So yesterday the always friendly Fracture asked me a question anyone still reading this has probably asked: How did I come back from being well... "uncaged"? Believe it or not I've been working on this post for a little while now, but at the moment I'm trying to balance lots of things and so I don't have quite as much time as I used to to just sit down and shoot out a post. Still, it's something that deserves an answer if any of you are to believe I actually did make a comeback, so I'm going to try to explain how I managed it.
Like I already said in the comment to Fracture, I was more or less expecting what happened the night I tried to stop Phillip and let Elizabeth get away, in fact I had kind of been counting on it for a while. Anyone with an attention span probably realized that over time I was getting... let's say darker, and that I was posting less and less as "Free." The reason for that is that I was actively shutting down as much of that part of my personality as I could, right from the very beginning, suppressing it so that when I was ultimately... redesigned it would be so far buried that Mr. Talls would either not find it or not bother erasing it. It's not easy to shut down your thought processes and hide them from the rest of your mind, it takes a lot of focus and determination, the easiest thing to do (and mind you it's still tough) is to identify which events in your life were most central to shaping who you are, and associate them with a trigger, so that seeing or hearing a specific thing would bring them to the front of your mind, and then occupy your thoughts with everything except that one specific memory the second you are no longer focused on the trigger. To understand how hard that is lets try some practice: Think of something, anything you like, don't even bother with finding a trigger right now. Now, think of everything except that one thing, empty it completely from your mind and fill your head with thoughts that have nothing to do with that. Yeah, that's about as easy as it gets, i don't even feel like describing where I went after I got the hang of that.
Anyways my first trick was the most obvious: I hide from Caged on his own blog. Among the delusional ranting and pointless emotions I was able to hide messages to myself; stupid, simple reminders of who I was, hidden in Morse code in the commas and periods so "meaninglessly" thrown about, even Caged didn't notice, he merely celebrated a little bit as more and more pieces of Free were buried there each time he posted. I had anticipated him returning and using that blog once I got dealt with, meaning he would be exposed to the hidden messages and buried memories right away. Clearly that was my first mistake.
The next thing I tried to hide myself in was the music I occasionally posted. This was easier for me to do, so I tried hiding more complicated things there, more important memories, specific ideas, and towards the end actual thought patterns. It was never intended to bring me back the way my messages on Cage's blog were, only supplement me once I had control. Unfortunately I was less cautious about hiding them from him as a result, I was able to hide a lot in those, but I also lost a lot I tried to hide there, too. They were hidden too obviously, too sloppily, and that was my second mistake, and it cost me a lot.
I had planned to continue on with just those two methods, and maybe a few other, subtler ones, but my hand was forced too soon, I had to be myself to have the nerve to take a stand against him, but I needed some final thing to focus my mind into, some final trigger to call me back when I was to be sent out as His servant. So I made my final mistake: I chose the gun. The same one I took from that runner, and used to kill Joshua, and try to stop Phillip. At the time I thought it would be easy to recover, and that when released into the world again Caged would get it quickly to have a usable weapon. Unfortunately Caged got Phillip, and didn't really need any weapons after that, and Shade took the gun anyways. I... used that gun to kill him. After seven months of harassing Shade and North, while I killed, tortured, and.... worse... my way through anyone who got in my way... I... Caged, I guess- I don't even know if I can say what he was in the end was really a part of me- finally took back the gun and killed him. At that point I think it was actually a good thing. He had suffered so much because of me, even before Caged took control, and one clean shot to the head put him out of his misery. North... wasn't so lucky, "Father" was there to take care of him, he tried charging me after I shot Shade but the Slender Man just... fuck, I can't even relive that right now... But that moment, that was enough for me to get just a little bit of a grip on Caged, and start pushing him back towards the other triggers I had set up.
I led him to his blog, and to the music, and slowly I started creeping back in. But he fought me, all that time without the rest of me to balance him out he grew into something smarter and darker and stronger than he ever was before. I won, but not before he managed to do a lot of damage, most of it which I can't even remember right now. But now I'm back, I have him under control again and I'm not suppressing myself or letting him take over again, it's not worth it. No matter how much stronger his voice is now, I have him beat, and he's only the first of my demons that I'm going to defeat.