Makeup – random thoughts

I’ve been thinking about makeup lately…

Bear with me a second.

When I was young, my mom was an Avon lady and then later a Mary Kay lady. She used to use makeup all the time, and taught me when I was around 14ish how to do my own. Maybe younger? I forget. Back then I wasn’t super interested in “girly” things, though. She had this super cute, very fashionable style and she’d buy me things on these great deals at thrift stores or wherever she found great discounts, cute skirts or dresses or the likes, but I hated wearing anything but pants. Oversized ones, at that. I didn’t wear much makeup back in the day, but when I got contacts I did start wearing more because my eyes were more visible than they had been behind my thick ass glasses.

Time passed, it’s probably a boring and long story, eventually I started wearing cuter clothes. Venturing out in my own style.

YouTube became a thing. I started slowly learning more techniques by following people.

For my 30th birthday, I saved up and bought myself LASIK. My eyesight was ATROCIOUS. I literally couldn’t do most eye makeup looks because I couldn’t see. In order to see what I was doing, I had to be too close to the mirror. The brush handle would hit the mirror and I couldn’t do anything. But I didn’t like wearing my contacts while doing too much eyeshadow or mascara (at all, I HATED wearing mascara with contacts) because shit ALWAYS got into my eyes somehow and it was a mess with the contacts, and then I’d ruin the eye makeup getting the contacts out and flushing my eyes and ugh. Just. Ugh.

But after LASIK, my makeup game really accelerated. I realized I could actually fucking see now. I could actually do shit with my eyes. And the thing is, my eyes are the one thing about myself I’ve always loved, even throughout my anorexic episodes, even throughout depression or just, everything and anything. I have found reasons to criticize literally every part of me, except my eyes. I love their color. They’re like a mix of grey and blue with a bit of a weird hazel-green sort of??? When close enough in very certain light? Mostly they read as grey-blue. Usually they just read as dark blue.

I found that makeup made me really happy. I could switch things up completely day to day if I felt like it. Where my clothing was dictated by my weight, by my comfort, by my body dysmorphia, my face remained enough the same that I had a canvas every day that didn’t make me feel bad about myself. It didn’t matter if I looked ugly with or without makeup – it let me play up what I wanted to that day, or downplay what I wanted other days.

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About Sonny/Santino

I have spent the past week and a half trying to compile some sort of response to everything that has come out recently with Sonny/Santino Hassell. Trying to understand what to say or how to say it has consumed me and still, nothing seems right. I’m exhausted.

I know people have a lot of questions but unfortunately, I don’t know that I have the answers anyone needs. I was blindsided by all of this. I met Sonny when I was 19 years old and in college, and at this point we’ve both known each other almost half our lives. I truly believed he existed, because I had no reason to believe otherwise. Having to rewrite that history in my own mind has been, to say the least, a feat.

I have a much longer post which talks more at length about various aspects, but I know a lot of people don’t want to read anything that’s too long or involved. So if you only wonder about what I think regarding the three main questions:

Unfortunately yes, Sonny/Santino does not seem to exist, although who exactly was talking/writing all those years I have no idea. I don’t know if it was one or both of them. I suspect only they know. They (or someone) did write the series with me, though, and we did spend a ton of hours on it. That, at least, I can verify is not a lie.

As for whether anyone actually has liver cancer or other health concerns, I honestly have no idea. All the information I was given was under the auspices of believing Sonny existed, and was always framed as Sonny’s story. At this point, I can’t say what I’ve been told was true or not, or maybe even somewhere in between.

Regarding bullying/abusive behavior, the only thing I’ve read myself is the confessions posted on the #SHConfessions thread on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sweetsakuradoll). If you scroll down, the screenshots are of the confessions themselves. I didn’t know about any of this happening, and to know it was occurring horrifies me. But if you ask me if I think you should believe those confessions, yes, I do. I’m very sorry to have to say that, because that means so much pain has been happening for so long, but despite not having had any knowledge of those situations occurring, I have many reasons to believe what they’re saying is true. The biggest reason is because when I ran across it, I was startled to see that parts of their stories were like reading something I had written myself.

If you want more information on any of this, you can read my much longer post. You can find it to read online or download in pdf at http://aisylum.com/statement_2018_Ais.pdf. Some friends recommended I pdf it instead of putting it as a blog post for ease of reading.

Part of the reason I couldn’t seem to get anything coherent out faster than a week and a half is I have nearly 16 years of knowledge I’ve had to undo in the course of a few days. It’s been surreal and so confusing and it brought up all sorts of things from the past I hadn’t thought about in years. Frankly, things I didn’t really want to have to think about again. I found old journal entries that reminded me of how unstable I was at different times, how unhappy I was, how often I doubted myself in big and small ways. There were so many things I never planned to talk about publicly, simply because I didn’t want to hurt anyone, and I thought that if I talked about all those difficult times, that was exactly what I would be doing.

Additionally, it’s extremely stressful to me to talk about anything I hadn’t planned to share publicly. Writing this, and especially posting it, is difficult. The way I cope is through humor and avoidance. Avoidance won out for years, and right now it’s fighting a hard battle once again. If I disappear for a bit or suddenly start talking excitedly about things I love, I’m not trying to be rude and it isn’t because none of this affects me or I don’t care. It’s quite the opposite. It’s simply me maintaining my internal balance through the coping mechanisms I’ve developed over the years.

Please know the reason I’m saying any of this isn’t to make any of this about me, it’s simply that I feel like I need to apologize for being unable to get something out sooner, and the only way I know how to do that fairly is to explain why it took so long.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who supported me both publicly and privately since this all came out. I greatly appreciate it; you are the reason I could get anything out even this soon, because you told me it was okay to take my time. Thank you so much for your understanding. I can’t tell you enough how much it meant and continues to means to me.

I’m so sorry to anyone who has been hurt in any of this. I wish I had known, I wish I could have helped, I wish I had been capable of somehow stopping anything. I talk more about it in the longer post but I’ve felt guilty since all of this broke, feeling like somehow this has to be my responsibility because I knew Sonny for longest online. Somehow, I need to take on this responsibility, find a way to help, find a way to make up for it to others. But I have to be fair to myself in a way that’s always been incredibly difficult for me. I have to acknowledge that I’m not responsible for the actions of others, especially when I didn’t know about it and never would have condoned it. I tried helping so many times over the years, and I was usually so unsuccessful. I thought I was trying to help a friend who was a victim of bullying and harassment, who was caught in endless self-destructive cycles he couldn’t seem to escape. It turns out a lot of what I was told was at the very least misrepresentative, and in some cases possibly outright lies.

I’m very sorry to everyone who is disappointed by this news, who believed in Sonny like I did and now has to question so much. I can’t speak for him (or, I guess, them); I don’t know what was going on all this time, or why. I don’t hate him/them, because it’s just too much energy for me, because at this point I just feel more tired than anything, because I would rather continue to try to put positive into the world to counteract any negative, but I understand that others will feel differently, and I understand that they may feel so with varying intensity.

I feel incredible sympathy for anyone who has been negatively affected by any of this. I truly hope you have been able to reach out to your support systems, and I hope you have gotten the support you need from them.

As for In the Company of Shadows, if you were someone who loved it and now can’t stand to think of it, as exceedingly sad as it will make me to know that all of this has affected something you loved, I want you to know that I understand. I don’t want anyone to be hurt further than has already happened. Thank you for the time and energy you put into your love of it in the past, and I hope you can find something to balance this heartbreak so you can feel empowered moving forward. If you are someone who can still love the series despite all this in the background, then please know, for whatever it’s worth, I myself continue to love ICoS, I continue to love the world, the characters, the story. Thank you for your kindness and patience, and thank you for continuing to believe in the story despite everything else that has happened. If you continue to have questions about the series, what the characters might think/do, feel free to ask me any time. I’m still happy to discuss the series if anyone needs it, I just might not be able to answer some questions related to characters which are not mine.

I’m very sorry, regardless, that any of this had to be a discussion point at all.

I wish Sonny (whoever it was) had told me the truth from the start, or told me at any point along the way, because maybe some of this could have been avoided. Instead, I truly believed in him right up into Friday March 9, and had to learn the truth when he posted it online. I can’t say I’m sorry I believed in a friend of 15 years, because I don’t think that’s inherently a bad thing. But I am sorry I didn’t know, because maybe, somehow, I could have helped everyone.

If you never read anything else from me, because you’re too raw from all of this, I understand. Please, then, let these be my last words to you: please take care of yourself, and please don’t let the actions of others cause you to stop believing in other people. Or yourself.

2012 The Slash Pile Q&A for ICoS

tumblr fucked up all my links on the masterlist and it’s been a pain trying to find some of them. For a question someone asked today I wanted to check the September 2012 Q&A we did at The Slash Pile but I had to search separately on livejournal. Just in case that page ever disappears, I decided to try to paste it here. The formatting may be all jacked but hopefully it will be readable.

SOME FOREWARNING FOR BELOW:

  1. I wasn’t able to easily remove anyone’s names/userpics because my computer would only let me select all for copy/paste. If you have an old lj represented on here and you want me to remove your name/userpic from this and replace it with something generic, I will absolutely do so. Please just let me know your preferences and your name/pic to look for.
  2. I didn’t reread any of this. If anything is problematic or different below from what we’ve said since, sorry. It’s from 2012 and some viewpoints may have changed since then, with more time and knowledge.
  3. My lj username is starlite_gone and Sonny’s was cancelsonny, just so you know who’s talking below.
  4. Thank you again to TSP for hosting this Q&A! It was really successful with the number of questions 🙂

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I’m on patreon now!

I just realized I posted about this everywhere but here.. Sorry if you already saw this on tumblr, but if you didn’t here’s a bunch of info in one post:


A bunch of updates!

For the midday folks who missed my late night announcement, and for those who saw that but want updated links of stuff I’ve done since, I present to you:

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I’m now on patreon! patreon.com/ais

Do you have to be a patron to get my stuff? Nope, most things will eventually be free to the public too, but patrons get early access on items plus more. They get at least one chapter a month of Incarnations, and a wildcard option I decide every month, and they get to vote on another small project they want to see that month. Their names are also on a thank you page on my site. Plus maybe more in the future!

What I’ve released on Patreon for Incarnations will be released every quarter or so for free to the public so you can read it too if you can’t afford Patreon or don’t want to. I may change that timeline in the future to more like every 6 months or something, we’ll see. This first month in September, though, I’m releasing a lot of stuff to the public so you can get an idea of what to expect on Patreon.

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Incarnations chapters one and two are already released! Find them here!

Incarnations chapter one
Incarnations chapter two

What is Incarnations/why should you care about it/what’s the quality of editing like on the releases? All those answers here: How edited is Incarnations, anyway? And other overview info

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Did you know I have a newsletter for my stuff? (aka, not an ICoS newsletter, but an Ais newsletter) If you didn’t, you can sign up here, find past issues here, and I just released the newest newsletter today!

It’s right here: http://mailchi.mp/6568f7557ee3/ais-is-now-on-patreon

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Also:

What’s the context on that? Find out here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/avoid-like-boyd-14434923

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I think those are the main updates but you should really check out my posts at Patreon because I’ve already made a bunch of them:  https://www.patreon.com/ais/posts

You are wonderful, you are not alone, and I want you to know that

The below post was originally written October 27, 2012, on my Goodreads blog. I’m posting it here on my wordpress blog now in case anything ever happens to my Goodreads account, so I don’t lose it.


Hey everyone.

First, I should clarify my previous entry: I posted that I might be absent because I hadn’t been on social media for about a month already and I didn’t want anyone trying to contact me and thinking I was ignoring them. So just FYI in general, if I ever seem to be ignoring you I probably just didn’t see it. I go in waves of being involved on social media and taking a break, because I’m an introvert so sometimes social media feels too, well, social for me. But my email (mikaaislin@gmail.com) is where you can always find me.

On to the main point of this post:

I love Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. Is that what this post is about? Not at all, actually, except that youtube clips of her show are some of the things that first got this topic going in my mind and over the weeks it’s been snowballing. Especially after I read Unbearable Lightness. And especially after I’ve been reading some book reviews that have pointed out some pervasive negative themes in stories.

And that is this: all too often, people are made to feel like crap just for being who they are. All too often, people are bullied. All too often, societal expectations exceed what should realistically be asked of anyone. And all too often, it’s easy for people to fall into a state of depression or unhappiness as a result.

If this topic stands out to you as something you have experienced in your life– recently or long ago– first I want to say this to you:

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that people or society failed you. I’m sorry that you were ever made to feel less than perfect as you are. I’m sorry that you were ever hurt.

What we all need to remember is that gender identity, sexual orientation or lack thereof, age, body shape, ethnicity– none of these things MATTER. None of these things say anything about the person themselves. How much money you have to your name doesn’t matter, whether you have a prestigious title or you’re a peon like the rest of us–

It doesn’t MATTER.

What matters is who you are.

What matters is what you do.

What matters is you make up for it if you make a mistake and stand strong when you don’t.

What matters is you help others if they’re down.

What matters is you won’t let someone be hurt in front of you if you have the opportunity to do something to stop it.

What matters is you care.

Not everyone can express themselves in the same way. Some people (like myself) really don’t like confrontation. Some people do. Some people feel more comfortable on the sidelines and some people like to stand out as the hero. Some people really care but are too shy or uncertain to say anything and some people care so much that they are continually brash or headstrong.

We are all different and that’s okay. One person’s way of life is not better than another’s; they’re just different.

We are also all alike and that’s okay. We’re all human and we make mistakes, we get scared or angry, we get uncertain or indignant. We say things we don’t mean and mean things we don’t say. We speak up too early or too late and miss opportunities to make a difference at the right time.

It’s okay. You’re okay.

You have to be yourself, that’s the most important thing. Beyond that, it’s a work in progress. Sometimes, even being able to BE yourself is a work in progress, because who you are might be something that causes you to be the target of negativity. In some places, just being who you are could be lethal or extremely dangerous. So if you have to hide for your own safety, that’s okay.

It’s okay.

You aren’t a terrible person for being yourself and you aren’t a terrible person if you can’t BE yourself because circumstances force you into hiding.

Maybe there’s no one else out there who ever feels that way but I know I did when it came to the idea of coming out.

I felt like I was flawed and wrong for not being “normal” like so many other people. I felt like I was defective. I feel like I have to hide who I am in some circumstances but in others I can be forthright. Constantly being on guard and having to consider context before comments can be stressful and, at times, distressing. Even just a couple of weeks ago I felt that distress rather clearly, and at the time what made me feel better was people telling me this:

It’s okay. You’re not alone. You’re not wrong. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re okay.

I’ve been thinking about it and I feel very strongly about saying the same thing to others. Because one thing that Youtube has reinforced to me is that people can be wonderful, but they can also be incredibly callous; they can be rude and spiteful and sometimes downright vindictive or mean. They can bully others because of their opinion, or insult entire continents, countries or cultures for something they don’t even understand. They can rush headlong down a path that will end in heartache for someone, and it could be that they don’t care or it could be that they just don’t understand.

Because words are powerful, and they can build a person up but they can also break a person down.

So please take these words as much to heart as you may have ever been depressed by negative ones:

You are beautiful. You are handsome. You are a good person. You are and can be loved. You deserve to be. You deserve good things. You deserve happiness as much as anyone else.

I don’t care what your ancestry is or where you live, I don’t care what your body shape is or whether you meet the impossible ideals that may be set forth by your society. I don’t care if the gender you identify with matches the gender you were born with. I don’t care if you’re asexual, homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or any other variation beyond. I don’t care what you believe politically, religiously, culturally, or whether you don’t believe anything at all.

I don’t care because all I need to know is that you’re there.

We may spend time on a virtual world of social media and websites and intangible ideas made visual, with our words spelled out on a screen and not spoken by voice. We may never meet in person and may not recognize each other even if we were in the same room.

But it doesn’t matter.

Because when I sit down and type to a screen, I know that a human being is on the other side of that communication. I know that out there, you get upset, you get happy; you get excited, you get down; you get curious, you get resigned.

You have a range of emotions like I do, and you have a life like I do, and you’re a human being like I am. And I know that because of that you’re important, and I know that because of that you deserve a chance at happiness and inherent respect the same as the rest of us.

Scientists currently estimate there are 8.7 million different species on the planet, and 7 billion humans.

There are a lot of us out there, and with such a large number maybe it does mean that there is a percentage that will hurt others without regard. Maybe it does mean that there is a percentage for a lot of variations, but that also mean there’s bound to be a percentage out there like you.

If you’re ever hurt, if you’re ever sad, if you ever feel alone in what you’re going through, remember that even if you’re in a vast minority, even if less than 1 percent of the world’s humans are like you, that is still up to 70 million people.

Remember that even if someone hurts you, there are others who won’t and who only want to help you. Remember that even if you’re sad, there are others who would want to make you happy. Remember that even if you ever feel weak or scared or vulnerable, it’s okay to process those feelings and it’s okay to take a break, but when you’re ready to come back there are others who will stand by your side.

Maybe these people aren’t always evident or easy to find. Maybe there are a lot of things that keep going wrong. Maybe you’re tired of fighting. It’s okay. You’re okay. You’re not wrong to have emotions and you’re not wrong to need time to work through them.

But you aren’t alone.

Because no matter what else may change, we’re all human. And with 7 billion of us in the world and counting, there’s bound to be someone out there who understands.

THAT is what matters.

That is all that ever mattered.

some TV show thoughts

This post is mostly for me to remember but also in case anyone else has thought of watching these or has watched and is curious about other people’s thoughts. I currently have a hulu trial subscription so I’m trying to watch a number of shows on there that aren’t elsewhere. Also, recently I was trying out new stuff on Netflix.

Here are some thoughts on some of the shows I’ve started watching or fully seen recently, in no particular order. btw, I’m pretty blunt in my hatred of one particular character in one of the shows I mention. As I say at the end of the post, if I don’t love something you love, my feelings on the matter shouldn’t affect your own. We all react to things in different ways for different reasons. Some things I adore are the same things other people hate or dismiss. It’s all about perspective and subjectivity, and that variation in feelings and thoughts is awesome imo because it makes the world a more diverse place 🙂 I just wanted to get my thoughts down on these after finishing them because I’ve found my memory sucks on this sort of stuff, and if I do write down my thoughts it helps me later if I pick the show back up or try to remember if I did or didn’t like something.

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Seriously considering doing an assessment or walk-in to a program that helps with eating disorders. I no longer need help getting anorexia under control in terms of starving myself, but now I’ve run into the problem of not knowing how to safely lose weight to feel healthier and happier, without resorting to the means I used before, and without letting myself go beyond an actually healthy level.

I’ve only gotten professional help one time, and even then it wasn’t actually about the ED. I was talking about other things but realized in that session that maybe I did have a problem. But that was a very brief experience in college, and after that I dealt with everything completely alone. Part of me thinks I would fail if I asked for help, but the larger part of me knows it shows more strength to know when you need help and ask for it than it does to isolate yourself unnecessarily.

This is the reason I post about things like this on and off, because publicly saying I might do a thing makes me more likely to do it or at least not just pass it off immediately in my mind. And there may be other people who read this who are going through the same thoughts, and seeing this may not feel alone.