I often find myself perusing the Facebook feature that allows you to look back through the years at your timeline for that day in history. Today I was struck by several things.
The first was 8 years ago I had just gotten my dragonfly tattoo that was designed for me by Derek, a wonderful tattoo artist out of Sacramento. He designed it just for me and I have loved it from the moment I saw it. It was ink to celebrate my 200 pound loss milestone. Derek has done 90% of my ink and I trust him like no other, and we met in a game called Everquest in 1999. It’s crazy to think that I have known and loved this man for 17 years now and how strange just how much of an effect he has had in my life.
Derek was the first man I fell in love with due to words on a screen.
It would be years before I met him in person, but I knew I loved him. Greg, my husband knew I loved him. In fact, Derek was the person that led us into an open marriage, not by his guidance really, but by his willingness to be open with me, understand the fact that I was married and happy, and still be willing to love the person I was, no strings attached. It wasn’t really a sexual bond, not in a traditional sense really, because simply put there’s only so far you can go with words, texts and phone conversations, but there was a bond between us…and our characters online. Selor and Sorcha belonged to one another, and that bond carried us through many games and many characters through the years. The last time we spent any time together in a game was World of Warcraft. Hellfyre and Hellfury were the same as we had always been, devoted to one another, we were the hellions!
Through those 17 years we’ve seen each other off and on, I’ve gotten a lot more ink on my body because of him and he has even inked Greg now. He gave us beautiful works of art for our 18th wedding anniversary when we stopped in to see him on our way up the coast. He has gotten married, has a beautiful wife, adorable children and we have all ended up perfectly happy. He is someone who will always be in my world, one way or another and 17 years ago I am not sure how I would have described the us that would exist today…but no matter what, I am sure the reality is much better now than anything I could have come up with at that point.
I love him dearly and he is one of the boxes in my heart, and always will be.
Second, I was also reminded of that same trip to California that I got my dragonfly. After I saw Derek for ink, I traveled down the coast to visit other friends I had gamed with in WoW. Caught and Hawkke, two men I had gamed with for several years and never met in person, yet there I was, going to spend an entire weekend with them, in their home. Alone.
I can vividly remember the moment I pulled up to their house they shared as roommates, and I knock on the door but there was no answer. All of a sudden all those stories you hear (especially back in 2008) about never going to someone’s house you’ve only met on the internet. How so many women end up murdered or tied up in the basement for years. But there I was knocking…only to find out they had misjudged the timing of my arrival and were only minutes away. I meet them, and was immediately put at ease. I had talked online with them for hours on end for years, my husband (also a gamer) had met them on vent as well and we were ALL comfortable with my trip, albeit some of Greg’s friends thought we were all crazy, and we probably were. But that’s not a negative in my book lol…
I look back at the photos of us (see below) and at that point in time I would have thought those two would be in my life forever, but now, 8 years later, I couldn’t even tell you their real names. Hell I don’t even know which city I drove to from Derek’s tattoo shop to meet them! Its so interesting the path that life takes us sometimes. I honestly would have told you I was in love with those two as well. In fact part of that weekend there was some true awkwardness because I really wanted to sleep with them both, and to be truthful, I couldn’t make up my mind, so NOTHING happened at all lol.
One of the TRUEST things in my life is this…
Rare people come into my life for a reason.
Whether its for me to help them or for them to help me is often unknown, but when I meet these people, I know. I do find it interesting that most of the time those people are men, but I really have a hard time getting along with “normal” women. They make me crazy and I simply prefer the company of men, which lends itself to that skewed ratio, but the women that are close to me in my life are truly phenomenal and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Today was an interesting day for introspection on my life with men who start out as complete strangers and who end up lovers. But the converse can be just as true. Because I have no fear of men, or falling in love or even lust with them, it tends to open me up to some that can do more harm than good. Like I said, people come into my life for a reason and sometimes that reason is to teach me a lesson, which isn’t necessarily a good one.
There have been people in my past that I’ve loved, cared about, treated with way more respect that they deserved and gave more chances to than I would have given to almost anyone else in my life. I grew up in an abusive home and spent my childhood in fear and being psychologically manipulated, but I also had prime examples of what a great man can be like, so I realized early on how to shield myself. My weight always allowed me some blatant honesty and in the end, I learned to defend myself against just about everything, but sometimes you still have to learn the hard way.
And I have. Many times over.
I don’t draw a line in the sand on when my heart has to stop loving someone. Or even whether or not I can or even should love someone. It just simply happens. Sometimes before I even know it. At times that love is so bright I fear it overshadows everything else in its path…and I am the first to admit that sometimes that newness is what I needed, what I craved and so I forgive a lot of hurt because that rush I feel is worth it. Then, its not nearly as bright and you start to see the hurt and pain that’s being heaped on you when you don’t even know it. That’s when I have to walk away, even when I don’t really want to.
Sometimes I can put all those feelings and memories away in their own little box in my heart.
Its like I have a shelf, with all these various beautiful boxes. Each box is different, and they hold the memories and thoughts about one person I love and care about but they are someone I can’t have in the forefront of my life any more. Either they have moved on or I have, it doesn’t really matter, but when I hear a song or see something that reminds me of them, I can move their box to the front, go through the memories and feelings and still feel good about them, about me loving them and I usually enjoy the moment, even if it tugs on my heartstrings.
Those boxes are precious and very few…but they will always be with me. Derek is one of those boxes…his art is a part of my body, his love is a part of my soul. Whether or not we ever see each other again, in game or out, doesn’t matter. He will always be a happy place for me.
For a long time I held on to other boxes, filled with hate, anger and pain. I thought it would help me remember to not let it happen again, but in truth, all it did was radiate self loathing and hurt. It took me a long time to realize I could throw all those memories and pain away and not have them stuck in the back of my mind, growing strong in the darkness. There was a certain comfort in them, because I could always feel right in my decision to be rid of whomever hurt me.
But in the end I realized I just had to clean house and get rid of all that pain. No matter who caused it, or why. Letting it sit inside me was no good for myself or anyone else that was around me. Every so often I have to remember to clear those boxes out and get rid of all the lingering bad juju that can cloud my judgement and cause fear, even when there isn’t anything bad going on.
Past history does count, and while I will never forget the pain someone has caused me, I can at least let it go and not carry it around with me any longer. I don’t usually care about revenge (I can’t say never because truly there are some people on a list that will some day pay for their mistakes) but generally, its just easier to let go of it all and toss those big crappy boxes away.
So while I love the “looking back” feature of Facebook, sometimes those little reminders can be a little painful. All you can do is look to the future and be happy. I have so many people I love and adore in my life. Many of them are people I can only interact with as “words on a screen” due to the distance between us, but that never stops me from loving them or enjoying them for who they are. If we are lucky, we see one another once a year and if I am VERY lucky…we get to hit one another with swords too.
I am not really sure why all this came out of me today, but I knew when I saw the pictures that it needed to be said. And maybe it was as simple as I had to clear out some old boxes that I’d let sit for too long…or maybe I had to start making some new boxes for good memories.
Either way, it feels good to have it all out…and I know that whatever comes my way I will be ready…to love, to feel, and to enjoy…the strangers that cross my path.
No Fear…and strange men
It’s just simply how I roll…