon. But it's why I didn't write much in early June, why I haven't booked my BC pass yet... it's the reason for a lot of things.

But everything in a writer's life is potential story fuel. Everything.

This is how I'm working through it. And in a way, it's the only thing I'll ever get out of her...

9701032
I wish you peace and strength. Lord knows you deserve it.

I generally don't read stories with a "Sad" tag, and "Suicide/Self-Harm" is right out. For Estee, I made an exception.

Wow.

The parent was shivering. Shaking . She didn't move. She simply stood there, pressed against the chill device as her daughter's anger burned hotter, the fury regarding time lost and mark denied, her mother had denied the true nature of her daughter's mark to insist it was about wealth and for a pony, what was greater crime was there than to thwart a talent? Her mother didn't know what ponies had done in the name of that goal, should never know, and Rarity still wanted to tell her because that way, there would finally be an appropriate party for comparison. Her mother could just -- just --

MOST of the time, the Mane 6 aren't like that, but all of them have a Heart of Gold -and a Soul of Steel
When they take on an Aspect & Raise up an Attribute, they vary between REALLY scary & terrifying
Rarity fought a Manticore (in the pilot) and has faced down several Dragons, so yeah, her too.
Only one that hasn't is Pinkie (Did in Triptych, not in the show)

Oh & I've said it before, I'll say it again
Your VERSE is actually a pretty nice place,
your PROTAGONIST'S LIFE often sucks
As P.J. O'Rourke put it "Even on VJ Day, you can fall down the stairs & break your leg -or your neck"

I dreaded reading this. That dread increased as I went. Watching this kind of slow suffering is painful, especially when every iota of the pain is expressed so capably.

But there was some good to be found there. The kind of thoughts that can cleave a family apart don't have to have a permanent effect if they're not left as the last word.

The use of dialogue and the lack thereof was brilliantly done. That mare doesn't even let people think coherently when she's around. Neurocyphers could learn from her.

Here's hoping the real life matter is indeed over and done with. Thank you as ever for the story.

9701032 Everything in a writer's life is fuel. Sometimes Nightmare Fuel, but fuel nonetheless.

OPEC has nothing on Estee. :pinkiehappy:

(I tremble for the day that Estee no longer writes, for that pressure release valve is critical to the well-being of the civilized world.)

Beautifully written, as always, but heart rending. I can only wish you the best in whatever life has thrown you.

As Rarity points out:

the words which have their variants in every family.

But I'll admit to having read that more broadly: Every family has their variants on that mare.

Oh based on an old African (?) folk tale, I wouldn't call her "crocodile", I'd call her "Scorpion"
A crocodile wanted to be on the other side of a river, but there was a lion there, & they didn't dare. A scorpion came along. They also wanted to cross the river and said to the crocodile
"If you carry me across, we can face the lion together & win. Perhaps the lion won't even dare to fight us"
"No, you're a scorpion. You'll sting me"
"Don't be ridiculous. I know that we'll be in a river & if I sting you we'll BOTH drown"

Well, that makes sense to the crocodile, so he puts the scorpion on his head and starts across the river. They get about halfway across and the scorpion stings him.
The crocodile's last words were "Did you forget that if you sting me we'll both drown?"
The scorpion's last words were "No, I remembered that. Did YOU forget that I'm a scorpion?"

On second thought, the "crocodile" in the title refers to Rarity

I hope your way out of this is as swift as possible, with as much sanity intact.

You forgot to add an horror tag to the story.

Man this was hard and I was getting angry for Rarity sake in her place way earlier than her.

9701032
oh. this is a subtle jab at your mother and the problems she's caused...:raritycry:

reads description
thinks

...oh.

I will be sending you all the positive vibes I can. I may grumble a bit here and there in the comments but I love and respect your work. More importantly, I respect and care for you as a person. One soul to another, I wish you all the best and the strength to persevere through the worst.

Ouch. Several times over, ouch.

This was... an experience to read. It had a bit more of an impact than most of your other stories, likely for much the same reason Umbridge is typically even more hated than Voldemort: because it’s so much more... real. Fantasy problems can be empathized with to a degree, but there’s always a disconnect there that this fic bridges because it’s... real. Through a pony lens, maybe, but that’s much less of a problem for your stories than it would be for most.

The worst part is knowing that you’re writing this from personal experience. My own is second-hand at closest and I hope it never gets closer, because that was bad enough.

So... yeah. I’m not quite as good with words as you are, so to sum my feelings towards this... ouch.

"hugs you tightly"
Be strong, Estee. We're here for you.

Sometimes monsters wear pony skins. Remember that a monster in pony form will never self identify as a monster. If you think yourself to be a monster, chances are, you are not.

Good luck.

9701267
Yes & no. If you've read Estee's blogs, then you know that the "crocodile" is based on a neighbor that she used to have.
(Not that she doesn't have issues with her mother too)

Now you've got me wondering how a pony even holds a cigarette.

I hope this helped you, Estee; good luck.

9701526
For Unicorns, not a problem. For the other tribes "VERY carefully" :pinkiegasp:

Oof. Man. This was a read and a half. Some of this was almost too real, I could nearly feel myself pulling back from the phone screen as I continued. Just...damn.

Sorry for the essay but I kept thinking of more stuff to remark on, and I just wanted to do this one justice.

The way you used dialogue in this was really cool, switching it up from nearly none to only for that section with her mom, that really stood out to me. I just love the way the prose emphasizes the emotional beats and gets you so into the headspace of the character. I like that you use this to get us to experience negative emotions as well as positive, the impact of something good actually happening seems like so much more when everything else in life seems determined to be shit.

Man. This one was wild. I feel almost bad for deriving entertainment from what had clearly devolved into a completely untenable situation that lasted way, way too long. With some of the heavy stuff touched on in this fic I was surprised by how well it integrated with the established continuum. Though I hate to beg the question, how exactly does she extract the contents without a horn or ripping them up by grabbing with the mouth?

The ending was so good. It would have been easy to just kill her off after the stroke or put her in a coma for some cheap feels or w/e and deny the situation its complexity. I like how it's so ambivalent.

Well, I'd be lying if I said I couldn't relate. Where ever they manufacture horrible people like that, they're never going to run out of them.

9701432 Unless being the monster is The Plan...

That's how overlords are born. :trixieshiftright:

9701181 The crocodile's flaw was that he didn't get the scorpion to sign a treaty of non-aggression. Because no one ever violates treaties!

:raritywink:

This was a beautiful read, I sincerely hope this gave you some catharsis. The whole situation sounds just.... terrible sounds like an understatement, but that's all I can call it.

Just the title got a powerful wince out of me.

Woah, this was as deep as I expected, given the tagging, and it being you!

Very deep! Like that ocean of wake-up juice!

Hmm... That Mare's mark is of Survival or something, so yeah, betting it's Passive, and keeping her from dying until it just can't. Ooof. Damn, that's terrible.

And depending on how Survival is calculated by it, maybe it sacrificed her mind, for her keeping her body alive... Double Ooof. :fluttercry:

----

Typo?

They never came it at all.

They never came near it at all.

9701915
The Crocodile could have put him in a box before ferrying him over.

9702878 I see that four people who read my comment would have voted for Neville Chamberlain. :trollestia:

One of the hardest, but most important, lessons in life is that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. No amount of effort and time and love can make someone a better person unless they themselves are willing to change.

9701181
I always heard that was a russian folk tale

9701032
Reading this story was... surreal, considering in a universe bending way I met a caricature of the mare you described (and likely the person behind the mare) as part of my job this morning. There's an interesting bit of slow burn self-hate that you've built into this that really aptly describes how compassion fatigue begins to set in. And often quickly, when people take generosity and run with it for all it is. In many ways, I wish that her story was unique; an anomaly that only happens in fiction and extremely unlucky circumstances. But the painful part is that I've run into her before, and will likely again. Not the same person. Not the same name. Not always the same reason, but the stories will be similar. The anger: ever present. And the blame of all but self: pervasive, cloying, and suffocating all at once.

Eight years in the mental health field has taught me the hardest place to be is around that person. Worse if you don't have the thin shield of situational authority as a case manager/crisis worker/therapist - though often that shield may well not exist in the first place. I'm... not great with words, so I'll end with I'm very sorry that you went through that. And I hope that you're able to start working on healing you.

9701032
Reading this story was... surreal, considering in a universe bending way I met a caricature of the mare you described (and likely the person behind the mare) as part of my job this morning. There's an interesting bit of slow burn self-hate that you've built into this that really aptly describes how compassion fatigue begins to set in. And often quickly, when people take generosity and run with it for all it is. In many ways, I wish that her story was unique; an anomaly that only happens in fiction and extremely unlucky circumstances. But the painful part is that I've run into her before, and will likely again. Not the same person. Not the same name. Not always the same reason, but the stories will be similar. The anger: ever present. And the blame of all but self: pervasive, cloying, and suffocating all at once.

Eight years in the mental health field has taught me the hardest place to be is around that person. Worse if you don't have the thin shield of situational authority as a case manager/crisis worker/therapist - though often that shield may well not exist in the first place. I'm... not great with words, so I'll end with I'm very sorry that you went through that. And I hope that you're able to start working on healing you.

Fantastic story, and quite personal for me.

My wife, the good soul she is, invited an old high school friend, who was chronically unemployed, to let his shiftless daughter and her layabout boyfriend to stay at our house. They proceeded to take the fullest advantage of my wife that they could despite my protestations, to the point where they drove a wedge between us and my wife kicked me out while allowing them to stay. Fast forward to the end, and she now knows she did everything wrong in the situation and should have been listening to me the whole time. No, that is not bragging, only a statement of fact.

To me, the mare in this story deserves to fall, regardless of the origins of her atrocious personality. Because to me, with the people that were inflicted on me and my wife through her good nature, these people chose their personalities, and so chose their selfish, parasitic ways. They chose to victimize others who were kind to them because it was easier than to provide for themselves.

In short, I think this mare, and by extension, those people, deserve the worst they get. If that makes me a monster, then I embrace that.

9701267
Jab, yes. Mother, no. Search through Estee's blogs for "crocodile," and you'll see what Estee's referring to.

I know writing this took some strength, and I hope it helped to write these feelings down.

[Edit] Congrats on getting three stories in the Featured Box. I hope that's seen as an accomplishment, for it should be.

9703886
Do Russians HAVE crocodiles? :rainbowhuh: I'd have thought that they were too far north.

...

Yeah. I feel like this was written specifically about my mother.

... Damnit.

:pinkiegasp:...........Holy shit. There's heavy and then there's this. Where do I even start? This was a black hole of despair and selfdestuction so massive that galaxies would vanish in its wake. It touched on the destruction of obsession, selfishness, manipulation, addiction, and the dangers of being too generous to the point selfdestuction. It reminds me of a fable I read when I checked out a copy of Fruit Basket from the library when I was in high school. In it, a man was so generous that he was reduced to an eyeless head. Well done my friend, you certainly know how to weave a powerful tale.:twilightsmile:

9701181
I thought it was a frog. Though if that is what the fic is referencing then, wow.:rainbowderp:

9704722
They have tigers? So crocodile isn’t too far of a stretch

Very true to life.
I've met one of the many variations of this woman. My wife and I took her and her newborn child into our home for more than a month.
We learned a lot during that month, but the most important lesson was not to take in strangers. Which is a sad lesson because there may be truly worthy people out there who might have been given our help, and now will not get it because that lesson will make us wary of them. That maybe the biggest crime she committed.

I usually love any story with Rarity in it. And this one did not dissapoint. Sadly I've met a few people like this and you have to resist helping them else they will drag you down with them.

Just curious though. Was her name Mare Doloribus Obnoxium, that is what Sea of Sorrows means in Latin. And it kind of fits.

9706911
If I had to guess, since the crocodile is based off of a real person that Estee knows, that her name is a ponified version of a human name. Probably some variant of Miriam.

Mareiam?

9707391
The name is described as being "foreign", so I'm guessing it isn't ponified.

First time reading one of your stories, Estee

I gotta be honest, at the beginning I didnt think your style of writing was for me. It had a pretty slow start and I found myself getting lost often through the descriptions. However, that second part was my fault anyway, since is been so long since I had the time to properly delve into a written story like I did with your fic just now. I actually havent properly read a book for a long time, so Im definitely not the best person to judge.

But despite all of that, I decided to keep going and just loved how you handled the story in general. The final scenes with Rarity and her mother, really had a punch to it. It definitely felt like I was under water all the way to the end, ever since the first paragraph. It was only when the first few lines of dialogue popped up, that I felt like I was finally breathing again. I remember basically telling myself when I got to that point. "God is so good to hear your voice again, Rarity". Thats how big my relief was after getting to that point in the story.

Is hard to put in exact words since English isnt my first language, but overall I really liked how you managed to convey the feeling of self-loathing through the narrative format alone. It was a great read and Im glad that I took some time out of my day to delve into it.

9707391
Maria, possibly?

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