flat-affect

you guys do realize that low empathy and flat affect are completely separate things and also are NOT indicators of how “good” of a person someone is?

anonymous asked:

Hi! I just wanted to ask if my autistic character (a mermaid) who suffers from sensory overload if outside of the water is plausible...I mean, underwater sounds are silenced and the light is toned down as well...but I wonder if making her cold and distant would be stereotypical (sorry if I've used any wrong words, English is not my first language)

It makes sense for a mermaid to be affected by the sensory changes of being outside of the water - not only are there differences in light and sound above and below water, but there are lots of other sensory differences - think about the feeling of air and wind against her skin, the change in temperature between below and above water, and the vestibular input of ocean currents and/or waves. Another big sensory input to consider is water pressure - if she is used to having the feeling of hundreds of meters of water pushing down on her, she may find having only sea-level atmospheric pressure difficult to cope with.

In terms of her seeming “cold and distant”, I have some hesitation. I think it is ok (and realistic) for her to react to being overstimulated by having flattened affect (showing less emotion) and withdrawing from (or having greater difficulty with) social situations. This could easily be perceived by onlookers as being “cold and distant”. However, I think it would be good to show why your character is acting like this - if you can find a way to show that the character is not deliberately being “cold”, but that in fact she is overwhelmed and at this point in time can’t manage “normal” social interactions. Alternatively, maybe she would still be able to have typical social interactions, but this would make her tired much more quickly, and so she would be able to spend less time above water before having a meltdown/shutdown. This might mean that your character chooses to conserve her energy by ignoring unnecessary “social niceties”, and sticking to purely practical matters.

Finally, I will leave you with something to consider: are there cultural differences between mermaids and other species in the world of your story? It can be difficult for autistic people to understand the different social rules needed in different situations, and this is even more difficult when cultural issues are taken into account - behaviour that is considered polite by one culture is very rude in another, which might add to your character’s difficulties (and mean that other characters perceive her as rude or aloof).

-Mod Snail

Stimming is not just a coping mechanism

I see this defense of stimming a lot:

  • It’s wrong to train autistic people not to stim
  • They use it to compensate for overload
  • Or to focus
  • Or to compensate for other problems
  • Or to express distress

All of this is true. But it also misses the point. Stimming isn’t just a coping mechanism. It’s much more than that. Stimming is a positive part of autistic experience, not an unfortunate-but-functionally-important thing we have to do.

Imagine if facial expressions and tones of voice were considered wrong, and someone defended them this way:

  • It is wrong to teach children to adopt a flat affect
  • Children need to be able to frown
  • Children need to be able to indicate through the tone of their voice that something is wrong
  • Children need to be able to cry. That’s a way of coping with pain and overload

All of those things are true. But if that’s all defenders of tone and facial expression said, it would be horribly misleading. Body language and tones are more than that, and they are good.

Stimming is like that too.

  • Stimming is not just necessary. It is also natural, and good
  • Flapping in response to a nice texture is not fundamentally different from smiling in response to the smell of a flower
  • Rocking in response to someone saying something offensive is not fundamentally different from frowning in response to a slur
  • It is ok for autistic people to have autistic body language
BPD Symptoms and Features

**please note: the following post was originally posted by kellyann-graceful-warrior and has been reposted here by me and bolded and italicized to reflect which symptoms i feel apply to myself**

BPD is a chronic mental disorder of emotional dysregulation+hypersensitivity due to factors such as:

-A result of an overactive autonomic nervous system (fight or flight- functions associated to panic, anxiety, anger reactions, etc)
-An under-active parasympathetic nervous system (The system that is responsible to regulate the autonomic nervous system)
-Less active and smaller in volume abnormalities in the limbic system which has functions linked to: emotional reactions, memory, decision making, motivation, behavior, learning and developmental ability, thought pattern, instincts, psychotic symptoms, seizures, and senses/the way the body perceives external stimuli.
-Reduced volume in frontal lobe which has functions linked to: decision making, communication responses, ability to comprehend consequences, emotional-based memories and triggers, and relations to people, events and situations.
-Abnormal blood flow to parts of the brain that control emotions, resulting in one to be more reactive
-Emotional reactions firing off 20% longer
-A ton of other factors

Here are the 9 main symptoms noted in the criteria and research.

1. Extreme reactions to real or perceived/feared abandonment, rejection, or criticism

2. Splitting and idealization/devaluation

3. Identity disturbance- impoverished self image/self esteem and sense of self, dysphoria, despising ones self, and extreme instability and no direction towards the future, aspirations, goals, [career] plans, values, etc

4. Impulsive behavior- a sense of urgency to relieve intensity of emotions from stimuli, often self damaging (spending sprees, binge eating, steal, substance abuse, etc).

5. Reoccurring suicidal behavior/ideations (gestures, extensive thoughts, planning, role playing) and self-harm

6. Intense rapid cycling of affective instability due to hypersensitivity+dysregulation reactions

7. Depressive symptoms- chronic feelings of emptiness, frequent feelings of being miserable, shame, self-inferiority, and extreme difficulty recovering from such feelings

8. Intense anger and/or aggression reactions- frequent anger easily triggered from incidents

9. Paranoia/panic and dissociation reactions (often in response to stresses/anxieties)
[People with BPD may often experience reactions/episodes of psychosis- paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, body dysmorphic figures, etc, as well]

Then there are hundreds of other symptoms and features to this very complex, and unfortunately, highly stigmatized and misunderstood disorder. Here are a few indicated in research.
(Note- One with the disorder may display some or most of these, but nothing is guaranteed as each person with the disorder is an individual, so don’t use these as assumptions. Some may not have the same symptoms as others, and no person with it is portrayed the same way.
They are rather a guideline to mental health workers because they are often seen and developed from the disorder and symptoms).

(ALSO NOTE- Others without it can obviously ‘display/relate’ to some of this from time to time once you take a look, but the reasoning, cause, severity, and pattern is different and this is a chronic disorder.Please note it’s completely different than that and that this post is just for awareness/education purposes since not many know about it- how to deal, what to expect, etc.
Percentages show that 8/10 of these individuals attempt suicide, while 1/10 complete it. Stigma and assumptions don’t help, but awareness does.

10. Anxiety, nervousness

11. Headaches/migraines are common

12. Seizures

13. Higher nociception (pain tolerance)- Studies show alterations in pain processing in over 50% of those with BPD. The result of this comes from different systematic responses and antinociception and may be a result of long-term self harm behavior in some cases).

14. Distorted/irregular eating patterns- reduced food intake, impoverished diet, etc

15. Obsessive compulsive features- intrusive thoughts in the thought pattern/processes, repetitive behavior as a result of self harm, paranoia, distress, etc, and repetitive speech, to name a few

16. Self discipline/work orientation as a result of OCD features

17. Attachment

18. Extreme reckless-daring behavior

19. Baiting

20. Unstable relationships

21. “Always” and “Never” statements/reactions (splitting)

22. Sleep deprivation or irregular sleeping patterns

23. Voice changing

24. “Acting out”

25. Extreme curiosity and interest  

26. Dependency

27. Sarcasm

28. Promiscuity

29. Mimicking/mirroring

30. Flashbacks

31.
Nightmares  

32. Difficulty processing information

33. Difficulty focusing and concentrating and poor attention span

34. Consistent/radical change of appearance

35. Certain feelings of fear, negativity, or rejection of authority/people of “high importance” in their mind.

36. Alluring/seductive behavior

37. Extreme need for acceptance

38. A need to prove themselves over and over as identity may be graded on a scale of what was done that very day

39. Extreme apathy, boredom, dullness, and indifference

40. ‘Flat affect”- lack of emotional reactivity and inability to express/show emotions due to depression, absence of emotional response

41. Creative thinking

42. Studies show some are able to read others easily from such hypersensitivity; however, often mistaking neutrality as anger probably as a result of symptoms


43. Isolation

44. Defensive


45. Magical thinking (assumed correlation, interconnection, etc)

46. Fantasizing

47. Panic attacks

48. Anxiety Attacks


49. Hypersensitivity to caffeine, alcohol, some sugars and foods. Often described as being “allergic” to such things as it causes reactions from hypersensitivity and symptoms.

50. Memory lapses- a result of dissociation, intense reactions, etc

51. Extreme perfectionism

52. Avoidance

53. Euphoric reactions

54. Detachment

55.
Avoidance of eye contact

56. Difficulty transitioning with life aspects such as changes to plans and arrangements

57. Difficulty with awareness

58. Sensitivity to senses- light, sounds, temperatures, etc- from hypersensitivity  

59. Resistance

60. Difficulty with decision making, poor decisions, and/or indecisiveness, insecurity

61. Difficulty completing tasks

62.Rapid” or excessive speech

63. Restlessness, difficulty relaxing, feelings of “being on edge.”

64. Extreme sense of security, comfort, and connection with animals/nature and inanimate objects such as transitional objects

65. Undermining a goal, success, or relationship

66. Often occurs with PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) or worse reactions to menstrual cycles because of the hypersensitive and systematic changes

67. Extreme difficulty and lack of object consistency (inability to recall that people or objects are ‘still there,’ consistent, and reliable when they are not currently being physically seen/there and difficulty maintaining these feelings

68. Flight of ideas, racing thoughts, rapid thought patterns

69. Brief remission of symptoms in response to certain events (positive reactions)

70. Disrupted or delayed life aspects- education, relationships, jobs, etc

No particular order. If you may need a source, example, description/explanation for more understanding for any of these, feel free to ask :)

Steter1 Something is Seriously Wrong with Stiles Stilinski

That’s what people say when they think he can’t hear them. ‘Seriously Wrong’ with a capital S and a capital W. Possibly italics if they’re really feeling it. He can’t really blame them. Something is Seriously Wrong with him. He knows it. His dad knows it. Scott knows it. He knows they know, even if they never say anything.

He doesn’t really think there’s anything wrong. This is just how it is. He knows Scott worries. Dad too. But this is just… how he is.

Stiles walks around life in perpetual apathy. Nothing matters. Everything is muted colors and unimportant noises. Scott and Dad and Melissa hover just above the line. He actually cares about them. He can hear them. He can focus on them and care and it really hurts.

So he doesn’t do it a lot.

He’s been like this since just after his mother died. Dad thinks that’s why he closed off. But Stiles remembers at least a year of hurt and pain and crying and Dad drinking and Stiles feeling. Why wouldn’t he have turned it off then? Why didn’t he turn it off when his father was passing out in the living room with a bottle under one arm and tears still running down his face? When he couldn’t even look at Stiles because he reminded him too much of Mom?

Why’d he wait until the worst of it had passed?

It doesn’t really matter.

He kind of floats through his day and just… exists. His mind goes a thousand miles a minute. He doesn’t really pay attention to his teachers but he does his homework and aces all his tests. They all try to call on him early in the year but after a month or two they stop. They give up. He’s very smart, they say, but he needs to work on participation.

Why should he?

The only reason he has good grades, goes to school, wakes up in the morning at all is because he has Dad and Scott. Melissa too he supposes. But only by extension. It would upset Scott if something upset Melissa. The only reason he hasn’t killed himself is because he has them to take care of. Dad wouldn’t survive another loss.

He thinks that he used to care about Lydia Martin, at some point. She’s just a little brighter than everyone else, a little less muffled than the other pedestrians. She’s closer to Scott and Dad and Melissa’s level of his awareness than everyone else but not enough for him to add her to the list. It’s more like she’s a nuisance. A flickering light in a half-lit room.

He catches her staring at him sometimes with a confused almost panicked look on her face. Stiles will feel her eyes on him, like air pressure. He’ll turn to stare back. When their eyes meet sometimes he thinks they go lighter – flash white. But then she looks away and he loses interest.

Of course, their staring matches are noticed by Jackson who starts his campaign against Stiles with a vengeance.

There were a lot of doctors at first – that he remembers. Lots of words like “flat affect” and “dead Flame,” “depression,” and “schizophrenia.” But dad never checked him into the hospital. Stiles doesn’t think he could bear seeing another family member hooked up to machines and drugged to the gills. It’d be just as bad as Stiles dying

He feels angry sometimes. Distantly. Like he’s feeling someone else’s anger flow through his limbs and give him strength. When that happens he can feel and it doesn’t hurt. He can hear people talking to him (even if it only makes him angrier) and he listens in class and actually raises his hand. It almost shocks Harris into a heart attack. It makes him smirk. But that fades quickly.

Tonight is one of those times.

He feels it rushing through his veins and tingling in his gums and nailbeds. Rage and sorrow and guilt and he can’t take it. He scratches at his chest and screams and howls and fights his dad when he comes in to hold him down.

“Stiles!” Dad’s screaming too, too loud, too close, “Stiles! You have to stop! Stop it, Stiles!”

He does stop eventually and he’s left shaking with the echoes of emotions that he knows weren’t his. It leaves him twitchy all day. He stays inside because hearing everyone so clearly, noticing them, is too painful.

That night though, his skin itches and he can’t sit still. There’s a pull toward the preserve. He ends up following his father out to the woods, leading Scott who’s looking more and more worried.

Stiles is caught by his Dad but manages to save Scott from grounding. Of course that means he has to leave him out there. All those feelings that tore at him last night (or that morning) are simmering just below the surface and he can’t stop moving. Dad notices. But he doesn’t say anything. Stiles has moments like this. It’s normal.

But he’s never had one for so long.

He’s still aware two days later when he and Scott go back to the preserve to find his inhaler. Scott keeps shooting him looks, like he’s not sure whether to ask if Stiles is okay or not. Stiles doesn’t act like this. He doesn’t get involved like this. He doesn’t twitch and talk and laugh (even if it is hysterically). Stiles is supposed to be blank faced. He’s supposed to be eerily focused on Scott or his dad. He doesn’t do this.

What does it say about his life that people are worried when he starts acting normal?

And then the distant anger spikes. Stiles’ skin tries to flee his body when the dark figure steps out from behind a tree.

“This is private property.”

Stiles flicks his gaze over the black leather jacket, the Henley, the dark jeans. He glances at the stubbled jaw and cheek and locks onto the eyes. He twitches in recognition. Something about the eyes.

And, wait, private property.

He gets them out of there. They can’t get in any more trouble this week. On the way home Stiles babbles about the Hales. Derek Hale. Wasn’t there a Laura Hale too? Talia Hale had been a lawyer. They’d all burned in a fire. Scott looks interested but Stiles can tell he’s still worried.

Stiles never babbles.

Before Scott gets out he catches Stiles’ arm. Stiles jumps and wonders at the feel of skin on his. It’s weird. He’s not sure he likes it. He stares at Scotts hand. Scott just squeezes, “Are you okay man?”

Stiles jerks his eyes up to Scott’s, he gets uncomfortable when Stiles doesn’t meet his eyes when he talks, “Yeah. Yes. Good. I’m good. A-okay.” Scott just screws his face up into a worried confused look. How did Stiles never see the puppy dog in his best friend?

Famous last words.

The week goes by and suddenly his best friend is a werewolf.

Of course, Scott’s too distracted by Allison Argent to actually listen to him.

“A whole pack of wolves?” Scott has that whole confused puppy face going for him. Worry is in there too but that particular flavor of emotion has been on Scott’s face for the past week. He’s never seen Stiles this worked up. Stiles has never seen Stiles this worked up.

“No, werewolves.”

Scott’s face relaxes and he rolls his eyes, “Are you seriously wasting my time with this? You know I’m picking up Allison in an hour.”

Stiles caught him by the shoulders as he got up. Scott freezes and Stiles knows why. This whole touching thing is new to him too, “I saw you on the field today, Scott. Okay? What you did wasn’t just amazing, alright. It was impossible.”

“Yeah, so I made a good shot.” Scott doesn’t move to dislodge his hold on him but Stiles feels something uncomfortable rise up in his gut and he takes a step back.

“No, you made an incredible shot, I mean… the way you moved, your speed, your reflexes. People can’t just suddenly do that overnight. And there’s the vision and the senses, and don’t even think I don’t notice you don’t need your inhaler anymore.” He’s talking faster and faster as he goes through all the papers he’s printed and books he’s borrowed from the library.

“Okay! Dude, I can’t think about this now! We’ll talk tomorrow.”

Stiles whips around and jumps up again, nervous energy tingling through his limbs, “Tomorrow!? What? No! The full mon’s tonight! Don’t you get it?” He waves his hands around Scott’s general person.

“What are you trying to do?” Stiles deflates when Scott raises his voice. Scott must see it because he brings it back down again. “I just made first line. I got a date with a girl who I can’t believe wants to go out with me, and everything in my life is somehow perfect. Why are you trying to ruin it?” Stiles flinches. He sits back down in his chair and rifles through more papers.

Where the hell is that empty feeling when you need it? He’d love to just not care right now. But it’s Scott so that won’t help either.

“I’m trying to help.” He says, “You’re cursed, Scott. You know, and it’s not just the moon will cause you to physically change. It also just so happens to be when your bloodlust will be at its peak.”

“Bloodlust?”

“Yeah, your urge to kill.” Stiles faces him again holding the book he was looking for.

“I’m already starting to feel an urge to kill, Stiles.”

Stiles ignores him, “You gotta hear this. Your change can be caused by ‘anger or anything that raises the pulse.’ Alright? I haven’t seen anyone raise your pulse like Allison does. You gotta cancel this date.” He gets up and goes for Scott’s back. That energy back again but it’s different. Less nervous and more wild. “I’m gonna call her right now.” He starts rummaging for Scott’s phone.

“What are you doing?” Scott sounds like he’s sighing.

“I’m cancelling the date.” Doesn’t he get it? He whips out the phone.

Suddenly there’s a near roar, “No!” Stiles is jerked back by the collar and shoved against the wall. The breath whooshes out of him, “Give it to me!” Scott’s fist goes up and Stile shuts down.

Why did he think he missed this? Now Scott is dull. Stiles can barely discern him from the room.

“I’m sorry. I – I gotta go get ready for that party”

He can barely hear him too. He’s even less than what Lydia was. Stiles stands with his back to the wall, eyes staring at the bed listlessly. He thought there was something important about the papers all across it. His room as never been messy before. It’s not important anymore. He should clean it up.

“I’m sorry.”

He registers the door shutting.

Later that blind rage-filled presence pulls him out of cleaning. He stops breathing for a moment. He doesn’t know what he hates more. Feeling that hate and anger or feeling nothing at all. He knows which one is easier.

There’s a howl in the distance and he stands so fast he gets dizzy.

Scott.

He ends up picking up Scott on the side of the road near the preserve just as the sun is turning dawn to day.

Scott is worried then relieved when he sees that Stiles is not zombie Stiles. Stiles shoots him a look before driving toward home, “I’m not going to say I told you so but I know you know that I did.” The guilty puppy face is back and Stiles ignores it. He’s not even sure why he’s here. Scott isn’t even bright anymore when his world goes gray. Even his subconscious or whatever doesn’t like him anymore.

Despite Scott leaving Allison stranded they’re kissing the next weekend. Stiles knows because he gets a text at midnight.

One of the bus drivers dies and Scott is a little freaked out because he kind of remembers it. And then Allison’s aunt comes to town and Derek is shot and nearly dying and asking Stiles to cut off his arm. Thank God Scott comes back from his date in time to save Stiles from doing something that might send him reeling back into apathy. Derek and Scott go on a ‘werewolves only’ fieldtrip. Stiles finds out over the weekend (because of Jackson of all people) that another person is dead. Scott fills him in later about the fact there’s a big scary Alpha werewolf. Because of course there is.

Scott is looking less and less worried when Stiles isn’t zombie Stiles. He’s starting to enjoy it, Stiles thinks. Stiles wrote a paper on male circumcision the other day. Between all the crazy werewolf stuff. He doesn’t think he was normal yet – whatever normal is supposed to be. He still feels detached somehow. Like that other person’s strength is giving him power and life. Like they’re rage and hurt and determination are keeping him upright on stilts and strings. He’s angry all the time. Manic. Frustrated. Stiles tries not to show it but it gets harder and harder as the month goes on. He’s restless and nearly mad with sensations.

Scott and Allison go missing from school one day and Stiles is a little lost. He makes eye contact with Lydia a few times. A blonde girl too. It’s a weird day. Even for him.

And suddenly Scott says he has to stay away from Allison. At least, until he can get himself under control. Stiles might take the tiniest bit of revenge for Scott’s wall-shoving incident by pelting him with tennis balls. Later they team up with Derek again to call the Alpha to the school – because that’s such a good idea.

Stiles isn’t sure if it’s the adrenaline or something else that has him more aware than usual – even more so than he has been for the past month. The rage is even closer to the surface. Stiles blames that for the urge to run at the Alpha instead of running away when the thing stabs Derek in the back with unreal claws.

They get it trapped and Stiles says he’s going to get a look at it. He can’t not lean into the window. The rage is tugging at him, heart tripping in his chest that tells him to move in, get closer, look.

“I’m not afraid of you.” he says. It’s true. For a weird second there’s a sound almost like purring.

That’s when the thing goes through the ceiling.

The rest of the night gets hazier, Stiles focus goes in and out. They find a body. His dad finds them. The only good thing to come out of that night is school is cancelled until Monday.

It turns out Scott can’t get drunk. Stiles’ zombie-ness is starting to creep back in again. The anger is fading until it simmers in his head.

The full moon is on Monday and the rage turns into restlessness again. He gets put on first line and can’t quite feel excited. There’s only that boiling heat. He uses it to fuel himself during Derek’s rescue. Jackson finds out about everything apparently. Stiles just gets more frustrated.

Derek shows up in his room unannounced. Stiles has the urge to chase him out. Territorial. That’s a new one. Dad knocks on the door to tell him he’s proud about the whole lacrosse thing. Stiles smiles but can tell when his Dad sees the falseness of it.

“Son, I wish you’d talk to me.” His dad sighs, “You’ve been doing so much better this past month.”

“Yeah… I am. I just – I just need a little bit. Before we do the whole heart to heart thing. I need – I need time. Okay?” He hates himself for putting that look on his father’s face. But that’s not new either. He’s always been able to do that.

It’s the second time in a month he’s slammed into the wall of his own bedroom. The blankness doesn’t come back, but the rage spikes. Derek’s eyes flash blue. Derek backs off before he can finish his own threat. They stare at each other for a moment – Derek looking painfully confused. “Why do you smell like anger and pain?”

Stiles distracts him with tracing Allison’s text, Danny, and then the drive to the hospital to find out why Mellissa’s computer was sending Allison texts. Derek slams his head into the steering wheel after their touching moment of Stiles ‘giving up his dream’ of being first line. He never cared enough to tell Scott he didn’t want to play. It makes him wonder if he hadn’t been lost in that blankness if he’d have always been first line. He doesn’t tell Derek either because something inside him takes a vindictive pleasure in making the man feel guilty.

He goes into the hospital by himself, talking to Derek as he searches for Mellissa and then whoever the hell Nurse Jenny is. And then he’s looking for Uncle Peter.

“Yeah, well, he’s not here either.”

“What.”

Frustration bubbles up, “He’s not here, Derek.”

Derek would have burst his eardrums if he’d been in the same room with him, “It’s him! He’s the Alpha! Get out!” Stiles doesn’t even think about it, his body just turns. It turns away from the exit towards the pull that he only just now registers.

A man is standing not five feet from him. Stiles eyes flick from the chin length straggly hair, to the burns on one side of a handsome face, to the eyes.

His heart stops. For a second his whole body stops. He’s not breathing, not blinking, not living. He simply exists. He wallows in that second because that’s familiar and safe. That’s how he’s supposed to be.

But then his heart beats and he feels again.

He remembers the empty hopelessness of the year after his mom died. He remembers feeling so destroyed, so lost and terrified. He remembers laughing with Scott too though. And rolling his eyes at Jackson’s antics. He remembers jealousy and rage and pain and happiness and relief and everything.

The man – Peter – smiles. Stiles heart thrums hard and loud. His chest surges. He likes that smile.

He just hasn’t felt anything like this in six years.

And now that he does?

“You must be Stiles.” Peter says, voice smooth and low and Stiles shudders.

He can’t take it.


Stiles wakes up in a bed. He’s not in the hospital anymore. He can feel tears on his face. He wipes them away and opens his eyes. Panic starts bubbling in his chest. Where is he? He panics more because he doesn’t panic. What’s wrong with him?

“Dad?” his voice is breathless and it breaks and it just scares him more, “Scott?”

“Your father and Scott are not here.” Stiles sits up in a rush, scrambling back and hitting the back of his skull on the headboard. He curses, “Peter.” He looks around but doesn’t see him. A light is coming from one of the two doorways, “Where am I?” Why am I so awake? What did you do to me?

“You had a panic attack.” Peter steps out of the door, a glass of water in his hand. Stiles almost says ‘I don’t have panic attacks’ but Peter keeps talking, “I believe that is my fault.” He’s wearing a ridiculously low V-neck t-shirt and tight dark jeans. His hair is still long but the scars are gone. He’s handsome. In a dark, scary, slightly insane Alpha way.

“Your fault…?” Stiles trails off at the sound of his voice, whispered and confused. He sounds scared and angry and curious. It sounds weird. He doesn’t sound like that. His voice is smooth. It’s toneless and soft. It’s comfortable. Or angry. This past month, his voice has been low and rough and angry. This one sounds stressed. That can’t be his voice.

He doesn’t like it.

He might kill Peter.

Stiles blinks and focuses again, “Why is this your fault?”

Peter holds out the glass of water, expression blank. “I know you’re smarter than that Stiles.”

Stiles takes the glass but he doesn’t drink, “You’re my Flame.”

Peter sits gracefully on the end of the bed, “You are mine.” Stiles tries and fails to contain the full body shiver. He stares at Stiles for a moment. Stiles takes a tentative sip of the water, then nearly downs it when he realizes how thirsty he is. “I’m sorry, Stiles.”

Stiles stops drinking and stares at him, lowering the cup when it’s obvious Peter isn’t going “You’re the reason I’ve been a zombie for six years.” It’s not like its news. He remembers driving down to that doctor in San Francisco because the doctor in San Diego had referred him to a Flammus Specialist.

“He’s the best in his field.” He said, “I’m sure he’d be very interested in your case.”

When they’d gotten there the doctor might’ve exploded with glee. “Your son,” He told Dad while Stiles stared a little to the left of the doctor’s shoulder. He couldn’t remember his name. He didn’t particularly care. “Has something I’ve only observed twice in my career and never in someone so young. I call it extinguetur flamma.

“Extinguished Flame.” Stiles muttered. He was taking Latin. It was a high school class but he was doing better than most of the older kids. They didn’t like him very much.

Somewhere in the back of his mind he had the sudden thought that he should feel something. His Flame was dead. His twin soul. Soul mate. His other half. The better half (because it wasn’t very hard to be better than Stiles). Shouldn’t he feel something for them?

“Exactly, Stiles. Now, you know that when you meet the eyes of your Flame both of your hearts stop and start in sync with each other. I believe that the physical – as well as psychological – connection doesn’t stop there.” He was getting excited now, leaning forward, “I believe that two people who are each other’s Flames are always connected and that when one suffers a physical trauma – or physiological for that matter – the other reflects it. I call it the gemina flamma effect.”

Twin flame, Stiles thought.

“I thought you said he had the other one… the extinguished flame.”

The doctor put out his hands to calm Stiles’ father. “Extinguetur flamma is a subset of gemina. Extinguetur occurs when… well, I’m afraid when a person’s Flame has passed away.” Dad’s breath hitched. The doctor rushed on, “It could be that Stiles’ Flame is still alive but in a state near death, such as a coma.”

They’d left soon after that. Dad in a state of shock and worry and Stiles… he stared out the window.

All this meant was there was one more person he didn’t have to feel for.

But now he is feeling. He’s feeling too much all at once in a strange bed. Even when the flashes of anger had come and gone he didn’t become aware like this. Those had just been reflections.

Reflections of Peter.

Logically, he’s always known that someone was making him this way but he never really had the urge to blame someone. Now, here was Peter. Apologizing for wasting six years of Stiles life. Stiles wants to be angry. For a third of his life he’s been nothing but blank or angry. But that anger is diminished. It’s not gone because Stiles can still sense it on the edge of his mind – no longer filling that empty space, he realizes. He hasn’t been waking up this past month, Peter has.

He’s awake now.

So, since Stiles’ awake. Is he angry? Peter is. Peter’s always angry. Maybe Stiles could fix that – but not right now. Stiles doesn’t think he’s angry. He’s probably a pretty mellow person. He remembers being pretty chill when he was younger.

It occurs to Stiles that he’s been staring at Peter while he thought through his feelings. (It takes him longer than he likes but, hey, he’s out of practice).

It also occurs to Stiles that he wants things. He’s used to hunger and thirst but he actually wants to move closer to Peter. He thinks about Scott’s hand on his arm. Will it feel just as odd to have Peter’s hand on him?

Stiles moves away from the headboard. He crawls down the mess of sheets. Peter has no comforter. Maybe he runs hot. Stiles always wakes up in the middle of the night shivering because he fell asleep on top of his covers. Peter is still staring at him. Stiles likes his eyes. They’re a weird pale green but as he watches they flash burning red. The color reminds Stiles of the raging anger in his head. He wants to get closer. He sits back on his knees and scoots across the space between them.

He might have an impulse control problem.

His knees are brushing Peter’s thigh now and Peter’s just sitting there, staring at him. Stiles notices want clouding the anger at the edges of his brain. His smiles in twitches – he’s out of practice. Stiles lifts a hand hesitates over Peter’s where it rests on his thigh.

He touches skin. His brain simply lights up.

Peter does run hot. Peter’s hand is smooth from not working in six years and it’s big. Stiles picks it up to run his fingers up the sinew and bone. He places it on his own thigh and follows Peter’s muscles over his arm and onto his chest. He traces that stupid V.

“Stiles,” Peter leaned in at some point and their faces are breaths apart.

Stiles finds he really wants to taste Peter.

Does he even have impulse control?

He’s never even thought of kissing someone let alone another guy. Even during his manic episodes, he wasn’t very focused. If he’s being honest with himself, he was basically a psychopath.

Did that mean Peter was a psychopath?

Apparently he doesn’t care because he leans the rest of the way in and touches Peter’s lips with his own. Peter doesn’t move and Stiles puts some space between them. He closed his eyes when he wasn’t paying attention but he doesn’t open them. Stiles licks his lips and tastes something that’s not his own flesh. A trace of Peter. He moves in again because he wants. He gives Peter a closed mouth kiss again. Licks his own lips. Presses his lips against Peter’s and runs his tongue over the seam of his mouth.

He hears a growl.

Stiles hadn’t liked the moments when the rage – Peter’s rage – made him aware. He preferred them to the blankness, usually, but he didn’t like them. He likes this. He brings his hands up from where they’re still splayed over Peter’s shoulders and chest to Peter’s jaw because he wants to know how it feels.

Peter’s jaw is locked.

Stiles comes back to himself in a wash of hot shame and embarrassment (he doesn’t like that feeling). Peter obviously doesn’t want to kiss a sixteen-year-old kid. It’s not like anyone has before. Although, he hadn’t really been paying attention had he?

He lurches away from where Peter is still frozen on the bed except for the quick breaths he’s taking through his nose. Before he can move away more a hand circles his wrist and tightens. The growling revs like an engine. “Don’t start something you can’t finish, Stiles.” Stiles looks up from staring at the sheets and fuming in his own humiliation. Peter’s eyes are bright flames.

Stiles’ arousal must hit them both because Peter lunges almost as soon as Stiles registers it himself.

If Stiles thought the first kiss was good this one was extraordinary. Dangerous. Peter ravaged his mouth, nipping at his lips with his teeth and finally catching the bottom one and pulling. Pulling a sound out of Stiles that he didn’t mean to let go, damn it.

It takes him a moment of kissing to realize he’s hard and rubbing up against Peter, his hands clutching and fingers digging into his sides. Peter’s body covers his on the messy bed. He’s so big and hot – pun not intended. His own hands are trailing rough routes from the top of Stiles’ thighs over to where his hair disappears into his pants and then north to ruck Stiles’ shirt up and slip his questing fingers under the fabric. He delves back into Stiles’ mouth like he owns the place. Stiles has the crazy thought that he totally wouldn’t mind that being true. Peter shifts, a pleased hum escaping Stiles when he drags his teeth away from his lips and along his jaw. Stiles can feel Peter against his thigh now, and it amazes him how much he wants it. How much he’s scared of it. How much he wants it because he’s scared of it. Peter places his canines delicately over Stiles jugular, making him stay in this weird place between stillness and straining to rise up from the mattress and just be closer. His big hands somehow catch Stiles’ and pin them by his head.

The growling tumbles from Peter’s throat again as he slowly but carefully closes the distance between skin and teeth. Stiles bucks up into Peter even as he tries not to move in the larger man’s hold. Peter increases the pressure enough that Stiles is sure he’s about be turned. Despite the worry this thought causes – he doesn’t want to be a werewolf – his throat releases an unintentional mewl. He can feel Peter’s lips turning up against his skin.

How could he have wondered if this would feel good? Scott touching his arm was a fly landing on a whale compared to this. All this sensation in one moment.

And then Peter’s unlocking his jaw from Stiles’ throat, moving back up the path he traced earlier to leave blazing, wet, open mouthed kisses along his jaw until their lips meet again. Peter groans into Stiles mouth, an answering whine coming from Stiles. He releases Stiles’ hands to cup the back of his neck and knead the base of his spine.

Stiles’ newly discovered missing impulse control makes itself known again when he immediately reaches for the front of Peter’s pants (which, by the way, are a simple snap button and zipper, this really is the man for him). The only reasons he stops is because Peter does.

“I’d rather not be arrested for statutory rape,” His breathe ghosts over Stiles sweaty skin and his voice Is low and amused. Fucker. He shivers, making Peter’s hands tighten on his neck and ass (when did that get there?). A growl of warning comes when Stiles arousal only spikes in response. “Stiles,” Peter growls his name and, really, what made him think that was going to bring down his erection? Stupid wolf.

“Don’t start something you can’t finish, Peter,” Stiles says, listening to his own voice carefully. He likes the way Peter’s name sounds in his voice. This new voice. But Peter is right. They can’t. Not right now. Because Stiles would regret it. There’s also the problem of Peter being a serial killer. And his father’s age. And – “Did you kidnap me?” Peter gets up on his hands to look Stiles in the eye, the rest of his body just laying, hot and heavy, over Stiles’. He raises an eyebrow. “Oh my god, you dick! What about my dad!”

“He’s still at work.”

Stiles brings a head up to his face to rub at his temples, frustration wasn’t new. His own frustration didn’t feel that much different from Peter’s. “What about Derek?”

“He’s waiting for me outside.”

Stiles stops rubbing at his forehead and levels a glare at Peter, “You did this knowing your nephew was outside and could probably hear everything?”

“Derek grew up in a mostly werewolf household, Stiles,” Peter says way too logically, “He’s learned not to listen in at bedroom doors, purely for self-preservation.”

“Because what he’ll hear will scar him or because you’ll kill him?” Stiles narrows his eyes.

Peter’s eyes go blank. That rage that easily overtook Stiles for the past month rises up at the edges of his brain. It’s easy to ignore it. “I only those who have wronged my family. Those who killed them.” He knew that already – had connected the dots days ago but,

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Stiles quotes, but he doesn’t really believe it.

Peter rolls his eyes and climbs out of the bed. “Are you telling me if a group conspired to kill your father you wouldn’t hunt every last one of them down?” He walks into the bathroom as he talks. Stiles drinks the water from before their impromptu make out session in lieu of answering. “This is why we are Flames Stiles. We are very much the same.”

“What about Scott?” Peter appears again to lean against the doorway, drying his hands on a fluffy looking hand towel. “You turned him against his will. He didn’t have anything to do with the fire.”

For the first time Peter looks away. He doesn’t look guilty. Stiles doesn’t think he’s ever felt that. “I have been trapped inside my body for six years.” He meets Stiles accusing gaze again, “Not like you Stiles, able to walk and talk but not feel. I was the opposite. I could feel every millimeter of burned flesh healing itself ever so slowly for half a decade. My body shut down while it healed myself and I was trapped inside. Unable to move. Unable to speak. Unable to change. For six years. The only family I had left disappeared. I was abandoned by pack. You don’t understand yet but pack is vital to a wolf. Especially one so old and large as my pack was. By the time I could move again I was quite insane. Jennifer – my nurse – nurtured that particular insanity. Encouraged it. I was not myself the night I bit Scott. I really haven’t been until I met your eyes.” Stiles hasn’t managed to hold on to his grudge even for the entirety of Peter’s monologue. “I am sorry.”

They stare at each other for a minute before Stiles looks at his lap. He takes another few minutes to think. He clears his throat and glances back up at Peter. He’s surprised to see he hasn’t moved while Stiles mulled it over. “You’re going to help Scott control his wolfiness,” It isn’t so much a question as a demand but Peter nods anyway, looking a bit bemused at Stiles’ choice of words. “You’ve got more people to take care of,” Another nod. “And then what?”

“Rebuild.”

“That’s it?” Stiles side eyes him, “No crazy world domination plan?” Peter tilts his head forward and raises one brow again as if to say ‘Really, Stiles, I’m not that dramatic.’ Except Stiles has the feeling he totally is. “You’re sane now?”

Peter considers him, “Think of it as a reboot for both of our systems. You regained your emotional capacity and I regained my mental strength.” He splays his hands out in a way that is entirely to ‘come hither’ for Stiles control. “As a result I was able to finish healing myself as well.”

After a too long look at Peter’s very nice face and body he nods, “Okay,” Stiles gets out of bed, pausing for a minute to let the head rush pass, and starts looking around. “Where are my shoes?”

“Why?” Stiles doesn’t turn to find out what expression goes with that curious tone.

He locates them under the dresser by the door that doesn’t lead to the bathroom, “Never mind, I found them,” As he’s straightening up from shoving his feet into them he feels breathe on the back of his neck. Goosebumps spread from the point of contact.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Stiles wonders if it’s normal to be turned on by your Flame’s vaguely threatening growl while his very dangerous teeth are probably an inch from your very delicate throat. It’s obviously normal for Stiles. That’s probably all that matters. “I’m going to go back to my house so I can make dinner for my dad and come up with an excuse for why people probably saw me being carted away from the hospital by two strangers. I’m assuming my Jeep is here?”

Peter hums, “No one saw you being ‘carted away’.” Stiles hears him breathe in slowly.

“Are you sniffing me?”

“Your Jeep is outside,” Peter says, amusement obvious in his voice.

Stiles turns around to face him, marveling at the fact that they’re the same height. “I still need to go make sure Dad doesn’t realize I’ve been taken. You and sourwolf out there should get you back to the hospital so that you can miraculously wake up from your slumber.”

Peter’s head is cocked to the side in obvious puzzlement and the smile playing on his lips matches the humor Stiles heard in his voice, “Should we?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, licking his lips, thinking days ahead, “Actually, you should take care of whoever else you need to first. A coma is a good alibi. Make sure Derek doesn’t look too suspicious from now on. Dad’s still got an eye on him.”

“Anything else?” There’s something nearing contempt in his smirk as he keeps staring at Stiles.

Stiles narrows his eyes, “Yeah, one more thing.” He grabs Peter’s head and pulls him in for one last long filthy kiss. It’s a little sloppy, but Stiles is happy with it. “Finish up soon so we can fake meet in the market or something.”

The contempt is gone from Peter’s face, Stiles notes smugly. Peter’s too smart to not have caught up at this point though, “How are you going to explain your own miraculous recovery.”

Gemina flamma. You woke up from your coma, that’s why I’ve been so weird this past month. You’ve been waking up. It’ll be mostly true.” He pauses, hands still on Peter’s shoulders, Peter’s on his waist. “I want to tell my dad eventually. The whole truth. Except for the murder part.”

Peter nods, “He’s going to be pack too.”

Stiles blinks, “Really?”

“Anyone who is pack to you will be pack to me.” Peter nearly rolls his eyes again, Stiles can tell.

He kisses him again just because he wants to.

A few minutes later Stiles is stepping out into a Spartan but nice living room and spotting Derek leaning against the wall nearest the front door. “Wow, I never noticed how hot you are.” Stiles blinks at Derek. Peter growls and Stiles elbows him. “Chill, he’s not nearly as pretty as you, dude.”

“Do not call me dude unless you’d like me to call you by your first name.”

Stiles gives him a horrified look, “There’s no way you know my name, much less how to pronounce it.” There’s an offended scoff that makes Stiles want to grin. So he does.

Isn’t that cool?

What IS dysphoria?

Okay, I’m really annoyed by people thinking dysphoria is only debilitating, obvious to self body hate so they must be non-dysphoric. First off, let’s define dysphoria: Sex dysphoria is a disconnect, dissociation, or other discomfort a person has with their sex and/or sex characteristics. It can present A LOT of different ways and be very subtle.

I’m compiling this list to help people see how confusing dysphoria really can be. If you’ve experienced dysphoria in a way that isn’t listed here, please say something to me and I’ll add it. You can read my person experience with my subtle dysphoria that was more obvious upon looking back: [Link]

Ways Dysphoria can present: 
- [Unexplained] depression or anxiety. 
- [Unexplained] anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure or joy)
- Phantom penis or breasts.
- Something feeling “off” or “wrong” in the mirror. 
- Disliking being naked or seeing oneself naked. 
- [Unexplained] anxiety or depression after orgasm or sexual contact. 
- A physical anxiety-like feeling, especially when reminded of one’s sex. 
- Desire to mutilate sex characteristics such as genitals or breasts. 
- [Unexplained] irritability. 
- [Unexplained] resentment for sex opposite of yours. 
- Jealousy of the sex opposite of yours. 
- Feeling uncomfortable, anxious, depressed, resentful, or jealous when people of the sex opposite to yours talk about sex-specific experiences. 
- Stuffing pants/pushing in genitals from a young age and finding it gratifying. 
- Extreme fear of or worse anxiety than normal towards puberty. 
- Stuffing family member’s bras. 
- Making phallic objects and pretending you have a penis. 
- Taking sex toys and finding enjoyment out of pretending you have a penis. 
- Taking every chance with delight to dress up as the opposite sex as a “joke”
- Extreme aversion to gender non-conformity, often times hyper masculinity/femininity to the point of being toxic.  
- [Unexplained] general dissatisfaction when looking in the mirror, especially when naked. 
- Avoidance to being naked. 
- Avoidance to being seen naked by people who it’d normally be acceptable: (Significant others, doctors, etc.)
- Feeling “disconnected” or “Dissociated” from one’s body, especially sex characteristics. 
- Feeling like you’re watching a movie through your eyes. 
- EUPHORIA from transitioning, noticing changes, passing, or doing things reminiscent of the sex opposite of yours. 
- Poor perception of time, days mashing together, time going by fast or slow, etc. 
- Trouble with memory and/or focus. 
- [Unexplained] Flat Affect: Dull emotions, dull facial expressions, dull expression in general.
- General apathy and indifference. . 
- [ Unexplained] General dissatisfaction with life. 
- [Unexplained] Dislike of sex and masturbation. 
- [Unexplained] Discomfort with sex and masturbation. 
- [Unexplained] Uncomfortable physical or emotional feelings or mood swings after orgasm, sex, or masturbation.
- Avoiding sex and masturbation despite wanting to partake in them to avoid uncomfortable feelings after. 
- Feeling as if you’re putting on a performance. 
- Feeling unable to relate to peers of your sex. 
- Feeling more negative or personally hurt about homophobia directed at sex opposite of yours. 
- Frequent daydreaming about being the opposite sex. 
- Frequently making video game or original characters of the opposite sex. 
- Feeling more uncomfortable than normal about hearing your voice played back on a device.
- Feeling uncomfortable in clothing that accentuates your sex characteristics, such as (FtM) women’s jeans making you appear more curvy. 
- Feeling like your libido should be higher or lower, more like the opposite sex.
- Other issues or discomfort with sex or masturbation involving natal genitals, such as vaginismus or vestibulodynia.
- [Unexplained] Dissatisfaction or discomfort with height, feeling you should be taller or shorter/more like the opposite sex. 
- [Unexplained] Strong connection to fictional characters of the opposite sex who you are not attracted to. 
- [Unexplained] Feeling of not belonging or being out of place in social settings where everyone is the same sex as you. 
- As a child, not feeling connected to peers of the same sex. 
- [Unexplained] Extreme aversion to reproducing. 
- [Unexplained] (MtF) Positive or euphoric feelings when thinking about being pregnant.
- (FtM) Using a strap on during sex feels more natural and enjoyable during sex, and (MtF) being penetrated feels more natural and enjoyable.
- [Unexplained] Discomfort or feeling of wrongness at the rate of muscle growth from working out. 
- [Unexplained] Discomfort with fat distribution, especially below the waist.
- Thinking you’re doing something different from what you’re doing when expressing gender nonconformity. Like putting make-up on in front of the mirror as FTM = “Oh my god look at me I’m so faggy!” Building muscle at the gym as MTF = “I’m a strong woman! Subverting gender roles! Breaking the glass ceiling!” There’s dissociation between what you know is actually happening (you look gender conforming) and what you imagine you’re doing.
- Jealousy of trans people who have gotten certain surgeries done
- Difficulty forming connections with people, especially of the same sex.
- Difficulty expressing yourself.
- Unstable identity as an adult. 
- General feeling that something about you is “off” or “different”.
- Switching clothing styles often due to unexplainable dissatisfaction.
- [Unexplained] dissatisfaction with overall appearance.

Thanks, for several suggestions, Trans-Mettaton! :)

THIS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO EVERYTHING. Please send me suggestions and additions of your experiences or others you’ve heard and I will happily and anonymously add them, but right now I’m drawing a blank.

It’s also important to note while gender nonconformity is very common among trans people prior to transition, it is NOT inherently dysphoria or a sign of being trans. Gender nonconformity and disliking/being uncomfortable with gender roles, or your sex/sex characteristics being assigned a gender role, can mimic being trans and having sex dysphoria. The important distinction is that sex dysphoria has to do with SEX. So your physical body, anatomy, physiology, being seen and treated as the sex you want to transition to, etc. Gender roles have to do with behavior, perceptions, roles, presentation, etc. 

Pretty much all of these examples can be caused by other things as well, so if you relate to a thing or two on this list it doesn’t necessarily mean dysphoria. If you relate to a lot of things on this list, I’d start questioning things though.

I hope this can help clear up what dysphoria really is so we can finally help questioning people better,

Also, its really annoying when places are like “you dont seem enthusiastic enough to be ______” or “can you smile while you work?” Like. No not really? My emotional expression range doesn’t work like a neurotypical persons. I can’t make myself make a face without it looking incredibly strange and offputing. Like, I try my best and can do things like cooking and stocking and cashiering alright. I can communicate most of the time (even if its slowly). But I can’t do emotional display. It doesn’t work. I’m missing that data chip or something.

Preference; I’d Understand

Alec Volturi and Paul Lahote preference requested by anon! “Yoo hows my favorite blog?? I’m doin’ alright. Can i get a alec or paul imagine where they’re scared about reader leaving him. Due to alec being a vampire that likes human blood. Or if you do pauls about him being a hothead. Hopefully it makes sense” Hope you like it!

ALEC VOLTURI

In truth, you’d never been wholly comfortable with the meal-plan served in the Italian villa, given your awkward position as would-be appetizer. Despite your position in this so strange, vampiric court, despite your knowledge of the binding law protecting you from intentional harm, your stomach continued to twist and knot in fear. This discomfort, this terror stemmed not from your relations within the Volturi; no, even Aro had been kind, welcoming even, whispering about how overjoyed he was that his darling Alec had found such a promising mate. It was clear that he had a handful of particularly advantageous plans when the sunrise of your immortality broke the horizon, and thus took an affectionate liking to you. The subject of your mortality was a bit of a taboo, especially considering the diet of choice your new companions favoured, but your never felt discriminated for the beating of your heart.

It was never about your pulse, your necessary breath, the blood flowing through your veins, protected only by a thin layer of vulnerable flesh. Politically, you were fine. You were practically one of the guards, your transformation date set for sometime in the summer. It was never about you. It was about the thirty tourists you saw enter the throne room every week, it was their screaming that haunted your dreams, their horror that plunged the knife into your abdomen, churning your insides until you were reduced to nothing. It was your mate’s participation, his willing participation, that struck fear into your still-beating heart. If you had wandered into the villa, expecting a tour of Italian architecture, a history lesson on pillars or portraits, would he have slaughtered you as he slaughtered the others? Would he have spared you a second thought?

You were doubtful.

You stood with your back facing the entrance to your bedchamber, your eyes dissecting the intricate carvings laid into the marble of the walls. Though you had been distanced from the heart of the Volturi’s society, you could hear the echos reverberating down the hall nonetheless. Alec had noticed your discomfort and suggested a change of scenery, though you understood that even his residence in Verona would carry the weight of Volterra’s infractions. You were chewing the edge of your fingernail (a nervous habit you hoped would be kicked, finally, when you were torn from your human life) when your ears picked up on the subtlest wisp of movement, announcing the presence of your silent lover. Soon after, his hands were cooling your elbows, folding over your crossed arms, his honeyed breath polluting the air you inhaled. His lips pressed to your neck, your mind jumping from affection to unease as you noted the placement of his kiss. His voice, so soft, so sweet for so experienced a killer, sang against your ear, his hair brushing against your cheek.

“Darling, you’re troubled,” he observed, his icy fingers ghosting over your hands, lacing his fingers through yours, a tender gesture you were not expecting to be accompanied by the surprising warmth his frozen fingers carried. He’d fed recently, more recently than you cared to dwell on. A stranger’s blood warmed his frigid tissues. You flinched away from his touch, untangling yourself from his fingers, avoiding contact with his violent eyes, his angel’s lips parted in wounded confusion. “Y/n, what’s wrong? Is something the matter?” He extended his hand, and you once more slunk away from his touch. He ducked his head, slipping his hands into the pockets of his slacks, exhaling lowly. When he spoke, his voice had changed drastically, harbouring an injury you had yet to notice on his physical form. “Aro warned me this would happen.” You did not speak on the matter, but recalled easily the moment you had departed from Volterra, your hand sliding from Aro’s papery skin, his eyes reading your most recent thoughts, likely painting vivid imagery to accompany your internalized terror. Of course he would mention this to Alec. Your inability to cope directly affected him. “This is about the blood.” His voice did not lilt in inquiry; there was no question, no confusion muddying his understanding. You lifted your face to address him, his eyes a blazing crimson, burning from within with the glow of his most recent meal. Your words clung to the insides of your throat, scratching their way downward, refusing to surface. Alec’s jaw clenched, his gaze lowering to the floor’s mosaic, his brow furrowing the silken plane of his forehead. It was almost inhumane to witness, to cause, distress in so beautiful a creature.

“If I could avoid… the way that I feed, I would do it for you,” he continued, his voice softer, quieter than before, his words dripping with sorrow like an open wound, his tone ringing with a melancholic tenor. “Once you’ve turned, I believe, I hope, that you will understand the difficulty we face. This is not a choice, the way that we feed. Our thirst is not a decision; it’s a compulsion. I have very little control of how I ensure your safety… If I were to refrain, I’m afraid I would be unable to keep myself from causing you harm.” Your breathing grew shallow as he explained to you the honest truths behind his so frequent feasting, his plump lips downturned at the corners, his eyes projecting a most uncommon weakness in one of the most powerful man you had the pleasure of knowing. He pursed his lips before exhaling a broken sigh, his chest heaving unnaturally. “If this is not something that you can live with… I’d understand.” His voice, usually so determined, so confident, now drifted into silence. The only sound available to your feeble ears was your steady pattern of breathing. You turned your face away, unable to hold his gaze any longer, your heart breaking for the angel you’d reduced to ash and cinder before you. After a moment, Alec broke his uncharacteristic silence, his voice illustrating a heart, an organ you knew no longer beat within the chiseled stone of his chest, breaking. If he was capable of producing tears, you had no doubt they would have fallen freely from his scarlet eyes, painting glimmering trails against the alabaster of his complexion. “Will you leave me?” You turned, shocked by his inquiry. How was he able to fathom a universe where you did not see yourself at his side? Had your affections fallen flat? Were you unable to illustrate to him the depth of your love? You crossed to him, your fingers angling his chin upward, forcing him to meet your eye, his irises blooming dangerously beneath a broken brow.

“I could not leave you if remaining by your side ensured the end of my life. To be parted from you would cause me unbearable pain. You are not what I despise, and your thirst… I can’t blame you for that. It’s the executions, Alec, that bother me. You’re herding people to their deaths by the hundreds every year. I can’t help but be bothered by the deaths. I’m only human, for now. If there is another way that you can live, tell me, and we can pursue that path. Together.” His eyes softened, his breath flowing over your face. Though his brow remained furrowed, his lips formed a cautious grin. He glanced at the position of the sun through your veiled window, his eyes returning to your face. He lifted his palm to cradle your cheeks, his face alight with the force of the words he spoke next.

“There is a coven in America, the Cullens. If we leave now, we could reach their home by tomorrow. I never thought I would say this…” His thumbs stroked over your cheekbones, the weight of his decision weighing heavily on his shoulders. “I believe they may be able to help us.”

PAUL LAHOTE

You had been warned of this very scenario from the moment Paul’s realities had been revealed to you, the moment you became involved in the fiery universe that he was so ingrained in. You’d seen the evidence of a destructive temper on Emily’s face, scarring her for life, a warning sign to the other members of Sam’s pack: don’t get too close. You hadn’t had any issues as far as trust went; Paul was relatively calm when you were around, incredibly cautious to the point of over-protectiveness, and as kind and loving as the day you’d met him. He was well-prepared to prevent injuries similar to Emily’s, or worse, and handled his rage better than he had before you stumbled into him. According to his pack, he’d been a bit of a loose canon before imprinting, but your presence acted as a sedative to his usual rowdy, unpredictable nature. You’d been assured that his mannerisms, specifically his impulse to phase, had been quieted after he imprinted, but his actions spoke to combat the promises his brothers made.

Their observations had not been entirely false; Paul was, without doubt, a changed man, but he carried with him a fire that even you could not put out. While he wasn’t explosive, his fuse was relatively short. You hadn’t had the chance to argue, given the amount of time you’d known him, but you’d be witness to his quick temper. You’d never felt threatened in any way other than the typical back-away-if-he-starts-shaking, but that applied to any of the wolves. They all had off-days, but Paul was never someone to be feared, never someone to be wary of. He treated you with the utmost respect and care, but even he couldn’t put a stopper on the floodgates when you’d been approached by a group of men on First Beach. Their salutations had been more insult than greeting, their words slipping like an oil slick from between their unwashed teeth, their faces gleaming with a drunken sweat you could smell radiating from their bodies as you passed them by. Paul, of course, was not about to stand for this ill-treatment. You’d felt the vibrations rolling from his body through the hand that held his, heard his laboured breathing by your ear. You had enough time to extract your hand from his and press a palm to his chest before turning to the trio of vulgar men, warning them to leave before someone (here meaning them, but you couldn’t help but wonder if you also spoke in your own defense) was hurt. One look at Paul was enough to seal your threat in concrete. There was no question about his anger, and his bare torso was promise enough that any retribution would be undeniably painful. They fled, joining a throng of townspeople vacating the beach. Your eyes locked on his, his lips curling over his teeth. You’d attempted to whisper a few calming words before realizing how far gone he truly was. You backed away from his trembling form, every visible muscle tensing on his body as he too backed away from you.

“Y/n,” he snarled, his eyes flitting around as his convulsions intensified, watching the last of the beach’s crowd fade into the night. His unspoken plea was clear: run. You turned your back on him and joined the masses abandoning the darkness of the waters, their voices nearly masking the tear of clothing as Paul exploded from his skin. You turned in time to watch his tail disappear into the tree line. You headed for Emily’s place, hoping to find Sam or Jared holed-up in her kitchen. One of them must be willing to talk Paul down from his heated precipice. You knew they’d all done it before. Your trek was short-lived, and the harmonies reaching from Emily’s open windows carried promises of aid in the form of two, possibly three werewolves. You helped yourself in, your eyes finding Sam’s in the crowd surrounding Emily’s table. His face, lightened by Emily’s company, went dark when he met your gaze. It seemed he already knew. You cleared your throat, running a hand through your hair, watching as Jared, Quil, and Emily focused their attention on you.

“Anyone willing to track my boyfriend for me?” Jared cursed aloud, damning Paul to Hell as he dropped his half-eaten muffin onto his plate, clearly irritated with his friend’s lack of control. Quil offered an apologetic grimace, clapping you on the shoulder as he made his way to the door with Jared nipping at his heels. Sam said nothing outside of asking for Paul’s last-known location, departing with a a final glance at Emily, his fists balled around a pair of jean shorts. Emily’s hands fluttered about her table, sweeping crumbs from the surface, her eyes on your face. She nodded you over, inviting you to sit as she prepared her dinner, promising you that Paul’s episodes never lasted more than half an hour, and that was before you came along. She was almost certain he’d be back sooner. You chatted with her for the next fifteen minutes, your mind preoccupied, replaying the fading image of Paul ducking into the woods on the blank expanse of your eyelids. It wasn’t until Emily offered you a cup of tea that you noticed your hands were trembling. “Maybe I’m a wolf too,” you whispered, your voice failing your attempt at humour, Emily’s arms wrapping around your back as your body shuddered. She, of all people, knew the fear that now pooled in your stomach. Another ten minutes passed before you heard their approach, the sound of footsteps crunching against soil paired with Sam’s low, angry whispers. The three members of Paul’s rescue party had returned, and all three entered without a word, sitting at the table in absolute silence. Emily’s eyes focused on the doorway before finding yours, shooting you a sisterly glance you understood to be cautionary.

“Y/n,” your name was soft on his lips, a gentle tone meant to exhibit his level of calmness. You turned in your seat, abandoning your tea, your eyes falling on his form, propped-up against the open doorway. He gestured for you to join him outside, his hand running through his shorn hair. They did not tremble. You excused yourself and followed him onto Emily’s lawn, watching his shoulders heave with as he sighed, his back gleaming beneath the light of the moon. His hands were swinging at his sides, his muscles tensing and releasing as he paced. When he stopped, you were a good distance away from the house, out of earshot, you assumed, and away from any scrutiny. He turned, slowly, his every movement calculated, the effort behind his actions obvious. He was going out of his way to eliminate any perception you could have of him being a threat to your safety. He kept his distance, addressing you in a whisper from a handful of feet away, his bare feet digging into the earth as he spoke. “Y/n, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. That was… I put you at risk, and I’m so, so sorry.” His eyes lifted to the stars, his head shaking with frustration. “And, you know, I can’t even promise that it won’t happen again. I’m not in control, not like that. This can happen again, and that…” his voice dropped off, his sentence hanging open, fluttering in the breeze. When his eyes returned to yours, his face was broken, his lips pursed to keep them from quivering. “I mean, I’d understand if it’s too much. As much as it kills me, I can understand if you need to go.” He raised his hands, surrendering. “I want you safe, that’s all. I can’t promise you’ll be safe around me. I can’t.” You shook your head, closing the distance between you, continuing even after he mirrored your first few steps, eager to keep you out of harm’s way.

“Paul, if anything, you went out of your way to keep me safe tonight. You warned me that you were losing control, and you backed up, and you gave me time to step back.” He opened his mouth to speak, but you refused to let berate himself further. “You are not a threat to me, and I’m not going anywhere.” He exhaled deeply, relieved, and closed his arms around your back, pulling you to the warmth of his chest.

ok but consider this: kageyama shigeo is autistic

- sticks very strictly to rules, which become guiding principles of how the world works/should work (“you’re not supposed to use psychic powers on people”)

- was ostracized for being unable to read peoples’ emotions/perceive the mood/understand implications (“Mob… can’t you read the atmosphere?”)

- flat affect (“Why do you look so bored?” “But I’m not bored…”)

- extremely oblivious to lying, deception, and bad intentions (see: reigen, onigawara, the LOL cult, etc)

- generally always takes what people say at face value (“but, see, it says it’s a girl” “a girl wouldn’t write that they’re a girl!!”)

- his difficulty with recognizing/feeling/processing his emotions. arguably this is related to him trying to control his powers, but he says he’s been this way since birth - “this way” being unable to show emotions or respond to other peoples’ emotions the way they expect or want him to, often rendering him alone. i don’t know about you but That’s Highly Relatable As An Autistic Person Gee Huh

- finally: literally never knows what’s going on (like. same)

Autism Vs Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Is This ASD or PTSD ?

@askaboutautism and @undiagnosedautismfeels have gotten quite a few questions regarding autism and PTSD, specifically ones asking about the differences and how to tell if you’re autistic if you’ve also got PTSD. I had troubling finding resources that clearly laid out how the two could look like each other, and also what the differences were when I was first researching autism. It make figuring things out rather difficult. I also got a positive response when asking if anyone would be interested in a post like this, so as an autistic with PTSD, I’ve written up this post.

This post is written with PTSD caused by chronic or long-term trauma (often called Complex or C-PTSD, but is not officially recognized as a dx in the DSM 5) in mind, and obviously influenced by my PTSD. My official dx is PTSD (chronic per the DSM IV and still included on my records as of 2017 for some reason) with dissociative symptoms.

So, here’s the Diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder pulled off the CDC website. With examples of both how PTSD could resemble the ASD criteria, and how being autistic would fulfill the criteria. These are by no means exhaustive or iron-clad, they are simply a starting point.

Keep reading

My autism is hilarious, but only when I say so

Okay so as it’s April now, I wanted to write something for @walkinredinstead‘s April Challenge. The first topic is autistic humor, so I chose to discuss joking about autism and when/to what extent that’s okay. Now there are two extremes on this topic: the “can’t you take a joke” camp who go around spewing slurs, and the people who seem to think any joking at all is “trivialising” autism. It probably won’t surprise anyone to find out that I think these are both very wrong.

To illustrate the point I’m gonna make, I’m going to talk a bit about The Big Bang Theory. Now I know, collective groan time, it’s been done to death, but it works for my purposes. I just remember a while back reading something where one of the creators said that they didn’t want to make Sheldon “officially” autistic because then they couldn’t make jokes about his behaviour anymore. My thoughts when I read this? Besides everything else that’s obviously wrong with that, yes you could.

I’m not talking about the jokes they do make. Those are awful regardless to be honest. But I would love to see an autistic character who jokes about their own autism. Maybe with loved ones joining in from time to time, in a respectful way. The point is, getting comedy out of autism is very much a thing that can be done.

I joke about my autism a lot. On here with other autistics, with my mostly disabled friends and family, sometimes even just on my own in my head. I don’t think I’ve ever met an autistic person who doesn’t do that to some extent. Maybe there are some, and that’s absolutely fine. The important thing is that we have control over it. That people remember it’s our experience to joke about or not, it’s our choice. And that if we say they’ve taken it too far, they stop.

Some examples of my favourite autism jokes:

-X thing causes autism (autistic-coded fictional characters, breathing, my presence)

-Stimming (you can actually fly by flapping your hands, endless fun with vocal stimming/echolalia)

-My motor skills (I have the handwriting of an excited child, wtf hands, I fall over while standing still)

-My speaking problems (what are words?)

-Flat affect (resting blank face, my face won’t do the thing, I’m feeling things but my face disagrees)

-Sensory issues (as superpowers, with another autistic friend, our squeaking reactions to noise setting each other off)

Of course I have my limits. For example DON’T joke about my sensory issues when I’m overloaded or very distressed as opposed to momentarily startled and then okay. DON’T make fun of my motor skills or speaking problems if I didn’t do it first and you’re not a close friend or family member. DON’T mock my stimming for being weird. Bur different people will have different limits. With the things I’m comfortable with, I would take care not to make those jokes around someone who said they weren’t comfortable with it.

The point is, sometimes autism is freaking hilarious, and that’s okay. But autistic people get to decide when.

Also this post causes at least three autisms.