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Close To Monsters #86

CTM86

This weeks comic is brought to you by the inherited trauma of your family that you cannot escape.

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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 epubs/books/stickers/prints over at my Payhip , or support my work monthly at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #85

CTM85

This weeks comic is brought to you by your devotion to brashness. And also outdated modes of communication.

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 epubs/books/stickers/prints over at my Payhip , or support my work monthly at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #78

CTM78

This weeks comic is brought to you by the fact that everyone is laughing AT you, not WITH you.

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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Home Sweet Home

Sometimes, when I am deeply sad and awake late at night, I will cry out for a home that does not exist. A home that never existed. What a terrible feeling, wanting to return to a place I never had, to a feeling I never felt, to people I never knew. I cry out, “I want to go home” but there is no home. There never was, and there never will be, because no matter how hard I try, despite all that I put in, I cannot make a home. Nobody will let me. I am homeless while living indoors, and it’s a broken, busted feeling that eats away at me, like perpetually unfulfilled termites gnawing through my wooden bones.

I can see it. The place that never was, that home. If I shut my eyes and concentrate, I can see what should have been. A small warm place, safe and serene, filled with love and support, and all the things you will never allow me to have. Things that, if I could buy from a store, you would force me to return for credit. All I want is something of my own, somewhere that doesn’t make me feel like a foreigner in the place that I hail from, a prisoner in the place that I chose to inhabit, but it’s never a thing that will be. Like rain drying on hot cement, my tears disappear into the cloth of my shirt, and I remain a nomad. Searching. Wanting. Never having.

Sometimes I want to run away, run back home, to a place that doesn’t exist. Pack a bag and hitch a ride, because I would rather trust a stranger, as a stranger is just someone who hasn’t hurt me yet. I want to run back home, to a bedroom I never had, filled with things I never owned; the setting of impossible memories and nonexistent special moments. Why do I want to go home, instead of trying to make one? Because nobody will let me. Because no matter how many bricks I put in the walls, someone knocks it down. A foreman comes and claims it’s unstable and it must be redone. I am not an architect, but I think I know a blueprint when I see one.

I want a home.

But all you offer me is apartments.

I am in a very bad state these days. If anyone is willing to talk to me, feel free to comment. I could certainly use some uplifting, positive vibes from nice people.

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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I Am Broken And That’s Okay

For as long as I can remember, adults were trying to diagnose me with something.

Even when I was in elementary school, as low as 1st grade, teachers told my mother that I was likely suffering from ADHD or Autism or something of the like. In hindsight, I DO have autism (and very likely I also have adhd, but there’s neither here nor there), but that isn’t the point. The point is that people were always trying to explain me instead of accept me. I “wasn’t like the other children”, and so thus I warranted explanation. My behavior warranted explanation. Somehow being different, in any sort of way, was tantamount to being a traitor to my country. Exiled from my own peers, often by my own peers even, and with no fair trial whatsoever. I guess that’s America for you, though, especially the american school system.

Now, as an adult myself, I’m told daily to revel in my differences. Now my peers are a community of acceptance, and whenever I even remotely acknowledge problems with myself, someone will make me feel bad for that too. So, feel bad for being different as a kid, and now feel bad for feeling bad for feeling different as an adult. Alright then. But what nobody ever seems to think about is what if I literally cannot revel in my differences? What if someone has been broken down so much that they cannot rise above their negative experiences in life, the bad life lessons they took in about themselves via others? What about those people? I think all the time how I will finally get better, put my issues about me behind me, and learn to like the things that make me who I am, and who I’m NOT.

But I don’t know that I can, at least, not fully. And I think we should accept that about people too. We push so many stories out about people who’ve ‘recovered’ from their trauma or overcome their ‘disabilities’ as if they’re something to overcome in the first place, but perhaps we should also just accept that some people are just…indefinitely sort of broken? I feel like every goddamned week I see some new “woke” article praising someone overcoming the things that broke them as children or hurt them as adults, and we share these articles on social media without even thinking so much as, “Wait, why would someone break another person to begin with?” We never actually ask the question of how they got to that breaking point, or how they started recovering, we just are happy they’ve “recovered”, because I guess, now, they’re useful to society as an example to other broken people, a lot of whom can’t recover in the first place, so to see those articles while scrolling their news feed could be rather damaging to their already fragile psyche.

I’m not telling people to stop trying to recover. I’m not telling people who have recovered to not be proud that they have. But I AM saying that perhaps, for those people who are so damaged beyond repair and yet still manage to get through every single day with that mindset, we should acknowledge them too, simply for still being here. Simply for continuing on. God knows it is so hard to wake up every single day and find purpose, I grapple with my lack of reason for being every minute that I am awake, but I still do it, and isn’t that worth applauding? Do we have to reserve our praise for only those we deem have earned it, and not the people who’ve still, somehow, despite all the years of feeling bad and doing poorly, managed to survive? Sounds like bullshit to me. Start appreciating the people who are broken and yet keep living. Those are the strongest people.

A lot of people can recover.

Not everyone can live being broken, though.

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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You’re A Lot Like Weather, You Know

The rain on my face reminds me of your kisses as a child, empty and cold, refreshing then and upsetting now. At one point, something I would run to, be thrilled to receive, now something I hide from, something I hope to never face again. You’re a lot like weather you know, full of unpredictable patterns and immeasurable damage. Bright and sunny one moment, dark and foreboding the next, all the while I think to myself, watching your storm clouds gather in your once sunny sky, “The weather will get better. It has to!” but it never does.

You’re a lot like weather, you know. A cool wind breezes by, reminding me of your icy breath, the air you’d breath on my ear when you hugged me, trying to comfort me, telling me ‘there’s nothing to be afraid of’, except the thing to be afraid of was you. By promising me you were not bad, you cemented everything else around me as a fear, so that in times of panic and uncertainty, I’d turn to you instead, because I didn’t know there was anywhere else to go. On a hot summer day, instead of enjoying it, I’d seek out the breeze, not knowing the breeze was a lie. Not knowing that the breeze was what was actually making me ill, the cold wind chill, and not the warm summer sky.

You’re a lot like weather, you know. Neither rain, now sleet, nor snow, nor hail; I’m lucky I survived your blizzard to tell the tale. Wrapped in a warm blanket of my insecurities, a fire blazing, born of my fears, they got me through your damaging winter storms. Sure, I didn’t come out the other end any better, but at least I survived the ice and the freeze. I tried to be a storm chaser, but getting close to you, trying to figure you out, trying to be in awe of your majestical faults, was just as dangerous as trying to outrun you. Like a tornado you would chase me down, force me to hide under a mattress to escape, praying and sobbing, hoping there would still be something left standing in your wake. And when all was said and done, the town was leveled, the people stunned, I’d come back out and try to understand…try to comprehend the damage, why it happened, what its reason was. But there wasn’t any. There couldn’t be.

Now I hide from the outdoors, I stay inside and shudder at the slightest hint of a raindrop hitting my shutters. I tense up at the smallest change in temperature, and I watch the sky in fear. Nothing is certain, that much is certain. Crisp fall leaves crack under my feet, like so many broken promises, regret, yet, we’ll meet again I’m sure, one day, when the sun is out and you’ll say, “It wasn’t as bad as you remember. The weather is something we all must face.” What a shame, a disgrace, the storms you can create, the abuse you can say was alright because it was you who made it. You’re a lot like weather, you know.

And now I stay inside, away from any weather whatsoever. No more sunny days or rainy nights. No more storms, no more flashing lights or thunderclaps. Now I stay indoors, free from your onslaught of temperature changes, telling myself that I survived the flood, that I survived the earthquake, that I survived the tsunami.

Now I laugh at weathermen.

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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You Keep Saying You Want To Fix This

I left my mother and cut her out of my life back in early 2015.

After years of feeling like she didn’t understand, much less care to understand, me, I finally started speaking to her again in late 2016 or early 2017 at some point. Even then, our conversations were rather limited to that of what television we’d watched recently and shit like that, mostly because that was all I could handle discussing with her. I haven’t spoken to anyone else in my family in about 5 years now. Then, in mid 2017, my longtime girlfriend and I moved to Texas, and within 4 months or so, everything went belly up and we nearly found ourselves homeless. Thankfully, I found us a new place to live, and things were okay for a while, and then my mother decided, just on a whim, to move there as well, to be “closer” to me.

At first, it was alright enough to see her again. I’d visited her two times prior to this, but this was the first instance of ongoing constant exposure to her again, and for a bit, things seemed okay enough. We went to lunch, we saw some movies, we just generally hung out and celebrated birthdays and for the first time in forever, it seemed liked when she said “I just wanna fix everything”, she was being honest about it. And then it started again. The attitudes, the mood swings, the daily calling and dropping by without even telling me, which made me exceedingly anxious (and, in her defense, would make me anxious no matter WHO it was, not just her) and the somewhat snide, underhanded remarks.

Here was a nearly 60 year old woman telling me “you need to find me a place to live” and generally wanting me to fix her entire life when I, a moderately autistic young woman, can barely keep my OWN life together on a day to day basis, especially at that point in time when we were in constant fear of being evicted because our landlady was ALSO somewhat psychotic. But, all that said, we managed and I continued to put up with her, and we’d fight and scream every now and then at one another, but eventually we started talking again after a week or so and things resumed as normal until another screaming match occurred. Keep in mind, these screaming matches aren’t like something a kid and a parent would (or SHOULD, for that matter) have. She’d show up, she’d get me riled up over something, then she would leave, knowing I would break something in anger or hurt myself because of what had just happened and spend the rest of the day in a terrible mood.

This wasn’t random. This was calculated planning. She KNEW what she was doing. And why do I say this? Because she’d done this for years before, just not in such an obvious manner. See, the thing about people like this, who do things like this, is eventually they get sloppy. For a long time, especially when doing it around other people, they’ll be cautious, they’ll make themselves seem like the victim, but then they’ll just stop caring and do it anyway, because fuck the consequences. Eventually, they just stop caring about doing it well and just keep doing it because they don’t know how to function otherwise. And here’s the kicker: people her age, other people, expect their children to take it and accept it and say ‘it’s just who they are’ or ‘they’re my parents, I have to deal with it’ or ‘I really need to help them’ when in reality…IT IS NOT ANY OF OUR FUCKING BUSINESS AND THEY ARE OWED NOTHING FROM US.

I told myself this for years. It was the only way to keep myself sane in a continually abusive household growing up, and I told myself “I don’t have to love these people, I don’t owe them anything for doing the bare minimum of child rearing”, and everyone told me how wrong that was. Now? Now I see everybody say that. It sort of helps, seeing my peers vindicate me now, but I wish someone had backed me up back then too. Maybe things would’ve been different.

Eventually, my mother kept blaming all her failings on me and my girlfriend, and tried to move out of the state of Texas two times before coming back because she just can’t not have control over me. Then, our landlady finally decided, and for good reason because she shouldn’t be a landlord, to sell the property we were living in. I turned to the only person I knew could help get my girlfriend and I out of there. My mother. So, my mother rented a moving truck and my girlfriend rode with her while I rode with another friend, and all together we drove back to New Mexico, to my girlfriends parents place. My mother continued to tell me things like “You need to stay with me in a hotel because I can’t be alone” and “You need to help me whenever I need it” and while I agreed to help her, because she’d helped us under the guise of kindheartedness but really because she craves total control, she kept insisting that I drop everything everyday and devote all my spare time to fixing her life.

And then, about a week or so into being back here, her car disappeared from the hotel she was staying out. She wouldn’t answer her cell phone. Suddenly, she was just gone. A few days ago, my girlfriends mother asked the hotel manager, whom she’s friends with, what happened to the woman staying there, and they told her she’d just up and left. She still hasn’t called. She still won’t answer. She just left.

And this is where I feel conflicted. One part of me is relieved. Thank god, now I can get back to my work and my life and not be stressed. And yet…and yet there’s a huge gaping hole inside of me. People KEEP leaving. People who insist they want to fix things. People I SHOULDN’T be hurt by anymore because I should be so used to being hurt by them by now. But they still manage to do it. It makes sense why I have trouble believing anyone committing to me or sticking around, because my family was so broken for so long, and then everytime they say they want to fix things, they STILL. JUST. LEAVE. The thing is, it isn’t so much, I’ve realized, the fact that she just up and left without telling me that hurts. It’s more the hope I keep having that somehow things will be fixed. Somehow my mother, my whole family, will suddenly come to their senses, get back together and everyone will be happy and loved. When you grow up without feeling connected to the people you’re related to, the world is a fucking cold and empty place, no matter how many people you replace them with.

Friends? Lovers? Doesn’t matter. They ease the pain, but it’s still there. I appreciate them, but they aren’t the same. I don’t have parents. I just have severely broken people who demand I fix them when I can’t even fix myself. I’m what I’ve come to call a Living Orphan. My parents aren’t dead, but they aren’t here, nor were they ever, really, and it hurts so fucking much every single day.

But what hurts even more is knowing how sick she is. There’s something wrong with her, and I know this, and I can’t tell her because she’ll deny it so it can’t get fixed. Now and then, when we were in Texas, and she did something even remotely nice, like bring a pizza over for dinner, she’d sit and smile at me and she’d say “Aren’t I the best mother ever?” and I’d just smile back and nod, while inside my heart is breaking because she believes that, and she so badly wants it to be true. She really thinks she’s the best mom ever. And I so badly want her to be that when she asks, I just tell her yes, and we sit there.

In silence.

Lying and unaware.

Eating pizza.

And sometimes it hits me that that’s the best things will ever get, and it’s time I just moved on.

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!