Reviews For Ugly Mirror
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Reviewer: Toto_too514 Signed [Report This]
Date: Mar 02, 2020 12:56 am Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

Well, I thought it was the perfect HEA ending. From the previous chapter when Justin made the important decision to go ask for help... Brian was there for moral support, but he didn't interfere, he didn't offer advice. This was something Justin had to do BY himself, FOR himself.
And as I mentioned in a comment on an earlier chapter, one of the things I always felt was important for Justin was having a place of his own, so I'm happy to see that's part of his plan.
Justin is taking care of himself, but is also learning he doesn't have to do it on his own... he has support.
And although I would LOVE to see Ethan get what's coming to him, I will let Karma handle that. Justin is busy - becoming the best homosexual he can be!
Thank you for this wonderful, powerful, amazing story. And I know it was semi-autobiographical, so I hope your plan has a HEA too!

Reviewer: Wendy Dawn Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Mar 01, 2020 7:32 pm Title: Chapter 1 - Unfamiliar Images

I physically ache for our Justin. I often wondered if Ethan was a narcissist this puts the character into complete perspective for me. So many of the things I hated about this story arc completely made sense put into this perspective.

It also has me looking at some of my own relationships. Toxicity comes in many forms. And yes I've had a few narcissist in my life. Only I didn't keep them there long, fortunately.

Knowing that the author has bared her soul in the process of writing this has me aching for her as well. Bravo for having the courage to put this out there and to survive heal and Thrive. 

This is truly a brilliant story that had me crying and cheering in the end. It reminds me of RuPaul's mantra "if you can't love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else". We all want that white night to save us all, but to truly save yourself is more important and long lasting.

Thank you TAG for this wonderful work of art and slice of your life/piece of your soul.

Reviewer: purpledee Signed [Report This]
Date: Mar 01, 2020 5:06 pm Title: Chapter 1 - Unfamiliar Images

Sorry Tag.  Didn't realise it was so bad for you.  I hope you didn't feel I was showing any disrespect to your own personal experience.  I'm glad that you are past that & hope you are now okay mentally and emotionally.  And agree it's a shame your abuser didn't get his full comeuppance, despite all your efforts.  Maybe one day the gods of fate will hand his fate over to Karma & let her have at him!!

All my thoughts and best wishes to you,

Deb L

Reviewer: nickknack Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 29, 2020 5:49 am Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

A strong and positive new beginning for Justin. I can appreciate the decision not to seek revenge and further involve himself with Ethan at all, but I am going to content myself with hoping that eventually karma may come his way.  Something like a small article in the news about a man found lying on the train tracks with a broken violin beside his mangled body - accident or assault, no one will ever know. 

I truly commend you for being able to bare your soul to us all, your faithful and steadfast readers. The ability to be able to write about true life and apply it to our favourite fandom is a gift indeed. Thank you.



Author's Response:

Thank you for reading. I know this story pushed you almost to your limits. I'm so happy you kept reading! TAG

Reviewer: purpledee Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 29, 2020 3:55 am Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

Okay, there is no way, Brian being who he is, would not seek some form of retribution from Ethan.  Even if he paid someone to do it for him!!!  So maybe an epiloge?

Deb L



Author's Response:

My goal for this story was to try to make it as realistic as possible. Yes, in a fantasy world, Justin or Brian or someone else would be able to get even with Ethan. But if you're dealing with reality, there's no way you can take on a narcissist without getting damaged. My own story, is illustrative: I escaped my narcissist five years ago, however, because of personal circumstances, I was forced to have ongoing contact. When I finally decided enough was enough, I tried to take him to court. That process took over two years, cost me thousands of dollars in attorney fees, and ended up with him manufacturing lies in an attempt to get me arrested and thrown in jail. He actually succeeded, by threatening my attorney with disbarrment, in  getting my attorney to drop my case. I had to go out, get another attorney, and we went all the way to court, before him, his attorney, and even the judge ganged up on me, and forced me to except a pittance in settlement. I basically got nothing. He has, literally, millions. And it drove me to the verge of suicide as well. The moral of the story is, just run. Get as far away as you can and don't ever look back. No amount of money or vengeance or anything else is worth the ongoing damage a narcissist will do to you. So, that's why I chose to end Justin's story where I did. I wanted him to get the happy ending I didn't. TAG

 

PS, thanks for sharing your story in the prior review. Sending you back all the support and love and trust you've given me by sharing. 😌

Reviewer: purpledee Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 29, 2020 3:36 am Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

Again, sorry for what you went through.  I know I can't understand it and i'm sorry for that.

To add to my previous story; My dad was like this too.  My mom suffered this type of abuse for years, coupled with his affairs shoved in her face.  We all suffered mental and/or physical abuse at his hands.  Mom took the full force of his mental/emotional abuse.  Me & his daughter r a diff story. (mom:son & daughter, dad:son & daughter. Me between the 2 of thier 2nd marriage & youngest)

I ended up being their carer before they died. ( ur single don't have kids (my youngest nephew was 25 at this point!!!)). 
I always knew mom would go before him, and she did.  He always made sure to tell us he was dying for the past 30 yrs of his life, to get the full attention he thought he deserved, to get us running around after him.
I had seen a documentary years before about psychopath traits & thought 'shit that's my dad'.  But now I know he was a sociopath with narcissistic traits.  I always made sure I was never pulled into these type of 'mindgames' with any of my partners.
The upshot; It was just me & him in the end. I made sure he ended up in hopsice care & other than me, no one in the 'family' cared enough to visit.  So he got very little attention and I made sure he knew why.  Ain't karma a bitch!!!
I also made sure that when I spread his ashes, I stomped on them real good, so that he would be shit on my shoe!!!
Again, sos for your story,
Deb L

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 29, 2020 12:35 am Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

Well... that's a lot to take in. I have read the phone links you've left a few times. I finally understood it.

This was a very tough story to read, and I can't even begin to image how difficult it must have been to write. Ripping yourself open and baring old haunts could not have been easy. But, thank you for persevering.

I know Justin couldn't have even begun to heal, until he asked for help, and I'm so glad he did. This whole thing might have had an strong effect on Brian, and maybe he grew up just a little bit too. I'm glad they were able to reconnect and grow into a new and better friendship/relationship.

How do I feel about no comeuppance regarding Ethan? I TOTALLY understand Justin wanting to block Ethan, not be in his vicinity, not seek repayment... I really do... Clean break, fresh start... But really...

Where's the big bears that could break his fingers in a dark alley? The whispered words in that alley that would make him so scared to ever leave his apartment again? THAT could have been arranged.

Do you know what's next on your writing schedule? How about a mystery? A good one with Justin disappearing in Paris and the only thing found in his hotel room is a business card with Brian Kinney: Kinnitik on it? Ahh... sounds like heaven! LOL...

Thank you for this story... And congrats on another one.

HUGS  ~Cathy

PS - You had: Alyssa got up (Instead of Ellissa) It's just it threw me for a minute...

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 11:30 pm Title: Chapter 24 - I Was Broken

Well, I got behind, but it's almost a good thing that I did, because now I can have this nightmare end, without having to wait for the last chapter. I finished this about five minutes ago, and I was bawling so hard, it has taken me this long to be able to at least try and type. But that's not saying that I'm no longer crying.

I was so worried once Justin feel onto the bed... but thank you for letting him escape without... well, without THAT happening.

I am looking forward to see what you have in store for this SOB... I hope everything he has put Justin through is proclaimed loud and long, letting the world know whatEthan has done. His beloved violin playing would be over.

Cathy

You need to italicize your intro.

Reviewer: mamab Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 10:22 pm Title: Chapter 25 - Brand New

Absolutely wonderful.  Perfect ending to a very difficult story.  Hope your life is going as well as what Justin is doing.  And, just the fact that he and Brian are together in a totally different way is great.  FANTASTIC.



Author's Response:

Thank you. I'm glad you liked 'MY' ending. I appreciate all your support and your kind reviews throughout this story. Readers like you are why I write! TAG

Reviewer: The SNO Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 3:43 pm Title: Chapter 24 - I Was Broken

Thank you for sparing us a thresome that would have been devastating for Justin. When I started reading about the 2 drunken devils, I really feared that Justin won't be able to get away.

Regarding Brian, I'm wondering if somehow he feels that Justin did the biggest mistake of his young life: fucking raw and not getting tested. He knows how romantic Justin can be and he has seen the ring, which could mean engagement, fidelity and monogamy, by extension no condoms. I guess Brian also feels that Justin is on the edge and that nothing he will say will help Justin: the silent support is a genious idea and it's also very Brianesque: actions speak louder than words. I read it as "I'm here, don't worry.".

The reunification under the street lamp is also a very good idea; a new beginning, a second chance.

The “No. No, I’m not okay, but I want to be.” is the beginning of the ascension to the top.

Reviewer: nickknack Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 8:58 am Title: Chapter 24 - I Was Broken

I know this is about Justin's journey but please, please tell me that Ethan will get his comeuppance - as near as possible to the brutality he has submitted upon Justin! I so hope he is destined to be revealed for the monster he is and that he is stripped of all his ill-gotten gains.

Reviewer: mamab Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 1:04 am Title: Chapter 24 - I Was Broken

Wow, could feel every bit of Justin's pain.  Fantastic writing.

Reviewer: Toto_too514 Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 28, 2020 12:51 am Title: Chapter 24 - I Was Broken

Justin's pain is just radiating off the screen. The emotion is real. The tears in my eyes don't seem to want to stop - For the agony Justin has endured and for the courage he needed to make that first step to getting well. 

Wow.

Reviewer: Toto_too514 Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 27, 2020 12:55 am Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

Daphne's emotions obviously got the best of her... but hopefully, some of what she and Brian said will stick with Justin. He seems to have found little bits of his former self again. 

I've always felt that Ethan had put some sort of tracking App on Justin's phone, but it's got to be more than that if Daphne's calls were being blocked. 

Oh, and now that I seem to have regained my ability to post a coherent comment... YES! Most definitely YES! My comment on the previous chapter was meant as a compliment. That chapter blew me away... I think I'm still processing it. But having even a little of the Sunshine we knew come out in his banter with Daphne about the Dean is helping with that. It's giving me hope that all is not lost.

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 27, 2020 12:55 am Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

I THINK I HAVE THE ANSWER!!!!

Daphne can make a voodoo doll. By the time she's done playing with it, Ethan's fingers will be too sore and swollen to EVER hold a bow again!

Reviewer: Frosty70 Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 27, 2020 12:40 am Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

Gahh this is good, but you are killing me here.

Reviewer: ShelbyT Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 9:06 pm Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

The simple line of “ I’m calling because I got a weird phone call from Brian yesterday” put such a big smile on my face. xx
Doing a little happy dance here x

Reviewer: The SNO Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 8:35 pm Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

I guess Ethan has an application that can take control on Justin's mobile and he is deleting everything that could remind Justin of his past.

Too bad Daphne went too far: Justin almost started to believe he was on the wrong path.



Author's Response:

Just dropping this off here for no reason . . . How to remotely control another phone...

 TAG

Reviewer: mamab Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 8:15 pm Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

Great chapter, but by now we know that Ethan has ulterior motives to everything he does.  Can't wait to see Justin step out of the fog.  Fantastic writing.



Author's Response:

If only Justin could see Ethan's ulterior motives . . . Maybe soon. TAG 

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 7:19 pm Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

I have to tell you... I just received an email from Explorer Choice... telling of a  lightweight, small pocket size wireless spy camera... that can record everything. Is THIS what Ethan has?? Records voice and video... UGH!!! He can record at home, yet view through his phone. This is probably too advanced, but whatever...

I guess I forgot to ask... how is Justin NOT getting his phone messages. Because wouldn't he hear the phone ring??? This one kind of confuses me... Especially when he's by himself.



Author's Response:

Again, just leaving this little tidbit here for no reason . . . LOL. What your blocked callers hear . . .

TAG

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 6:50 pm Title: Chapter 23 - No Good For You

I was online when the box popped up in the corner this was updated. After a trip to the bathroom and a fresh diet pepsi, I dug in...the chapter notes making me anxious to start...

I get to end, and I'm shaking and furious! NOW WHAT?!?!

Can little Mark show up at the door with his bouquet of roses?

Will Justin's phone let Ethan know they were there?

Why isn't Justin angrier that he hasn't gotten all these purported phone calls?

Why doesn't he question all these nights out???

I KNOW - how these people work... my friend almost died... but there are too many things that Justin just CAN'T ignore any longer!

HUGS  ~Cathy

Reviewer: Toto_too514 Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 3:42 am Title: Chapter 22 - My Real Punishment

I am at a loss for words... I can't think of anything to say that would do justice to the intensity of my emotions right now.

Poor, poor Felicity. 



Author's Response:

I'm gonna consider this a compliment - to have affected you so intensely has to mean I did a good job here. Right? TAG

Reviewer: ShelbyT Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 26, 2020 12:28 am Title: Chapter 22 - My Real Punishment

Wow! The mind games and manipulation just keep happening and getting worse and still Justin doesn’t leave. It is so scary to watch an extremely intelligent person being reduced to a shell of their former self. It actually makes me sick. I’m so sorry that you personally had to go through something like this. You should be so proud that you have made it through the other side. xx

How do family and friends not realise what is going on? To drop out of school and not have anyone question it, to not see his mum or Daph, and they dont question it? To obviously look like crap and lost weight and no one question it. And for Justin to see the bank statements and bills and to just what accept that what Ethan says, that Justins mind is playing tricks on him and that he didn’t see the letters?

Please make good things start to happen, I’ve had enough, lol x

Author's Response:

Two things. In this story, I've greatly accelerated the timeline, but in real life this stuff takes months or even years to get to the stage where things are this bad. Family and friends lose touch much more gradually so it's less alarming. A lot of times, too, the abuser will physically move their victim away from the family/support system - when you're five states away from the people who might recognize what's happening it's harder to see the damage. Also, there's a lot of lethargy involved in the abuse process. You don't want to cause waves so you keep putting off anything that might anger the abuser. I can see Justin putting off the bank thing for months and months, just because he doesn't want to deal with it, and eventually you just figure its too late to bother. It's easy to just get numb and because then you don't have to fight anymore... 

Thanks so much for reading. 

TAG

Reviewer: BritinManor Signed [Report This]
Date: Feb 25, 2020 10:27 pm Title: Chapter 22 - My Real Punishment

It was easily understood that the cat episode happened the next morning... but I'm talking time passed...

After that it did get a little easier... I got into a routine... and then do it all over the same way the next day.

Granted, Ethan was spending more and more time away from the apartment, only sleeping at home a couple nights a week...

So, how much time has passed? I'm upset... why hasn't someone made an effort to find him?

Yay... Brian sighting on the horizon!



Author's Response:

In my mind it's only been a couple weeks more and at least part of that was when Justin was sick. But behind the scenes, Brian is starting to ask questions and there's going to be some positive developments... Hang on. Writing as fast as I can (when I'm not supposed to be working at my RL job, at least). TAG

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