Animal Crossing and My Mental Health

A poorly-taken photo of my new limited edition Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch!

Content note: this post is about my mental health (or lack thereof), and mentions suicidal ideation, depression, the coronavirus and the fact that the entire world is a fucking mess. (It also mentions the upsetting experience of being stung by wasps in Animal Crossing.) If any of that is going to be challenging for you, go ahead and give this post a miss – your wellbeing always comes first 💙


My mum used to say to me, seemingly all the time, that “lovability and efficacy are the cornerstones of self-esteem”. 

I would always roll my eyes at that, in part because she was saying it in an attempt to nudge me towards doing my part in our three-person household. I absolutely did not believe that doing a bit of washing up or moving my dirty laundry from the bathroom to the washing machine would do anything for my self-esteem, and I told her as much. 

Except, actually, the time has come for me to admit that she was – and is – right.

I have been in the depths of mental illness lately. If “deep self-hatred and misery” is equivalent to treading water, I have been so much further out to sea and under the waves that I’m amazed the pressure hasn’t crushed my skull yet. I have effectively been on suicide watch for at least a week. The only reason I’ve showered in recent memory is because I had an appointment at the blood donor centre and knew that some kind phlebotomist would be getting all up in my armpits with a pressure cuff. The closest I have come to “efficacy” was when I started my Pusheen crochet project, and even that has been a challenge. You know, regular mentally ill person stuff.

This is where Animal Crossing comes in.

My Daddy and my boyfriend schemed for weeks behind my back and pooled their resources to get me the limited edition Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch, complete with the newest Animal Crossing game. They’ve called it a birthday present, even though it’s currently March and my birthday is in late July, for presumably two reasons: 1. They needed a reason to buy it for me upon its release, and couldn’t have sat on the surprise until July, and 2. I am parodically Leo in every way, boasting a deep need to be the centre of attention and to be spoiled rotten, so my birthday celebrations usually start in late spring and don’t end until the beginning of the academic year. Naturally, this means that two people I love conspiring in secret to surprise me with a very early and very fancy birthday present was already unspeakably lovely. 

They didn’t know when they first started planning this endeavour that I was going to be extremely mentally unwell when my Switch arrived. (Please save all your D/s-themed Switch jokes until the end of this blog post.) They also didn’t know that Animal Crossing would be the thing that dragged me back to “treading water” levels of sanity – and nor did I.

Animal Crossing’s gameplay revolves around completing small, achievable tasks and being rewarded for it. You can’t fail at Animal Crossing – the worst thing that can ever happen is that you get stung by wasps and need to find medicine, or maybe that a villager you love moves out of town. The stakes are low, and the music is soothing.

Getting my little island set up in Animal Crossing felt good in a way that no other activity has felt good for a while. Having fictional raccoons compliment me on my work ethic felt good. Helping a fictional cat choose a spot for her tent felt good. Editing my fictional passport to say, “Be gay, do crimes <3” on it felt good. 

Accomplishing things, however small and however fictional, felt so good that I found it within me to start writing a blog post. Because efficacy really is critical in maintaining one’s mental health. Feeling like you can do things, and do them well, makes a huge difference to your self-perception. Or at least, it did to mine. And feeling in control of things, even tiny things like what you have for dinner, or your fictional Animal Crossing home, is extremely healing and empowering at any time – but it’s especially healing and empowering for me, right now, because there are so many things that are beyond my control. I’m writing this in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, so you can probably imagine all the things that have spiralled out of my – or anyone’s – control recently, but I feel like this post is evergreen: there will always be times when your life seems beyond your own control. But there will also always be things that you can influence, that you can achieve, that you can feel good doing – even if it takes a good long while to find them.

The world is a shitshow at the moment. But the deserted island my Animal Crossing character inhabits is not. It’s breathtakingly pretty and rich in resources. Starlight glitters on the river as I shake trees to find branches. Dicking around on my Nintendo Switch reminded me that there are parts of the world that are beautiful, and they aren’t beyond my reach.


The pandemic and subsequent semi-lockdown that’s going on right now means that I’ve lost a lot of work opportunities (because every other fucker at my agency is snagging jobs before I can). If you also want to give me a birthday present four months early, consider buying me a coffee or commissioning transcripts or captions from me!

Eroticon 2020 Virtual Meet & Greet: Morgan Peschek

A selfie in which I'm wearing blue lipstick and winged eyeliner, and looking at the camera all dramatic-like. I will probably look more tired at Eroticon 2020.

With just 48 hours until the start of Eroticon 2020, I’m here to introduce myself!

This post is late, and my first one for quite a while, because my brain has been on the fritz again. If you’re someone I know and you spot me at Eroticon this year (look for the blue hair!) then please be aware that I might be overwhelmed, struggle to process conversations and/or seem “off” in general. It’s not you, it’s just my wonky brain, and all I need from you is for you to be gentle with me and to understand if I need to duck into the quiet room for a bit.

If you’re not someone I know, but you’re attending Eroticon 2020, this post is for you! 

 

Name (and Twitter name) 

My name is Morgan Peschek, and my Twitter name is @KinkyAutistic. You can call me Morgan, Mo, Mog, Moggy, Momo, Morg(ue), Morgz, or basically anything other than my birth name.

My pronouns are they/them/theirs, even when I’m tarted up all femme like I probably will be at the socials.

 

Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2020

  1. Seeing people! There are people I hung out with last year that I’m super hype to spend more time with, and I’m excited to meet new people, too – Eroticon seems to be populated exclusively by Good Eggs™, and I want to meet more of them!
  2. Learning new things, naturally – especially about building my wee blog into something that can reach more people, and hopefully even draw in some money (which I will almost certainly spend on dildos). Like last year, I’ve spent ages poring over the schedule, trying to decide between multiple amazing-looking talks and workshops, and coming to the conclusion that I wish I could be in multiple places at once.
  3. The Luke + Jack greetings cards session! I love crafting, and I imagine it’ll be a bit of a reprieve from the busy madness of the rest of the con. Plus, it’s Mother’s Day soon, and I need to sort something out for that…

 

What song always makes you want to dance?

Ooh, lots of them! At the moment, I’m really into Cake By The Ocean, but I can absolutely bop to songs ranging from The Sharpest Lives (by MCR) to Combine Harvester (by The Wurzels). I’m getting a lot less self-conscious about my dyspraxic white-people dancing these days, and really feeling the benefits of moving my body around to some tunes.

 

What is the best book you’ve read in the last year?

Oh, fuck, I haven’t read an entire book in the last year. I love reading, but depression and burnout have been kicking my ass, so I’m going to name a book I’ve read at least two thirds of – Come As You Are, by Emily Nagowski. I would like to recommend it to everyone and anyone – it’s the perfect balance of science-y, approachable and warm to read. 

 

What is your mobile wallpaper or homescreen image?

My lock screen is a selfie I took with my girlfriend, and my homescreen is a selfie I took with my Daddy. My laptop background, although you didn’t ask, is a selfie my boyfriend sent me while he was at a Pride event.

(This was just an opportunity for me to brag about my cute partners. Sorry.)

 

If someone gave you £5000 today which you were not allowed to save, but had to spend within 24 hours, what would you do with it?

Disneyland. I would go the fuck to Disneyland and nobody would be able to stop me.

 

Complete the sentence: I need…

A week off from my life to nap and finish Kingdom Hearts III and get stoned a lot.

If you want a more realistic answer, right now I need a frappuccino. I love me a caramel frap. 

 

BONUS QUESTION: What are you packing for Eroticon 2020?

I did this last year, and I will continue to be an impertinent little bastard and add in questions nobody asked! I have Cannot Shut The Hell Up Disease and I like looking at other people’s packing lists, so I assume that other people will benefit from mine.

 

  • Two cute dresses for the Friday and Saturday night socials, plus cute shoes and makeup
  • Comfy clothes and trainers for the Saturday and Sunday workshops and talks
  • An A5 notebook and a clicky pen with four colours, to make notes with
  • A Tupperware container, which may or may not be for stealing extra breakfast items from my hotel – but you can’t prove anything
  • My shiny new business cards (which I will thrust upon anyone who stands still long enough, because I’m excited about them)
  • The essentials: phone charger, meds, clean pants, etc.
  • My wonderful Daddy human, who some of you may have met at the Friday night social last year.

 

That’s me! If you’re at Eroticon for the first time and you’re nervous/don’t know anybody/want to make a friend, you can DM me on Twitter, or just come find me in person! Looking forward to spending time with all you lovely people 💙

Masturbation and Messy Handwriting: A Wank Journal Update

A plastic washing-up bowl filled with various masturbation implements and water, from when I was sanitising all my sex toys a couple of weeks ago

If you’ve been reading my blog a little while, you’ll know that I have some difficulties with masturbation. You’ll also remember the birth of my Wank Journal, and that one of my goals for 2019 was to wank – or at least try to wank – a little more.

Friends, I did that.

I don’t want to jinx my progress, but I’m getting better at masturbation. Like, a lot better; I do it more often, I dissociate less, and I often manage to actually have orgasms (yeah, orgasms! Plural!). My secret weapon? Stoned Morgan. I’ve found that Stoned Morgan doesn’t have the same trauma responses to wanking that Sober Morgan does, so I’ve been having a reasonable number of stoned wanks – but the truly magical thing is that, as a result of those, I’m also having sober wanks. Stoned wanks are great for all the obvious reasons, but they’re also great because the more I wank without having a trauma response, the less frightened I am of the whole process, and so the less likely I am to have a trauma response during sober wanks, too.

My other, not-so-secret weapon has been my Wank Journal. I don’t write in it every time I have a wank these days, but I think that’s a good sign, because it suggests that masturbation is becoming more ordinary for me, and less of a Big Deal™. However, it is helpful in grounding me when I need it, and it’s also helpful in revealing some interesting patterns in my masturbation habits.

I know you want to know what those patterns are, so without further ado, here’s what a year (and a bit) with a Wank Journal has taught me about myself.

1. I am an extremely lazy wanker.

Since I record the toys I used and the physical acts I engaged in when I document a wank, I’ve come to notice that a majority of the time, I fall back on the same extremely easy strategy: hump a wand vibrator until I come. Sometimes I’ll lie on my back, use one hand to pull my (extremely protective) clitoral hood out of the way and use the other to hold and adjust my wand – but, more often, I’ll lie on my side, legs sort of crossed over, and grind/writhe against the head of my wand, doing a weird pelvic-floor-squeezy thing that I first started doing when I was too young to understand why it felt so nice. On occasion, I’ll put a dildo in my vagina, to complement the pelvic floor squeezing.

It’s a fun way to get off, but the real reason I do it isn’t actually because it’s my favourite, or because I’m lazy (although, let’s be real, that is a major factor). The real reason is:

2. Fucking myself is always what triggers my fight-or-flight response.

Now that I’ve got the hang of actually staying inside my body when I’m wanking, I can ride a wand vibe ’til the proverbial cows come home. The thing that makes me panic and/or dissociate nowadays is the act of putting something inside my cunt and then fucking myself with it. That’s not a surprise, because that’s how I was masturbating when my trauma happened… but it’s very inconvenient, because I’m one of those rare people who has internal-stimulation-only orgasms, like, all the time. And I love them. I didn’t learn to have clitoral orgasms until I got hold of a wand vibrator, and I still can’t have clit-only orgasms with anything less powerful than a cheap handheld drill.

One entry in my Wank Journal describes a wank in which I stopped abruptly after my brain decided to insert thoughts about my abuser into my fantasies. It was a sober wank, and the intrusive thoughts occurred pretty much as soon as I started to fuck myself. I don’t regard that one as a “failed” wank, though – instead, I’m (trying to be) proud of myself for recognising that I needed to stop, avoiding anything that could reinforce the connection between masturbation and my trauma.

3. My fantasies are repetitive as hell.

This one isn’t about the mechanics of wanking. Keeping a Wank Journal lets me track the things that get me off the most, in the privacy of my own mind, and it has revealed that I have the same handful of fantasies over and over again. They usually involve me being irresistible (which sometimes leads to storylines in which I get overpowered), me making other people come (often with overtones of premature ejaculation, because fantasy-me is just that good) and me being stalked (which isn’t a surprise, but it comes up a lot). One particularly memorable and somewhat cringe-inducing quote I documented from a fantasy in which I was getting fucked in a nightclub toilet reads, “God, it’s so hard not to come. Fucking you is like getting milked.”

4. Holding a pen is hard when you’ve just had an orgasm (or three).

I’m 99% sure I have undiagnosed dyspraxia, and it affects my fine motor coordination something rotten. My handwriting is usually tiny, but reasonably neat and legible – except when I’ve just come so hard my feet are burning, and I’m trying to write about how it happened. I still like handwriting my Wank Journal entries, because the sensory aspect of writing with a pen is grounding for me, and my inability to backspace my gibberish makes for a more accurate reflection of my post-wank thoughts and feelings, but I might need to invest in a chunkier, more dyspraxia-friendly pen.


I’m really proud of myself for the progress I’ve made with masturbation. Do any of y’all keep a Wank Journal, or something similar? Do you find that it helps you to connect with your body more readily, or to identify patterns in your masturbation habits? Let me know!


Thank y’all so much for reading, and for your patience while I’m getting back into the groove of blogging. If you loved this post, please consider supporting me via Patreon or Ko-Fi – or, if you want to support something bigger than little ol’ me, consider donating to the CIC I’m part of