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Feral-verse - Contagion 3/? (FF7 AU, Feral-verse) - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Feral-verse - Contagion 3/? (FF7 AU, Feral-verse)
54 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: June 15th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
[(1) Zack has issues with protecting the ones he loves.
(2) Cloud has issues about his self-worth and no tolerance for what he considers his own weakness.
(3) Sephiroth worries about harming the ones that he loves, as well as issues about valuing himself as a person.
(4) Aeris wants to do much more to actively protect the people she loves, instead of always being the one sheltered and protected.]


So all four of them are 'broken'. and they work together to heal themselves. Is that list from most severe issue to least, or is it too hard to rank them that way?


Cloud is the only one I would characterize as actually being 'broken'. I found a very interesting article in Wikipedia regarding Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), which really fits with my characterization of Cloud in Feral-verse. Essentially it's a much more severe form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"C-PTSD better describes the pervasive negative impact of chronic trauma than does the diagnosis posttraumatic stress disorder. PTSD fails to capture C-PTSD sufferers' loss of a sense of safety, trust, and self-worth, their tendency to be revictimized, and their loss of a coherent sense of self."

In contrast to Cloud, I see Sephiroth not so much as 'broken', but rather as being more on the lines of severely emotionally stunted and damaged, with subsequent guilt-related emotional scarring as a result of his actions while insane.

Both Zack and Aeris have definite emotional scars, but in constrast with both Cloud and Sephiroth, their emotional states are otherwise pretty healthy and 'normal'. Zack's emotional scars are probably greater than Aeris's, because he was forced to witness first-hand Cloud's torture for a period of years.

So as for severity of emotional issues, going from worst to least:

Cloud -> Sephiroth ->->-> Zack -> Aeris

She isn't thinking right if she could ever make that suggestion, or she's being as...self-centred/unempathic as she was in-game. She wasn't that empathic in AC either for that matter IMO.

Tifa irritates me at times because she can occasionally display some very insightful moments (e.g., in AC, when she realized that Cloud had regained his inner strength and needed to fight Kadaj and Sephiroth alone), while on other occasions, she seems more self-absorbed (i.e., primarily focused on how events personally affect her, avoiding unpleasant issues, etc.). So in a way, those moments of insight makes me feel a bit less kindly toward to her because she clearly has the capability to be much more empathic, as you put it, but she doesn't do it as much as she should, considering who she's dealing with.

Cloud is a very strong person -- he has to be in order to have survived what he did and come out even remotely functional -- but at the same time, he's a very high-maintenance person to love. Frankly, I don't think Tifa (even viewed in the most generous light) is up to the job of handling a person with so many emotional issues. That's why I always pair Cloud with Zack and/or Aeris, and not Tifa, because I feel that they are capable of dealing with Cloud with the sensitivity (and firmness, if necessary) that he needs.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: June 17th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The relative misery of Cloud's and Sephiroth's upbringing very much depends on the individual writer's creative decisions. In my other AU (COI), Cloud's childhood and life was pretty darn horrific, with constant abuse from virtually every direction.

Totally agree, and I enjoyed reading about the effects of COI Cloud's childhood as well.

but [Sephiroth] doesn't have a strong sense of self-value in the personal sense

Which comes across really well in your writing and it's something I try to show in my fics too.

Which is rather ironic, when you think about it, because if any of the other three were to transgress against him (for anything short of outright betrayal for purely selfish reasons, which just ain't going to happen), I'm reasonably sure that he would certainly forgive them.

Either because as far as he's concerned they're all that he's got, the only people who care about him as a person not a tool, or because transgressions against him just don't matter as far as he's concerned.

Before (pre-Zack), it was to protect himself from others and to avoid making himself vulnerable. After he goes feral, he starts doing the same thing, but this time, to protect his mates. However, just like the last time, they're not about to let him get away with it, of course. ^_- He'll eventually relax and stop suppressing so much, but it will take some time and work from his mates.

Both reasons make sense; if he doesn't know that people can care about him should he let anyone see his emotions to use as a weapon against him? And then since his mistake hurt Zack and Cloud so much he doesn't want to show his needs or feelings because that would distract from what they need. And he's sort of lucky to have such devoted mates, willing to put the time and effort in to bring him out of his shell.

Cloud is the only one I would characterize as actually being 'broken'.

I sort of used 'broken' as shorthand for severe mental/emotional trauma, but yeah, Cloud's the only one who could be classified as having a mental illness and even he's functional under most circumstances.

So as for severity of emotional issues, going from worst to least:

Cloud -> Sephiroth ->->-> Zack -> Aeris


Makes sense, and that's probably how I'd have classed it as well.

So in a way, those moments of insight makes me feel a bit less kindly toward to her because she clearly has the capability to be much more empathic, as you put it, but she doesn't do it as much as she should, considering who she's dealing with.

Just my opinion, but going strictly by game canon, and ignoring Advent Children she comes across as pretty much incapable of being empathic. I don't think she has any of those moments of insight until she's been living with Cloud for four years and spent that time running a bar and raising Marlene and Denzel.

Cloud is a very strong person -- he has to be in order to have survived what he did and come out even remotely functional -- but at the same time, he's a very high-maintenance person to love. Frankly, I don't think Tifa (even viewed in the most generous light) is up to the job of handling a person with so many emotional issues.

I don't think that Cloud is quite so high-maintenance to love pre-game, so Tifa involved with a pre-game Cloud, or a Cloud who didn't spend four-five years at Hojo's mercy doesn't bother me so much. And Tifa in a poly relationship with post-Nibelhiem Cloud including at least one person who's more empathic than her works for me as well, like sister_coyote's Year-King, although that's an AU where Nibelheim never happened.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: June 19th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Which comes across really well in your writing and it's something I try to show in my fics too.

And I definitely see it. ::twitches guiltily for not commenting more on your fics::

Either because as far as he's concerned they're all that he's got, the only people who care about him as a person not a tool, or because transgressions against him just don't matter as far as he's concerned.

Probably the latter, I tend think. I don't picture him as being 'clingy' (i.e., putting up with wrongs primarily because of fear of loss). He'd probably be more concerned about what -he- did to cause his loved ones to act against him.

Both reasons make sense; if he doesn't know that people can care about him should he let anyone see his emotions to use as a weapon against him? And then since his mistake hurt Zack and Cloud so much he doesn't want to show his needs or feelings because that would distract from what they need.

After what happened to Cloud, Sephiroth's gone a bit obsessive and paranoid about 'imposing' on the others, especially Cloud. What he's forgotten is that in a healthy relationship, there is both give and take. When he was insane, he only took, and now he's over-reacting by doing his utmost to not 'take', even when Cloud and the others are freely offering. Silly boy.

And he's sort of lucky to have such devoted mates, willing to put the time and effort in to bring him out of his shell.

Ain't love grand? ::coos happily:: But seriously, Sephiroth wouldn't care so much about their welfare if he didn't sense that their feelings are similarly intense toward him. He wouldn't make himself so vulnerable for anything less.

I sort of used 'broken' as shorthand for severe mental/emotional trauma, but yeah, Cloud's the only one who could be classified as having a mental illness and even he's functional under most circumstances.

Ah, I see. I tend to think of 'broken' in a dom-sub, mind control sort of context. ^_^;;;

Just my opinion, but going strictly by game canon, and ignoring Advent Children she comes across as pretty much incapable of being empathic.

True. In the game, Tifa does come off as being rather absorbed in her own issues.

I don't think she has any of those moments of insight until she's been living with Cloud for four years and spent that time running a bar and raising Marlene and Denzel.

Four years? I thought AC took place two years after the game, and Feral-verse starts almost immediately after AC. O_o

I don't think that Cloud is quite so high-maintenance to love pre-game, so Tifa involved with a pre-game Cloud, or a Cloud who didn't spend four-five years at Hojo's mercy doesn't bother me so much.

I certainly agree. Although pre-Nibelheim Cloud probably has issues from his difficult childhood, such issues are probably within Tifa's ability to handle.

And Tifa in a poly relationship with post-Nibelhiem Cloud including at least one person who's more empathic than her works for me as well, like sister_coyote's Year-King, although that's an AU where Nibelheim never happened.

Tifa's is reasonably intelligent. With someone more empathic to point the way, so to speak, I can see her in a workable threesome, etc. with Cloud. However, that that sort of necessary psychological insight is not instinctive for her (especially when compared to people like Aeris and Zack) -- it required hard work and without someone to guide her (and perhaps even to compete against, in a sense), I don't see Tifa exerting herself to truly understand such a complex person like Cloud.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: June 19th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
::twitches guiltily for not commenting more on your fics::

I'm just glad to know that you read them.

I don't picture him as being 'clingy' (i.e., putting up with wrongs primarily because of fear of loss). He'd probably be more concerned about what -he- did to cause his loved ones to act against him.

Yeah, that fits. He's a bit of a control freak, so of course he'd assume it was a direct result of something he did. And being 'raised' by Hojo would certainly make him pretty self-sufficient in a lot of ways.

But seriously, Sephiroth wouldn't care so much about their welfare if he didn't sense that their feelings are similarly intense toward him. He wouldn't make himself so vulnerable for anything less.

And why should he?

Four years? I thought AC took place two years after the game, and Feral-verse starts almost immediately after AC. O_o

My mistake then. I got the timeline wrong there.

However, that that sort of necessary psychological insight is not instinctive for her (especially when compared to people like Aeris and Zack) -- it required hard work and without someone to guide her (and perhaps even to compete against, in a sense), I don't see Tifa exerting herself to truly understand such a complex person like Cloud.

Neither do I. In a lot of ways I think a Cloud-Tifa pairing post game would be a case of Cloud settling, and primarily physical, at least on his side.
54 hisses or Hiss in my ear....