Character Profile: Siobhan Pattinson

Shiv on a sofa

Name: Siobhan MacBrae Pattinson

Date of Birth: June 12th, 1967

Hometown: Aviemore, Badenoch & Strathspey, Scotland

Height: 5ft 11in

The nervous but good natured Scot, Siobhan is the 18-year-old daughter to the island’s estate agent and eager to make friends with the island’s new resident, Maddie. However, behind her pleasant exterior she hides emotional agony from both her past and her present, with these doubts and fears slowly tearing her apart mentally.

Background

Siobhan Pattinson was born on June 12th, 1967 in Aviemore, Scotland, to local estate agent Renée Pattinson (née MacBrae, b. 1944) and English business owner Alexander Pattinson (b.1943). Renée was always local to the Highlands, her family being descended from the ddaScottish clans that had lived in the area for centuries. Alexander Pattinson on the other hand moved to the region around Aviemore from his home in Cambridgeshire, joining a local timber company and eventually becoming CEO. Siobhan’s parents met in the town sometime in 1964 and soon started a relationship, marrying in 1966. Siobhan lived in a house near the railway station and, due to the remote nature of the town deep in the Scottish Highlands, spent her early years very much at one with nature, developing her own ability in gardening and cooking, but also homed her skills at the piano, an instrument she found an interest and natural talent at from around the age of four.

However, Siobhan was dealt a tragic blow when her parents divorced, her father leaving them after starting a sexual relationship with a much younger office assistant. At only 7 years old, the departure of her father left her emotionally distraught and her confidence destroyed. As the pain continued to seethe in her mind, she almost turned to self-hatred, blaming herself for coming between her parents and driving her father into the arms of stumbling-siobhananother woman. Though Siobhan can speak openly about her father’s departure, in spite of causing her great pain, she won’t elaborate on the reason why out of nothing but shame.

Seeing how miserable Siobhan had become, the pair took a short holiday to the Isle of Hue where they quickly fell in love with the peace and tranquillity of its setting. Renée left her estate agent job in Aviemore, becoming an independent estate agent to serve the local islands and surrounding mainland near Ullapool, and the pair moved to Hue when Siobhan was 8 years old. As the pair became more settled in their new home, Siobhan quickly developed a friendship with the initially shy but lovable and energetic Ebony Larsson, who had never known a girl her own age. Immediately the two girls saw the good in one another and became the best of friends, spending their days playing and helping around shiv-relentsthe island. Siobhan would sometimes help Ebony herd her sheep, while Ebony would assist in Siobhan’s garden. The pair claimed that they were both like the sisters they’d never had.

Development

Ah Siobhan, now you were a ton of fun to make! While Maddie is the main character of the Maddie on the Island Hue series, Siobhan MacBrae Pattinson was the one who had by far the most development, and the most heart and soul put into her character. As mentioned in the Volume 3 background, Siobhan represents the turmoil that was my teenage years, fear and anxiety were very much my image and it was all because of powers beyond my control.

Siobhan is based on the person I used to be when I was about 14 or 15. Back then I was still kind, chirpy and eager to help those around me, but at the same time I was incredibly anxious, always getting nervous and fearing confrontation, not to mention the various fears I had regarding my bisexuality. I won’t go into too much detail here (I cover it more in my Volume 3 summary), but bisexuality was my greatest fear at the time, because I knew that no matter what happened I would always be seen as different. I lived in an environment that didn’t physically cause you harm in the name of homophobia, but mentally it did, you were made to feel different, you were made to feel wrong. Is that worse than physical abuse? I’ll let you decide.shiv you nervous girl

I’ve often pushed for sexuality and homosexual topics to be covered in Sex Education in schools because if you don’t teach kids what thoughts and feelings they may have, not only for the other gender but also their own, how are they supposed to know what to do when these feelings come about? Just because a vocal minority of easily angered bigots feel that homosexuality is immoral and is an outrage against nature doesn’t mean that the youths of so many people have to be ruined by fear and doubt. I personally would have liked to have known a lot more about my sexuality before I gradually came to terms with it, edging closer and closer to my current understanding of the subject through what was basically trial and error, and Siobhan seems like someone who could have benefited even more. Instead, she becomes easily frightened by the idea of people finding out, but has no ability to release her stresses by talking to others about the subject for fear that her orientation is some kind of taboo, thus leaving her the only option of secretly masturbating to pictures of her friends. A bit more education would really go a long way in helping people understand their bodies and their minds, especially for Transgender people who don’t honestly feel at home in their bodies, but that’s another story.

shiv stumbles awayAside from the aspects of sexuality, Siobhan is also a girl with a hole in her heart due to her parents divorce. This is based on a very close friend of mine who I grew up with at primary school. In around Year 5 their parents broke up and it emotionally destroyed them. They became very confused, depressed, they put on weight and seemed to lose all ambitions in life; almost overnight they went from fun-loving and outgoing to very insular and sad. Though gradually they were able to come to terms with their woes and get their life back on track, it really did wake me, and many of my schoolmates, up to how much divorce can break people’s hearts, especially for reasons as petty as wanting to find a younger person to sleep with. Siobhan is very much the same, her confidence is destroyed, and this in turn causes the problems and issues that make her as scared as she is to face her sexuality.

As for her physical development, did you know Siobhan wasn’t originally going to be named Siobhan? Nope, in the short-story I wrote in Summer 2013, her original name was Catherine Pattinson, but I was never satisfied with that name as it seemed a touch bland, and at the same time it sounded too anglicised for her character origin. At University though, I met a senior technician in my department who was named Siobhan, and it took shiv-raarme forever to figure out how to pronounce her name, which was a touch embarrassing when it came to talking to her (yes, even I said Sio-bahn, like she was some kind of German cable-car!). Anyway, the name stuck, and I really quite liked it, so I chose to rename Catherine to Siobhan Pattinson, which I feel now is a much better name.

Her design was meant to be somewhat minimalist, but you find that there are plenty of people in the world who are. Siobhan wasn’t drawn up to be hot or attractive, but more just your average girl with straight, short brown hair, a slightly + size body, but also quite tall, measuring in at 5ft 11in, a comparative giant over Ebony, Maddie and Rhia. However, what qualities make her less attractive she makes up for with her personality and characterisation, which I feel are among my best pieces of writing. I really wanted to put my heart and soul into Siobhan, and see her disturbed start to the story be brought full circle to a peaceful resolution. 🙂