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.