Enter the realm of Kouse's Sanctum

Back to Black

I suppose it’s been long enough since my last post, right?

Firstly, my Flickr pro account expired, and it’ll be a little while before I renew it, so if a ton of my pics seem missing, that’s why. But right now what I want to let you know about is Chic Management’s Back to Black event, and that I’m participating in it, offering a brand new, never before released gown, called Tranquil.

Tranquil - Gown - B2B - 2

I put a lot of thought into whether or not I’d include a notecard with the gowns outlining my own experiences with depression, but then I decided it would be better to put it on the blog, so anyone can read it if they want to, regardless of having purchased a gown or not.

During my teen years I battled with depression that was brought on in part by the stress of school, being bullied, and the stress of my home life. Between the three, I felt hopeless, useless, and worthless most of the time. There were many times when I thought I’d be better off dead, or that I should try to run away from my problems.

I talked to the school’s guidance counsellor ad nauseum, trying to seek solutions to my problems. Most of the offered advice included moving away from town and going back to a city I lived in as a child. Family members that had left town to return to the city reinforced this notion to me in phone calls and letters. I could see where this could be good advice, and sometimes I actually managed to convince myself that it was what I wanted, but in the end, that was false conviction and I always stayed here, knowing if I returned to the city, I still wouldn’t be happy.

I ended up trying antidepressants. The only thing they achieved was that I ended up sleeping most of the day, and wishing I was asleep the time I was awake – sleep became the escape from reality. However, this only went on for several days before I tossed the pills, knowing they wouldn’t, and couldn’t really help me.

The year I finished High School I started Second Life, and my business was born that summer, in 2007. SL served as another escape from reality, where I could look however I wanted, do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted. That led me to Medieval roleplay, ballrooms, forests, and countless stores. It led me to begin creating gowns and jewelry. I thought it made me happy. But in reality, it was a bandaid on a broken limb.

The beginnings of the turning point for me, when my depression ended and my life really, truly began, wasn’t until October, 2010. I’m placing the date here, because that’s where the events began that lead me to where I am today. Someone, who shall remain unnamed, came to our house (at that time, it was just my mother and I), and was verbally tearing apart a man from our town. They cried foul at the man’s behaviour in church the previous Sunday, about how ‘he shouldn’t have done that, he shouldn’t have said those things to that man of God’. This sparked my interest. I had become somewhat indifferent towards Christianity, and I’d previously grown wary of ‘that man of God’ because of his attitudes and behaviours.

Now, my spiritual life was a mess. I’d spent my teen years being depressed and many times trying to seek God, crying to Him, begging Him, feeling like I’d come really really close – but ultimately failing. I bounced back and forth between trying to please God and pleasing myself with my escapes from reality so much that I grew tired of trying. I now know the real culprits behind that failure, but that’s another topic for another time. Anyway, at the time I didn’t call myself a Christian anymore. I knew some scripture, but not much. But something inside me told me I needed to really get in touch with this man. He had enough faith in his convictions to stand up in front of many and speak his mind. That impressed me.

I searched for him on facebook, and sent him a friend request. After he accepted, I spent time observing him. During this time, I found myself convicted of my lukewarm attitude towards God. The seeking began again – in earnest. My bible started seeing a lot more use. I took more than a passing glance at devotionals. I researched things online. I acquired a collection of 8 movies about Jesus. I watched these movies one at a time, and then a while later, ended up watching them all in a marathon session.

I broke. It was finally brought home to me in a real way what Jesus did, and that He did it for -me-. Worthless, useless, hopeless (I thought) me. I was worth -dying- for. I went into a room alone and cried, begging God to forgive me of my sin, and to help me to change and live how He would want me to – not just for a week, but for life. I didn’t feel like I failed this time. I felt forgiven. I felt comforted after my tears. I felt peace – real, deep peace.

A song by Mark Lowery called ‘Make it Real’ became dear to my heart. I pasted some of it’s lyrics into my SL profile.

As for the man – Richard. I pretty much stayed quiet with regard to him until something he posted caught my eye – a screenshot of the Blizzard website showing the thumbnail links to their games. I couldn’t help but comment – and indeed this post garnered many comments, because he was bold enough to call it what it is in light of scripture. It’s Satanic. There are people who fail to see this, but he wasn’t one of them. While there are plenty of people who will defend their games, TV shows, music, etc, the fact remains that secular media does nothing to encourage Christianity or Christian values. Rather, much of it attacks both.

One clear way to show this is the massive anti-Christian sentiment that is in SL. I know full well that posting this won’t make me popular, but popularity isn’t what I’m after anymore. What I want to achieve here is to let anyone who is willing to read the whole post understand that my personal experience is as follows: My depression wasn’t cured by counselling, pills, or people. It was cured by Jesus Christ. My life now is happier than it’s ever been before, and I give God all the credit for it.

After my comment, I watched the thread for a while. I ended up messaging Richard, wanting to encourage him. What began was a long dialogue that led to both parties being encouraged and inspired. He gave me the link to his personal testimony. There was a mix mp3 of his testimony in music that was available for download on his page, so I downloaded it, and listened to it.

I’m going to try to keep this post from becoming a book and speed up my recounting of what happened. For a while I distanced myself from listening to a lot of secular music. I stopped listening to the radio. But I didn’t give it up entirely. I still listened to a handful of artists that I enjoyed because I liked their ‘catchy tunes’. This was actually hindering my spiritual growth, though, so I was given a much needed push to give it up, and I did.

Richard and I got together in the dating sense on March 10th. He gave a beautiful account of what happened at that time at our wedding, and it’s on video. We got married on July 16th, 2011.

The past 13 months have been a whirlwind of change for me, and in good ways. My faith in God is firmer than it’s ever been before. I’m glad I didn’t go back to the city. If I had, I’d have missed out on the wonderful man that I’m now married to. More importantly, I might have missed out on God. But I know I am exactly where He meant me to be. I’m more than content with that – I’m happy. And with this I’ll conclude, that hateful comments won’t be approved. 🙂

2 responses

  1. glamorpuss

    I would hope that you wouldn’t receive -any- hateful comments, lovely.

    This is your story, that you share with Richard, and it’s generous of you to share it out loud with the Second Life community. All we can ever do is put ourselves out there – just as we are – and hope for acceptance and kindness in return. And not everyone has the courage to do that, especially online!

    I don’t believe the same things you do – and yet I can see your happiness, and can appreciate that the developments in your life and the choices you’ve made, (or been led to make) have brought you to a good place. It’s not my role or anyone else’s, to question or criticize your beliefs and experiences. So I hope that people, religious or otherwise, can stay open and appreciate this post for what it is. Your story.

    Aside from all of that, the dress is gorgeous! I especially like the pearlescent sheen on the fabric. More, please!

    – Evie xo

    February 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

  2. Saffron Foxclaw

    Oh Kouse, so beautiful and inspirational. I can empathise completely. My faith is what kept me strong during the lows of my battle with depression. My respect for you being so open with your battle is unwordable (if that’s a word). My love and prayers go out to you!

    February 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

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