Beyond Downward Spiral: The Diary of Syal Antilles - 2011 Dear Diary Challenge - Complete 12/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Lane_Winree, Jan 15, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    Great updates, Lane. Hopefully Syal will take what her mother said to heart.
  2. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Briannakin - And with Syal, blunt honesty is sometimes the best approach. Those poor Rogue spouses. All the trouble their husbands get into and they always have to go clean up :p

    Jade_eyes

    Is it just a guy thing or what, or a hero complex? Wedge didn't have to be in the thick of things or even to be at the front end of anything to prove anything -- that's what Iella said. No one says he has to be desk bound and bored either.

    I think for Wedge, a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's always been at the frontlines. He joined the Rebellion young and for fifteen years, that was the entirety of his life. He's got a rather poorly adjusted frame of reference to work off of.

    All Iella wanted was a normal life for her and the kids -- without her hair turning gray over wondering if this mission despite Wedge's genius as a pilot and that deuced Corrllian luck might be the last.

    And that was a brutal thing to have to constantly worry about :(

    Woot though, I think there's been a break through for Syal

    A bit of a break now, a bigger one in the next post!

    Hazel - Thank you. Never underestimate the importance of family :)

    SWpants666

    Oh I'm sure they were both nightmares at times

    I believe it was Iella who once remarked that Syal and Myri were capable of taking over the Maw station if they were so inclined. :D

    earlybird - Glad you enjoyed the update!

    Nanci

    Sorry it's taken me so long to review this, but I have a good excuse!

    Something about a con, right? :p

    Nobody knows, Syal. She's super-Iella!

    She puts up with Wedge. That's a super-human feat right there!

    Oh, the scene where I almost wanted to kill Aaron Allston.

    If he killed Wedge, I would have flown to Texas to smack him.

    Funny how both of the CorSec partners ended up married to smugglers or former smugglers.

    Destiny!

    Don't worry, Iella, I'm sure he hated the positions you put yourself in.

    In my head, there were huge fights over that :(

    *raises hand* Yes. Although sometimes my mom does make me want to bang my head against the wall. But that's another story.

    Oh, I'm sure Syal had those moments too :D

    And now I need to go call my mommy. Damn you. *hits you with chopsticks*

    Dammit! Give those back to Shannon!

    alhana

    Sell-by date that put a smile on my face- even though I don't think Wedge has a sell-by date.

    He's Wedge Antilles. His sell-by date is when he says it is!

    I really like this piece since it included (if indirectly) the whole family. Well done.

    Thank you! I really do enjoy writing about this family.

    Fels - Thank you! The next chapter will be a little rougher on Syal, I fear.




    PMs heading out shortly. If you would like to be added to the list, please let me know

    PM List
    -------

    Luna_Nightshade
    Hazel
    Briannakin
    Abeja
    Katana_Sundancer
    SWPants666
    alhana_antilles
    earlybird-obi-wan
  3. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log Entry: 14

    It really shouldn't have been anything out of the ordinary. I've gotten visitors plenty of times, I've written about a few of them here. Hell, it's not like this is the first time that Daddy has stopped by to check up on me, either. If anything, he's here too often. I know he's got better and more important things to do. Namely, taking mom on a vacation, since he hasn't done that in ... You know, it's probably a bad sign if I can't remember when he last took a vacation to someplace nice. And for the record, a pair of days aboard the Errant Venture doesn't count.

    (Even if Grandpa Booster is there to provide me with copious amounts of alcohol)

    But I digress. Daddy has been visiting once a week, every week, as long as I've been here. And that's at a minimum. Early on he was here on an almost daily basis. I remember there was a day he couldn't make it because of some sort of disruption in traffic. He felt so bad that he commed me that night to apologize profusely. I took it in stride, but I made a note to call mom later to suggest that it's okay to visit a little less often. Really, I appreciated him coming to check up on me so often, but I needed some time to myself. Let's be honest, having visitors in a place like this isn't the most comfortable thing in the Galaxy.

    When he showed up today, I fully expected to settle into our usual routine. He asks how I'm doing, I respond with a somewhat terse "fine," which immediately results in me feeling bad for almost snapping at him. We'll settle into some sort of casual conversation where it's more than clear we're both avoiding the "Is Syal still crazy?" topic. Truth be told, our little get togethers in the hospital mess hall had become increasingly awkward over the last few months. I suppose there's only so much to discuss when you're avoiding the gigantic bantha in the room. Occasionally we would have these moments of awkward silence where he would tap his fingers against the table and I would rub the back of my neck, trying desperately to think of something to discuss so the conversation wouldn't be steered back towards the "how are you feeling?" question.

    It was during one of those silent moments that things went wrong. He took his eyes off me for a moment and seemed to freeze. I watched him as he slowly began scanning around the mess, eyeing the other patients and taking it all in. It was horrifying. I think I could pinpoint the exact moment where realization hit him with the force of a proton torpedo. His face fell and he didn't need to say anything, I could supply the lone thought that was running through his mind, "She's really sick." Only seconds after this realization, I saw my father do something that I had never seen before.

    He cried.

    This wasn't some sort of overwhelming, emotional breakdown on his part. He buried his head in his hands for a few seconds and tried to regulate his suddenly uneven breathing. Just as I was about to reach across the table he stood a bit more upright and managed to force a smile, but there was no mistaking the sight of hastily brushed away tears. The table was now turned on me. I asked him if he was okay, he brushed me off and blasted down another line of conversation that, quite honestly, I can't remember.

    After he left I quickly retreated back to my room and shut the door behind me. I know, I'm too old to have these revelations that my parents are actual human beings with emotions, but what I saw in the mess was one of the most jarring moments of my life. Daddy never cries. Daddy doesn't cry. He survived two Death Stars, took down Coruscant by himself, out-witted the Vong, and led a revolution on a backwater planet for good measure. Let?s not forget he also managed to raise Myri. I?m not sure how many times I?ve written this, but daddy is the most unflappable person in the Galaxy. Listen to the subspace radio recordings from the Battle of Endor if you don't believe me.

    That's what took me off-guard. Part of it was that, even as his daughter, the legend of Wedge Antilles colored my v
  4. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Quick reply because I'm about to go into class:

    :_| :_| :_| :_|

    WEDGE! I just what to give you and Syal a hug.

    At least Syal knows she is not fine.
  5. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    Oh Wedge. Maybe you don't realise it; you're too used to being strong and unflappable; but you just did the best thing you could have for your daughter. You let her see your weakness, and that's enough to prompt her to recognise her own. Syal, sweetie, you're getting there. [:D]

    Oh, bravo, Lane. Bravo. =D=
  6. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Hell, it's not like this is the first time that Daddy has stopped by to check up on me, either. If anything, he's here too often. I know he's got better and more important things to do. Namely, taking mom on a vacation

    At first I was going to *roll eyes* since 1. she's a daddy's girl and 2. there's no way there could be 'too much' with regards to visiting his daughter...
    But yeah he should totally take his wife on a nice long, relaxing vacation away from daughters and other stresses.


    Truth be told, our little get togethers in the hospital mess hall had become increasingly awkward over the last few months.

    That makes me sad. I don't want to see them like that.


    He survived two Death Stars, took down Coruscant by himself, out-witted the Vong, and led a revolution on a backwater planet for good measure. Let?s not forget he also managed to raise Myri. I?m not sure how many times I?ve written this, but daddy is the most unflappable person in the Galaxy

    *blinks* oh yeah...
    *snerk*
    [face_laugh]
    But [face_plain] He's a DADDY. Always different when it's your family, when it's your child.


    Anger I could deal with on my own. Crushing guilt? That was something else entirely, which is why I did something I'm not proud of .

    I got up and walked to Doctor Anarios' office and told her that I needed to talk.


    :( Poor Wedge. I feel so bad that it took a small breakdown on his end to get Syal's butt into gear.


    :_| Oh, Syal!
  7. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Lane, just so you know, I started crying right after Wedge did.

    Big step in the right direction, there. I think we can glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Wonderful job as always!

  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    =D= =D= Awesomely touching and very much a turning point!

    @};-

    *reads Hazel's post*
    Warm [:D] for sweet Hazel!

  9. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Poor Syal--and I really hope she can figure things out so that it can be better for everyone. It is so sad and sweet that this is the thing that makes her dad cry. Hopefully this will be a good turning point for her. Looking forward to more!
  10. Master_Jaina1011 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    Oh these last two posts... whoa.

    You told me I would cry when Wedge cries. And I did. Because Wedge never cries unless it has to do with his daughters. (Which makes me wonder, if he had a son what he would be like)

    And then the Iella post. Honestly no matter what, if I am really feeling down I go visit my parents. I then get a hug from my mommy (Or with my mother's instincts, she calls when she knows I'm sick or sad. It's scary really)

    Oh and Brian... if you are more evil, I'm taking those chopsticks and hitting you with them. Again. :p

    All in all, this is a great read and I cannot wait for your new series with Syal! You make her so human!
  11. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Emotional and strong update=D==D=
  12. alhana_antilles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 3
    "He survived two Death Stars, took down Coruscant by himself, out-witted the Vong, and led a revolution on a backwater planet for good measure. Let?s not forget he also managed to raise Myri."

    Spoken like a true sister! I love Syal's sense of humor.

    This was another great update. And I love that Wedge was the one who (inadvertently) get her to start talking.
  13. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    The closing bit brought everything that's gone in the diary so well. It sounds like Syal is ready to take the first steps towards healing.

    =D=
  14. Abeja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2007
    star 3
    Lane!!! [:D] Wow, I can't believe it's been so long. I am really sorry for just disappearing like that for months- university has been so crazy that I honestly lost sight of everything on some days- it was just university, going home, eating, sleeping- and not much else. It's now though. How are you? Great updates! =D= The last one made my heart ache for both Wedge and Syal. [face_plain] But I am glad Syal finally opened up a little.
    So again, sorry it's been so long and I am very much looking forward to the next update! :)
  15. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Briannakin - Sometimes it takes an external force to get someone to realize they need help

    Kat - That was just something so jarring for Syal. She's never seen her father like that. If he's mortal, than really, why does she think she's any better?

    SWpants666

    At first I was going to *roll eyes* since 1. she's a daddy's girl and 2. there's no way there could be 'too much' with regards to visiting his daughter...
    But yeah he should totally take his wife on a nice long, relaxing vacation away from daughters and other stresses.


    That's a vacation that's probably a dozen years overdue!

    He's a DADDY. Always different when it's your family, when it's your child.

    It's probably the only thing that could shake him!

    Poor Wedge. I feel so bad that it took a small breakdown on his end to get Syal's butt into gear.

    In the end it's for the best. She needed that wakeup call.

    Hazel - I have to admit, that was a really hard post to write. It took a few days just to get through it because it was so emotionally charged.

    Jade_eyes - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it

    Luna_Nightshade - I do think this is the turning point for her. The first step to getting better is admitting that something's wrong. Syal finally did.

    Shannon

    You told me I would cry when Wedge cries. And I did. Because Wedge never cries unless it has to do with his daughters. (Which makes me wonder, if he had a son what he would be like)

    Family. It's the only thing that can shake Wedge. But that is a good question, how would he react to a son? I don't really know the answer!

    And then the Iella post. Honestly no matter what, if I am really feeling down I go visit my parents. I then get a hug from my mommy (Or with my mother's instincts, she calls when she knows I'm sick or sad. It's scary really)

    My mom's got that same instinct. It's borderline creepy.

    Oh and Brian... if you are more evil, I'm taking those chopsticks and hitting you with them. Again.

    Yeah yeah save those for when I visit in a week and change :p

    Earlybird - Thank you!

    alhana_Antilles Syal's sense of humor really speaks to me. I love writing her when she's in a snarky mood. Glad you enjoyed the update!

    Fels - Admission is the first step. She's finally willing to take the steps to get better.

    Abeja - Don't sweat it! I've had a pretty hectic life as well. School, work, all of that. I know what you're going through!


    New update below! Another one next week.
  16. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log Entry: 15


    My name is Syal Antilles, serial identification Three-Six-Nine-Aleph-Seven-Gamma-Cresh. I'm an officer with Galactic Alliance Starfighter Command, assigned to the Alliance Navy. During my career I've earned the distinction of being a four-time combat ace and have been awarded several commendations for valor and bravery. I achieved the rank of Major and was given command of the Alliance's most prestigious starfighter outfit. In brief, I had an exemplary career and I was only twenty-seven standard years old. I lost all of that six months ago when I was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    It would be easy to say that there was a singular moment that I could point to and say "this is where it all went wrong." I wish it was that easy, and I really don't understand why it can't be that easy. I've had a few weeks to think about this, but all I've come up with are a jumbled mass of thoughts. We're a product of our upbringing, our physical makeup, our surroundings, and the time we live in. So much of this is outside of our control. We don't have a say of who our parents are or our genetic identity. It's difficult to escape the external forces the Galaxy constantly hurls at you. I suppose this is just a long-winded way of saying that sometimes your situation and your state of being isn't your fault. It's just something that is.

    The hard part is admitting you have a problem, that you aren't fully right and you aren't healthy. It took me a long time to get to that point, perhaps too long. I'm not sure, but I can't get that time back. The only thing you can do once you finally get it through your skull that something isn't right and you accept you're broken is try to figure out what the triggers are that can send you into a downward spiral.

    They say that depression will always be there and you can learn to cope, but there are things that can set it off or exacerbate the symptoms. For some it's being in a social setting. Others are set off by debt and financial issues. It can be a host of external or internal forces that set off psychological alarms that can then activate the physiological chemicals that trigger depression. At least, that's what the doctors tell me. I'm a pilot, that sort of medical jargon is well above my pay grade. It would be easy to dismiss all of this touchy-feely garbage, but after ignoring their advice for so long, I have to admit that maybe they've got a point.

    For the last three weeks I've been reading through this journal, trying to figure out what those triggers could possibly be. Doctor Anarios said it would be good for me. Perhaps it would let me avoid these triggers in the future. More than anything else, awareness of what those triggers are helps. Apparently. So she claims. If it sounds like I'm skeptical, it's because I am. But I'm going to give this a shot. Considering she was right about, well, everything to this point, I suppose her advice has some merit. Still, asking someone to identify what launches them into depression isn't an easy thing to do. It's as if you're giving them an order to present their biggest flaws for inspection. I'm stalling, aren't I?

    I have a fear of abandonment.

    When I was young, I spent several long years living in a run-down space station settled precariously between black holes that was meant to keep us safe from the Vong. I hated it there. I felt like an outsider. There were points where I was irrationally angry at my parents for dumping me there, even though it was the safest possible place I could be. For years after the war was over I'd go through anxiety attacks whenever they were away from home for stretches of time. Sure, I was old enough to know that they were going to come home eventually, but that wasn't any help when the memories of being on that damn station came flooding back every time I was alone.

    I have a fear of failure.

    If I had known how hard it would be to go into the military with my surname and lineage, there's a part of me that thinks I wouldn't have gone through with it. It's
  17. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I can relate to this post. The hardest part of getting better is figuring out and realizing that you are sick. Afterwards, the reasons for suicide seem 'stupid' almost, for lack of better words, but in that moment of sheer desperatenes, it seems like the only way out.
  18. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Wow! Powerful post.

    It's good to see Syal doing this.
  19. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Wow. It seems like Syal had quite the breakthrough.

    Her fears of abandonment and failure are perfectly logical for someone of her background.

    I can understand how she's terrified of being suicidal again. But I think that now that she's willing to accept there's something wrong with her, and she recognizes that she doesn't want to feel that anymore, will make things much easier from now on.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing how this affects Syal's recovery from now on.

    Nice entry, Lane!
  20. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Brilliantly =D= insightful @};- and poignant update!

  21. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Getting really to the core. And written with such power and emotions
  22. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    It would be easy to say that there was a singular moment that I could point to and say "this is where it all went wrong." I wish it was that easy

    If only, right?


    It would be easy to dismiss all of this touchy-feely garbage, but after ignoring their advice for so long, I have to admit that maybe they've got a point.

    Again, if only it were that easy.

    I like that she went back through the journal to help focus her thoughts and the bases of her depression.


    if I made one wrong move, I'd permanently tarnish it. I worried that I was just riding on his reputation and it was only a matter of time before someone figured out that I didn't deserve the accolades

    That is a lot of pressure on her :(


    Fourteen dead pilots under my watch in the span of three years, most of that stretch having been spent in peace time.

    :( :_|
    I don?t think I realized that. Oh, poor Syal.


    Depression isn't rational.

    Holy crap, I think I?ve said that about 3 or 4 times this week alone.
    It?s not, and that?s what makes it so terrible and terrifying.
  23. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Great description of what got Syal to this point. It is good that she's starting to open up a bit and talk about everything that has happened. I hope that this means she can start going up. Great update!
  24. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Briannakin - Looking at your actions in hindsight was always the worst thing for me. There's a whole lot of "what was I thinking?" going on.

    Hazel - Admission is a big thing. Syal's finally moving in the right direction.

    Nanci

    Her fears of abandonment and failure are perfectly logical for someone of her background.

    Abandonment is a fear that was burned into her. Granted, she hides it well, but it's always there. Fear of failure is something she was born with. She wants nothing but absolute success for herself.

    I can understand how she's terrified of being suicidal again. But I think that now that she's willing to accept there's something wrong with her, and she recognizes that she doesn't want to feel that anymore, will make things much easier from now on.

    Being able to recognize that problem is a huge thing for her, but she has to admit something is wrong before she can go about fixing it. She's finally taken that first step.

    Jade_eyes - Thank you!

    earlybird - Definitely was a tough chapter to write. Glad you enjoyed.

    SWpants666

    I like that she went back through the journal to help focus her thoughts and the bases of her depression.

    And she finally sees why they've had her write in the journal. Written evidence to look back at and extrapolate from.

    Holy crap, I think I?ve said that about 3 or 4 times this week alone.
    It?s not, and that?s what makes it so terrible and terrifying.


    For all of us, but particularly for Syal who tries to live in a rational world, it's terrifying. She needs to be in control, and when her mind isn't responding in a rational manner, her foundation gets shaken to the core.

    Luna - Thank you! It's still a long journey, but she's finally moving in the right direction.


    New post below!
  25. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log Entry: 16

    If Syal finds out I snagged her journal datacard, she's going to kill me. Well. She's going to read this eventually, but hopefully I'm a star system or two away before she discovers it.

    If you're a doctor reading this (invasion of privacy, much?) and wondering what in the flying nine Corellian hells is going on, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Myri. Otherwise known as the prettier, funnier, better Antilles. You might remember me as the person who called your office incessantly for three weeks trying to convince you to give my sister a day pass so she could get out of that rather drab hospital for a few hours. As my mother likes to say, persistence pays off. Thanks for giving in, it only took seventy-six comm calls.

    To say my dear sister was surprised to see me walk in would b an understatement. Or maybe she was surprised at the whole throwing a change of clothes at her and telling her to get dressed in front of a mess hall full of other patients thing. Or maybe she was surprised when I shoved her out of the hospital and into a waiting speeder. That might have been overkill. Maybe. Nah.

    I hope people realize that I don't make a habit of this. Syal's perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but sometimes she needs a ... well, she needs a kick in to get out of her funks. she's always been like that. Back when she was playing plasball regularly, she'd come home absolutely fuming because she had an oh-for-four game. Then she'd walk to a nearby sports facility and go hit plasballs until she felt like her swing was back or until her hands were bleeding. It was usually the later. Doc, I don't know what crazy thoughts you have about her or what she's told you, but I'm telling you that she's one of the most driven people you'll ever meet. She accepts nothing less for herself than total success. It's a ridiculous standard, but she's always taken a bit more after dad in that regard.

    Why did I just tell you that? I don't know. Maybe it'll help with that crazy psychological... diagnosis ... thing ... you do. You know what I mean. The thing where you ask her to tell you about our mother. Why do you do that? Mom is a wonderful person. I think I've made my point there. Whatever the point was. Whatever.

    Also, what have you been feeding her? I just took Syal out to a Corellian restaurant we both like and it looked as if she hadn't had a proper meal in months. Sure, she's got an appetite, but if you saw her you would think she's had nothing to eat but Clone Wars era rations. Oh Force. Tell me that's not what you've been feeding her, because I think that's cruel and unusual punishment and perhaps a war crimes violation. But I digress. I brought her to a restaurant with the hopes of having a nice chat with her. Visits to the hospital are well and good, but I have a hard time just being upfront with her. I wanted to see how she was really feeling and level with her.

    That was the plan, anyway.

    Instead of a nice, honest discussion with each other, we wound up talking about the weather. I want to slap myself. We're sisters, and to avoid talking about important things, we talked about the kriffing weather. In my defense, what the hell am I supposed to do? I don't want to upset her, she's dealt with enough misery for ten lifetimes. The worst day of my life was the day I watched her walk into that hospital. I've never seen her so broken and defeated. My sister was never someone who gave up. You should have seen her when she was at the Academy. The stories Uncle Tycho told us of the hours she'd spend in the simulators working to become the best damn pilot in her class.

    When I looked at her that day, I didn't see my sister. I saw someone who had completely given up on everything. Her hopes, dreams, career. Her life. When I got the call from my mother explaining what had happened, I didn't quite know how to react. I was stunned and confused. Then I got scared. Then I was mad. I was mad at everything and everyone who had driven her to that point. I was also mad at her. She's smarter than that. She kno
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