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Thread: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

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    Default Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    TRIGGER WARNING: The following essay contains sensitive topics not meant for the faint of heart, or those who are easily affected. Read at your own risk.

    If there is one thing I could criticize Evangelion for, it has got THE worst fans in the world. Apart from the series itself, the fandom is one of the worst places on earth imaginable. And I say this with a heavy heart to the reader, whatever the case may be, abandon all hope ye who enter, for the fandom itself is a cesspool of totalism and ignorance of the worst kind. If you thought the MHA fandom or the AOT fandoms were the most toxic, trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet.

    How can this be you might ask? Well, I happen to be one of the victims of that fandom.

    How did the fandom become so toxic? Well, let’s take a trip back in time, back to the beginning of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    In the early 1990s Japan was suffering an economic crisis, and anime was currently facing a decline. So what was needed was something new, something that has never been done before.

    Enter Hideaki Anno, an auteur forever unknowable. After he graduated from the Osaka University of Arts, he worked with Hayao Miyazaki before Studio Ghibli, more notably on works like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, of which he is credited with the animation. Such talent as this was notable, and Anno soon moved to fund his own studio named Gainax.

    However, after working tirelessly on Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Anno became depressed. Whatever the reason might be behind his case was unclear, but many people, including himself have said that he had become disillusioned with the Otaku Lifestyle. For four years he couldn’t even write.

    His depression became his rocketfuel to create an anime called Neon Genesis Evangelion, an anime based on a multitude of subgenres, mainly his affection for mechs, and Judeo-Christian mythology.

    The series broke boundaries, and forged new rules for anime. However, the series was plagued with production hell, as halfway through the show, the budget was cut in half, and Gainax lacked the resources to create the four seasons and was forced to work with two. A terrorist attack in Tokyo Station also forced the studio to radically alter the plot from the original proposal. As the series progressed into season 2, the overall tone of the show got darker and increasingly more desperate, psychological, and implemented a more heavy sense of dread.

    As it turned out, working on Evangelion was taking a toll on Anno’s mental health, as he was known for having artistic and mental breakdowns during production. By the finale of the series, all attempts at creating a conventional plot were abandoned, as Gainax studios ran out of both time and money alike. Anno did an intricate psychoanalysis of all the characters, and we were shown with a deeply surreal episode of the cast of the main characters confronting their own traumas and realizing their inherent self worth.

    After everything that happened, Anno “broke down”. His mentor Hayao Miyazaki told him to take all the time he needed.

    However, the bold artistic change in the series finale did not come without flaws, or worse still, backlash.

    Neon Genesis Evangelion was one of the first, if not THE first anime to grace the internet. Such a momentous occasion, you’d think the anime would have garnished more respect from the new users of the world wide web right?

    Apparently not.

    This was the moment that divided the fandom forever.

    Many fans criticized the series finale for its lack of a plot narrative, which is understandable, while others complained that it was too confusing or lacked a grand explosive finale as many were accustomed to. While some emails praised Anno for his bold artistic decisions, some came across as death threats. Graffiti was even sprayed on Gainax in an act of vandalism.

    This was in 1996, when the internet was at its infancy. And even then, some people weren’t willing to give Anno some slack.

    Anno was crushed, and spun into another relapse of depression. In an interview, he narrated how he once considered suicide as he stood on the edge of the railroad tracks. But the fear of being hurt was what kept him from dying.

    So, in the face of all the criticism, Anno got to work, and poured every single bit of his emotional distress and agony into an alternate finale called The End of Evangelion; an ending that is quite possibly even more controversial than the original finale, as it’s overtone was so overbearingly dark and incomprehensibly nihilistic that it would even make Fredrich Nitzche sick to his stomach. Even the song, Komm Susser Todd, was revised from a suicide note Anno himself wrote.

    Weirdly still, many people have come to prefer this ending over the original, in spite of the bleak overtones and hauntingly apocalyptic gnostic symbolism. Whatever hope there was left for the cast of characters was either annihilated, or had yet to be shown. The film ended on a sudden, if not cognitively dissonant cliffhanger that leaves our broken heroes left to fend for themselves in a world where there’s hardly any other signs of life other than themselves. Many have speculated this was intentional to keep the viewer guessing for years to come, but the truth of the fact was that Anno himself once said, “The story had not yet ended in my mind. I do not know where the characters will go from here.” So one could argue that EoE has no definite conclusion, as the director quite virtually wrote himself into a corner.

    In 2006, Hideaki Anno left Gainax studios and founded Khara. He wanted to make a retelling of Evangelion, and soon enough, he was proud to announce the production of “Shin Evangelion”, or “New Evangelion”, which is another name for the Rebuilds of Evangelion, which in his terms, was his opportunity to make Evangelion “the way he wanted” without technological or financial limitations in his previous studio.

    It was probably a good thing he abandoned ship, because Gainax would later be sued for unpaid royalties and worse still, sexual harassment.

    In 2007, the first installment of the Rebuilds was released, titled You Are (Not) Alone. In 2009, the second installment was released called You Can (Not Advance), and started to deviate from the original Neon Genesis story. In 2012, the third installment called You Can (Not) Redo. Many people debated over the narrative of this one, and created a dividing line in the Eva community. While some claimed it was a bold move to take the story in a new direction, others accused them of staying unfaithful to the spirit of the original.

    In 2021, after the Covid-19 Pandemic caused a delay, Thrice Upon a Time was released, and many people, myself included, were relieved to see after 25 years, the cast of characters getting the happy ending they deserved.

    And some people are still unhappy about this? To say I have a hard time understanding them is an understatement. And to be frank, it’s these kinds of people whose harassment I’ve had to deal with over the past four years on social media.

    What did they do? Well, it’s a long story.

    In the beginning of the year 2020, my childhood friend took his own life at age 16. This broke my heart, as I always saw him as a little brother. I started to suffer the effects of post-mortem depression.

    No sooner did I come across a film called The End of Evangelion, and the reviews on IMDB were insane. Some people called it the greatest movie of all time, the “2001: Space Odyssey” of animated films. I took to the internet and saw numerous videos and comments on YouTube claiming how the series and the film saved people from suicide, helped them out of their depression, and in some rare cases, “cure them”.

    I was hooked. I soon started looking up clips and scenes of EoE on YouTube in the hopes that what they said was true, as I wanted the same results to happen to me.

    When I was a kid, I would take to heart a lot of morals and messages from films and books that I grew to cherish and adore. Role models like Charlie Bucket, Spider Man, and Optimus Prime were among my personal favorites. Uncle Ben’s speech, “with great power comes great responsibility” is timeless. Charlie Bucket’s honest personality and modest way of living served as an example of good character, and Optimus Prime’s resilience taught me to never give up no matter how hard things got. Morals and lessons like these are what helped me help myself when none of the adults would help me.

    So I was hoping that taking the lessons of End of Eva to heart would have a beneficial impact on me.

    When I saw the Third Impact, I was, for a lack of a better term, mind raped. It was like I was being strapped to a table and being electroshock tortured in a psychiatric ward, like Alex from a Clockwork Orange being tortured while listening to Beethoven.

    For those who don’t know, I suffer PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

    This is where the story gets quite personal. So if you wish to skip this part, you may. There are some sensitive topics in the following paragraphs that you might find discomforting. But if you wish to understand what kind of trauma I hold, then read on.

    So first things first, I have Autism.

    Unfortunately, me being born in 1998, I was born in a time where Autism was still considered as a mental illness, and had barely gained any weight, which is already confusing considering the first case of Autism was diagnosed in the 1950’s. The 2000’s was during a time when enough emphasis was being put on it for special ed to be in effect. Unfortunately, special education was dysfunctional to say the least, and did a disservice for me that made me feel like the outcast, rather than special.

    Many of the staff and teachers of special ed were neglectful. Rather than teaching us how to act to the best of our abilities, they treated us as a mere nuisance; less than human. This is because they not only saw us as Autistic, but because they also taught us what they thought how an Autist should act; Autistic, reinforcing this stereotype and riveting this detrimental cycle into our lifestyle. Whenever I tried to act normally, I would be punished harshly when I made a mistake; a mistake that these teachers would normally overlook in neurotypical students.

    But they weren't just holding a double standard against me; but a triple standard, as I was the victim of favoritism. Some of my special ed teachers favored Autists who were more disabled than I am, simply because they were more disabled.

    And here’s where it gets worse.

    I was bullied in 10th grade relentlessly for my Autism. They called me a retard day in and day out. They used my Autism as a scapegoat to blame me for their problems, as an excuse for them to to target me, saying that it was my Autism that started it, and gaslighted me that my Autism was making me hallucinate their abuse. Whenever I went to the adults for help, the bullies would usually say, "He doesn't know what he's talking about, he's a retard."

    Whenever I did something kind, they'd bully me for it. Whenever I did something self-destructive, they'd praise me for it. Whenever I did something acceptable, they'd try to persuade me that it was socially unacceptable and so forth. I was questioning my sanity, my moral compass, my judgment, my mentality, and my memory.

    Even when they sexually harassed me in the showers, the adults took no measure to bring them to justice. In fact, the adults did NOTHING, no matter how much I begged and cried to them for help. Rather than taking full responsibility and addressing the situation head on, they'd only ask me what I could do to improve the situation without their help. In my case, it was nothing; I could only avoid them. But since I was at a private boarding school in the middle of the woods, I had nowhere else to go.

    These kids were unhinged, if anything the adults were afraid of them. One of them threatened to kill me and another nearly broke my door down to steal my guitar. They even took advantage of the adults' own mental illness, like when the art teacher was back from maternity leave, they used her mood swings to get her to side with them and blame me for their own problems.

    But the worst thing they did was blackmail my only friend there to betray me. Just like me, he was also being bullied for his personal problems, which is why I lent him my books as a token of friendship. But when the bullies started treating us like a homosexual couple, calling us "lovers and whores", my friend was completely embarrassed, and began to resent me. It boiled over, to the point he said he wished he never met me. To avoid being ridiculed by them again, he joined them. Something broke in me that day.

    I was very suicidal, not because I lost the will to live; but because I was afraid of becoming a monster, I was afraid of hell, and being the Christian I am, my faith in God alone is what kept me from turning into a monster.

    Seeing the Third Impact was like seeing my literal worst nightmare manifested upon the screen. It was like seeing hell for the first time. If I could put it into words, it was like I was peering into an unholy revelation; something no mortal man should see. Seeing holy symbols and tools being used for unholy purposes shook me to no end.

    To put it more simply, I was being forced to relive every single traumatic memory of mine, just like Asuka in Episode 22.

    I was scared, and confused at what in God’s name I had just witnessed. So I went to the one place I felt could help me out the most; the Evangelion Fandom on Discord.

    From what I knew, mental health was a serious issue, as that was the way it was portrayed in Evangelion. I was hoping the fandom itself would take from the underlying messages and cathartic undertones that the series was trying to implement, and from that aspect, that the fandom itself would be a safe space for me to talk about my trauma. I also had hopes that they, knowing Evangelion better than I did, would know exactly why The End of Evangelion mindfrelled me in the way it did, and made my post-mortem depression significantly worse.

    Their answer was the same; I was faking my depression.

    This confused me even more greatly, as I was wondering if this was the case. They said that such an occurrence like being traumatized by an anime like Eva was literally impossible, and that I was the only person in existence to have suffered such. Even when I told them I had PTSD and was suffering grief at the loss of a loved one, they still disbelieved me. Or to put in their words, “LMAO, imagine getting triggered from a 2D pixelated drawing. GTFO you snowflake.”

    And the more they did so, the more I began to believe that I was faking it myself in ways that I couldn’t even remember. I thought I was gaslighting myself.

    One of my greatest insecurities is misremembering certain things, as people have often blamed my Autism for their mistreatment of me, justified themselves by using my mental illness as an excuse, both in 10th grade, and in the fandom itself. When people downplay my experiences and say that "nothing is real" in regard to my thoughts and emotions, it makes me question my existence. I don't think they're fully aware of the extent of damage they're throwing to me.

    And this is where things get significantly worse.

    When the Coronavirus Pandemic happened, I was stuck in Lockdown. During the time I was living in an apartment complex for the mentally handicapped, and when I say “handicapped” I mean “functioning fine”, because that’s how we usually acted there.

    The trouble was they didn’t have the insurance to cover everyone’s health and we were quite virtually living in solitary confinement.

    Suffice it to say, a guy like me, who has Autism, and suffers PTSD from being mentally and physically abused, who depends on social interaction to stay sane…Lockdown wasn’t bearing well for me. In fact, it was quite unbearable.

    I was losing my sense of identity, as well as my sense of reality, because of a severe lack of human contact, which is all more the reason why I depended on Discord for emotional refuge, and it didn't help I had annoyed people on one end who couldn't care less, and cyberbullies on the other.

    Having seen EoE just months earlier, I was going stark staring paranoid that Evangelion was becoming my reality. Henceforth, I felt like the only way to avert catastrophe was to do an immersive study on Evangelion to see what went wrong.

    So down the rabbit hole I went, Eva became my identity, I became consumed with a desperation to find the supposed cure that others have claimed to have found within the series, to unearth this so-called “meaning of life” that they have found. And truth be told, I was willing to do anything, even if it broke my mind, even if it broke my spirit.

    I became unhealthily obsessed with Evangelion, in the hopes I could bring myself, force myself to like it, in the hopes the fandom would accept me, and welcome me as one of their own, especially during Lockdown, to maintain a sense of human connection; a sense of community. Within the “iceberg”, I discovered underlying themes (or fan theories) of gnosticism, Carl Jung's archetypes of the subconsciousness, Libido and the Oedipus complex by Sigmund Freud, existential dread, Judeo-Christian esoterism, dissolution of the ego, The Hedgehog's Dilemma, among other things.

    Me, being a philosophy enthusiast since Middle School, was hoping that my findings would persuade the fandom to accept me as one of their own, as Neon Genesis was filled to the brim with it.

    So I presented my studies and evidence of what I found within my research to the fandom in the hopes that they would accept me as one of their own. At the time, the only place I fully relied on for social interaction was Discord. Both for obvious reasons (Covid) and for deeply personal reasons (social anxiety from bullying).

    Unfortunately, most of the comments I had gotten were, "It's all in your head, none of it is real", "You're just a frail weak little boy." Some of them were, "Dude, we're just kids, we're not professionals, seek a specialist." And it became all the more hurtful when people rejected me, calling me a rambling madman, claiming that Eva “isn’t that deep bro”. My brother in Christ, have you seen the number of Eva iceberg videos out there!?

    Let me rephrase that; the Eva fans banned me from the Evangelion fandom for knowing so much about it.

    They also said that Eva fandoms weren't the place to be talking about triggering topics such as depression and trauma, as there might be some people in the Discord servers that were easily triggered by them too. This made little to no sense to me, as those two topics were among the most obvious underlying themes of Evangelion in the first place. Their excuse? "Some just want to watch the series for robot fights."

    A majority of the fans I’ve interacted with on Discord (and sometimes Reddit) were, for lack of a better term fanatic. They treated the franchise of Eva almost like a religion, which disturbed me to say the least. To say they were hooked by all the esoteric religious symbolism is one thing, but it was as if they were worshipping the religion itself in the form of the anime series presented to them. This confused me greatly. And I was falling under the impression that this anime was truly the greatest work of art in the history of anime. I mean, there are two life size Unit 01 statues, how could I not see the greatness of the series? And that’s exactly what upset me; no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t bring myself to love, praise, or worship the series like they did. And for that the fandom shamed me on a consistent basis.

    I just wanted to be a part of something greater than I, so I would no longer feel isolated during Lockdown. Although I am an introvert, I would often go out of my way to interact with others to maintain my self esteem, and maintain a sense of identity. Without social interaction I find myself easily discouraged and without a sense of belonging, as has been the case in the past regarding my status among others who deemed me the outcast for my Autism.

    I have a hard time understanding how these people, who I can only identify as chronically online in laymans terms, can accuse me of being over reliant on social media for social interaction during Lockdown. Especially when they say things like, “We made it through Lockdown just fine. Grow a pair and man up you frelling pussy.” Honestly, were they faring any better?

    It’s the ultimate irony, isn’t it; a fandom, dedicated to praising a series that portrays the cost and effect of trauma, downplaying my own, cyberbullying me for it even.

    Considering everything you’ve read so far, you might conclude that I am quite literally, like Shinji. Even though many others in the fandom refused to believe me, and sometimes even cyberbullied me for being a Shinji kinnie, saying that I should be ashamed of associating myself with him, or worse, kms.

    Oftentimes I would express my strong emotional ties to him, and I would claim how I would do anything to make him happy, even if it meant sacrificing my own mental well being, or more still, my life. The people in the fandom thought this was absurd, and claimed I was weak-willed, and said I was a snowflake for being triggered by Shinji’s suffering on screen.

    But the truth is that in the wake of my childhood friend’s death, Shinji was the only one I could truly rely on for company during Lockdown. As I said before, I was losing my sense of identity and reality, and I needed something to help me recognize myself from the world that was slowly starting to vanish around me.

    Having been a victim of bullying, I was having a hard time trying to learn to love the character known as Asuka. Having read what you’ve read so far, I hope that you can draw the parallels between her antics and my suffering. If not, I’ll elaborate.

    When my college housing program shut down, I was transferred to a Trade School. It was meant to be a fresh new start. Unfortunately, most of the people there were Mormon, as it was originally a school for Mormons. As a result, they shunned me due to my Episcopal origins. I had very few friends.

    No one wanted to do anything fun with me, no hiking, biking, swimming, gaming, movie theater, restaurants, not even Bible Study. It's like each and every one of them were reclusive shut ins.

    And then there's Grace, the drama queen, the enabler, the gossiper. She was a nitpicker who'd police over me all the time and call me out for my problems when she didn't have the goddamn decency to admit her own narcissistic behavior.

    She crossed the line when she and her fellow posse created a rumor of me being a sex offender just to have my Mormon gf break up with me. That lie all but destroyed my social life, and for the second time in my life, I was depressed again.

    But the rabbit hole goes deeper.

    You see, the ringleader of the bullies in 10th grade; Eric, was the one who started it all, plotted against me to make my life a living hell.

    But it wasn't until years later I found out from a former colleague that the entire frelling time, Eric too has Autism.

    So just like how Asuka belittled and teased Shinji for her own personal hatred of her own trauma, since Shinji was a constant reminder of it, it became apparent to me that Eric mentally gaslighted me to near suicide for something he had that I did; something that he wanted to hide from the rest of his peers even if it meant driving me insane. That is really low.

    So...if people I’ve met from the fandom aren't willing to defend Eric for making me suffer his bullying for his own personal hatred, why were they willing to defend Asuka for her own personal hatred she projected onto Shinji? Just because she had a crush on him?

    Their point was that, "Asuka and Eric are different. They're not the same person."

    And to their credit, I can understand why. On one hand, Asuka mistreated Shinji because of how much he reminded her of the trauma she was trying to shield herself from, but on the other hand, she also teased him because she cared, and wanted him to grow a backbone, which in hindsight, backfired horribly.

    But as far as first impressions go, what I got was "LOL, you're getting triggered by a fictional character? You probably have the hots for her. Get lost you frelling pervert."

    The more the people of the fandom shamed me for my inability to love, or idolize Asuka like they did, the more my hatred for her grew, and eventually I began to lash out at people who kinned Asuka, threatening to hurt them badly, which...in hindsight wasn't the best way to deal with it, I admit, and I take responsibility for the mistreatment I did to them.

    And here is where the story takes a turn for the worse ladies and gentleman.

    Now for those of you who are sensitive and squeamish, I would highly advise you to click off of this blog and listen to some music.

    I remember distinctly, in one of the Eva Discord servers, a couple people asking me, "Why do you relate to Shinji so much when he jerked off to Asuka?"

    Admittedly, I did something regrettable too.

    When I was 13, I inappropriately felt a female dog's privates with my hand. She took off running, and I regretted what I had done, so I turned myself in to my mother. She explained that although what I did was out of curiosity, it was still wrong nonetheless. Since then I have never done it again, and corrected myself since.

    This is a repressed memory that The End of Evangelion triggered; resurfaced within me during the isolation of Lockdown. If you know what happens in the movie then you’ll understand what I’m saying.

    I gave the fandom my honest answer, in the hopes that given the context of EoE, much less the fact they brought up such a question in the first place, that they'd understand why EoE is all the more triggersome to me, because this memory I have repressed for a long time.

    The fandom went absolutely berserk, and created a rumor of me being a "dogfreller", and spread it from server to server in attempt to get me crossbanned without me getting a word in edgewise, in attempts to sabotage my efforts to be accepted by the fandom at all, to which they had mostly succeeded.

    In my paranoia, I began to try and outrun the speed of the rumor that was spreading, in attempts to have people hear the truth before they heard the lie. Unfortunately, they too decided to spread the rumor in spite of hearing the truth; a lie made from a truth

    For four years since Lockdown, I've been stalked, doxed, and threatened to be hunted down and killed by people from the fandom which made me all the more paranoid.

    From that one lie, more lies spread, and reached the ears of users on Discord, turning them against me For instance, they cyberbullied me for the suicide of my childhood friend, claiming I was a murderer and a pedophile. Like so,

    But the absolute worst thing they did, was that they took my letter for help, which I titled, "Message in a Bottle" (as it was supposed to be an SOS to the world), copied it word for word, and posted it into the copypasta forums on social media.

    Original: https://forum.evageeks.org/thread/21...ottle-Reprise/

    Fake:
    Some depressed guy's take on eva - MadGhosts
    View: https://www.reddit.com/r/copypasta/c...s_take_on_eva/
    View: https://www.reddit.com/r/copypasta/c...me_to_suicide/

    Because of what they did, now more than half the entire fandom on Discord, and more people on social media, thinks I'm a troll, and more people who I could've earned their trust turned against me…

    Discord, for one, was one of the places that gave me anxiety, which sucks because the whole reason why I began using Discord in the first place was because of the fact I was shunned by everyone in Trade School.

    It astounds me how people accuse me of relying on Discord so much just because I have social anxiety, and yet during Lockdown, the people from the fandom on Discord were the ones who gave me social anxiety in the first place by spreading lies around like the Coronavirus!

    To make matters even worse, my ex-girlfriend....her name was Brianna Lancaster. And in a way, she was also a lot like Asuka, except less abrasive.

    Her drunk biological father abandoned her at birth, and her mother and stepfather died in a car accident. She was forced to look after her little brother, while attending college. Her grandparents were paying for her college but were also extorting her for her salary money too.

    She was suffering clinical depression. At the time, she was living in Charleston, SC, and I was living in Phoenix, AZ.

    We first met on Discord in November 2019, and fell in love in January of 2020. We continuously made plans for us to meet up, until Covid-19 put a dent in those plans. Sometimes, Brianna was elusive when giving reasons of why she'd turn me down after agreeing to work on a meet up place and time, which happened five times in the span of our seven-month relationship.

    I just couldn't handle being rejected by her anymore, so I broke up with her. Months later, she sent me a letter via email confessing she had commitment issues, given her...traumatic history. Even so, I forgave her in spite of her flaws and secrets she kept.

    She was grateful, happy that I committed myself to be there for her, to encourage her to keep living no matter what, and listen to her woes. She even once said to me, "I'll never leave you, even when I die.

    Then one day, she went silent.

    In August 2021, her online friends contacted me an informed me of her suicide…

    After my childhood friend took his own life, this broke me even further, and it didn’t help that the fandom accused me of pushing her away. Maybe I was afraid to lose her, even after breaking up with her…

    Having nowhere else to go, I checked myself into a mental hospital, as I feared I was suffering from schizophrenia. Fortunately, the symptoms weren’t severe. My illnesses included psychosis, anxiety, post-mortem depression, and PTSD. Suffice it to say, once I was released, I had a newfound sense of vigor; vengeance I daresay, much like that of a villain with a tragic backstory.

    I've started to hold a personal vendetta against the fandom, grinding the axe, doing everything I could to try and expose them to the world wide web for what they did to me. More than anything, I’ve wanted for the good people of the fandom to realize they've been deceived by the bad people; that they may take leave of the fandom for good, so that those who plotted against me can be left to rot in their own degenerate filth. I've strongly felt that the fandom deserved to wither and die; to be cleansed, for what it did to me…

    I've felt this way for a long time, and this primal unbridled instinct for justice; retribution, has consumed me for a very long time, which led the fandom to hate me even more…

    Only recently have I begun to let this go...and after everything I've been through, it's harder than you think, as I often feel unjustly robbed of the support I should've gotten during Lockdown, and even more hurtful still, how most of my hurt came from an anime fandom.

    Sometimes I can’t help but feel disheartened, because before all this happened I used to enjoy anime, and I used to read manga more often. But after my traumatic experience with the Eva fandom, I can’t help but feel like I’ve gained trust issues with anime and people who associate themselves with them, out of fear they’ll stalk me and worse. It’s my personal hope I find someone who I can watch anime with, a partner in case I have a panic attack, because last time I tried to expose myself to Evangelion content, I almost ended up puking.

    My problems with Evangelion don’t just stem from the emotional, but the philosophical too. Oftentimes the anime and I have conflicting beliefs. In the Netflix dub of Neon Genesis, Kaji said to Shinji, “There are a million truths as there are people, truth is subjective.” To which I say, I highly disagree.

    To say, “truth is subjective”; an escapist ideology, in a finale that is supposedly anti-escapist, I can’t help but feel this is somewhat contradictory.

    In my opinion, and from personal experience, to say truth is subjective is like saying truth is whatever you want it to be. My counterpoint is a quote from Master Samurai Musashi Miyamoto, “Truth is not whatever you want it to be, it is what it is. You must bend to its power, or live a lie.”

    This quote brings me comfort. Having spent a portion of my youth believing I was clinically insane, it relieves me to know that in spite of everything people might say about me, I am okay being like this. After all, if truth was subjective, then wouldn’t that mean that every negative thing my bullies have said about me were also true? I think not.

    Who is more insane? The one who accepts his flawed mindset, or the one who denies it?

    Furthermore, I quote from the ancient Indian text, the Bhagavad Gita, “The unreal never is, and the real never ceases to be.”

    This is what I identify as an anchor, something to keep us anchored, or grounded in the realm to which we call reality. Those who often say reality is an illusion have been living under an illusion themselves, and identify this illusion as their reality. From my personal experience, reality is unchanging, regardless of how we perceive; change with it. Reality does not change with us, rather we change with reality. If reality were dependent on our existence, I daresay we wouldn’t exist.

    It’s only recently have I begun to recognize that almost everyone in the entire Eva fandom on Discord was either lying to me or pretending to know what they were talking about. The only person I know who would go to such lengths to trick their own people into traumatizing themselves for their own twisted gain is Gendo; the villain. To say he’s the worst father in anime is an understatement, and to think that there are people who have actually gained inspiration from him is insanity. The true horror of Evangelion is the unfathomable depths of mankind’s capacity to inflict suffering upon their own, something my past tormentors had possessed. It is a realm of understanding that I cannot comprehend, nor do I dare to endeavor.

    To sum it all up, I feel greatly deceived and lied to by a fandom who I trusted would inherit and possess the knowledge of that which it greatly indulged itself in, when in reality, it might as well have gone in one ear and out the other. I’m speechless.

    To try and rid myself of this illness, I’ve been seeing a new therapist, a real life therapist, who I can talk to face to face, which after years of online therapy feels so good. I’ve also been attending church, which I haven’t in a long time. Suffice it to say, I’m starting to feel that sense of belonging I haven’t felt in years.

    Nowadays, I’m in a safer place. I’m staying away from Evangelion, in the hopes it, as well as the fandom, will leave me alone for good, and hopefully will learn to enjoy anime again someday. Lord knows I’ve suffered enough already. What do I do now? I pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I get on my knees and pray I won’t get fooled again.

    Sometimes I can’t help but feel that 2020 was the year the world went collectively mad, as that was the same year Discord had become so toxic to me.

    I close this script with a quote from Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. “In a mad world, only the mad are sane.”

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    All I know is that I hated all the characters in the series.



  4. #3
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    The guy who made it went nuts too





    Anime is a lot like sex. Done right it's a beautiful act of creation that brings a little more light into the world. If it's sick and wrong... it's even better.

    Author of "Slasher School Days", "How to Be an Anime Character", and "The Complete Lesbian Storybook" available from Amazon.com

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    Senior Member Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Proof?
    My Wi-Fi, it's gone out . . .

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by Digimon_Sommelier View Post
    Proof?
    Evangelion.
    Anime is a lot like sex. Done right it's a beautiful act of creation that brings a little more light into the world. If it's sick and wrong... it's even better.

    Author of "Slasher School Days", "How to Be an Anime Character", and "The Complete Lesbian Storybook" available from Amazon.com

  7. #6
    Junior Member gargantua_982 is on a distinguished road gargantua_982's Avatar
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Hey, I feel very similarly to you, can we talk? I've been wanting to talk about this to someone who feels the same way as me... If you have discord please add my by my username "gargant7a".

  8. #7
    Senior Member Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by gargantua_982 View Post
    Hey, I feel very similarly to you, can we talk? I've been wanting to talk about this to someone who feels the same way as me... If you have discord please add my by my username "gargant7a".
    Don't feel traumatized by Evangelion. It is a work of fiction. Your feelings are valid, but there are lighter things in life that you can see.
    My Wi-Fi, it's gone out . . .

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    No. I left Discord for good. I've been stalked and doxxed on there for far too long, it was the source of much of my depression during Lockdown.

    ---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:10 PM ----------

    I know, but the truth is more complicated than that. Many people within the fandom claimed that since Eva cured them of their depression, they insisted that if I never watched it, or forced myself to enjoy it, I would never learn to love myself again.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    I've got to watch this Evangelion! It's quite a sad anime, from what I'm hearing.
    My Wi-Fi, it's gone out . . .

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by Digimon_Sommelier View Post
    I've got to watch this Evangelion! It's quite a sad anime, from what I'm hearing.
    Most all the characters have some sort of emotional problem. But they are all a bunch of dicks anyway, so it's well deserved.

    Warning! The ending is one of the worst in anime history.



  12. #11
    Senior Member Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier has a reputation beyond repute Digimon_Sommelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by PictureGuy View Post
    Most all the characters have some sort of emotional problem. But they are all a bunch of dicks anyway, so it's well deserved.

    Warning! The ending is one of the worst in anime history.
    It's critically acclaimed sci-fi anime. I'll see it one day and be my own judge.
    Last edited by Digimon_Sommelier; 10-30-2023 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by Digimon_Sommelier View Post
    It's critically acclaimed sci-fi anime. I'll see it one day and be my own judge.
    NGE does have some of the most rabid followers of any anime.



  14. #13
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by PictureGuy View Post
    NGE does have some of the most rabid followers of any anime.
    I read the above. I'll try not to engage with anyone about Eva if and when I do see it.
    My Wi-Fi, it's gone out . . .

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Anime is a lot like sex. Done right it's a beautiful act of creation that brings a little more light into the world. If it's sick and wrong... it's even better.

    Author of "Slasher School Days", "How to Be an Anime Character", and "The Complete Lesbian Storybook" available from Amazon.com

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Country music!!
    My Wi-Fi, it's gone out . . .

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Wow, this post was quite the roller coaster ride to read. You have my condolences for all those bad things that happened to you. I feel like my life has been much more fortunate by comparison.

    Are you posting about your experiences here because it's an anime forum? Have you been able to talk to your friends and family about this problem?


    To be honest, I've developed the impression that Evangelion is too pretentious for me to enjoy, so I've made no effort to watch it. I've got no idea what the fandom is like, but I'm not one to engage in fandoms anyway. I prefer to make friends based on holding shared values, rather than simply enjoying the same entertainment products.

    One reason why people are very adverse to the idea of media traumatizing other people, is because they see it as a means to censor stuff, and they're reflexively trying to shut down that possibility. It's similar to how people will reflexively ridicule the idea that media will make people more violent.

    I'm very curious why you seem to be a constant target for bullying. It seems like you've become the target for bullying in multiple unrelated communities. Many people, after they become the targets of bullies, will learn to cope by doing things to be invisible. This means avoiding behaviors that will make one stand out and trying to get a sense of the group consensus before engaging. This may prevent them from being bullied in the future, but it can also cause them to lose touch with their authentic self.

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Too long, don't read.
    But regarding the anime, it is decent. The ending is (or so I thought) absolutely a joke. I really wished for some more stunning ending cause the plot is wonderful.

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    Default Re: Message In A Bottle: My Traumatic Experience with the Evangelion

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNakko View Post
    Too long, don't read.
    But regarding the anime, it is decent. The ending is (or so I thought) absolutely a joke. I really wished for some more stunning ending cause the plot is wonderful.
    Yet another anime when God wants us all dead
    Anime is a lot like sex. Done right it's a beautiful act of creation that brings a little more light into the world. If it's sick and wrong... it's even better.

    Author of "Slasher School Days", "How to Be an Anime Character", and "The Complete Lesbian Storybook" available from Amazon.com

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