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Katawa Shoujo: Feedback from a "real Hisao"

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:08 pm
by Ralor
First off, let me clarify, my situation, although similar, is not an exact mirror. Yes, my condition tore everything away from me. Yes, for a while, I changed schools. But all the same, my issues are usually not life threatening, as much as they feel and look it. I essentially have a condition called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). My heart maintains a steady rhythm, for the most part. Sometimes I do get long QTs, and I have what's called a left bundled branch block, but it's nothing life threatening in and of itself. What it does cause is dizziness and fainting, problems with insomnia, low blood volume/pressure, etc. At first, it was very occasional and often when playing an instrument. Then, it started increasing with injuries and problems until at its peak I had over 30 episodes some days. Some episodes even left me not breathing, so I would convulse and come to exhausted and in pain. This was in fall of 2012. Needless to say, this is when I had to withdraw from my normal high school, my freshman year. Over that semester, I slowly lost touch with all of my old friends, even my best friend/girlfriend, and became somewhat bitter. Though I wasn't in the hospital continuously, I was frequently in the ER. The diagnosis wasn't clear, and one doctor even tried to say it was all in my head. I snapped, and took countless pills, killing myself. I was resuscitated in the driveway, intubated, and sedated. That day haunts me still, as I remember much more than I should or want to. I was hospitalized for the required 72 hour monitoring, and let go because they decided the inpatient psychiatric hospital couldn't handle me. Instead I was put into a daily group therapy, and got out in a record-setting week, though mostly because I lied and said most of the depression was situational. In the hospital, I'd gotten a doctor that set me on the right course, but even so, I still had episodes usually over twice daily. Eventually we set up with a more specified specialist, who wrote the paper on the disorder, in Cleveland. We saw her three times before she retired. The second semester of Freshman year was taken online and was mostly uneventful. Sophomore year I re-enrolled in high school, and..... It was very different. People saw me differently. I regained a couple old friends, but mostly some new ones. First semester of Sophomore year they kept me in a wheelchair, which I hated. I like to move fast, and in a wheelchair, that means dry skin and blisters, or someone else pushing you, and I'm a very independent person by nature. Not to mention carrying books and/or a bag in a wheelchair is seriously difficult. The second semester was mostly uneventful, I was out of the wheelchair and back on my feet. The school had a policy that if I passed out more than twice a day I was sent home, which was a real pain. We kept it down to where it barely happened eventually, in Senior year. But overall, high school was hell. Between the difficulty of attendance, the pity/judgement from the other students, and emotional/relationship problems, it was hell. Now in college, things are significantly easier. I'm much more personally managed. Although, I still don't relate much to others. Now episodes are usually maybe once a day, as long as I manage my triggers. Getting a job and finding new friends is the real struggle now.

This post isn't all about me, though, it's about the game, and what it means. I've played through all but Rin's path, and all of those but Shizune's path twice. All but Shizune's first in 2012, and then again this past week. This game means a lot to me. I can relate so well to Hisao in different ways in each arc. In Emi's, Hisao struggles with finding and pushing his limits, something I struggle with to this day. Physical exertion is a trigger for me, after all. I even identify with Emi in my own way, as I keep most everything to myself because I feel like I have to. For a long time, I never told anyone anything no matter how much they might pry. In Hanako's path, I can identify with her and how for extensive periods of time she would simply put her life on pause and go through the motions, and would hide her emotions and even herself from others. In Lilly's path, she reminds Hisao to stop apologizing for who he is multiple times. And every time I break down and cry. I'm always blaming myself for my problems and when I cause others to worry or get hurt. It really puts it in perspective when you phrase it how you did from her. I also even identify with Hisao from the beginning, as I can be triggered even by emotional stress. This is to say nothing of my relations to the social anxiety of Hanako, the PTSD of Emi, etc. I can feel the emotion that not only comes from this game, but that went into it. I adore this game, and it's helped me a lot in developing who I am and who I'm becoming. Thank you so much for making this game. It's helped me through some difficult times and I'm sure it will continue to do so. Thank you.