Right, so up until this point I've simply been using first initials to denote certain individuals that play prominent roles in my life. (Unless they die. Then there's really no point in preserving their anonymity.) I do this out of respect for those I write about, because sometimes I share personal things and if they're at least semi-anonymous it's better for their reputation. (And yes, I know I've made a few slips here and there but mostly with C, I think, and he really doesn't care, so eh…) Also, when I first started blogging, even my identity was a super-secret because of the nature of the environment in which I found myself. If anyone from the church I was affiliated with had found my blog and read the anger, doubts, fears, humanity in those posts… I probably would have been politely and passive-agressively asked to leave. And also to never teach their children again. (Granted, I probably didn't come off as perfect in the daily performances as I would like to think that I did, and I can think of a couple of pretty obvious slips I made, but overall I played the part of Pristine Bible Worker and Youth Leader very well. Mostly because I really wanted to be that person so very, very much.)

Now, though, it's gotten to the point where even I am confused by which J is which and who is L exactly and why are there multiple M's scattered throughout your days? To offset this confusion I have decided to employ nicknames, which I believe will help clear things up considerably. Unfortunately for you all, this decision will not be retroactive in any way, because going through 900+ posts to change names? Yeah. Right.

That being said, here's the cast of characters that make frequent appearances in my life and writings. I'll introduce them with the initial they're currently known as, add a brief description of their relationship to me, and follow that with their new name in parenthesis.

C: Husband, lover, gamer, science geek, and determined to rob my life of all sparkles and brightly colored things. He will, however, replace them with wrought iron and soft pillows in dark colors. (Khal Drogo. No jokes about pillows! May also be referred to as the Dragon, depending on my mood.)

J: Bestie, former roommate and fellow graduate of SOULS, ridiculously intelligent and well spoken and enjoys puns as much as I do. (Desert Rose, or just Rose)

Mom: Pretty self-explanatory. Hard to pin down, artistic, creative, intelligent, eloquent, Jack of all trades. (Mom)

R: (Ex) Step-dad, whom I've accepted as my main father figure. Reliable, moody, earnest, crazy smart, authentic, loyal, intensely compassionate towards those he loves, stubborn, wise. LOTS of life experience, some of it quite amusing and some of it jaw-dropping. (Military men. What're you gonna do?) (RDad)

T: Biological father. Don't know much about him (yet), but he seems intelligent, funny, caring, and generous. Also a military man. (BioDad)

K: Younger sister, was very close when we were younger but drifted apart. We've gotten closer again in recent years, which I'm very grateful for. Used to be a snarky, sarcastic bitch with a very dark sense of humor, now she's just sarcastic with a very dark sense of humor. (She's mellowed out). Mother to my first niece, S (Peanut), gamer, seeker of life lessons in unlikely places, and surprisingly responsible. (Pickle Buddy)

Jr.: Younger brother, very affectionate, caring, and honest, gamer/gamer culture geek, very funny and loves to bandy jokes (especially word play jokes), incredibly smart with a great memory for knowledge, has the makings of a musical virtuoso but untrained. (Jr.)

J: Youngest sister, so much like me it's freaky, beautiful, intelligent, wise beyond her years, determined to make her life better and break our family's curse of trauma, abuse, and mental illness, is very good with kids and loves working with them. (Jewels)

J: Adopted sister, talented artist and musician, happy newlywed, and super domestic/crafty/country/thrifty/dependable. Part of the S's. (the Dentist)

K: Adopted sister, talented musician of many mediums, determined, kinda stubborn, and set to be wed this summer. Part of the S's. (the Musician)

C: Adopted mom, widow of David S, spunky, sensitive, pragmatic, and unstoppable. (Wassail)

Guy M: Part of the Inner Circle, adopted brother, accomplice in musical endeavors, has a ridiculous memory for anything he's ever read, ever (especially game stats), and super man-sassy. (Kenobi)

Girl M: Part of the Inner Circle, "sister from another mister", fellow Spoonie and mentor in the ways of all things explicit. (the Gypsy)

D: Brother in law, very much inexplicable and unexplainable, incredibly intelligent and hilarious (a fabulous mix, by the way), responsible. (the Gamer)

E: Friend, (former) boss, started and runs the HJ (the local non-profit that helps abuse survivors), sassy, super Hispanic mama type, doesn't know how to stop working, the biggest heart on the planet and the biggest hug. (Star)

L: Super sweet local friend who moved way far away, honest, loyal, and committed to growth as a decent human being (a rare thing). (Fievel)

E: Another super sweet local friend who has kind of taken me under her wing, very giving and thoughtful, funny, and sees life through a different perspective, doesn't judge negatively at all.. Committed to her values, but is like a cool, refreshing splash of water. (The Artist)

BJ: My second mom growing up, very dedicated Christian, quite conservative, very loving and giving and intent on seeing all her "kids" (biological or otherwise) living good, Christian lives. (the Nurse)

C: A friend I made while going for the massage program at the college. Determined, smart, the most giving person ever, perfectionist, persistent, caring caring caring. (Mama Bear)

G: My main abuser and also ex-step dad. Sent him to prison for a long time, and I don't like him at all. I won't waste a nickname on him. He's going to stay G.

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