#Fringe Fans #FringeConfessions – Part Three
I had been reading fanfiction for 2 years before Fringe aired, but never felt driven to try writing any myself.
That all changed when episode 117 “Bad Dreams” aired on 4/21/09.
Executive producer Akiva Goldsman wrote AND directed that by himself. Since that airing I can pretty much tell when Akiva Goldsman has been involved in the writing of a Fringe episode. This man can reach your gut and your soul with his words and his directing style in a huge way. The tragicness of the Nick Lane character, Liv’s whole reaction to seeing events through Nick’s eyes, and Peter’s reaction to the fact that Liv could have been experimented upon by Walter & Belly with cortexiphan, were riveting, to me.For the first time in my life since puberty I started to write again. I wrote my very first fanfic, a Fringe fanfic, called “Shame,” under the penname “wjobsessed.” Sometimes I go back and reread it, and I still like it.
Akiva Goldsman’s episode and Fringe awakened my writer’s muse and I am very grateful.
Since then I have written 24 more Fringe fanfics, and I’d write more if I had the time.
Thank you Akiva, Jeff, and Joel, for making me want to write again.
I first started watching Fringe from the Pilot episode. I was almost sixteen at the time and I remember watching the TV spots and trailers and getting really excited about the show before it even aired. I watched the Pilot live and was hooked instantly. I watched the show live every week up until about the third episode of the second season.
On September 17th, 2009 I was vaccinated with four vaccines, two of which were not supposed to be given together. Within a few days I had severe back pain, numbness and tingling from my chest down, and I was unable to walk unassisted. I was hospitalized on October 10th for eight days and was diagnosed with a disease very similar to Multiple Sclerosis called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) with transverse myelitis.
I unfortunately fell out of watching TV around this time to focus on recovering and attempting to get caught up with school. This experience changed my life, it took months to regain full feeling in my legs and the day after my seventeenth birthday I had to fly to Massachusetts to see a specialty neurologist and undergo more testing.
While I was at Mass General Hospital they told me because of a protein they found in my spinal fluid I had a 50/50 chance of developing Multiple Sclerosis. This was devastating to me and is something I must live with everyday. At the time all I wanted to do was pretend this event had never happened and move on with my life. This was a mistake on my part as everything that had happened couldn’t simply go away, the possibility of MS was always in the back of my mind, it built up and built up until I was very depressed and had anxiety. I refused to talk to anyone even at my mother’s urging. All throughout this time my grandfather was slowly dying of cancer, everything in my life was going wrong and I didn’t have anything to relate to or tether me.
A week after I graduated high school my grandfather passed. I entered my first year of college still grieving my grandfather and terrified of some symptoms I still have embarrassing me. Then back in October of 2011 I saw Fringe gifs and graphics on my dashboard on tumblr. I remembered how much I had adored the show and immediately bought a few episodes of season three on iTunes. I hadn’t realized how far behind I was and started on “Subject 13.” Needless to say I was very confused and slowly started working backwards to where I had left off. At this point I barely remembered what had happened in the show and decided to buy the first season on Amazon Instant Video. I caught up with the whole series within two or three weeks obsessively watching every episode until I was able to watch live.
In just the past six months Fringe has given me something to be passionate about again, I am happier. I had found a great community of fellow fans on the internet and Walter Bishop reminded me of my grandfather with his quirky ways and love of sweets. The show has always been about love, but to me it is also about Olivia finding herself. I related to her. No matter what had happened to her in the past she came out stronger for it. It is crazy that watching a television show has helped me accept that I cannot be defined by what has happened to me in the past and must always look forward. I have become so attached to these characters and what they represent. Rather than looking back and thinking of the “what if’s” and “what could happen.” I now have something to look forward to, something positive to focus on and be a part of. Instead of looking up every symptom and case similar to mine I can blog and tweet about Peter and Walter Bishop and Olivia Dunham and gripe about the next hiatus.
This is what Fringe, has done for me. It is not just a TV show to me, it is so much more. I was able to pull myself out of a bad place because I had something else to focus on, something that has made me think and be passionate about or the first time in years.
Thank you Fox for this show that has literally changed my life.
A few years ago I was suffering from crippling depression and ended up hospitalised after I became very ill with something else. The doctors looking after me told my best friend that although my condition was critical most people survive it, but because I had no hope and actually didn’t want to live I was probably going to die and I didn’t care. My friend begged me just to live but had almost given up hope himself. He brought me in a laptop to keep me entertained and I watched Mistresses which led me to watch interviews with Anna Torv on youtube. In one interview she was talking about being Australian and how she couldn’t understand the American mentality because “you can squash a spider with your foot but you can’t kick a bear”. To this day I will never know what I heard in that, but that was the crack that let the light in. She was right and she made me laugh.
I started to watch Fringe because of Anna Torv and I pulled myself out of my black hole and started to recover. I went back to work and decided that I was going to change my life. I was addicted to Fringe, drawn in by Olivia’s strength and the fractured relationship between Peter and Walter – I drew a lot of parallels with my own life. I heard meaning in things like “we’re all mutants but it’s amazing how many of us appear normal” and “we’re quite partial to freaks in this lab”. I started to feel like being different and having different opinions wasn’t so bad and nothing to be so ashamed of. I worked hard saving every penny I could so I could sell my flat, quit my job and leave home to travel the world – inspired by Anna, her logic and the truths that I heard about myself in the words of Fringe.
While on my adventure I visited Vancouver, the home of Fringe and met some people who are now arguably the people in the world that I am closest to. Although I’d been on twitter for about 3yrs I was always quiet in the Fringe fandom but thanks to these people I got more involved and got to meet and follow more and more amazing Fringies.
My travels may be over now but thanks to Anna Torv and Fringe I have now escaped the depression that was once actually killing me, I have travelled the globe, seen Fringe in many things and places, met up with and made international Fringe friends for life. If all that wasn’t enough thanks to the fandom on twitter I now feel a part of this huge international community of friends who love this show as much as I do. Anna Torv and Fringe saved my life and I will always be grateful to them, which is why I will do anything to keep Fringe alive as long as possible. But further to my love of the show, all you Fringies that talk to me (even though you don’t know my story) inspire me every day and I feel privileged to talk to you and to know every single one of you.
I have never been as happy in my life as I am now thanks to Anna Torv, Fringe and all of you in this community. Sorry for the long story but this is my #FringeConfession! I just want all of you to know that you are loved and that finding inspiration in even the smallest things has the ability to change lives. I honestly believe that Fringe has helped many people achieve that and hopefully it will continue to do so in the future. This fandom rocks!
As weird as it sounds, I don’t know how I would’ve dealt with my father’s death if not for Fringe. In December 2010, my father died very suddenly from an aneurysm ruptured in his brain. I won’t go into details, but approximately twenty-six hours after my stepmother called to tell us an ambulance was rushing him to the ER, he was brain dead and we were signing papers for organ donation. He was relatively young, he hadn’t been sick or injured, and it was something none of us could have predicted. I’ve dealt with death of loved ones before, but never at this level. My father and I didn’t have the world’s simplest relationship, just like every family, but his death was devastating. There was no one or nothing to be angry with, and I know he died knowing I loved him and he loved me; it just simply was.
You might wonder how on earth I could claim that a television show helped me cope with my dad’s death, and the truth is that I really don’t know the answer to that. All I know is that Fringe did that for me by being like nothing else on television, pages, or life. It got me out of my head—a nearly impossible task—and into something else. I cannot begin to explain what a difference that made in my life during that time. My dad was a public servant and law enforcement officer who strongly believed in education, knowledge, and logic through both conventional and unconventional means. While many things casually reminded me of him, Fringe evoked all the wonderful qualities my dad embodied and revered: intellect and logic, the pursuit for knowledge and justice, how enormously complicated life and people are, the recognition of how technology and power can work as a gift or curse under the right circumstances, how everything is connected, and how life is never as simple as it seems.
I, however, only realized the connection of how Fringe reminds me of my father in all the best ways through this winter’s Fringe Binge marathon sessions; in the months before, all I knew was the Fringe was one of the few things that made me happy and engaged me during the roughest experience of my life. Fringe challenges my mind, creativity, and heart while showing me that I’m not alone, and for that, I will always be so grateful to FOX Broadcasting, Warner Brother Entertainment, J. H. Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, the writers, the cast, the crew, the sponsors, and the fellow Fringe fans who share my love of the show. My dad and I had watched The X-Files together, and I really think he would have loved Fringe if I had badgered him into watching it.
I seriously get goosebumps and shivers when I read these confessions. Just amazing how Fringe has helped a lot of us survive and brought a great fandom together 🙂