It was one of those nights. Time to sit and reflect, and that’s not always good, because when you reflect you don’t always like what you see in the reflection.
After I did the research for my current work in progress I got sidetracked. That happens, because my mind wanders. I should have been writing, and, in a way, I was.
I was working on a character for a game.
I can hear you saying, “What?” Yes, see . . . I got roped into a Play-by-Post game and I was in need of making a character. This happens with me, so don’t be too surprised. It’s for a game I’ve wanted to play for a few years, so I thought I’d give it a shot, because the worst that can happen is that I’ll get bored and throw my character off a building and call it a day.
But the act of creating a character can be time consuming, and it can involve a lot of imagination–particularly where the character’s history is concerned. See, there is this thing called “Character Development” that tends to get ignored these days: in movies, in games, in stories–big time in stories. And I love making characters with great backgrounds; it gets the mind going in ways you usually never see it go, and you let it run when that happens, because what you’re going to come out with, in the end, isn’t some two dimensional trope-ridden placard. Oh, no. You do it right, you’ll have a real person.
So as I put the numbers together, I developed my character, and one of the things I came up with for her (yes, “her”, cause I do roll that way. Hey, if I can write female characters well, I can damn sure play them, too) is that she was kept in a form of suspended animation for 5 years, and that everyone who knew her thinks she’s dead. No, not thinks: knows. They know because three weeks after she initially disappeared her body was found floating in a river, and the autopsy indicated she’d been raped and stabbed before being weighted down and dumped.
It doesn’t matter how her body was found, and how she’s now in a lab being told this story by two other people. The hard truth is she has nothing to go back to, because to show up on her parent’s doorstep and go, “Naw, what you guys found was probably a clone”, would likely find her ass right back in a lab in short order.
So, with her death, she’s finding her way in the world as someone completely different that who she’d been before. One of the aspects about her is that she’d a bit into BDSM, and is something of a domme. I can just imagine what the other players are going to say when they see that–and it better be, “Yes, Mistress.”
But then . . . shit got real.
I was out on Second Life for a bit. It’s a place where I’ve hung for almost 5 years, and I have a number of people who are friends of one sort or another. One of these people, who happens to be someone I’ve known almost the entire time I’ve been is SL, is a therapist. Really. I sort of suspected about 2 years after a met her, but last year she told me for sure that, yeah, she has a private practice, and yes, she’s been watching me all the while we’ve known each other.
Watching me because I do have issues. Lots of issues.
She wasn’t actually treating me last night, but it became a session. Mostly because she was asking me questions, and then hit a point where she felt it necessary to call me on my bullshit. And the gist of the message was this: “You’re always looking for something from someone else, and they can’t give it to you because you’ve yet to care for yourself. Until you love yourself, you’ll never find happiness with others.”
Well, now, that didn’t leave me in a happy place. In fact, it left me a huge mess. Mostly because the message hit home hard.
Yes, I am always looking for something from others. I want to feel wanted, and even loved–but I’ve yet to come to grips with the fact that I can’t stand myself for the most part. And when I feel that I’m not getting the attention I need, I pull away. I’ve done it before in the past, and I’m doing it these days as well.
It’s not right. It really isn’t.
I’ve felt love before. And I’ve felt it go away. I’m a head case, but I do try to get better. I am creative, but sometimes I not only suffer for my creativity, but my characters do as well. Oh, yes, they do go through some hell.
And when it comes to hell, I turned to another character for comfort.
As I was getting ready for bed, I started thinking on another scene, and this one involved someone from another game–my “friend” Erywin, whom I’ve talked about before on this blog. The scene that came to mind wasn’t pleasant: in fact, it was very upsetting.
Things always come to an end, and I was working out the event that, for her, would be the hardest: the death of her long-time wife and the love of her life. She’s gotten on for almost 55 years with her “pretty girl”, and now, in the scene I envisioned, her wife Helena is gone, and it’s her and Kerry’s wife Annie, and my character, all standing outside Helena’s family crypt in New Zealand–the same crypt that Erywin will share with her when it’s her time to cast off this moral coil.
It’s in that moment, with the sun going down behind them, that Erywin finally tells her friends of the time Helena and she met. It was hinted at many times in the past, but now, for the first time, she speaks about what happened, how they came together in a girl’s bathroom at their school.
Here are Ewywin’s words:
“Four girls came in and cornered me. One of the girls was the one I’d approached a few days before, and confessed my love to. She was the first one to hit me . . .
“She slapped me hard. One of her friends grabbed my hair as she slapped me again and called me a ‘dirty lez’, and how dare I tell her that I loved her. Then a third girl kicked me in the leg and I fell and . . . that’s when they all had a go at me.
“I was on my knees. I was being kicked in the stomach and the groin. The one who had hold of my hair kept yanking my head back, and the one girl kept slapping me, calling me ‘dirty lez’ over and over. Then, finally, she hits me right around the eye, and everything went red, and I fell over–
“And they kept at me. I was kicked all over. I covered up my face to kept from getting hit there, but they got me everywhere else. They spit on me a couple of times. And then they stopped and someone–I think it was the one who stated it–she stand over me, straddling me . . .
“She urinated on me. God, the sound of the splatter on my uniform: it was so loud. No one said a word, they all stood and watched as their mate pissed on me, like I was nothing, like I less than human.
“When she was done she stepped back and kicked me hard in the arse; it felt like she’d broken my tailbone, I was in so much pain. I remember screaming and crying as they walked out. They left me there, not saying a word. It was as if they’d come in to use the loo and freshen up, and with their business done it was time to head off to class.
“I didn’t move for a few minutes; I just lay there and cried. Then I crawled up into a stall and sat back against a wall. I was hurting everywhere and just crying up a storm. Damning myself for coming out, blaming myself for the attack. I hated myself, because I’d been struggling for two years over who I was, what I was, and here was the affirmation that all I’d ever encounter would be hate. And because they hated me, I couldn’t help but hate myself.
“I was really, at that point, considering going up to the Astronomy Tower and throwing myself off; I mean, how could I ever go back to my House and face everyone knowing what had just happened? The alternative was simple: a few seconds of falling, and then there’d be darkness and peace, and I’d never need worry about being the school lez ever again.
“And then I looked up . . . and there she was, standing in the entrance to the stall, staring at me with the most curious look on her face. I can’t blame her: there I was, moaning and crying, my face all red, my hair everywhere, wet and stinking of urine. I was such a fucking mess.
“She asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I said, ‘I just got beat up by four girls’. And she tilted her head just an inch to the right–like she used to do in class–and asked, ‘Why did they do that?’. I was afraid to say, because I expected her to walk away the moment I spoke.
“But for some reason, I did tell her. I said, ‘I told one of the girls who beat me up that I loved her’, and left it at that. I thought, ‘This bird is gonna leave now’, and when she did I could go up to the Tower and leave . . . leave for good.
“But she didn’t leave. She knelt down and sat back on her heels. And she took my hand and held it, and said, ‘That’s not right. Why would they do that?’ She brushed my hair from my face and she smiled, and my heart just shattered. ‘No one should suffer because they love,’ she said, and I started crying so hard, and she held my hand the whole time I cried out. When I was done she helped me to my feet and cleaned me up and got me to the hospital wing–“
With that Erywin takes my character’s hand and, while crying softly, says, “That’s how I met my Pretty Girl, Cass. That’s how I met the woman I knew I’d be with forever. That’s how I met the one who showed me how to love myself as much as I’d love her.”
I’m learning that one can’t go forward if they can’t find love within themselves. I have spent a lot of time looking for something from others, but I never find it because I can never find that same thing within my own being. There are those I love, and who love me in return, but I know I have to find that same love for myself, or it’s nothing.
It’s really nothing at all.
Through my writing I’m finding so many feelings that were never there before–or were so submerged I had forgotten they existed. Through my characters I’m letting out parts of my being that I’ve kept out of sight for so long that I’d not wanted to admit they were there.
Writing and creating characters helps me. It’s part of a voyage of discovery. In a way it’s my own self therapy. It’s made me examine myself and it helps understand who and what I am, and what I need.
Maybe, in my own time, and with some help from others, I’ll find the love inside that will finally make me whole.