Healing My Inner Child

so ive never been part of a zine before!! so i was a little bit intimidated when i decided to join this one - but the yesterweb has become such a comfortable and safe place for me, i couldnt pass up the chance to stretch my creative muscles!

so my piece is a collage, because that's what i like to make the most. the theme of this issue was "web design as a form of self expression", and that really spoke to me as someone who's always kind of seen the internet as their home and a place to unmask

some of the meaning behind it is like - i wanted to make it look like a picture of someone's old computer, with shimejis running around, old games they never got to play, a mockup of the website in paint, etc. because that's all the sort of old school teen things you would imagine seeing on that kind of computer.

and the phrase "i've found more of myself than i knew i had left" is a direct reference to how going through trauma inherently breaks you down, and then how healing it is to finally unmask and realize you're allowed to indulge in the things you never got to experience or that mental illness and trauma took away from you, no matter how "embarrassing" or "childish" it might be, because stifling those things only leads to more issues, losing more and more of yourself in order to fit in and "grow up".

trigger warning for this next section, i briefly mention abuse and ableism ive faced as an autistic person and why that's made me connect so much to this theme! if that's not something you can handle reading about, stop here!

this topic felt so personal to me because, i suffered through a lot of emotional and mental abuse at the times when you'd normally expect a kid to make their first webpage. the internet was always my escape from that - deviantart was my first platform, it let me look at my favorite fictional boy of the week and write escapist fiction where a self insert (that i vehemently denied was a self insert at the time) was saved and treasured by those fictional boys. i also didn't exactly "fit in" since i wasn't diagnosed with autism until i was 15, and before then, i was always the kid with their nose stuck in a book that thought they were some creature from another world, to explain WHY i didn't fit in.

so when i discovered the internet and found people LIKE ME, people that liked the things i did as much as i did, and other people who felt the way i did, it was incredible - but i was still scared of judgement.

but as i've grown, and i've slowly recovered from being made to grow up too fast from the things i dealth with, i discovered i could really do what i wanted, PRESENT myself the way i wanted to. i found people that acted the way i did when no one was watching, and they displayed themselves proudly. and it hit home with me in a way i don't think most other things have.

being openly MYSELF on the internet and getting to live out the sort of experiences i never got to have has been so immensely healing for me, and i couldn't be more grateful

This article was created by Cupid