Summer 2022 Update

Hello, friends!

I’m slowly getting to a place where I can start being more regular about these life update posts! I’m creating more media content again, and I’m happily involved in compiling research for my theses. I finished a quarter at Whatcom Community College with a 4.0 GPA and the title of Vice President of the Neurodiversity Club despite struggling a lot of the time. I’ve started a few new psychopharmaceuticals and have also been on testosterone for over a month now, so all in all, things are going pretty well aside from my self-care & executive functioning, but I’m working to improve these little by little as I can.

Living at the dorms has been interesting as a disabled 32 year old autistic enby. It’s both been great and challenging. The biggest issue is how steep the rent is. I get that they make money off of international students from wealthy families because they have to since we’ve had serious budget cuts from enrollment being down, but I still wish they’d consider how to better accommodate disadvantaged local students, too. I’m always brainstorming over new ways to advocate for minorities who are struggling because otherwise both I and others like me won’t be able to accomplish our academic goals. I will probably write a whole post about how difficult it is to be a neurominority in Academia, but for today’s post, I’m just checking in to let you all know about my current projects.

I think I mentioned in another recent post that a couple of projects I’m working on include a Supporting & Accommodating Neurominority Students training module for faculty & staff at the college, a write up on why I believe it’s important for the college to offer group therapy and neurosomatic modalities for trauma processing and daily life coping skills given the state of the sociocultural climate right now, and I was asked to participate in a Faculty Education Workshop to share my experience as an autistic student at the college. There’s a lot of really exciting stuff happening, and I just feel super honored that I’m finally at a place where I can be doing all of this work, even if it is still extremely exhausting for me as a chronically ill disabled person.

On a coursework level, over the summer, I decided to participate in two learning contracts while I do work study at the media center on campus. One of the classes is with the Horizon (WCC’s student led newsletter) team, which I’ve decided to join, and we’re creating a podcast to bring awareness and information regarding contemporary issues. It’s all very exciting to me to be back in media production. The second learning contract is with my supervisor at the media center so we can create video tutorials on how to use the equipment and software we have for students & faculty. It’s interesting because while I’ve decided to start focusing more on my neuropsychology research, I’m also getting pulled back into the media and art world, which I’m loving.

I’ll be doing my best to keep posting updates and samples of the work I’m doing as I can, but for now, I just wanted to touch base, let y’all know I’m thinking of you, and send my love. Hope you’re having a great summer, or whatever time of year it is where you are! Be well! Hare Krishna! ❤

On Loving Those Who Hurt Us

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

There comes a time when we must face the pain of our needs going unmet. We have so many fears surrounding the concept of our needs going unmet in our lifetime. Needs are not just physical like food, water, shelter, safety, etc. Needs are also emotional and mental such as feeling loved, accepted, valued, respected, and seen. When the emotional needs are going unmet, we can become angry from the weight of the pain that we carry around with us. It may feel unfair that we should need to shoulder such a burden. However, it is our burden alone to bear and while we may ask for help carrying the weight, if we try to give it away without consent, this can cause even more problems that can lead to even more pain.

Life is a balancing act that begins with survival and ends with transcendence, if we’re fortunate. In order to transcend the material limitations of our physical bodies, we must come to learn that even though our mental sphere is impacted by the material phenomenon, it doesn’t have to be dependent upon it for happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction. The mind is much more than just an invisible projection of reality created by our brains. It exists on its own independent of the body. The neural connections in the brain are the roads that the mental activity walks along when we are embodied, but the mind is not bound by these neuron cells and synaptic connections. When we can truly understand this, we will see that what we thought we needed to be provided for us by other humans, we can provide for ourselves in our own mindscape.

There are a few requirements for developing the ability to become self-sufficient in one’s mind, and thus in the physical plane of consciousness. The biggest one is courage, but not fearlessness. Courage means that we may still be afraid of some negative or adverse consequence, but we choose to try to do something anyway. We can choose to have the courage to imagine what it would be like to feel fully satisfied and content even when we feel that our needs are going unmet. We can choose to imagine what it would take for us to be happy even when our needs aren’t met. We can choose to find ways to look lovingly upon those who have hurt us even if we are afraid this may cause harm to us somehow. We can choose to be brave enough that the possibility of harm, pain, damage, injury, etc. aren’t deterrents any longer. We still exercise caution and common sense to not put ourselves in harm’s way physically or deliberately, but we understand that sometimes when we are unlearning a lot of the harmful and limiting beliefs and thought patterns we’re stuck in, pain and perceived harm/injury may come as a part of the healing process. At times, it’s absolutely necessary for things to get worse before they get better. This isn’t a bad thing, even though it can be very painful & scary.

At the end of the day, we are an eternal spirit soul that exists independent of physical body and mind. No harm can come to us truly. This is simply an illusion. Whatever material needs are going unmet aren’t impacting us on the soul level. The material needs going unmet is simply an aspect of karma that exists to help us learn some lesson about how to tolerate, respect, and be humble in regard to our true identity and position as part and parcel of Infinity. When we come into connection with the Source of Infinite Reality, we feel we want for nothing. Material needs mean nothing to us at that point. We feel we can endure any amount of pain and suffering because our inner heart of heart’s true desire has been attained. We are in relationship with our True Beloved. The most devastating thing in existence to us is nothing other than losing that connection with our Love. We know that as long as we have this loving sentiment, we have everything.

In this state of loving connection, we have infinite love, infinite patience, trust, mercy, compassion, and kindness. We see all of the souls as equal and deserving of love. We know that whatever their karmic situation is, that’s their lesson to learn, but we can still have empathy and adoration for them regardless of whatever is occurring on the relative plane of existence. It is temporary and not a reflection of who they truly are on the spiritual level. Sometimes when we experience pain and it seems to us to be caused by something another soul is doing, this is an opportunity to reflect on how all the souls simply act as mirrors to one another. We are reflecting each other back at one another.

If we see something we dislike in another, it’s typically because we too have that anartha still and need to offer it into the sacrificial fire. In these moments of pain, we can choose to see past the relative circumstances of the “story” and gaze upon the spark of the Divine within that soul we are in a difficult situation with materially. We can see how they are in a dormant state of slumber on the soul level, conditioned by the material energy, and operating on a sort of autopilot in a virtual reality existence. In these moments, we can choose to feel empathy and compassion for the fact that their real self is not fully awake and understand that they are simply a walking set of karmic repercussions continuously looping the cycle of action-reaction, action-reaction, action-reaction. These individuals aren’t even aware they’re making choices so they struggle to accept responsibility for the consequences, especially unintended ones, of their decisions.

In the situation where we are having to tolerate the reactive behaviors of the dormant souls, it can be easy to allow ourselves to get sucked into their drama. We don’t want to do this, however, because it’ll only cause us to accrue karma and get stuck in the dormant action-reaction cycle as well. Instead, we can choose to take a somewhat detached and aloof position towards what is going on with others internally and externally choose to express love and acceptance toward this suffering person. Even when we are being hurt and lashed out at by others, we can choose to feel compassion and mercy toward this soul who is unaware of what they’r

they’re doing on some level. We may have a fear that if we choose to be empathetic towards these slumbering souls, we may end up getting into a dangerous situation materially such as not having our mental-emotional needs met. Part of being a faithful and devoted soul, however, is to call upon the Lord and trust that we shall be provided with the ability to weather any storm and endure any hardship with Him at our side.

If we walk with God, we shall have nothing to fear on any level, but even if we still do have some fear, when we know that God is Good, we can choose to be brave, and ask for the ability to love and show mercy to those who may not deserve it karmically speaking. This is the mark of a true vaishnava, a true servant of the Lord. No matter what is occurring on the mundane, relative plane, the vaishnava remains resolute and transfixed in the belief that God is Good and the environment is always favorable. Every wave is favorable, even if it brings pain & hardship because it’s a karmic lesson helping us to see our anarthas and learn how to grow as a servant so we can surrender further. It is a loving opportunity to reconnect in the midst of a battlefield. Just like a warrior, however, we must have courage to do our duty and choose to love all of the Lord, which includes every single soul.

Love is a choice. Love is an action. Love is an ongoing process and state of being that is attained and maintained by constant, consistent, resolute decision making to be brave and not allow fear to come between us and our Beloved. We cannot hope to surrender and be in constant connection to the Source of Love if we aren’t willing to pay the ultimate price, which is to sacrifice our false ego and separate self-interest, especially on the material level. If we want God fully, we must ask for Him by Name. If we call out to Him and chant Mahamantra in our moments of pain and weakness and despair, He will be there.

We must say, “Dear Krishna, I cannot find it in me to have the strength to be brave right now, so please, fill me with your Love so that I may once again regain that courage to reflect that Love into the world at those who hurt me.” Fighting fire with fire will never work. Hate begets hate, love begets love. We must always fight with love if we hope to rise above the wheel of samsara and finally exit the transient shadow domain of the Lord, which exists for our correction and adjustment of inner vision. If we search our heart of hearts and ask ourselves what we truly desire and find that the answer is Krsna, then we have but one option: to choose to develop the courage to Love.

Hare Krishna! ❤

2022 Life Update

Well! It has been a while! Hello, friends! How are you all doing?

It sure has been a wild few years. In the midst of all the chaos, I chose to retreat within myself, but not in the self-isolating way I normally have done. Instead of being avoidant, I chose to be present with myself, with the fear, with the pain, with the grief, with the anxiety, with the depression, etc. I am happy to report that choosing a new way of existing has really turned things around for me.

Here is brief summary of what’s been going on with me…

I came out as transgender and started my nonbinary transition journey. I changed my name & gender legally (I’m now officially an X-man in the state of Washington!), and I underwent top surgery, so I no longer have breasts! It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I tried to go on testosterone for a month, but it ended up resurfacing a lot of the trauma from first puberty, which didn’t feel safe at the time, so I had to stop. I hope to try again as soon as I get stabilized on my new meds. I am now taking Cymbalta for my nerve pain and depression and Rexulti, which is a very new medication and quite expensive, so I’m really glad my insurance has approved it for at least 6 months.

I was denied for federal disability income, and they closed my case, so my disability advocate and I are having to start over from the beginning. Because the federal government determined I’m not disabled, the state government is also trying to revoke the services they’re providing me with through the ABD (Aged, Blind, and Disabled) program, so I have a hearing this coming week to try to explain why just because the federal government doesn’t think I’m disabled, I still am and need state support. It’s a whole thing that is very exhausting and disheartening, but I gotta do what I gotta do to survive in this ableist and discriminatory system we have in the USA. I have some new providers, a new caregiver, and things are looking up in terms of the insights I have received regarding what’s going on with my health, but it’s still a long road ahead before I get to a point of balance with it all, I think.

I’m also back in college & working again for the first time in years. I’m attending the local community college to finish up my math & science requirements before transferring to the local four year university to design my own major in BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience). I had a lot of math trauma growing up, but I’m starting over from the basics, and it’s going a lot better this time around. I am having a bit of trouble keeping up with everything, and I’m only in the fourth week of the quarter with three very “easy” classes. I picked up a work study job at the media center & makerspace, which is super awesome because I get to learn how to use all kinds of amazing creative software & hardware. I also get to work with some awesome people. I feel very fortunate. In addition to taking 12 units (full time student) and working around 16 hours per week, I accepted the position of interim Vice President and Accommodation Facilitator for the Neurodiversity Club at the college. I am also involved with the Latinx Leadership Club, and the QTPOC (Queer & Trans People of Color) Club, so I’m pretty busy and trying to just make sure I stay on top of everything without overextending myself and burning out again.

Finally, I moved into my own studio apartment “on campus” in the new dorm/residence hall, which is so nice. I love having my own space, but I definitely learnt that without a caregiver, everything falls apart super fast for me. I need to try to get more hours approved at some point. While there’s a ton more I’d love to say about how I’m doing and where my mind is at lately, for now, I’m going to end this post here so it just is a brief life update. I can do a more in depth reflection on life later.

Sending love to you all! Be well! ❤

Cosplay Portfolio

Jax Bayne as Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn – PC: lonewolfpixels

Here’s my take on Harley Quinn from the first Suicide Squad film, which was my first cosplay ever.

I chose this to challenge myself because I’m asexual & transmasculine with a lot of trauma regarding being sexually objectified in a feminine way. Also, I’m afraid of cameras/performing/attention and such things so I started modelling as a way to work through these issues. I just did this for fun/therapeutic reasons, but it yielded monetary results, new friends, and rad experiences as well as a trip to Boston, put up in a hotel with my partner at the time, and access to a bunch of new games.

I’m glad I did it, but from that experience alone, I decided I didn’t want to be a professional cosplayer or model or streamer or basically anything like that. I kinda like to keep my work and play separated so that I never lose my inspiration to create because PDA makes it tough for me to do things that are obligatory, even if I enjoy the activity or find it rewarding or something. It’s just too draining for me otherwise cos of my chronic pain & fatigue issues.

Frankly, I was incredibly uncomfortable in this cosplay and whenever I’d wear it somewhere, I’d end up wrapping the jacket around my waist to try to “cover up” cos I didn’t like people staring at me, despite how very “LOOK AT ME” the outfit/cosplay screams. I think that’s sort of why I chose it. I like to challenge myself, but sometimes unpleasant consequences happen as a result.

Banner Saga 3 Cosplayers at PAX East 2018

I seriously love the Banner Saga games & cannot recommend them enough. The development team is a bunch of lovely, awesome people as well & I’m still friends with a few of them today.

It was a really cool experience meeting all of these really talented professional cosplayers, too. I felt like a total imposter around them cos my costumes were so simple compared to theirs. I was pretty in awe that I had the opportunity to work alongside such amazing people. I’ll always be grateful for this opportunity.

One of my favorite memories from this experience was the first time I was streaming the first Banner Saga game, the creative director of Stoic Studio, Arnie Jorgensen, turned up and was chatting with me while I played the game. I had no idea who he was, but one of my viewers was like, “Oh hey, are you ARNIE?” I felt really dumb, but then immediately super honored that he had taken the time to come check out my stream. I ended up having such a great time playing those games. They were seriously moving, gorgeous, and genuinely fun to play. Hands down, they’ll always be one of my favorite video game series.

Jax Bayne as Indulekha (middle), a moon godlike OC from Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

I chose to be a Moon Godlike original character from the Pillars of Eternity game series because I thought they were so ethereal, otherworldly, and ominous. I chose to do extremes, exaggerating the features with extra dark skin coloring that’s unnatural and I added shimmer to make it iridescent in the light so I didn’t seem human. I chose to be darker than their character creation features allowed for because I always like to create characters that are “outsiders” for some reason, maybe because that’s always how I’ve felt.

People at PAX East got really stunned by this cosplay. They’d literally stop walking and stare at me and ask to take photos of me. They said it was REALLY creepy/intimidating, which was cool, but I could barely see with the white out contacts. Thankfully, my partner just led me around the convention through the throngs of people.

It was cool because I got to be Oddleif the first day and then my OC who I named Indulekha (Moon in Sanskrit) the second day and the people at the Versus Evil booth didn’t recognize me in the moon godlike costume. They were like WOAH when I said it was me. That was a really fun experience.

If I didn’t have to make my own costumes, I might be more into the idea of being a professional model or cosplayer, but only if I can do androgynous or masculine looks most of the time. I’m kinda over playing “feminine roles” since they don’t feel comfortable or natural to me. Regardless, it was still a great experience to get to appear as an image of someone I feel is way more badass than my real life self. That’s the beauty of roleplaying games, cosplay, and all that fun nerdy stuff I love to do, but preferably with less stress & more help as a disabled person with fine motor skill issues, demand avoidance, chronic fatigue, & executive dysfunction!

Lone Wolf Pixels – Harley Quinn Photoshoot

Miscellaneous Harley Quinn Photos

  • Jax Bayne SSHQ YnnDrox 2017

More PAX East photos

A Quick COVID-19 Note

Just because I’m not posting much about COVID-19, doesn’t mean that I’m not holding those who have suffered & died in my heart. It’s hard to believe that more Americans have died from this virus than were killed in World War I. Over half a million deaths have been reported from around the world. That’s pretty intense. We’re all scared & suffering together, so in a way, despite being locked in our homes, we’re more unified as a species than ever before.

I hope we can learn from our past mistakes & try to take hygiene, sanitation, healthcare, wellness, and social responsibility a bit more seriously going forward. No matter what the “powers that be” may be saying, it’s a good time to think for ourselves about what’s truly the most ethical & moral way to behave now. It’s time we look into our hearts & allow our compassion to guide our decisions in life again. We’re all in this together, so we have to look out for each other. This pandemic showed what can happen when we’re allowing ourselves to be divided instead of united.

All I know is that I don’t want to have a hand in anyone else dying or suffering from COVID if I can help it, so I’ll keep social distancing, wearing my masks, and quarantining for as long as is necessary. Life is hard for those of us who remain, but at least we still have a life so let’s do what we can to protect it & each other. Let’s weather this incredibly formidable storm, persevere, and come out stronger & wiser because of it. We can survive this. I send my love & well wishes to you all.

Stay safe, dear friends ❤

Life Goals

All I really want in life is to become a genuinely good, nice, kind, caring, productive person.

I then asked myself why it’s so hard for me to meet the standards I set for those categories. Then I started wondering if it was okay to still celebrate who I am as a person right now even if I’m a less than ideal person by my own standards? No one meets my standards because they’re impossibly high, so if I don’t condemn others not meeting my standards, why do I have to condemn myself for not meeting them if I can acknowledge that I’m not a finished product. I’m a work in progress. I’m cookies still baking in the oven. We all are. That’s literally what it means to be ALIVE. Even when you’re dying. Til the last breath we breathe, we are STILL unfinished works in progress.

So why can’t I let myself just be okay with where I am, accept it, and simultaneously continue to striving to improve myself until the moment I leave my body? And if I’m not meeting my ideal standards, why can’t I allow myself to still be happy even if I’m falling short of my goals and just enjoy the journey, too? Do I think appreciating the hardships in my life is somehow going to lessen my ability to be recognise what is truly worth aspiring for?

Do I think not attaining that which I work for will somehow make me a failure? Even if it does in the eyes of others, doesn’t not doing anything at all make one more of a failure? Even if I don’t care what others think, won’t I be falling short of my own bare minimum standards? If so, do I need to berate & punish myself for not meeting my own IDEAL standards? Is it a sin to not get that which you endeavour toward? Isn’t that part of what “not being attached to the fruits of one’s labour yet still doing one’s best & giving one’s all in every moment when doing their duty in life” means?
Why do I have to set myself up to fail all the time? I know I’m afraid joy, happiness, change, comfort, love, kindness, etc., but can’t we at least be a bit more conscientious about what’s going on? Can’t we just be honest with ourselves, allow ourselves to talk about the deeper levels of what’s going on inside? I guess that would require us to feel & feeling is we’re all afraid of. That’s why we need to be constantly distracted. We’re afraid of feeling anything aside from sensory overloading hyper stimulating mildly dissociative emotional experiences, because then it becomes a thrill or a ride. It’s like a one person drama that we are the protagonist of and it is literally happening inside of ourselves. This is why we’re little thrill seekers, or gamers, or gym addicts, or any other form of addict.

So why are we so afraid to feel? We felt something bad pretty early on. While experiencing something that made us feel super negatively very early on in our lives, coming across things that make us feel uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations in some facet or another will happen again & again throughout the course of our existence. This is a part of life & even in Utopia/heaven, we won’t be able to avoid “less than ecstatic feels” because part of being an individual means having fully unique preferences, perspectives, paradigms, etc. to every single other living entity & thus it is inevitable for someone to encounter at least one thing they dislike/disagree with in practically every single situation in life.

From what we like/dislike to what we think is wrong/right, what we think is pleasant/unpleasant sensorily, our aesthetic preferences, our political views, literally every single aspect of who we are together, there is always going to be a percentage of crossover/mutual agreement/similarity between your preferences/attributes and another living beings. We will obviously often become close with those who are more similar to us, but we sometimes become very close with those who are totally different than us is more ways than most.

Ultimately, the one unifying, underlying aspect that binds us all together, all life forms, humans and otherwise, is that we are all perceivers – protagonists in our own subjective, unique narrative of our perspective of reality. We all are unique, totally different in terms of the sum of all of our parts being fully distinct to any other living entity’s being by definition that it’s a separate being. Just like 1 and 2 are different, each living soul, each human, each dog, each bee, each tree, each flour plant, each amoeba, etc. all are a finite unit of consciousness perceiving & interacting with one particular aspect of infinite reality and that experience is what defines our existence, nothing more & nothing less.

Perhaps the feeling itself is that sense of emptiness, hollowness, aloneness – the void that we’re always looking to fill with some sort of dopamine spike like eating junk food or dating or playing games or going on social media or binge watching TV shows or talking at conferences or going sky diving or whatever it is in the moment. When the feeling of disconnectedness is so deep, so pervasive due to adverse childhood experiences, especially within the first year of life & in utero, the chance of addiction can increase, and this can be an addiction to anything that releases substantial dopamine in our brains. We start to chase after it, oversaturate/overstimulate ourselves, burnout, shutdown, and check out. We’re a species that’s all landed ourselves in traumatised burnout/meltdown/shutdown mode because we’re overstimulating ourselves to distract ourselves from what we’re feeling, which is disconnected.

So the reason question is not how can we come up with even more ways to distract ourselves from the pain of being disconnected like we have been for so long in our materialistic, consumeristic, capitalistic culture, but rather, what can we do to make ourselves become reconnected? What things can we stop doing that perpetuate the feelings of disconnection, and what things can we start doing/do more of that help us feel more connected? And finally, how can we help support our fellow living beings to do the same? I think that’s the real question of how we can change the world through empathy, love, patience, tolerance, humility, respect, compassion, courage, understanding, and kindness.

It’s possible. We simply have to become the change we want to see in the world by prioritising our own self-betterment & self-care (not in that order). By changing the code we’re choosing to run, we will impact the code of those we come into contact with. That’s memetics for ya! And it can be used for good, healthy, wholesome, positive changes just as much as it can be for the reverse, so let’s do our part in helping to rewrite the narrative from the comfort of our beds & couches at home! Let’s change the world without even having to leave our houses! There’s no reason not to. What have we got left to lose by simply trying? ❤

Slow On The Uptake

“What do you think ‘boys will be boys’ means if men are so good at neutralising their hormones? It’s not the convenient alibi for sexual assault that so many people are so desperate for it to mean. Do you know what ‘boys will be boys’ means? It means we are not preparing our boys for the real world. It means we know. We know that boys are at the mercy of their hormones. We’re just culturally incapable of holding them accountable for their actions, so we hold women accountable.”

Hannah Gadsby

I just watched both Nanette and Douglas on Netflix yesterday, and I couldn’t stop posting quotes from them on my Facebook page because although they were both technically comedy sketches, the subjects that Hannah Gadsby touched upon were super important & the way she brought these matters up was truly masterfully done. She helped me to better understand perspectives I never thought I’d really get on any substantial level because I didn’t relate to them by putting them into contexts & phrasings that made sense to me. Sure, I’ll never fully understand the things that I don’t personally experience, but at least now I can empathise & know why these subjects are so meaningful to others who do experience them more than I ever could before. I’m grateful for that.

The quote above is the best explanation of the patriarchy, misogyny, and feminism that I’ve ever heard because it caused me to have a paradigm shift about subjects that no matter how much I’d tried to self-educate on, no matter how much those I knew (or didn’t know) tried to explain things to me so I could finally “get it” on a deeper level, I never really could. I intellectually understood on the surface level what these things were, and could acknowledge that I’d experienced a little bit of them first hand, but I struggled to understand why certain things would set people off the way they would. After watching these comedy sketches, however, I feel like I am actually, finally, starting to understand now in a way I never really did before due to being transmasculine non-binary & autistic, so not only have I always been pretty out of touch with most sociocultural norms/systems, I don’t even perceive things through a female lens despite what I look like & how I’m treated by others. I can’t fathom what it feels like to be female any more than a cisman can.

What I just want people to know, however, is that I’m not intentionally being insensitive when I seem to dismiss certain subjects. It’s that I literally don’t see/experience the things that are being discussed, so I straight up just don’t understand what people are talking about. It’s like if you saw a pink elephant and started talking about it to me, but I couldn’t see the elephant myself. I’d be incredibly lost & confused and not be able to really relate or participate in the conversation at all. This has happened time & time again over the course of my life and caused me to experience a great deal of confusion and distress because I didn’t know that I wasn’t able to see/understand the thing that was being talked about. I really want people to understand that if it seems like I’m ever dismissing, invalidating, or responding in a way that seems like I’m lacking in empathy to something you think is a super important & serious issue, it’s a good bet that I genuinely just don’t even understand what the issue is all about, and am feeling confused which can cause me to become frustrated & emotionally charged. Sometimes I’ll have a lot of difficulty with certain subjects because my lack of understanding makes me feel so distressed that I’ll literally start crying because I really DO want to understand. I DO want to know why people are so fired up about things I don’t get just like I’d want people to take the time to try to understand what makes me upset, too.

I’m 30 now. I have lived my whole life as someone who has been treated as female. I’ve never known anything different, but I still didn’t really get feminism and why it’s such a big deal to people because when others were cruel or insensitive to me or if things didn’t go my way, I just thought it was because I deserved it or because the other person was simply choosing to be a jerk to me in the moment. I’ve realised that I’ve internalised a lot of hate & abuse for one reason or another, but being autistic means that I lacked the sociocultural context to understand why people did/said what they did to me. I STILL struggle to understand neurotypicals. I’m still constantly trying to learn more about why people do what they do because if someone isn’t neurodivergent, doesn’t have some form of mental illness, nor some other form of shared cultural context with me, I really have a lot of difficulty attempting to relate to them. And believe me, I do try. HARD.

Here’s the thing about me though, friends. Just because I don’t relate to something/don’t understand something, doesn’t mean I am not open to learning about it if you can find a way to explain it in terms that make sense to me. That’s another difficult thing about being autistic. People have tried to explain feminism, explain misogyny (the covert/institutionalised kind), explain the concept of “the patriarchy” to me SOOOO many times over the course of my life, and until now, it never really clicked because they’re related to phenomena that I haven’t personally, consciously, experienced, and the thing about all human beings, but especially autistics, is that we have a hell of a hard time trying to wrap our brains around things that we can’t relate to/don’t have the context to make sense of. This is why it’s important to find those who can explain things to us in terms that we can understand. This is why I’ve chosen to dive so hard into the autistic community. Associating with other autistics helps me to understand & process life better because they speak my language.

Like Hannah Gadsby seems to. I think that’s why I like her work so much. She helps me to understand perspectives that used to just put me off (and to a certain extent still do because I’ve had so many bad experiences with people who are so passionate about the subjects she talks about, probably because they were frustrated by my not understanding them) by putting things into a relatable context for me. We’re all different, so we’re not going to find the same things helpful or relatable, but that’s the brilliance of infinite diversity. There’s something for everyone.

Please try not to get upset if someone doesn’t like/get the things you do. Instead, try to find a way to relate whatever it is that you’re passionate about to something they’re passionate about. This way we don’t have to cancel or invalidate anything nor anyone, but rather find ways to connect the things we thought were unrelated because everything is actually related if you zoom out enough. Please don’t just assume someone is lacking in empathy or humanity because they don’t immediately understand something that shakes you to your core. Perhaps the person just hasn’t had it explained to them in the right terminology or related to context they can understand.

Don’t give up on people just because they disagree with you or don’t see eye to eye with you. They can eventually expand their paradigms, like I’m trying to do. They can eventually find a way to connect to something they couldn’t relate to before. As can you! This is part of the human process of learning & growing, and we do this until the day that we die. We will never know ALL the things because we’re finite & limited. We’re only human, so let’s help each other to human better! I’m here trying to learn, trying to grow, trying to change. Aren’t you?

Please give me, yourself, and others the time & space we need to do this because that’s what it means to be alive. Learning, growing, and changing is what life is all about. We’re all in this together, doing this together, side by side. We’re all living beings trying to figure out how to live better, but we’re not all capable of the same things nor moving at the same pace, and we never, EVER will be, so we really have to let that dream die already. Homogeneity isn’t something to be striven for anyway. It’s quite unhealthy, actually. If we claim to support diversity, then we have to make accommodations for the capacity of those who aren’t like ourselves. Please try to have some additional patience, empathy, & tolerance for those of us who are a little slower at this process than you might be. We’d really appreciate it. ❤

Letter To Myself

Hey, Jax.

I’ve noticed that things have been going very well for you recently. One might even say that almost all of your dreams have been coming true in the sense that opportunity after opportunity to accomplish your goals has presented itself & continues to do so. That’s pretty rad, dude. Grats & stuff.

I’ve also noticed that you’re still not prioritising self-care & daily maintenance activities like you need to be doing in order to sustain your existence in a less than “just surviving” kind of way. I thought we talked about this. I thought we agreed we were tired of barely scraping by each day. Remember how it’s important for us to be functioning well in order to accomplish our goals? Remember how we care about people & want to help them? Remember how we can’t help others if we’re not helping ourself get better first?

Now, I don’t wanna assume you’re not doing your best. I think you are doing better than you have been in a long, long time, possibly ever in some ways. I also don’t want to give you the classic, “Try harder to do better,” kind of talk because I know that can feel pretty invalidating of all the effort you have been putting in & all the work you have been doing thus far. I definitely want to commend you for your endeavours & thank you for your perseverance despite how difficult it’s been all these years. I’m truly grateful you never fully gave up. It may have felt like you did, but you’re still here. We’re still here. And that’s pretty huge in my book. I’m genuinely happy that you’ve made the choices you have so that we are where we are today, which is having this talk right now. We couldn’t be doing this if you hadn’t put in the work it took to get here. This is bigger than you think, actually.

So, I know things are still really tough on a daily basis. I know the pain is still nigh intolerable & constant. I know how terribly uncomfortable it is to be corporeal in the way we are, and I know how challenging it is to have developed the way we did. It’s okay, though. No, really. It’s just another flavour of life. It’s maybe a super rare & unusual one that requires a lot of time to acquire the taste for, but it’s possible to get to that point. At least, I think it is. I’ve heard of stranger phenomena happening. I just want you to know, though, that even though things are still pretty rough, even though you’re still suffering, even though you sometimes question why you should keep moving forward, it’s worth it to stick around because your experiences can help others. It’s true. It’s happened before, and it can happen again.

I know you’re a fan of logic & critical thinking so let’s just consider how we can increase the statistical probability of helping others real quick:

1) Continuing to stick around: if you’re still here, you might be able to help someone whereas if you’re not, you definitely won’t be able to, right? Yeah. Checks out.

2) Prioritising self-care: if you’re healthy, your ability to be productive will increase whereas if you’re not taking proper care of yourself, your capacity to be there for others will decrease. Yeah. That’s also solid reasoning. Got me there.

Okay, so, if we just do these two little things (just two!), the statistical probability of us being able to help other people goes up exponentially. We both want that. So how are we going to make sure we do these things?

For the first one, we just keep doing what we’re doing. Distract ourselves when things get to the point where we’re having intrusive thoughts, be extra compassionate & gentle in those moments, practice non-judgmental loving kindness, reach out to those we trust & who help us feel better, etc.
And what about the second one? That’s the one we struggle with the most. How can we try to prioritise self-care more? How can we push through that, “BUT I DON’T WANNA!!!!” feeling? It’s the worst, isn’t it? It’s like an amusement park filled to the brim with screaming toddlers who have been abandoned by their parents & we’re the only adults there, but we’re also wanting to scream with them and be rescued by someone.

Well, what do you think? Any ideas? This letter has been nice, right? Being here present with each other in this way? Being there for myself, with myself? That’s pretty new. Maybe we can do this more often? Maybe we can do things together? Maybe we can do the things we don’t wanna do together by supporting each other with love, affection, tolerance, patience, understanding, empathy, compassion, & more? Do you think we could do that? What would it look like if we did that? What would it feel like? Can we try it?

How about we try it right now? Let’s do the thing we don’t want to do: go to bed. I know you struggle with that. So do I, obviously haha. What’s keeping us from closing this laptop right now? Why are we so reluctant to wind down? Perhaps we should explore this another time since it’s approaching midnight & thinking about it too much will probably be counterproductive to the goal of actually going to sleep! Yeah, good call. Okay. I guess we can try…

Are you scared for some reason? Kinda? Maybe? I don’t know why I would be, though. That seems so weird & illogical; like, what do I have to be scared of anyway? We’re just going to bed? It’s okay. We don’t have to understand what’s going on to be able to work through it. It’s just a neural network, right? What’s that thing that Daimon says? “This is my neural network, and I can change it.” Yeah. That’s it. This is just a neural network, and we can change it. So let’s do it. Let’s do it together now.

Goodnight, world. Until tomorrow.
So much love to you all ❤

What Is Self-Love?

I haven’t made a blog post in a while.
I haven’t updated my social media accounts either.
So, why is this? Here’s the full story.

If I don’t know you very well, the answer I’ve probably given you is, “My health isn’t very good right now,” or “I haven’t been feeling very well lately.” If I trust you, I might have elaborated a bit by explaining that it’s primarily my mental health that isn’t optimal. If we talk on occasion, you might have heard me say that I struggle with depression, anxiety, complex PTSD, and other things. Even if you don’t know me personally, you might have come across me talking about mental health related subjects on one platform or another.

Since 2016, I’ve been on & off various social media sites including, but not limited to Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. I’ve tried making connections in various online communities because virtual socialisation is easier for me than in person human exchanges. The thing is, if you’ve been following me since 2016, you’ll notice that I have a pretty consistent habit of “disappearing” abruptly, especially when things are going well.

When I started streaming video games on Twitch, I did it because my depression had caused me to isolate to the point where I was having trouble leaving the house & interacting with other people. I figured that streaming would be a good way to try to start socialising again since it would be on my terms, I wouldn’t have to see or hear other people, just read text lines in the chat box, people would come to my stream if they were interested in the game I was playing, so there’d be an immediate common interest/ice breaker to facilitate the dialogue, and I could choose when I went live & end the stream whenever I was done socialising. It was a really great experience, but then, I started gaining some traction.

I remember people donating money, games, gear, etc. to the stream, subscribing monthly, other streamers shouting me out on their streams & on their Twitter accounts without me even asking them to (years later, even though I haven’t streamed in ages, some of those streamers STILL tag me in #FF tweets!), and I started getting a humble crew of regular viewers/supporters. I branded, I networked, I created a Discord Server, I dedicated a lot of my life to trying to improve my channel & broadcasts. And then, I remember 50+ live viewers at once, chat moving too quickly for me to follow, other streamers wanting me to game with them, getting overwhelmed, shutting off the stream/quitting from the game, & pretending that my system had crashed when streaming with a few others. It became too stressful for me. I couldn’t handle even that much attention. I took a break for a while and decided to focus on other things.

After streaming helped me to regain some ability to venture forth from my house, I found a local comic shop & allowed myself to get super into comics in a way I’d never been able to before, similar to what happened with games when I started streaming (& tried working at GameStop for a month, but hated it). I ended up worked at that comic shop for over a year & a half, which is the longest I’ve ever managed to work anywhere & it was one of the best experiences of my life thus far. In addition to working at the comic shop, I also started dabbling in cosplay & modelling, but just like what happened with streaming, when I started getting some recognition in these other communities, I ended up having anxiety attacks, overloading myself, then crashing & burning. I almost contracted with a talent agency for modelling, I landed a paid cosplay gig & got to attend PAX East, I started networking & gave a couple of interviews on a cosplay podcast, people started reaching out to collaborate with me on various creative & artistic projects. It was all amazing & wonderful, but it also straight up terrified me. I freaked out, and just like I did with streaming, I ended up quitting cosplay, modelling, and putting my life on hold again.

I just turned 30 in March, so 4 years ago, at the age of 26, I was recovering from a bad depressive spell, had a crazy few years of doing all kinds of fun & awesome things, but wasn’t ever able to really attend to the root of the problems that cause me to consistently spiral out of control when things seem to be going well. On one hand, we can say, okay, examining my early childhood, it’s obvious that I’m still struggling with self-worth issues due to never having felt fully safe or comfortable being who I am because I perceived all of the negative events that occurred as my fault somehow. That’s the crazy kind of stuff a child’s brain makes up when they don’t feel like they’re loved or accepted for who they are. That’s how inferiority (and superiority) complexes develop as well as the need to always be in control somehow. When you’re a child that doesn’t get what you need to learn how to be healthy, is it any wonder you grow up to be an unhealthy adult?

On the other hand, whatever traumatic experiences I underwent only account for part of what’s going on today. Receiving my autism diagnosis in 2018 helped to confirm what I had believed my whole life, but never could explain why I knew it to be true: there was something a little bit different about me. I had suspected I was on the spectrum since 2012, but due to a lot of widespread misunderstanding & misconceptions about what it means to be autistic in the medical & behavioural health professions, it took 6 years, a few misdiagnoses including bipolar depression & borderline personality disorder, and manyyyyy different psychopharmaceutical cocktails for me to finally find an expert in autism who was able to confirm what I already knew to be true in the first conversation we had.

Learning more about autism helped me to understand why I wasn’t responding to all of these different forms of therapy, psych meds, treatments, etc. that I’d tried over the years (since I was a child) as well as helped me to understand that I wasn’t actually broken or defective like I’d always believed. It helped me to understand that my brain was just wired differently. There are more neural pathways connected, especially in my prefrontal cortex & frontal lobe, which is why I struggle with executive functioning, like many autistics do. What this means is that because of the way my brain is structured on a neurological level, I’m prone to doing things like “burning the candle at both ends,” overdoing it, burning out, and then falling into a depressive state because I wasn’t able to self-monitor & regulate myself the way someone with a neurotypical brain structure might be able to. It means that things overwhelm, drain, & exhaust me that don’t for “most” people. It means that I have different a capacity for work output, consistency, and quality than the majority of human beings, which is neither a good nor bad thing. It just means I’m a bit unusual in how I operate on a very basic mechanical level. I’m still learning what it means to be me and what works & what doesn’t work for me. It’s a super tiring process to be 30 & still not even know how to function on a daily basis. I’m doing my best to learn & grow, but I won’t lie. It’s pretty slow going.

Now all of this brings me back to the original question that I asked: Why haven’t I updated in a while? The answers I gave above are all partially true, but the full answer is that I did it again. At the start of 2019, shortly after receiving my autism diagnosis, the psych meds I was on stopped working, I plunged into a super bad depression again, and I had to move back home with my parents. This past year I’ve been working on recovering by doing multiple types of therapy, trying different medications, and focusing on all aspects of my health. At the start of 2020, I finally got off all meds, was doing pretty well adjusting, and the past few months, things actually got pretty awesome in ways that were like a dream come true. Sure enough, however, I ended up pushing myself too hard again like I always do right as things were getting good, & I landed myself back into a depressive burn out episode.

Now what does all of this have to do with the title of this post, though? What does my journey of neuropsychological self-exploration, my trauma, my executive dysfunction, my autism, my ups & downs, my burn out, my depression, etc. have to do with self-love? It’s simple. Every day, I still struggle to make better choices, more effective choices that will facilitate my recovery & healing process. Each & every day, I continue to choose to do perpetuate unhealthy behaviours like neglecting my physical health needs by not going to bed early enough, not eating well, not exercising, etc. I make the choice to lay in bed wasting time on the internet instead of working on self-development by improving the skill sets I currently have, learning new things, organising my projects, cleaning my living spaces, etc. If I’m so aware of all of these behaviours, why do I keep doing them? Well, my friends, this is where I think the term self-love needs to be explored further.

In North American cultures, we often think of self-love as body positivity, “treating ourselves”, telling ourselves that the trauma we experienced is not our fault, etc., and while those all are valid & have a place, they’re actually not the backbone of what I believe self-love really is. If we think about how we treat others that we love, we would say that a lot of what it comes down to is simply validation, understanding, compassion, kindness, empathy, support, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and respect. If someone we love is having a hard time getting out of bed, we wouldn’t stand over them and yell at them, making them feel even worse than they already are. We would try to help them remember that it’s okay that they’re having a hard time, that we all struggle in life sometimes, and we would simply offer to do whatever we can to try to ease some of their pain & suffering. So here’s the real question that we all need to ask: why can’t we do this for ourselves? If you’re having a hard day, what kinds of statements are you telling yourself? Are you chastising or berating yourself? Are you feeling guilty because you think you “should” just be able to suck it up & carry on? Are you feeling discouraged & hopeless because you feel weak & alone? I know that I do.

If we love someone & they need us to take care of them, we won’t even hesitate to be there for them, so why aren’t we doing that for ourselves? If a human body & mind need certain bare necessities to be healthy, why wouldn’t we provide that for our own if we love ourselves? On some deep level, I’ve come to realise that I can have empathy & compassion for anyone but myself. I’m willing to be as patient & understanding for any other living being, but I can’t seem to do it when I need it myself. For some reason, from a really young age, I came to believe that I was unworthy of love, so I started closing myself off to it. I started to hate myself, started to self-harm, and became obsessed with death & couldn’t stop contemplating suicide. Thankfully I managed to stop self-harming in high school & while I still struggle with intrusive thoughts about self-harm & suicidal ideation, I don’t hate myself like I used to. I realised that it’s not so much that I want to die, but rather want to escape the hardships I face. The biggest hardship of all is this belief that I’m unworthy of love, however, and that’s something I learned & thus can UNLEARN.

I try to think about what it would look like if I loved myself. I have to continue to be realistic in my expectations because of my neurological differences, so I can’t hold myself to the same standards as everyone else, but I believe that if I allowed myself to feel love, I’d be able to create routines & follow them. I’d be able to prioritise good sleep hygiene, healthy diet, exercise, etc. as well as making a to do list (even if it’s just 1-3 things each day) and actually be able to accomplish it. If I loved myself, I’d take the time to find ways to work with my own biological & psychological needs to be able to become a person who is working toward accomplishing their goals instead of just languishing in bed. There’s more to be said on all of this, and while the core sentiment behind it all is that I am actively trying to work on these things, I also need to acknowledge where I’m at right now so I can make realistic, honest progress. Right now, I feel like I am lacking in self-love, and I believe I really need to meditate on what exactly it means to be someone who makes the time for self-care. While I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life already, it’s still possible for me to accomplish many of my dreams, so what would be the benefit of giving up just cos I’m not moving as quickly towards my goals as I’d like to be? That seems irrational & impatient.

This is an incredibly long post that could even go longer, but I’ll end it here because this is all I want to say for now. If you stayed with me until the end, I thank you from the bottom of my heart because that’s what this post was: me revealing my heart to you. If you got something from this post, that’s great. If not, that’s okay, too. I don’t really blog for other people. I blog because it helps me to process what I’m going through when I write it out, and I share my thoughts publicly just in case there are some people out there who might derive some benefit reading them. I have nothing but love & appreciation for all of the living souls out there doing their best to work on themselves because it’s probably the most difficult task in the existence, but it’s also the most worthwhile pursuit, in my opinion. I send you all so much affection & my well wishes in your endeavours.

You are all in my heart, in my thoughts, & in my prayers. Hare Krishna ❤

Vulnerability & Shame

What makes you feel vulnerable? What triggers feelings of shame for you?

I encourage everyone to watch this incredibly informative & fascinating TEDxTalk on why we’re suffering so much as a species right now.

This is actually life changing stuff. If we can internalise & apply these paradigm shifts ourselves and help others do the same, we could help shift the cultural consciousness to a more positive one. It’s just a matter of sharing it with the right people as well as making sure we’re really applying these concepts in ourselves, too.

We can be the change we want to see in the world AND help change the world!


Here is a rough outline of the talk:

+ The ability to feel connected is the reason we’re here.
+ Shame is the fear of disconnection.
+ Those who don’t feel shame, can’t feel empathy & connection.
+ The less we talk about shame, the more we feel it.

+ Underneath shame is feelings of excruciating vulnerability.
+ Vulnerability is neither good nor bad, but it’s not comfortable.
+ Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, & love.
+ Those who feel shame infrequently are willing to be vulnerable.

+ Being vulnerable requires courage, compassion, & authenticity.
+ We must not try to predict, control, perfect, blame, or numb.
+ We can’t selectively numb emotions like shame.
+ If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our shame, we can’t feel joy.

+ We must let ourselves be seen, deeply, & vulnerably. 
+ We must love w/ our whole hearts w/o expectation.
+ We must practice gratitude & joy in moments of terror & grief.
+ We must believe that we’re worthy of love & connection.


The harder it is to open ourselves to the possibility of being vulnerable, the more likely we have experienced some form of trauma in our lives. The earlier on in our lives that we were exposed to something traumatic, the more ingrained those neural pathways are, meaning the more likely the roads that leads to us experiencing feelings like shame are well travelled. This doesn’t mean that it’s too late for us to do something about it even if we’ve lived most of our lives one way. It’s never too late to change our behavioural patterns, i.e. the things that cause us to think & feel the ways we do. The literal only constant in life is that all things, including people, change. It just means that it may not be possible to change on your own. This is why the field of clinical psychology exists.

If you’re struggling with any of the things I mentioned above, please do a web search for therapists who take your insurance & provide teletherapy so you can stay in the safety of your home. You can get the support you need to change your behavioural patterns & improve your quality of life for the better exponentially. It really is possible. If you are struggling to start the search for professional help, reach out to a loved one like a friend or family member to support you in the process of finding a therapist. Therapy is for everyone. Our society, our species would be healthier if we all took the time to work on improving ourselves with professional guidance & support.

I love you all so very much & care about you immensely. I simply want to help you in your journey of becoming the person you want to be & creating the life you’ve always dreamed of. Anything’s possible. You just have to take that first step & reach out.