behavior models

Your mixed feelings about your parents are valid.

Shout out to people like me who have parents who are loving but are black holes of emotional labor… It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to have mixed feelings about your parents, about your relationship with them.

Sometimes parents can love you but be somewhat toxic to you and your growth, and that’s a very hard realization to come to if you, like me, grew up extremely close to them.

Sometimes parents can love you genuinely but lack emotional maturity, forcing you to perform disproportionate amounts of emotional labor. Some parents manifest symptoms of their mental illness in ways that are toxic to your mental illness.

Some parents, like mine, try so hard to be good parents but fall back on habits of emotional manipulation because they haven’t processed their own traumas and are modeling behavior they grew up with. That doesn’t make their behavior acceptable, and it’s okay to feel exhausted and hurt when they betray you. You don’t have to forgive every mistake.

I want you to know that it’s okay to protect yourself, to need some space apart from them. The love you have for your parents is still valid, and you are making the right decision.

Placing a safe emotional distance between myself and my parents has been one of the most difficult, heartbreaking processes I’ve ever gone through… it hurts to try to curb the strength of your own natural empathy around people you love. It feels disingenuous to your heart’s natural state.

But I promise you, you are not hard-hearted or ungrateful, and you are not abandoning them. You are making a decision about your own emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

I know what it’s like in that confusing grey area of love mixed with guilt and anxiety, of exhaustion and quasi-manipulation and unreciprocated emotional labor, and I promise you, you are not alone.

Your mixed feelings about your parents are valid.

3

Racist and sexist behavior in esports is exposing what regular gamers experience every day

  • In recent months, several professional gamers in the esports world have been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: incidents of sexual harassment, abuse of power and horrifyingly explicit racist rants.
  • It’s easy to read these high-profile stories and think they’re strange, one-time occurrences — but for those who play games online, these displays of toxic masculinity are an everyday reality.
  • And if you don’t fit the stereotype of a gamer — meaning you’re not a straight, white male — these racist, sexist and homophobic online encounters with total strangers are much more likely to occur.
  • So, what effect do these more high-profile incidents have on the gaming world at large? Do they spark change within communities or simply model bad behavior that normal gamers will be all too eager to emulate? We spoke with Kat Lo — a Ph.D. student and researcher in online communities and harassment at University of California, Irvine — to suss it all out. Read more (5/4/17)

follow @the-future-now

Original Character ask meme – Psychology edition #2

1: What does your OC feel is important to be talented at?
2: Does your OC adapt easily to changes in life or do they have a hard time getting accustomed?
3: Does your OC struggle with any type of addictions?
4: How does your OC behave typically under severe stress?
5: What calms your OC down the best under severe stress?
6: Does your OC have an unrealistic view of some area of their life or worldview?
7: What does your OC hate and like about themselves?
8: What does your OC hate and appreciate on others?
9: What maladaptive behavioral models in your OC’s personality do they have to struggle with the most?
10: What type of people does your OC idolize the most?
11: What makes your OC feel most guilt in their life?
12: Is your OC mature or immature for their age?
13: How independent is your OC for their age and life situation?
14: Where and what from does your OC seek most typically comfort from?
15: Is your OC afraid of confrontation or do they seek to lay things down on open?
16: How openly does your OC show their emotions?
17: What does your OC do when they’re dealing with intense emotional pain?
18: What aspect of your OC’s personality or essence do other people usually have a problem with?
19: Is there anything others often admire about your OC?
20: Do other people have misconceptions about some parts of your OC’s personality?
21: How much of an attention seeker is your OC?
22: Does your OC believe in something supernatural or not scientifically proven?
23: Does your OC have a criminal record?
24: Does your OC have any sexual deviances or kinks?
25: How does your OC see their own value in comparison to other people?
26: Does your OC live in self-denial about anything?
27: What does your OC think about the concept of love?
28: Is your OC loyal or more prone of take advantage of people close to them?
29: Is your OC wild/ reckless or do they tend to stay on the safe side inside their comfort zone?
30: What could make your OC cry?

Model Behavior

Requested: The Reader is a photographer, and when she sees how insecure Reid gets around the models she shoots, she sets up a little photoshoot just for him.


The dark corner of the studio is a refuge for him. Far enough that the blinding flash of the camera lights are a little dimmer, but close enough to hear the faint echo of her voice as she directs her subjects.

“Now run your hand through your hair and tilt your chin down a little bit more,” she says to the man in front of her. “No, a little more this way.” She leaves the camera to position him herself, her hands moving his. “Like this. There you go. You’re perfect.”

Reid tries to distract himself. Absent-mindedly he opens up his phone and scrolls through the photo album. There isn’t much he takes pictures of. Grocery lists or case information are quickly deleted, and while he sometimes feels moved enough to snap a photograph of a sunset or a flowers in the park – airplane window views have long since lost their appeal - they’re overwhelmingly photos of her. The two of them together. Selfies of Y/N in the afternoon, when he’s left his phone behind and she’s decided to make funny faces on it. Pictures here and there that he’s taken when she’s not paying attention; making coffee or lost in a book or laughing at something. A few of her in the morning, fast asleep in his bed. There are photos of them together out at restaurants, plays, posing in silly ways in front of museum exhibits. He flips through months worth of photos in the hopes that they’ll keep him from focusing on the shoot happening at the moment.

He’s jealous.

It’s irrational, and he knows it, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling what he feels, watching Y/N spend hours with gorgeous models. They’re all so beautiful, practically flawless. The man posing before her now could practically be Photoshopped. It’s her job to make them look beautiful, to see them in a way that brings out their potential. Still, he can’t help but worry that with so much of her attention on these perfect people, she’ll someday realize there’s something wrong with him.

Despite his best efforts, it’s still difficult to tune out her voice. It makes sense, psychologically the mind has the lowest attention threshold for that which is most important. One’s own name, warnings like “fire!”, and other relevant information. She is a flame, and he is moth, drawn towards her light and her warmth, unable to turn away.

A few other male models filter in and out, and eventually she bids them farewell, with a few hugs – one even exchanges cheek-kisses with her before parting. She then strolls over to join him in the corner, falling into a chair beside him.

“Goodness, those boys wear me out,” she says. “They’re beautiful, but they need a lot of direction.”

“Mmhmm,” is all he offers.

“You alright?” she asks.

“Yeah. Fine. You just seem awful friendly with them.” The instant he speaks, he wishes he could take it back.

She raises her eyebrows. “Spencer, are you… jealous?” Almost incredulous at his words. “You know it’s strictly professional.”

He sighs, crossing his arms. “I know. And it’s not that I think you’d ever cheat on me or anything, it’s just that, well, they’re all so perfect. You spend all day with these handsome men, and I can’t help but feel inferior. I’m just afraid that one day you’ll realize you’re making a mistake with me.”

“That’s never going to happen,” she says softly. “You’re the most intelligent, kind, and wonderful person I’ve ever met. Sure, those guys are conventionally attractive, but some of them have about as much substance as water vapor. Others think they’re so great you should automatically feel grateful for their presence.”

Reid has always been humble, partly because he never felt he had anything worth bragging about. Except maybe her. From the moment he met her, he hasn’t been able to shut up about her. Rambling to Morgan, asking JJ for advice, mentioning her on cases. As though there is a need for her name to always be in his mouth, as though she’ll disappear if he doesn’t keep talking about her.

“I know. But your job is to work with models. And Y/N, you’re so pretty. I just don’t want you to feel embarrassed by me.”

She laughs, but it’s a gentle sound, and she gently caresses his cheek. “My dear, you don’t realize how absolutely stunning you are, do you? I could spend hours staring into your eyes. Your smile is immaculate. And don’t even get me started on that jawline. You’re absolutely beautiful. Honestly, you could be a model if you wanted to.” At that, her eyes light up with a familiar spark of mischief. “You know what? Maybe you should model!”

“Wait, what?”

Before he can ask for clarification, she’s already dancing around the studio, shuffling around her equipment and fiddling with props. “I want you to model for me!” she tells him. “It’s easy. Just stand in front of the backdrop, then do what I say.”

Hesitant, he complies, having learned long ago not to question her when her artistic vision takes over. He stands awkwardly on the set, shifting his weight from foot to foot, while she stares right through him, her eyes combing over every inch of him. Then she steps towards him and instructs him to stay still, loosening his tie and undoing the top two buttons of his shirt.

“There we go. You need to relax, that’s all. You’ve got such a good face, but you’re stiff as a board.” With gentle, steady hands, she moves him this way and that, maneuvering his limbs into various positions and running back to the camera to snap quick shots. All the while she’s shouting encouragements, telling him how great he looks, and slowly his uncertainty melts away.

“Smile,” she urges him. When he comes up with a frog-like grimace, she begins reciting lame puns and telling him funny stories to make it more genuine. “Remember the night you walked me home from dinner? And I made the world’s lamest Carl Sagan joke? You laughed and laughed and if I wasn’t already head over heels, that smile of yours sealed the deal. I don’t know why, but I just knew I had to kiss you right then, with that beautiful grin on your face.”

At the memory, he can’t help but smile now, an echo of a past gesture. Of course he remembers. It was the very first time they’d kissed, and even now with several months and countless kisses between them, he remembers that first sensation of her lips against his, and how very perfect it felt.

A flash goes off. She’s grinning now too, happy with the shot. “That’s a good one. God, that smile of yours is just dazzling. I am henceforth committing myself to making you do that more often.”

“And how exactly do you intend to do that?” he teases. She smirks at him, a challenge, and fiddles with her camera for a few seconds before strolling over to join him on the tiny set.

“With anything and everything,” she answers. “But this seems like a good place to start.” With the same gentle direction she uses with the models, she guides him back onto the prop armchair, pushing him down before climbing into his lap. Turning his cheek, she runs the tips of her fingers over his face. A flash goes off, and he looks towards the camera, startled, but she redirects his attention back to her. “Don’t worry about that. Just relax.”

Her skin is against his and she’s staring up at him through her eyelashes and he’s finding it hard to remember what about those other guys bothered him so much. So he does as she says and lets her distract him. Her hand on his chest, around his waist, running through his hair. At some point, she leans in and brushes her lips against his. It’s a soft gesture he returns with intense passion, the sound and flash of the camera fading away.

Briefly, she pulls away, pushing his hair away from his face. “I swear, you’re a work of art,” she murmurs. “How can you not see that?” In response, he kisses her again, pulling her closer. Because with her, he finds that just maybe he can start to believe that.

Later when they sit down together, she shows him the results. And he decides that maybe she’s the magician in the relationship, because somehow her camera has transformed him into a version of himself he actually doesn’t hate. For once, he doesn’t mind the way he looks. His favorites though, are the images she’s captured of the two of them. The way she looks at him, that’s magic.

She uploads several of her shots onto his phone, and he instantly makes his favorite of the two of them his background. And each time he sees it, he’s reminded exactly what kind of man he wants to be. It doesn’t matter much if he’s a cover model or a bodybuilder. The person he is when he’s with her though - that’s who he wants to be.

That’s what he wants to capture. A snapshot of the way he makes her feel. And he never intends to let her go.

She’s the artist. He’s her muse. But what they are is a masterpiece.

Civil Rights

As a teacher I generally do not accept the excuse that a particular task is too hard and therefore should be abandoned.

I am not an advocate for giving up.

I do not collect tough texts halfway through reading them and say, “Well, that was taking too long.”

I am not about modelling behaviors that create a culture of quitting.

But, maybe I should reexamine my practice. Because my values do not seem to be those which will make America great again.

I realized this when I read the article “Education Dept. Says It Will Scale Back Civil Rights Investigations” in the New York Times yesterday. See, the article seemed to indicate that the Department of Education, under the leadership of that venerable hero to American schoolchildren,  Betsy DeVos, would not longer be investigating civil rights cases with the same consistency, depth, and thoroughness previously applied to them.

Why?

The mandates issued by the Obama administration required too much work and were slowing things down.

I am not kidding. I went on to read articles in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, which only bolstered the conviction of this conclusion. The main argument for changing our policy on investigating civil rights violations in schools is that doing so more thoroughly creates a “backlog.”

In other words, once we really delve into this issue it turns out it is a huge problem!

But…

Investigating patterns of injustice takes examination of years of data, and that is time-consuming and costly. So, the new plan? Just don’t do it. Changing the burden of proof in campus sexual assault cases, thereby possibly shifting away from a pervasive culture of campus sexual assault? Costly. Time consuming. Hard. New plan? Don’t do it anymore.

And protecting transgendered kids? Well, they might do it. Maybe. See now, transgender protection will be determined on a case by case basis.

In America.

In 2017.

See, America as it was in some murky past was good enough for white cis billionaires like Ms. DeVos. She has never suffered a civil rights issue in her life, ergo, there cannot really, actually, be that many, so spending money on investigating them is dumb. We could give that money instead to private school vouchers for schools with policies barring gay students or those from gay families. Which is literally what Ms. DeVos wants to do, by the way.

Yeah, I was raised not to be a quitter. I have always tried to instill in my students that something worth doing is worth doing right, and that finding out the truth, no matter how much research it takes, is a valuable pursuit.

Perhaps, however,  I am  wrong. Maybe in this brave new version of a once great America, if it is hard, if it is uncomfortable, it is okay to do something halfway, or even, not at all.

Model Behavior

Summary: Jack is getting ready to do a photo shoot for Alicia’s friend.  Bitty comes along to keep him company, when Bitty suddenly becomes the model. Jack’s reaction to the photo is… interesting.  A quick little ficlet which takes place during Jack’s senior year.  Also on AO3


Jack hated photo shoots. Absolutely hated them, but Alicia had a favor called in and he found himself in a position of not being able to say no. And so, begrudgingly, Jack Zimmermann was on his way to Boston for a one-day shoot.

“Like an actual shoot shoot?” Bitty asked wide-eyed as he told him about it over some ginger peach pie the evening before.

“Yeah. It’s for some clothing line. They’re going to dress me up like a puppet and then I have to stand there, and smile like an idiot.”

“I dunno, it sounds so fun to me. I’d love to model!” Bitty said then sighed, “Alas, I am vertically challenged.”

“Euh… do you want to come with me?” Jack asked pushing his pie around the plate with his fork.

“Really? And like watch?!” Bitty practically bounced off his seat.

“I guess so, Bittle. Don’t make me take it back.”

“No! I’ll behave. I promise! It’s going to be so much fun.”

+++

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I can’t stop with the tropical manis. Warmer weather has me focused on summer ☀️ I used:
@sally_hansen Blue Me Away
@cndworld Blue Eyeshadow
@sinfulcolors_official Hazard
@smithandcult Cut the Mullet
@shopncla Banana Almond Blonde, Call My Agent, Model Behavior
@heroine.nyc White Noise
Accessories:
@elliejmaui midi rings
@puravidabracelets!

a theme ive noticed with the expressions is that the masculine signs (aries, gemini, leo, libra, sagittarius and aquarius) look for what others can provide them. the feminine signs (taurus, cancer, virgo, scorpio, capricorn, pisces) look for what they can give to others. libra is the exception here and i believe they sit on the borderline of both. the masculine signs use people to garner responses and create an audience. gemini wants people there to chat to. aries want people to model their behavior from and figure out what is socially and professionally acceptable, and also to challenge them and prove themselves against. leo wants a crowd to cheer them on. sagittarius want people to learn from and filter meaning from to create their own. aquarius want people they can share ideas with and prove their intelligence over. on the other hand, taurus look inside for what they can provide others on a material and financial level, kind of like cancer. except cancer seeks to create the home and the sanctuary and taurus wants to fill it with love. virgo wants to serve others in a technical/physical/applicable manner. scorpio wants to expose his soul and imbibe another. capricorn wants to establish civility for people and foundations that we can exist upon. pisces want people so they can offer their spiritual riches and healing potency. libra both offers and takes. he wants to give his heart and friendship and love, and yet he also needs people to form his identity and erase the hollowness. but in taking, the masculine signs also inadvertently give. aries shatters glass ceilings for others, gemini connects people, leo entertains, sagittarius provides knowledge, aquarius builds a utopia. the feminine signs garner the feeling of self satisfaction and contentment. taurus feels comfortable, cancer feels secure, virgo disseminates the ego and finds himself, scorpio finds peace, capricorn garners stability and pisces follows his divine manuscript 
-cherry

#SaveWOY - Trending Fourth -Why does the WOY crew deserve an award?

Craig McCracken and his command did a great job, and I can say I admire each of them. My choice of the word “command” is not accidental, because when you watch any episode of WOY, you know that the creators have worked really cohesively. 

First of all I want to note an excellent choice of cartoon theme. 

This theme is  simple and complicated at the same time. So, it gives a lot of maneuvers for plot development, plot turns and experiments. Episodes “The Breakfast”, “The Eye on the Skull Ship”, “My Fair Hatey” (and many others) are the direct proof of the fact that the original ideas and experiments can lead to remarkable results. WOY has a distinctive art style. It manages to be deep and serious, remaining bright and colorful.The cartoon presents us unusual main characters, breaks the stereotype of a complete separation of good and evil, changes our worldview. WOY has a huge potential.The cartoon proved that it can grow. The storyline of the second season allowed the writers to show their full potential. The scenario grew, the characters grew and cartoon audience is growing too. The stories about the main characters, their backgrounds, development and change in their relationships, new turn of events, unusual situationand and much more. It’s very interesting.

This cartoon has taught us many things. 

 WOY is good because it gives us a solution to many problems that happen in our lives very often.  For example: “Every time we try to do good it just turns into something worse.” But we should not despair, we should go the right way. Episode “The Troll” teaches children and adults that violence is not the way to resolve the conflict. Episode “The Hero” proves that life is not a fairy tale. The hero can not be a true hero in our real life. Episode “The Toddler” shows the ideal model of behavior of parents who are bringing up a small child. I mean, there are so many examples.

Moreover, each character shows us some of the good character qualities, that we have to learn.

 Wander is a real good man, who uses only peaceful methods to make the world a kinder. Sylvia is an example of the fact that it’s never too late to correct the mistakes of your past. Peepers proved that your origin and your natural characteristics are not important. If you work hard, you will achieve your goal. Even Hater proved that each of us is able to change. We just need someone who will believe in us. “An enemy is just a friend you have not made yet”. There is no absolute villains in the world. Everyone deserves a chance to change yourself.

The creators showed what they are capable, they deserve a chance to do it again. We want to see even so much. Craig McCracken and his command have a lot of ideas. Any creativity should be encouraged. Then why this case is an exception? 

They really proved, that you, @disneyxd , can trust them the creation of the third season. I’m sure, they will not let you down. They were not afraid to be original, unique, honest and sincere. That’s why they deserve the respect of a huge audience. That’s why they really deserve to finish the story as they planned. Fans can thank the creators for all the good things they have done. But you’ll do it better if you’ll give them a chance. 

False Twin Flames, Karmic Attachment, A Spiritual & Psychological Fusion.

A ‘false twin flame’ is a specific type of karmic attachment that leaves a pretty lasting impression, and a lasting impact, that is, until the actual twin flame makes themselves apparent. And sometimes, even then, the dent left by the false twin may be so prevalent, that it too affects the twin flame union, and the ways in which the twin in question perceives love, and perceives members of the opposite sex, (opposing energy).

Just like not everybody has a twin flame, not everybody has a false twin. The two sort of go hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other.

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anonymous asked:

Do you think Ned Stark was successful in anything? Your metas heavily emphasize his failures, faults, and shortcomings. Do you think there was anything he was good at other than being viewed as a good man and moral? I don't see many people acknowledging positive aspects of him-other than he loved his family and was relatively a 'good' person, but that seems to be done more to lighten the criticism of him. Why is he so beloved in the book if he was such a fuck up to his family and the North?

Um, should I not criticize him where criticism is due? Or when an issue he did not handle properly is being discussed? I criticize Ned but I do not denounce him. It’s not that I’m heavily emphasizing his faults but there are places where Ned erred, even if it was sympathetic or understandable in some occasions. I’m generally against considering only one aspect of Ned’s personality as an indication of who he is as a whole, be them his virtues or his faults. My analysis of his motivations or his actions in a certain event isn’t a blanket condemnation of the character or any attempt to argue that he is a fuck up or a bad person. Flawed, certainly, but not bad. Far from it actually. The text itself criticizes Ned  because he, like every other character GRRM writes, is not a saint. He is one of the good ones, but he is not an impeccable untouchable paragon of all that’s good and right. He stands out, certainly, since he is sometimes the only person to speak up against some truly vile things (like the fight with Robert over his condoning of Elia and her children’s murder, or the one over Robert’s command to assassinate a pregnant Daenerys, in which he was joined by Barristan Selmy) but, well, Mycah.

I can’t really speak for the entire fandom, neither do I know what tone the conversation around Ned usually takes, but for me, Ned’s merits and morals and successes are explicitly laid all over the text so I don’t usually feel the need to argue for them. This is the guy who is reputed for his honor across all of Westeros, who garnered the epithet of the honorable Ned Stark. Everyone, friend or foe, make a mention of his morals and honor. And it’s not that he is good at “being viewed” as moral, he genuinely is. Ned Stark is the last person who would perform morality or honor. We’re inside the man’s head, we see his thought process, this is his character and his moral code.

Now the narrative gives us two contrasting ideologies in Tywin Lannister’s and Ned Stark’s to serve as foils to each other, and then goes to bat for Ned’s. It’s a part of a larger body of stories that is meant to make a statement about the importance of upholding values and believing in ideals even when corrupt institutions and individuals ridicule and distort them, or even use them against you. A corrupt system can’t take your ideals away from you, no matter what. Ned’s story falls right in line with this message. His ideals win. His political theory wins. He wins. How can he, then, be considered a failure?

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anonymous asked:

Hey, I just saw your post claiming Val and Skul's relationship is an unhealthy one. It confused me. Can you explain? (I feel like I have to clarify that I am not criticising you, I'm just genuinely curious since I've never heard this opinion before.)

[ kicks down door ]

Hi there :D

I’d just like to say that on some level, D.Lands planned this relationship while writing them. I personally believe around the fifth or forth book. Or it at least became more apparent.

It should also be noted D.Lands has a “”“"thing”“”“ on some level for age gaps.

Anyways, there are a few things wrong with the relationship.

One thing is the giant age gap. Skulduggery has never, to my knowledge, admit he was mentoring Valkyrie. He has always called her his partner. However, it is clear who hold the power in the relationship.

Skulduggery is a wealth of knowledge and adult experiences. He has lived several lifetimes-worth. You can see this ; Valkyrie doesn’t even know how to drive, let alone anything of the “world” he introduces her to. She relies on him for access to this world, to feel “adult,” in a sense. To teach her magic, yadda yadda.

The real issue here is that Skulduggery can be seen as “grooming” Valkyrie.

I mean grooming in this sense : Valkyrie is rewarded with something she wants ( access to this world, exciting adventures, magic ) by acting a certain way.

You can see this behavior in the first book: she didn’t want to let the death of a room full of people to affect her, because she wanted to be seen as “brave” in Skulduggery’s eyes ; not a child or a 12-year-old.

On some level, Skulduggery didn’t want an actual child following him around. If she had burst into tears ( like I know I would have at twelve ) he would have immediately changed his decision to let her follow around. I remember vividly how weirded out Skulduggery got when Valkyrie cried after her TOOTH got knocked out of her HEAD. I think she was 13 or 14 at the time, but he literally doesn’t know how to react when Valkyrie actually acts her age.

Not to mention, Skulduggery encourages her to not attend school, or interact with people her age. This is on top of the fact Valkyrie never tells her parents about Skulduggery or his tutoring ; she has no insight from actual adults who would see immediate red flags at how Skulduggery is treating her. ( This is also why I headcanon Melissa as low keyhating Skulduggery / not allowing Alice to participate in the world. )

She also mimics her behavior off of Skulduggery. In the first book, she is much quieter, in wonder, rather dorky. She thinks she’s really cool ( as all twelve-year-olds do lol ) and Skulduggery subtly makes fun of her. For instance, telling her about octopus-people or whatever, telling her that it’s funny some people ( the unlucky ones who DON’T meet a cool skeleton ) die without knowing about magic.

By the… third book, she is snappy and sarcastic and biting. She becomes reserved with people her age, haughty with others. Not to mention, Skulduggery pretty much talks for the both of them to EVERYONE, bringing Valkyrie along just for funsies. ( This is acknowledged in-text by various people. )

She models her behavior and actions off of Skulduggery to get his approval ( that is, more sarcastic, more stoic, etc. ). Not to mention, he explicitly comments on her “tight trousers,” mocking but at the same time rewarding her ( by noticing her ) for wearing them. Concerning stuff from an extremely older man in any other context.

He also buys her expensive things, like a room in his house, new clothes, etc., partially rewarding, partially to have her around him more.

I fully blame Valkyrie’s modeling on Skulduggery as the reason for her breakdown. She has never seen ( or really interacted ) with someone who shows emotions like a normal, functioning adult. She has never seen Skulduggery cry, or even get scolded for his actions, and she has seen this as THE behavior to emulate.

And then she’s suddenly the destroyer of the world, and she doesn’t have the ability to handle that. Weakness / evilness is something bad, to be looked down upon. She was scared she was going to mess up big time, and she didn’t tell Skulduggery because he’s never scared, and he would have never befriended her in the first place if she was EVER scared, or admitted to it.

But even then, she doesn’t have the structures in place to handle large emotional burdens.

AND ALL THIS IS FINE IN A NARRATIVE SENSE, EXCEPT :

1) The age range this is marketed towards ( young adult ) IS EXACTLY the age where this sort of grooming behavior begins.

2) IT IS NEVER ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE TEXT THAT THIS IS A HORRIFIC POWER DYNAMIC, IDEALIZES IT, SETTING BAD EXAMPLE FOR TARGET MARKET.

Your one exception is Kenspeckle ( the bae ), who vividly hates Skulduggery ( for good reason ) and loves Valkyrie, but this is NEVER explained. The above power dynamic was clear to Kenspeckle, not to Valkyrie or the readers. It came off as Kenspecks being a total douche for no reason, or the “grumpy father who disapproves of his daughter’s boyfriend.” When in reality, Kenspeckle is the ONLY ADULT who EVER realizes the situation Valkyrie is in, and tries to help her.

3) That codependency thing…

AND NOW, TO THE CRUX OF THE MATTER. This grooming is exactly why Valkyrie is codependent upon Skulduggery.

To recap : Skulduggery is the one who introduced her into the magical world, shaped her view and experience of it, and who continues to be her main access to this world.

Skulduggery, and Valkyrie’s want of this world, shaped Valkyrie’s behavior by : encouraging isolation from children her age, her parents, gentle but suggestive mocking, inappropriate comments, rewarding with his “”“time”“”“ and ”“”“attention”“”“.

Valkyrie, in a need to please Skulduggery : changed to become more like Skulduggery, models her behavior off Skulduggery. This includes : haughty behavior, superiority, isolation from friends and family, emotionlessness–or as closes as she can get, options on topics, places herself in danger to please Skulduggery, and going out of her way to learn about topics to feel she "impresses” Skulduggery and “fits into” the world.

( Not to mention, she is ALWAYS hesitant to discuss her personal, romantic relationships, because this might piss him off and he’ll cut her off. )

Literally, her whole life ( magic, personality, occupation ) comes from Skulduggery. She NEEDS him as a constant source of validation for this behavior, as well as a constant model to go off.

Hence : codependency. She needs him.

Skulduggery, meanwhile, likes Valkyrie because of her “innocence.” She knows nothing about his past ( blank slate ), and is literally in love with him and his style and his WORLD. This pleases his egocentrism. This is why he lets her follow him around. Because she adored what he introduced to her, and he is her number one source for continuing to learn, and she adores him.

Skulduggery is dependent on her for his ego. She is dependent on him for… a lot.

So, anyways, that’s why it’s unhealthy.

And that’s why I made that post ; I know that young readers ( like I was when I started ) see nothing wrong with the model presented in the books. Hell, when I started reading the books, I wanted EXACTLY what Valkyrie had. I wanted to be special, and hot, and smart, and have attention from adults.

The books ( and D.Lands by extension ) pretty much endorses it, shows why it’s bad, AND NEVER EXPLAINS WHY VALKYRIE WENT OFF THE DEEP END IN THE LAST 2 BOOKS.

Skulduggery emotionally stunted her. All that fear, and rage, and mostly, mostly self-doubt because she had FEELINGS, manifested in Darquesse.

Because Darquesse is what Valkyrie wanted to be. Untouchable. Emotionless. Powerful.

And that’s HOW Darquesse took over. She always insulted Valkyrie, offered violent solutions some part of her thought SKULDUGGERY would suggest. But mainly ? Darquesse just created self-doubt, until Valkyrie began to rely on her ( this emotionless powerhouse ), and then took over.

( This also falls into my headcanon that Darquesse’s voice never went away, just the power. Valkyrie still craves to be emotionless ( as Skulduggery taught her ) and powerful. So she doesn’t have to be human, so she can be COOL, like Skulduggery, and not be scared and afraid. It’s this smothering of emotion that led to Darquesse’s creation, anyways. )

But mainly, D.Lands NEVER EVER explained why Val and Skul’s relationship was unhealthy. Fuck, the books condone it.

This is also why the fandom reacted so viscerally to D.Lands dating a super young fan. It’s one thing to idealize, another to see it happen in real life, and realize the books condone that behavior.

( Just throwing it out there I ship Val // Dug so I am aware of these problems. That’s why it’s important for me to ship but also point out the problems. )

Anyways, please PLEASE let me know if you have any more questions. :)

Balancing Time and Space in the Brain: A New Model Holds Promise for Predicting Brain Dynamics

For as long as scientists have been listening in on the activity of the brain, they have been trying to understand the source of its noisy, apparently random, activity. In the past 20 years, “balanced network theory” has emerged to explain this apparent randomness through a balance of excitation and inhibition in recurrently coupled networks of neurons. A team of scientists has extended the balanced model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity.

Lead investigators at the University of Pittsburgh say the new model accurately explains experimental findings about the highly variable responses of neurons in the brains of living animals. On Oct. 31, their paper, “The spatial structure of correlated neuronal variability,” was published online by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The new model provides a much richer understanding of how activity is coordinated between neurons in neural circuits. The model could be used in the future to discover neural “signatures” that predict brain activity associated with learning or disease, say the investigators.

“Normally, brain activity appears highly random and variable most of the time, which looks like a weird way to compute,” said Brent Doiron, associate professor of mathematics at Pitt, senior author on the paper, and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute (UPBI). “To understand the mechanics of neural computation, you need to know how the dynamics of a neuronal network depends on the network’s architecture, and this latest research brings us significantly closer to achieving this goal.”

Earlier versions of the balanced network theory captured how the timing and frequency of inputs—excitatory and inhibitory—shaped the emergence of variability in neural behavior, but these models used shortcuts that were biologically unrealistic, according to Doiron.

“The original balanced model ignored the spatial dependence of wiring in the brain, but it has long been known that neuron pairs that are near one another have a higher likelihood of connecting than pairs that are separated by larger distances. Earlier models produced unrealistic behavior—either completely random activity that was unlike the brain or completely synchronized neural behavior, such as you would see in a deep seizure. You could produce nothing in between.”

In the context of this balance, neurons are in a constant state of tension. According to co-author Matthew Smith, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Pitt and a member of UPBI, “It’s like balancing on one foot on your toes. If there are small overcorrections, the result is big fluctuations in neural firing, or communication.”

The new model accounts for temporal and spatial characteristics of neural networks and the correlations in the activity between neurons—whether firing in one neuron is correlated with firing in another. The model is such a substantial improvement that the scientists could use it to predict the behavior of living neurons examined in the area of the brain that processes the visual world.

After developing the model, the scientists examined data from the living visual cortex and found that their model accurately predicted the behavior of neurons based on how far apart they were. The activity of nearby neuron pairs was strongly correlated. At an intermediate distance, pairs of neurons were anticorrelated (When one responded more, the other responded less.), and at greater distances still they were independent.

“This model will help us to better understand how the brain computes information because it’s a big step forward in describing how network structure determines network variability,” said Doiron. “Any serious theory of brain computation must take into account the noise in the code. A shift in neuronal variability accompanies important cognitive functions, such as attention and learning, as well as being a signature of devastating pathologies like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.”

While the scientists examined the visual cortex, they believe their model could be used to predict activity in other parts of the brain, such as areas that process auditory or olfactory cues, for example. And they believe that the model generalizes to the brains of all mammals. In fact, the team found that a neural signature predicted by their model appeared in the visual cortex of living mice studied by another team of investigators.

“A hallmark of the computational approach that Doiron and Smith are taking is that its goal is to infer general principles of brain function that can be broadly applied to many scenarios. Remarkably, we still don’t have things like the laws of gravity for understanding the brain, but this is an important step for providing good theories in neuroscience that will allow us to make sense of the explosion of new experimental data that can now be collected,” said Nathan Urban, associate director of UPBI.

anonymous asked:

Where does insecurity end and narcissism begin? Or are they two sides of the same coin? Do you think Tumblr helps us to reconcile our insecurities or does Tumblr exacerbate them? Why does it seem like the guys who claim to have the most issues with their physical features have the most followers championing their physical features. Thoughts?

Oh my yes. Tumblr (like all social media) can both help and hurt your insecurity, depending on what state of mind you approach it with.

One of my favorite quotes is “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Social media does an excellent job of allowing you to only show your best to the world, while keeping the dirtier realities to yourself.

It makes it seem like the guy who travels the world and has a well-paying job and multiple boyfriends or whatever has it all figured out. That he knows the keys to happiness, and that you should model your behavior after him. His amazing life experiences make your life look depressing and sad.

In reality, though, you have no idea what he’s dealing with. He could be just as depressed and sad as you are. His way of life could be nowhere close to one that brings true happiness.

We all have a tendency to look at the people above us and feel worse about ourselves, even the guys you’d think have no one else to look up to. I suspect this wasn’t as big of a problem before the internet, because now you can use Tumblr to create a feed of the most attractive men and be inundated with photos at all hours of the day that could drive a man to think that everyone in the world is a giant burly masculine beast that makes you look insignificant.

It does honestly help to be able to put myself out there among that flood of photos and get some kudos. The internet is a brutally honest place, and to have someone take the time to write a positive comment about my appearance does a great deal to validate my efforts and keep me going. It’s not how you should tackle the larger issue of body dysmorphia or whatever else you’re dealing with, but it can help pick you up on a bad day.

Of course, that kind of thing can get very addictive. There’s a risk of becoming dependent on that feedback, instead of dealing with your insecurities in a healthy way. It can breed some nasty unflattering online personalities or inflated egos, but the insecurities are still there.

I’ve made my experiences with this process public because I want to help people who are struggling with the same desires and insecurities as I am. Sometimes it gets too real or too whiny, but I’ve tried to be as open and honest about what I struggle with behind the scenes so that my progress doesn’t make anyone feel bad about their own. Your insecurities won’t go away just because you get bigger, but I want to show that you can continue on towards your goals despite them.

anonymous asked:

Hello!I would like to ask what's your take on Kuchel Ackerman as a mother and what kind child was Captain Levi?Many thanks♡

Gladly, anon! It is my belief that Kuchel was a loving and caring mother who did her absolute best in caring for him. Levi’s empathetic nature is a reflection of her love. That’s the tl;dr, of it, but I’m going to grab a few moments from the manga to support this.

Chapter 65: “She won’t listen to me and says she’s gonna have it”
Kuchel and Kenny argued about the pregnancy but Kuchel wouldn’t budge. She stood firm against her notorious big brother. With or without family support, she wanted this child. 

Chapter 69: Levi is a clean freak because of her
I saw a post floating around not too long ago that suggested Levi was raised in filth but I don’t think canon supports that. The curtains are shabby and worn, but otherwise the room is spotless. Levi was dirty when Kenny found him, but Kuchel had been dead for days at that point. I suspect while she lived she took great pride in keeping him and his environment clean. Levi’s tidy nature is a reflection of his mother.

Chapter 69: “They were all slaves to something”
As part of Kenny’s “everyone is a slave to something” speech, Kuchel is shown with the word “children”. Levi was her purpose in living. He was the thing that kept her going. As a whore in the underground her situation was terrible, but she was proud of her child and devoted her life to him.

Levi wearing her clothing long after her death is indicative of his love in return. He held onto that small part of her.

The best evidence that Kuchel was a loving mother is Levi himself. His caring and empathetic nature didn’t happen by chance. I’m going to quote @teetanjaeger from this post. Amazingly, she wrote it before we learned about Kuchel in chapter 69:

In developmental psychology, empathy is generally considered a learned ability. We are not born with an innate sense of empathy for other people. This is why children are really egotistical little humans. (You know that joke about children being sociopaths? Its kind of true…) So, in order for Levi to have this level of empathy, he had to have learned it somewhere. It certainly wasn’t from Kenny…

Generally, empathy is learned during the toddler years. Children model their behavior off of the adults around them, its how they learn to interact with the world that they don’t understand. 

In case you haven’t see it, this art by Sophie is amazing and best captures my personal headcanons about Kuchel and Levi. 

Thanks for the ask, anon!