I can’t believe I haven’t replied here yet.
This chapter of Higanbana was especially close to home for me, and unlike most of you, I certainly didn’t expect the twist at the end. It hit me like a brick wall.
The Princess’ Lie is more personal to me than I want to admit, because in its own ways, it’s really sad. Just as Midori escapes her world by relying on illusions, I also escape my world by relying on illusions. I understand entirely Midori’s desire to get out of reality by writing over it with her own desires, and I can’t criticize her for it. I was never bullied in school, I was the quiet kid that never spoke, always wore dark colors, and was probably suspected of planning to blow up the school. I was ignored, I had no friends, and the few friends I did have in elementary weren’t true friends at all. I wanted someone to like me for who I was, not just pretend to like me to save me from hurt. So I commonly escaped to my fantasy worlds, something my mom hated, even though she was a large role in why. My mom was very emotionally abusive and made it clear that I could do nothing right in school or at home. My grades were average, but I struggled particularly with math and that’s something that used to get me in a lot of trouble. Every day after school, if I was late leaving, I would hear about it for weeks on end. At home, she was always yelling at me about this or that, I forgot to do XXXX or YYYY. I could never do well enough, no matter what I did. I had a chore list, and my 3 sisters did not. When I was told to do something it had to be done, and if I asked about it it would only bring her anger. I was never physically hit, but the emotional pain and constant ridicule took a major toll on my mental stability. I began self harming at 9.
Also at the young age of 9, I developed interest in anime and manga, usually whatever Adult Swim was airing Saturday nights. I wanted so badly to get away from the world I was in that I’d build up personas and mentally join the worlds I thought were better. My first friend was Link from the Zelda series. Within months, I had a whole new family and friends. My first crush was Bankotsu from the Inuyasha series. I had it all. I could be whatever I wanted, and no one would yell at me. I could imagine tons of enemies that I could destroy over and over without consequence, and any person I had feelings for I could get, because they were fictional. They couldn’t tell me no, and they couldn’t leave me or argue back.
I grew afraid of people. I felt so superior to others that I had no interest in speaking to them, and at the same time I was so afraid of what they’d say to me that I hid away from it all. My only friends were characters I took a liking to. I made one friend in high school, that’s all. One. And we’re still friends today. Anyway, life at home continued to get worse, and screaming and blaming continued. The bad, but also good thing was it never happened to my sisters. Everything was normal for them. I was the only one that got told constantly that I wasn’t good enough, that I was grounded for X amount of months. I grew so far from reality I began hiding my homework and pretending I didn’t have it. I’d skip class sometimes, too, just enough to give myself a mental break.
As I mentioned earlier, at 9 I began self harming. As all the events unfolded I was taken to multiple therapists, the first of them blamed me entirely. My mom’s first boyfriend molested me, the second called me disgusting and took everything from my room (with exception to my mattress) when he first found out I self harmed. I wasn’t aloud to touch anything or go anywhere. Even when I told my mom this hurt my feelings deeply, she did nothing but shrug. But if I avoided talking to her, she couldn’t understand why. “You know you can tell me anything, right?” is what she’d say. She’d act nice until I actually had something to say, and then it became “stop feeling sorry for yourself”, “pity party, pity party”. She went about a year without talking to me, too.
So I’d recede further into dreams and into fantasy. I wanted to die. I tried to die at 12, then 14, 15, 17. All I wanted was someone to listen to me, and I’d grown so worried about everything that I couldn’t express how I felt even to the one friend I made in high school. I had deep worries that she was going to reveal that she was just pretending, and I didn’t need her knowing so much about me. The self isolation and the dreams continued. I began researching numerous drugs, reading up on near death experiences, trying to figure out if anything good would happen after I died. I tried to get into church but I couldn’t believe. Eventually, I had to balance a job with my delusions, and I did fairly well.
At 15, I found Vocaloid, and grew to love Len without limits until…I turned 19. That’s when I found Umineko, and it became my identity. (Full Umineko Spoilers) I want so badly to be part of the catbox, to go to the Golden Land. Umineko became everything I wanted to be part of. The Ushiromiyas, no matter how dysfunctional, became my family. One of them, the biggest and most powerful love I’ve ever known. Looking at Yasu, I was reminded of me. I know it sounds nuts. That’s why Umineko, and this chapter of Higanbana, resonate so deeply with me. I really need to start the second night of Higanbana, so that’s what I intend to do next…
I know I’ll be judged harshly for this post, showing my blatant escapism, but… that’s part of why I appreciate the magic of Umineko, and the power of the Black Tea Gentleman. The difference between Midori and I is, I know reality is waiting. I have to balance my fantasy prone self with living life here, even though I don’t want to. I want to simply fade away and live on Rokkenjima. I expect many of you’ll be weirded out, and maybe I’ve gotten too personal with this post, but this is why The Princess’ Lie resonates with me as much as it does. Sorry for the wall.