Throwback Thursday: The Game I Feared The Most

Welcome to the first post of 2020, guys! Today, since people are still probably busy with the new year rush, I’m going to make this another short but sweet post. Today, I bring you an anecdote from my teenage years: an anecdote of coincidence, anxiety, and…. Video games!?

See, I’ve always loved video games. I’ve been playing them since I was five at minimum, often joined by my male friends in my basement playing Sega back in the day. However, as mobile games for things like GBA and other such things became more prominent, I too spent long hours with a mini console in my hand. And one day, the game I’d put into that mini console gave me the fright of my life.

It was a DS game that promised to be an interesting series of puzzles. Its name? Trace Memory. But what scared me wasn’t the ghost hero- it was the very human heroine. Let me tell you why.

It started off as a fluke to me. The heroine, Ashley Robbins, had the same first name as me (in case you forgot, Jaluna is my pen name!). Big whoop- Ashley was the most popular name for girls in the year I was born. There were plenty of girls named Ashley, right?

Then, we found out Ashley’s birthdate. It was the same as mine! Looking back, I know it was just reading the data off my DS, but for the longest time I almost felt like I was being stalked. Especially when the story began to unfold.

The story starts with Ashley going to look for her father on a mostly deserted island with her aunt J. She was under the impression for a long time that he was dead. It just so happens that, for my 14th birthday, I was living with my own aunt J. And, my dad was in and out of comas when I moved there- I had no idea if he was going to survive or not, and it scared me. So, the aunt’s name and my dad’s health made me feel more and more like this game was not about just any Ashley- it was making a mint off of me.

To be fair, I do have schizoaffective disorder, which as my doctor explained, means I have a mood disorder while having notable schizophrenic tendencies. That includes paranoia (well, that and my generalized anxiety disorder). Mixing together my anxiety and paranoia, I began to struggle to play the game. It was enthralling, so it was hard to stop- but every fiber of my being was terrified I’d find more personal information in it.

Eventually, I stopped playing it. I regret that decision now, as its always haunted me- both the game’s effect on me, and the fact that I never found out the ending. But now that I lack the game (I lost it like I do sometimes)… Well, I miss it, and wish I’d just been a trooper and stuck to it.

Have you ever felt like a game was similar to your life? Or maybe a book? Share in the comments your spooky tales of something hitting too close to home! I don’t want to think I’m alone in this… I’m not, right?

Throwback Thursday: Extreme Snow-Tubing

Good morning everyone! Today, I’d like to thank my new friend Sophie for inspiring me to write this post. That’s right, you read it in the title: I’m an ‘extreme snow-tuber’. Okay, so I’m not actually into extreme sports… or sports. But today’s post is about one time I basically was in one, according to my teacher.

It was around the time I was in 10th grade- my special needs school took all of us kids to a mountain on a snowy winter day. I can still remember the snow crunching under my boots, and I remember having a friend pull me across an ice patch so I wouldn’t fall, only to lead to him falling.

But honestly, what I remember most about that day is what’s made me decide snow-tubing isn’t for me. And it starts at the very start of your usual snow-tubing adventure: going up the lift.

If you’ve never been snow-tubing, you probably don’t know what the lift is like. Basically, you get in a tube and it’s hooked to the top with something akin to a bungee cord. Well, halfway through my ride on the lift, something unusual happened- my cord came off the powered rope thing that pulls us up. And so, I suddenly went sliding down the lift path, bouncing against all the people behind me in a frenzy.

That wasn’t the end of it, though. Shortly after that, a teacher grabbed hold of my tube and helped pull me up. I was so happy not to be falling down that bumpy path again! But when we got to the top, where we get our tubes taken off the lift, there was a bump… and it made her lose her grip enough that I went tubing out of control like an air hockey puck, bouncing off my classmates like you couldn’t believe.

The third time was the charm. I finally made it up that god forsaken hill, and I was ready to tube. I got in my tube and slid down as gracefully as one can in an inflatable rubber tube. But when I got to the bottom, I realized something.

That wasn’t fun- it was terrifying.

I’d gone snow tubing before, mind you. This wasn’t my first rodeo, but it was my first time going down the lift instead of the hill two times in a row. Or at all. I had plenty of pain in my butt, and decided enough was enough. I turned in my snow-tube, and had the principal helping my shaky body to the lodge.

He returned after he knew I was safely inside, but I wasn’t alone. My teacher was there as well, as if she’d been waiting for me. Having seen the whole thing, and seeing me shaking, I think she knew what was going on in my mind. So, with a smile and a laugh, she told me, “Don’t think of it as a bad thing. Just think of it as extreme snow-tubing.”

And that’s what I do now. I avoid snow tubing, mostly because I can’t afford it, but the memories still haunt me and make me uneasy. Getting back on a snow tube is a lot like getting on my bike since I was hit by that car in 8th grade. It’s terrifying, and it leaves me feeling shaky and stiff, both at the same time. I can’t imagine going down that slope again, and I can’t afford it anyway… But I’m happy to skip it. It’s a memory I laugh at now, but somehow, it’s also a memory I can never get over…

Tell me, friends. Do you have memories like that? The ones where you were hurt so badly it traumatized you almost, but you learned to laugh at it and maybe even fight through? I’d love to hear your thoughts, your stories, and any tips you may have for me to overcome this fear. But most of all, I just like hearing from you guys in general. You’re all wonderful- never forget that.