I’m stuck in my life, I can’t seem to get anywhere, but then again I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. I’m a 22 year old male who has a decent job, an ok apartment, and some bomb ass friends. I make enough money to live, but not to save. I’m in a relationship that’s grey: don’t want to be together, but can’t live without one another. I wish to further my education, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not very book smart. I’ve found a hobby that I can go to a trade school for, to improve my skills and turn a hobby into a career, but the problem is that I can’t save to get there, and it’s an out of state school.
I’ve worked with the school director and he said he had a place for me to stay, free of charge, he had a job ready for me when I got there, but I guess the real problem is, I’m scared. To be at a place where I have no contacts, no friends, and I worry about something going wrong when I get there, and I get stranded. No money, no place to live, no friends to help get you. I mean, the list goes on. I’m afraid of my life taking a different path and I don’t make it back to my home state? I have family and little sisters that I would be devastated if I didn’t see. Am I being a wimp? Do I just need to go for it? What are some solutions for saving money?
I need help Papabear.
* * *
Ah, there it is again: Fear. There’s a reason we have that fear instinct within us. When we lived much more primitive lives, it was a helpful emotion to help us run away from things that wanted to eat us. It got our adrenaline going. There is also a reasonable fear instilled in us (most of us) to keep us from doing things that might kill us, such as walking a tightrope with no safety leash or net across a canyon. That’s why we have fear: to protect us. Some people say that a soldier afraid to face bullets in action is a coward, but I would say that is a reasonable fear, a sensible fear. Also, the bravest person on the planet is one who can say he or she is afraid of getting shot while on duty but goes ahead and faces that danger anyway. They are much braver than the person who has no fear.
But there’s the other kind of fear: the fear of the unknown. This fear, which is only based upon the anticipation of some kind of harm, even when that might not be the case at all, is debilitating, as you have discovered. Such fears indicate, well, I won’t say cowardice, but definitely a lack of chutzpah, gumption, or cajones.
Foxtek, you find yourself in a current place where, while you aren’t making any progress, you are at least comfortable. You have friends and family nearby, so, while not prosperous, you are content enough. Now, if you are happy with that, there is nothing wrong with it, but you indicate you want something more out of life, and that always involves some risk. Anything worth having is worth a bit of work and some risk. Sometimes, you might fall flat on your muzzle, but you will have learned as a person and grown with it. That’s how we develop as people. We take risks.
In your mind, you are conjuring up all these awful “what if” scenarios. What if it doesn’t work out and I am stranded? What if I don’t like my choice and can’t go back to my old place and job? What if what if what if....? That’s no way to live. Also, you can reverse that scenario. What if you stay where you are and you lose your job? What if you stay where you are and your little sisters decide to take opportunities themselves and move away from you? Many things can happen that standing still won’t help you avoid.
And what do you have to gain? A better education, a job you enjoy, and the possibility of making great new friends and possibly even a new love interest! You never know!
Let me give you an example from my own life. I was still working for a company in Michigan back in 2000 and was getting more and more discontented. I didn’t enjoy my work, but staying employed there meant job security and a health plan. But I was growing increasingly miserable. Now, I could have stayed there, but I decided to take a risk and went freelance. It was a little scary at first, because if you suddenly lose your clients you have no safety net, unlike when you lose a corporate job and can get unemployment for a while at least. But, with the help of some moral and financial support from my wife at the time, I was able to do it and I am quite happy not to work for “The Man” anymore.
You are cutting yourself off at the knees because you are imagining the worst-case scenario. Now, it’s okay to think of what can go wrong and make a contingency plan, but don’t run away from what can be a real opportunity for you just because of your fears.
I’m not saying this opportunity is right for you—only you can decide that—but the fact that you have the director on your side and will have a job and place to live tells me that karma is on your side. That’s a great sign. If this is something you really see yourself doing in the future to get more job satisfaction and a better financial payback, then you should do it. Go in with a bad attitude and believing you will fail, and you will likely create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Go in there expecting to succeed, and your optimism will go a long way toward making that happen for you.
As for solutions for saving money, that’s an entirely different letter. But, to be brief, you can cut all unnecessary expenses (entertainment, dining out, buying things you don’t actually need like games or whatever) and set aside a set amount of your income each month. There are many books you can get online to help you in that area.
Good luck, Foxtek, and let me know how it goes for you.
Yeah, I did send you an email about one thing but this subject is a brand new one, and it's about this stupid "Anti-Wolfaboo" thing going around.
Note: It might not be much around in Furry Fandom but it might be known and used badly.
Ever heard about it? http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Wolfaboo.
At first when I heard about it, I thought it was just talking about a person being sooooo obsessed with wolves, that the person gets very annoying over others, threat others for no reason, and makes non-sense facts over stuff already proven (Like how there are more grey wolves in the world) and other possible things. All together.
But when I look around Deviant Art, it seems these anti-wolfaboos I hear about, basically attacks ANYONE who loves wolves, who wants to protect them, or have any personality with them. They may not attack basic wolf liking people, but anyone who loves them personality (They said it's OK to like, but not go beyond) and wants to protect them from hunters, or wants to draw personal designs of wolves (Sparkle wolves for example), or wanting to believe wolves can sometimes be harmless, or wanting to have wolf pets, or believing you are a wolf or some form, believing they are magical in spirit and such, or anything that is amazing, gets attacked. And it often comes from the ego groups from DA who wants to promote hunting, who wants to promote fur, and other messed up things. They also believe that what they often know are "facts" and much more.
The worst part, is that I don't seem to see any groups/stamps much that defends wolf lovers, just the nasty hate stamps hunter supporting stamps most of the time.
And the even WORST part, I fear this "anti-wolfaboo" bullcrap is spreading all over the Internet. (If it's a small group, that isn't effecting anything, I could just ignore it but...) I looked at some comments regarding that movie "Alpha and Omega", and I start seeing "Wolfaboo!" and this one I wanted to check to see if it wasn't spread. "Wolfaboo the movie!". As they said it in a bad way. In fact, I think this is how I found these nasty groups on the Internet and I think it's spreading. Also, I found a stamp saying "wolfaboo" the movie, and of course, it's this. Like I see many hateful comments judging the way the style of the cartoons of the wolves look, pretend fans who like the movie because of them, don't count and other sad things like bashing against the idea of hunting being bad, and such. And yet, I love the designs and I even like the movie for that reason, and that it shows love for creatures existing. God it feels like, everything in this world I love, is frowned upon. Everything.
Now, not only that there is unusual hate against furries who could have a certain "fetish" but now furries/or non-furries who happens to just love wolves in anyway, gets attacked, just because of the personality. Anyone who draws "wings" on wolves, makes them magic, or any sign of loving them, is looked down. Sorry if I said anything twice here.
I question you though, did you hear anything about this or similar before? Is there anything wrong with being a "wolfaboo?" Note: people might of used the name of it wrong but IDK anymore. Do you know if this bullcrap against wolf fans is spreading and rising?
When I saw this, it felt like a big huge middle finger against my own personality and love for these creatures, and man I just feel sad that this whole "drama" has to exist on the Internet.
It's now a word that's made up, just to bash anyone who might fit in with it. It's sad, honestly.
Sorry, may not be a proper question, like I often say. If you don't understand my writing, please tell me. ;)
* * *
Welcome back, Diamond Man,
While I’ve heard about wolfaboos, I had not heard about any large anti-wolfaboo movement of any kind. I certainly see nothing wrong with liking wolves and wanting to protect them. Goodness knows wolves have for too long taken a bad rap from humans that they don’t deserve. They are actually quite shy animals and stay away from humans whenever they can. Grey wolves have sprung back somewhat in population in North America, which is good, but the bad news is that there is already a movement to de-list them from government protections, which is ludicrous.
It makes me physically ill that there are so many humans who like to kill such a beautiful creature. Such people have lost all connection to Nature and appreciation for the wonder of life. There is something dark and twisted about their souls IMO. There is no need to kill wolves. They are not very dangerous to humans (coyotes, cougars, and bears are all much more dangerous to people), and it is rare that they harm livestock (and protecting livestock from wolves is very simple to do; also, the federal government reimburses ranchers for livestock losses due to wolf predation; furthermore, most livestock losses due to predation are caused by stray DOGS, sometimes mistaken for wolves.). Therefore, the only reason to kill them is because you get off on killing things, which is just sick and disturbing.
Having said that, I would like to note that it is not a good idea to have a wolf as a pet. They are wild animals and belong in the wild, not in your home; even raising them from pups is not a good idea. Too, there are some people who raise wolf/dog hybrids (cf: http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/info/archieve/newspapers/wolf_hybridsarenotsafe.htm) that can be a danger to people. On the other hand, drawing pictures of wolves, anthrowolves, or even sparklewolves with wings on them is harmless. If people have nothing better to do than to criticize artists who draw such things, then those haters really need to get a life. They’re pathetic.
Now, when we get to the extreme of wolfaboos, my understanding is that this can get a little out of control. Wolfaboos (and anyone please correct me if Papabear is wrong) find wolves to be superior to humans and enjoy stories about humans being killed and eaten by wolves. To me, this indicates a deep hatred of humans that cannot be described as healthy. But I believe that is the extreme case and most wolfaboos just have a very passionate love for Canis lupus and nothing against humans per se.
As with anything, getting obsessed about something is really not good for your mental health. It tends to give you a skewed outlook on life, and when that happens you lose your ability to be objective and to see things clearly. This can then result in some bad decision making. It can, likewise, be harmful to obsess about people who are trashing wolfaboos. If you constantly worry about trolls and haters, writing them emails or posting in blogs to respond to their hate, you just give them ammunition to harm you back, and you also validate their hatred by recognizing it as noteworthy.
See, what these people want is attention, so they say any dumb thing to get it. The more you respond to them, the more they get off on it because they see they are upsetting you, and haters LOVE that.
So, here’s what you do: ignore what is hateful and reinforce what is good. You love wolves? Great! Donate to an organization that helps wolves. Get active in politics: write to your senator or representative against bills to de-list wolves from the Endangered Species List and for any bills that help protect wild lands and prevent wolf hunting.
Drawing pictures of sparklewolves and such is fun. You want to make a difference, though? Help the real wolves of the world. They can use your help.
I never would have thought I would have actually gotten the time to write you, however I read every one of your letters.... But as of right now, I'm feeling more confused than I ever have in my life.
I have always identified myself as bisexual, however I have always had a preference for men.... There's only been one woman in my life who I've ever shared an interest with and that is because she can read me like a book and is currently my best friend.
Now I've been in this on and off relationship with another man for 5 years long distance. Lately, we've just been fighting more and more over the most petty things and I feel like our love is falling apart. It's literally one of the most painful things in the world because we've always thought we would share a future together. And we can still see it, but lately I feel as if I'm the only one who's put effort into the relationship...And me bringing this up only brings more fighting to begin with, but if I let it go, he thinks I don't care any more...which naturally LEADS TO MORE FIGHTING.
Now putting all of this aside, last night ... I had the opportunity to actually sit down with my best friend. She is in an abusive relationship and we've both come to the conclusion that her boyfriend is an absolute scumbag. I don't want to get into too much detail because that's not doing anyone any good, but long story short, their lives are intertwined because of her college life+family life+bills which her family is trying to catch up on ... yadda yadda ... AKA it's just a terrible situation.
I'd go into more detail with her boyfriend, but I feel like this would drag on this letter much more than it needs to.
Last night, she wound up breaking down after she realized what an asshole her boyfriend's been lately and she cried into my chest...After about 30 minutes of talking, I wound up kissing her on the cheek before dropping her off at her house, which she didn't oppose at the time.
My question is ... what should I do? I am still madly in love with my "boyfriend" (he doesn't want to identify himself as this, but trust me ... he knows he's my boyfriend, since he's my ex and we're already confirmed to seeing each other in a matter of months.... But I've been in love with my best friend since High School and after what happened last night, I haven't been able to drop it...
I just feel ... stuck.
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Since you have read a lot of my letters, you know my position on LDRs. You mention you are making plans to see your boyfriend, and that’s good. I don’t know whether this will be your first IRL meeting, but it’s clear to me that your relationship needs some maintenance. Oftentimes, when people in a relationship are under stress, it can cause frayed nerves, and tempers flare. My guess is that this is what is happening between you and your bf. You see, you’ve been “together” for five years and I would bet that you are both getting frustrated by your inability to be physically closer, even to consummate your relationship. Your bf is denying that the two of you are boyfriends, and I can see why: he probably looks at it the way I do in that LDRs are not true relationships; they are a bizarre anomaly of a modern world that creates the illusion of intimacy through technology.
What you need to do is actually BE with your boyfriend. If I may be so crude, sounds to Old Bear like the two of you need a good mutual boffing. If you have not made love yet (and I don’t mean role play online), you will be quite amazed how the flood of endorphins will soothe both of you and make you much happier. A physical relationship is extremely important in any healthy coupling. So, go boff your bf, and then spend some time with him doing things that are fun. Really share your time together. Don’t even talk about the troubles you’ve been having; focus on sharing a part of your lives together. Then, after you have both been sufficiently primed, you can talk for a bit about more serious stuff. This will do wonders for both of you.
Now, as for your dear female friend. You are a wonderful person for being there in her time of need and giving her comfort. She has a lot to work out, and I would say that making “a move” on her and upping the ante on your relationship would really cause a lot of damage and is not a wise choice, for her or for you. For her because she already has enough on her plate trying to straighten out what is going on with her boyfriend, family, finances, etc. She doesn’t need a lover, she needs a friend, so be that friend. Also, as you said yourself, while you are bi, you prefer men, and so even if you established a closer relationship she would have to be able to deal with the fact that, at least sometimes, you’re probably going to want to play around with a male or two (I'm not saying that bi people are incapable of monogamy, but I am saying that, given what you told me, your yearning for a man will likely affect your relationship with a female because you prefer men). Can she deal with that? That’s a big question, and one that could also cause her more grief than she needs right now.
For you, it’s because what I’m seeing here is another case of transference (I’ve written about this before). You’re probably transferring your need for some physical intimacy and tenderness that you are currently unable to get from your bf onto her. Not to say that you don’t truly care for her, and, since you are bi, can’t have an intimate relationship with her, but is that really what you want? Can you imagine yourself with this girl in a committed relationship? You don’t sound very sure of this, yet you do indicate a longing to plan for a future with your boyfriend.
My recommendation would be to try and repair and heal your relationship with your boyfriend first before possibly considering a relationship with your girl buddy. Be there for her as a friend as you have been, and never underestimate the value of a good friendship; they are priceless and rare and to be cherished. But don’t complicate your gf’s life right now by adding yourself in as a love interest. That, I predict, would cause you and her both a lot of stress and grief, at least at this point.
Try that first, and get back to me if you have more questions.
I'm a college student who's going to join the new environment and feel the experience of first year in college this October. I'm also a traditional artist who has a deep passion on Furry. I'm going to open a small commission on my FurAffinity account, starting with a small one I made for testing on Facebook. Turned out, I was wrong to advertise my commission offer on FB. Many haters who don't like Furry or my draws said lots of bad things to me and even report me because they think our furries are sick.
I was so disappointed and sad because of being treated and thought like that, so I have closed it and blocked all those haters. The thing is, there are many more who have my account have been trying to say bad things to me and my girlfriends through messages, making us feel depressed. I just want to ask you this: Is there any way I can do to make them stop looking at me as some kind of sick beastiality bastard and make them leave us alone? I'm going to college next month, but these days me and my girlfriend can't talk privately on Facebook due to their harassment on our Walls. It's too late to wish to go back to the time I posted the advertisement now, so please, Papabear, please help me find a way to end this. I don't want to end up with her closing our accounts at all.
* * *
Papabear shares your weariness over all the haters out there and gives you a big bear hug ... (((((HUUUGGG)))))
There are a couple things you can do, if you haven’t done so already. One being to report these people to the FB admins for harassing you. Another is to close your account and open a new one under a different name and start over. A third is to leave Facebook completely and do your commission work and socializing through other, preferably furry sites. I know that FB has become a huge force in social media, but they are not the only way to socialize and to get the word out about your art, not by any means. There are a plethora of furry social sites where you can hang out with your friends and sell your art, as you likely know.
The above, of course, are all avoidance strategies. Sadly, you cannot make haters stop hating. There is a large (exasperatingly large) segment of human society that hates all people who are not like them. They judge you for being different. They accuse you of being evil or sinners or perverts or communists or fascists or whatever words come to mind that they feel will hurt you.
Why do they do this? Because they fear what is different. Because they don’t want their own beliefs challenged because it might force them to rethink their philosophy of life or their religion. Mostly, though, it is because they have a deep-seated lack of self-worth and tearing down other people makes them feel better about themselves. “Oh, I’m not so bad because I’m not a freak like those furverts.”
If you are really really really patient, sometimes you can reeducate people like this to not be haters. But it takes a LOT of time and effort just to convert one, let alone the slew of haters that fill this planet. Most people don’t have that much time or energy to spare.
So, the best response is no response at all. You can either completely ignore them, knowing that their opinions have no value because the source is corrupt and because you have a solid sense of your own self-worth, OR you can try to avoid them completely, as I outlined above.
Sorry you are learning this lesson about human beings, but you have to learn sometime. Buck up and be proud of who you are. Don’t get depressed about yourself for being hated on; instead, pity the haters. Their lives are the ones that are pathetic.
Before I get to my question, I would like you to know LostWolf Freeman told me about you. Anyways, I would like to give you some information about my tough situation I’m in. First of all I'm a Christian, and so are my parents, but I’m more open minded then parents are. When I was in my teen years I saw a psychologists; she didn't keep things confidential; at that time I would say I wanted to be treated like a dog, and wore collars and so on. Because of all that, my parents have legal custody over me no matter my age, according to one of my real-life friends. I even tried wearing a dog collar in front of my parents once years ago, and I felt like they both judged me, and told me I would go to hell for that.
Years have gone by since then. I understand now why they were worried then; wearing the dog collar I was still letting the past abuse hurt me (note I have lived with my real dad who’s never laid a finger on me). I stopped wearing dog collars, I don't wear them anymore for that reason; you can still be a furry without one. As a young kid like 2 years old that abuse was I had a collar, leash on, and was in a dog cage with uncle standing outside. That's the only thing I ever remember. I'm only bringing it up now so you know what’s going on completely.
As the years have gone by I have discovered my true self and know what I’m supposed to do. Two things helped me find my freedom from the past: 1. God; 2. Wolves. You see I'm a person of love, but I get very shy meeting new people in real life. I also do my best not to judge anyone that’s different. I have no doubt I’m a furry. I see myself as a Christian furry though. I even have a YouTube video up about it. I feel like I’m being lead by the Lord to go out in the area of North Carolina, where I live, and show people you can be different, and still be a Christian, and also what unconditional love truly looks like.
All my friends know about this. I even talked to [my] church pastor about it, but my parents don't know. I'm afraid [to] tell them cause they might judge me, but at the same time I have no doubts, unlike the collar. I do the fursuiting for the good positive feeling, not the negative one I got with the collar. I love giving hugs, making other people smile while in the suit plus I'm not as shy, and I can let my kid out. I'm helping others, making a difference in their lives, yet at the same time I’m also getting the joy from being a service to others. I would love to get a wolf fursuit, I also feel led to tell people the truth about wolves just like me my whole life a wolf is misunderstood. A wolf is very big on family, loving, shy of people, but also a beautiful animal, and free.
Anyways, I thought I would give you some background on things here. If we see people out at dinner with tattoos my parents say sometimes that’s sick how can you do that, while I think it's art to the person, or might even have a meaning. My question is, how do I explain to my parents that I’m a furry when they can sometimes be judgmental?
Sorry for the book.
* * *
Of COURSE you can be a Christian (or Jew or Muslim or whatever) and a furry. Furry really doesn’t have anything to do with your religion, although many furries are drawn more toward Nature-based beliefs like Wicca and shamanism. And, as you know, there are Christian furry groups out there and you would likely do well to connect with them.
I think the most direct solution to your problem with your parents is to get your pastor involved as an intermediary. Since you told your pastor about your being a furry (and, since you don’t say differently, I assume he was understanding), approach him again and ask him to help you talk to your parents about furries. It will help a lot if he’s there with you.
Your letter reminds me of two people in my life that I would like to refer you to, if you don’t mind. I won’t name them here, but one is a spiritual teacher of mine in Oklahoma who does the same thing for bears that you’d like to do for wolves. He runs a foundation and he wears a bear fursuit to help educate people about bears and to raise money to help them. The other friend is a pal in Michigan who is a devout Christian and family man and all-around good guy who has a beautiful canine suit designed by Beastcub. He often wears it at charity events such as fund raiser runs for children’s hospitals.
I would like you to talk to both of them and get some feedback from them. So, let me know about that.
I think it is remarkable that you have, in essence, healed yourself to a large degree after what was a traumatic experience with your uncle. You have found strength in your faith and your love of the natural world, and they have helped to save you. Continue on this path, and you will do well.
I'm not exactly sure how to write such letters - I've always been rather a listener-type of person and I'm not so good when it comes to speak directly to another person - the fact English is not my first language also doesn't help a single bit. I feel ashamed how long and twisted the final result will probably be, even though a lot of other people have bigger problems than mine.
Despite that, I'm right now struggling to not fall into clinical depression. Thing have been getting worse and worse for quite a long time. Problems within family, the Academy I'm studying at. But that's not the major case.
At the beginning of this year I've abandoned my best and closest friend - and the scenario that took place prior to that is repeating itself with another person. My relationship is also probably going to fall apart. I've made horrible mistakes and I wasn't able to deal with their consequences.
I need to say some things about myself, for a bigger picture. It feels wrong, as I've always been taught modesty and humility, but I'll remain at least partially anonymous - and it's the way others see me. I am a gifted person. I'm looking good, I have talents in exact science, writing and fine arts - and I've been quite successful in those domains so far. I have supporting (though somewhat twisted and conflicted), open-minded family. I should consider myself lucky.
But the universe needs balance. I'm also terribly afraid of other people, quiet, submissive both in life and sexuality. I tend to attract unexpected events and accidents, ruining my plans and promises. And most importantly, I'm both gay and zoophile. The last thing might be critical here - as I'm not sure if I'm capable of truly loving other human...
I met the person I left - let's call him S. - via the internet, several years ago, like all other furries. He was, and I believe he still is, a good person, altruist, with a philosophical personality. We didn't have that much in common, but also, we could talk about everything, having great fun. Despite him being older than me - more than five years - both my first kiss and first time have been with him.
I told S. I'm not able to fall in love with him as soon as our relationship started getting more intimate - shared my fears and suspicions. I liked him a lot, but that's been as far as I was able to get - maybe, not certainly, there'd be still some possibility with other human, but not with him.
He comforted me and said he's ok with that. That it didn't matter to him if I'd be able to feel anything more, or if I'd sleep with someone else. We were friends, basically best friends.
Of course, he was helplessly in love with me. I didn't realize it for a long time, I was younger and "socially awkward"... also, maybe too inexperienced in the matter. I knew he had opportunity to become very close with someone else at least one time, but he didn't. I was somewhat encouraging him, not able to feel right about myself if he would stay single because of me, but he assured me it wasn't the case.
I need to state at this point that I didn't have many sexual experiences, neither with S. nor anyone else. In fact, all people I know gone much, much farther than me. Intimate situation with other persons - until events I'll describe later - happened only once and was both a bit unwanted and not going further than touch. I used to want something more "serious", but was always afraid. I also didn't wanted to "do' anything with my attraction towards animals. I don't judge other people - but would feel it'd be wrong when it comes to me.
After some years, I met somebody. It's been... different. The feeling was.. well, I can't exactly describe it. Rather platonic, but strong even despite large distance. To distinguish him, I'll call the person J. - and J. made me feel there's still some hope. Once again, I shared my fears, but this time I had some faith. It wasn't easy and did not happen immediately, but we established a relationship - with one thought in mind: if it's not going to work, at least let's try to not worry and be happy as long as it's possible.
J. and S. knew each other before - not much, but still. They used to be in "ok" relations. But as it's rather obvious, it has changed. They both became extremely jealous, had several arguments. Directed some of their anger against me.
I stopped mentioning anything about the one in the presence of other. S. became clear about his feelings. Tried to retain as much of the intimacy we used have as possible. I didn't want to hurt him, he was my closest friend. I visited him few times in our common friends' place, not telling J. - I know it was wrong: at the time I just didn't want him to get mad, like it happened when I met with S. openly, during dealing with some official matters in his city...
But slowly S.' personality and behaviors also stared to change. Just to clarify, I don't want to make him a "bad guy" - he was very close to me and helped me many times. But he stared to want much more attention. In the past when it'd happened that we had opportunity to talk only two times during a week it had been quite ok. Later he wanted to do so everyday, as well as to inform him every time when I couldn't, explaining why. When I chatted with him I was supposed to not do anything else. His extreme morality became selective: once he stated he wouldn't think bad about me if I cheated on J. I agreed to do things he asked me, unintentionally giving him hope, like an idiot, even though I kept saying I can't feel anything more for him.
At the same time, I stopped being sure with my relation with J. We were happy, everything was perfect but... I couldn't do much when it came to sex. It always been a long distance relationship, we both didn't mind it - he always made me smile during our conversations... but I started to be worry if I it was him who attracted me or my vision of him, including his fursona.
The situation started to devastate me - as well as other problems that started accumulate around me - incurable sickness of someone in my family, financial problems, life-goals issues and others. I got depressed. I stared to have problems with my school, the Academy. I knew I probably wouldn't pass - something I'd never had to deal before.
S. asked me to visit again after many unfortunate tries to find an opportunity, but something unexpected happened in last moments, like many times before [I've mentioned this personal curse...]. What I had heard in response, though as he later said it was supposed to be a joke to relieve the situation, impacted me heavily. I failed my best friend again, I felt he wouldn't trust me anymore because this coincidences. It brought forth suicidal thoughts. I don't blame him for this, I wasn't intentional, I managed to overcome it - and to find another date. But then, after meeting, spending time with friends, playing games... I heard from him it wasn't enough. Not enough to be even called a "meet", to mean anything to him.
Some time later he had an accident. He didn't tell me at first but it was very serious. I was supporting him as I could, calling every day, talking for hours while he was lying in hospital. He seemed happy and so was I, that I could help him at least a bit. He was going to need rehabilitation, though fortunately it wasn't nothing permanent.
And after that everything fell apart.
I was supposed to spend a certain holiday with my family, but as usual, something unexpected happened about day before. I had opportunity to visit J., also knowing that S. was going to spend that time among friends. I visited my boyfriend and other furries he invited, send wishes to best friend.
I was able to read S.' answer when I got access to my PC. First time during our friendship he called me names, swearing and cursing. Said I should visit him this time, because of his accident, despite the fact he was already been invited somewhere long before. That I'm the cause last years had been horrible for him. I was scared. He had never said anything like that to me. I knew I wasn't as good as it'd be possible - but I was trying.
I told my mother about almost everything. She couldn't tell me much - but said if I allow S. to stay that close, it would mean he might never be able to establish a relationship and never be truly happy. I remained silent for some time. S. called it cruel and begged me to talk to him again and I did. But I wasn't able to keep that long. I couldn't spent time with others, I had my last chances to complete my task for school. It didn't help in any case. S. started to hate me. I received more insults and started to avoid talking to him. One day he left me a note with more direct threat.
Then I "ran away". I didn't told him it's over. I stopped appearing online. Avoided picking up phone seeing his or unknown number. I abandoned my friend without telling exactly why. S. sent some messages to J. but I asked to not know what there were about. My boyfriend told me that maybe I should see with S. - but I didn't do it. I was and still am afraid of him.
To make things worse... several months passed... and I found out another friend of mine have similar feelings towards me as S. - despite knowing about everything. And I'm running away again... But what I've written till now has been already too much for one letter from a complete stranger.
I'm a coward. I've never wanted to hurt anyone, but right now I keep doing this. I can no longer think of myself as of good person. And soon I'll probably be alone. Do I need some advice...? I... don't know. What I know is I needed to confess to someone who isn't involved.
I'm sorry it was so long.
* * *
In response to your rather long missive, I’m going to give you a relatively short reply. The single characteristic that best distinguishes your letter is fear: fear of relationships, fear of hurting people, fear of failure, fear of yourself. You are literally paralyzing yourself and becoming unable to act, so you react by running away.
What your letter and all your problems tell me is that there is something you are not telling me—which is, how did you become so fearful in the first place? By the time you were forming a relationship with S, and later J, the damage was already done. So, your problems don’t stem from issues with S or J, or with school or whatever other problems you have listed here.
You need to look farther back and find out what caused you to be scared of relationships and sexual intimacy with human beings in the first place. This would likely also explain why you are a zoophile, because sometimes (not always) zoophilia is the result of misdirected sexual urges brought about by a fear of having sexual urges for one’s own species.
My guess here is that something traumatic happened to you early in your life. Most probably, you were sexually molested in a very shocking way and this has really scarred you emotionally. If true, this would explain why you have a problem being intimate with others, why you are a zoophile, and why you are developing this self-hatred.
Nemo, this is beyond my ability to help with in one letter. I would recommend you seek the help of a professional to get at the bottom of what is really bothering you. Only when that is resolved will you be able to repair the other relationship rifts in your life.
Please see what you can do to find a good therapist nearby. Though I can’t be of more help here, I hope I have steered you in the right direction.
Let me emphasize one thing before I sign off here: you are not a bad person. You are a troubled person, yes, but you are not a bad person.
I was really on and off about writing you, but after reading your article about the EDM musician that is pressured by criticism, I though why not give it a shot. Another point of view never hurt anybody, right?
Before I joined the fandom I never really pursued any creative art form. I have written occasionally, but that’s all there ever was. Just a little bit before I joined. I started playing bass in a band, and music became one of the biggest factors in my personal life (so to speak; I do not pursue a professional career with it).
After I joined the fandom I started working big time on a lot of art forms. I started building fursuits, more music and to lesser extent Writing and lately Drawing a little.
Now what exactly is my problem now?
After this year’s Eurofurence, I have fallen into a pit of self-doubt, anger, and, I admit, a good portion of depression. (Just to say up front, I am on the way of getting better).
Caused has this been by a few incidents at the EF that I don’t want to delve in further, but mostly by one thing: Nobody gives a ****.
Excuse my language, but that’s just the best way to describe it.
Whenever I put in a good chunk of work into a song so that I am halfway satisfied with the results (I am never fully happy, but that’s the thing with practice :P) and I post it hoping in vain for some feedback, all I see is a blank page saying: No New Messages.
I can deal with negative feedback and criticism. Fine. Hell, I would love to have that kind of feedback, even!
What really hurts is that my work is either so mediocre, so bad or so flavorless that people don’t even bother with it.
I see that people are listening, viewing etc. but there is no: "Sounds good" or “part x:xx is weird/good"; not even a "You suck!" Nothing! And that by far concerns me way more.
I tried spreading my work through more than just one kind of social media, even ones dedicated to musicians—to no avail.
To see something that you care for, love, and, yes, I would call me passionate about it, getting absolutely no reaction, is just.... well, it hurts.
Again I am on the way of getting back on my feet, and I am nowhere near done with what I do so...
Thanks in advance and kind greetings,
PS: Just to have some relation to how long I have been doing things: I work on and with music for about 5 years, so a pretty decent amount of time. Fursuit building I do for a little over 2 years now, not as much but as you can read I mostly refer to my music.
* * *
This is an interesting complement to my earlier response to the EDM composer. In his case, he was hurt by negative criticism; in your case, it’s the lack of any response at all. So, which is worse? Being criticized and told you suck or being completely ignored? In your opinion, anyway, being ignored is worse, and I would tend to agree. At least with negative criticism, you might learn something from audience reaction that improves your work. Without that, you are just in limbo.
As you and I both know, getting noticed and becoming famous doesn’t mean your art is good. It just means it is getting attention. Some examples of crappy songs that got people famous include “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus, “Macarena” by Los del Rio, and, more recently, “Gangnam Style” by PSY. These songs prove that you don’t have to be talented, just catchy and simplistic and a lot of people will eat it up (hope I don’t get hate mail for this, but it is one bear’s opinion.) Meanwhile, really cutting edge stuff that is friggin awesome often gets little recognition. Why? Because it doesn’t have mass appeal. Another thing to note is that the large majority of people enjoy things that are familiar. So, if they enjoy Coheed and Cambria’s “The Suffering” (people seem to think it is Emo, but sounds like Metal to me; love the hook on it) they will try and find music similar to that.
So, two possible strategies there are: 1) be imitative (at least at first), or 2) be simplistic, cater to the bottom tier (“Awesome! It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it!”).
Other ideas (some more crazy than others):
It’s not enough to be an artist in this world. Even if you’re talented, you just can’t sit back and hope people will find your stuff and react to it. You have to market yourself. If you do it right, quite frankly even if you really DO suck, you can become famous.
I'd like to know how to perform damage control in the (extremely) likely event that my identity as a furry leaks out into my extended family's grasp.
The Long-Winded Explanation:
I've always been seen as a "good" kid by my family and extended family. It's mainly because I haven't crossed any of those Conservative Texan family boundaries (drugs, getting girlfriend pregnant, etc.)
It is extremely likely that my extended family members are looking for dirty laundry on us good kids in order to drag my parents through the dirt.
My mom considered a girl wearing one of the cat-eared hairbands in public a "bizarre" sight, and I can't say my dad would like the idea of his son being a bisexual furry in a world most known for its relatively small content of yiff art. I probably should tell them that I have feelings for men, but I haven't yet.
My sister recently discovered me writing a fairly detailed (but clean) letter to a new contact on a furry forum, and I think she'll tell mom. Although mom has been understanding of my privacy needs, and she probably knows I am "up to something", I think the humiliation will commence once she confronts me. I'm not so much worried about the hell she'll put me through, but I am worried that my sister will use this new discovery as blackmail (e.g. threaten to tell the extended family).
It feels like I've loaded five out of six cartridges into a revolver, and I'm watching the cylinder spin. I've been as lucky as a coyote can be, but I'm anticipating a "bang" at the end of this game of Russian/Sixgun Roulette.
Thanks for Listening,
Skyote (age 25)
(I'm writing this at night so hopefully I have made sense.)
* * *
Pardon my saying so, but your family sounds awfully nasty. If they are as you say they are, you’ve got an extended family that can’t wait to find dirty laundry so they can “drag your parents through the dirt”; then you have a sister who seems to be more than willing to help these nasty people, or, barring that, to blackmail you; and then you have a mother who will put you through hell once you’re discovered to be a furry. I’m sure all these people consider themselves to be “good Christians.” Small wonder you fear them.
I’m guessing that your fear may be based on your still living with your parents? If you’re doing so because of a financial issue or physical disability, I can understand how uncomfortable this can be. Once your furry side (or your bisexual side) is outed, you face the real possibility of your family trying to control your behavior or, worse, “cure” you by sending you to some camp. So you feel trapped.
One good solution would be for you to get out of the house, if possible. At 25, I hope it would be possible. If not, the other option is to downplay the importance of your being a furry. You say you are a “good kid” who never gets involved in drugs and sex and you keep your nose clean. Do you go to church with your family? Are you involved in sports or other hobbies? If so, that’s good. If your sister “outs” you as a furry, just shrug your shoulders and nonchalantly say, “Oh, yeah, I’ve talked to some furries and stuff. No big deal. I do lots of things and that’s just one of them.” If you don’t act like it is a live-or-die situation, your parents will also sense that it’s not a big deal and may just shrug it off as well.
Eventually, though, Skyote, although you can play this game for a while, you will have to come out as yourself, both as a furry and as a bisexual man. You’re in your twenties, and at some point you’re going to need to stand up for yourself, and that means facing your family. They will, of course, try and take the high ground and say you’re not a good Christian. Let them spout off. Both you and I know already that you are a better person than any of them will ever be.
You are who you are because God made you that way. Sounds to me He did a pretty good job in your case. Sounds like the mold might have been damaged in your family’s case by (imitating The Church Lady from SNL), oh, I don’t know..... SATAN? No offense :-P
Rather than worry about what your small-minded family thinks, what you should be working on is a way to improve your own living situation so you can live independently of them. That’s the best course for you.
And, if you do at some point have to face that “big bang” when your mother or some other holier-than-thou person tells you what an awful person you are for liking furries, turn the other cheek and say, “Well, I know I’m not perfect, but nobody is perfect, right, Mom [or Whoever]? Anyway, I don’t recall any passage in the Bible saying ‘Thou shalt not be a furry.’ I think Jesus will understand if I think anthropomorphic cartoons are kinda cool.”
When you’re not embarrassed or ashamed of who you are, derps like your sister have no weapons to harm you. It’s like with me. If one of my relatives or even a stranger pointed at me and accused me of being gay or a furry, I’d be like, “Pfft! So? Big deal. That and five bucks gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.” It’s all in the attitude.
I have a problem with fursona-hopping. I have been a furry for at least four years and I've gone through at least four different fursonas in the last year trying to find one that fits me. Every fursona I pick in the beginning seems to be a great choice because I love the animal and I think it fits my personality. In a few months I abandon the fursona and move on to a new one. I always feel unattached and not familiar to a fursona after a month or two. I want to be able to identify with a fursona that is me and will stick with me for years. Is there anything I can do to stop this and finally settle down with a fursona that’s right for me?
Ameru (age 14)
* * *
It’s not uncommon at all for a furry to switch fursonas multiple times before settling on one or more that suits them best. Some people switch more than others. I switched from wolf to dragon and finally to bear. Each animal represented a different phase of my life: wolf as a child, wanting to be part of a pack; dragon as a teenager, wanting to be strong and alone; bear as a man, wanting to be lazy, friendly, and big and hairy LOL. Oh, and briefly, I was a chipmunk as a kid because I really liked Chip & Dale, hee hee.
When I was a wolf and a dragon, though, I didn’t know about the fandom yet. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t so concerned about my fursona selection. Being a bear as an adult was a natural choice for me because the bear is also my primary animal on the Medicine Wheel and because of certain, well, other preferences I have with real people that I won’t get into since you’re only 14.
Your difficulties at your age with fursona selection are completely understandable because they reflect the struggles you and every teen goes through in discovering just who they are. This is why a species of animal fits you one day and not the next. Because you are changing almost daily as well as you discover yourself.
Papabear’s advice to you is to not fret that you are having difficulty with your fursona. Instead of trying to nail it down for eternity, go ahead and change your skin as often as you like. In fact, the more you try, the better off you will be because you will have the advantage of learning the pros and cons of each species (or hybrid) and you will learn a lot.
When the time is right, the perfect fursona will come into being for you. That’s how it was for me and Grubbs. Even the name of my bear side just came to me and I knew it was right.
Be patient, don’t force it, and let it come naturally to you in it’s own time.
I believe I should start by saying, I am a college student who lives in the dorms and I have made various friends and I had constantly been picked on, as well as my other friends, but I have learned to just brush it off...
Here is my concern: My roommate is one of my very close friends, who has a bit of a tendency to get mad quickly, especially when it comes to me. My fear is that he managed to sneak a switch blade into the dorms! I am afraid he is going to hurt someone! He usually comes into the room when [he] is mad and yells, but my other roommate and another close friend has had to hold him back on a couple of occasions BEFORE he got the blade.
I have asked him several times to take it back home, give it to me to put away, or at LEAST to leave it in the room, stating my fear that his short fuse is going to cause him to make a grave mistake...
Every time he blows me off saying "He isn't stupid" or "He wouldn't do that," but I can see in his eyes every time he gets mad... His hands quiver over his pocket when he is in the room...
What can I say to make him listen?
* * *
This is something that you should not handle yourself. Go to your RA and tell them about what is going on. You should trust your gut on this and not second guess yourself. If you feel he could potentially be dangerous, take it to someone who can do something about it.
I know you say this guy is a friend, but I would also suggest you find new living arrangements. This is not something to treat lightly.
Let me know how it goes.
* * *
Thank you very much for your advice; it really did help. I talked to my RA and we all sat and had a talk (and let me clarify when I said "especially when it comes to me" I meant when people pick on me and what not). Luckily, as extreme as the college can be with stuff like this, it went smoothly, and instead of expulsion he is going to be placed in anger management classes. When his temper isn't flaring (again let me say this much when I FIRST arrived he used to be worse with his temper) he is a really nice guy who would go through heck and back for people close to him... Smart too...
So let me just say it again, thank you very much PapaBear.
P.S: Lots of hugs from this fluffy wolf
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.