I complain about all the pro-mage or anti-templar stuff that’s so ridiculously buried or hidden and hard to find in DA2. But I’m not a complete hypocrite—they also hide Meredith’s past from anyone who doesn’t side with the templars, and that bugs the hell out of me, too.
Learning that she was present to see her sister become an abomination and slaughter people because their family was too afraid to send her to the Circle kind of shines a very different light on Cullen’s comment about Meredith ‘always seeing the demon behind a sweet face’.
She probably sees her sister every time she looks at a mage.
She probably has to relive that experience daily.
She probably has to constantly weigh her own feelings against thinking about what her sister must have felt and still manage to push all of that behind her in order to do her job and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
She has to put up with all the rumors and comments about how much she supposedly hates mages when I’m sure she probably loved her sister, a sister who killed the rest of their family, a sister who nearly killed HER. I’m sure she doesn’t believe her sister wanted to do all that, but it happened anyway. Is it any wonder she doesn’t trust mages? I’m sure she knows how much she’s hurting them and their families by running the place with such an unforgiving iron fist, but in her mind the alternative is even worse.
It’s not an excuse for allowing abusive things to go on or for allowing people like Alrik to run completely amok, but it shouldn’t be ignored, either, and I feel like all the humanity and character development was just wrung out of her totally and completely and replaced with ‘crazy mage-hating bitch’ and ‘because lyrium idol’.
No matter how much of an Anders fan or how much I might be pro-mage in general, I don’t hate Meredith. She and Anders are similar in a lot of ways. They both make bad choices that stem from traumatic pasts and get involved in things that they don’t understand fully that ultimately contribute to their respective downfalls not because they’re hateful and crazy, but because they have something they want to protect or save or fight for above all else and they feel like they’ve run out of other options.
Meredith doesn’t hate mages. Remember Merrill’s comment about Anders breaking the thing he tried to save? It applies to Meredith, too.
Kirkwall was the only family Meredith had left, but she went too far and made too many bad choices trying to ‘save’ it, and ended up breaking both it, and herself, instead.
I think one thing you can do to help your friends who are depressed is to reach out to them not in the spirit of helping, but in the spirit of liking them and wanting their company. “I’m here to help if you ever need me” is good to know, but hard to act on, especially when you’re in a dark place. Specific, ongoing, pleasure-based invitations are much easier to absorb. “I’m here. Let’s go to the movies. Or stay in and order takeout and watch some dumb TV.” “I’m having a party, it would be really great if you could come for a little while.” Ask them for help with things you know they are good at and like doing, so there is reciprocity and a way for them to contribute. “Will you come over Sunday and help me clear my closet of unfashionable and unflattering items? I trust your eye.” “Will you read this story I wrote and help me fix the dialogue?” “Want to make dinner together? You chop, I’ll assemble.” “I am going glasses shopping and I need another set of eyes.” Remind yourself why you like this person, and in the process, remind them that they are likable and worth your time and interest.
Talk to the parts of the person that aren’t being eaten by the depression. Make it as easy as possible to make and keep plans, if you have the emotional resources to be the initiator and to meet your friends a little more than halfway. If the person turns down a bunch of invitations in a row because (presumably) they don’t have the energy to be social, respect their autonomy by giving it a month or two and then try again. Keep the invitations simple; “Any chance we could have breakfast Saturday?” > “ARE YOU AVOIDING ME BECAUSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE YOU HATE ME I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.” “I miss you and I want to see you” > “I’m worried about you.” A depressed person is going to have a shame spiral about how their shame is making them avoid you and how that’s giving them more shame, which is making them avoid you no matter what you do. No need for you to call attention to it. Just keep asking. “I want to see you” “Let’s do this thing.” “If you are feeling low, I understand, and I don’t want to impose on you, but I miss your face. Please come have coffee with me.” “Apology accepted. ApologIES accepted. So. Gelato and Outlander?”
P.S. A lot of people with depression and other mental illnesses have trouble making decisions or choosing from a bunch of different options. “Wanna get dinner at that pizza place on Tuesday night?” is a LOT easier to answer than “So wanna hang out sometime? What do you want to do?”
”If I’m going to have a public platform, I want to use it not just to elevate myself but to elevate issues that are important to me… there are so many more trans folks coming forward and saying, ‘This is who I am, this is my story, I will not be silent anymore, I will not be in hiding anymore,’ and that’s when a movement really happens, right?”
- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $200,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson