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2023.05.30 15:20 Even_Safe_4032 I (23M) am lost on what I should do about being with my (27F) partner / baby mother

This will be a long read because I'm unloading a lot so I'm sorry in advance.
Idk where to begin, I guess me and her met 5 years ago when I used to work with her husband at the time. We never really talked much except when I would go over to hangout with the husband because we were friends.
Around the end of 2018 I lost my grandfather who basically raised me because my family doesn't know how to family properly and my parents have never been the happiest or best with each other so he helped shaped me into who I am today. When he passed, I was destroyed and didn't know what to do. On top of him passing while I was upstate for his funeral, the girl I was dating at the time thought this was the prime opportunity to break up with me and she did when I needed her most. So at this point I was basically at my lowest I've ever been.
My friends wife, we can just call her Totah, messaged me while I was there to send her condolences and to check up on me and we began talking. We opened up to each other and ended up spending the whole night talking. She opened up about how her husband was an abusive a-hole to her and her two kids she had with him.
We ended up exchanging explicit pictures that night and began going out and seeing each other and dating behind her husbands back. This went on for a while and she decided to finally start the process of divorcing him and leaving him for good. It was finalized at the end of 2021 and she's away from him for good and so are the kids.
But now comes the bad I suppose. Totah had a really rough childhood, which has led her to have alot of trauma and buried emotions she hasn't gotten any help for. She seems to rely on me for her own happiness cause if we aren't together she doesn't eat, she doesn't sleep, she self harms, etc. We have been on and off dating because honestly it's alot for me and when I'm with her I basically have to put everything about myself away to focus on her and help her and I've felt myself mentally declining heavily.
I have cheated on her, and she knows about them. I guess it's because I feel that I'm not happy or satisfied with the relationship but can't seem to just end it because we always seem to just come right back together and end up in bed together. She has forgiven me, but I can't find it in me to forgive myself. She still wants to be with me more than anyone even though I've cheated on her, I've picked pretty much everything over her haven't treated her the best. Every time I've tried to talk about breaking up with her completely because I know she deserves better, hell she's even said that, but she doesn't let me. She fights and fights to stay with me and only wants to be with me. She will cry, scream, try her best to seduce me, anything so that I won't leave. So I've stayed just so she stays happy and won't do anything to off herself or make herself go downhill.
End of 2021 she randomly wants to get a parental test done out of the blue which caught me off guard but I agreed casue protection was always used on both sides. We got the tests and she took two of them and they both came back positive. Now I was not ready for kids and I made that very clear from the start, besides she already had two and they were starting to see me as a sort of fatherly figure and they liked me. So I ended up breaking up with her casue I thought "there's no way it's mine we both used protection", but she is hypersexual so we always "went at it" alot.
Fast forward to beginning of 2022 and the kid is born and I get asked to take a DNA test and I agree cause why not I had confidence it wasn't mine. Results came back and it was. I was shocked. I was in total disbelief, but totah had always had a bit of a crazy side to her. She would always talk about how im hers and nobody could have me and would describe how much she would do to make sure of that, and looking back on it maybe she tampered with my protection because she did give me some to use just in case.
Now totah is in her late 20's and I'm still in my early 20's, and she does not have a car, or a license, or has a job until recently when I get her a job at where I work because the only way she would work is somewhere with me, she said she applied for jobs all through the pandemic but was never contacted back which I don't believe at all because literally every place was hiring then. I do have a car and I license and a good job so I end up having to drive her everywhere along with my daughter who I now know is mine and I've been trying to be in her life.
I guess where I'm going with this is, I feel stuck now.
How should I go about resolving this?
Idk if I should stay with her but I honestly don't feel the happiest where I am but if I go I probably won't get to see my daughter anymore because I have no rights because my name isn't on the birth certificate and Ive heard rumors that she wants to move away from here so I'd lose the privilege of me and my family seeing my daughter. Im tired of trying to have to fight to get out of the relationship because she stalks me and has ruined other relationships for me when I've gotten into them by starting false rumors and drama. So I'm afraid to finally get away and her ruin more relationships for me, or if I should just stay to make her happy and not put my daughter through a split parent household, because she deserves the best and I know those are never easy at all.
Again I'm sorry for this being so long I'm just realizing I've had a lot built up and I've been to therapy but so far none of them have been the best or have helped so now I'm just at my wits end and just wanting help from anyone on what to do.
Thank you for reading. I did leave some out so feel free to ask questions and I'll be sure to answer them or fill in any blanks.
submitted by Even_Safe_4032 to RelationshipAdviceNow [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:19 M0rio_Anzenz4 FACT: Most women are mean to broke men

I usually come off as toxic or unreasonable whenever I comment on posts when I say women are motivated by money in relationships. Of course it's not an absolute truth but then it's a trend. In campus girls were so mean to broke guys. This is something I experienced first hand. They preferred guys who had rented apartments outside the school. They wanted guys who could either take them out on weekends or just Netflix and chill kwa bedsitter or AirBnB or some fancy places. It used to be the vienyejis who didn't mind to come for a booty call in the halls but they would also get their heads messed up by money by 2nd year. They would occasionally call you up for action if it wasn't good on the other side. In first year I remember getting action wasn't a hassle because I lived outside the school. As a guy you'd get laid or a girlfriend simply because you lived outside. I had to move to the halls because of unforseen circumstances and hapo is where it all started. I remember girls dissing me simply because I lived in the (in)famous Ndovu Hostel. Let's not talk about vile they'd drop their pants for Subaru niggas. I remember one Friday after class overhearing some girls planning to lie to their boyfriends so that they'd go with a guy who had a car. Yani hio siku those guys walikula L because their girlfriends wanted a ride to the club. It was just the general trend with girls. After form 4 I remember it wasn't even hard to get a girl's attention. You'd just vibe, then campus the bar was raised after they got exposed to money. There is no shortage of moneyed men when they get to campus. Most of them now realise after campus that yoh, not all men are moneyed out here and that Brayo wa Subaru was using them. Unafika soko inabidi most of them wana settle for less. You'll find most of the girls saying that they've dated broke guys or guys earning less just settled for less after reality hit them and wouldn't hesitate to date a richer guy. They probably landed good jobs but kwa kupata mtu wakapata huku nje ni kunoma sana. Actually some of the girls who trashed me back in campus shot their shot after once I settled and started making decent cash. Of course I turned them down. It's only girls from shagz who wouldn't mind, that's why that fundi on Sunday alipata mboch, he can only date from his socio-economic class. Ukiwa ghetto there's no hassle but then if that girl gets exposed to monet that's a gone case.
submitted by M0rio_Anzenz4 to Kenya [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:19 Infinite_Parsnip3482 Today is my daughter’s birthday, and I need to get us out of here.

TW for sexual abuse and emotional abuse
Hi, first time posting. I (22f) have been with my daughters dad (25m) for almost nine years. Since my daughter was born four years ago, my partner has been the most horrible person I know. His temper is out of control, he lacks empathy for my mental health issues (borderline personality, postpartum depression and anxiety), and he has become extremely sexually abusive.
He’s always pressured me into sex, always. From the very first time when I was freshly 14. I thought that if I consented, it was fine. But I was guilted and coerced, I wish I had never given in. The guilting has been a pattern in our entire relationship, and I can’t understand why. He has called me fat (both to my face and behind my back), and is clearly not attracted to me. But it’s been ongoing, especially while I’m suffering from severe reproductive pain (possibly caused by PCOS).
Two weeks ago, he raped me in my sleep. I woke up to him cleaning me off, since he didn’t even bother to use protection. I haven’t been the same since. He doesn’t see the issue. He swears I was awake, but I know I wasn’t.
Why would I want to sleep with someone who calls me whiny, yells in my face, forces me to work for him without pay. I don’t want to have sex with him.
Today he tried again. He watched me while I showered, and afterward put his hands on me. I told him no, that I’m not obligated to give him sex. He got angry and told me he’s not obligated to talk to me. So now, on our daughters birthday, he’s giving me the silent treatment. I know our daughter can sense it. I feel so horrible.
I want to leave, but like I said, I work for him without pay. We share a car, I can’t even get my own job. My parents know most of the situation, but my dad “can’t handle” me moving in with my daughter, so they won’t help me leave. I feel trapped :(]
submitted by Infinite_Parsnip3482 to domesticviolence [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:18 vegicom Celebrities Who Are Vegetarians

Celebrities Who Are Vegetarians

Those famous folks have waved goodbye to bacon and embraced a veggie-filled lifestyle instead.
It’s cool to see how many celebs are on board with this trend, whether for the love of animals, the planet, or their well-being.
So, get ready to know vegetarian celebrities and jump right in and uncover the A-listers who’ve swapped burgers for veggie burgers.
You might think all athletes are chomping down on burgers and chicken wings, but guess what?
Many of them are celebrities who are vegetarians, so they’re showing us that you don’t need meat to be a total champ!
So, why are athletes diving into the world of vegetarianism? Well, there are a bunch of reasons.
For some, it’s all about the animals. They have these big hearts and can’t bear the thought of chowing down on creatures.
Also, athletes know that a plant-based diet can work wonders for their performance.

1. Serena Williams

She’s one cool lady who knows how to take care of her body.
Serena Williams, the great tennis champion, embraced vegetarianism a few years back.
She’s all about that healthy lifestyle and staying at the top of her game. Being a superstar athlete, she knows that what she puts into her body plays a crucial role in her performance on the court.
As a celebrity who is a vegetarian, she made the switch to a vegetarian diet to not only improve her overall health but also to enhance her athletic performance.

2. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, the superstar Formula 1 driver, is a proud vegetarian.
For Lewis, it’s not just about the checkered flag and winning races. He’s a big advocate for animal rights and the environment.
He often talks about how he cares deeply about the welfare of animals and how they are treated in the food industry.
By saying no to meat, he’s taking a stand against factory farming and supporting a more compassionate approach to food.
If you’re curious about trying meat-free meals, you can take a page out of Lewis Hamilton’s book and explore the veggie side of the culinary world.

3. Venus Williams

Venus decided to go vegetarian back in 2011, and she hasn’t looked back since, which put her on the list of celebrities who are vegetarians.
Health is a big factor for Venus. She has struggled with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain.
In her quest for optimal health and to manage her condition, she turned to a vegetarian diet.
She believes cutting meat and focusing on plant-based foods has helped her feel better and stay on top of her game.

4. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, the wonderful Serbian tennis star, is indeed a vegetarian. That means he doesn’t munch on any meaty goodies.
It all started in 2007 when he was dealing with some health issues. He was struggling with fatigue and not performing at his best.
So, like any curious person, he started exploring different ways to improve his health and performance.
After some deep diving into the world of nutrition, Novak decided to make a big change and ditch the meat.
He believed a plant-based diet could help him reach new heights in his career. And boy, was he right!

5. Carl Lewis

Now it’s the time to talk about Carl Lewis and his vegetarian lifestyle.
So, how do some people choose veggies and ditch meat? Carl Lewis, the legendary track and field athlete, is one of those folks.
Carl Lewis, a superstar in the world of sports, is known for his remarkable accomplishments in the Olympics.
He won nine gold medals and set numerous world records in sprinting and long jump events.
He is one fantastic sample of a celebrity who is a vegetarian and successful!
Let’s talk about vegetarianism in the wonderful world of actors! More and more actors are jumping on the veggie bandwagon these days, and it’s pretty awesome.
They have their reasons, ranging from caring about animals to wanting to stay healthy and even saving the planet!
When it comes to animals, many actors can’t bear the thought of chomping down on them. They want to show love and compassion, so they ditch the meat and embrace a vegetarian lifestyle.

1. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is a talented actress known for her roles in movies like “Black Swan” and the “Star Wars” series.
Natalie’s decision to go vegetarian stemmed from her love for animals and her concern for their well-being.
She believes that by following a vegetarian lifestyle, she can contribute to reducing animal cruelty and promoting a more compassionate world.
In interviews, she often mentions how her love for animals significantly influenced her choice to give up meat.
She aims to minimize her ecological footprint by adopting a vegetarian diet and inspiring others to do the same!

2. Joaquin Phoenix

Another celebrity who is a vegetarian is Joaquin Phoenix!
Joaquin is an amazing actor known for his roles in movies like “Joker” and “Walk the Line,” he’s also quite passionate about animal rights and the environment.
Being a vegetarian means not eating meat, fish, or poultry. Joaquin made this decision when he was just three years old!
Can you believe that? He was with his family on a fishing trip and saw the fish struggling for their lives. It affected him, and he couldn’t eat animals after that.

3. Woody Harrelson

Woody has been a vegetarian for many years, and he’s got his reasons. First, he’s a big animal lover, which means he cares about the well-being of animals and doesn’t want to contribute to their suffering.
So, by skipping the meat, he’s taking a stand against factory farming and all the not-so-nice stuff that goes on in that industry.
But it’s not just about the animals. Woody also believes vegetarianism is good for his health and the environment.
By eating more plants and less meat, he cares for his body and reduces his carbon footprint. It’s like a win-win situation!

4. Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell chose to ditch the meat and embrace a vegetarian diet. She decided to say goodbye to all those juicy steaks, crispy bacon, and even those yummy chicken nuggets.
That would make her one of the celebrities who is a vegetarian and can inspire many other non-celebrities to join us!
Instead of meat, she fills her plate with colorful fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. It’s all about the plant-based goodness for her!
Being a mom to two adorable kids, Kristen Bell wants to set a good example for them when making responsible and compassionate choices.

5. Alicia Silverstone

Alicia is an American actress, and she’s been a vegetarian for many years. She greatly advocates for animal rights and a healthy, plant-based lifestyle.
She’s passionate about promoting the benefits of vegetarianism, and she even wrote a book called “The Kind Diet” to share her experiences and encourage others to try it out.
In her book, she talks about the different types of plant-based diets, from vegetarian to vegan, and offers advice on how to make the transition smoothly.
Did you know that many singers have joined the veggie party? It’s like music to our ears and veggies to our plates!
Singers are not just belting out tunes but also raising their voices for the environment.
They know the meat industry can hit some sour notes regarding our planet – with all those emissions and deforestation.
By choosing vegetarianism, they’re singing the praises of sustainable living and saying, “Hey Earth, we’re in this together!”
Do you know what’s the most amazing part? They’re using their voices and platform to inspire others to consider a veggie-filled lifestyle too.

1. Paul McCartney

You probably already know that Paul McCartney is a super-talented musician and one of the legendary members of The Beatles.
Paul has been a vegetarian for quite a long time now, and he’s passionate about it. His vegetarianism journey began in the ’70s when he and his late wife, Linda McCartney, started exploring a meat-free lifestyle.
Thanks to his wife, he is now a great vegetarian celebrity! Who has been a vocal supporter of vegetarianism and animal rights?
His words capture his commitment to raising awareness and encouraging others to make compassionate choices.

2. Miley Cyrus

Miley has been rocking the vegetarian lifestyle for quite some time now and is passionate about it.
She decided to go vegetarian as a teenager and hasn’t looked back since. Her love for animals and her desire to live a more compassionate life were big factors in her choice.
Miley’s commitment to vegetarianism extends beyond her personal life.
She has collaborated with various animal rights organizations and even received an award from PETA for her dedication to animal welfare.
She’s not just talking the talk; she’s walking the walk and using her influence to make a positive impact.

3. Ariana Grande

Being a vegetarian means that Ariana avoids eating meat, which includes beef, chicken, pork, and fish. Instead, she focuses on consuming various plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts.
This energetic young singer and a celebrity who is vegetarian has often mentioned in interviews and on social media how her vegetarian diet has positively impacted her life.
She feels it keeps her feeling good physically and brings her a sense of mental and emotional well-being.
It’s amazing how what we put on our plates can have such a profound impact.

4. Bryan Adams

Picture this: Bryan Adams, the rockstar we all know and love, is not just a talented musician but also a proud vegetarian. You heard it right; he’s all about that plant-based lifestyle.
He’s a big animal lover and feels deep compassion for all creatures. So, one day, he decided to say goodbye to meat and embrace a vegetarian diet.
Since then, Bryan has been actively spreading the word about the benefits of vegetarianism.
Bryan has often mentioned how being a vegetarian has positively impacted his life.
He claims to have more energy, feels healthier overall, and even credits his vegetarian diet for helping him maintain that timeless, youthful rockstar vibe.

5. Alanis Morissette

Alanis is passionate about animal rights and believes in treating our furry and feathered friends with kindness and compassion. That’s why she decided to ditch meat and adopt a vegetarian way of living.
She believes that by choosing not to consume animals, she’s positively impacting the environment and taking a stand against animal cruelty.
As a vegetarian, Alanis enjoys fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and other plant-based goodies.
She finds creative ways to make delicious and nutritious meals without animal products.
She explores various tasty options, from colorful salads to hearty veggie stir-fries.
submitted by vegicom to u/vegicom [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:18 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree (Part 1)

(owing to the reddit character limit, I'm posting this in two parts, but it's one contiguous story)
There are instincts that you develop when you’re a parent. If you don’t have any children it might be a little hard to understand. If you have a toddler, for example, and they’re in the other room and silent for more than a few seconds, there’s a good chance they’re up to no good. I take that back, most of the time they’re doing nothing, but you still have to check. You feel a compulsion to check. I don’t think it’s a learned skill, I think it’s an actual instinct.
Paleolithic parents who didn’t check on their toddlers every few minutes, just to double check that they weren’t being stalked by smilodons were unlikely to have grandchildren and pass on their genes. You just feel you need to check, like getting goosebumps, a compulsion. I suppose it’s the same reason little kids are always demanding you look at them and what they’re doing.
I think that instinct starts to atrophy as your kids grow. They start learning to do things for themselves, and before you know it, they’re after their own privacy, not your attention. I don’t think it ever goes away though. I expect, decades from now, my own grown kids will visit and bring my grandkids with them. And the second I hear a baby crying in the earliest morning hours, I’ll be alert and ready for anything, sure as any old soldier who hears his name whispered in the dark of night.
I felt that alarm just the other day. First time in years. My boy came home from riding bikes with a couple of his friends. I’m pretty sure they worked out a scam where they asked each of their parents for a different new console for Christmas, and now they spend their weekends traveling between the three houses so they can play on all of them.
We all live in a nice neighborhood. A newer development than the one I grew up in, same town though. It’s the kind of place where kids are always playing in the streets, and the cars all routinely do under 20. My wife and I make sure the kids have helmets and pads, and we’re fine with the boy going out biking with his friends, as long as they stay in the neighborhood.
You know, a lot of people in my generation take some weird sort of pride in how irresponsible we used to be when we were young. I never wore a helmet. Rode to places, without telling any adults, that we never should have ridden to. Me and my friends would make impromptu jumps off of makeshift ramps and try to do stupid tricks, based loosely on stunts we’d seen on TV. Other people my age seem to wax nostalgic for that stuff and pretend it makes them somehow better people. I don’t get it. Sometimes I look back and shudder. We were lucky we escaped with only occasional bruises and road burns. It could have gone so much worse.
My son and his buddies came bustling in the front door at about 2 PM on a Saturday. They did the usual thing of raiding the kitchen for juice and his mother’s brownies, and I took that as my cue to abandon the television in the living room for my office. I was hardly noticing the chaos, by this point, it was becoming a regular weekend occurrence. But as I was just leaving, I caught something in the chatter. My boy said something about, “... that guy who was following us.”
He hadn’t said it any louder or more clearly than anything else they’d been talking about, all that stuff I’d been filtering out. Yet some deeper core process in my brain stem heard it, interpreted it, then hit the red alert button. My blood ran cold and every hair on my skin stood at attention.
I turned around and asked “Somebody followed you? What are you talking about?” I wasn’t consciously aware of how strict and stern my voice came out, yet when the jovial smiles dropped off of their faces it was apparent that it had been so.
“Huh?” my son said, his voice high-pitched and talking fast, like when he thinks he’s in trouble and needs to explain. “We thought we saw somebody following us. There wasn’t though. We didn’t really see anybody and we’d just spooked ourselves.”
“What did he look like?” I asked.
“Nothing? We really didn’t see anybody! Honest! I just saw something out of the corner of my eye! But there wasn’t really nobody there!”
“Yeah!,” said one of his buds. “Peripheral! Peripheral vision! I thought maybe I saw something too, but when I looked I didn’t see anything. I don’t have my glasses with me, but when I really looked I got a good look and there was nothing.”
The three boys had that semi-smiling but still concerned look that this was only a bizarre misunderstanding, but they were still being very sincere. “Were they in a car?”
“No, Dad, you don’t get it,” my boy continued, “They were small. We thought it was a kid.”
“Yeah,” said the third boy. “We thought maybe it was Tony Taylor’s stupid kid sister shadowing us. Getting close to throwing water balloons. Just cause she did that before.”
“If you didn’t get a good look how did you know it was a kid?”
“Because it was small!” my kid explained, though that wasn’t helping much. “What I mean is, at first I thought it was behind a little bush. It was way too small a bush to hide a grown-up. That’s why we thought it was probably Tony’s sister.”
“But you didn’t actually see Tony’s sister?” I asked.
“Nah,” said one of his buds. “And now that I think about it, that bush was probably too small for his sister too. It would have been silly. Like when a cartoon character hides behind a tiny object.”
“That’s why we think it was just in our heads,” explained the other boy, “That and the pole.”
“Yeah,” my son said. “The park on 14th and Taylor?” That was just a little community park, a single city block. Had a playground, lawn, a few trees, and some benches. “Anyway, we were riding past that, took a right on Taylor. And we were talking about how weird it would be if somebody really were following us. That’s when Brian thought he saw something. Behind a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t get a good look at it either,” the friend, Brian, “explained. Just thought I did. Know how you get up late at night to use the bathroom or whatever and you look down the hallway and you see a jacket or an office chair or something and because your eyes haven’t adjusted you think you see a ghost or burglar or something? Anyway, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned there wasn’t anything there.”
“Yeah, it was just like sometimes that happens, except this time it happened twice on the same bike ride, is all,” the other friend explained.
“And you’re sure there was nothing there?”
“Sure we’re sure,” my boy said. “We know because that time we checked. We each rode our bikes around the pole and there was nothing. Honest!”
“Hmmm,” I said. The whole thing seemed reasonable and nothing to be concerned about, you’d think.. The boys seemed to relax at my supposed acceptance. “Alright, sounds good. Hey, just let me know before you leave the house again, alright?” They all rushed to seem agreeable as I left the room, then quickly resumed their snacking and preceded to play their games.
I kept my ear out, just in case. My boy, at least this time, dutifully told me his friends were about to leave. He wasn’t very happy with me when I said they wouldn’t be riding home on their bikes, I was going to drive them home. The other boys didn’t complain, but I suppose it wasn’t their place, so my boy did the advocating for them, which I promptly ignored. I hate doing that, ignoring my kid’s talkback. My dad was the same way. It didn’t help that I struggled to get both of their bikes in the trunk, and it was a pain to get them back out again. My boy sulked in the front seat on the short ride back home. Arms folded on chest, eyes staring straight ahead, that lip thing they do. He seemed embarrassed for having what he thought was an over-protective parent. I suppose he was angry at me as well for acting, as far as he knew, irrationally. Maybe he thought he was being punished for some infraction he didn’t understand.
Well, it only got worse when we got home. I told him he wasn’t allowed to go out alone on his bike anymore. I’d only had to do that once before, when he was grounded, and back then he’d known exactly what he’d done wrong and he had it coming. Now? Well, he was confused, furious, maybe betrayed, probably a little brokenhearted? I can’t blame him. He tramped upstairs to his room to await the return of his mother, who was certain to give a sympathetic ear. I can’t imagine how upset he’ll be if he checks the garage tomorrow and finds I’ve removed his tires, just in case.
I wish I could explain it to him. I don’t even know how.
Where should I even begin? The town?
When I was about my son’s age I had just seen that movie, The Goonies. It had just come out in theaters. I really liked that movie, felt a strong connection. A lot of people do, can’t blame them, sort of a timeless classic. Except I wasn’t really into pirate’s treasure or the Fratellis, what really made me connect was a simple single shot, still in the first act. It’s right after they cross the threshold, and leave the house on their adventure. It was a shot of the boys, from above, maybe a crane shot or a helicopter shot, as they’re riding their bikes down a narrow forested lane, great big evergreen trees densely growing on the side of the road, they’re all wearing raincoats and the road is still wet from recent rain.
That was my childhood. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific Northwest. People talk to outsiders about the rain, and they might picture a lot of rainfall, but it’s not the volume, it’s the duration. We don’t get so much rain, it just drizzles slowly, on and on, for maybe eight or nine months out of the year. It doesn’t matter where I am, inside a house, traveling far abroad, anywhere I am I can close my eyes and still smell the air on a chilly afternoon, playing outdoors with my friends.
It’s not petrichor, that sudden intense smell you get when it first starts to rain after a long dry spell. No, this was almost the opposite, a clean smell, almost the opposite of a scent, since the rain seemed to scrub the air clean. The strongest scent and I mean that in the loosest sense possible, must have been the evergreen needles. Not pine needles, those were too strong, and there weren’t that many pines anyway. Douglas fir and red cedar predominated, again the root ‘domination’ seems hyperbole. Yet those scents were there, ephemeral as it is. Also, there was a sort of pleasant dirtiness to the smell, at least when you rode bikes. It wasn’t dirt, or mud, or dust. Dust couldn’t have existed except perhaps for a few fleeting weeks in August. I think, looking back, it was the mud puddles. All the potholes in all the asphalt suburban roads would fill up after rain with water the color of chocolate milk. We’d swerve our BMX bikes, or the knock-off brands, all the way across the street just to splash through those puddles and test our “suspensions.,” meaning our ankles and knees. The smell was always stronger after that. It had an earthiness to it. Perhaps it was petrichor’s lesser-known watery cousin.
There were other sensations too, permanently seared into my brain like grill marks. A constant chilliness that was easy to ignore, until you started working up a good heart rate on your bike, then you noticed your lungs were so cold it felt like burning. The sound of your tires on the wet pavement, particularly when careening downhill at high speed. For some reason, people in the mid-80s used to like to decorate their front porches with cheap, polyester windsocks. They were often vividly colored, usually rainbow, like prototype pride flags. When an occasional wind stirred up enough to gust, the windsocks would flap, and owning to the water-soaked polyester, make a wet slapping sound. It was loud, it was distinct, but you learned to ignore it as part of the background, along with the cawing of crows and distant passing cars.
That was my perception of Farmingham as a kid. The town itself? Just a typical Pacific Northwest town. That might not mean much for younger people or modern visitors, but there was a time when such towns were all the same. They were logging towns. It was the greatest resource of the area from the late 19th century, right up until about the 80s, when the whole thing collapsed. Portland, Seattle, they had a few things going on beyond just the timber industry, but all the hundreds of little towns and small cities revolved around logging, and my town was no exception.
I remember going to the museum. It had free admission, and it was a popular field trip destination for the local school system. It used to be the City Hall, a weird Queen Anne-style construction. Imagine a big Victorian house, but blown up to absurd proportions, and with all sorts of superfluous decorations. Made out of local timber, of course. They had a hall for art, I can’t even remember why, now. Maybe they were local artists. I only remember paintings of sailboats and topless women, which was a rare sight for a kid at the time. There was a hall filled with 19th-century household artifacts. Chamber pots and weird children's toys.
Then there was the logging section, which was the bulk of the museum. It’s strange how different things seemed to be in the early days of the logging industry, despite being only about a hundred years old, from my perspective in the 1980s. If you look back a hundred years from today, in the 1920s, you had automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, jazz music, radio programs, flappers, it doesn’t feel that far removed, does it? No TV, no internet, but it wouldn’t be that strange. 1880s? Different world.
Imagine red cedars, so big you could have a full logging crew, arms stretched out, just barely manage to encircle one for a photographer. Felling a single tree was the work of days. Men could rest and eat their lunches in the shelter of a cut made into a trunk, and not worry for safety or room. They had to cut their own little platforms into the trees many feet off the ground, just so the trunk was a little bit thinner, and thus hours of labor saved. They used those long, flexible two-man saws. And double-bit axes. They worked in the gloom of the shade with old gas lanterns. Once cut down from massive logs thirty feet in diameter, they’d float the logs downhill in sluices, like primitive wooden make-shift water slides. Or they’d haul them down to the nearest river, the logs pulled by donkeys on corduroy roads. They’d lay large amounts of grease on the roads, so the logs would slide easily. You could still smell the grease on the old tools on display in the museum. The bigger towns had streets where the loggers would slide the logs down greased skids all the way down to the sea, where they’d float in big logjams until the mills were ready for processing. They’d call such roads “skid-rows.” Because of all the activity, they’d end up being the worst parts of town. Local citizens wouldn’t want to live there, due to all the stink and noise. They’d be on the other side of the brothels and the opium dens. It would be the sort of place where the destitute and the insane would find themselves when they’d finally lost anything. To this day, “skidrow” remains a euphemism for the part of a city where the homeless encamp.
That was the lore I’d learned as a child. That was my “ancestry” I was supposed to respect and admire, which I did, wholeheartedly. There were things they left out, though. Things that you might have suspected, from a naive perspective, would be perfect for kids, all the folklore that came with the logging industry. The ghost stories, and the tall tales. I would have eaten that up. They do talk about that kind of thing in places far removed from the Pacific Northwest. But I had never heard about any of it. Things like the Hidebehind. No, that I’d have to discover for myself.
There were four of us on those bike adventures. Myself. Ralph, my best friend. A tough guy, the bad boy, the most worldly of us, which is a strange thing to say about an eight-year-old kid. India, an archetypal ‘80s tomboy. She was the coolest person I knew at the time. Looking back, I wonder what her home life was like. I think I remember problematic warning signs that I couldn’t have recognized when I was so young, but now raise flags. Then there was Ben. A goofy kid, a wild mop of hair, coke bottle glasses, type 1 diabetic which seemed to make him both a bit pampered by his mother, who was in charge of all his insulin, diet, and schedule, and conversely a real risk taker when she wasn’t around.
When we first saw it…
No, wait. This was the problem with starting the story. Where does it all begin? I’ll need to talk about my Grandfather as well. I’ve had two different perspectives on my Grandfather, on the man that he was. The first was the healthy able-bodied grandparent I’d known as a young child. Then there was the man, as I learned about him after he had passed.
There was a middle period, from when I was 6 to when I was 16, when I hardly understood him at all, as he was hit with a double whammy of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. His decline into an invalid was both steep and long drawn out. That part didn’t reflect who he was as a person.
What did I know of him when I was little? Well I knew he and my grandmother had a nice big house and some farmland, out in the broad flat valley north of Farmingham. Dairy country. It had been settled by Dutch immigrants back in the homesteading days. His family had been among the first pioneers in the county too. It didn’t register to me then that his surname was Norwegian, not Dutch. I knew he had served in the Navy in World War II, which I was immensely proud of for reasons I didn’t know why. I knew he had a job as a butcher in a nearby rural supermarket. He was a bit of a farmer too, more as a hobby and a side gig. He had a few cattle, but mostly grew and harvested hay to sell to the local dairies. I knew he had turned his garage into a machine shop, and could fix damn near anything. From the flat tires on my bicycle to the old flat-bed truck he’d haul hay with, to an old 1950s riding lawnmower he somehow managed to keep in working order. I knew he could draw a really cool cartoon cowboy, I knew he loved to watch football, and I knew the whiskers on his chin were very pokey, and they’d tickle you when he kissed you on the cheek, and that when you tried to rub the sensation away he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there were the parts of his life that I’d learn much later. Mostly from odd passing comments from relatives, or things I’d find in the public records. Like how he’d been a better grandfather than a father. Or how his life as I knew it had been a second, better life. He’d been born among the Norwegian settler community, way up in the deep, dark, forest-shrouded hills that rimmed the valley. He’d been a logger in his youth. Technologically he was only a generation or two from the ones I’d learned about in the museum. They’d replaced donkeys with diesel engines and corduroy roads with narrow gauge rail. It was still the same job, though. Dirty, dangerous, dark. Way back into those woods, living in little logging camps, civilization was always a several-day hike out. It became a vulgar sort of profession, filled with violent men, reprobates, and thieves. When my grandfather’s father was murdered on his front porch by a lunatic claiming he’d been wronged somehow, my grandfather hiked out of there, got into town, and joined the Navy. He vowed never to go back. The things he’d seen out in those woods were no good. He’d kept that existence away from me. Anyways…
Tommy Barker was the first of us to go missing. I say ‘us’ as if I knew him personally. I didn’t. He went to Farmingham Middle School, other side of town, and several grades above us. From our perspective, he may as well have been an adult living overseas.
Yet it felt like we got to know him. His face was everywhere, on TV, all over telephone poles. Everybody was talking about him. After he didn’t return from a friend’s house, everybody just sort of assumed, or maybe hoped, that he’d just gotten lost, or was trapped somewhere. They searched all the parks. Backyards, junkyards, refrigerators, trunks. Old-fashioned refrigerators, back before suction seals, had a simple handle with a latch that opened when you pulled on it. It wasn’t a problem when the fridges were in use and filled with food. But by the 80s old broke-down refrigerators started filling up backyards and junkyards, and they became deathtraps for kids playing hide-and-seek. The only opened from the outside. I remember thinking Tommy Barker was a little old to have likely been playing hide-and-seek, but people checked everywhere anyway. They never found him.
That was about the first time we saw the Hidebehind. Ben said he thought he saw somebody following us, looked like, maybe, a kid. We’d just slowly huffed our way up a moderately steep hill, Farmingham is full of them, and when we paused for a breather at the top, Ben said he saw it down the hill, closer to the base. Yet when we turned to look there was nothing there. Ben said he’d just seen it duck behind a car. That wasn’t the sort of behavior of a random kid minding his own business. Yet the slope afforded us a view under the car’s carriage, and except for the four tires, there were no signs of any feet hiding behind the body. At first, we thought he was pulling our leg. When he insisted he wasn’t, we started to tease him a little. He must have been seeing things, on account of his poor vision and thick glasses. The fact that those glasses afforded him vision as good as or better than any of us wasn’t something we considered.
The next person to disappear was Amy Brooks. Fifth-grader. Next elementary school over. I remember it feeling like when you’re traveling down the freeway, and there’s a big thunderstorm way down the road, but it keeps getting closer, and closer. I don’t remember what she looked like. Her face wasn’t plastered everywhere like Tommy’s had been. She was mentioned on the regional news, out of Seattle, her and Tommy together. Two missing kids from the same town in a short amount of time. The implication was as obvious as it was depraved. They didn’t think the kids were getting lost anymore. They didn’t do very much searching of backyards. The narratives changed too. Teachers started talking a lot about stranger danger. Local TV channels started recycling old After School Specials and public service announcements about the subject.
I’m not sure who saw it next. I think it was Ben again. We took him seriously this time though. I think. The one I’m sure I remember was soon after, and that time it was India who first saw it. It’s still crystal clear in my memory, almost forty years later, because that was the time I first saw it too. We were riding through a four-way stop, an Idaho Stop before they called it that, when India slammed to a stop, locking up her coaster brakes and leaving a long black streak of rubber on a dry patch of pavement. We stopped quickly after and asked what the problem was. We could tell by her face she’d seen it. She was still looking at it.
“I see it,” she whispered, unnecessarily. We all followed her gaze. We were looking, I don’t know, ten seconds? Twenty? We believed everything she said, we just couldn’t see it.
“Where?” Ralph asked.
“Four blocks down,” she whispered. “On the left. See the red car? Kinda rusty?” There was indeed a big old Lincoln Continental, looking pretty ratty and worn. I focused on that, still seeing nothing. “Past that, just to its right. See the street light pole? It’s just behind that.”
We also saw the pole she was talking about. Metal. Aluminum, I’d have guessed. It had different color patches, like metallic flakeboard. Like it’d had been melted together out of scrap.
I could see that clearly even from that distance. I saw nothing behind it. I could see plenty of other things in the background, cars, houses, bushes, front lawns, beauty bark landscape.. There was no indication of anything behind that pole.
And then it moved. It had been right there where she said it had been, yet it had somehow perfectly blended into the landscape, a trick of perspective. We didn’t see it at all until it moved, and almost as fast it had disappeared behind that light pole. We only got a hint. Brown in color, about our height in size.
We screamed. Short little startled screams, the involuntary sort that just burst out of you. Then we turned and started to pedal like mad, thoroughly spooked. We made it to the intersection of the next block when it was Ralph who screeched to a halt and shouted, “Wait!”
We slowed down and stopped, perhaps not as eagerly as we’d done when India yelled. Ralph was looking back over his shoulder, looking at that metal pole. “Did anybody see it move again?’ he asked. We all shook our heads in the negative. Ralph didn’t notice, but of course, he didn’t really need an answer, of course we hadn’t been watching.
“If it didn’t move, then it’s still there!” Ralph explained the obvious. It took a second to sink in, despite the obvious. “C’mon!” he shouted, and to our surprise, before we could react, he turned and took off, straight down the road, straight to where that thing had been lurking.
We were incredulous, but something about his order made us all follow hot on his heels. He was a sort of natural leader. I thought it was total foolishness, but I wasn’t going to let him go alone. I think I got out, “Are you crazy?!”
The wind was blowing hard past our faces as we raced as fast as we could, it made it hard to hear. Ralph shouted his response. “If it’s hiding that means its afraid!” That seemed reasonable, if not totally accurate. Lions hide from their prey before they attack. Then again, they don’t wait around when the whole herd charges. Really, the pole was coming up so fast there wasn’t a whole lot of time to argue. “Just blast past and look!” Ralph added. “We’re too fast! It won’t catch us.”
Sure, I thought to myself. Except maybe Ben, who always lagged behind the rest of us in a race. The lion would get Ben if any of us.
We rushed past that pole and all turned our heads to look. “See!” Ralph shouted in triumph. There was simply nothing there. A metal streetlight pole and nothing more. We stopped pedaling yet still sped on. “Hang on,” Ralph said, and at the next intersection he took a fast looping curve that threatened to crash us all, but we managed and curved behind him. We all came to the pole again where we stopped to see up close that there was nothing there, despite what we had seen moments before.
“Maybe it bilocated,” Ben offered. We groaned. We were all thinking it, but I think we were dismissive because it wasn’t as cool a word as ‘teleport.”
“Maybe it just moved when we weren’t looking,” I offered. That hadn’t been long, but that didn’t mean anything if it moved fast. The four of us slowly looked up from the base of the pole to our immediate surroundings. There were bushes. A car in a carport covered by a tarpaulin. The carport itself. Garbage cans. Stumps. Of course the ever-present trees. Whatever it was it could have been hiding behind anything. Maybe it was. We looked. Maybe it would make itself seen. None of us wanted that. “OK, let’s get going,” Ralph said, and we did so.
I got home feeling pretty shaken that afternoon. I felt safe at home. Except for the front room, which had a big bay window looking out onto the street, and the people who lived across it. There were plenty of garbage cans and telephone poles and stumps that a small, fast thing might hide behind. No, I felt more comfortable in my bedroom. There was a window, but a great thick conical cypress tree grew right in front of it, reaching way up over the roof of the house. If anything, it offered ME a place to hide, and peer out onto the street to either side of the tree. It was protective, as good as any heavy blanket.
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2023.05.30 15:18 holliequ How-to Worldbuilding Part 1: Building Blocks

Welcome one and all! Some of you may remember me mentioning the idea of this series a while ago in the Daily Discussions, and now, many moons later, we’re finally here. Worldbuilding is one of my passions and one of the things that keeps my brain playing with fanfiction, so I’m here to share my dubious expertise. Remember though that these are just my methods and preferences, and if you can find something different that works for you, that’s great! I hope at the very least this series of posts will provide a decent basis for people to develop their own skills and style of worldbuilding.
The goal of this first post is to get you acquainted with some fundamentals of worldbuilding, things that apply to both original fiction and fanfiction, and we’ll to expand on how to apply these ideas in the next post.

First Principles

Back in my younger days in uni, I spent a while exploring the interaction of history and anthropology, which meant I learnt a little about anthropology as well. I’m far from an expert, so if you have actually studied anthropology in any depth, you may have to hold your nose through this section, but I want to stress that this is not necessarily a commentary on anthropology as a discipline, but on what I took away from it as a useful way to think about fictional societies.
Okay, disclaimer done. Broadly speaking, we can talk about two major approaches to analysing the rituals and practises of societies: as symbolic or functional. A symbolic understanding of a society will take the approach of focusing on the, well, symbolic meaning of rituals, essentially having them stand in for something bigger. Functional analyses, meanwhile, will focus on what purpose a certain ritual may serve in a society, which may not necessarily be what it appears to be on the surface.
(“Ritual” is another bit of anthropology speak here: rituals aren’t necessarily religious or virgin-sacrifices-under-the-full-moon (that’s only the fun ones), but can just be shared traditions. For example, singing ‘happy birthday’ could be considered a celebration “ritual” in our society.)
Now, “symbolic” and “functional” reasons can overlap and even be different ways of understanding the same thing. For our purposes, we want to remember that every bit of detail we introduce about a society should serve at least one of these functions in order to feel realistic. If you’ve ever seen an obvious Bad Guy Nation that worships Evil God Bob who regularly demands human sacrifices and puppy kicking and rolled your eyes, it’s probably because these rituals failed to establish symbolic or functional meaning, and thus society felt shallow and unrealistic.
What purpose do the human sacrifices serve? Perhaps those sacrificed are symbolic methods of bridging the gap between the people and their god: by spilling innocent blood, the people grow closer to their god’s power and incorporate some of it into themselves. Or, perhaps those sacrificed are criminals, and thus the function of the ritual is punishment and as a focus for the community’s anger against those who have transgressed social norms or broken laws. Just because a nation is full of bad guys doesn’t mean their society can’t have sensible meaning in it’s rituals.
Symbolic or ritual or both? This question is worth asking yourself as you build your society. Of course, you should feel free to work backwards if you come up with some really cool shit. This is fiction after all: “because it’s cool” is half the point.

Society Load-Bearers

Now that we’ve considered our intellectual starting point, it’s time to consider our pragmatic starting point: the shit that actually makes up “a society”. You could probably make an argument for multiple things to be included here, but I have boiled this section down into what I believe are the three most important elements to consider. These three are: landscape, religion/beliefs, and people.
#1: Landscape
To a certain extent, this list is in priority order, not necessarily because one is more important to consider than the other, but because certain things on the list will necessarily limit what you can do with other parts of your worldbuilding. Nowhere is this more true than with the landscape of your society. The land your people are in will dictate what kinds of foods they can eat, what methods of travel they most commonly use, weather patterns… unless of course you use your Author Fiat Wild Card and declare an exception because of Reasons(tm), but we’ll get into that later.
Let’s say you want to write a pirate story. This means that you have excellent taste because pirates are awesome, but it also means your story necessarily takes place on islands or the coast: the rhythms are a sea are going to be a major part of your characters’ lives, and therefore of your story. Sea travel means you need to think about the preservation of food and water on a ship, hazards that could overcome your characters, and the space on the ship itself, cramped cabins, et cetera, and this will be where you want to focus your research in order to make the “landscape” around your characters feel realistic, even if they’re fighting mythical sea monsters.
In general, knowing the “landscape” of your story is very important, and I recommend having a map, or several maps depending on the number of locations in your story, for your own personal reference. This doesn’t mean you need an epic fantasy style map with detailed illustrations and every river, wood and village named. But having a rough sketch of the area your story takes place in won’t hurt and allows you to keep the areas of your world consistent. This applies to contemporary or science-fiction worlds too! Whether it’s planets in a system or the bus route your main character takes to work, just knowing how your characters move through “their” landscape will make your story feel more real, and allow you put in road blocks (maybe literal, in the case of the bus route) that your audience will understand all the better because of how this landscape has already been established.
#2: Religion/Beliefs
The next most critical element is what people in your society believe. This will guide social norms, relationships, character motivations, systems of government, all of that jazz. This sounds like a broad and complicated category, and it is, but you can simplify development in this area by focusing on one (1) major guiding principle for your society, then adding nuance as you expand through the other parts of the world. You can also, as with the previous example, work backwards from what your end goal to be.
Let’s say for example that you want to build a pseudo-medieval world, but one where gay relationships are completely normal and accepted. To make this work for your society, you might say, okay, let’s set up a society which values individual freedom. The god(s) of your medieval tech society value freedom and love, giving you a culture which puts emphasis on free choice in marriage, regardless of anyone’s gender. Since freedom is a staple of the culture, you probably don’t have a monarchy in this medieval world; instead, perhaps you have something more like the early democracy of some of the Greek city states, with limited numbers of citizens who can vote for representatives. This, again, would play into the individual freedom that was your starting point.
So we have our basics of this society down. But this sounds a bit happy and low on conflict. Here’s where we add the nuance. A society which places a religious emphasis on love puts pressure on people to be in relationships, which is bad for ace and/or aro folks, or for those who simply don’t want to be in a relationship—there could be a character story in this! Similarly, perhaps a society which values freedom also struggles to find reasonable limits on that freedom, meaning that blunt honesty (and hurt feelings resulting) are a norm. People who are more sensitive may find themselves looked down on for not being able to meet societal norms of tolerating others’ freedoms. And a democracy in a low-tech society may be slow to respond to crises (because speedy transport options are limited, slowing communication before you get into group discussion) or troubled by corruption (because it’s difficult to make tamper-proof voting methods)… not to mention those who may not get to vote.
There you go! From a really simple premise we built a pretty decent society and thought of ways its norms might pose problems to characters, whether as internal conflict in character arcs, or external conflict with plot issues. More detail, such as in specific rituals, days of celebration, and so on, will add more depth to this society, but if you’re stuck on this point, you can always go back to your central premise: what sort of things would a society that values freedom celebrate? What religious festivals might there be if their gods that value freedom and love in all forms? (You can try this as a worldbuilding exercise by leaving some ideas in the comments!)
#3 People (or: Movement)
I went back-and-forth on what I wanted to call this part, but in the end settled on ‘people’ because that expresses what I mean better, I think. Anyway, the main point of this society is to remember that your society is made up of multitudes of different people, hundreds or thousands of individuals. You can generalise about values your society might have, just as you can with any modern society – but just like the world we live in today, no society is a monolith. People will push back against their cultural norms in various ways, and even folks who accept cultural norms may participate in norms to different extents, with varying levels of enthusiasm.
As a parallel, think of people who take part in religious festivals like Christmas as a part of their religion, and people who do it as a cultural norm without serious religious elements, or without actively believing in Christianity at all. Those people are participating in the same cultural norm, the same “ritual”, but they aren’t all doing it in the same way. To make the world of your society feel truly alive, you should attempt to show something similar.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t have to be something that you dedicate masses of space to. In fact, generally it’s more realistic if there isn’t one “counter-cultural” character who all questioning or negativity about aspects of the culture is pushed onto. I’m talking about things such as, people who leave a cheering crowd because they’re not interested or disagree with a public speaker, a store owner who doesn’t ask questions about these strangers whilst others in the street blatantly stare at them, various levels of enthusiasm in the major religion, the presence of religious or ethnic minorities. You can tie this into your main story by using it as part of character arcs or subplots, too, to get characters to question their prejudices, beliefs, or generalisations they’ve made because of past experiences.
Another thing to remember about building a society of various individuals isn’t just how they “move” through the space culturally ( can see why I felt “movement” didn’t really work), but how they move through the space of your world physically.
This is partly covered under ‘landscape’ for things like travel (if you have to teleport people around your continent, keep it subtle, yo) and what food is readily available, but it’s worth thinking about more specifically too, how your society will show, physically, that it has a multitude of people living in it. For example, if your character goes to a city, they should probably see signs of different periods of architecture, rich and poor areas of the city—and if they’re not seeing that, there has to be some reason for it. (There could be an interesting story in that idea!)
Think about the ways people will live in a period of your tech level and how that will make the space around your character feel ‘lived in’. Are the city streets clean? Where do children play? What do people do to celebrate festivals? As a modern example: even though I don’t really follow football (soccer), I always know when England are playing, because people start putting England flags in their windows… and then flags of other nationalities start appearing as well, because no society is a monolith! I hope this example also shows that worldbuilding doesn’t have to be complicated or about elaborate rituals. You can add lots of depth to a society with really simple touches like this, things that you may not even think of as “worldbuilding” because it’s so normal. But adding touches of normal is precisely what makes a fictional society feel natural!
So, that’s u/holliequ’s three major points to remember when building a world. My area of expertise, and hence most of my examples, is in (pseudo-)historical societies, but this doesn’t just work for building pre-modern or pseudo-historical societies! Let’s say that the “society” you’re building is a more modern neighbourhood instead: you can go through the list above in order in a similar way.
For “landscape” here, you’d want to think about urban vs rural communities (or a place where those communities mix, such as at a school), which country or area of the world they’re in (weather, basic patterns of life). Let’s say you want a ‘fish out of water’ story with classism themes, so you pick a rich urban neighbourhood for your main character—someone from a poorer, rural background—to move into.
Now depending on the area of the world you’re in, the urban neighbourhood may not be very religious, but they may have certain sets of beliefs already, such as homeowner’s associations which expect certain standards in the neighbourhood, or just shared assumptions about what ‘people like them’ do and how they act: for example, maybe in this affluent neighbourhood they’re used to hiring people to do housework for them, and so when they see the main character working in the garden, they assume the MC is ‘hired help’.
Lastly, people: even if your character encounters classism or snobbery from some of their new neighbours, not all of them are going to be the same kind of classist. The neighbour who mistook them for a worker, not someone who lived in the area, for example, may have made an honest mistake because of being raised with certain classist assumptions. Other characters may be explicitly hostile to the newcomer, whilst still others might be genuinely friendly and welcoming of different perspectives. In a smaller-scale “society” like this neighbourhood, which of these attitudes is dominant depends on exactly what kind of story you want to tell and there’s a bit less room for generalising than there is when developing a whole country, but as you can see, the principles work basically the same.

On using your Author Fiat 'Get-Out-of-Jail-Free' card

The above is a rough guide to building a society which functions more-or-less on the same principles as our own. But what if you don’t want to build a society that functions like our own? What if you aren’t working with humans, but aliens? Or your society has magic? Or it’s set in the future with some cool science-fiction technology?
This is when you pull out your Author Fiat card to handwave away any of the issues we’ve talked about. (This is also for occasions when you want something to just Be and don’t want to explain it, like “yeah this medievalesque society isn’t sexist. why? it just isn’t ok” but you know… this is a worldbuilding post, so we’re gonna assume you want to do some explaining here.)
For example, you probably need to think about how your characters move around the world, roughly how long it would take to get them from place-to-place with various methods of travel, the distance between stars, etc. Unless you Author Fiat declare there is an element which can make ships travel between solar systems in almost no time at all. (Hello, Mass Effect!) Unless you Author Fiat declare that giant birds can quickly taxi people around the country. (Hi, Pokemon!) Unless you Author Fiat declare that magic lets people teleport, or create gateways between different parts of the world, or… you get the picture, you always have a special ability to say “yup, it is that way because of magic and/or science”.
That said, there are consequences to using your Author Fiat card. If you have a world in which teleportation magic is a thing, then you need to think harder about ways to explain why your characters can’t get to a place: you will lose your audience if you have to resort to explanations like ‘they forgot about teleporting because they were so panicked!’ or ‘this never-before-established way of blocking teleportation magic happened!’ and erode the willing suspension of disbelief.
This is when it becomes necessarily to build probably THE most famous bit of worldbuilding… a magic system! jazz hands Or a sci-fi piece of tech. (A tech system? I guess tech systems can be a thing too.) At its most basic, the idea behind a magic/tech system is to give the audience an understanding of the rules so that things such as “magic that can block teleporting” don’t appear to come out of nowhere. By delivering these explanations early, and keeping to them consistently, you can use them to create tension later when the audience realises that a critical system in the starship is about to fail, or the main character doesn’t have the ability to cast the teleport spell right now, or whatever.
There are two approaches to building magic/tech systems: hard or soft. (Stop that smirking. Stop it now!) You may already know about the distinction between “hard” (scientifically realistic) and “soft” (scientifically plausible-ish, mostly, sometimes) sci-fi, but this can also be applied to magic systems, “hard” magic systems being popularised as a concept by Brandon Sanderson. Essentially, a hard magic system is simply one with more detailed explanations or formulas for how the magic works, giving concrete limitations, whereas soft magic systems may rely on more vague limitations such as “lack of energy” or “magic supply depleted”.
Neither of these is necessarily a better approach than the other, and mainly it’s about what kind of story you want to tell. If you believe Sanderson’s First Law, it’s easier to get your audience to buy characters solving problems with magic if they can understand, as it were, how the magic trick was done, but you may not need this sense of detail in your magic system if the issues faced by your characters are personal, or plot problems that can’t be solved with magic.
There’s not really room in the scope of this post to discuss building magic/tech systems (it’s long enough already!) but in general, unless you really enjoy making these things for their own sake, I recommend building your system backwards, starting with a vague idea of your plot and what kind of issues your characters will need to run into, and then building flaws or limitations into your system that facilitate that. For example, limit the time the character can be in the mech suit without taking brain damage, heightening the tension of the long finale you have planned, or invent some kind of magic rock that blocks teleportation magic, so your villain can have deposited a bunch of it in Plot Critical Location to prevent your heroes just teleporting there to stop them.


One last thing I did want to discuss was, in my opinion, the best way to improve your confidence and ability to worldbuild your own societies: learn about other societies! So to that end I’m going to discuss a some places where you can increase your knowledge and help your worldbuilding :D
The first one is probably an obvious one for writers, which is read widely. Fiction stories are a great resource for improving your writing, especially ones that have in-depth worldbuilding themselves. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed most over the past year from a worldbuilding perspective are Judy I Lin’s A Magic Steeped in Poison, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and The Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal, respectively a China-inspired fantasy setting, 1920s Shanghai with supernatural elements, and a sci-fi alternate history of the 1950s and 60s—so quite a wide range! A Magic Steeped in Poison also has one of the freshest and most interesting ‘soft’ magic systems I’ve encountered if that’s to your interest as well.
If we want to learn about societies, though, there is an entire profession that have dedicated themselves to learning about past societies! I keep telling everyone that my history degree comes in very useful for writing >D However, I do realise that getting into historical non-fiction can be a bit intimidating if you don’t have the degree, as history books are not always accessible. What I recommend if you do want to read more non-fiction is to look into books aimed at a popular audience rather than academic works. Two particular accessible recommendations I’ve read over the past year would be Ian Mortimer’s Time Traveller’s Guides series (particularly useful as they cover all kinds of elements of historical life, from religion to clothing to how people greet each other) as well as The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, which goes into great detail about working class Victorian life through the lens of biographies of the five victims of Jack the Ripper.
If you are willing to tackle more academic sources, when it comes to specifics, I recommend Jstor which allows you to make a personal account and access free articles each month. Trust me, some historian has DEFINITELY written something very specific on your area of interest at some point. Outside of that, I would suggest looking for books that are collections of multiple authors, since these are often designed to give a broad overview of the period from multiple historians’ specialities/perspectives. For example, I finished relatively recently Japan Emerging edited by Karl F. Friday, which was a great introduction to Japanese history from the perspective of someone mostly completely unfamiliar with the topic, and the bibliographies of books like this are an excellent starting point for doing more detailed research.
Apart from these “edited by” collections, series that are designed to be a comprehensive history on the topic can be very useful. I’ve been making my way through the Penguin History of Britain series and two books in particular, Britain After Rome by Robin Fleming (covering c. 400-1070AD) and The Struggle for Mastery by David Carpenter (1066-1300ish), stood out for their excellent attention to detail and the amount of ground they managed to cover.
(If you want any other recommendations, feel free to ask me! My best areas of knowledge are probably early modern and modern Britain and Europe, but I’ll see what I can do for any other periods or topics of interest!)
Non-fiction books are not the only way you can learn about societies either, especially for those of you who struggle to find time for books. Historical documentaries can be a great and accessible way to find out more about a particular era – my favourite documentary of all time is Victorian Bakers which is a BBC series available on DVD where bakers from the modern day try out different methods of baking throughout the Victorian era, starting with stone ovens and all the way up to industrialisation. Since bread has been a staple food for most of European history, it’s a really valuable perspective, as well as fun! (And yes, I am the kind of person who has a favourite documentary of all time, lol.)
There are also plenty of youtube series out there talking about history, but do try to find reliable perspectives if you can, particularly people who actually share their sources with you (and even if you don’t want to read the source itself, you can google it to check out the reviews). Some historians are now putting their work online to try to reach a wider audience, and one historian’s blog in particular which has been useful for me is A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry by Brett Deveraux which even has an entire section for resources for world-builders, looking at things such as what do pre-modern cities look like, how do people make clothes, etc.
Now I really have talked for long enough, so I’ll leave it there. I hope you all learnt something from this post, even if it’s just “I don’t like this, so I’m going to do everything the opposite way”. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments as I may consider posting a revised version of this on AO3 at some point.
There is one more post planned in this series. The next one will cover how to apply these worldbuilding concepts to fanfiction in a more direct way (i.e. when you’re not building a world from scratch, but expanding around existing concepts) and how to actually put all this worldbuilding into your story. Look out for that some time in the next week or so!
submitted by holliequ to FanFiction [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:17 ThrowRA_FaithTest My (25M) gf (24F) made a fake account to test / spy on me

So here we are,
we've been together over 6 years and i don't really know how to feel about this. So to give a litte context to the whole situation, almost two years i befriended a coworker on a summer job. We've became good friends. She was in a commited relationship for 8 years at this point. At some point she came to visit where i study to visit an university she wanted to attend. She stayed at a hotel. We met at the bar to get some drinks. I got pretty hammered and at some point she tried to get me to go to her hotel but i insisted that i can't do it as im in a relationship and im way to drunk to consent to anything. She still went in for kisses and i remember vaguely trying to push her away while she leaned in to kiss me. She admitted to being in love with me and wanted to take the time to visit me to see where this could go.
I cut contact with this girl soon after this and i felt really really bad afterwards. I never had the intention to cheat and i feel like this girl took advantage of me being really drunk to try to get to me wich i realised a few days after everything happened.
The evening after this incident i called my girlfriend and told her everything about it. Since then, she has a lot is trust issues, wich is understable. We had some rocky months during this time where i tried everything to give her back the trust she had in me. The last few months tho were really smooth. I really thought we won this battle together until today.
Now to the main part: Few months ago(roughly january), i noticed a girl started to follow me on instagram. She started to like my pcitures and react to my stories everytime i post one. I never followed back and never tought much about it because i did'nt know this girl, but i told my girlfriend about her to give her the sense of security she needs/wants. (She never reacted to this tho, altough she would reac with other female accounts, wich is the first redflag that i never notices)
Now my gf takes care of business accounts on instagram so she has some accounts tied to hers. When you're connected to instagram and you click on your own name on your profile, you can see your other accounts. We were talking about her other account when she clicked on the name, then quickly swiped back out of it. But right at this moment i noticed one tied account is the exact same pfp and name as the account that follows me and likes my stuff. I'm 100% sure that this is her fake account. She doesnt know that i know.
I'm pretty sure that my gf did this to test me. To test i was gonna react to this account. To test if i'm honest, if i'd tell her "look at this account stalking me". I dont know how to feel about this. In one way i understand her fear and her insecurities, in another way im disgusteb by this. It's been two years that i do everything in my power to give her some sense of trust back. But her doing this makes me feel like she still does'nt trust me AT ALL. Like all of this time and effort we put in was for nothing. I dont know if i should be pissed, sad, or what i should feel.
I'm in a kind of a in a fog when it comes to relationships. A lot has changed since this incident 2 years ago and i've had hard time differenciating whats okay and not okay in a relationship...
How can i bring up to her that i know of her secret account without her shutting down? What is the best course of actions?
I would really appreciate some advice, insights or feedback. Thank you all for reading.
submitted by ThrowRA_FaithTest to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:17 stoopid_memer Stupid Axl Rose fan tries to dump on Kurt

Stupid Axl Rose fan tries to dump on Kurt
these mfs are so dumb
submitted by stoopid_memer to Nirvana [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:16 VanillaAce91819 RACIAL GHOUL IS REAL???

submitted by VanillaAce91819 to BatmanArkham [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:16 HotDerivative think my ED has become apparent to my coworkers 😵‍💫

I am a screenwriter and film producer and travel a decent amount for work. One part of my job during shoots is setting up craft services — budgeting out and buying snacks and food for on-set as well as catering and organizing any meals for talent, client and crew throughout the shoot. Honestly I absolutely LOVE it — there is something about going to a store with a corporate credit card and buying all the insane overpriced things you typically wouldn’t, as well as a plethora of things that have been off-limits for me for years… for some reason it is very satisfying to fill my cart and walk through the store with my insane ass luxurious cart of snacks and fruit and drinks. Buying them is v satisfying even if I don’t eat any of it lol. I have been doing OMAD for several years now and combine it with keto for as long as I can stand. A pretty ridiculous Adderall prescription and Wellbutrin definitely don’t make me want to eat more, that’s for sure.
I’m usually shooting in NYC, Chicago or LA. But lots of times we travel to a client’s headquarters or lab or wherever to get b-roll of their corporate space, people working, etc. In the major cities, at least one coworker (crew member) usually lives there and we also have offices there- so I can usually do meals on my own for the most part and so does everyone else— we also have food in the office and regular lunch spots, etc. During those shoot weeks I don’t think anyone notices how little I eat.
However, we often have to shoot in places like Indiana, Texas, etc and the crew ends up spending ALL day together since none of us live there. We eat all meals together, are on set together and stay in the same hotel. I just produced a shoot in Indiana where we stayed for 5 days and by the 3rd day, my coworkers started commenting on how they hadn’t seen me eating. Most of the time I can easily say I have to take a call, or say I’ll save it for later— but this time it was clear that they all found it concerning that we were sharing 3 meals a day plus craft services on set and drinks afterward (all of which I chose, bought and coordinated reservations for so I couldnt say it was due to not liking it / allergies, etc ) and they only saw me eat an oyster and a few bites of pasta.
This was the first time at work that I feel like my ED has been visible to others and it made me so stressed. Idk what I’m trying to accomplish posting this here but had to get it out. 🫣
submitted by HotDerivative to EDAnonymous [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:16 STLhistoryBuff Weekly Events Thread 5/30/23 - 6/4/23

Please, feel free to add any events below! Check out the Visitor's Guide for more things to do around town!
Looking to meet up with people? Check out Meetup St. Louis.

Be sure to continue scrolling past the Weekly Events for Trivia Nights, Live Music, Sporting Events, Local Comedy, and more!

Sporting Events This Week Attractions Around the Area Comedy This Week
St. Louis Cardinals schedule Anheuser-Busch Brewery Funny Bone Comedy Club
St. Louis Blues schedule City Museum Helium Comedy Club
St. Louis City SC schedule Gateway Arch The Improv Shop
St. Louis Battlehawks schedule Missouri History Museum
St. Louis Billikens schedule National Blues Museum
Gateway Grizzlies schedule St. Louis Aquarium
Gateway Motorsports Park St. Louis Art Museum
St. Louis Ambush schedule St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis Zoo

Trivia Nights
Location Date/Time More Information
Anheuser-Busch Biergarten Tuesdays 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Trivia Details
Bar K Tuesdays at 7:00 pm
City Foundry Thursdays 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Joey B's on the Hill Mondays 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm Trivia Details
Nick's Pub Mondays
Felix's Pizza Pub Tuesdays at 8:00 pm Trivia Details
Schlafly Brewpubs (Any Location) Tuesdays 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Trivia Details
Rockwell Beer Co Tuesdays Trivia Details (Reservations required)
The Mack Tuesdays at 8:00 pm Trivia Details
The Pat Connolly Tavern Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
The Post Wednesdays 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Trivia Details
Pieces Board Game Bar & Cafe Wednesdays Trivia Details
HandleBar Thursdays at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Trivia Details
Steve's Hot Dogs Tuesdays 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Trivia Details

Live Music This Week
Music Venues Live Music Around Town
Blueberry Hill Duck Room 1860 Saloon
Chesterfield Amphitheater BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups
Delmar Hall Broadway Oyster Bar
Enterprise Center City Foundry
The Fabulous Fox Theatre Gallery Pub
The Factory Game 6 Honky Tonk
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Gaslight Lounge
Off Broadway The Heavy Anchor
Old Rock House Jazz St. Louis
The Pageant Joe's Cafe
Red Flag The Lot on the Landing
The Sheldon McGurk's
St. Louis Music Park SoFar St. Louis Secret performances around town
St. Louis Symphony Concert Calendar Venice Cafe
Stifel Theatre Yaquis on Cherokee

Recurring Outdoor Activities
Big Muddy Adventures – STL Riverfront Adventure Big Muddy Adventures was established in 2002. They are the first professional outfitteguiding company providing access to the wild wonders of the Middle Mississippi and Lower Missouri Rivers.
Gateway Arch Events There are a variety of things to do along the Mississippi River.
Hidden Valley Ski Resort Ziplining, scenic chairlift rides, and hiking trails opened during the summer. Skiing, snowboarding during the winter.
submitted by STLhistoryBuff to StLouis [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:16 polaris211 It seems like long term relationships aren't meant for me

Please don't lump me with the "sadbois" and edgelords. Just a normal redditor making use of this sub... getting thins off my chest. Thank yeww.
I ended my hoe phase months ago to give looking for a committed relationship a shot kaso... uh, idk. I dont think it's something for me. The way I feel it is like diba some people want to be doctors but kahit anong gawin nila it's just not for them kasi hindi talaga magaling sa science, or takot sa dugo at karayom, or germephobe... parang ganoon yung feeling ko. I can want to have a committed, long term, romantic relationship pero parang hindi talaga siya para sa akin.
The little things pa nga lang parang di ko na kaya. The updating, making sure you reply after some time or else, catching hints from your partner'sanner of speaking and movement to know kung ano yung totoong iniisip at nararamdaman niya.
Yeah we do those things to strangers din, especially at work like in emails and followups, maintaining harmonious relationships in the office kaso hindi naman directly nata-tranalate yung ganoong office interactions to how one communicates with their significant other. (Can it though?)
Forever na lang yata akong naka stop sa hoe phase ko. I don't want to go back though. It was draining and it reminded me more about the things I hate about myself and at one point the girthiest of dicks, the broadest of shoulders, and the juiciest of booties did not make up to the emotional fatigue that started to creep in on me. Watching Bridgerton made me feel fluffy too kasi "aww they found love" kaso I always manage to ruin it for everyone by saying "if only we live in the shonda-verse" lol
I'm what's called a red flag? Perhaps. I guess I'll just work on me na lang instead of being too hopeful for a chance of having that kind of relationship. But that's kinda sad and kinda had enough of sad thank yewww
submitted by polaris211 to OffMyChestPH [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:16 ttaptt Panko upped my meatball game!!

I make meatballs pretty regularly, I'd always just go with Chef John's recipe, and have it down pat enough that I don't even really look at the recipe anymore, I just know how to do it.
So I had ground pork frozen for long enough that it was definitely time to use it, and I also had some ground beef, so it was meatball time, baby! But the package of pork was really quite large, it was at least 1.5 lbs. I've never made swedish meatballs, and thought to my self, "self, let's make meatballs 2 ways!". It was really easy, I just left the nutmeg and allspice out of half, and added extra italian seasoning to that half.
ANYWAY, the swedish recipe I went with called for panko, I'd always just used regular "italian style bread crumbs" in the past.
Yo!!!! My meatballs are so damned juicy and moist! (An aside, a friend of mine, trying to avoid using the word "moist", described his pot roast as staying "damp" in the slow cooker. I advised him that in this context, please use "moist" from now on, lmao).
I have to assume that it's the panko making the difference, since everything else was pretty standard, besides being a 60/40 pork/beef ratio, which, I'm sure I'm always off by a bit, I don't think that could account for it. I ate swedish meatballs for dinner the past 3 nights and would do it again if I weren't out. But I do have a bunch of frozen meatballs of both kinds for some quick meals!
Was it the panko? What's the magic?
submitted by ttaptt to Cooking [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:15 Jay-Ryan Absent mind?

I'm not sure if this is the right place or if there is even a place (If you know of one, please point me in the right direction). I took a quick reads through here and this is such a minor issue compared to most, but here goes. I'm mindless. Not as in a vegetative state and not like Alzheimer's, or even a dementia of which that I'm aware. It's more like Joey from Blossom (if you're old enough to remember. I've been this way all my life, however now that I've been made aware of it, it bothers me as much as those around me. Here are a couple of examples.
- Much of the time, what I do is automatic... Driving, filing, housework... Without conscious thought. I understand many do it to a point, but, I don't take note of or remember the process of the task afterward.
- If I have a list of tasks to do, I have to actually work at keeping them in the front of my mind or they'll be forgotten. I can keep one or two things, but any more than three, forget it... Something(s) and sometimes everything gets forgotten, especially if I'm interrupted by something my mind finds more important or stimulating.
- I stumble on words right at the tip of my tongue, sometimes at mid-sentence and I have to struggle to remember the word or come up with an appropriate synonym to complete the sentence.
- My 'daydreaming' consists of nothing much of the time... "Jay, where did your mind go?" "Oh, nowhere." - Really I went to empty oblivion. I call it 'lost in the moment' because in that time, I'm nowhere.
Anyone else? Have you developed adequate coping mechanisms to work with it or better yet, overcome it?
submitted by Jay-Ryan to mentalhealth [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:14 oonjulia Is it time to let my relationship go?

I(21F) have been with my boyfriend(21M) for 2 years and he was my first boyfriend. I have fallen in love with him from the first time we met and my feelings haven't changed since, maybe liking him even more, but sometimes it feels like he's fallen out of love with me. We have arguments and yet none have made me question my love for him, but in many fights when angry he says he wants to break up and nothing hurts me more than hearing that. First times I heard it, I tried my best to talk it through and we eventually agreed to work it out again. Last times, I've kinda let it on him (of course still tried to talk but was ready to accept it and move on) because I know a relationship is made from both. Every time he changes his mind and not long after that he's back to normal. It feels like he wants to see me beg to be with him or show that I care, or he just wants to hurt my feelings. I like being with him and he treats me very well except for those occasions, but like I said, when we do argue, he acts as if what we had meant nothing to him and he doesn't need me. Recently he moved to another city for a while and I've been visiting him every 2 weeks. Everything is amazing when we're together, he's very loving etc, but as soon as I leave he becomes cold and barely texts/never calls (during our first year, whenever we were apart he would call every day and text all day, it shows how different things are). My next trip will have to be delayed one day due to a meeting I have and he said that then it's not even worth coming, since I'll be there for 6 instead of 7 days. However, whenever I leave he keeps asking when I'll come again and says he can't wait, so now it again feels like he just wants to hurt me by telling me not to come. What is your guys opinion on this? I really love him and breaking up is my worst nightmare, but everyone tells me I deserve better and I'm starting to wonder if I really deserve being treated like this. I would give anything to be able to spend even a few hours with him today and he doesn't mind skipping many days together. I'm also afraid if we actually break up, that I'll never find someone who treats me as well as he does.
Tl;dr: I've lately been questioning if it's worth it dating someone who rathers be apart for a month than being with me for a bit less than a week.
submitted by oonjulia to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:14 Better-Surround3564 The man at the mall

My name is Madeleine, this happened in April of 2016, three months after I turned 19. I now live in Castle Rock, but at the time I lived in southern Denver with my family, meaning my mom, step-dad, little brother, little sister, and little, little brother, my little brother's 7th birthday was coming up and at the time I had been studying abroad in Vienna, so I hadn't got the chance to get him a present, but I had the weekend off just to go home and see my family specifically for his birthday, My mom also asked me for Chipotle, and the mall we went to had a huge food court so I accepted. At this time it was about 7:00 at night, and I needed to catch up on some homework that day. and it wasn't that sunny out, so it wasn't necessarily the ideal time to shop, especially since it was a Tuesday so most people either didn't go shopping that day or had already left the mall. As soon as I left my car, I noticed a man.
The man was white with curly black hair and visible stubble on his face, he was wearing a navy blue t-shirt, grey sweatpants, and Adidas socks and shoes, I noticed he was coming out of a white van that had a lock at the back of it, He looked at me one from what I saw, but as I was heading towards Dillard's I noticed he was sort of following me, I thought little of it, thinking he was just getting a present for his wife or something, but as I left Dillard's and entered the main portion of the sparsely populated mall, I noticed he was staying on my trail, I picked up my pace a little bit and headed towards Disney Store to get my brother his present. As the cashier was ringing me up, she, for whatever reason, turned to look at the front of the store briefly and looked more than a little uneasy. I asked her what was wrong and she said something that gave me chills, she whispered, "That guy over there at the entrance, he comes in often and he rarely buys anything, he just walks around looking at the girls shopping or working." This made me really uncomfortable. I told her to be safe for the rest of the night and left the store, I just needed to go to Chipotle, so I went up the escalator and into the food, where most people at the mall were. This calmed me down a little bit because he actually ordered something from the food court, but not that much. I got my mom's Chipotle and walked out of the mall, but things only went downhill from there.
As I was in the parking lot, heading toward my car, the man kept following me. I was starting to shit bricks and I was so scared. But, as I mentioned, the man was driving a white van with a small space for him and a passenger, and a big storage area in the back. I couldn't shake the feeling that there were girls, my age or younger, in the back of the van, so I made the best and bravest decision of my life, I took a picture of his license plate. The man must have seen me take a picture because the next thing I knew, he sprinted toward me as fast as he could, I dropped my bag and food and immediately sprang into action, I ran toward him and kicked him in the family jewels as hard as I could. He instantly fell to the ground, howling in pain, I grabbed my stuff, ran to my car, and drove like a maniac to the police station.
When I got to the police station, I called my mom and told her to get there as fast as possible, I entered the police station and once my mom got there, I showed them the license plate, As they were sending out people to search for the car, I fell asleep at the police station, the police escorted me and my mom home and they stayed with us for the night. The next morning, the police told me something that made my heart jump into my stomach, the police caught the man and searched his car, in the back of the van, they found three girls, my age, 16 and 13, in the storage area of the van. The three girls were returned to their families alive, but after further investigation, they found that the man was involved in many trafficking cases in Denver, some of the girls he and his accomplices kidnapped, had either been killed or had been taken across the Mexican border to be sold by the man and his accomplices into sexual slavery, however after they found the three girls in the van, they found 16 other girls, ranging from a girl my age to a 6-year-old, in the man's basement. I'm glad that 19 girls were found, but I still feel bad for the girls who were killed or sold in Mexico, who will probably never be found. I'm happy that I was able to stop him and his accomplices before more girls got kidnapped by him, but I sometimes think, what would have happened if I didn't tackle him when he started running toward me, I never want to know.
submitted by Better-Surround3564 to Horror_stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:14 bextress MCs who aren’t grate with words

Hey, I’m looking for MCs who aren’t good at spelling, words, sayings etc.

I’ll give some examples:
I’d also appreciate recs for dyslexic MCs where there are moments of teaching/reading together:
Genre: All (Contemporary, Omegaverse, Paranormal, etc.)
Pairing/Grouping: All (MM, MM+, MX, etc.)
Explicitness: All (no sex to erotica)
Kinks: All (I'll try anything once)
submitted by bextress to MM_RomanceBooks [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:13 BucDouble93 Star Wars RPG Characters Part 1: Flynn Jundsen, A-Wing Ace of the Rebel Alliance

Star Wars RPG Characters Part 1: Flynn Jundsen, A-Wing Ace of the Rebel Alliance
A reckless but skilled pilot with a big heart, Flynn Jundsen flew an A-Wing starfighter for the Rebellion during the Galactic Civil War. A founding member of Hound and Starrdust Squadrons, Flynn joined up after hearing of the destruction of the Death Star over Yavin IV by a pilot named Luke Skywalker. He would later participate in the Battles of Hoth and Endor, putting his skills as a former TIE Fighter pilot in the Imperial Navy to the test. Flynn lost his left leg in a battle with pirates, taking a direct hit from a rocket. He calls his cybernetic replacement "The Boot". He also speaks fluent Ryl, the Twi'lek language (though obviously he cannot communicate with the head tail sign language).
submitted by BucDouble93 to SoulCaliburCreations [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:13 GloomyStay6162 I, 27m want to leave behind my family.

First is my 33yo sister, she is separated from her husband and needs help with her kids but doesn’t wanna meet halfway. My parents and I live an hour away and despite us having friends and family nearby my sister refuses to move closer despite also having lupus. She also lives outside her means, she buys way too many toys for her kids but will turn around and ask me for money. She also expects me to come over and help on Saturdays but I work two jobs, trying to write a novel and I volunteer a lot. She even guilts me into watching the kids by sending me videos of them asking for me. She’s inconsiderate to say the least and I feel bad bc I wanna help but she won’t help herself.
My father isn’t really part of my life, we live together but don’t talk, he wasn’t even really a father to my older sister and brother on his side. When I was younger he was a manager at a grocery store near our house and bc we have the same name, my classmates would ask if he’s my dad and he would tell them yes but not before telling them I’m dumb and lazy and that’s all I’d heard at school. My dad has smoked longer than I’ve been alive and is the reason my mom and I have asthma. He is a paranoid man w/ anger problems. He has smashed phones and doors and smoked in the house all to agitate me. He was in an accident 10 years ago that ruptured the disks in his back so he isn’t very active but still has time to cause trouble. And even tho he is an a-hole my mother causes some of it. When my sister from my dads side came to visit when I was 11, my mother took me to a gas station and we sat there for hours until my sister left. Whenever my parents have talks mom brings up very unnecessary and irrelevant information. She plays the victim a lot and I hate it, and loves to guilt me into helping her with stuff or feeling sorry for her.
Also both parents and most of my family are homophobic and both have called me an abomination and a bundle of sticks and I am bisexual. Uncle has even said he would shoot somebody in his family if they were gay. I want to move out but bc of my family I don’t trust people. Other people in my life often flake on plans and can’t communicate. Only friends I have good relationships with live in other states. I’m scared to get a place by myself bc I’m bipolar and although I’ve came a long way I’m scared I’ll get into a bad depression and 💀 myself. I need to start therapy again but I feel like I’m too far gone.
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2023.05.30 15:13 CapitalReader The law of Supply and Demand is a Mathematically Indeterminable Illusion and does a very poor job of explaining prices.

Any student of economics who takes a course in Neoclassical Microeconomics comes across the Law of Supply and Demand as one of the first concepts (after production possibilities curve maybe). The law of Supply and Demand itself is a combination of two laws:
(1) The Law of Demand: The Quantity Demanded (Qd) of a good is inversely related to the Price (P). As P goes up, Qd goes down, and as P decreases, Qd increases.
(2) The Law of Supply: The Quantity Supplied (Qs) of a good is directly related to the Price (P). As price increases, Qs increases, and as P goes down, Qs also goes down.
In theory, this is an observable fact for short term prices. BUT, this relation is NOT as it is given in the so-called "Law". This should be enough for an introduction. Now, we will examine S&D graphs to see where this "law" falls apart. For our purposes, we will first use S&D graphs as they are present in many A-level economics textbooks. Let us begin.
This is the standard representation of S&D functions: Supply and Demand Curve 01
You'd have noticed that I've drawn linear lines for S&D. Some textbooks use liner curves and some use Quadratic curves. For simplicity, I have used a linear curve. I will also address Quadratic curve representation of S&D towards the end.
You'll be able to see that the Demand curve is downward sloping, the supply curve is upward sloping, and they intersect at a point, which is marked by (P*,Q*). This is the equilibrium point, where the market will supply Q* goods for a price P* for each good. This is the basic theory.
We know that any linear curve can be written as a line-equation of the form: y=mx+c.
If P is the price, Q is the quantity of goods, D is the demand, S is the supply, then I can write the supply and demand functions as:
Q(S) = bP + a (b is the +ve slope of S, a is the y-intercept)
Q(D) = g - eP (-e is the -ve slope of D, g is the y-intercept)
As soon as we express the S&D functions in the form of their line equations, we run into problems. Notice, that any given moment in time, when we observe a market, all that we can ACTUALLY know is the Price and Quantity that is supplied in accordance with demand. We cannot know how steep the demand curve is, or at what distance it is from the origin. This is important to know, because otherwise, we cannot understand how the market is going to behave. All that we know is the equilibrium Price (P*) and equilibrium Quantity (Q*).
I can get the same equilibrium point with very different supply and demand functions, as shown here: Supply and Demand Curves 02
Notice this image carefully. The points A, B & C are all essentially the same equilibrium points. The prices and quantities at all three points are the same - i.e., they represent the same equilibrium point. BUT, Notice this: the same equilibrium point has been achieved by THREE DIFFERENT Supply and Demand functions! I can generate a set of infinite no. of supply and demand functions that arrive at the same equilibrium point. How then can we know which set of supply and demand curves are actually representing the market?
The answer is: We cannot.
Why? Because we do not know what the slope of the curve is, or its vertical distance from the origin. These three curves that I've shown, have very different slopes & distances from O, but get to the same Eq. point. The only way to actually get the slope and distance from O is by actually doing a survey of all firms and all buyers in that market, which is (1) Not practical, and (2) by the time you finish it, the market would've already moved on.
The essential problem is this: We have 2 known variables (P and Q), and 4 unknown variables (a, b, e, g). That is mathematically indeterminable!
If we take the curved S&D functions, the problem becomes even more problematic. This is a standard representation of a curved (quadratic) S&D function: Supply and Demand Curves 03
As with our previous examples, we can write these curves in the general form of quadratic line equations: y = ax2 + bx + c. For the S function, it'll be Q = aP2 + bP + c and for the demand function, it'll be Q = ep2 + gP + h (slope for demand will be -ve). AGAIN, we run into the same problem, but this time, its worse. Instead of having 4 unknown variables, we now have 6 unknown variables - a, b, c, e, g, h.
Again these curves are MATHEMATICALLY INDETERMINABLE. This supposed law, cannot even be observed and calculated at a given moment! Then why is this used? Because it is an easy illusion that catches the eyes of many and makes them think this must be scientific, because these curves representing relationships. But this "Law" is an ideological tool most of the times. It cannot explain prices properly, as demonstrated.
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2023.05.30 15:13 Cyclekiller1 My dad in is a shit stirrer

I'm 36 and have, until now, had very little relationship with my dad's family. I've never met any of my mum's side.
I recently had a baby, and this has brought me a bit closer to my dad's sister's and my cousins, something I've been really enjoying.
I'm coming home soon for my cousin's wedding and was really looking forward to seeing them all. But my dad has caused friction. I had said I would attend the wedding, but later realised (based on a text I got from my cousin) that maybe it's not really suitable for kids. I decided to be cautious and said I would just come to the church and not the reception, it seemed to be an adult thing. This wasn't a problem for me and I understood.
I made the mistake of telling my parents - I also told them I wasn't bothered. Me and my partner would just go out to dinner that night.
My dad then takes it upon himself to call my auntie, cancel his and my mum's RSVP and tells her that they "would not feel comfortable" coming to the wedding since me and my partner had been "uninvited".
At no point did I say this, ever. Nor did I make a fuss about it. But my dad has felt free to go ahead and stir up shit for no reason, at a point when I was really enjoying being part of things.
The best part is that when I asked him what he had said (I realised because I got a really awkward email from my cousin apologising because she thought I was upset) he started by denying he said anything (he's the only one who could have said anything so that was not even in question), then described a conversation with my auntie in which he basically did tell her I had been bitching. Which i hadn't! But still maintained "I never said anything".
He then tried to end the call when I pointed out that we were going round in circles, did the old "oh well I guess there is just no point in discussing this with you, your mind is made up"
Dad - I you've done it again! Why do you cause shit for me and then play the victim? The best part is that he didn't want me to tell my cousin the truth because it would make him look bad.
I thought things would be different now I have my own child, but my parents are still as possessive as ever. I feel like just cutting them off, they always need to be the centre of my attention
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