Arc 2 · Between Two Worlds

9.4 Mercy (Part 2/2)

#potentially triggering content #impliedsexualassault #bloodstains #bruises

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Note:

I have gone back and forth whether I should scrap and rewrite this part of the story. Ultimately, I made the decision to leave it. Writing this has been incredibly cathartic. I lived and worked closely with families in neighborhoods like this. I need my own space to vent and release. It brings me peace to be able the control the outcome and put my own ‘fairy-tale’ spin on taboo and silenced subjects.

P.s. – Just putting it out here that Curtis internalising what happened as his fault is wrong and destructive. Unfortunately, survivor’s guilt is a common response by loved ones. If you’re still reading at this point and plan to continue reading, just a reminder that everything is fiction. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

25 thoughts on “9.4 Mercy (Part 2/2)

  1. It’s so important to deal with challenging issues. The Sims and our SimLit provide a safe and healing way to do this. This was a really effective chapter.

    1. Thank you! :> I’m glad I’ve stumbled into SimLit. Reading and writing simlit has made me more wholesome as a person and helped me in so many ways i never would’ve realised.

  2. I LOVED this. I felt like i was watching a movie! your pics are so gorgeous and i was sucked in to this. It was an amazing chapter, and very impactive ❀

  3. I agree with the above comments, writing can be very therapeutic and a good way to process difficult emotions.
    I feel for Athena and I hope that she has a chance to heal after this.

    1. She will! There’s a lot of things happening in the background as she tries to make sense of things so i cant focus on her in the immediate chapters. Once I’ve got those out of the way, it’s a home run from there.

      This is my first writing so the effects surprised me. Thank you for reading my story. I can’t imagine how uneasy this read must be. At least if it was a book one can speed read to the next section to get consolation. I promise there’s a silver lining. Everything is coming together very soon! πŸ™‚

  4. Woah so she was. I haven’t expected this outcome.
    For a certain reason, I am glad you kept this part of the story. It is so heavy, but I think it is also important to not stay quiet about taboos like these.

  5. I can see why people are skipping over the revelation you made in your wrap up. That being, that you are a survivor of this situation. I write my Simlit with my past in it, as a way of healing. Luckily, I have nothing this traumatizing to work through.

    However, I can tell you how strong you are to write this, as a way to deal with what happened, and as a way to make it into a subject that can be discussed, instead of hidden.

    Mine is meant to make Mental Illness less stigmatizing. I think yous is in hopes of speaking to others about this dreadful topic, how it makes someone feel, how it changes them, how it makes those around them feel. All of it.

    And it’s very hard to talk about, because it’s very scary to think about. I am glad you left it in, and if you are meaning to imply that it happened to you, I would like to offer any help I can give you regarding what you went through.

    Her memory coming back is harrowing to watch, and you made it all seem realistic. Right down to Curtis, and how bad he felt, and what he went through to help her see that it was him. I’m glad he was finally able to calm her.

    1. Ah yes you’re absolutely right as to why I chose to keep this storyline. Too many times I have come across writing that the heroine is saved or it has happened some obscure time ago. I get why people wouldn’t want to read/write about it. But how do we make sense of it if it’s not spoken about?

      I think I’ve told you how I used to work with kids in communities like this. They’re forced to join gangs, commit crime etc. And amidst it all, I still find precious kids like Curtis who strive their best to break this cycle and rise above parents/community expectation. I meet girls like this all the time too and its disheartening that mental health services are a privilege so none of them could afford it. All they had was me.

      I’ll gladly talk in depth to you about these and my own experiences. Thank you for offering! What you’re doing is very uncommon especially in this medium. πŸ™‚

  6. Firstly, thank you for signposting all the triggers so well several chapters ahead already – gave me time to prepare myself for what’s coming. As someone that can find this topic triggering and has been caught off guard in another story before, I really appreciate how you handled it!

    You’re very brave for keeping this in the story, I don’t think I could – but we all write for different reasons, I can definitely see how it would be cathartic.

    Also, the “You’re still the same” line on Curtis’s part was fantastic. The best thing he could have said, hands down.

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know this structure works.

      I find this topic intimidating to write and had to take lots of breaks while it was in production. But my purpose of writing it is to show that support and recovery is possible. It’s a tough and painful process, but possible to move on. I’ve read too many times that the knight saves the girl at the last minute, or it happens but the recovery/support is shown off-screen or mentioned in passing. Well, how is anyone to takeaway anything from that? The reality is shit happens and nobody comes. So really the most important part is omitted – what to say or do in the aftermath.

      Aw thank you! Curtis’s one trait is modelled after true HPI/HSI I know who deals with this of his partner. The man is the most amazing person and support I’ve ever seen, even when he’s got no experience in the fieldwork.

      1. I can’t add on to what’s been said by everyone else, so I’m tagging on to this comment just to gush about how awesome it is! YES to more SimLit stories about recovery and support. YES to trying to portray sexual assault as the horrifying, mind-numbing experience it is. Your decision to not tone it down just brought this story to a whole new level for me. This chapter is running on pure emotion and I love it.

        I also don’t think you’re going to do this based on what you’ve said here, but feel somewhat inspired to write a fanfic version of this where, instead of two rando skeeves, Curtis is the one who sexually assaults her. Off-camera. And he keeps denying anything happened and coming up with arguments for why it couldn’t have happened. So then the audience has to wrestle with themselves on how to respond when someone they know and trust does something abhorrent. Sorry, aLleGEdLy does something abhorrent. You know what I’m talking about, yeah? But that’s the absolute-pitch-black-no-light-can-escape SimLit version of an assault story, and both stories have their place, of course.

        (And I think it speaks for itself that I have a 100% totally jaded yep-sounds-about-right response to media where a female character gets sexually assaulted, but scream with joy and jump out of my seat when someone BELIEVES her about her assault.)

  7. Oh no, it did happen? Well, that feels like a rock to the face. I feel so bad for both Athena and Curtis. It wasn’t Curtis’ fault, he didn’t know and Athena was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m so sorry this happened to her. I hope she can recover from this.

  8. I applaud you for choosing to keep such a heartbreaking and horrifying event in your story. Too often, we see stories where these things are glossed over and/or explained away with vague language. I think that, by keeping this in your story and presenting it in an almost entirely visual style, you invite us to look at the horror of a situation like this without candy-coating it or avoiding the worst parts of it. It’s powerful. Thank you for writing this in such a direct but sensitive manner.

    Aside from that, another observation: oh lord, Jules is going to discover Athena’s phone and I’m nervous for everyone. Sigh.

    1. That’s so powerful what you just said. Thank you so much for seeing it the way you do. You’ve made me realise something of myself that I didn’t. B2W is confronting. The story and characters are raw. I keep telling myself to tone it down but I revert back to showing them as they are. I do think some things need to be brought to light. And this is highly fictionalised ofc even has magic in it, but i intend to keep the message. Thank you for reminding me why I wrote this in the first place.

  9. I think it’s important not to avoid difficult subjects, even in SimLit. It provides a safe and healthy space do process and talk about challenging things. What you wrote is raw and brave. That’s commendable. I write about difficult things too in some of my SimLit and sometimes I worry it’s too much but I do think it’s important not to avoid something just because it’s uncomfortable. Thank you for your willingness to tackle this.

  10. This was rough. Curtis is even more damaged as a result of what he thinks is his fault. And now Athena is damaged too and will need him probably more than ever as I can’t see her sharing this with anyone else. Sad they found her cell phone. Dang it.

    1. It is. I personally think that when tragedy strikes, it isn’t just the victim that hurts, but everyone within their circle, especially the ones who care most for them.

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