Reflections on my next upgrade

I have been super excited for a con this weekend. Which is pretty normal for me.

Except it just occurred to me that I haven’t worn my regular SA (screen accurate), NiS Clever in quite some time. Since March to be exact. I have only been wearing my mash ups, like Zombie Clever or my alt.

It also occurred to me that for the first time in five years, I am scared to put the costume on. As I am looking down at the little blinking lights that normally fill me with such joy and laughter, all I feel is dread. And it isn’t the usual con anxiety that could be expected. “Oh, will my pants fit after having so much chocolate!” Which for me, is pretty common!

This is a new sense of dread that I have never had before. I haven’t put the costume back on after suffering a particularly traumatic moment at another con. My fear isn’t that I will get accosted again, or harassed again. I am pretty confident that the large number of friends I am going with this time won’t let that happen. It’s the irrational association in my head between the trauma and the costume.

Ultimately, and obviously, a good therapist will help immensely, and I am ok with that. This isn’t something I think I can overcome on my own. But that doesn’t make putting the costume on *now* any easier.

I *know* what happened wasn’t my fault. I know it wasn’t due to what I was wearing. I know this, rationally. But irrationally I question myself, my cosplay, my clothing choices. Because we apparently live in a world where it doesn’t matter what you wear, people will use any excuse, lace thongs or cosplaying an interesting character, to claim they have a right to touch you.

It’s harder than it sounds, to put it back on as if nothing ever happened. To walk into a crowded room, head held high, hoping your attackers aren’t in there, hoping the people that laughed at you aren’t in there, hoping the people that told you were lying aren’t in there.

Mr. Clever means the world to me. BEING Mr. Clever means the world to me. It’s who I am. I won’t let the perverts and naysayers take that away from me. But it is going to be hard, today, and for awhile.

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