Some people solve their problems by solving them, others wait for them to go away, and yet others often find the wrong solutions that cause more problems.
I ran from mine.
I've payed for it in difficult ways, but every day it gets easier to face them without fear of persecution or belittlement, and it gets easier for me to admit the truth, the whole truth.
And I've almost never told the truth. I lie, this is how I run, or at least it was. I'm trying to be honest, not because I think it's the right thing to do, but because I feel like I've spent the past 3 years of my life online hiding behind a guise, and never being able to let people see me for fears that might have been amplified by my imagination.
I can barely describe the courage I had to work up to post my art in a Badnik channel, afraid of somehow triggering old haunts from my past I've done everything to run away from, and things I still want no part of now. And it took half that to use the name Kaze (It wasn't as heavily entwined with the things I've done and the madness I've been involved in but I am known by it to many people) and it's taking a great deal of my willpower and resolution to make my failures known, all because I want them to be, I'm tired of hiding, and I'm tired of lying, and I'm especially tired of regretting it.
I think it was a little time after the release of Sonic Unleashed that I truly started being an obsessed and angry Sonic fan. I stumbled on a dA account in a Google image search made by someone named Niccochi, who at the time drew this beautiful and amazing fan art of classic Sonic and Tails. But it was the description that mattered to me. It was a rant against modern Sonic. More specifically, Sonic Unleashed.
I hated the modern Sonic games for what they did to Tails, and since Unleashed didn't even let you play as him, well, it was on the top of my hit list.
And he seemed like he knew what he was talking about and I agreed with him on many things. I started following him, commenting on all his art (He's a very good Zelda artist), and I even somewhat learned some skills from his tutorial on coloring, and now I wish I'd asked him for Photoshop advice more often, but he became my hero.
And I white knighted him like it was nobody's business. I quoted him in every (And I mean EVERY) Sonic argument I got into, I was dead-set on fighting the classic vs modern war.
Before I knew what it was really about...
I'll skip ahead a bit. Let's just say that a lot of 2009 was filled with things I'd rather forget, or that I wish would vanish from existence so I could truly start with a clean slate instead of pretending that I am every time I made a new account with a different name. Not all incidents were Sonic-related, there was one that, well... Let's just say if anyone thinks my temper is particularly off-putting now, they would not have liked to know me then.
I think it was around winter of 2009 or January 2010, but someone told me something that really set me off. Nobody but Sonic would be playable in Sonic 4, the so-called sequel to Sonic 3, not even Tails. If I was repulsed by Sonic Unleashed's neglect of my favorite character and entire reason for my introduction to the series, you can only imagine how I felt about him not being in Sonic 4.
So the very first thing I did, late at night, was sign up for SEGA's forums and let them know what I thought, I complained about Tails and Knuckles not being in Sonic 4.
And was met with a most unexpected reception.
It's recollections like these that make me regret ever being interested in Sonic.
Virtually everyone dismissed it as whining. Yes, people thought a complaint coming from someone who played Sonic 3 which had three playable characters was whining, one person even thought he was being especially clever by posting a picture of Steve Colbert (One of the most uninteresting people I've ever seen. I think news comedies are boring.) that had "Stop Whining" at the bottom of it. My thoughts on their reactions is still the same as it was back then. "Well, excuse me if I wanted to play a sequel to Sonic 3."
This attitude apparently carried itself to dA and a lot of other places, this was the first time I learned about "The dreaded Sonic Cycle" where apparently the main focus is to say that whenever SEGA announces a new Sonic game, the best part is when all the public sees is Sonic running and cheers, then apparently everything goes shower as soon as SEGA mentions "SONICS SHITTY FRIENDZ" Obviously this isn't a view that I share, and aside from the fact that the main reason I like Tails is because he can fly (Sonic can't), I feel I should elaborate at this point. (I ran out of room in the other journal.)
I don't claim to be an expert on matters of programming and game-making but it has always striked me as a bit odd that SEGA created a character fully focused around speed, which is fine, but they threw in a flying character in the very next game. I don't know about anyone else, but I know which character I find to be more appealing, yet I'm expected to appreciate the ground-bound hedgehog with no powers.
Speed doesn't count because Tails ran just as fast.
It only makes this situation more comical to me when two years later they throw in ANOTHER character that can not only glide, but climb walls in a game-breaking fashion. It doesn't help that Tails could fly for 10 seconds. You have a fox that can fly and swim, and echidna that can break the game, and a hedgehog with a split-second invincibility power and three shield powers, only one of which was really useful (Static) and the other two either pointless or likely to get you killed. At least from my perspective. I completely overlooked Sonic in Sonic 3, most of my friends did the same, I didn't even know what the insta-shield did until I looked in the manual. (It didn't give me a better jump, much less fly, so I didn't care. I have a one-track mind when it comes to Sonic games.)
So this is basically why I don't like games where Sonic is the only option. There are more reasons I don't like Sonic but let's just keep it at every other character has better powers than him in the games (Even Blaze had a glide) so it really annoys me when people talk about "Sonic's shitty friends"
But apparently this is a widely-adopted attitude.
For a while I explored the British comics, and found that I liked pieces of them. (The only things I gained from Sonic Encyclopedia were character bios and I didn't read them all) Such as Tails' story and the Chaos Emerald mythology. (It took some time getting over the cheesy British dialogue though. I don't think British people still say "golly" just like Australians don't say "strewth", at least not the ones I know.) I then made the mistake of getting into the online version and joining their forums. That was the first time I joined a Sonic forum for more reasons than just to argue, and it's kind of ironic that was a really rough introduction to the fandom. I think I was probably everyone's least favorite member, I don't even think the admins liked me, and I'm pretty sure the only reason a few members even talked to me in PMs was either out of curiosity or because they felt sorry for me. I didn't exactly give people reasons to not hate me either, but it seemed like everyone reacted in especially nasty ways and never gave me a break after, so I got tired of it and left silently.
Maybe it's time to admit a truth. Back in 2009, I found out about Sonic Retro through a dA member I watched named SillyJonna, and if I spelled the name wrong, it's that person that cared deeply for their pet iguana. They were an amazing artist, and I still stare in awe at their art, but their work for the Sonic 2 HD was what brought my attention to Retro.
I signed up and wanted to do the Tails art (This part is kind of funny, at least to me) and it said I was a pending member. Now, back then, I was forum-stupid, I couldn't do anything online (or with a PC) without asking my mate at the time, and he wasn't around, so instead of do that thing where you post in the newbie area so the admins can make sure you aren't a troll, I waited to be approved, and, of course, never was. So I assumed the site admins didn't want anything to do with me and thus felt like complete shit.
I did use their wiki a few times though (Mostly for image theft) and a year later I worked up the courage to try signing up again. And then facepalmed when I figured it out but they let me in after I typed a big long post and tried to be as mature as I could. (And to be honest I have to try really hard, but it gets easier all the time)
Retro was... an experience. My friends would probably know what kind of experience, but it was definitely an experience I'll never forget.
In my time there, I also joined a site called Saturday Morning Sonic, a fan site dedicated to SatAM, and this was where I learned a valuable lesson; Lurking pays off. Sure I lurked for a while but I wasn't paying any attention to the dates of posts because I found out within two weeks anyone worth talking to was long gone and everyone else bored me. I have many unkind things to say about the crowd there, but seeing as I left last October or November or something and haven't run into any of them since, I'm content to let it drop.
I went back to Retro, but my activity dropped, and now I rarely look unless given a link. And the reason is because I've been shown the worst of the fandom, especially on Retro where a lot of views on Sonic that counter my own are almost palpable.
And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of trying to find enjoyment from Sonic, especially now that I know it will never be what I want, not because SEGA isn't listening, but because the fans, people I thought were on my side (more than once) hate my view and I'm tired of letting it hurt me.
I need something else. Something focused on anthro, but definitely not Sonic. It's unhealthy for me now, so I think it's time to let it go.