Does Not Compute

“If you’ve met one person with autism,
you’ve met one person with autism.”
– Dr. Stephen Shore

I came across the graphic below in my Facebook feed today, and it lead me to consider and consolidate some of the observations I have made about myself. I also cannot stress enough that autism is a condition of fluctuation. On good days, and/or with a lot of preparation, I can appear neurotypical. On bad days, I may struggle with making eye contact and having conversations with strangers.

Every autistic person is unique, but there are some common traits.

Tips for Talking To Autistic People

The more data I have about an individual person, environment, or situation, the easier it will be for me to interact successfully. My relationships tend to greatly reflect the quality of input I am given. If I sound like a computer, it is not a coincidence. I feel like a malfunctioning artificial intelligence at times.

All of that being said, here is what you should know about me:

– My intellectual ability has little correlation to my “people” ability.
– My intellectual ability has little correlation to my “people” ability.
– My intellectual ability has little correlation to my “people” ability.

Did that come through? Being “high-functioning” actually makes autism more frustrating in some ways. People assume I am neurotypical, meaning I get less accommodation and assistance, while being painfully aware of my own deficits. Autistic people have more than three-fold higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts than the general population. Abuse and bullying are rampant.

Data from Star Trek

– I am doing my best to have healthy and fulfilling relationships.
– I want to understand you and your needs, but I need your help for that.
– Texting is easier than talking because I can more thoughtfully respond.
– Real-time communication is stressful for me. Please have some patience.
– I have made progress with small talk, but it is awkward and uncomfortable.
– I will have to learn the “script” for every distinctive social environment.
– I will info-dump and over-explain when I am feeling unheard.

Feeling heard is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to me.

– If you ambush or surprise me, I am likely to react in strange ways.
– If you alter a routine without warning, I am likely to react in strange ways.
– If rules are erratic and/or illogical, I am likely to react in strange ways.
– If goals and expectations shift, I am likely to react in strange ways.
– If given adequate time to process it, I accept change easily.

Robot dog slipping on banana peels.

– Do not make assumptions why I do/did something. Ask me. For best results, without anger or judgement. My brain recognizes connections and patterns that may not be obvious to others, and my internal logic can be pretty opaque. Ask me, because assumptions about my goals/motivations are usually wrong.

– I rely on external data I can verify to avoid being lied to or misled.
– I am blunt and honest. IMO this is a good thing, if you are not sensitive.
– I am likely to take what you say at face value. Hyperbole is confusing.
– I am likely to take what you say literally unless it is BLATANTLY not.
– I am not always capable of detecting sarcasm, even verbally.
– I am not generally capable of clandestine manipulation and ulterior motives.
– I am not generally capable of reading hints and nonverbal communication.
– I am utterly oblivious to all but the most egregious passive-aggression.
– I am utterly oblivious to social etiquette beyond basic politeness.

– Ask for what you want. If I ask what you want, be clear and direct.
– Ask for what you want. Coyness and social niceties are wasted on me.
– Ask for what you want. Seriously, ask. I cannot read you. This is not a drill.
– Ask for what you want. But do not then act like you want the exact opposite.
– The more you help me understand, the more likely you get what you want.
– For the love of Bog just be consistent and fucking explain yourself.

– If you send me mixed signals, we are going to have a bad time.
– Contradictory input WILL eventually short-circuit my brain.
– When short-circuited, my functionality declines rapidly.

Robby the Robot

– BE SPECIFIC. Do not say, “Could you do the laundry today? I need clean underpants,” when you mean, “I want you to do the laundry as soon as possible because I have no clean clothing left.” Do not say, “There are dirty dishes in the sink,” when you mean, “I want you to wash the dishes before dinner tonight.” I will unintentionally “rules lawyer” any request that is not specific enough.

– BE SPECIFIC. If I ask you for a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s, I do not want a fresh, tempura-battered Alaskan Pacific Cod filet from your local fishmonger on a lightly-toasted brioche bun with homemade lemon dill tartar sauce because YOU decided that is better. I want the Filet-O-Fish I asked for. I was specific.

– When I have no “script,” I may seem cold/emotionless/robotic. This is not indicative of how I feel inside. My circuits are overloaded, I am in an unfamiliar situation, and I am unsure what other people expect or want from me. If I freeze, or become quiet and rigid, gently instruct me what to do, or give me space.

– I do not generally compare myself to other people. I am only in “competition” with my past self. Envy and jealousy are not naturally part of my emotional vocabulary. So I have often failed to recognize those feelings in others.

– I am not an angry or bitter person, and rarely hold grudges against anyone expressing a genuine and sincere effort to make amends after hurting me. All I usually require is to feel heard and validated. Since I do not cultivate anger or bitterness myself, I have often failed to recognize those feelings in others.

Robots playing soccer.

– “Fake” people input bad data that subconsciously scrambles my operating system, and can lead me to act out of character. I have become much better at recognizing this. I now have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who raises red flags for being “fake,” or not entirely who they present themselves to be.

– My memories are extremely vivid and make it difficult to let the past go.
– My memories where I am truly happy are few, and I hold those like treasures.
– On my darkest nights, those most-treasured memories help to keep me alive.
– Because I am weird myself, I have a high acceptance of weirdness in others.
– Because I am detail-oriented, I easily recall others’ preferences, likes, etc.
– When I am helped to understand, I happily accommodate others’ needs.

– I need A LOT of alone time and my own, private space.
– I am extraordinarily sensitive to sound. I AM quiet. I NEED quiet.
– I like conversations to be stimulating, and day-to-day life to be boring.
– I like discomfort that leads to growth, but I am not a novelty-seeker.
– If you can engage with my interests and work, we’re golden.

WALL-E

In conclusion: You will largely “get what you give” with me.

If you are concealing your actual feelings about/for me, dishonest, insincere, manipulative, passive-aggressive, and/or projecting your own negativity onto my actions, we are going to have a bad time. On top of my normal impairments, you have created another layer of difficulty for me with your “false” self. I may accept your statements at face value, but I am empathic enough to sense something is not right. My anxiety will increase until I either break down or break free.

If you are angry, impatient, and judgemental with me, I will never feel safe enough to be authentic with you. In addition to inhibiting the development of a genuine connection, having to camouflage my autistic traits constantly will make interacting with you exhausting. Eventually I will be drained of energy.

If you are aloof, distant, and emotionally unavailable with me, I will never feel safe enough to be authentic with you. Though we may get along, any connection we have will remain shallow and superficial. These friendships and relationships tend to fizzle out over time, because I have little interest in the common activities and pop culture they are typically founded upon. Someone and/or something has to be irresistibly compelling to pull me from my routines and my projects.

Robot arm throwing a bowling ball.

If you are honest, genuine, patient, straightforward, and willing to explain yourself with me, I will feel relaxed and safe enough to be authentic with you. I may have some odd habits and mannerisms, but you will also discover that I am caring, dependable, loyal, low-maintenance, and mainly driven by the desire to feel heard and included. I have spent most of my life feeling like an outcast.

Once a true connection has been established, I am the kind of friend one can go without speaking to for years, and then reconnect like no time has passed at all. I may get sensory overload in a crowded restaurant, but when shit REALLY hits the fan, my ability to be robotic and just do what needs to be done is extremely helpful. My hyperfocus and intensity have fueled my best creative work.

Battle Angel Alita

Improving my social skills is something I will have to work on for the remainder of my life. Especially because I was diagnosed so late, there will be a limit to how much I am able to refashion myself to behave more neurotypically. I will always need a little more compassion, patience, and leniency than some people might believe I deserve. All I have to offer is this promise: I am doing my best.

That is what you should know about me.

CATEGORY:

[VIDEO BLOG] Unapologetically Me

Content Warning: Body/Gender Dysphoria, Child Abuse, Adult Abuse, Grooming, Bullying, Harassment, Disability/Mental Health Issues

FYI: It took me four days and 12+ hours of redos to record this.

Please Support my Work
http://patreon.com/jinwicked
http://jinwicked.etsy.com/

Hello, everybody!

Today is Sunday, April 18th.

I’m Jin Wicked, and this is “Obsessively Ambitious,” the video portion of my personal blog. I hope this finds you well.

It has been about half a year since I talked to you. A long time. Depression really sunk its claws back into me last fall, and I just did not have the spoons to dress up and put myself on camera for these last few months.

And I still don’t, honestly, but I want to talk to you today anyway. I feel like it is very important that the things I have had to say recently come from my mouth, instead of words on a screen. Then they can accuse me of libel and slander.

Please excuse me for writing this in advance to make things a bit easier on me.

Since late in 2019, I had been having chronic pain and other problems that eventually lead to a hysterectomy at the beginning of this year. That went well, and after I recovered, I had – as you can probably see – a double-mastectomy. I still can’t lift much, but after a minor setback, I’m starting to move and do things more normally again. I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym.

My mother died of breast cancer at age 59. I was her daytime caregiver for the last few months of her life, and it was an experience that left me scarred in some ways that will never fully heal. My family breast cancer risk is quite high, and the level of monitoring recommended was not doable for me. I got the whole lump-ultrasound-biopsy scare on my one and only mammogram. Once was enough.

And while I have always “performed” being a woman because I thought it was what I was supposed to do, inside I have always seen myself as more of an “it” than a “she,” or even a “he.” I hated having breasts, I hated what they reminded me of every time I looked in the mirror, and it feels pretty incredible to have the internal and external images of myself actually be in sync with each other.

At 41 years old, I finally feel like I belong in my own body.

In early 2019, I figured out that I have ADHD, and I started medication for that. It has been very helpful for me. But the more I continued to make progress in some areas, the more other problem areas began to stand out.

And it was near the end of 2020 when I finally connected the dots and figured out that I am on the autism spectrum, making an entire lifetime of confusion and struggle suddenly make a whole lot more fucking sense.

I have been “camouflaging” and trying to be something I am not all my life.

It is exhausting. I am exhausted.

Because I have spent so much of life consciously training myself to be accepted by, and meet the social expectations of neurotypical people, my autism diagnosis set off a lengthy process of figuring out which parts of “me” are really me.

It has also lead me to a place of self-acceptance where I don’t feel like I “need” Jin Wicked anymore. My diagnosis gave me permission to finally just be myself. I can improve my communication skills, I can hide my tics and stims, I can learn to compensate for mind-blindness, but I will never be neurotypical. No one is going to hand me a “Congratulations, you’re normal!” trophy if I sell a certain number of books or reach a certain number of Facebook followers. I’m not broken. I just am. So in some ways, I feel like the dog that caught the car. I found the answers I have been searching for since I was a child, and I asked myself – now what? And the answer that finally came was to write. I need to put my memories in order, and write my autobiography. I have to write; drawing is too slow.

And when I started to write, I had this horrifying realization, as my own words stared back at me – from about the age of three onward, I have been bouncing around like a pinball from trauma to trauma. I have been doing the best I could to “be good” and be what other people wanted, while nearly all the adults who were supposed to care for me failed to help or even made things worse.

I started getting my ass kicked by my parents as soon as I could speak fluently, and that’s been the story of my life since. Abuse, bullying, judgment, and nothing I did ever really being good enough. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. The times and places I have felt truly safe and able to be myself have been few and far between. Those who have wholeheartedly accepted me are lifesavers.

Parents: you can’t beat or discipline developmental disorders out of a child.

When I first set out on this path of trying to make sense of my past and figure out who I am, in 2014, I reconnected with a lot of people I had not spoken to in years. One of them was a man named Cory Strode, fifteen years older than me, who had entrenched himself as an “unconditionally loving” caretaker, guide, and mentor-type figure in my life. For years he was my main source of advice.

Which sounds like a noble thing, but if you are genuinely trying to help a young person that you know is emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and physically vulnerable – you should absolutely not have, or desire, sex with that person.

That is a predatory relationship dynamic at its core. And no healthy adult man should want a partner he has to parent. Who finds that attractive?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Audacity of this bitch...

Cory Strode, does "loving each other" include devaluing and smearing a woman who worked, unpaid, on a comic with you for two years, to mutual friends?

Cory Strode, does “loving each other” include devaluing and smearing a woman who worked, unpaid, on a comic with you for two years, to mutual friends?

As I neared my 30s, closer to the age Cory was when I initially met him, I started to feel exploited by this man. I got angry, and we did not speak for years.

In 2014, in the midst of a breakdown, I thought to myself: maybe I was wrong. This person was good to me. He always told me how much he cared and wanted to help me. So I returned to this toxic relationship, and I ignored my body when my anxiety skyrocketed and being near him made me uncomfortable. I allowed him to tell me who I was, and what was wrong with me, because he presented himself as acting in my best interests. Cory treated me like an investment, and like a merit badge, not a person. He wanted to be the one to “take me under his wing,” and congratulate himself for my growth and successes. He called himself my best friend, while pushing beyond acceptable “friendship” boundaries and often making inappropriate comments about being attracted to me.

And when he finally crossed a line and left me feeling horribly violated and unsafe in my own home, I got the good ol’ devalue and discard. I never knew her! She’s crazy! She’s a narcissist! I didn’t want those fucking sour-ass grapes, anyway!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Audacity of this bitch...

Cory Strode, does "loving each other" include victim-blaming and lying about your relationship history with a woman who you had sex with, when she was a vulnerable teenager, in 1999? And

Cory Strode, does “loving each other” include victim-blaming and lying about your relationship history with a woman who you had sex with, when she was a vulnerable teenager, in 1999? And “helped” by moving her into your home?

Cory and his friends, including “Krayz” Joe Rider and the world-famous Archie colourist Stephanie Cofell, have bullied, mocked, threatened, and lied about me ever since. Except that I’m the one that has openly acknowledged my faults, and who has been actively working to improve myself for over six years. Weird.

It has taken me twenty years, and returning to that relationship, to finally acknowledge and accept how I have been unknowingly groomed, manipulated, and traumatized by Cory Strode’s actions and influence on all my adult life.

In the process of getting divorced, I met and was in a relationship for approximately nine months with a comics industry colleague named Douglas Paszkiewicz. I was physically attracted to him in a way I had only experienced once before in my life. My enthusiasm was probably too much, but I’m autistic. When I am excited about something, I only go “to 11.” I badly wanted someone that I creatively meshed with, someone I could be a huge nerd about inking with, someone I could table at conventions and share expenses with, and someone I could quietly “be alone together” with while we worked. Someone who liked to dig around in thrift shops, and who lived the same lifestyle. Someone that would be an equal partner instead of treating me like a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. We had complementary strengths and weaknesses; he comes from an old school 90s way of doing things, and I am a creature of the Internet. He even lifts, bro! His work instantly impressed me with its cleverness and unique visuals. Our humour and our art styles blended well. It was perfect. Logical. Everything was there.

Except Douglas wanted the “man brings home the bacon, wife waiting at home in pearls, with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence” deal. Not the life he was living.

And for nine months, Douglas controlled me with countless “rules,” forbid me from talking about him or our relationship, undermined my confidence at every opportunity, and utterly destroyed me with his anger and hot-and-cold behaviour toward me. Some days he would tease me with what he knew I wanted. Some days I could barely get a response from him. Things that were all right one day would make him furious the next. Nothing remained the same long enough for me to adapt. Ironically, I probably would have fared better if I had simply “been myself” and mostly ignored him to do my own work, like would have happened eventually anyway. I was devastated, and driven mad by my inability to make sense of him and the circumstances that lead to our breakup.

I continued to write to him, a lot, long after he told me to stop. That was unacceptable and wrong of me. It was also a uniquely bad reaction to how I was treated. My brain kept rehashing arguments and all of the contradictory things he said. I could not make his actions make sense. I could not make his words make sense. I could not understand: why? WHY?! I had never been so confused.

Why pursue a relationship with someone you learned is an autobiographer the night you met, only to spit fire when they try to include you in their work?

Why pursue a relationship with someone you learned within the first week can’t have children, when you want children, just to watch them torment themself?

Given those two things, why make declarations of love you know you don’t actually mean, and make promises you have no intention of keeping?

He was so, so angry. And there were times when I could sense the pain inside him, where that anger sprang from. I recognized the struggle of constantly being at war with yourself; I know it very, very well. I wanted to give him comfort, and maybe a little peace, if I could. Sometimes the way he held me made me feel like I was a life preserver thrown to a drowning man. And I know now I am making this about me, and my feelings, but when I couldn’t absorb any more of his anger and finally left him “like he said I would,” I felt like a monster. In a life of doing hard things, it is one of the hardest I things I have ever done.

Only a few months later, my father committed suicide, Cory “cleaned up” my apartment, and I got sucked into Steve’s drama. I found out from my ex-husband that Douglas contacted one of my friends back in Houston, and frightened her by telling her that I want to have sex with her fiancé. I started tracking IP addresses I suspected were related to him on my sites. I sent him a couple of Christmas cards wishing him well. I bought artwork when I learned he needed money.

In October of 2018, after accepting several hundred dollars from me over the summer through his online store and Patreon, Douglas published a blog with my emails and text messages portraying me as a stalker. You are welcome to look it up for yourself if you like, and make your own judgment. I don’t care. He had to censor the messages he posted to make himself appear more sympathetic, and avoid disclosing any of the things he did to keep me so distraught for so long. Most of Douglas‘s choices do not make sense to me in the context of a person who saw me as an actual threat. But I believe Douglas was afraid of me. I don’t understand it, but I regret it. I’m sorry I hurt someone who hurts so much.

I have not contacted him or looked at his website since October of 2018.

Soon after Douglas‘s blog was posted, a Facebook page and WordPress site appeared, using stolen images from my real social media, trying to terrorize me and ruin my reputation. Douglas had to have been involved on some level. I know he knew about it, because Steve called him on the phone and asked him directly. I have proof that Cory’s friend Stephanie participated, and Cory was sharing it.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Audacity of this bitch...

Cory Strode, does "loving each other" include deliberately spreading half-truths and lies in secret about a woman struggling to recover from trauma?

Cory Strode, does “loving each other” include deliberately spreading half-truths and lies in secret about a woman struggling to recover from trauma?

These people have consistently devalued and underestimated me, down to the arrogant assumption that I would not be able to identify them.

I was afraid for my physical safety. As soon as I could, I left my job at the time, which I have never financially recovered from. I had my locks changed. I filed police reports. I publicly ignored the pages, and I silently collected evidence.

These pages posted things meant to scare me, like ambiguously stating they had more stories to “expose” about me, or claiming to be in contact with my friends back in Houston, or that they were contacting conventions around the country about me. They contacted one of my clients with a neglected commission.

They mocked me for grieving my relationship with Douglas, as if I should feel shame for caring about someone. I am not ashamed of loving someone. Even if he didn’t want to be with me, I wanted Douglas to be fed and have a roof over his head. I wanted him to be okay. I wanted him to know that someone appreciated everything he puts into his work. Did I go about that in the correct way? No, I did not. Did he treat me well? No, he did not. I can regret my actions, but I will not view love as something to be ashamed of. Don’t put your hangups on me.

These pages made the mistake of posting things that I couldn’t be gaslit about, like accusing me of stalking my ex-husband. Let me call him up! “Hey, Matt, am I stalking you?” “No, why do you ask?” Not all divorces end in hatred, sorry.

Once I felt confident I was not in any physical danger, it all became funny and extremely pathetic. These people were cowards, hiding behind a bungled attempt to remain anonymous, projecting everything they hated about themselves onto me. They were advertising their own fears and insecurities on a 50ft billboard. None of it was about me at all. That was a watershed realization for me.

And then I felt an overwhelming sense of pity for them. How meaningless and miserable does your life have to be that you feel the need to run a stupid-looking “hate” page and hide your names like a bunch of chickenshit middle-schoolers? Even at my lowest, I have never felt the urge to do something that dumb. Calling me stupid, while leaving personal info in the images uploaded. Eventually, I quit looking at all. They kept the smear campaign up for about a year and a half.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Audacity of this bitch...

Cory Strode, does "loving each other" include attempting to defame, discredit, and humiliate a woman you harmed so that you can avoid accountability?

Cory Strode, does “loving each other” include attempting to defame, discredit, and humiliate a woman you harmed so that you can avoid accountability?

In early 2020, I was finally ready to speak out, and I posted a blog about my relationship with Douglas. I named names, and posted screenshots of the abuse and harassment directed toward me. In late 2020, yet another effort was made to control and gaslight me. Cory’s friend Stephanie had a lawyer send me a demand letter threatening to sue. They accused me of fabricating the messages she sent me, along with the other evidence I gathered. They accused me of lying about things I know happened. Threaten all you want, but I’m done being bullied.

I feel bad for the lawyer. He seems like a genuinely good person.

Cory, Joe, and Stephanie have a lot invested in writing me off as crazy.

I am an honest person. I have never disputed the validity of the messages from me that Douglas posted. I personally find him to be a bit paranoid, and I disagree with his conclusions. He seemed to often find malice where none actually existed. Not just with me, but others. Regardless, I learned to live with what I had done, and I never dreamed of purposefully harming him by denying reality.

I am on the autism spectrum. I am often too blunt or too honest, and make observations that people do not want to hear. I frequently stick my foot in my mouth, and say well-intentioned things in the worst way possible. But I’m aware I do this, I don’t get defensive about it, I’m always willing to explain myself, and I don’t say things to intentionally hurt people. I become fixated on ideas and topics I am excited about. That does not make me dangerous. I habitually “camouflage” to navigate a world of neurotypical people. That does not make me fake.

I have ADHD. I struggle with executive functions, like keeping my apartment clean, being on time for appointments, and prioritizing work. That does not make me dishonest or lazy. I am easily distracted, and have poor “working memory.” That does not mean I am uninterested. I often get lost in my own thoughts. That does not mean I do not care about yours. I need you to say what you mean, and explain yourself when I have trouble understanding. Sometimes I need to be told things more than once. Sometimes I echo things back to confirm I have heard you correctly. None of these mean I am not listening. I am trying, I promise.

I have OCD. I get stuck in Hellish cycles of destroying and remaking my own work over minuscule “flaws.” I get paralyzed in anticipation of these cycles. I hate touching prepared food with my hands, and I eat things like pizza – sometimes even sandwiches – with a knife and fork. I own ten pairs of identical pants, and I wear nearly the same outfit day-to-day. I bite my lips, chew on cables, and pick apart the stuffing in pillows. Everything I own has a particular (though not usually obvious to others) order. I hoard food when I can, after living through hurricanes on the Gulf coast and periods of going hungry. I keep emergency medical supplies and small tools with me. I repetitively check doors and locks because of traumas other people have inflicted on me. This often means checking and re-checking doors a dozen or more times, until I am behind schedule or late. These behaviours are odd, yes, but they mostly harm only myself.

I have Depression – mostly due to the anxiety, fatigue, and isolation caused by my other conditions. I have been fighting to maintain the will to live since I was a teenager. Most often, this has manifested as losing my appetite, forcing myself to eat, sleeping too much, and being unable to enjoy things. I’m not bitter, envious, or resentful about those that are better off than me. Happiness is not a zero sum game. But I have lost about 8lbs since November, not including 2lbs of breasts. Over the course of this pandemic, it feels like any naive hope I had that humanity would ultimately work together for its own benefit has been completely shattered. I have no idea how we will overcome existential threats like climate change, when we cannot even stop shooting each other for a single day. I have never sincerely wanted to harm another person, no matter how badly they hurt me. I don’t take any joy from the suffering of others. Depression does not make me psychotic.

I have PTSD. I had to push through feelings of being physically ill to write about my relationship with Cory. I had to fight the urge to throw up in order to scan and post his photos. I wrote what I wrote because the pain of holding everything back finally became greater than the pain of writing about, and possible consequences of telling, my story. This man was a fully-formed adult, with higher education in psychology, an ex-wife, and a child closer to my age than he was when he met me — a needy teenager with a background of abuse, undiagnosed developmental disorders, no adults I felt I could trust, and no life experience outside my parents’ home. He knew exactly how vulnerable I was. Despite claiming to care about me, he consistently prioritized gratifying his own ego, and thinking with his dick, over my actual well-being. I wasn’t “too crazy” for Cory when I looked up to him as a source of advice and guidance for almost all my adult life. I wasn’t “too crazy” for Cory until I gained enough genuine independence and maturity to say, “What you did to me? Not okay.” I’ve been with plenty of men I wasn’t actually into, and had plenty of sex I didn’t actually want, in my life but nobody — nobody — has made me feel fetishized, objectified, and dehumanized like Cory Strode.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Audacity of this bitch...

Cory Strode, does "loving each other" include making up fake stories where you are the innocent hero, gaslighting and further traumatizing your victim?

Cory Strode, does “loving each other” include making up fake stories where you are the innocent hero, gaslighting and further traumatizing your victim?

None of my disabilities excuse the abuse and hatred directed toward me. I have lived a full and emotionally-rich life in spite of them. Most of my suffering has come not from my disabilities, but by how I have been treated by others.

I did not ask for, or make a choice, to be autistic. I have known something was “off” about me since I was a child, and I have spent my whole life trying to fix it or fit in. I am used to eating crow. I have developed a taste for crow; it’s easier for me to swallow than empty, candy-coated lies. Lies don’t nourish growth. Lies don’t nourish improvement. Lies don’t accomplish anything but comfort, and I don’t particularly enjoy being comfortable. I don’t owe people that harmed me my silence. I don’t owe anyone’s tissue-paper ego, fake public image, or desire to “just move on,” anything. I’m not perfect, but at least I’m genuine. I stand by my statements. I have been open about my personal struggles since I began drawing autobiographical comics in 2003. I have been doing my best to be a good person in a world I, more often than not, do not understand – a world that sometimes feels suffocating in its cruelty, hatred, and callousness.

It is exhausting. I am exhausted.

At the moment I am taking some time for myself to digest everything that has happened, posting mostly on Patreon while I recover, and continuing to work on both my autobiography and first art book. When I am eventually ready to put my hat back on, it will be because it is who I am, not who I am hiding.

Thank you.

CATEGORY:

Cory Strode: The Wrong People

As of today, 27 March 2021, I am in possession of allegations by two third-party sources that Cory Strode has repeatedly lied to or misled others about the details of our relationship(s) such as how we met, when we met, where we met, whether we were intimate, etc. He has also been making defamatory statements about my professional reputation as a comics creator. The comment below was privately-messaged by Mr. Strode to one of the concerned third-parties when they asked him about me. The third-party’s messages to me follow in screenshots below.

Cory Strode making defamatory statements about the comics industry career of Jin Wicked.

Mr. Strode knows that I prefer to stay indie/self-published. I do not want “gigs,” have never pursued “gigs,” I turn down almost all commission requests, and in the past two years I have turned down offers to be included in comic anthologies, work as an inker, and even illustrate a children’s book. I would much rather work a day job than pour all my blood and sweat into other people’s material. Making art is too intimate a process for me to do work-for-hire. His statement is a lie.

Disparaging someone with then-undiagnosed ADHD for having trouble making deadlines and finishing projects, when you know that person is actively struggling to improve themselves, is also a great look. I suspected I had ADHD in 2015. Due to Cory Strode positioning himself as my “unconditionally loving” caretaker, and his education in psychology, when he told me I did not have ADHD I dropped it. Almost four years passed before I finally got medication and treatment.

Publicly, he refuses to acknowledge or engage in any subject having to do with me, presenting himself as “above the fray” regarding controversy or drama.

Cory Strode falsely portraying himself as above engaging in any controversy or drama.

Mr. Strode with me on 16 May 2015, the night before MSP Comicon 2015.

Cory Strode less than an hour before he scolds me like a child about my once-per-month, if even that, and special occasion cigarillo/cigar smoking.

Cory Strode less than an hour before he scolds me like a child about my once-per-month, if even that, and special occasion cigarillo/cigar smoking.

Privately, he lies about his personal history with me, and uses the “abuse does not matter because she’s craAaAazy” defense to undermine my credibility.

Cory Strode engaging in victim-blaming and lying about our personal relationship history.

Mr. Strode with me on 17 May 2015, while in his personal vehicle.

Cory Strode driving to MSP Comicon 2015 with his little "fixer-upper."

Cory Strode driving to MSP Comicon 2015 with his little “fixer-upper.”

One of these third-parties has provided validation of what I already suspected, that Cory Strode was actively disseminating the “Veritas” page. This lines up with the documentation I have provided of the “Veritas” Facebook page showing up in the “recommended pages” connected to Mr. Strode’s podcast Facebook page.

Cory Strode disseminating the anonymous fear-and-smear campaign run against me for approximately two years.

To be absolutely, 100% perfectly, unambigiously clear:

It is my personal opinion that Mr. Strode deploys his over-the-top helpfulness, “empathy,” and “nice guy” persona to manipulate the individuals in his orbit for the purposes of creating attachment and inflating his own ego. Based on his own admissions to me over the years, he has a pattern of dating younger women, and women in vulnerable positions, who are highly likely to be or become dependent on him. I was one of those women. When I queried about his dating habits at one point, his response was that he “doesn’t discriminate based on age.” Mr. Strode is an insufferable braggart who fancies himself a great altruist, while harbouring resentment toward anyone who expresses insufficient gratitude toward him.

Mr. Strode with me on 11 June 2016, after having lunch at the Hi-Lo Diner.

Cory Strode almost exactly one month before violating the safety and sanctity of my home and intimate spaces, leaving me feeling raped and traumatized.

Cory Strode almost exactly one month before violating the safety and sanctity of my home and intimate spaces, leaving me feeling raped and traumatized.

My personal relationship with Mr. Strode began long-distance over the Internet, when I was 18 and he was in his mid-30s. Mr. Strode has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and was aware at that time of my abusive childhood, miserable home situation, and emotional/psychological instability. He enthusiastically took a flight to Houston, where I lived with my family, in 1999 to see me in person and have physical/sexual contact with me. In 2000 he “helped” me “escape” by temporarily moving me into his home in Chaska where, being on my own for the first time and scared, we briefly resumed our sexual relationship. It is my personal opinion that, deliberately or not, Mr. Strode took advantage of my loneliness, naivete, and lack of life experience to amuse and gratify himself. I was visibly more immature and impulsive than my peers in my teens and early 20s. I was finally diagnosed with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 39 and 40, respectively.

In the months leading up to and following my return to Minnesota in 2015, Mr. Strode continually over-stepped personal boundaries with favours and gifts, used excessive fawning and flattery to manipulate me, made me uncomfortable with his obvious attraction to and sexual desire for me, deliberately got me intoxicated in situations where I would be reliant on him, latched onto my resurgent comics career and personal progress as a mechanism to congratulate himself, made me feel like his personal “show pony” at conventions and events, allegedly lied about my past and our relationship history to mutual friends, and groomed me into a state of debilitating anxiety and learned helplessness. When he finally went too far by “cleaning up my apartment” and left me feeling raped, traumatized, and unsafe in my own home, and in my personal opinion I no longer served my purpose to make him feel better about himself, he discarded me.

Mr. Rider and Mr. Strode with me on 10 October 2015, at MSP Fallcon 2015.

MSP Fallcon 2015: Joe Rider (left) staring at my breasts while Cory Strode (right) makes kissy faces at me. My eye makeup is smeared from crying/drinking.

MSP Fallcon 2015: Joe Rider (left) staring at my breasts while Cory Strode (right) makes kissy faces at me. My eye makeup is smeared from crying/drinking.

Mr. Strode continued churning out podcasts while I struggled to recover.

My attempts to address with Mr. Strode my feelings of being taken advantage of and violated by him have resulted in denial, minimization, and gaslighting.

Speaking to others and writing about my experiences with Mr. Strode has made me the target of abuse, defamation, harassment, mockery, and threats from Joe Rider, Stephanie Cofell, and anonymous others. In November of 2020, Stephanie Cofell threatened me with a civil lawsuit and/or criminal action, falsely accusing me of lying, falsely accusing me of fabricating the abusive messages written by her that I posted in my previous #MeToo blog, and attempting to silence me regarding the inappropriate nature of Mr. Strode and Mr. Rider’s actions.

You can read more in my previous #MeToo blog about Douglas Paszkiewicz.

Fears for my personal safety resulting from the “Jin Wicked Veritas” pages triggered disruption and a profound decrease in my quality of life, including the loss of a stable, well-paid job that made accommodations for my disabilities and scheduling requirements as a convention exhibitor. As an autistic person, stability is essential to my ability to function successfully, and I have never fully recovered from the loss of that job. The injury to my emotional, psychological, and physical health caused by the actions of Cory Strode, Stephanie Cofell, Joe Rider, and others has exacerbated the symptoms of my disabilities, deteriorated my ability to generate income through my self-employed activity, and derailed progress on my personal goals. I have suffered damage to my professional reputation as both a direct result of defamatory statements made about me, and an indirect result of my reduced ability to function. I have wasted countless uncompensated hours dealing with all this, including documentation, filing police reports, changing my locks, seeking new employment, and ultimately having to locate a lawyer and obtain legal counsel. I am exploring my options in regards to these losses.

Mr. Rider and Mr. Strode with me on 15 May 2016, at MSP Comicon 2016. Mr. Rider coaxes me to sit on his lap, while Mr. Strode declares his envy.

Mr. Rider and Mr. Strode with me on 15 May 2016, at MSP Comicon 2016. Dancing at the close of their “livestreaming” for 15 hours. Mr. Rider touches me while I am dancing. Pay close attention to how Mr. Strode looks at me, especially around the 1:40 mark, and the look he gives the camera afterward. Now imagine being looked at this way all the time, every time you see this person, when you are simply trying to be a good friend. Imagine being looked at this way this while you eat. While you shop. While you do anything. Imagine having any paper you so much as scribble on be instantly scooped up like it belongs in a museum.

Imagine not being able to have a “bad day” without this person badgering you with messages asking what they can do for you. Imagine not being able to say a single “negative” thing about yourself without this person correcting you. Imagine being suffocated by adulation about how beautiful, creative, special, and talented you are until it becomes meaningless. Imagine this person informing you that you “need” to be loved unconditionally, and he has promised himself that he would be the one to love you. Imagine this person maneuvering himself into becoming your caretaker, manager, and therapist, constantly “helping” you by “explaining” who you are, what is wrong with you, why you do things, and what you should do.

Imagine this person mentioning how good he is at sex at every opportunity.

Imagine this person egging you on to drink alcohol at every opportunity.

Imagine all of this while feeling, subconsciously, that this person arranged a situation where you were completely dependent on him, and then exploited it to parade you around and have sex with you, while you were barely an adult and he knew you were ridiculously vulnerable. Imagine being a confused, frightened, and painfully-sheltered 19 year-old autistic girl with no experience living on her own, or even experience with a real adult relationship, suddenly given flowers, gifts, and “kindness,” and unsure how to respond. Imagine this person, a mid-30s age man, being sexually attracted to that level of immaturity. Imagine your clearest memory of living with this person being how astonished he was with your ability to cleanly-shave your crotch bald using a disposable razor. Imagine, twenty years later, this person “kindly” sharing that he forgave you long ago for saying “mean things” when you quit speaking; i.e. that you felt taken advantage of by him in the past. Imagine this person telling you over and over how much he cares.

Imagine, somehow, for some reason, finding yourself apologizing to him.

Imagine this person letting himself into your home while you are at work all day, without your knowledge or consent; cooking food you do not want, doing cleaning you do not want, misplacing things, handling your bedding, handling your laundry including your dirty underwear, leaving love letters and mints on your pillows.

Imagine this person, who claims to “unconditionally love” you, discarding you like a piece of trash when you confront him about his behaviour. Imagine this person then trying to secretly destroy you, rather than acknowledge the reality of what he has done and admit any wrongdoing. Imagine having an ego that fragile.

These men do not find me “craAaAazy” when I do what they want.

With regards to “proof,” there are references to “cows on the highway” in episodes of the “Kray Z Comics and Stories” podcast that I appeared in. Those “jokes” are about Mr. Strode’s trip to Houston, Texas, in 1999. There were cows that had wandered onto and blocked part of the feeder lanes on the Gulf Freeway (I-45) while he was travelling to his hotel in the Webster/Clear Lake area, south of the Houston metro, from the airport. I lied to my parents about seeing “The Matrix” twice in a row to explain the time I spent in Mr. Strode’s hotel room.

“The Matrix” was released on 31 March 1999, and appears to have run a little over two months. Based on statements from a friend who moved out-of-state in April, and when I started working at the Michael’s on Bay Area Blvd, that would place Mr. Strode’s romantic visit to me most likely in early May. Approximately two months after I turned 19 years-old. He was 34 or 35 years-old.

While he was visiting me, I took Mr. Strode to the Half Price Books off E NASA Pkwy, which, if I remember correctly, was located in the older shopping centre on FM 270/Egret Bay Blvd at that time. I also took him to an IHOP in the same area, which seems to have moved as well. There is a Motel 6 that appears to have its main office in a shuttered IHOP building, next to the Waffle House at 959 NASA Road 1. This trip was when Mr. Strode learned that Waffle House is “a real place,” and not a fictional restaurant created for movies and television. I believe he has made comments about this on the “Kray Z Comics and Stories” podcast.

I am still friends with the man (only a few years older than me) that I began dating after “breaking up” with Mr. Strode, a month or two after his visit, in 1999. He recalls being concerned when I told him about my relationship with Mr. Strode. It was common for me to engage in magical thinking during that time of my life. When I “broke up” with Mr. Strode, I told him that the new man had “poisoned” me with his kiss. Mr. Strode was undeniably aware of how immature I was.

At some point in 1999, Cory Strode’s “Weekly News Update” mailing list was hijacked by a person calling himself “The Demon Etrigan.” This happened because Mr. Strode sent the emails from standard email software, with all of the recipients as CCs, not BCCs. The messages were somewhat threatening and Mr. Strode was quite distressed. Though this person was utilizing an “anonymous” Yahoo! email address, through the email headers I was able to trace the IP address of origin back to the individual’s place of employment and ultimately identify him.

At some point in 1999, Mr. Strode gifted me with a copy of the Playstation instruction booklet for Final Fantasy VI personalized with my name and sketched on by Yoshitaka Amano. I still have this. Mr. Strode bragged that to get it, he had to first mail the booklet to Neil Gaiman, who then mailed to Yoshitaka Amano in Japan, who then returned it to Neil Gaiman, who then returned it to Mr. Strode. I had no idea who Neil Gaiman was, or why Mr. Strode bragged about him.

After Mr. Strode “helped” me “escape” to Minnesota in early 2000, I went with him several times to the Hot Comics owned by Joe Rider, on White Bear Ave. Mr. Rider paid me in cash, under the table, to help bag and board comic books. I was also given the imported “Captain Harlock” and “Queen Emeraldas” action figures, issued by Jesnet in 1998, upon request. One third-party, who recalled seeing me at Hot Comics in 2000, made a comment to me in 2018 about my obnoxiously childish behaviour back then. I can draw an approximate floor plan of the store, which was long-closed by the time I returned to Minnesota in 2015. Immediately to the right of the entrance was the check-out counter, and the opposite corner to the left was furnished with couches and/or large chairs. There was a television up on top of a cabinet or shelving, which they used to watch Dennis Miller stand-up comedy or wrestling videos. There was a Taco Bell nearby where Mr. Strode purchased food; I was surprised to see them accept a personal cheque.

The exact circumstances and location of this memory are somewhat hazy, but I think this occurred one evening after spending the day at Hot Comics. Mr. Strode took me out to a restaurant with a large group of people, mostly older men. Joe Rider might have been with us. The group was situated at a long table. There was one black man in the group, and Mr. Strode goaded me into asking him, “[NAME], what is a Nubian?” in a toddler-like voice. I had not heard that word before, and no one would tell me what it meant beforehand. Everyone laughed uproariously, except for the black man, who chuckled and sighed. I was uncertain of what I had done, but I felt bad. I have been told by a friend that this question was one of Mr. Strode’s favourite quotes from the movie “Chasing Amy.” I believe that I have identified the black man. The restaurant could be Best Steak House.

Though I am still searching documents to identify the wedding that Mr. Strode took me to as his +1, I remember the first name of the woman, and very vaguely what she looked like. She was an acquaintance or friend of Mr. Strode’s; possibly a coworker. Part of what motivated me to move to Minnesota was the assurance from Mr. Strode that this woman would be able to help me have my art displayed in a gallery setting. The wedding was held in a large, extravagant home, and Mr. Strode made sure to point out the framed Salvidor Dalí sketches hanging in the stairwell. They were either original artwork or signed lithographs.

Mr. Strode drove a Geo Metro hatchback, which he referred to as a “pregnant roller skate.” My mental image of the car is dark navy blue or hunter green.

Mr. Strode often bragged about shopping at The J. Peterman Company.

Mr. Strode took me out for brunch at the Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis, where he talked at length about Brie. A third-party might have met with us there.

Mr. Strode took me to, most likely, M. Elizabeth Salon for a haircut. The interior is familiar, and I remember them selling products that began with the letter “A.”

Mr. Strode took me to Pandora’s Cup, which I later revisited with my friend Jon.

Mr. Strode took me to a comedy club; most likely ACME Comedy Company.

Mr. Strode took me to a Nine Inch Nails concert at the Target Center on 17 Apr 2000. I am still trying to locate my ticket stub, but our seats were on the upper level and to the left of the stage. I would guess in the 208-210 sections.

I am still friends with the man (also only a few years older than me) I began a three-year relationship with while I was living in Minneapolis. Prior to his arrival, I disclosed to him my bizarre and uncomfortable sexual encounters with Mr. Strode while I was briefly living in his home. He also saw the photos that Mr. Strode took of me while I wore lingerie in a Walmart and, I believe, Chaska City Square Park. Along with images of me playing video games while sitting on Mr. Strode’s living room floor with my bare ass exposed, these are the photos which Mr. Strode made a “joke” about keeping to masturbate with after we were no longer intimate. I tried for many years to pretend that none of it happened.

I can describe Mr. Strode’s naked body, genitals, and other details of a more intimate nature, if it becomes necessary to ascertain my truthfulness.

I have an employment record from the period I lived in Minnesota in 2000, photographs, and multiple third-parties that I have remained friends with since that time. I am incapable of keeping secrets, and I have told many, many, many people about my experiences with Mr. Strode over the past twenty years. None of the events have ever changed; only my understanding of them as I grew older, gained more life experience, and reconnected with Mr. Strode at age 34.

When Mr. Strode met me, I was an adult in only the “technically legal” sense.

Mr. Rider on 12 March 2018, making my trauma into a running joke.

'Krayz' Joe Rider being an unrepentant asshole.

Krayz Joe Rider being an unrepentant asshole.

Joe Rider has made “mints on pillows” jokes as recently as 8 March 2021.

Cory Strode’s other frequent podcast co-host and the illustrator of his webcomic, Daniel Mohr, sexually assaulted a woman on stage with his puppet in August of 2019. He was forced to apologize after arguing with witnesses about it.

Only the best people for the “Kray Z Comics and Stories” podcast!

My diagnoses are, according to the therapist I began seeing in early 2019:

Autism Spectrum Disorder, High-Functioning
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent Episode, Severe
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Unspecified
Panic Disorder

I have no history of self-injurious behaviours such as cutting or actual suicide attempts. I have no history of violence except for an isolated “meltdown” incident in response to relentless psychological and verbal abuse from my parents when I was 14 years-old, where I never intended to harm anyone, and ultimately no one was physically harmed. I have no history of criminality beyond allegedly “rolling” through a stop sign once, and if memory serves, one or two speeding tickets.

I am able to form secure, stable attachments with healthy individuals. I have many lifelong friends. I am on cordial terms with almost all of my past romantic partners. I was with my ex-husband for twelve years, and ours was an amicable divorce that did not even require a lawyer. I have been with my current partner for almost five years, except for a few hiccups due to his ex-girlfriend and employment issues. I do not seem to experience “envy” or “jealousy.”

My developmental disorders do not make me crazy, dangerous, or unhinged. Nor do they excuse or justify the abusive, hateful, exploitative, and sadistic ways in which I have been treated. They do not invalidate my claims or experiences.

The truth is the truth, even when it makes someone uncomfortable.

Over the course of my life, I have done well adapting and consciously learning to navigate social situations. But I am at an extreme disadvantage when I encounter novel situations and personality types that I have no experience with. This made me easy prey for the self-serving efforts of Mr. Strode and Mr. Paszkiewicz.

While my continued attempts to contact Douglas Paszkiewicz after our breakup may technically meet the definition of “stalking,” the content of my messages and the motivation behind them was inconsistent with typical stalking. I honestly did not understand how my messages could be viewed as threatening. A phone call from a police officer, or even a conversation from one of our mutual friends whom I trusted, to help me understand that Mr. Paszkiewicz was frightened of me would have given me the perspective needed to change my behaviour. I have evidence that Mr. Paszkiewicz was monitoring this blog and my social media, prolonging my confusion and distress. Mr. Paszkiewicz did nothing, as far as I know, to address the situation for almost three years, even sending mixed signals by accepting my money and mailing me extra gift items. Mr. Paszkiewicz only “spoke out” when I finally wised up to him, told him he cannot control me, and said I was done.

I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused Mr. Paszkiewicz. I can sense he is someone who struggles and suffers greatly. Indeed, that is why I tried so hard to reach him in the first place. But his accusations against me read like the temper-tantrum of a man angry that his private attention-spigot ran dry. His scornful blog post and the “Veritas” pages felt like bait designed to reel me back in. Ms. Cofell and Mr. Strode then inserted themselves to avenge their own grievances.

The judgements of cowards and liars are merely farts in a windstorm.

I am in the process of writing my complete and exhaustive autobiography, including the details of my intimate relationship with Mr. Strode, and assembling the definitive timeline of my life with documentation and independent verification whenever possible. I will not allow other people to attempt to tell me who and/or what I am any longer. This is something I must do for my own health. Thank you for your patience while I am working on this difficult but necessary project.

Please email me if you have any additional information about Cory Strode.

Cory Strode is also known online as Cory!! Strode, Solitaire Rose, Uncle Rat Bastard, and is the self-proclaimed “Best-Dressed Man in Comics.”

Update 28 March 2021: Below is what another ex-mutual-friend recalls being told by Cory Strode regarding my personal history and past relationship(s) with him.

Cory Strode being the nicest guy "nice guy"ever.

I was born in Texas and lived in Minnesota for roughly a year in 2000, as written previously. When I left Minnesota, I briefly attempted to live in Buffalo, NY, due to its proximity to Toronto, ON. I was unable to find a job there and, running out of money, I returned to Texas in 2001. I was in a relationship with a Canadian man living in Toronto for approximately two more years after returning to Texas.

My relationship with my ex-husband began in September of 2003. I ended my friendship with Cory Strode the first time around 2008-2009 (I am still working to narrow/verify this), after a particularly loathsome run of Cory making derogatory and ignorant “jokes” about people from the southern US. At 28 or 29 years old, this was also when I first attempted to confront him about the inappropriateness of our past sexual relationship. My ex-husband and I did not get married until 2010. Everything that Cory Strode allegedly says about me here is a lie.

Update 30 March 2021: «« CONTENT WARNING »» I have published a roughly-written, full timeline of my relationship(s) with Cory Strode over on my personal Facebook account for the time being. «« CONTENT WARNING »»

Here is the “sanitized” version of the events described in detail at the link above. It was published in January of 2017, before I was subjected to years of additional abuse and re-tramautization. Note that I mention the “blacklist” and “burning bridges” comments made by Stephanie to me, and the reference to Steve.

2000: Photo of me in Minneapolis by Jon Heller at “Cory’s” coffee shop.
2000: Photo of me in Minneapolis by Jon Heller at graffiti I spotted w/Cory.
2016-07-13: Blog published trying to accept/rationalize what Cory did.
2016-08-11: Facebook post referencing being free of Cory’s influence.
2016-08-15: Facebook post referencing re-cleaning/re-washing everything.
2016-08-16: Facebook post referencing re-cleaning/re-washing everything.
2016-10-03: Blog published referencing statements made by Cory and Douglas.
2016-10-20: Artwork posted illustrating the trauma inflicted on me by Cory.
2016-12-26: Facebook post responding to Stephanie’s DM after she blocked me.
2016-12-26: Blog published responding to Cory’s and Stephanie’s abuse.
2017-01-03: Facebook post referencing (#33) how Cory treated me.
2017-01-24: Facebook post regarding my relationship with Cory.
2017-11-25: Facebook post referencing destroying Cory’s dinner table.
2019-05-17: Artwork I gifted to Cory, purchased back at MCBA charity sale.

Update 01 April 2021: What even is this life?

seriously dude wtf

Update 03 April 2021: Documentation regarding LionCon in Saint Cloud, MN.

The arrangements for this event were made prior to Mr. Strode “cleaning up my apartment” for me, which occured on 10 July 2016. This event took place on 27 August 2016. I made a request to the convention management to have my booth moved as far away from Mr. Strode’s as possible, but I was told that the floor plan was finalized and changes could not be made. I do not “no show” events. I made the decision to tough it out. I did not expect Mr. Strode to accost me, or make Al and myself unwilling participants in his “livestreaming” activities all day.

Cory Strode, Stephanie Cofell, and her husband playing board games and forcing me to be in the background of their livestream after Cory "apologized" to me.

Cory Strode, Stephanie Cofell, and her husband playing board games and forcing me to be in the background of their livestream after Cory “apologized” to me.

Al notices the camera at the 13:00 mark, waves to the camera at the 24:00 mark, and says something to me around the 28:00 mark. At around 30 seconds in, Al moves his body to block me from view of the camera, and the customer at my table looks over at Mr. Strode when we comment on what they are doing.

This occurs a short time after Mr. Strode physically approached me at the pipe-and-drape between our booths, blubbering and sobbing in a mocking non-apology for his inappropriate relationship with me when I was a teenager and invasion of my home, causing me to exit the show floor and become physically ill.

Below is the private message that Stephanie Cofell sent me twice, to both my personal and business page inbox, about four months later when I “unfriended” her on Facebook. She blocked my personal account before I even had a chance to respond. I responded to her allegations of lying about my age publicly here at the time, I responded to her other comments more generally in this blog post, and I mentioned the “blacklist” and “burning bridges” comments here in 2017.

Abusive and threatening Facebook message sent to me by Stephanie Cofell after "unfriending" her on Facebook.

This is one of the messages that I have been falsely accused of “faking.”

Message originally sent 26 December 2016. Video recorded on 06 November 2020. I added a dummy Facebook account as an admin to my business page to record this, since Ms. Cofell has blocked my personal account. This person has not only treated me abusively, but threatened to sue me for revealing it.

Update 03 April 2021: Documentation regarding my history with Cory Strode.

Me at age 18, in my childhood bedroom. What I looked like around the time Cory Strode met me online as a mid-30s age man. Surrounded by books, games, and toys.

Me at age 18, in my childhood bedroom, where I lived until Cory Strode “helped” me move to Minnesota. What I looked like around the time he met me online, as a mid-30s age, college-educated man. Surrounded by fantasy books, games, and toys. I was about 10 years old when Mr. Strode’s son was born, and 11 years old when he divorced from his wife. His son is closer to my age than he is.

"Thunder" 7" × 5" coloured pencil on toned textured paper. If I remember correctly, Cory Strode told me his parents liked wolves. This was drawn, framed by me while working at the Michael's on Bay Area Blvd (when I began custom framing), and then mailed to him/them as a gift. File dated 19 May 1999.

“Thunder” 7″ × 5″ coloured pencil on toned textured paper. If I remember correctly, Cory Strode told me his parents liked wolves. This was drawn, framed by me while working at the Michael’s on Bay Area Blvd (when I began custom framing), and then mailed to him/them as a gift. File dated 19 May 1999.

This is the website I built for Cory Strode in 1999, registered 31 May 1999.

This is the website I built for Cory Strode in 1999, registered 31 May 1999.

Me at age 20, at the Michael's in Richfield, MN. Shortly before I would load everything I own in a U-Haul truck and drive it to Buffalo, NY during a blizzard.

Me at age 20, at the Michael’s in Richfield, MN. Shortly before I would load everything I own in a U-Haul truck and drive it to Buffalo, NY, during a blizzard.

Cory Strode in a "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break" comic strip in 2003.

Cory Strode in a “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break” comic strip in 2003.

Cory Strode at the Dave & Buster's on Richmond Ave in Houston, Texas, in 2004 for my 24th birthday party. A fan/reader of mine donated frequent flyer miles.

Cory Strode at the Dave & Buster’s on Richmond Ave in Houston, Texas, in 2004 for my 24th birthday party. A fan/reader of mine donated frequent flyer miles.

Cory Strode at the Agora Coffee Shop in Houston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode at the Agora Coffee Shop in Houston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode playing poker with my room-mate at that time (left) and two other friends (right) at the Agora Coffee Shop in Houston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode playing poker with my room-mate at that time (left) and two other friends (right) at the Agora Coffee Shop in Houston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode when I took him, at his request, to visit NASA/The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas. That was, again, do not forget: paid for with frequent flyer miles from one of my fans/readers.

Cory Strode when I took him, at his request, to visit NASA/The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas. That was, again, do not forget: paid for with frequent flyer miles from one of my fans/readers.

I can neither confirm nor deny if Cory Strode is now claiming credit for creation of the NASA X-38 experimental re-entry vehicle program.

I can neither confirm nor deny if Cory Strode is now claiming credit for creation of the NASA X-38 experimental re-entry vehicle program.

Cory Strode when I took him, at his request, to a pier on the Galveston seawall to see the ocean/Gulf of Mexico during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas.

Cory Strode when I took him, at his request, to a pier on the Galveston seawall to see the ocean/Gulf of Mexico during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas.

Cory Strode at a pier restaurant on the seawall in Galveston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode at a pier restaurant on the seawall in Galveston, Texas, in 2004.

Cory Strode playing poker with my room-mate at that time, in my home, where he slept on my couch (visible here) during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas.

Cory Strode playing poker with my room-mate at that time, in my home, where he slept on my couch (visible here) during his 2004 trip to Houston, Texas.

Cory Strode with written commentary inside, and a cartoon of himself on the cover of one of my books (middle bottom image.) This particular copy was being hawked by Joe Rider at a markup, AFTER they threatened me with a lawsuit.

Cory Strode with written commentary inside, and a cartoon of himself on the cover of one of my books (middle bottom image.) This particular copy was being hawked by Joe Rider at a markup, AFTER they threatened me with a lawsuit.

Updated cover/format for the original "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One," 24 August 2005, when the book was moved from CafePress to Lulu.

Updated cover/format for the original “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One,” 24 August 2005, when the book was moved from CafePress to Lulu.

Dedication page "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One," 24 August 2005.

Dedication page, “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One,” Lulu 2005.

Cory Strode's written contribution/afterword to "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One," Lulu 2005. Original CafePress version published in 2004.

Cory Strode’s written contribution/afterword to “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One,” Lulu 2005. Original CafePress version published in 2004.

Cory Strode's written contribution/afterword to "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One," Lulu 2005. Original CafePress version published in 2004.

Cory Strode’s written contribution/afterword to “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break: Volume One,” Lulu 2005. Original CafePress version published in 2004.

Cory Strode in a "Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break" comic strip in 2005.

Cory Strode in a “Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break” comic strip in 2005.

Sample page from "Asylum on 5th Street," the webcomic I drew for about two years and 80 pages, until I quit, written by Cory Strode. A monkey in a fez! Ha ha ha! Pie! Ha ha ha! Photographing naked women without their consent! Ha ha ha!

Sample page from “Asylum on 5th Street,” the webcomic I drew for about two years and 80 pages, until I quit, written by Cory Strode. A monkey in a fez! Ha ha ha! Pie! Ha ha ha! Photographing naked women without their consent! Ha ha ha! This was page #63, drawn in 2005. He will recycle the monkey-in-a-fez for his webcomic drawn by the sexual-assault-puppet-man. GOOD STUFF.

When I first start working on this title, Cory will ask me, “Ink wash? Ink wash? Can you do ink wash???” like a fucking broken record for WEEKS. No, he never paid me for this, and I never really made money off of it. Why do you ask?!

Promotional image for "Solitaire Rose Radio" Episode #23, 20 November 2014.

Promotional image for “Solitaire Rose Radio” Episode #23, 20 November 2014.

"Dollar Late" strip drawn in early 2015. Cory Strode has re-instated himself into his "unconditionally loving" caregiver/mentor/therapist/wannabe-kingmaker role, and I am literally portraying myself as an emotionally vulnerable child.

“Dollar Late” strip drawn in early 2015. Cory Strode has re-instated himself into his “unconditionally loving” caregiver/mentor/therapist/wannabe-kingmaker role, and I am literally portraying myself as an emotionally vulnerable child.

Drawing of "martyr" Cory Strode made with Sharpie marker on 16 March 2016.

Drawing of “martyr” Cory Strode made with Sharpie marker on 16 March 2015.

Cory Strode and Joe Rider, who declared themselves my "cheerleaders."

Joe Rider and Cory Strode, who declared themselves my “cheerleaders.”

Cory Strode with me on 20 September 2015, while in my personal vehicle. From the day I drove him to Duluth, Minnesota, because he was upset about the death of a resident at his group home. What a selfish, psychotic bitch, am I right?!

Cory Strode with me on 20 September 2015, while in my personal vehicle. From the day I drove him to Duluth, Minnesota, because he was upset about the death of a resident at his group home. What a selfish, psychotic bitch, am I right?!

Cory Strode in a

Cory Strode in Duluth, Minnesota, while I was shooting with my DSLR.

Cory Strode in a "Have Tablet Will Scribble" comic strip in 2015.

Cory Strode in a “Have Tablet Will Scribble” comic strip in 2015.

Promotional image for our booths located together at MSP Comicon 2016.

Promotional image for our booths located together at MSP Comicon 2016.

Cory Strode and I watching 4th of July fireworks together on the grass at Lake Minnetonka, less than a week before he will completely turn my life upside-down by choosing to grossly violate my privacy, trust, and sense of safety in a way that no one else has before or since. He will then choose to devalue, diminish, and discard me, eventually attempting to destroy me through an online smear campaign. He is willing to ruin my life to avoid any accountability.

ALL I WANTED WAS A REAL FUCKING APOLOGY AND GENUINE REMORSE.

F U C K   Y O U

via GIPHY

CATEGORY:

Please Stand By, Vol 2

While running errands on March 5th, I injured my left arm and chest somehow between opening and closing doors, driving, and carrying a bag of groceries. By a couple of days later, I woke up to find the left side of my chest painfully swollen. I began wearing compression and taking anti-inflammatories again, which reduced the swelling. However, there was still quite a bit of pain and tightness.

On the 16th, I had about 20cc of fluid drained from the left side of my chest at my surgeon’s office. I am also on antibiotics because of suspected infection. Due to the swelling, I assume, there is a small area about 1″ long where my incision is attempting to reopen. Tonight it started bleeding enough to soak through several gauze pads and part of my ACE-type compression wrap.

I managed to get it closed and the bleeding slowed to a trickle with butterfly bandages, so I am okay for now. I am waiting to hear back from my surgeon’s office as to what I need to do next. Next week I see my physical therapist, and it is likely I will need more physical therapy than originally planned. My left arm’s range of motion has been set back to where it was immediately post-surgery.

The antibiotics I am on are wreaking havoc on my digestive system.

This is a lot to suffer for getting my mail and a couple of meals from the deli.

Typing is one of the few things I can do without tightening/tensing my chest muscles or risking further injury. Last week I started working on a second #MeToo post, but it quickly morphed into a general timeline of my life. I realized that I am doing the preliminary work necessary to start drawing Queen of Assholes.

My memories are quite clear, except for a certain time period which I do not especially want to remember. However, I struggle with the exact order and the position of events in my timeline. I have been referencing public records, school transcripts, photos with dates printed by the lab, and the third-parties who were there (when possible) to help piece together my past. This project turned into something far beyond my original intention; I’m putting myself together.

Right now the project has about 15.3k words. I would estimate it is one-half to two-thirds done. Even though it is for my comic, I intend to publish it online here once it is completed. It is impossible to explain certain parts of my life without revealing everything. It will give additional context to almost all of my work.

I am sharing snippets on Patreon, if you can afford to help right now.

It is not lost on me that I am writing this while recovering from finally feeling like I am “at home” in my own body. Neither is it lost on me that I am writing this shortly after figuring out I am autistic, finally learning who and what I am.

My life has been full of these synchronistic moments. I lean into them.

After a lifetime of attempting to be something I am not, concealing parts of my past, struggling to navigate a world I do not understand, and being punished for failing to fit into the boxes people build for me — I am done with all that.

If “success” means I have to pile on makeup even when I do not feel like it, tolerate being treated poorly in the name of Good Business, smile at people who despise me, and go through the exhausting effort of always appearing “normal,” then I want none of it. I will draw what I need to draw, say what I need to say, and write what I need to write, and the world can take me or leave me.

I cannot proceed any further until I finish making myself whole.

CATEGORY:

Please Stand By

Popping on to update that I have cleared the follow-up visit with my breast surgeon, everything is healing appropriately, and I am continuing my recovery. My skin reacted badly to the antiseptic “wash” used before surgery, resulting in a rash that worsened in the following days, and became almost unbearably painful in combination with the surgical drain tubing in my chest. I could not sleep. Fortunately, the drains were removed about a week after my surgery.

I have been blogging in more detail about my progress over on Patreon; the drains can be seen in this post. My chest and upper arms are still tight and sore, though I have been able to drastically reduce pain medication. Radiating from my scar is a constant, unpleasant sensation of pinpricks and tingling that oscillates in intensity. I understand this is from the unavoidable nerve damage, and nerve regeneration if possible. The area above my scar has little to no feeling.

I already have a permanently numb area on my face from the removal of severely-impacted wisdom teeth about twenty years ago, and knew I would lose some feeling in my chest, so that does not bother me. I am doing daily exercises given to me by medical staff, and awaiting the start of physical therapy.

Mostly, I am extremely fatigued. I have been out to briefly run errands a few times this week, and found myself wiped out afterward. Aside from the physical trauma of surgery, I am also dealing the after-effects of two weeks of poor sleep due to the drains, compression tops/wraps, and general discomfort. From what I have researched, it will probably be another 4 – 6 weeks before I begin to feel “normalish” again. That is usually when most people return to work.

Please know I am not complaining: I am ridiculously happy and grateful.

For my birthday, I posted an open-shirted photo of myself, which resulted in a notable amount of unfriending and unfollowing from my social media accounts. I expected that, but it was an interesting process to watch play out. My Instagram lost about two-hundred followers within hours. It sparked good discussion.

Jin Wicked Double-Mastectomy Scar

I am still in a somewhat anti-social state of mind, continuing to give myself space to process everything that has happened over the past year. I am also engaging in some reevaluation, reprioritization, and adjustments to my long-term plans and strategies, to accommodate both internal and external changes.

Money is a concern at the moment. There have been expenses associated with my surgeries, including a few moderate insomnia- and oxycodone-fueled impulse purchases. (Mostly creative supplies, post-surgical aids/comfort items, and used clothes for FLAT CHEST.) The immediate goal is to get through physical recovery, and hold the line until my Kickstarter is ready to launch later this year.

Etsy store sales and other support are appreciated if you would like to help.

Below is a watercolour and ink illustration finished in December.

Cherry Lemonade by Jin Wicked title=

$5 Signed Prints are available in my Etsy shop.

» Cherry Lemonade @ Fine Art America
» Cherry Lemonade @ RedBubble
» Cherry Lemonade @ TeePublic
» Cherry Lemonade @ Society6
» Cherry Lemonade @ Spreadshirt

CATEGORY:

Freedom

Early in the morning on the 11th, I underwent my double-mastectomy surgery. My procedure was completed around 10:00 AM, and I was allowed to leave the hospital around 3:00 PM. Other than some nasty side effects from an anti-nausea medication (scopolamine patch) that was given to me in pre-op, I am recovering well. Discomfort has been primarily burning sensations in my chest area, along with minor pain where the surgical drains are inserted underneath my ACE bandages, and skin abrasion/irritation on my neck and jaw.

I managed to shower and wash my hair today with a special garment.

3 Days Post-Op

Though I have to be careful and limit activities for the next several weeks, I am optimistic that the drains can be removed within a few days. I have needed to sleep a lot while I heal from both this and my prior surgery, but I am looking forward to slowly getting back to work on my in-progress illustrations.

There are no words for how good it feels to see my flat chest in the mirror.

Such a heavy burden has been lifted, and I look like myself.

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