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Close To Monsters #57

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This week is brought to you by the fact that your happiness is a mere illusion.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #54

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This weeks comic is brought to you by parental hypocrisy.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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What To Do When You Weren’t Supposed To Exist

I am not a religious person.

At one point, I considered myself an atheist, but I’ve long since outgrown that edgy teenager position and now consider myself just “spiritual”, and if we’re being honest, “spiritual lite”. I mostly believe in Wiccan ideals, believe in the earth and energy. All that beautiful crap. But sometimes I think about there possibly being a heaven, and I think that if there was, and by some chance I wound up there, I hope my grandfather is there, because if he is, there’s one thing in particular I’d love to ask him:

“Why didn’t you try harder to keep my parents apart?”

But let’s go back a bit. I am, in total honesty, an enigma. The circumstances surrounding my conception are equal to that of “hey, you want some dip with these chips?” and someone else replying “yeah, that sounds good”, so you get the dip but then after you’ve had the dip a while you realize you weren’t cut out to eat said dip, oh and also the person who got said dip you want to punch in the fucking face repeatedly, which is, to be blunt, exactly what my father did to my mother. That’s partially what makes my youth so confusing; you’d think someone who experience first hand abuse wouldn’t turn around and then redistribute it to their child, but hey, I guess trauma works in mysterious ways. My grandfather once told me a story about how much he hated my father, and how my father once took a chainsaw to their house late one night, while drunk, and started trying to cut down their cherry tree in the front yard.

 

Aside from the tree, the one I feel the worst for is my grandfather. Not only did he fail to keep these two people apart, people who clearly shouldn’t have been together, but then he had to watch my father abuse my mother, knowing he tried to protect her from this. So, I am the human equivalent of a leftover Mexican dinner. Something someone thought they wanted, then when they got it home realized it wasn’t what they wanted at all, and then started to blame the other person who making them order it. My father beat my mother. I am not going to be quiet about it. He did that. That’s a thing that happened. He did this mostly while he was on copious amounts of drugs, and also wildly blackout drunk, not that that excuses it, but I want the context to be there. He was in and out of prison most of my life, and only after my mother had taken me back to California to live with her parents, did he track us down and try to make amends.

One of the biggest problems with me is that I have no home. The closest thing I had was my grandparents, and now that they’re dead, it’s been sold, and I have nothing. My mother remarried to a man who wound up being incredibly emotionally abusive, which in turn made her incredibly emotionally abusive; meanwhile my father was dating girl after girl who could supply him with whatever drug he wanted at that moment in time, and the weekends I spent with him were often spent alone, on the torn up couch of his run down rental house while he either slept or fucked his girlfriend in the other room. I think this is why nowhere feels like home, because growing up, I never had a single house that I felt safe in, and the only one that came relatively close no longer belongs to my family.

In essence, I do not belong anywhere, in any way, and let me tell you, that really wraps a persons perception of reality and the “meaning” of life.

So I’m not saying my parents didn’t want me. I’m saying that they were, like many other people of their generation, people who were incredibly damaged and decided to start a family because it was what was expected of them. So while I wasn’t “unwanted”, I was certainly nothing more than a merger to save two failing companies. But what happens when this newly merged company then flounders in sales and goes out of business? What happens to its assets? IE; me? Therein lies the problem. Where I once was a commodity, now I was leftover stock. Something that somebody had once wanted and was now just forgotten, sitting in the back shelf of the warehouse with a 90% off sticker on the box. So my mother and I moved in with her parents when I was very young. I spent a good portion of my childhood with my grandparents, with my grandfather walking me to school and watching soap operas with my grandmother while we sat at her kitchen table and cracked walnuts together from their backyard walnut tree. My mother was working all the time, and when she remarried, we moved to a city over an hour away and I didn’t see my grandparents nearly as much. Aside from my grandparents, I have never really felt like a part of my family, I always felt like a tumor attached to this living creature. Something everyone acknowledge, put up with but never got close to or really accepted. I should not have existed. My parents should not have had me. But they did.

 

And now I have to find ways to fill my time until I die.

I think this is partly why I create. Why I make art and write books, because it gives me some sort of control over something, unlike in my actual life, where nothing is ever in control, much less my control. I have to do something with the time I’ve been given, and the only way I can make sense of the world aground me, the world I was thrust into without any reason and against my own will, is to analyze it through the eyes of other characters. I never fit in at school, everyone always made fun of me and growing up I was really lonely. To be fair, I was a pretty weird girl. I collected dead animals and liked ghosts and wore flannel in elementary school. Not that who I am warrants bullying, that’s never an excuse, but on some warped level, I kind of understand, because god knows I hate myself more than the other kids hated me.

I tried so many things, trying to find where I belonged, as every kid does growing up, but in such a different way, I wasn’t doing this to discover what “clique” or whatever I felt most comfortable with, because I was super antisocial. I was doing this to literally find a purpose to a life I didn’t feel deserved a purpose. Was I a band geek? I joined band in 7th grade because a friend of mine did, and I thought that’s what you did. You did whatever those around you did. But I didn’t enjoy it, nor was I any good at it, but I still suffered through an entire year of it, because guess what…it could be who I was and what I was destined to do! Maybe this was why I was given this existence! Of course not. That’s fucking stupid.

I don’t really remember how I fell into writing. I remember I used to come home from school and wanted to retreat to a world I was in control of, and so I started writing and making up worlds and people, but I know that wasn’t when I settled on it, because at some point I started drawing and thinking I could have a future making comics or something. Then I went into film making and did that for a long time, before settling onto the term “artist” because it encompassed everything without pigeonholing me into one medium, and I think that’s honestly the best description of my comfort level with my unwanted, unexpected existence. I have to do a little bit of everything, because one thing simply isn’t enough. I need more than one reason to be here, because I don’t have one reason to begin with. So how do you cope with being alive when you weren’t supposed to be? For me, it became creating other things that had no right to be here.

Now…I nearly died when I was a little girl.

I got very sick and dehydrated, and wound up in the hospital for months. I don’t remember much, but I do remember having to almost relearn how to walk. I also nearly died when I was born, because my umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck when I came out, and nearly strangled me to death. That’s twice before the age of 5. Something was clearly out to get me. This is a belief that I have struggled with ever since then, call me batty or not, I don’t care. I struggle with the idea that I should have died, that I wasn’t supposed to be born, and thus I was supposed to die, and I cheated death and won and since then everything for me has been absolute shit.

I know. Believe me, I recognize it’s an absolutely ludicrous thing to believe. But, I do believe it, and somehow, continuing to live, even when I want to die, is the most rebellious thing I can do. So how do I cope with existing when I shouldn’t? I exist. I continue living and tell life, “Guess what, fuck you, I’m here, and nothing you can do can change that. Only I can change that, and only when I decide to.” I drew the most strength from not dying, and not giving into the urge to kill myself, and creating things that wouldn’t be here without me, whether people see them or not. I am an enigma. Everything from the get go, from my parents courtship, has been set against me even being here, and yet somehow, against all odds, against any attempt by life or my own hand, I remain here.

I think that’s how you cope with existing. You exist.

I am not a religious person. But sometimes I think about there possibly being a heaven, and I think that if there was, and by some chance I wound up there, I hope my grandfather is there, because if he is, there’s one thing in particular I’d love to ask him, and that would be “Why didn’t you try harder to keep my parents apart?” but instead, I wouldn’t, and I would realize that by allowing all of this to happen, my grandfather gave me the one thing I’ve always searched for. A meaning. I am here because he failed, I am unintentionally his greatest achievement, and my parents greatest mistake. I am the culmination of bad choices and shortcomings, but I exist because my grandfather failed to keep my parents apart. So I will live with that in my heart, knowing that I am here to keep his spirit alive, his drive and ambitions, and be the good person he and my grandmother brought me up to be. I exist because he couldn’t forever. Yeah, I wouldn’t ask him that question.

Instead I’d stand with him and enjoy the sunset.

[This is a repost of a Medium article]

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality: Season 2 Episode 16 “They Rust”

In this weeks episode, USER 147 has left a tape for Samantha to listen to, about Sams childhood disability, and whether her father, intentionally or not, inflicted it upon her.

To get next weeks episode right now, go subscribe to my Patreon for as low as a single dollar a month subscription! Help me produce this show and lots of other content!

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #37

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This weeks comic is brought to you by not even being able to live up to somebody elses dreams

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon! Donate To Our GoFundMe!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the new season of my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #30

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This weeks comic is brought to you by the fact that you are nothing but an amalgamation of all your parents flaws and problems.

Wanna write your own caption for this comic strip? Then head on over to my Patreon, where for a mere 25 dollars a month, you not only get all the previous rewards, but also get the write a caption for one of these, and get credited for it!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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This One Goes Out To You

Wanna hear quite possibly the most ironic thing of all time?

When I was a little girl, my mother used to play a lot of music in the house and in the car. I have to give my mother some credit for exposing me to a lot of media and helping widen my knowledge of pop culture, especially when it comes to music, so. One day, the song “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns ‘N Roses came on, and I can’t remember where we were or what the situation was, but I distinctly recall her saying to me:

This was the song your father and I picked for you. This is your song.

If you’ve read my blog, and you know anything about my parents, my childhood, my relationship with my family or anything pertaining to that, you’d recognize this statement as full on fucking hilarious. Like, Emmy Award Winning Best Writing in a Comedy Series type of hilarious because it evokes so much foreshadowing and irony that nothing beats it. My parents are NOT the kind of people who believe in the lyrics portrayed in this song.

My mother, back in the day, was fairly okay. It wasn’t until she really got re-married when I was about 8 and started living with a psychologically abusive stepdad that she took a turn for the worse. There was a time when she was rather enjoyable and loving, but that all quickly changed and now, no matter how much she swears up and down she has changed, I cannot believe a word of it because I’ve been at the firing line firsthand. My father has never cared about me, at least not outside the abstract sense. He cares that someone exists who will carry on his last name (Taylor is not actually my last name), but seeing as I’m infertile, there’s hilarity in that as well. He has rarely reached out to talk since I was a young adult and often left me wildly depressed and disappointed as a little girl. I was usually nothing more than a bargaining chip between the two of them growing up, especially for my father, and it’s taught me to be extremely wary of people in general when they say they care for me.

When you dedicate a song to someone, you do it because you honestly, genuinely believe that song encapsulates how you feel towards the person you’re dedicating it to. We’ve all heard it said, that couple that goes, “Oh, this is OUR song!”. The song they play at their wedding, that they had on the radio on their first date or something. That one tune. But to dedicate a song, especially one as ultimately schmaltzy as “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, to your newborn daughter and then turn around and abuse her for years to come is completely insulting to the entire concept of dedicating songs to people. I mean, imagine taking lyrics like this:

I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain

and turning right around and inflicting that pain on your own child. You hate to see an ounce of pain? Then stop fucking hurting me. I know. I know. Every kid grows up to hate their parents and eventually realizes how much they loved them and blah blah blah. No. Some kids actually grew up in a broken fucking home. My home might’ve been lavish and we might’ve had money, but that didn’t make it any less goddamned broken, alright? My parents often fought about me right in front of my bedroom door so I’d feel bad, they often allowed my stepsiblings to make fun of me openly without defending me one bit, they often made fun of me THEMSELVES, which was hilarious, given that I actually put in the effort to get to know my stepfather and we shared more of the same common interests than his own children shared with him, and yet he STILL treated me poorly. Gee, I wonder why I don’t get close to people anymore? Hey, Maggie, why don’t you open up and let people in? Because if my body is a temple, then you fuckers are here to desecrate it.

…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get that emotional. I’m just sometimes in utter awe at the fact that people can be that two faced. That deceptive, especially to themselves about themselves. I was a scared, somewhat challenged little girl. All I wanted was a mom and a dad, any dad, who loved me. Who believed in me. Who supported me. Who wanted to be with me. You know what the end result in this is? By dedicating that song to me, and then not following through on loving me themselves, sometimes it feels like Guns ‘N Roses loved me more because, oh, it’s MY song. Think about that. I’m a 28 year old woman now, and I have a more parental connection to a fucking 80s rock ballad than to my own paternal figures. How is that ok.

I am nobodies sweet child.

Especially not yours, mom and dad.