Well this is an absolute first for me. I was browsing my message box to find that 15 of my drawings had been taken down due to a policy violation. All of these were Code Lyoko fan-art from the Huge Problems collection.
I am aware of DeviantArt's policy, and have been so since I began drawing these. When I started drawing them, I was very light hearted about it and had originally intended it to be a running gag. I thought 'Hey, I can keep drawing these so long as I never cross a certain line. It will just be a fun little joke.' Well, it looks like the joke is over. I don't know what to do about it.
I started my DeviantArt page when I was around 16 or 17. I was a bright student, but bullying in grade school taught me to keep people at a distance. I didn't keep many friends, and I poured most of my energy into school. When times got tough, I was alone and had no one to confide in. The best I could do was retreat to drawing, where I could create and view a different world.
Like anyone at that age, I had my obsessions and hobbies. I found myself enamored by the cartoon Code Lyoko, which had already been airing for some time. My first posts here had been of fan art and joke comics. Heck, when the fandom was in full swing here, I lived for the fan comics. We all had our own little in-jokes, fan-canon, and fictions. I had found a community where I could share my thoughts with other like-minded people without seeming out of place or odd. It was an absolute Godsend, and it made my small world a little bigger and a little brighter. I wasn't alone.
The cartoon stopped airing in 2007, but the community here still had quite a bit of steam in it. There was still plenty of fun and jokes to be had online. To me, the show seemed to have been rushed to a hasty conclusion, leaving a bunch of open ends. It felt like an open invitation for anyone who wanted to continue on with their own little fan fictions. That is how I continued, at first, with my now unfinished comic Fragments. I was excited about it, and often spend many hours into the night working on it in secret (It would have been uncomfortable for me to reveal this activity to my parents or sister). As High School and College pressed on, however, schoolwork mounted and I had to shelve my comic. I would work on smaller things, when I could, and that is how I tried to stay engaged here.
When a live action continuation of the show was announced, my comic had already been shelved for some time. Upon hearing the announcement, I had lost my drive to pursue the comic. Further, the fandom on DA already seemed to have died down a bit, and my peers here seemed less engaged. The camaraderie vanished. The magic had faded. I felt like I had lost something great. (Here's a [link] for comparable feels.)
Since then, it's been like I've been franticly treading water, and clutching desperately at anything that might pass by. My community had all but vanished, and I had no IRL friends to speak of. Growing up is hard when you are lonely. For the longest time it seems, I've only had this little window into the world before me. But windows only offer a narrow view - they don't show you everything that is important and limit your experience. Right now I am 24, going on 25 in just over a month and I am terrible with other people. Talking to new people is always awkward. I have no idea how to approach people, or how to ease into a conversation. I can't even take a compliment without self doubt or suspicion. I'm always afraid I'll make a fool of myself somehow. I've never felt safe on my own. I get by putting on a brave face and a persona that only shallowly reflects the person I am.
Long, I've needed a safe place. I needed somewhere I needn't fear being a fool. I needed some place where I could share my thoughts and feelings safely. I've always had a dreadful feeling that whatever thought or feeling that may cross my mind would somehow be punishable by someone, somewhere. Why talk or share anything at all when this is how you think of the world? This journal entry may not seem like much, but this is the most I've been able to express myself in quite a while. I don't speak much. I speak so little to anyone that sometimes the sound of my own voice seems foreign to me. Hell, even my own name seems foreign.
Perhaps I've made a fool of myself with my drawings. No one likes over-sharing. It is awkward, uncontrollable, and uncomfortable. You cannot have a candid conversation or exchange in a casual manner. You may or may not like what you hear or see. You may not like to associate with people of a certain opinion, or listen to them for any length of time. I understand all of this. Still I would like to be heard at some length.
Well, I guess these are my thoughts for now. I'm not sure where this rambling leaves me.