C.T.1290 versus Asuka. Examining the good and bad.

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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:10 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:So she never feels sorry then? Nor know the meaning of it?

I don't think we can make that conclusion at all. Note my phrasing.

  • "defense mechanisms"
  • calloused shell"
  • "burying any perceived vulnerability"
Being incapable of remorse would mean that Asuka suffers from sociopathy, and I see no evidence of that. Hers is just a highly traumatized psyche clinging desperately to the only method of survival that it currently has. She has trained herself to repress certain emotions in order to build an exoskeletal facade. This is how she's lived for nearly a decade of her life. Making adjustments and unlearning her various habits won't be easy, but I think it's certainly possible. As thoroughly shaped as the mind is by its early experiences, it does retain a good amount of plasticity as we get older, so that we can continue to adapt to a changing environment (very crucial for social animals especially). And as someone in her early teens, Asuka's brain is still developing!

Perhaps a useful analogy here would be your own experience with autism. This has lifelong consequences for how your brain works, and it takes significant time and effort to overcome some of those challenges. As a fellow high-functioning autist, I've received extensive training on the arts of empathy, tact, body language, and so forth; and as a result I can pass for "normal" when properly motivated. But it's not intuitive and it's not easy; it never will be. Now, to the analogy part: trauma appears to produce lasting changes to the brain, which, naturally, have behavioral consequences. Depending on the exact person and situation, this can result in more aggressive behavior later in life. To a certain extent, Asuka may not be able to "help it", any more than you can "help" leaning toward dichotomous thinking. But due to mental plasticity, proclivity is not necessarily the same thing as destiny or inevitability.

I think that NGE is, to an extent, a stealth commentary upon the state of affairs in Japanese mental health at the time. Which, to put it bluntly, were not good; they made my own country look like a pinnacle of progressivism. As far as I can gather, you were expected to suffer in silence alone, lest you become a "burden" upon others; and if anyone learned about your illness, it would be implicitly deemed a moral failing on your part. NGE shows the disastrous consequences of broken souls hiding behind crumbling facades, in a world where therapy doesn't even seem to exist. So in a way, Asuka's problems are there to provide a lucid illustration of what can go wrong when some of the most basic human needs are neglected. Most of the characters act as cautionary tales in their own way.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:11 pm

Perhaps a useful analogy here would be your own experience with autism. As a fellow high-functioning autist, I've received extensive training on the arts of empathy, tact, body language, and so forth; and as a result I can pass for "normal" when properly motivated.


Hey, you're just like me! What a coincidence! :D And I'm also surprised that you were able to tell what I have. How did you do that?
To a certain extent, Asuka may not be able to "help it", any more than you can "help" leaning toward dichotomous thinking. But due to mental plasticity, proclivity is not necessarily the same thing as destiny or inevitability.


I see.

Most of the characters act as cautionary tales in their own way.


Yeah, seems that way.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:13 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:It's sort of a trick question: I think most kids, at the age of 13, are only just beginning to figure out what things like remorse are, and they're still a ways off from properly managing such emotions. It's one reason so many fanfics (mine included) tend to age up the characters -- when they're older we can give them meaningful therapy, have them engage in self-reflection, have them really grok the notion of having empathy for other human beings, etc. It's hard to do that with early teenagers, let alone basket cases like Shinji and Asuka.

I didn't know you write fanfiction too until someone brought it up. I might have to check it out.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:40 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:I'm also surprised that you were able to tell what I have. How did you do that?

No guesswork was required:

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:And I think that with me being a mildly autistic person, I tend to see things in black and white, that's kind of how I am.

:wink:

Anyway, hope my posts were at least moderately helpful. Been a while since I wrote about Asuka like this.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Glor » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:06 pm

The fact that this is even a question is... odd. It's evident to anyone who's watched the series that she's capable of feeling remorse. Like, just put your bias away and pay attention.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:36 pm

View Original PostGlor wrote:It's evident to anyone who's watched the series that she's capable of feeling remorse. Like, just put your bias away and pay attention.

Obviously not "anyone", as this thread demonstrates! Incidentally, when I "put my bias away" and skimmed over the entire series in my head, the example from Asuka's childhood was the only one that popped out at me, and even that wasn't "remorse" per se. If there are clear-cut instances, it seems it would be actually be valuable to have them pointed out.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:19 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:She can't be reasoned with, or bargained with. She doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear.


She also can't self-terminate efficiently.


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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon May 01, 2017 1:30 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Actually her entire life is remorse. She knows she committed a crime but doesn't know what it is and spends her entire life punishing herself for it.
This.

The whole "doesn't suffer fools gladly at all" act is there because she's already maxed out trying to atone to her mother, by being the best there can possibly be.

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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Epilogue » Mon May 01, 2017 11:07 am

Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.

Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.

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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby big_big_bozo » Mon May 01, 2017 1:10 pm

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.


Yeah, I've noticed that those of the "Asuka is an impossibly infuriating bitch" ilk either glossed over episode 22 and EoE, or they simply aren't interested in delving that deep and would rather just kick at your proverbial shins .... much like how Asuka behaves around Shinji. The former I can understand, sometimes you need to watch things over a few times before the full wave of realization rushes over you. As for the latter, while it can be a bit annoying, I don't take any of it to heart. With that said, I've still chatted with people who have a thorough understanding of Asuka's character, but simply dislike her on more reasonable grounds (thought she was portrayed unrealistically, over-exaggerated, see her as a cliche, etc.). While I don't agree with this sentiment, I can respect it.

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.


Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby xanderkh » Mon May 01, 2017 1:31 pm

View Original Postbig_big_bozo wrote:Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.


You could also argue that this question is less directed at Asuka, and more directed at society's perception of Asuka, or people like her, and the same thing could be said of Shinji, Rei, or ANY of the characters.

Mob Mentality is a terrible, but persuasive aspect of our human psychology, and is probably one of the biggest reasons of conflict as a species. It's no secret that many fandoms or fictional medium fall into the trap of Mob Mentality, especially ideas about how to interpret a fictional work. Take Shinji for example, who many would agree that with the average viewer would view him as a "spineless pussy of a wimp that needs to man up or just die" who take Evangelion at face value, and they're often the LOUDER voices compared to fans who've actually sat down and analyzed the series to feel empathy for the kid.

It's like you know in your heart that an act is wrong, but if everyone agrees that it isn't, does that make YOU and your VIEW wrong? You believe Asuka is a fragile young girl who's been hurt too many times in her life, but if everyone else just says she's just "A bitch", does that make your opinion wrong and what you're doing wrong?

It's a very conflicting and frustrating battle to deal with in life.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby big_big_bozo » Mon May 01, 2017 2:10 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:Mob Mentality is a terrible, but persuasive aspect of our human psychology, and is probably one of the biggest reasons of conflict as a species. It's no secret that many fandoms or fictional medium fall into the trap of Mob Mentality, especially ideas about how to interpret a fictional work. Take Shinji for example, who many would agree that with the average viewer would view him as a "spineless pussy of a wimp that needs to man up or just die" who take Evangelion at face value, and they're often the LOUDER voices compared to fans who've actually sat down and analyzed the series to feel empathy for the kid.


I'd argue that Mob Mentality isn't nessasarily a trap, but rather an inevitability. After all, a trap implies it can be avoided.

As for why Eva's detractors appear louder, well ..... I think it's just a matter of perspective. Alot of the people giving Shinji crap are likley just projecting, and might actually understand his struggle better than either you or me. So, I honestly don't think Eva is the best series to use as an example of mob mentality among veiwers, given its complexity. Or maybe I'm just not looking at this the right way.

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:It's like you know in your heart that an act is wrong, but if everyone agrees that it isn't, does that make YOU and your VIEW wrong? You believe Asuka is a fragile young girl who's been hurt too many times in her life, but if everyone else just says she's just "A bitch", does that make your opinion wrong and what you're doing wrong?


Well, this kinda breaches on the idea of "subjective/relative reality" as determined by popular thought, but I don't think this is something to be taken lightly. In spite of all the contradicting opinions and stalemates I've seen pertaining to this specific debate around Asuka (or anything really), I do beleive an honest-to-god objective truth exists underneath all of it. What the collective thinks this supposed "truth" actually is .... is largley irrelevant, as they'll just be collectivley "wrong". Not sure if this sounds arrogant or not, but I just can't help but think that not all opinions are created equal.

Regardless of this tho, in a world where everyone thought Asuka was a bitch and you were the sole one to object this claim, for all intents and purposes ..... you are wrong. While simultaniously being right? Kinda? If my idea of objective truth is a thing anyway ...... but objective truth doesn't mean much when it has no practical means of being applied/explained ...... shit. There's a reason I never majored in philosophy ya know.

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:It's a very conflicting and frustrating battle to deal with in life.

I'll drink to that ....
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:10 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:She wants to be strong and independent to a fault, which results in instinctively burying any perceived vulnerability. Conceding that you're wrong or sorry about anything means showing a little weakness, so of course that's a no-no for her.


I don't see how saying sorry or admitting that you're wrong is weakness.

Asuka seems to have been showing a little remorse when she said no, none of this isn't the real me.

View Original PostBagheera wrote:It's sort of a trick question: I think most kids, at the age of 13, are only just beginning to figure out what things like remorse are, and they're still a ways off from properly managing such emotions. It's one reason so many fanfics (mine included) tend to age up the characters -- when they're older we can give them meaningful therapy, have them engage in self-reflection, have them really grok the notion of having empathy for other human beings, etc. It's hard to do that with early teenagers, let alone basket cases like Shinji and Asuka.


I think that early teenagers can start feeling sorry for their actions, even traumatized ones. I looked back on my actions at 13 when I was younger and said I was sorry.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:16 pm

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.

Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.


You met a person like Asuka who meant a lot to you? How do you tolerate that? Are you that forgiving of a person? I certainly wouldn't forgive an Asuka-like person's actions.

View Original Postbig_big_bozo wrote:Yeah, I've noticed that those of the "Asuka is an impossibly infuriating bitch" ilk either glossed over episode 22 and EoE, or they simply aren't interested in delving that deep and would rather just kick at your proverbial shins .... much like how Asuka behaves around Shinji. The former I can understand, sometimes you need to watch things over a few times before the full wave of realization rushes over you. As for the latter, while it can be a bit annoying, I don't take any of it to heart. With that said, I've still chatted with people who have a thorough understanding of Asuka's character, but simply dislike her on more reasonable grounds (thought she was portrayed unrealistically, over-exaggerated, see her as a cliche, etc.). While I don't agree with this sentiment, I can respect it.



Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.


I think Asuka is unrealistic and cliched because she is a tsundere and a spoiled brat, which are considered stock characters. Asuka is unrealistic because she wants to be seen as an adult, no teenager has thought of that. So with that, she is so interested in older men, she can't get along with boys her age.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 01, 2017 5:27 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:You met a person like Asuka who meant a lot to you? How do you tolerate that? Are you that forgiving of a person? I certainly wouldn't forgive an Asuka-like person's actions.


Asuka never did anything all that horrible over the course of the show. As for her attitude . . . good Lord, I've encountered so much worse.

I think Asuka is unrealistic and cliched because she is a tsundere and a spoiled brat, which are considered stock characters.


Asuka is not a tsundere, and moreover the tsundere archetype didn't even exist when NGE was on the air. She can't be a cliche if the cliche didn't even exist at the time!

Asuka is unrealistic because she wants to be seen as an adult, no teenager has thought of that. So with that, she is so interested in older men, she can't get along with boys her age.


You seriously think that's unrealistic?
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:30 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Asuka never did anything all that horrible over the course of the show. As for her attitude . . . good Lord, I've encountered so much worse.



Asuka is not a tsundere, and moreover the tsundere archetype didn't even exist when NGE was on the air. She can't be a cliche if the cliche didn't even exist at the time!



You seriously think that's unrealistic?


I think that was unrealistic because me and my mom know no teenagers nor have I read any milestones or whatever on the Internet about them acting like that. They may wear make up but I do that too, even when I was 14. even younger kids wear make up. As long as it's not too much or eyeliner or whatever, I think it's okay.

I am sheltered, I haven't been to middle or high-school so I don't know any teenagers wanting to be viewed as adults. I don't know if it's just the new generation or what because my mom graduated from high school in 1992.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 01, 2017 5:35 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:I think that was unrealistic because I know no teenagers nor have I read any milestones or whatever on the Internet about them acting like that.


I admit, I'm surprised. The very notion that teenagers wanting to be taken seriously as adults is somehow unrealistic is so alien to my experience that I don't even know how to respond. Suffice it to say that your experience does not match mine in the slightest, and that this is one aspect of Asuka that rang true for me on many different levels.
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Postby big_big_bozo » Mon May 01, 2017 5:39 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:I think Asuka is unrealistic and cliched because she is a tsundere and a spoiled brat, which are considered stock characters. Asuka is unrealistic because she wants to be seen as an adult, no teenager has thought of that. So with that, she is so interested in older men, she can't get along with boys her age.


Huh, well atleast you put it bluntly. To be fair to the "tsundere" accusation, while it isn't entirey off base, if you really knew the character, you'd know it's all a front to make up for her deep insecurity and self-loathing. As for her being a "stock character", you have to remember the timeframe of the shows release. While it wasn't breaking new gorund, the tsundere or "hot headed hot chick" wasn't yet the archetype you've obviously grown to dislike. That's not even mentioning the fact that she is NOT ACTUALLY A TSUNDERE but I'll let that slide.

As for it being "unrealistic" for Asuka wanting to be seen as an adult ....... have you ever met a teenager? Have you ever BEEN one for that matter? C'mon dude. I'm convinced you're just pulling my chain with this one.
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Re: Is Asuka even capable of​ feeling remorse?

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Postby Reichu » Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:I don't see how saying sorry or admitting that you're wrong is weakness.

The concept is incredibly pervasive, independent of how nonsensical you may personally find it.

Asuka seems to have been showing a little remorse when she said no, none of this isn't the real me.

How does that indicate that she's sorry for anything? My takeaway of that scene is that Asuka is, for the first time, seeing herself "from the outside" -- as other people might see her. This is reinforced by the fact that, in the quick replays, Asuka is voiced by the other NGE actresses -- what she's seeing and hearing is not the Asuka she knows, but something else. It's no real secret that humans are notoriously terrible at evaluating themselves from others' point of view, and Asuka has fortified herself against what other people think of her, by convincing herself that none of those people matter. As a result, what Arael forces Asuka to look at here comes as a genuine shock, and Asuka's first impulse is to deny that this is who she is. Remorse requires some form of acceptance; Asuka hasn't reached that stage yet.
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Redgirl01
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:48 pm

View Original Postbig_big_bozo wrote:Huh, well atleast you put it bluntly. To be fair to the "tsundere" accusation, while it isn't entirey off base, if you really knew the character, you'd know it's all a front to make up for her deep insecurity and self-loathing. As for her being a "stock character", you have to remember the timeframe of the shows release. While it wasn't breaking new gorund, the tsundere or "hot headed hot chick" wasn't yet the archetype you've obviously grown to dislike. That's not even mentioning the fact that she is NOT ACTUALLY A TSUNDERE but I'll let that slide.

As for it being "unrealistic" for Asuka wanting to be seen as an adult ....... have you ever met a teenager? Have you ever BEEN one for that matter? C'mon dude. I'm convinced you're just pulling my chain with this one.


I am a teenager, I'm 18 years old. And here, it's legally an adult. Yes, I have met teenagers, but I'm sheltered, I've been home-schooled since third grade so I haven't been socializing with people that much. The teenagers I know are pure sweeties who are nice to people. They're very responsible and low-key. Some are argumentative and aggressive but none want to be seen as adults. Not even my mom knows teenagers that want to be seen as adults and she's been to high school.

Why would I come to Evageeks let alone watch Evangelion if I wasn't a teenager yet?

No milestones or stuff like that say that teenagers want to be viewed as adults. I am not trolling, I'm just a sheltered girl (not dude) who doesn't socialize that much and I also get anxious around large groups of people.
I am autistic with trauma and can act up, too. Sometimes I don't understand people. You just got to explain things better to me so that I can understand.


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