The Battlechicken July Challenge

As I’m not gaming much at the moment, I figured I’d try and blog about a few other things to pad my blog out a bit.  So after reading a very brave post by Dragonray I decided I would make a post too.  It’s something I have thought about blogging about before but I wasn’t sure if it was too personal for a gaming blog (though I do talk about other stuff a lot too so I guess it would have been ok anyway) and it is quite a personal issue, not as heartrending as Dragonray’s post, but still something that is difficult to write.  So here goes.  My entry to the Battlechicken July Challenge.

Why Does Morrigu Play MMO’s?

It’s kind of sad really.  And not easy to admit.  But I have crippling self-esteem issues.  I find it very hard to interact with people in real life, so I started playing MMO’s.  I’m ‘me’ but not me in online games.  The game offers a safety screen between me and other people, so I don’t have to face them IRL and risk… Whatever it is I am scared of.

A bit of background here.  From the age of 10 I was badly bullied, at the same time I became a carer for my mother who has MS.  I was always an independent child, I liked what I liked and it wasn’t a problem until I left primary school.  I was a tomboy who liked The Beatles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog.  The summer holiday between primary school and middle school seemed to change everything.  My mum became ill, and a new girl arrived in the village, a girl I didn’t get to meet until school started but who everyone else seemed to have met and become friends with.  For some reason, she took an instant dislike to me, to this day I don’t know why, and that was the beginning of the worst 3 years of my life.  I went from having a good number of friends, a couple of them close, to pretty much no friends at all.  Anyone who spent time with me came in for the same treatment as me, so to them it just wasn’t worth it.  The only person who stuck by me even for a while was G, who was my best friend back then, and is now my fiance, but eventually even he distanced himself from me after rumors were spread about him getting me pregnant.  We were 11 or 12 at the time.  I don’t hold this against him, god knows he feels terrible about it to this day though.  The school did nothing to help me, according to the head teacher there was no such thing as bullying, there was something wrong with me and it was all my fault.  I was sent to special classes, my tormentors got made class principles and bus monitors.  Yay.

So school sucked, and at home I was in charge of caring for mum.  Dad worked full-time, and my brother and sister were grown up and lived 200+ miles away.  So pressure there as well.  Not that I hold it against my mum, it wasn’t her fault, but back then there wasn’t the support for carers there are now, so I was pretty much on my own.

Luckily when I went to high school at 13, the teachers there promised me my bullying would stop.  And within 6 months it had.  They didn’t punish me, they punished the bullies.  But by then the damage was done.

My social skills are pretty bad.  Or I think they are, I’ve been told they are not.  But no matter how close I seem to be to people, I still feel like the outsider, and that I’m not really welcome.  I hate to say it but I even feel that way in my Warcraft guild.  After all, why would anyone want to be friends with me, I have something wrong with me.  I don’t know what that Something is, it’s just there, and people can sense it.  Sometimes I think even G senses it, there are times I am convinced he will turn round and tell me this whole relationship has been a cruel, elaborate joke.  Which doesn’t make sense I know.

I work as a barmaid, which isn’t as hard as you might think for someone like me, but it’s not been that bad.  The person I am behind that bar though?  It’s not the real me, and wouldn’t stand up to close scrutiny if that makes sense.  I can chat away about random stuff, but no one, not even the regulars will even get to know the real me.

I have people who I call friends.  I care about them dearly, but I can’t even pick up the phone to call them in case I bother them.

So I play Warcraft, and SWTOR and other games because I can be me without people getting to see or hear the real me, because if they did, they wouldn’t like me any more.  I can pretend, for a while, I am  a Worgen Druid, not a damaged 30 something human.

Scary thing is?  This is a huge improvement on how I was 4 years ago.  I lead a relatively normal life.  I work, I go out, I can even socialize up to a point.  But there is always that nagging doubt that I don’t fit in.

And bloody hell, am I lonely sometimes.

11 responses to “The Battlechicken July Challenge

  1. I can’t imagine what you went through at that time :< I'm so sorry this has happened to you. *gives a big hug*

  2. I just wanted to say that I think it’s really brave that you posted this but good that you did because it could help so many people who feel like you. They’ll realise they’re not alone. The unwillingness to ring friends in case you bother them is something I completely identify with and I’m currently in the process of a crisis because I’ve joined a rowing club and feel out of my depth amongst all these people. But it’s something I have to work through I know. We all do – to a greater or lesser degree. I think people would like the real you if they knew you – but I know that can be very hard to believe. People judge us far less than we think they do – and certainly far less than we judge ourselves. The starting point has always got to be learning to love ourselves though – and that can be the hardest thing of all. Take care.

    • I thought I was the only one with the phone thing but it seems I’m not.

      I agree I probably am too hard on myself. As a friend once told me, if someone was as nasty to me as I am to myself I’d think they were a real asshole. Changing it is easier said than done though.

  3. /hug

    I think Bravetank has it spot on with:

    “People judge us far less than we think they do – and certainly far less than we judge ourselves. The starting point has always got to be learning to love ourselves though – and that can be the hardest thing of all. Take care.”

    It’s just hard to convince ourselves of that. I actually spoke in tradechat today, first time in years and despite my nerves no one disagreed with me or flamed me, in fact most were on my side. I think it’s just something we have to do in baby steps but the trick is always to keep moving forward.

    • I only talk in trade chat if someone makes me angry, otherwise I’m too shy. Even to ask for trade stuff like gem cutting! I’m a little jealous of the people who chat away sometimes. Well, not of the trolls.

  4. I can understand your reasons for playing MMOs completely. I still struggle with being social with people IRL–I spend most of the time wondering if what I said or did was completely stupid and if they all think I’m an idiot. It’s gotten a lot better lately, but it’s still around.

    *HUGS* both for the bravery to post this and for everything you went through. *hugs* for the little tomboy who didn’t have anything wrong with her but was made to feel like she did. *hugs* for the girl inside who still feels that way. <3

    There have been times where I have become paranoid and wondered if everyone was just playing a cruel joke on me, pretending to like me but saying awful things about me behind my back and having a good laugh about my naivete, so that doesn't sound weird to me at all.

    I know it's hard to convince your brain that it's true, but I believe that those who care about you really do care about you–flaws and all. Don't let the joker in your head steal that away from you–you deserve the best; you deserve to be happy and loved and confident.

    And that's the truth. <3

  5. Oh WoW, you and Ambermist sound so much like me it is scary!!

    I think I am an annoyance to people as well and they aren’t really friends with, they just pity me or something, it is really why I only have about 6 actual friends in my life. They all know about my mental issues and so they are pretty good ensuring I don’t too far off the handle.

    I think the one thing that has helped me though it talking to my friends about it – I know it is difficult to get the first bit out, but I have always found that is the worst – once it is over you will feel much better that someone knows and can help you through those moments of complete and utter self dislike.

    You need to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself daily that you are worth more, you are better than you know and that you are an important person in people’s lives. I promise you the first 3 months will be horribly hard to do, but it will be worth it in the end if you can re-train yourself to move away negative self talk.

    Hugs and sloppy kisses.

  6. *hugs you tight and joins in on the sloppy kisses* You made me cry. I hope I get to meet you in RL one day, so that I can buy you a drink (or have Daine make a Mora-one!) and tell you how lucky we are that has gotten to know someone as special as yourself, and to have you in Enthusiasm!

    *shoves everyone else away* She`s ours! Can be borrowed for kisses and hugs only.

    I thank WoW because it has lead me to so many wonderful people I would never ever have met otherwise.

    I`m a firm believer in that one can love a person they have never met. How else can I explain my feelings towards our guild and it`s lovely, lovely people. So that`s that.

    *makes sure Mora is all covered in Sherise-drool before signing off*

    You rock, missy.

  7. Morrigu, it’s amazing how many people feel how you feel! I hope that after reading so much of what’s out there that you’re not alone, and hopefully you’ll realise even with all your history that you are something – to EVERYONE who reads your blog. Your words change people, and if that’s not something to be proud of… well I don’t know what is :)
    Thanks for the amazing read and sharing that really personal part of yourself.

  8. Pingback: August Challenge: I’m a Collector | Tastes Like Battle Chicken

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