Thesis In Progress…

Last week was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. Yet things have been flowing quite nicely for me in my MA thesis voyage so far. Everything is falling into place seamlessly. So far all my puzzle pieces are connecting and I find myself questioning if it should be this easy or fun? But again I realize that possibly why my thesis project has been smooth sailing thus far, is because it’s truly become a passion project for me. It’s my story to tell, my real life story. There is something powerful and deeply meaningful in that fact and in the writing process I now find myself in during my MA thesis journey. The reason I open this post with what an emotional ride last week was is because it had to do with family. That’s a tough subject matter, especially when having to dig deep and unearth a lot of past hurt and pain within your own family tree. Adding to this complicated factor is that I come from a very private and proud old school Italian family, where such topics are meant to be kept hush hush.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post I decided to include two chapters dedicated to my older brother and other members of my family in my memoir. The reason I chose to do this is because I come from a long line of mental illness which effects both sides of my family. My older brother like myself is a OCD and anxiety sufferer. Other members of my family have suffered from substance abuse, depression, bi polar disorder, anxiety disorder and OCD. It’s important for me to explore this further because there is a strong genetic and hereditary link to OCD as I’ve learned over the extensive research I’ve done so far for my literature review. I also believe that by telling my brothers story along with my other family members stories, it will make my memoir that much more authentic, revealing and raw. Reading about my complicated family tree is a unique element that I think has relevance and will in fact make my particular memoir The Seashell stand out from other works within the memoir genre. I also firmly believe that if I don’t know where I come from, or where I’ve been, then how will I ever know where I’m going?

Let’s talk about this weeks thesis progress shall we?! After having a one on one meeting with Dr. Zamora after class, she suggested that I take a break from the emotional heaviness that is family and start focusing on a journal article of my choice from my literature review. Honestly I can really use this shift in gears and change of pace and I openly welcome it! Again Dr. Zamora’s heart felt advice and her loving care and consideration for each one of us and our various projects really means so very much to me. Thank you for always believing in us and our vision, even when at times we don’t believe in ourselves. #drzamorarocks! The article I decided to dissect for this week is a scholarly article about the pediatric onset of OCD. I discussed with Dr. Zamora the various articles and specific topics I chose to research for my literature review and I was excited and relieved that she thought all my topics were spot on! Phew! I was worried that my range of topics may not cover enough information but she reassured me that it did. #gome!

Thanks to Dr. Zamora’s guidance and encouragement I decided the first and most important article I should research this week is the manifestation of OCD in young children. Why? I think this is important to explore because although I was around eight or nine years old when my pediatrician first diagnosed me with anxiety, it wasn’t until many years later, in my early twenties, that I was officially diagnosed with the specific form of OCD. Those were some long, hard years in between. I wish my parents and I had the resources to help educate us about the genetic connection of OCD. I also wish we were able to read the studies and extensive research that proves children are indeed born with this specific disorder. Furthermore, new research suggests that OCD is not a mental illness but rather a brain disorder. Fascinating stuff! So for this week I’m prepared to read, re read, dissect and take copious amounts of notes to learn as much as I can about the pediatric onset of this debilitating brain disorder that I know all to well. A significant part of my memoir will take readers on a journey with little Nivey as my parents affectionately call me, and the struggles, shame and guilt I endured as a little girl living with this unknown monster that was plaguing me. The connection between the pediatric onset of OCD and my own personal story is a strong link, which is in desperate need of exploration and of telling.

Below I added a funny quote about OCD. I thought it was fitting because I am the ultimate coffee lover and can’t function without it. I’ve come full circle since first being diagnosed with this disorder over twenty years ago. I can tell you that the best medicine for my healing was and always will be: LAUGHTER! Enjoy guys, can’t wait to hear all about your progress next class! 🤩💕

See the source image

Wanna Play a Game

Upon starting Icarus Needs, the music reminds me of something that one ay listen to to help them fall asleep. Fitting because that is what has happened to the main character. Upon inspection of the start up and reviewing the directions, it says that the player can use W-A-S-D keys to move around or arrow buttons on the keyboard. Though I’m not sure why those letters.

Upon the beginning of my journey, I elected to go up the stairs instead of down. I came across another character that I thought would have interacted with me, the dog or cat. Instead I just moved right past it. When I went back to the left, it was no longer there. Icarus came to a phone that was off the hook and propped up on the wall, on the other end was another voice telling him “Icarus! You have to find..” before being disconnected. Icarus questioned the voice, “Kit! Is that you?” Then there was nothing else. The only progression in the screen that I could make was to the left back towards the stairs. Icarus decides to take the giant phone with him on his journey.

When I proceeded back to the stairs, I kept going to the left where I came across the animal figure again. This time Icarus interacts with it, even though it hisses at him while he calls it a nice kitty. LOL. I can see in the next screen, there was a key in a locked case. I have a filling that Icarus will be returning for this key. The cat will not let Icarus progress towards the key at this time. Maybe that silly kitty needs a bowl of milk or a mouse to chase.

So I headed back down the stairway. At the bottom of my decent, Icarus went to the right until he met a character that exclaimed he was a door and that Icarus needs a key to get past him. As Icarus turned back around, he exclaims that the character didnt look like a door, then questions if his remark was racists’. Now I need to really figure out how to obtain the locked key past that rascally kitty cat. Lets take our adventure down the hole. That’s right, Icarus is going down! The ladder that is people. Come on.

As I begin the downward slope of uncertainty, no not my life, the music changes to a more up beat tone. The prompts appear, didnt your mother warn you not to fall asleep playing video games. At the bottom of my descent, I take Icarus to the right. He came to a part of the tunnel that seemed to drop down, suddenly he uses the giant phone to lay down as a bridge so that he could cross.

Next Icarus finds himself fishing at the end of the tunnel. He doesn’t catch anything, but decides to take the net with him. Maybe this net will reach across the stubborn cat so he can get the key. Lets go try my theory. I was wrong…. Wait what did I just say? I am a guy that admitted he was wrong! Woah… Look out people!

Now I am perplexed. I can not go through the door without the key, and the net is all I have to distract the cat with. I do not recall any other direction of movement available. I guess I should go explore some more.

Upon traveling back to the right side of the stairs, where I first noticed an animal character, Icarus used the net to snatch it. Icarus exclaims “GOTCH YA!” Maybe I can use this animal to distract the stubborn one on the other side of the room. Ah ha!!! The small animal he netted was a mouse. I used it to distract the cat, and while the mouse appears to have ran in the hole in the wall, I was able to obtain the key from the case. Now I must go visit that door again.

After using the key, the game takes me to the exterior of the house. Different tones again and colors are different as well. It gives the feeling of leveling up. So now my adventure takes me outdoors. I promptly approached a roadside stand where the finest rope was available for purchase. I don’t need no stinking rope! What would I do with it in this dream of mine? I am sure to find out soon enough though.

I tried to climb up the tree, but there were pesky squirrels’ sitting there with their nuts all around them. Icarus was to afraid to move past them, so back down the tree he went. Icarus soon approached an opening to a well where he hears a voice call out his name. This is where he learns that he will need rope. Is that Kit down the hole? Did Kit fall down the well? Someone call the fire department!

When I returned to the rope, the vendor demands five apples for some rope. My opinion is that he would take three apples instead. Lets see if we can now go apple picking. After all, it is fall ya’ll.

Before I knew it, Icarus jumped into a hot air balloon that lead him to the top of the tree where the squirrels previously were. Icarus gathered the five apples and went back down the tree. Funny those squirrels had left by this time. Lets go exchange some apples for the rope.

After making the illegal exchange of goods, I ran for the well where I previously heard a voice calling my name. I throw the rope in and descend to the bottom. I can hear the voice calling me from the left, but while I’m down here, lets explore the other side. And by the way, the music has changed once again. This has a Mario brothers 3 feel to it. Down in the tunnels running around. What could go wrong? Right! Not like Icarus is having to jump off of pyramids to land at the top of a flag pole after each level.

After exploring to the right, Icarus discovers the other half of the giant telephone that he used at the beginning. It must have some meaning. Maybe its a transport device to come out of his sleep, but for now it is useless. Now to chase the voice on the other side. To his dismay, it isn’t Kit at the other end of the tunnel, it was the other piece of the telephone. A voice begins to tell Icarus that he needs to… before being disconnected once again. So Icarus takes the phone with him and climbs back up the well. Before I jumped on the hot air balloon earlier, there was a new level that needed a bridge for Icarus to cross over and into. Lets go try this phone bridge out.

Sure enough, a new level is my reward. Now Icarus enters the castle. Is this where he finds the princess? Ugggghhh I mean Kit. Upon entering the castle, Icarus is forced to jump into a bubbling pool of blood… Okay maybe its cherry soda. Either way, Icarus dived to the bottom to find a locked treasure chest. I guess another key is in my future.

I think my commentary on play by play action isn’t necessary anymore, although entertaining possibly, I shall just move through the game and conclude with my final thoughts and feedback.

Okay so this was a squirrelly piece of e-lit. Nuts to be blunt about it. LOL… OKAY OKAY… I’ll stop. It was entertaining. The final screen where there are the nine slides made it look like a comic book, which is what the author was going for. It makes me wonder what game he fell asleep to. I believe this is my favorite thus far.