I thought I'd better introduce myself in case anyone looks at my profile. I'm an artist, unpublished writer and poet, and disability worker who worked with individuals with severe mental health conditions and challenging behaviours. I was studying psychology at the time of this job with the view of becoming a researcher specialising in the development of ethical reasoning. My goal was to find the optimal, educational strategy/strategies to improve ethical reasoning in children through to adulthood. Unfortunately, the combination of a massive amount of overtime, PTSD from being assaulted at work constantly, a major depressive disorder that I already had from childhood experiences, and then having to care for my mother fulltime till her death resulted in me having to drop out of study. I tried to study externally while caring for mum. However, she was developing dementia as part of her health decline. When I placed her in a respite care home while I was away at a one week residential school, she thought I was abandoning her in a home. That caused both of us too much heartache and stress.
I was molested in early childhood. This was the original motivator for me studying psychology. I originally was going to become a forensic psychologist in order to put away child molestors. However, I realised that this was closing the gate after the horse has bolted. That's when I switched to researching the development of ethical reasoning in children through to adulthood. People who have internalised ethical principles and have highly developed empathy and ethical reasoning skills don't abuse children.
I hadn't told anyone about the abuse till I was in my forty's, not that long ago. I finally revealed it to a therapist. As a result of the abuse I suffered severe depression and anxiety from a preschool age. A compassionate person would think that this would result in a level of kindness being offered by peers and teachers throughout my school life. Unfortunately, as it does for so many in the same situation, it led to the opposite. It made me the target for abuse and social isolation from both peers and teachers. It didn't help that I also have a psychopathic sister who, having hated me since my birth, took pleasure in doing things like telling everyone I was gay to ensure I was bullied and socially isolated, (I should point out that I wasn't gay, not that it would matter). Fortunately, I have a DVO against her and her family now, so I don't have to worry about her anymore, (knock on wood).
I grew up not having friends other than other species of animal. There were people I occasionally hung out with but they weren't friends. I've since learned that it's better to be alone than be around people who aren't really your friends. I now have a beautiful family of cats, eight including a feral who hasn't quite gotten over his fear of humans yet. I've named him Wesley after the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride. Unfortunately, due to a recent tragedy. I've just lost two of my beautiful children. I'll post about them for those that are interested.
Due to a lot of abusive people in my life my mental health has worsened over the years. I'm currently on a disability pension because of it. I'd say my social anxiety has worsened to the point that I could be diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder. I find it very stressful being around humans now. I find it very hard to trust people. I always wonder now, when people appear to be being nice if they are just being sarcastic and decide that, based on past experience, it's best to assume that they are.
I've been trying to get off the pension through my art. That hasn't been successful though. I could never afford a proper exhibition, (they cost thousands), I've just hung artwork in cafes. I ended up having more stolen than I sold. At least people wanted them. Nowadays, I just have some of my artwork up on print on demand websites like Redbubble and Society 6. Redbubble was a good website for artists until a spoilt little rich kid bought it. He stripped it of everything that made it, as it was referred to, the website by artists for artists, especially any forum for complaint. I suspect anyone who was kicking up a stink before all forums were deleted were shadow banned. I suspect this because I used to make a small amount of money from my sales on Redbubble. Now I'm lucky if someone buys a sticker and I get fifty cents. In fact I don't even get that unless I sell enough stickers to get to twenty dollars as the spoilt prick implemented a policy of only paying out commissions if the amount reaches twenty dollars. I've been trying to find a print on demand website that is as good as Redbubble used to be before the artists who started it sold out. No luck yet. I'll put up links to my pages, including my Kofi page if your interested. I might switch to Buy me a coffee or Patreon.
Nowadays, I've been focusing on writing fiction. I have some details on my Kofi page. I've been writing short stories and novels. They're mainly aimed at children and young adults but they're also for adults. Some are just for fun but most of my writing aims at introducing concepts of ethical reasoning to the reader. One childrens book I'm writing is aimed at children who've experience sexual abuse like myself. A child who's never been abused in that way wouldn't pick that up, they'll just read it as Cinderella sort of mistreatment. But a child who's been through it will recognise what the character has been through. The book aims at teaching the abused child things that no-one ever taught me. That they need to seek therapy for the way they are feeling, that they're not a worthless person, how to overcome anxiety, how to make friends, that they can have a positive, happy future. I keep getting ideas for new stories however and get distracted from focussing on just the one, so things are going slowly. It's probably a waste of time as it's so hard to get published anyway.
A few other bits and pieces.
If you are a cat hater, do not engage with me in any way, I do not want to know you. I noticed in the cat group, Atheist Cat Servants, that one of the founders of this site had the discourtesy to poison the groups discussions with a rant using the usual bad science that is used to bolster cat hate in the same way as eugenics is used to bolster white supremacy. I left a response to this person if anyone is interested in reading it.
I have an interest in martial arts. My mother enrolled me in a street fighting style of karate and kung fu when I was thirteen to help deal with all the bullies that had it in for me. I then learned judo, tai chi, and aikido.
I also did amateur ballet as a youth. From looking at me now you wouldn't be able to tell that about me.
I am a strong advocate for empathy, compassion and ethical reasoning. However, even the kindest judge has to be harsh in their sentencing when faced with antisocial behaviour and so I will beat the crap out of any fascist who makes the mistake of starting something with me.
If I'd known about transgender treatment as a child or youth I would have insisted on becoming a female. I despise being a male. I despise my male body. I despise most males. I have met almost none who are not predatory, perverts. But then, being transgender would just be another thing for people to hate me for. I guess it wouldn't have mattered, I was treated like excrement thoughout my life anyway.
As far as religion is concerned. My parents and all my relatavives and their friends were Protestant. This includes the Baptist relative that molested me. A pillar of the community.
Under the influence of a charismatic teacher in grade seven I saw religion as an answer to overcoming why I felt so bad. I became a bit of a bible basher. Fortunately, through my martial arts training I was introduced to Eastern religions and philosophy, which made me question and eventually reject Christianity as a bloodthirsty, hateful, psychotic religion. I completed my journey to atheism via reading philosophy, including formal logic and beginning to read old textbooks on psychology, which explained all the errors in perception and cognition that lead to religious ideation. Not to mention the psychopathologies that lead to it as well.
I've met very few people who identify as atheist in my personal life. All of them I would describe as wishy washy atheists who don't understand how dangerous religious belief is. In fact one of them betrayed me very hurtfully after she married a Christian and started working as a teacher at a Christian school. I thought of this person as a friend. She certainly couldn't deny that I was a friend to her as she spent quite a lot of time crying on my shoulder about one thing or another. I was always there for her. I should have known things had changed as she hadn't invited me to her wedding. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years even though we lived in the same town. I'd moved back to my horrible ultra-conservative hometown to care for my mother. This fair-weather friend never came to visit. I know that she would have been aware that I was going through a tough time but she never returned the favour of a shoulder to cry on. Anyway, one day, not long after my mother had died, I met her and her Christian husband in a bookstore. I made one of the usual quips one of us would always make about religion, (I think, maybe, it was prompted by a book sitting on a shelf, I can't remember). She absolutely, tore into me. Yelling at me in public, calling me an intolerent person etc. I can't remember exactly what she said actually, I was already stressed from people and I dissociated at that point. I had a small episode of dissociative amnesia. I don't even remember leaving.I was just in the car driving home again. It was more evidence to me that you just can't trust humans. I've always wished I could find fellow atheists to talk to. Trustworthy atheists. At least my cats are atheist... although they may consider themselves deities.
I sometimes use pagan, Eastern religious or magical concepts in my writing. This is either for fun, e.g. a humorous ghost of werewolf story, for leading non-atheists gently towards atheism along the same route I took, or for metaphorically or allegorically conveying an idea. Don't worry, I'm definately an atheist. I'm not a wishy washy one either.
Well that should be enough for you to get to know a bit about who I am.