One of the things I have learned in all of my years of being single is that it is much easier for me to get over someone or to move on from them when I can hate them.
I remember when I broke up with my first serious boyfriend and we were living in Reno, NV together. He broke up with me because of issues that were rooted in my being transgender and also because we had moved in together way too soon, which had caused us to feel like we were roommates instead of boyfriend and girlfriend. He made it seem like breaking up was the best thing to do, because if we didn’t do it we would only grow to hate each other and he didn’t want to see that happen to us.
I didn’t understand. I was angry. I was confused. I felt like I had failed, not only as a girlfriend, but as a woman. For someone like me that is a very hard pill to swallow. During the first few weeks after the breakup we each tried coping with things in our own way. I would go to a restaurant or a coffee house immediately after work and not come home unless I absolutely had to. He would go out drinking and partying and wouldn’t come home on the weekends. I would sit on Ventrilo and cry on my GMs shoulder because I had no other friends in the area that I knew well enough to dump all of this on. Needless to say it was a pretty trying time for both of us.
Then one day, as I felt like I was finally on that journey towards moving on he started being really nice to me. I would come home from work and find a three course meal waiting on the dinner table and the episode of “Lost” from the night before playing on the television. He would farm up my consumables for me so that I would have them for raids. We slept in the same bed because he knew that I didn’t sleep very well on the couch. It killed me. I felt like all of the hard work and the progress that I had made to try and get over him was being thrown out the window. I couldn’t hate him when he was doing all of these seemingly nice things to me and for me and not being able to hate him meant it would take me that much longer to get over him – if I would be able to at all.
Subconsciously I had started trying to find ways to create conflict between us because I knew that I would never be able to let go of what we had or let go of him if he continued to be nice to me. I started going through his cell phone and reading his text messages. I stopped healing him during raids. I would flaunt it in his face whenever I received male attention from anyone other than him. I needed him to hate me, so I could hate him back, and then I could move on. Eventually he got tired of the shenanigans that I was pulling and I decided to move back home because I couldn’t bear to sleep in the bed that I had made for myself anymore – literally and figuratively.
Once I got back home and we didn’t speak anymore I seemed to move on much faster. I seemed to move on, period. After about 8 months of this, we finally came together and started reaching out to each other again. We may not have handled things the way that other people do, but it was what we needed to get on with our lives and and to get on with them without each other. From that moment on we became really good friends and we have had many painfully honest discussions about how we were when we were together and how we were immediately afterwards. I can honestly say that he is one of my closest friends and I couldn’t be happier that he is a part of my life.
The reason why I felt compelled to tell this story and why it even came to mind is because I feel like I’m surrounded by people walking away from things that they once enjoyed or by things that are suddenly ending. A number of posts that I have read lately have to do with people being particularly upset or disappointed in “World of Warcraft” and quitting as a result. I see more posts talking about how Blizzard did them wrong than I do posts from people simply saying “It’s time.”
People don’t want to hear that you grew up, or that you’re married now, or that you have a new job that keeps you from playing. They want to hear how much your experience has been ruined by the casuals, or how this company has the worst customer service, or how that game had the worst ending you have ever seen. It’s just like being in a relationship. They don’t want to hear that you grew apart, or that you wanted different things, or that you broke up to try and salvage some form of a friendship. People want to hear about the drama, the messiness, and the fighting. They want someone to blame, someone they can be mad at. And I think we, the people who are going through this potentially life altering change, want someone to point the finger at, too.
There are a number of parallels between the way that we game and the way that we love and I think that how we cope with the potential loss is just one of them. I can’t help but wonder if the people who quit a game in a blaze of glory are really feeling some amount of hurt or sadness at what they are doing and so they try to cover it up by making it seem as if this was something that they had to do or that the company behind the game made them do it. I tend to not second guess people who quit games quietly, with little fuss or fanfare, rather than those who feel the need to create laundry lists of reasons why it’s over.
Who are they trying to convince – us or themselves?