John Napier 698's page

Organized Play Member. 11,641 posts (12,664 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 6 aliases.

WWE Champion and Pittsburgh Wrestling legend Bruno Sanmartino died today at the age of 82 from heart problems.

This is a gift for Rysky. Could you alter the shipping address so that is goes to Rysky instead of me?

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Hello. My name is John Napier. Many of my friends here know that I had a brother that committed suicide. With today, November 6, being the approximate day of his passing twenty years ago, I've decided to take a little time to write down what type of person my brother was. Dennis William Napier was the third child of four, myself being the oldest. When he was very young, he developed a severe case of double pneumonia, which gave him some minor learning disabilities. And, though we didn't know it then, would later lead to him being Bipolar.

Despite this, he had a happy childhood. At least, as far as I can remember. Like any child growing up in the 1970's, he enjoyed Saturday morning Cartoons and the Three Stooges. Saturday evenings he and our father would watch wrestling. This was long before wrestling became "entertainment." He would spend untold hours exploring a small wooded area near our house in South Charleston in West Virginia. He and I would share the love of the Star Wars movies. In 1979, our mother's parents became ill, and the family moved to Pittsburgh. He and my youngest brother would obsessively collect all the G.I. Joe action figures their allowance would permit. They'd create all sorts of intricate stories involving the figures they had. Eventually, those stories would involve the use of my X-Wing, my Millennium Falcon, and my Robotech Veritech. I didn't begrudge them this, as I had a new interest by then, computers.

Shortly after I graduated in 1988, I enlisted in the Army. While I was away, I had learned that my mother was "backstabbed" by a former family friend, in part because of mother's partial German ancestry. My brothers were taken away and put into Foster Care. While in Foster Care, Dennis was able to graduate High School. In the Army, I learned how to play First Edition AD&D. Upon my discharge, I was delighted to learn that my brothers also played the game. However, my mother got remarried to a vile, abusive, alcoholic, gambling addict. To try to get away from that toxic situation, my brother decided to follow my lead and join the Army. While there, Dennis learned that he was psychologically incapable of pulling a trigger. He was sent home on a medical (read psychological) discharge. This is probably what led to his Bipolar episodes.

He couldn't hold a relationship. He couldn't hold a job more meaningful other than working Fast Food or as a janitor. All these things assaulted his sense of self-worth. The only times that he appeared to be happy were the Sunday D&D sessions. My mother had separated from @$$hole (my name for the aforementioned waste of a Human Being) and had her own rented place. My youngest brother would GM the sessions, and I would cook dinner, as I was an assistant chef in a small Pittsburgh Restaurant at the time.

He would also master cartoon voices. He did a spot-on Donald Duck. What was the first thing he did with it? He swore like a sailor. Mother looked at him in horror. With a totally serious look, he told her "But, mom. It's fowl (read foul) language." This was my brother, always quick with a joke. He would have loved the jokes flying about over on Deep-6 FaWtL. Those gaming sessions taught me an important lesson. If you're wearing a Necklace of Missiles, don't forget the Ring of Fire Resistance. We were in the Temple of Elemental Evil. His character, wearing the Necklace, got hit by a Fireball. Two words: "Chain Reaction." One missile failed its save, then ignited the others. When finished, all that was left of his character was a charred skeleton.

One day, in November of 1997, he didn't come. We had, at the time, simply thought that he was sick. However, he didn't answer the phone. The family's phone calls became more and more frantic, until we got a neighbor, his landlord's son, to do a "wellfare check." My brother had committed suicide. The details of his passing, I'll mercifully leave out. I was working that rare Sunday shift in the Garage at PPG when they found his body. Hours before the security office told me, a voice inside my head told me that "Dennis is dead." Sometimes, partial precognition sucks.

After the funeral service, I stopped playing. Not just D&D, but all games. For ten years. My heart just wasn't in it. Although I had thought about it a year before, in 2007, I started playing again. I found a group that was playing Eberron. We were using D&D 3.5 and did a little with the Pathfinder Playtest rules. Not long after that, I came across Tekkoshokon, an anime convention here in Pittsburgh. I bought the Pathfinder CRB and Bestiary. I bought the early Adventure Paths. I bought as many of the back issues of Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine that I could find. Things were going well.

At least, until the end of March of this year. I emotionally broke, because of a link to a Superman Webcomic involving suicide. There was a line about "being sure that there are no more good days ahead." This got me thinking. Did Dennis leave because he couldn't see an end to his pain? It's only because of the care, concern, and compassion of some of the best friends I've ever made, that I'm able to write this without crying. This is also the reason why I tend to panic and overreact when I see that someone is contemplating any manner of self-harm.

I was considering skipping out on the Gaming convention for this month. But, talking to my friends here, especially the friends that I love like family, made me realize that I shouldn't let the pain of a past tragedy stop me from living. All of this has made me realize that I've never really finished grieving. So, it's time I let go of my grief. Goodbye, Dennis. Rest in peace, my brother.

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Something happened on March 31st, 2017, and my good friend Rysky suggested that I talk about it, or at least put it in a post. Not really wanting to completely post in public, I created another thread. If anyone becomes worried about me, I'll just PM a link to this thread.

***Disclaimer: This thread deals with some very serious issues. Despite the date of this post, it isn't an April Fool's prank.

So, to begin with, on March 31st of 2017, Sharoth posted a link in The Monkey's Treefort to a page or two of a Superman comic. The issue was about suicide. Suicide has always been a serious issue with me. Why? I lost a brother to suicide in November of 1997. He was diagnosed with what is now Bipolar Disorder. I was okay up until I read about being sure that "There are no more good days ahead." That broke me, emotionally. Again. Sharoth didn't know beforehand that I had lost a brother, so I don't blame him for the link. It was just one of those odd coincidences.

Ambrosia Slaad mentioned once that she's seen the effect suicide has on families. I agree with everything that she would have to say about it. Suicide causes more than one victim, everyone suffers. First is the natural sadness and grief. What follows soon after is Anger, which brings "finger pointing" along for the ride. Everyone begins blaming each other. This is what destroys families. In my case, my sister began blaming Father. She was married at the time, but hasn't spoken to the rest of the family since the suicide. I haven't had a sister for nearly twenty years.

Even worse than blaming each other is blaming yourself. My two brothers and I would get together every Sunday to play D&D. When he would leave for the evening, it was always "'later" or "see you next week." But on that last Sunday, he hugged Mother and said "Goodbye." It was as if he knew he was leaving well beforehand. At the time, I thought nothing of it. It wasn't until recently that I understood what he was saying. It was so out-of-character that it should have set off alarms. But I did nothing. I could have stopped it, but didn't. My inaction haunts me to this day.

My mother's most recent short stay in the hospital has revealed the early stages of Heart Disease. I realize that I may not have my Mother around for much longer. She told my remaining brother about the diagnosis, so there will no surprises there.

I mentioned "again," didn't I. The previous time I broke was early November of 2016. A number of people began worrying about their survival. So I began digging, thinking that someone particular had something like cancer. I stopped when I read "suicide." I reached out to Rysky, whose opinions I had already come to value and respect. So I reached out to her, concerning the person in question, trusting her to make the right decisions. I broke as soon as I hit "submit post." I wept, just as I had right after my one brother's suicide. For a good ten minutes or so. The thought of seeing another life slipping away was too painful. It was like watching my brother's suicide all over again.

I admit it. I over-reacted, panicked even. It's better to do too much than nothing at all. So, if someone expresses concern about something that I post, I'll let them read this so that they know where I'm coming from. Not that I'm fishing for pity. But am I really that alone? No, not really. I've made some very good friends on the message boards.

First of all, there's Rysky. She knows just how emotionally broken I can be at times. And I know it worries her. But when my sadness begins to take me to a dark place, she's there to pull me back. For which I will be eternally grateful. Yes, Rysky. I began tearing up as I write this. Typical

Then, there's NobobysHome. He is the same age as I, and we both program. And I enjoy hearing his complaints about various things. Usually Corporate or Bureaucratic Stupidity.

Then, there's Captain Yesterday. I can relate to many of the things he posts about. And reading about his "rampages" through Skyrim has made me start the game again. And I like how his various aliases begin arguing to each other.

TacticsLion misses me when I'm not on the messageboards, even when I'm doing something that's necessary. Like renewing my weekly Transit Pass.

Freehold DM and I share a love of both anime and Rebel Starfighters. Although I'm more partial to X-Wings than Y-Wings. Sorry, Freehold.

And there's the various people on the messageboards that I enjoy talking to. Everyone here is like a second family to me, and I love you all. Each of you adds a bit of light to the beacon that guides me through my darkest days. wipes away more tears So, there it is. My innermost burdens laid bare. Thanks for listening.

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A place to put all the links to all the cool AMVs I find on Youtube, for everyone to enjoy.