Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm Just Your Average, Everyday Sane/Psycho Super Goddess*

I found out some VERY interesting news the other day!

I'm not real!

Yes, those words were actually said to me. "Beth Macbain isn't real."

In the same breath, this person compared Second Life to Call of Duty. "It's an interactive video game."

Flabbergasted, I was! Confounded! Stupefied, even!

To me and you, it's just a basic, intrinsic piece of knowledge. Second Life is a virtual world. Call of Duty is a first-person shooter game (I think. I've never actually played it).

"If I kill someone in CoD, it doesn't hurt them. People can't get hurt in SL, either."

"This is just a character. We're just characters."

Really...?

No.

No, we aren't. This person... I know far more about him than just his character in this interactive video game he's convinced himself he's playing. I know his wife's name. His kids. His dog. I know where he grew up. Where he lives, his profession. His hobbies. His politics, his religion, his cooking habits. Where his kids go to school. I've heard his voice when he orgasms. A thousand other bits of information that have nothing to do with his so-called character. Why do I know? Because he told me. I snooped nary a bit. I didn't need to... he offered it up without the slightest nudge.

Is he really so dense that he believes the real world didn't seep into our interactions?

For the briefest moment, I let him convince me he was right. We were just characters playing a game. How silly I was for thinking our friendship was real! After all, he told me up from that SL was SL and RL was RL, right?

And I might have bought it for longer than a moment if it weren't for those thousands of pieces of information he told me over the course of our... whatever we had.

Let me dispel any notions anyone may have about me right now... Beth Macbain is a virtual visual representation of the real life Beth.

Granted, she looks more like me at 24 than me now at 44 but I think we can all forgive that we make ourselves look better on SL than we do in RL, right?

Every word I say, every emotion I emote... is as real to me as if you were sitting right next to me on my couch. Beth Macbain's intelligence? Me. Her sense of humor? Mine. Her sexuality? All me.

No, I don't give out my last name, or my address, nor my phone number until you've gained some bit of trust. My real life picture? Sure! It's not on my profile, but if we become friends, I'm happy to share it with you. The two Beths are one and the same.

Am I alone in using Second Life this way? No. Far from it. In my years, I've encountered all sorts of humans and creatures in SL. The one thing we've had in common is that when we talk, we're talking as human beings. Sure, it's a bit different in RP sims, but we all know that going in. RP is an element of Second Life, but it's not the entirety of it.

I was also told that I was searching for something.

Aren't we all? Isn't that exactly why we're all in Second Life? We're seeking something we're not getting in our real lives...? Him, too? I could dissect his psyche and tell you all why I think he's here, but... that's between him and whoever he's bumping pixels with these days.

He made me feel like I was lacking something by being human. I'm no fool... now that I'm out from under the spell, I see it for what it was. Emotional manipulation. He wanted me to be who HE wanted me to be, not who I was. And whenever I showed my human side, he took a perverse delight in growing cold and pushing away from me with threats. I guess that's his "game". I'm certainly not the first woman he's done this to, and I'm equally certain I won't be the last. I hope his new girlfriend doesn't end up too hurt, but I don't hold out much hope for that. It'll be great for a couple months... all giddy and fresh and new. Then he's going to start getting bored. And she'll think she's done something wrong even though she's tried so hard to please him.

Anyway, that's between the two of them.

I realized after some soul-searching that it was futile to try to either get him to admit his error, or admit that he's lying to himself (and in turn, everyone he interacts with in SL).

Because you know what? He was really a shit to Beth Macbain... and in turn, that means he was a shit to me. And I tried... God knows I tried... to figure out why, after three months, he not only turned to ice with me, he turned into a mean person. I'll admit... I bugged the shit out of him. I tried to be what he wanted me to be, the result of which was losing a bit of myself for a while. It was desperation... I had to know why, after three really great months, it was all going to hell. The simple fact was that I expected him to be as respectful to me as I was to him.

I even thought, as I walked away from him for the final time, that we would (after some time had passed) be able to be friends when all was said and done. But he had one last trick up his sleeve... one final weapon in his arsenal... and that was enough for me. Beth, SL and RL, found her real inner-strength and let it go.

It may not seem that way after this diatribe, but I've not felt this light in a long time. Breathing is so much easier now. Sure, there are still a couple little aches and twinges... after all, I'm only human.

What it boils down to is this- I'm not going anywhere. I enjoy Second Life and the interactions I have with others. I love the connections. My friends. I like my avatar because she's a part of me. I know where I am and what I'm doing. Most importantly, I know WHO I am.

And I'm a good person.

*title borrowed with much love from Liz Phair

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