Billie leaves college to be with Ruth?
Don’t write out Billy please 🙁
Maybe this would be his way of “killing off” Ruth in this universe without actually killing her
I noticed that not a lot of attention was paid to Ruth’s statements when she was lying in the pits of depression, about taking care of Howard. I think Ruth needs to go home, not because she wants to, but because some part of her has to realize that killing herself isn’t a way to make her brothers life better, being with him is.
Although, I suppose if she got a job off-campus, Howard could come live with her. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the dweeb, and he’s like a watching punchline.
or they could get jobs to rent an apartment, she lost her R.A job she hasn’t been kicked out of college, besides people are blaming it on depression and I doubt the schools reputation would survive expelling someone for a psychological issue.
An off-campus apartment would open up an opportunity to get Becky a legit place to live, too. (This kills the “Becky has to hide from the new RA” subplot though.)
things just work out that way sometimes. Plus it’d open more interesting story possibilities
No, it doesn’t. She’d have to hide for a while before it happened.
I was actually meaning Becky stay with Ruth and Billie in the apartment until the next semester.
And she hasn’t even lost the RA job yet. Her status is pending an investigation and review.
Sadly, schools have expelled kids for psychological issues in the past including for depression and suicidal ideation, because in the minds of some schools, having the kid die off campus is better than them dying on campus as far as lawsuits go. ADA lawyers have been fighting this practice, but it’s pretty low down the list, unfortunately.
Actually, school treatment of suicidal people could improve in a lot of ways, though luckily campus health services are usually confidential for things like seeking care for depression.
Honestly, no matter what, I don’t think we’re going to see Ruth completely disappear as a major character or go home. We might however see what is depicted expand out of Beck Hall more, especially if multiple off-campus characters need to bunk together for panel-time.
I just noticed that the left and right arrow keys are able to navigate to the previous and next comics in the It’s Walky reboot, but not here. I wonder why that is?
Different WordPress plugin. This is ComicPress, and IW.com is on ComicEasel. (DoA will not be moving to ComicEasel as it is incompatible with its needs.)
You can add access keys to the HTML, though, like xkcd does. Just add, for example, accesskey="p" to the a tag.
It will require you to press a key combination to use it, though. On Firefox on Windows or Linux, it’s alt-shift-. Chrome, it’s officially just alt-, but alt-shift- is also usable. On Macs, both are Ctrl-Opt-
The rest, you can see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_key
It also links you to the standard keys you’re supposed to use, like P for previous and N for next. That helps it work better for people who have disabilities and use a keyboard to navigate the web.
There’s an It’s Walky reboot?
I know there are reruns on itswalky dot com, but I haven’t heard of a reboot.
That’s what they meant, yes.
Darn my dry wit.
My wit stays crunchy in milk.
A cheese sandwich would make me happy right now.
But that’s because I’m dieting. I had steamed carrots for my evening snack. Cheese sandwich sounds like heaven.
It goes well with steamed carrots, too.
I want a cheeses sandwich but I haven’t got one yet.
What a friend we have in Cheeses.
I’d offer to trade you, but I don’t know if you like the same cheese as myself. Which is mozzarella.
dieting and lactose intolerant here 🙁 A cheese sandwich especially a grilled cheese sandwich would be heavenly 🙁
Steamed carrots are vile; have them raw.
Everyone deserves Cheese Sandwich. He’s the Super Duper Party Pony!
Why would you have steamed carrots instead of raw?
A cheese sandwich might make her happy.
“i also want a 7 foot tall pile of liquor and pain”
“well you DO deserve that”
I’ve never identified with Billie so much before. <3
Don’t we all.
…I swear to God, I had something witty to say a moment ago, but I caught your username scrolling down and now I’m off to re-read the bulk of the Ghosts series until Warmaster comes out…
Tanith seems to live forever after all.
I think at this point its more of an “if” than an “until”.
Looks like Dorothy can’t hold her liquor like Billie can
We knew that going in. As did they. The only question is how much of a grip Dotty had on the implications of that.
Hopefully Roz doesn’t catch wind of this. Boozeghazi would be a powerful marketing tool in her favor.
Roz was at a party, drinking, with both of these two present.
True, but (a) I’m pretty sure that Roz is of legal drinking age; and (b) that wasn’t in a dorm room on campus.
Roz is the same age as Dorothy, or at most a few months older. They’re both freshmen and thus in the 18-19 age range. If Dorothy’s not legal drinking age, neither is Roz.
And certainly drinks far more than Dorothy, though as far as we know far less than Billie.
Of course that might not matter – attacking your opponent for what you do yourself is a time-honored political technique. In this case it’s more likely to tarnish Dorothy’s clean “professional” image and appeal than turning the attack back on Roz would affect her social, relatable image.
Even if it was something Roz might stoop to (which I doubt), ratting someone out for underage drinking seems like a poor strategy for getting college students to like you.
*plays Wham!’s “Everything She Wants” on the hacked Muzak *
How about, “All I need is the Air that I Breath(Just to Love You)”? Would that work?
How about All She Wants Is…
Or If She Knew What She Wants…
Or Under The Milky Way Tonight… (which makes sense if you know the lyrics)
Cheese sandwich is easy, but boring.
Now a grilled cheese with ham, on the other hand…
It’s still a sandwich that contains cheese.
Ham on anything grilled is kinda gross IMO, though. Grilled turkey & extra-sharp cheddar, though… maybe with a slice of pepper jack…
I’ve had grilled cheese with ham and tomato a couple of times and really enjoyed it.
It isn’t so easy. Let’s imagine she wants only one of the 5000 sorts of cheese and don’t know which one…
Cue John Cleese, and start the Cheese Shop sketch.
omg this dynamic is too real right now. not sure if i hate it or this strip is exactly what i need.
You can never be happy, you can only pursue happiness. It’s like a dog chasing a car.
Once you catch the bumper of happiness, you are very surprised and have no idea what to do except tear it to pieces in your teeth?
I dunno, Monster Factory makes me pretty happy.
Thank you Jacques Lacan.
A dog chasing a car is usually pretty stoked about it, despite never catching it. Dogs have it figured out.
Last panel turned on my eye faucets.
But you can be happy with a cheese sandwich???
Right in the feels. Willis, you monster.
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
Yes I am!
That is, in fact, correct.
We all are dammit! There is no shame in tears!!
Okay, there’s a LITTLE shame in tears. But, it’s more than made up for by the camaraderie!
fighting for happiness looks a lot like selfcare and admitting you need antidepressants and therapy. most people think that stuff makes you weak, that strong people don’t need therapy, but it actually takes a lot of strength to get help. moving mountains to be happy looks a lot like being on a 2 month waiting list to see the psychiatrist, a month of evaluations, and then another 2 months for the meds to kick in, all while keeping your promise not to commit self-harm.
Here, altalemur, have an upvote/like. With sparkles. **^**
*sincere applause* It’s a much harder thing to do than people think like you said, especially if you have a crappy insurance supplier that won’t cover the meds.
Crappy insurances suck >:-( But not everyone lacks caring. Doctors will prescribe generic meds if there is one available if they know you can’t afford the name brand or work to find another cheaper alternative or one that your insurance will cover. A lot of doctor offices (psychiatrist included) will be given discount cards that can be used at pharmacies. Just because something seems impossible on the surface, doesn’t mean it is. I’ve even known some doctors who give “free samples” of meds they were given as a promotion from some pharmaceutical so that you have something to help while other options are explored and implemented to help you
You win an internet dragon for that comment.
On an extra positive note, people are working on meds that will kick in faster which should hopefully make the ordeal easier for people in the future (waiting say even a week instead of two months would be a killer improvement on an individual level).
I got something that worked really well, super fast, in like 4 weeks. Then they put me on something that worked even better, and with fewer side effects. Not everyone has that luxury,.. Just that those meds worked for me. My relative with ditto issue hasn’t found a med or combo that works, yet. And it’s been over a decade. Seems like everyone’s mileage varies, a lot. I tip my hat to your strength, and raise my coffee to your success getting treated, and wish you all joy and success overcoming any obstacles, and The Emporer should give you a unicorn.
yeah. i’ve had friends who tried out 4 different meds before finding one that worked even moderately well. it can be very hard to continue getting treatment when you’ve tried several meds, and the doc just tells you to “stick to it” when you tell them the each med isn’t working… because it is difficult to tell if the med is right for your body chemistry or not until you’ve been on it for a month or two. so yeah. 2 months is just…. average. for some people it can take the better part of a year to do the waitlisting and then testing out one med or med combination after another…. and that’s if the insurance will even cover more than the two appointments a year and one med. my worst experience was with a gynecologist who put me on Yaz to help my mood fluctuations. i told him it made it worse to the point of unbearable, and kept telling me after 2 months that i should just stick with it. after personally seeking out an endocrinologist, i was told i have PMDD and that Yaz was the exact opposite of what i should be taking. so yeah. doctor ignoring patient concerns over prescription side-effects meant i wasn’t properly diagnosed for half a year. >_<
Yes. And help during that time can mean… everything. I’m so glad Billie has people around her who care.
Yeah, this idea that “toughing” through suffering is somehow the ideal state is a really toxic message for a lot of people, but especially those with depression and especially those with depression who are socialized as men who are told that actually acknowledging and treating depression is a “weakness” that “makes them like a woman”.
Cause, no, seeking help when you need it, reaching out, getting care, getting medication that works, doing self-care when you need it, these are all key good things that keep folks alive and it’s kinda key to surviving depression.
I’ve “toughed” through depressive spells because it was before ACA and I couldn’t afford health insurance. It didn’t make me “stronger”. It made me an emotional mess who could barely take care of myself and do anything more than desperately send out job applications 12 hours a day and hate myself and it led to far more attempts and self-injurings than I would like to admit.
And yeah, getting that care. That is strength. It takes a lot when you’re depressed to do things that are good for you and I’m proud of everyone that manages it.
Poor Billie. She looks so young without her glasses.
Oh my gosh, I am literally crying. I just… I know that feeling, Billie. Just keep hanging in there. We got this <3
Is Dorothy drunker than Billie, judging from the “drunkenness bubbles” floating around her head? I imagine Billie has built up more of a resistance…
That’s how I read it.
At least Dorothy is still able to give Billie some advice.
I think she’s drunker just from having lower tolerance. She probably hasn’t actually drunk very much at all.
One last call for alcohol
So finish your whiskey or beer
You don’t have to go home
But you can’t stay here
And it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
And it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops…
Looks like freedom, but it feels like death
And the darkness closes in
Like an unforgiven friend.
Hello darkness my old friend
Dorothy’s making an interesting face when she advises chasing a desire. You’d think she’d be more rah-rah-go, but nope, I imagine she has some understanding of how tough it is to fight that damn hard for something, and she doesn’t know that she will succeed after all.
I think Dorothy is starting to get an unfortunate dose of reality from Roz and the RA election. Dorothy has never really experienced any severe set backs in her life so even the POSSIBILITY of Roz beating her due to sheer personality and charisma is a sobering realization. That being the President of the United States is not a matter of life plans or qualifications but the often arbitrary will of the many.
She’s basically discovering her attempt to be Lisa Simpson may not work out.
Plus, it would be, what? October of the last election cycle, most likely? So, she’s also definitely feeling the depression of seeing one of the most qualified women of all time losing ground in the polls to the nazi-loving fuckhead that is Trump because of rumors that would not nearly have had as much traction against a guy.
Which is definitely going to be a cold bucket of water on her dream to be president as she’s going to know what it’ll take for the first female president to happen and how much bs she’s going to have to go through on the way.
It is now October of the current year in DoA. So, yeah, Dorothy is probably still very depressed about that….thing.
The further along in the timeline DoA goes, the longer Donald Trump has been in power in that universe. By December, he’ll have just finished his third term and California will have preemptively triggered its geographical separation from the mainland US in retaliation for the ban on having sympathy for people whose last name isn’t Germanic in origin.
I had a cheese and mushroom sandwich this morning.
A good cheese sandwich is not as easy if you are allergic to dairy and live in a rural town.
I was going to say Ruth could indenture herself to the US Federal government for a few decades but then I remembered she’s Canadian so she probably can’t get Student Loans.
Convince your ridiculously wealthy parents to pay Ruth’s way through college.
Alternatively, convince Carla’s even more ridiculously wealthy parents, they’re nicer.
Well, you could probably convince Carla to try and persuade them by pointing out how much it will piss off Mary.
Are we sure Carla’s not already planning something?
We have not seen her lately, so who’s to say she’s not already trying to figure out a way to make things right again? In the most Carla-esque way possible, of course.
Fuck no. That twit’s done enough damage.
Yeah. If only she hadn’t interfered. Things were going so well. Maybe Ruth would have actually drunk herself to death by now.
This might actually be a possibility on the horizon.
After all, we know Carla has been rooting for Billie and Ruth, that she cares in her own way about Ruth’s well-being and that she’s struggling with a real hardship, that Ruth staying on campus would piss off Mary, and most importantly, we know she just got hit by a massive amount of guilt from Billie about outing Ruth because of how dangerous and unsafe Ruth’s family is.
So, yeah, I could definitely see Carla trying to fix her “mistake, but not really a mistake, cause I don’t make mistakes, but still, here’s this, please don’t thank me, I’ve got a rep to keep. P.S. Try not to die, that would suck”.
“Also, don’t tell anyone I said it would suck if you died, I have a reputation to uphold.”
Nothing is better than true happiness.
A cheese sandwich is better than nothing.
Therefore 1=0, P=NP, P≠NP, and banana fish origami spork.
I hadn’t run into that last argument before. The first 3 items seem legit but could you run over the bit about the sport in more detail?
You beat me to it 😛
If you want to be happy, STOP ABUSING A DEPRESSANT.
…I read ‘depressive’ for a moment, and thought, “Hey, Ruth and Billie both abuse each other, consensually.“*
*no such thing as consensual abuse, please don’t hurt me
Depends on what you clarify as ‘abuse’. Many in the S&M scene have consensual relationships like that, although nothing like marital abuse (unless they into that).
I wouldn’t categorize S&M relationships in the same area as abuse, because abuse is a matter of control. And in an S&M relationship, the Dominant partner is not actually in control. They act within limits that the Submissive believes they want. That’s why there are safe words. The instant Submissive partner wants to stop, things stop. So, the Dominant partner is not actually in control of the relationship, or when a session of activities ends. That’s why I would say it’s not actually abuse.
It’s about being in Control?
Well sometimes the pain delivered is the sort of stinging sensation that you might call smarting. Sometimes, those (consensual) injuries don’t just smart, but they smart to the max. And it’s hard to deny that Max Smart is in Control.
I appreciate your sincere attempt, but the pun just…took too long to read to really have the same oomph.
Alcohol may be a depressant, but it has mood elevating aspects. It’s why you may see depressed people actually prescribed anti anxiety meds until their regular meds kicked in, since the anti-anxiety meds work right away. But they are depressants.
Though my understanding is that alcohol only has mood elevating properties up to a certain point, and then it can reverse itself.
For my own mental health, I am unable to try the stuff to find out from experience. The only alcohol that has ever touched my lips was when someone thought the grape juice might’ve gone a little bad in the communion cup.
Don’t get me wrong. I agree she needs to stop abusing it and get on something better. I just wanted to explain why depressed people often self-medicate with a depressant like alcohol.
I’m that trivia guy who likes to impart the things I’ve learned.
Yeah, there’s also the problem that that’s her coping strategy and especially her coping strategy for feeling she has no control over her life or that her control over her life is actively toxic.
Take that away without anything to replace it and she’s just going to be in that terrible state she was in when she met Alice or worse.
Heh. Talk about realistic goals.
“Buy. Buy More. And Be Happy.”
“Buy, buy!” Says the sign in the shop window.
“Why? Why?” Says the junk in the yard.
My heart just broke /again/. Billie and Ruth’s storyline is made of feels of the painful, realistic variety.
That girl is in dire need of therapy, acknowledging by my own experience that therapy is not a magical bullet that will fix her problems. But it’s a start. It’s a very non-glamorous, difficult, often exhausting “fight for your happiness”.
Damn. That’s, well, pretty much how I felt a couple years ago. Like I didn’t deserve to be happy. I was first one in my family ever to head to college, the “smart one” out of the group of three guys with a 3.7 GPA, top ten percent of my class. Then I ended nearly flunked out junior year and had to take an extra year just to graduate with a 2.2 GPA. I couldn’t find a job for six months, and then ended up being let go due to downsizing from three jobs over two years. At that point, I thought of myself as a complete and abject failure. An idiot unable to function in society. Like my entire existence was just one big mistake. So I just assumed that I deserved to be depressed, because no one else in the wider world seemed to think I was worth anything, and obviously if enough people thought it it had to be true. A couple of times I seriously contemplated either ODing or jumping off a high enough bridge. I honestly don’t quite understand why I didn’t. I would always back down at the last second, put the pills back in the bottle or unclench the railing and walk away from the edge. Maybe I was to scared of what was next, maybe it was part of my Catholic upbringing unconsciously asserting itself, or maybe it was just the idea that I would make my mother and friends sad if I did. I finally started doing better after seeing a proper psychiatrist, and being diagnosed with severe depression and a case of Asperger’s which I found out my now deceased father had not wanted be tested for as a child, because he didn’t want me labeled as freak. The point is, feeling you don’t deserve to be happy…that’s something really hard to break out of.
I’m glad you didn’t jump.
Hardcore, that you made it to this very day. Take that, depression.
Thanks. It was a lot easier once I knew what the problem was and most (5 out of 7) of my friends also struggled with depression, so we were able to form our own little support group and help each other. I just, really wish my father had let them test me for the Asperger’s when I was a kid. Living with that without knowing for a little more than two decades was really rough. It kinda feed into the depression because I felt like I was, well abnormal. If I had known why I had such a hard time expressing my emotions and relating to other people, I feel like I would have spent a lot less time alone.
I’m really glad you find the way forward. All internet hugs
I’m really glad you survived and you do deserve to be happy even if you don’t believe that.
And yeah, I feel you a lot on that. I still struggle with believing I deserve to be happy and when I am happy, I’m frequently terrified it will all fall apart or that the people in my life who love me are merely saying that because they haven’t seen some secret rot on my soul.
I dunno, depression and PTSD are a hell of a combo.
i prefer vodka to beer though.
How’s the song go? “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, that you fail miserably and end up worse than before.” That sounds about right.
To quote a different song: “And the meter is occasionally a little bit bizarre.”
To all of you who are or have been struggling with depression:
*ALL THE APPROPRIATE GESTURES OF SUPPORT*
You deserve better than dealing with that horrible shit.
Wow that hit me harder than I anticipated.
Been really relating to Billie and Ruth because of some personal stuff and this…stirred something in me.
Poor, poor Billie. 🙁
That’s the rub of it. Even the good parts of her relationship with Ruth was party because Billie honestly didn’t see anywhere else she would be happy. She need to building from all the way down, and she has preciously few building blocks left.
Dorothy is doing good. She has dropped her neutral, analytic therapist persona and talks to Billie like a peer. I think that helps Billie to process everything, just hearing Dorothy trying to get to grips with it.
Even if Dorothy kinda talks about herself in the fifth panel.
Which is good, Dorothy needs to reach out more about what she’s dealing with. Because it’s not healthy to always be the one supporting others and never be supported. I can confirm that from personal experience.
Oh God, yes. I have at least two close friends, AMAZING people who came preciously close to burn themselves out by acting as friend therapists.
However, as always with Dorothy, I’m not that worried about her. She has vented a bit before, with Joyce and with Walky. She is honest with herself about her stress, and she is getting better at building up a support network.
Heh, maybe the most valuable thing Billie will get out of this is her helping Dorothy.
Hovertext: “why can’t you want something easier to get, like a cheese sandwich?”
Well, because then you’d be Walky.
Damn you, Willis! Why are you so skilled at writing characters who are so sad that I just need to hug them?
That said, yeah, that’s Billie’s problem. She’s spent so long losing everything she wants that she’s come to the decision that it’s due to some inherent flaw on her part; that it’s part of the nature of her life. She’s given up even trying to fight to be happy. Maybe that’s the one thing that Dorothy can push her to do: To fight ot be happy.
Ah, just a quick emotional elbow check before bed.
Speaking of cheese sandwiches…
I ended up finding this place a town over that has probably the best cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. Of course, it’s not someplace I can get to often, so I may never get another one.
(It stroooongly reminds me of what Schlotzsky’s was like when I was a kid, especially the bread; Schlotzsky’s hasn’t been so great the last couple of times I’ve gone there)
I’d like to point out that a having a cheese sandwich as ones aspirations a good indication of someone with not just a tragic, but a horrible tragic past. The Sims anyone?
The Sims was my first encounter with toaster ovens. When I learned about them in real life, it took me nonzero time before I could believe they weren’t universally unspeakable fire hazards.
I realy enjoy reading this comic most of the time but right now I feel about it like Ruth feels about the new’s. I already feel like sitting in a dark corner and cry is what i should be doing so why Willis why?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
WHAT IS THIS WATER FORMING AROUND MY EYES
“It’s what they call tears, it’s a sign of their weakness.”
It’s admittedly jarring to see Billie be open about her relationship with Ruth after so many years.
But wow, most inspirational drinking session ever.
Every alcoholic alive has been in Billie’s shoes: desperately unhappy, and attempting to drown that unhappiness in the depressive (and poisonous) substance which only guarantees more unhappiness.
At the age of seven I had my first taste of alcohol – a sip off my father’s beer on a hot afternoon. That stuff was magic, and from that moment on I knew I wanted more. At the age of eleven (I looked older than my age, and always ran with an older crew) I began drinking and drugging. I was an equal-opportunity abuser – I took anything on offer, from weed to black tar opium and heroin, with an emphasis on psychedelics and pills – but my “drug of choice” was alcohol. At the age of fourteen my alcoholic behavior got me kicked out of the school system in my hometown. At the age of sixteen a drunken fight over a bag of weed ended my formal education and left me facing five years in the penitentiary. At the age of eighteen my drinking got me booted out of the service, which I’d joined just a year earlier, to get out from under that felony beef. I spent the next couple of years acting out Jack Kerouac’s better-known wet-dreams under the insane delusion that I was “free”, out on the road gathering up all those wild experiences which would fuel my own Great American Novel. Finally, at the age of twenty (same age as Ruth) I sat in my older brother’s kitchen and begged him to tell me what to do. It had been ten years, and I was just so goddam miserable: lonely, sick, exhausted, wasted, done.
Whether he couldn’t or wouldn’t – I prefer to credit him with the wisdom required to keep one’s mouth shut under those circumstances – I was left to find my own way out. It took me another year and a half of drinking, homelessness, blindly placing myself in potentially dangerous situations, loneliness so painful my body ached, brutally lashing out at anyone who tried to get close to me (a la Ruth and Billie, and thus assuring said loneliness would continue) and even the infamous “geographic cure” of moving away – in my case, back to Texas – but I eventually found that way.
For me (emphasis on For me; I do not presume to tell others how to live) the way out included not drinking, and doing the emotionally painful and humiliating things required to keep from drinking. Joining any group went against everything I believed, and the process of staying sober involved delving into topics I’d heatedly slammed the door on years earlier, but fuck me if it didn’t work. After a couple of false starts I got serious about the not-drinking thing, and doing the painful stuff, and I stayed sober.
That was a long time ago. I’m still sober. Life ain’t always a bed of roses – in fact, some days outright suck – but if I weigh the bulk of my days today against even my best days back then, the scales definitely tilt to the sober side.
I’m new to DoA – I just spent the past two days binge-reading the entire series – but I’ve been deeply moved by several of the story arcs Mr. Willis has written – in particular, his presentation of spiritual questioning and growth, and his compassionate treatment of LGBTQ characters and issues – and I’ve grown very fond of most of his characters. Mary can go suck eggs alongside Congresswoman DeSanto while I take Ryan out back and commit several violent felonies on him, but the rest of them I like!
In particular, because their stories so closely mirror my own, I’m dying to see where Mr. Willis takes Ruth and Billie. Myself, I’m rooting for happy endings, please, and ships all around.
…Well, shit, dude. Welcome aboard.
Hi. Welcome to the comments. Also, damn but it takes a strong person to recover from that, and a damn brave person to admit their mistakes and tell their story. That’s just…I can’t really put into text the respect I feel towards you right now.
Kind words, and thank you. We know strength can come from desperation – think about mothers ripping doors off of crashed cars to get to their trapped children – and I was desperate enough to do the things I needed to do to stay sober. However, having that strength is made much easier when others around you support what you’re doing. Counter-intuitive to me, back then, because I thought needing the support of other people meant weakness, but think about how much harder life is for a transwoman like Carla, for instance, who don’t have the level of support she receives, or a young woman coming out as lesbian, like Becky, without Joyce and her father and the circle of friends she’s found in the dormitory.
And this seems the perfect opportunity to mention a place here in Austin that has labored long and hard to provide support and information to LGBTQ youth – a place called OutYouth Austin (https://www.outyouth.org/). It pains me to think that real-life counterparts to Carla, Becky, et alia are not receiving that kind of support, so I’ve been an OutYouth supporter for over twenty years. Not soliciting donations for them, BTW, but if your town has a similar organization in place, and you have some spare change, well…
As for bravery: true courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyway. Early in sobriety I was too befogged to fear public disclosure. I did have to overcome my fear of public speaking, because one of those painful, humiliating things required of me was telling my story to others, in the hope that I might be of service. By the time I came out of the fog I’d already learned there was nothing to fear – that my story was just my story. I don’t go about blurting it out to everyone everywhere (really I don’t, despite evidence here to the contrary!) but when it seems appropriate I have no problem. There’s still the possibility that someone might hear what I’m saying and take some measure of comfort and hope from it.
Again, thanks for kind words and welcomes. Good to be here.
congratulations! i think everyone is hoping for a happy ending. although as long as Billie and Ruth recover and develop well, i am ok with them not getting back together. (also, i am told Austin is the Bloomington of Texas)
Thanks. Never been to Bloomington, but I’ve lived in several different regions of Texas, and Austin is a cool shimmering puddle of blue (and relative sanity) amidst a sea of blood-red looney tunes.
And that’s all I’ll say about that!
But as for Billie and Ruth: I am a sucker for a Hollywood ending. I cry like a baby at the end of Sleepless in Seattle, Different for Girls or Kinky Boots. Hell, even D.E.B.S. gets to me!
Hence, I’m still hoping for a reasonable facsimile of “happily ever after.”
And I’m glad you were able to claw your way out. And thank you so much for sharing your story.
Thank you, and welcome.
You and me both, Billie.
The alt-text has wisdom. I wish I only wanted what I needed.
The hardest lesson I ever had to learn about life was that, sometimes you’ll work your hardest, you pour your blood, sweat and tears into something that means so much to you, you move heaven and earth for your “cause”, and in the end… It still wasn’t enough. For every winner that succeeds and achieves their dreams, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of losers. The odds are ALWAYS against you.
Sometimes, you have to settle. Sometimes, victory lies in knowing how to set realistic goals for yourself, and knowing when to let go of dreams.
Good thing Dorothy never says that she’ll win. She just says that she has to fight. If you don’t fight the battle, you know you will not win.
Not Leonard Cohen, but song lyrics anyway.
There’s no reward for good behavior
And there’s no such thing as fair.
You can build the highest towers;
There’s no answers there.
You’d better love the feeling
Of sweat upon your brow,
‘Cause that’s the only proof you’ll get
We’re even living now.
Yeah, and it’s an important one for a lot of activism, because the life of an activist, especially one who fights for the marginalized or against oppression is losing. A lot.
And when you win you usually only get a partial victory that represents a slow hesitant step towards improvement.
But it’s important to keep fighting and self-care enough that you’ve got the body for the long-term, because it’s the long-term that ends up mattering most (most of the time).
As a friend of mine oft engaged in the same sort of work says:
“Put on your own oxygen mask first.”
The second to last panel is just beautiful. Not only is it inspirational and encouraging to Billie, but it really seems to sum up Dorothy’s outlook on life and what drives her. Well done, Willis.
Dorothy is showing her naivity a bit here. She still thinks that if you deserve it, you’ll get it.
I suppose that’s the bright-eyed bushy-tailed POV of someone who didn’t have the experience of graduating undergrad suma cum laude from the third-best university in your country the April after the Great Recession started. I did that. I still couldn’t get a job. Hell, forget “a job,” I couldn’t even get an interview.
Sometimes you work like hell for something, and you try your best, and it doesn’t work out.
Sometimes you wind up somewhere better at the end of everything (like I did), but lemme tell you: I think the Millenials who graduated around when I did know what Gen X had it like. In the Recession, getting a job was not about how hard you worked or your grades, it was about who you knew. There were still jobs there, if you could hear about them – and if someone knew you enough to decide you were worth the risk. And that’s what Dot’s going to run into, because politics as an industry is very difficult to break into: if she doesn’t learn how to network because she’s always got her nose in a book (like I did in uni) and thinks working hard and deserving it will make everything work out in the wash, she’s got a rude awakening in her future.
The reality is this: We live in an extrovert’s world. In the extrovert’s world, geniality and charisma usually matter more than competence.* Dot’s gonna learn that sooner or later.
*For the record, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing in team environments – it tends to matter more that you work well with your team and do your best for them than that you’re The Best Of The Best – however, I do think we set up introvert kids for failure by emphasizing introvert skills as being Important Predictors of Success all the way through schooling when every one and their fucking dog knows that it doesn’t matter how well you can do the job if you can’t get the job in the first place, and that there’s a hard cap on how high you can rise if you’re just good on your own. Introverts are not pushed by the system to diversify their skill set the way extroverts are. Introverts are instead praised, because the kid who’s quiet and just wants to read all the time is easy on teachers, so they get held up as the example “good kid,” while their chatty Cathy classmates are chided to be quiet, sit down, pay attention. So extroverts learn the introvert skill set (even if they don’t enjoy it) but introverts don’t learn the extrovert set.
Dot’s pretty close to an example of what happens when you’re an introvert who hasn’t really learned the extrovert set: You think hard work and siloing yourself more is the answer to any adversity, and often it’s really, really not. Often the answer is putting yourself out there, socializing and networking, as tiring and exhausting as you might find it.
I’d like to see emphasis on how to network and how to teamwork taught explicitly as part of the school curriculum. Cuz reality is, I’ve needed to use networking and teamwork a lot more than I’ve ever needed to make a CO2 powered car or a birdhouse – but I learned the latter two in school and the former two I’ve had to pick up ad-hoc as I go through life. And most people who try to teach networking and teamwork are bad at it themselves so instead of teaching networking, they teach assimilation, and instead of teaching teamwork, they teach, “If your teammates aren’t pulling their weight just do it all yourself.” Which is a damn good way to make everyone on that team terrible at teaming. The person who cares about the output because they’ll hate working with others because to them, “Teamwork” means “I have to do the work of 4 people and the other three get credit for doing fuck-all” and to the others it means, “I just have to find a nerd who cares about their grade to latch on to and I get a free ride. Teamwork is awesome!”
Which in turn means that the nerdy types wind up being teammates who don’t trust their coworkers to do their part and are constantly micromanaging everyone else (which annoys the shit out of your colleagues) or just assuming your colleagues won’t do their part and taking it all on themselves (which burns you out), and the non-nerdy types who used to just find someone else who’d do all the work get a reputation for being lazy and in a competent company wind up getting fired in a hurry.
Not a single thing she said indicates she thinks you will get what you deserve. She just says you have to fight for what you want.
Sure, you may not get it, but if you don’t fight, you definitely won’t.
Agreed there. The thing is that a lot of people think effort on its own guarantees success. It doesn’t. It improves your chances, but the world is not a fair place and you are not guaranteed anything. Everything is controlled risk is my point. Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose. Sometimes you will be the best candidate and lose to the manager’s kid, or you’ll have the best project and lose to the conventional choice, or you’ll get sandbagged by an asshole boss. It’s whether you pick yourself back up and how you cope with unfair failure that matters more than your effort the first time.
I thought she was saying that if you fight like hell for what you want, then if you do get it, you won’t feel like you don’t deserve it.
This is untrue IME. I never feel like I deserve it when I get it. A few months in after I managed not to make a hash of everything is when I start to feel like I am not in fact a kid playing dress up. Fake it till you make it is the rule of my game.
It’s not that I was expressing agreement or disagreement, just pointing out that Dorothy didn’t seem to be just parroting a “If you work hard you’ll get what you want” platitude.
Something shifted very much for the worse. Regan, Bush, Clinton and then we were mainly screwed.
Well, I mean, I graduated out into that recession as well and yeah, it was brutal. No one who didn’t already know people in jobs weren’t getting work.
But I dunno, the ideal of hard work still has value and frankly I’ve been able to “make up” for the “deficit” of being trans by being harder working and more competent in my duties than a lot of my peers (and part of my brain still rebels at stating this even though many others have stated this to be true (usually in the style of telling me to stop working so hard)).
But yeah, fuck that recession and the new one we’re about to get with Emperor Trump.
Hard work certainly matters, but on the other hand I have seen people who are objectively less qualified than me win stuff over me on account of connections or privilege too many times to still think it will trump all in the end.
It does matter. But it is not always the deciding factor. And IME the higjer up the ladder you go, the less a role it plays.
Case in point: Clinton worked her ass off her whole life to be President. And lost to the orange one because he’s a rich white dude.
And because, objectively, her campaign was terrible (“No, we don’t really need to campaign in WI, and barely in MI… let’s ignore what all the state and local Democratic party offices are telling us).
And because of her own history and positions on issues that don’t necessarily resonate here as important.
And because the polls and media got it so wrong and dis-incentivized people who might have otherwise gone and voted for her to keep the orange one out of office, but weren’t inspired to vote for her.
And because of Russian government-backed hacking and their mouthpiece at Wikileaks.
Well, mostly it was a massive disenfranchisement effort that deliberately purged democratic party voting districts a ton and made it exceedingly difficult to vote in some precincts (to the point of openly turning away people of color).
Michigan and Wisconsin shouldn’t have been close states and well, they likely wouldn’t have been if there weren’t such a massive machine in work after the underreported repeal of the Voting Rights Act by Scalia and Friends to actively artificially depress the voting rights of non-white citizens in the states that Trump “surprisingly” won.
Add into that a collusion of treason by angry white men pissed off at the idea of a woman having even an iota of power and a neo-nazi movement largely ignored by most hate-watch groups because “they’re just online, how much harm could they really do” and well… yeah.
I’m honestly goggling a lot about the whole “how do I survive the next X years and keep everyone I care about safe” problem of late. Cause, the marginalized deserve to be safe and alive, no matter what the angry nazis say.
At least in Michigan, it appears that voter turnout in the counties that “went blue” in 2016 was HIGHER than in 2012.
I’m having some trouble coming up with a way to reconcile that with “deliberate disenfranchisement” flipping a state that normally goes to the Democratic candidate, to the Republican.
Sure, but the counties that didn’t ‘go blue’ are another matter.
Michigan has been reporting on disenfranchisement since last year.
If you wanted to suppress the Dem voters in a POTUS election in Michigan, those are the counties you’d have to target — too much of the rest of the state is red as heck, those are the places that turn the state to the Dem POTUS candidate every 4 years.
And yet they show no signs of having been suppressed, and in fact had higher turnout than in 2012 despite the nationwide drop in popular votes for the D candidate.
I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m trying to reconcile it with the facts at hand.
Can you provide any good references? If I search for “Michigan disenfranchisement” all I get is articles about “felon disenfranchisement” (if you’re in prison, you don’t get to vote) and frothing about the emergency manager law.
(And frankly, given the chronic financial mismanagement of some MI municipal governments, and the state of MI being legally on the hook for localities that go under, the only alternatives are some form of imposed emergency financial oversight, or a change in the law that removes state liabilities for local financial problems.)
BTW, link to an article explaining part of what I was getting at here:
Oh, very much, the lie that hard work always wins is well… a blatant lie.
The reality is that privilege and connections are frequently the thumb on the scale and especially for things like escaping one’s class, all the hard work in the world is frequently not enough. And mediocre people of more advantaged beginnings frequently fail and fail again into positions of power or wealth.
Which is where things get more directly into the purpose of activism and why activists are good and also why activism is frequently depressing as all fuck because of the “frequently losing, rarely winning more than a small incremental gain” thing.
Seriously, Dorothy? I want to punch that social climbing asshole in the face more and more. That idiot’s too naive by half for the job, which is one of the reasons I don’t think she’d actually keep to her principles when she’s got power – yes, yes, she’s sacrifice for her boy toy, but she’d never had an actual position of power to defend.
She’s being encouraging. She’s trying to get her friend to fight her depression. At no point does she say she will get happiness, but there’s no chance she’ll get it if she doesn’t fight.
How in the world is this supposed to be something to punch her over? How is what she may do in the future a reason to punch her now?
Dorothy is the social climbing asshole? Are we reading the same comic?
Where on earth did that come from?
I think you’re projecting something onto Dorothy that’s not there in the actual comics.
Punch her for being naive?
That doesn’t seem very nice.
Um… Dorothy is not a social climber and even if she was that would not be a bad thing. Ambitious women are not an evil to be violently opposed by any means lest they get girl cooties over positions of power.
I had to go back through past comments to make sure, but it seems pretty clear that CJE hates Dorothy. I just haven’t figured out why yet.
do you need a dorothy to sit down and talk with you in the dark over some booze?
Nothing matters in this world in the cold light of the universe; we, as humans, exist serendipitously on this stupid rock orbiting a relatively boring star in the outer arm of a stable and remarkably ‘normal’ spiral galaxy.
When we die, it’s all over for us. The universe trundles on unmoved by the fact that Billie and Ruth ever had a “thing”. The universe doesn’t care about your stupid drama.
What I’m trying to say is, Dorothy is right. If you want something in this life, fight for it. Make it worth having. If you fail, then you fail and you do something else. Or die. In the greatest scheme of things either result has the same meaning.
Nihilism 2017. It’s the new thing.
And then move past the nihilism into existentialism. That’s the part I’m currently stuck at.
I’m just farting around in idealism. It’s a great place!
“Ask not men deserve. For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
-Usula LeGuin, The Dispossessed.
1. Nothing is better then complete happiness
2. A cheese sandwich is better then nothing.
3. A cheese sandwich is better then complete happiness..
Billy, please stop being me…
I JUST finished university. I’ve achieved one of my greatest goals and now am in the motions of shifting into the next big thing: career building. I’m lucky to have my BF by my side to see it through with me, and I’m…kinda grateful for my family being supportive in their own right, but it hurts me that what I see for my happiness doesn’t match what their vision for it is. I’ve had to learn that I cannot make them see it no matter how many times I try to explain it, but I I always can’t be around them constantly criticising the things I do and the choices I make, calling them “mistakes” because they don’t see the “success” they want to see. So, as much as it’s pained me, I’ve fought for my happiness. I’ve fought my family, my doubts, my fears and myself to get what I feel is best for me as I am and I’m still fighting now. There’s an episode of Courage the Cowardly dog where he’s given advice from a magical tree: “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” and that’s become my mantra for life ever since. The questions at that point then become 1. Is it worth fighting for? and 2. Are you willing to fight for it?
Cheese sandwich? Did Walky write the alt-text?
Panel 5 Dorothy’s speech about fighting for what you want. I think she’s not just talking to Billie but a little bit to herself. I wonder how often she’s been ridiculed for wanting what she wants, all the push back and self doubts. What Billie said in panel 4 touched on some of own fears.
On another note, Dorothy being a supportive listener is probably the best thing to have happened to Billie for a long time.
I really admire Dorothy for being here and saying what she can. She has very little experience that can actually help Billie, but she knows how she feels about her own goals. And in opening up about that she allows Billie to see another side of “perfect” A-student Keener.
And it’s good for both of them. She’s showing some humanity which will help Billie open up and giving strong support for Billie fighting for her happiness and believing that is a good that Billie should fight for.
But she’s also opening up about some of her own fears and she needs to do that, because being everyone’s therapist while dealing with all her own stresses is exhausting and draining. And because what she’s embarking on is scary and she feels like she needs to micromanage herself from a young age to be perfect because the standard we put on women who want to succeed, especially in politics, is obscene.
Sometimes it’s not about about having the solution, or fixing the problem.
Rather, it’s about giving the other person someone they can open up to, so that they can unfold the mental space necessary to find or at least get closer to the solution… give them enough pressure release that they can work on their mental plumbing without popping a gasket or blowing out a valve.
(I’m a compulsive fixer, so I struggle with this…)
I completely agree – and that was a great metaphor.
The drinks won’t make you happy.
No. But they numb the pain.
Panel One: Awwww, Billie. It’s interesting to see her talking like Ruth’s definitely gone. She’s resisted that line of thinking so far. But eventually it wears you down. You know sooner or later it probably will happen, even if you don’t want it too. It’s almost always a horrible realization that knocks the wind out of you and maybe scares the living hell out of you the first time, and after that it’s bitter, bitter disappointment. And rage. Lots of rage. And then you’re just too tired to deal with it.
I may have been dealing with some of these lately. But yeah, it’s a sucky moment when you accept that something is gonna go badly.
Panel Two: Though, in this case, it is a little premature. Ruth’s not been kicked out of school – hell, she’s not even been properly fired yet. There is still time. I believe Ruth will most likely get fired, and then whoever ends up getting the job is going to have a crisis they can’t handle sooner or later, at which point Ruth (now healthier, if not healthy) will step in. Not to get the job back, but just to sort shit out (and, narratively, showcase her development and improvement). But her being out of the dorms isn’t really better – she needs a place to stay and she needs one soon. It doesn’t matter if they can date if Ruth has nowhere to stay.
Not only was Marcie living with a zillion roommates more realistic, it was probably a good move narratively – her living by herself and needing roommates would’ve solved a lot of problems.
Panel Three: Ahhhhhhhhh yes, the eventual loss of hope and optimism. Working on that too. That’s definitely a fun part of depression. Not to mention low self worth. I don’t have depression, but I’ve definitely been to the point where I feel like everything I hope for gets poisoned because I dared want it and now it was all going to shit. Again, particularly recently. It’s been about two months adjusting and crawling out of that hole, so it’s going to be brutally long for someone with actual depression. Godspeed, Billie.
Panel Four: Ohhhhh, Billie. While she has done things that were unquestionably wrong (like driving drunk), she’s definitely taken this soul sucking atrocious mental illness to her core, and I imagine it’s hard not to. She no longer believes she deserves anything. Much like Ruth. And Amber. And probably a lot of characters. It breaks my heart. I hope she feels better soon.
I wonder if some of this is fallout from that drunk driving incident tbh. She lost Alice, she probably got into quite a bit of legal shit, she lost her self image, she lost cheerleading, and she probably had to deal with her dad’s displeasure for at least some time. All of which would have strongly reinforced her base self-image of ‘toxic piece of shit who deserves nothing ever.’
Panel Five: Oh Dorothy. I think she’s smart enough to know you don’t always get what you deserve. Otherwise a lot of the shit in this comic would not have happened, and she knows that. Plus she’s learning no matter how hard you work or how good you’d be at something, you might still face an uphill battle. For example, her positioning for RA. She wants to be the RA, but she may not have the day to day social skills and likability that can be generally required outside disciplinary shit. So that’s something she needs to either work on, prove she has, or compensate for. And she’s probably thinking of Yale right now too. And she’s got principles, which makes it harder to fight because she’ll have a harder time fighting dirty. That might not go well for her in politics. Oh Dorothy.
Panel Six: Billie </3 How dare you make me feel this way, who gave you the right? But yeah, that's….about the long and short of it, ain't it? Billie wants to be happy and she deserves to be so. But that's a long hard road through depression and it's not usually something you can do on your own. A lot of the time, you need meds and/or therapy. And you need support. You need to open up. It's scary and messy and uncomfortable, but hopefully it helps. And hopefully she can manage that as she keeps going.
Panel 1: I find that part really interesting. That she’s starting to refer to Ruth in the past tense.
I wonder if it’s surrendering to how everyone else seems to be speaking of her as if she’s passed or is gone or because she’s starting to have second-guesses about the relationship.
And that latter could occur because:
a) She thinks Ruth is becoming healthier and is worried that she’s toxic and thus will poison a healthy Ruth and so she should stay away for Ruth’s own good.
b) The scare is making her second-guess how healthy the relationship has been for her and whether or not she actually still wants to continue things or break it off and try starting a more healthy dynamic with someone else, maybe someone with a lot less at stake.
c) She’s worried that Ruth really is going to die or be shipped off to her abusive dad and is trying to prepare herself emotionally for that.
Whichever it is, I’m really curious to see where it’s going and whether these two can build an actually healthy recovering relationship out of all of this.
Panel 3: I’ve been having the problem where I either need more hope or no hope. Cause if I have just a little more hope, it’ll be easier to keep fighting for what I believe in and if I have no hope, it’ll be even easier to do dramatic things for what I believe in, because I’m already fucked so might as well go down swinging. The in-between space is not fun.
But yeah, hope is essential.
Panel 4: I can definitely see all that, especially as there’s also the element where looking back, she fundamentally does not like the person she used to be and sees that “popular” person as a mess who bullied others and didn’t well use what power she did have.
So combine that with clinical depression and Alice and others straight up saying that she was toxic and with others like her dad likely saying she doesn’t deserve what good she had and you’ve got a toxic stew that’s going to be very good at interpreting yourself as fundamentally broken and being wholly undeserving of love.
And that’s one of the things she’s going to have to cope with in recovery. Yeah, she hurt some people and that’s always going to be part of her past, but the present her she’s building from now does not have to be bound by those mistakes forever and can be the type of person she wants to be starting now*.
*This is often my criticism of things like AA, how they overcenter things like begging forgiveness of those harmed, because sometimes those harmed have shut that door and want it remaining shut and shouldn’t be under pressure to forgive someone in recovery or feel they are damaging that process.
When you’ve messed up stuff, some people will never forgive the harms you’ve done and that’s okay. Learn from that, grow, become the type of person that doesn’t do that again. The past doesn’t have to haunt, doesn’t have to be an anchor. Doesn’t have to be sanitized and made right to move forward. You can just stop making the mistakes you’ve made starting now and be the better person you want to be.
And I think that’s one of Billie’s biggest sticking points. She realizes she bullied people and knows from being bullied by Ruth how shitty that feels. She realizes that she was self-absorbed to the detriment of other people’s feelings and fears. And so on…
She doesn’t like who she used to be, but is interpreting that as a toxin she possesses and will always possess. As if she hasn’t changed a fuck ton in her time in college and isn’t overcompensating in the other direction in viewing her life as worthless if not in service to someone else holding on or fixing other people’s problems.
And letting go the ghosts of the past is going to be a large part of her own personal recovery as well as her dynamic with Ruth (if it is to continue) becoming less codependent.
Billie is so vulnerable here. There is no exaggeration. No hyperbole. She just states the facts.
She is not happy. She would desperately want to be happy. But she doesn’t think she will be, because she doesn’t think she deserves to.
That’s why Ruth will disapear from her life. Probably to some horrible fate, or possibly to a better life, without Billie dragging her down.
EVERYONE HUG BILLIE NOW!!!!
The REALEST drunk talk right there
I wonder what it’s called when someone doesn’t even want to be happy any more, because they don’t trust happy one damn bit… when they’d say that happy will sneak out in the night and leave you to wake up alone and confused… happy will suddenly storm out while making sure you know it’s all your fault… happy will stab you in the back when you absolutely need it the most.
“Your greatest wish is to find a cheese sandwich on the ground?”
“Well…it doesn’t have to be on the ground…”
Panel 1: I mentioned this in BBCC’s analysis, but the past tense really interests me and I feel there are multiple potential meanings to the why. If I had to choose, my best guesses would either be fatalism (a sort of “she made me happy” so of course she’s being taken away because I’m not allowed to have things that make me happy) or depression talking (“I’m toxic”, so now that she’s recovering I need to stay away, because all I do is drag people into the muck and poison them and I can’t be with a healthy person). And I’m leaning towards fatalism because of Panel 3.
Either way… >:( I’m really glad she is getting therapy soon. And I think this might be the first steps she needs to actually use that session in a positive way.
Panel 2: Dorothy is an amazing supporter. We’ve seen it with Joyce, with Walky, and now with Billie. She is great at direct listening and giving solid advice and support but knowing also when to back off from pressing a point too hard.
She’s a person who’d be a great therapist and she’d also be great at the job of representing people, of hearing people’s stories when they tell them, and putting actions into what she learns that serve their interests. In short, she’s excellent at the art of being a politician* even if she has work to do on the art of campaigning.
*A politician, someone who represents us, is an important job and the way we’ve allowed the center of their meaning to become just campaigning and that media-poisoned horse race is a real detriment to the fact that politics matter and what politicians do has real consequences on folks and their ability to survive.
And yeah, this is something Billie needs to hear. If the worst happens, there are options. She doesn’t have to return home and even if she does, a long-distance relationship is something Ruth is going to be very up for because of her abusive grandfather. This doesn’t have to be the end of everything unless Billie actually wants it to be.
Panel 3: Oof, I know that feeling. Heck, I still have that feeling when I hit a setback or say a fascist monster gets elected to be the new upcoming President.
Like, when it feels like you’re constantly getting hit with crises when you’ve just finally healed from the last round and are just getting settled, it can start to feel almost fated like you’re not actually allowed happiness or good things in your life and that no matter what, some part of your life is going to go to shit.
And when you struggle with clinical depression, that’s a hard feeling to shake.
Though I hope Billie is able to find grounding and remember that Ruth is still here and still wants to be with her if Billie wants that. And that not everything in her life that she values can be taken away.
Dorothy does an amazing job here. As a hobby therapist, as a peer, as a wanna-be-RA, as a friend and – as you point out – as a politician. And I’m so, so proud of Billie for allowing her to do it.
Screw everyone who doesn’t like Dorothy.
Panel 4: And this is familiar as well. The feeling that you must not “deserve” the right to be happy or that anything good in your life must be a mistake that the universe will soon figure out.
It’s still something I struggle with. Though not as bad as when I was viewing myself as having to “make up” for being ace and trans and thus accept abusive dynamics from friends, partners, and family members.
Panel 5: I love this moment, not just because this is clearly Dorothy’s passion slipping out, but also because it’s Dorothy obliquely talking about herself and her own fears and her own philosophy, because that’s critically important.
Especially because… well, she’s a woman and emotional labor becomes an easy thing to simply “expect” of women and when you’re as good at it as Dorothy, it’s easy to get into a headspace where you think you’re only allowed to give emotional labor, to be the support, never be the one supported.
And that’s especially true when the people you are supporting feel “more fragile” like Walky and Joyce. But that’s bullshit and I want to see Dorothy reach out more about her fears and struggles.
Especially at a time that her dreams are likely feeling farther away than ever since she’s operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was destroyed so cynically by so many simply for being a woman who wanted the job of president and where so many become violently angry at the idea of an ambitious woman even when she’s as self-effacing and self-sacrificing as Dorothy (fuck there were commenters in the thread today who were shitting on her about her ambitions while she was being depicted giving free emotional labor to someone who was openly hostile to her).
Panel 6: Billie’s ask feels like a big deal and it is. She deserves to find a form of happiness for herself so long as it harm none. 100%. That’s something everyone deserves so long as it harms none and is fully consensual with all parties.
But I think she’s been poisoned by her dad and possibly by Sal on what would best help her get to that point where she could try and access it.
Cause, getting “happiness” when you’re depressed involves a lot of vulnerability. Admitting you need help, that you might need therapy and drugs, reaching out to folks your brain is convinced will be harmed by your attempts to reach out.
These things are all very difficult when you’re depressed, but also frequently necessary.
And I hope that with a therapist she realizes that she deserves to be happy (if it harm none) and can accept that into her life without still carting around all the guilt from the things she did that harmed others in her past*.
*Which is not the same as those people in her past she hurt should 100% forgive and forget what she did. Or even shouldn’t speak up about that hurt. That’s a part of positive growth, accepting that some things don’t get to be repaired just because you changed for the better and that you can instead focus on never again slipping to that place where you hurt others again.
I love Dorothy in panel 5. Not only because she opens up – she has done that with Walky and Joyce a few times already – but because she takes something that is very important to her and tries to make it relevant to Billie. That is admitting vulnerability, and that’s showing Billie that there is more to her than a perfect girl to good to drink with her in a dark murder cabe.
Come on, Billie. What’s the point in feeling blue?
Is it wrong I want this to skip ahead to B and Dot having had an intimate moment? Come on, I don’t believe she’s a 0 on the Scale Whatsoever!
defs the best time to get your mack on is when you’re talking to someone telling you how much they like their girlfriend
Hey, if she wants to prove she’s not perfect…
Billie is hurting! Dorothy just wants to comfort her!
At least a 9 on the 0-10 scale of “Wut?”
So I usually read the hover text right away, but I forgot today and was so confused when I saw all these people talking about cheese sandwiches in the comments.
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
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