I tried…
I tried…

He did try.

News: Posted April 3rd, 2019 by Alina

^ 36 Comments to “I tried…”

  1. maarvarq Says:

    So much for my wish for Mark to calm the eff down 🙁

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 12:10 am
  2. Matthew Says:

    Poor Mark, he needed to get away and get his thoughts in order (and realize that what he really wants is a monogamous relationship), but instead well meaning friends caused an escalation. Odds are he’s going to find himself making bad choices before he can get away and calm down.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 12:18 am
  3. Ouch! Telling someone who is upset to calm down usually fails hard.

    And now, Dustin is upset (though much less than Mark).

    As to Dustin’s last statement, Mark already is livid.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 12:50 am
  4. Matthew – I disagree. He walked away to calm down, but the strip with just him inside the room showed him brooding more and more, and getting more and more frustrated. He escalated it himself.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 1:13 am
  5. Atwork Says:

    No I agree with Matthew here. Telling someone who is visibly agitated not just to “calm down” but “If you would calm down” is a surefire way of escalating the situation, Dustin could have handled this better.

    At any rate, I hope Mark realizes that this relationship format is just not his cup of tea rather sooner than later. If I were in his shoes, I’d excuse myself from the evening and go home to mull it over, I wouldn’t want to be around other people.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 1:44 am
  6. Hfar Says:

    Yeeeeah. That’s the problem with these types of emotions, ain’t it? A part of you knows that you’re the one in the wrong, which makes you feel back about yourself and feeds the irrational behavior. Then you start to lash out at your friends, which makes you feel even worse and subsequently more angry at yourself, which feeds into the storm of negative emotion.

    It’s hard, because ultimately Mark has to be the one to sort his shit out. The problem is that he probably should have sorted these emotions out long ago, but made the sadly common error of trying to internalize many of his negative emotions. And now they’ve gained strength, to the point where he’s really not in control of his own mental state any more.

    And unfortunately he’s in the worst situation for a break down: surrounded by lots of people he could potentially lash out at. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that one way or another this is going to end in tears, at least one broken friendship, and an extraordinary guilt ridden Mark.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 1:58 am
  7. Chiatroll Says:

    I trust you as a writer but Mark is really coming off as an ass in this arc. On a smaller scale I get that he just had a breakup and probably shouldn’t of gotten involved with the poly relationship if he isn’t the kind of person that can deal with it.

    Still he’s taken it so far at this point that he’s coming off hard to have sympathy for. Everything except for his emotions are exactly what they told him it was. He’s the one who is supposed to know himself.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 2:33 am
  8. Charlotte Says:

    Hmm… While I know they’re well-meaning, I don’t find it helpful of the entire gang to stand in front of the door. At this point it may be better to just give Mark some space.

    As to the whole situation more generally: Mark’s behaviour isn’t great and I reeeally hope he calms down a little before escalating it with anyone else (Ravenia and Damien, say), but I also find it relatable and human. (At least before he totally snapped at Dustin, that was uncalled for.)
    When I first met my husband I fell for him really hard. Like, he just seemed like the best person to be around, ever (and he still does, lucky me!). Our relationship had kind of a rocky start in reality, too, though nothing like in the comic — but if my husband was poly, I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to try anyway, even though I’m most definitely not poly and would not at all be happy in a relationship like Ravenia’s. So I empathise with Mark. Feelings are messy, and sometimes staying rational is just impossible when it comes to human interaction.
    Ravenia told him right away what was up and in no way deceived Mark, but I find it unsurprising that Mark finds himself unable to deal with it in practice once confronted with the reality of Ravenia having a primary partner that isn’t him.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 5:26 am
  9. Kael Says:

    MythDancer – I think you need to reread the end of that comic. Mark was starting to calm down before the discussion happened.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 7:51 am
  10. Shinjischneider Says:

    Tamponion asked in the last discussion if this behaviour wasn’t out of character for Mark.

    And the answer is yes AND no.

    We’ve never seen Mark like this. But an emotional overload or mental breakdown can look exactly like this. Mark is overwhelmed with emotion. His fears and issues culminate in the only emotion that is still working in this state.


    He is simply not able to think straight.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 8:29 am
  11. Peya Luna Says:

    ok, its beyond obvious by now that mark just isn´t cut out for a poly relationship, which is ok, but he should realise+admit it to himself, and then talk to ravenia, before things get uggly.
    i´m feeling kinda offended on dustins behalf here though, i mean this whole crisis came about cause mark feels threatened by ravs ‘perfect’ primary, yet he knew that she was dating dustin as well and never felt threatened by HIM.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 8:34 am
  12. Diego Says:

    Well at least we can all agree that this escalated quickly.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 8:36 am
  13. Fabfunk von Cronenberg Says:

    MythDancer – I would say a combination of both. Mark was agitating himself but if left to his own devices he might have eventually calmed down. Dustin had only the best intentions, of course, but perhaps letting Mark burn himself out for a while might have been the better move and then try talking to him afterwards.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 9:04 am
  14. Lucas Says:

    I wish people would stop assuming that mark isn’t cut out for Poly.

    He is reacting badly right now, but people aren’t perfect. Maybe he isn’t right for poly, but by the same measure, people aren’t “Right” for monogamy when they are upset and angry. Being poly doesn’t mean never experiencing jealousy, and never tripping up on how relationships work, especially when you are new to a new dynamic. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but poly may still be just fine for him once he’s worked through his feelings and this situation, which may require help from Ravina and for him to confront what he’s dealing with.

    I doubt that’s gonna happen though. Not that i think this is the author’s intention, but I fortell this devolving into people thinking Ravenia is an awful person who uses Dustin (He never said he was her second people, he just said he knows how to deal with insecurity which is important for a poly relationship! Damien has to deal with the same thing) and Poly will once again get a bad rap for being a drama filled bad idea for selfish people for the sake of the story.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 9:20 am
  15. Aita Says:

    Dustin is a damn saint, and Mark’s insecurities show him to be terrible for *any* relationship at this point…

    This is a beautifully true-to-life arc, and I’m thrilled and horrified by it. Damn fine writing.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 9:59 am
  16. Joe Says:

    This is gonna cost you Mark. A lot.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 10:06 am
  17. Pax Says:

    … I am now convinced that, indeed, Polyamory is not for Mark, and Mark is not for polyamory.

    Not yet.

    Maybe not ever.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 11:43 am
  18. Gaslight Says:

    Mark is coming across as massively immature right now. He was kind of fine with Poly when he thought that he was the hottest one involved, when Dustin was his only competition. But now that Damien had been shown (at least in Mark’s mind) to be hotter and better put together, *and* that he’s Ravennia’s Primary? Cue the tantrum. He needs to grow the F up and realize that the world does not revolve around him.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 12:22 pm
  19. antheridium Says:

    The problem with being poly is that it requires a fair bit of self-knowledge; which, let’s be honest, Mark has never had.

    It’s also not something to jump into right away, without understanding what it’s really about and what all the dynamics involved are. And again, this is something Mark has a history of doing.

    I wouldn’t feel offended on Dustin’s behalf. Poly works best when all the people involved know each other and are comfortable with each other. The situation Mark is in right now is exactly what results in tension. Mark has it worse than he should, too, because he’s not getting time to interact with Damien on an equal footing; it’s completely to be expected that he’d feel like he’s being watched and judged.

    And, really, tension is all it was before Mark hallucinated Jess. He probably would have been able to deal with it if it weren’t for those bad feelings coming back to haunt him. I think that’s what this breakdown is really about; he never dealt with the aftermath of that relationship (because this is Mark we’re talking about), and now he’s coming face to face with his unfinished business. Poly has a bad rap because it tends to amplify existing drama; that’s exactly what’s happening here.

    I think Mark -can- work through this, come out a better person for it, and be happy in this relationship. But, he’s going to have to make a decision about whether this is what he really wants, having been slapped in the face with what it entails; and he needs to do this in a better emotional place, and ideally talking it out with someone who understands him better than Dustin. Joel, maybe.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 12:44 pm
  20. Purple Library Guy Says:

    I suppose it is possible that Mark could be OK for being poly (although I think it’s unlikely). But if he isn’t, it’s not necessarily because he doesn’t know himself. He doesn’t, but for lots of people knowing themselves entails realizing that poly isn’t for them.
    But, if he did know himself better and found he was OK with some form of poly, I suspect it would necessarily be a form where he was friends with everyone involved. People have been saying the reason he’s fine with Dustin is that he doesn’t see Dustin as such competition, but I think the real reason he’s fine with Dustin is that Dustin is a good friend of his with the same social (gamer) orientation. The cheekbones aren’t really the main issue here–he doesn’t know this guy, and the guy is sort of socially fabulous, and Mark still has this feeling about gaming as a kind of social ghetto. Remember how this comic is called “Weregeek” and why? So he sees this social lion guy with an ironic twist about him, someone who seems like a “dominates social cliques” kind of person, and his insecurity roars to the forefront–he can’t stop feeling like this social lion is looking down at the geeks.
    It’s a bad way to be introduced to Damien. For things to work there would need to be empathy between them, which needs a smaller more intimate setting where they can actually talk. Ravenia didn’t twig to that because she’s a big-groups extrovert. (Ravenia and Mark are probably not a good match in the first place and that would be the case whether she was poly or not)

    Dustin handled the whole thing badly from the start. He started to try to tell Mark what to think after a couple of sentences. If you want someone to calm down or feel better, you need to listen for a while. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the solution, upset people don’t generally need or want to hear a solution.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 1:42 pm
  21. Fromtheothersideofthefence Says:

    People here tend to exalt poly. They say things like “Mark doesn´t know himself”, and “Dustin is in touch with his feelings”. I think it´s the other way around, Dustin doesn´t know himself, mostly sticking to the opinion people like Ravena give him. Mark seems way more in touch with his feelings (socially innadecuate as they are), and in that way, he seems to be able to begin understanding his own insecurities and needs, despite the obious social preassure he is being subjected.
    To be honest, i kinda feel bad for Dustin, who seems to be oblivious to the probability that he might be wrong.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 4:08 pm
  22. Shinjischneider Says:

    Unpopular opinion.

    People keep mentioning the word “love” when they talk about the whole situation with Dustin, Mark, Damien and Ravenia.

    But is it really love? I really like Mark. But i don’t think he loves Ravenia. He’s attracted to a pretty girl that flirted with him, kissed him and now he ended up in a relationship.

    LOVE looks different. Tbh… i’ve not seen ANYTHING that indicates that even love between Ravenia and Dustin exists (at least it’s not shown). I don’t expect to see it with Damien and Ravenia because they’ve probably been together for a while and they seem to have this unspoken bond.

    But of the main characters, the only people i’ve seen where i’d say they actually HAVE a relationship are
    Joel and Steph
    Sarah and Hadeed

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 4:45 pm
  23. Tales Says:

    Ultimately what mark needs here is a hug, no words just a hug and to sit outside on a set of steps rather than an echo chamber where his thoughts resound.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 5:17 pm
  24. lovefleetadmiral Says:

    Yeah…this makes more sense…Dustin came in and while his intentions were good…I didn’t get the feeling he really was CONCERNED not that he wasn’t he seems like a good dude, BUT for the position he is in…he didn’t seem to be as invested in the turmoil Mark was going through.
    This is a serious issue, its not just a ‘your jelous your gf got another guy’ kind of thing its a ‘OUR gf has another guy and you think he’s better than us’ Dustin doesn’t need to be upset but he came off too much of ‘this man is innocent and perfect’ when he should have probably stated HIS insecurities about the other guy (whose name i forgot) AND to Mark.
    Dustin said Mark is the ‘popular’ guy meaning Dustin probably sees Mark superior to him (in some ways at least) if Dustin brought something like that it would’ve probably caused some issues if done poorly OR it could make Mark feel better a bit AND help resolve issues.
    Either way the damage is done, and Mark sort of needs to just burn off steam. It would’ve been ideal for him to be by himself and decide that but still.
    Ideally he will be able to see the flaws that are hurting him and deal with it…here is hoping minimal burns happen.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 5:29 pm
  25. Ozzi Says:

    I do wonder out how many of the people who are saying mark is not cut out for poly, are also poly themselves.

    Also stop being offended for Dustin. Mark is his friend and knows him well. It nothing as alpha as not being threatened by him etc. I’m poly and there’s people I’d share my people with within a heartbeat because they are awesome and not think past that. Give mark some credit, everyone can be a douche to people sometimes, that doesn’t mean he us devoid of good

    HOWEVER I am super non pulsed with the scooby gang right now. Abbie is well intended but she needs to but out. Sending Mark to cool his heels was a good idea. Dustin to talk to him was a big step out of bounds. The fact they have also involved Sarah is not cool too. Sure she is concerned and obvs cares for him, but it’s not her place right now either. If/when Mark funds out about all this then I can see mark not being in the comic for a while.

    Right so onto the crux and wrapping back to the top. Is mark cut out for poly? Yes, but he needs to understand that each partner gives different things. I wonder how much has been explained to him. Is he ready for poly right now? Hell no! He isn’t ready for new people, let alone a new relationship, mono or poly. He needs to work his shit out. Who should of Abbie spoke to? The ST. A netrual party who can decide if he should be at the game. He might not like it but he can storm out and not hurt anyone.

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 9:54 pm
  26. CritterKeeper Says:

    It’s not just Mark thinking Damien is better than him. Ravenia and Dustin both refer to Damien as Ravenia’s “primary” meaning Mark is never going to be an equal part in this relationship. Ravenia is never going to see Mark as being as important to her as Damien is. Dustin is willing to accept always being second place, but Mark doesn’t seem to be so inclined. It might be that Mark could be perfectly happy in a poly relationship, but it seems like it would need to be a relationship where *everyone* actually *is* seen as contributing their own part and is valued and appreciated for it equally. (Or, you know, he might be happy being someone’s primary himself, but that’s not gonna happen with Ravenia.)

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 11:38 pm
  27. ..... Says:

    1 yes he was brooding some times brooding for 3h help you to calm down after
    2 you never tell someone that is up set to calm down unless your trying to get punch stabbed or shot

    Posted April 5th, 2019 at 11:47 pm
  28. Uh, Ozzi, the last time a ST was involved in drama did not work very well.

    Why does Abbie have to butt out? She is the one he is closest to on this.

    Posted April 6th, 2019 at 2:17 am
  29. Taw Says:

    This is i think fairly true to life. In my mind Mark is not in a space where even relations to friends and family would come easy, he is afraid and insecure and unable to deal with his situation. He blames himself a lot for Jess and he blames himself for not doing anything about the situation. But he has also never really been given any good tools to deal with these emotions. So pretty much has only anger and despair left. That makes for a volatile mix.

    But here is the thing, Mark could not be in a better place to have a breakdown like this. He is surrounded by people, friends who has all gone through shit. Been broken down but built up again with the support of others. They will look to care for him, not tear him down even if he melts down on them. At least that is how it seems.

    Now just a quick bit of input from a poly RA about Dustin and Ravena. Nothings here says that Dustin and Ravena need to have a normative relationship (as in your classic literary person loves person with candlelight and fireside kisses). Nor that a normative relationship is the only way to be happy. Sometimes people just love each other in different ways, not needing to rank them.

    Posted April 6th, 2019 at 4:48 am
  30. Atwork Says:

    Yeah I agree. I hope the arc keeps being handled like it is at the moment, which is close to life and very interesting, and that the quintessence will not be: “Yeah Mark you’re just too jealous and insecure for poly”, which – to me – has an inherent judgmental and holier-than-thou tone to it.

    Posted April 6th, 2019 at 5:12 am
  31. antheridium Says:

    Purple Library Guy: You said all the things I was thinking but forgot to. Thanks. 🙂

    Posted April 6th, 2019 at 10:46 am
  32. Wanderer Says:

    Possibly the worst part of this situation is the timing. It’s bad enough that Mark is having a personal crisis over his breakup, plus his idea of his placement in the polyamorous relationship. To have all of this come crashing down in the middle of the Changeling LARP is just going to make it worse. Not only is he horking his chances of LARPing, he’s coming close to horking his friendships and becoming the one guy everybody avoids because he can only talk about how wronged he feels he is.

    If something doesn’t happen to resolve his current issue soon, he may find himself ejected from the game.

    Posted April 6th, 2019 at 6:01 pm
  33. argentlupus Says:

    antheridium thank you for remembering that what triggered the whole scene to begin with. Not him meeting Damien, not him seeing Damien as a threat, but seeing him as his Ex is what caused it.

    Posted April 7th, 2019 at 8:49 am
  34. Frank Bromley Says:

    a person is smart people are stupid right now Mark is a people

    Posted April 7th, 2019 at 6:15 pm
  35. Wanderer: Why would you think that Mark should be in danger of being ejected from a game when he is not playing? He is in the OOC room. Give him some space, the space he should have.

    Posted April 8th, 2019 at 12:52 am
  36. Ozzi Says:

    Abbe should of left mark alone in the cooler and not involved Dustin. Or even Dustin should of seen the potential hurt and said not til after the game. Also that ST was a characture of the worst possible outcome. If plot needed it then a sensible one can be drawn….

    Anyway, I have been contemplating this arc and here are my thoughts from a poly prospective. I feel sorry for Mark and here’s why, it mirrors the first ever story arc. Just as Joel didn’t explain fully how things worked and it was a larp, I wonder how much Ravenia has explained poly to him. If she enjoys his company etc then why explain it. Go with the flow and see where the ride ends. When the primary turns up at Marks most vulnerable them I get his frustration, if not his actions. Even if he knows that he’s a secondary then it’s just a label until the bottle is opened and the djinni let out.

    When in fact a primary is less of formal ranking than just more labels that denotes nesting partershipso etc it doesn’t make anyone less or more.

    Posted April 9th, 2019 at 12:10 am