You know the expression ‘Wearing your heart on your sleeve”? People say that to me a lot and I’m never quite sure what they mean. To be clear, before anyone links me the urban dictionary, I know what the expression means, but I don’t always know their intent. Is it a compliment? A caution? An insult?
I suppose it doesn’t much matter, because it is true, although as I’ve mentioned here in this blog before I prefer to call myself an emotional exhibitionist. Sounds a bit sexier don’t you think? I am an external processor, I think aloud. I get from A to B by talking or writing it out. I process feelings and thoughts by looking at them outside of my own head. I know sometimes it causes people undue amounts of concern when they find themselves witness to it, but it’s really not necessary. Chances are if I’m talking about something that upset me, or that I’m going through, I am actually perfectly fine. It’s only when I get quiet that should be remotely noteworthy.
Which brings me the long way round to my point, this blog has gone quiet for several months.
The short version of why I haven’t blogged is because I haven’t really been in Second Life since April. There were a handful of quickie log ins to make a payment, or answer something critical, but that’s about it. I knew that my spare time and online footprint would be drastically reduced over the summer months due to a few changes at home and work, and some medical situations with my family in my first world life, but I’ll confess, there were a few nights here and there that I could have logged in. I most certainly could have benefited from the distraction, and having a bit of fun, but just the thought of it knotted my stomach so I didn’t.
You see, there was an unresolved issue that I didn’t want to face, the same unresolved issue that has made me question what to do with this blog.
You may recall, or if you skip down a few posts you’ll see, an SL friend of mine Mabb Dilweg passed away suddenly in March. Her death touched many people, even those who never had the opportunity to meet her in SL. In a moment of shared grief, in an attempt to feel less helpless, a fundraiser was put together to fly her partner Shane Fairlock to her home. We knew he wouldn’t make it in time for the funeral, but hoped that the trip would still give him closure. The fear of never being able to say goodbye is one that I think most people who form online and long distance friendships can relate to.
In April it became apparent that the fundraiser would fall short of it’s goal. I know that quite a few people, both privately and publically in the SLU forum, began to ask questions about what would happen to the money and suspicions even began to be voiced. At the time he assured me that he was holding out hope that he could still put together enough from other sources, that he just needed a little more time, but in the event he couldn’t make the trip we discussed other options for the money that was raised including giving it to her family or donating to the zoo that Mabb loved to bring her grandchildren to.
That didn’t happen. Six months later, he either is still holding it or he spent it. Will it forward it on one day? Perhaps. Stranger things have happened.
There is a lot I could say here, but I don’t know how necessary that is. If you are at all curious what Shane’s version of the story is, it would probably be best to ask him. I could give my version, but it differs dramatically from the various accounts he’s given Mabb’s other friends so I don’t even know what the truth is anymore.
I do know this, as weeks turned to months, without even the courtesy to update all those who loved her, and who donated, the silence became the elephant in the room. So much so that the very idea of logging in and seeing Shane on my friend’s list, knowing I had to either confront him or ignore it as if nothing happened, seemed like more stress than I needed or wanted. I needed an outlet, an escape, but due in large part to this situation Second Life was no longer that for me.
I’m angry. Not about the money I donated, I’m angry at myself because in my own need to channel my grief, to do something constructive, I projected my fear of losing people I care about onto this situation and I overinvested emotionally. I know better, or at least I should. I’m angry that I let my reluctance to confront him and address this issue keep me from Second Life at a time when I probably needed that outlet most. I’m angry that I let my uncertainty about how to proceed with this blog, not knowing if I should address this issue or not, keep me from taking pictures and writing. I dreaded having to talk this out with people, I felt guilty, I was embarassed, so I withdrew from many of my friends rather than risk the topic coming up.
Not anymore. I finally, with the help and heavy prodding of some friends, logged into Second Life, said my piece to Shane, then deleted him. It’s done, I’m taking my Second Life back.
I still have a lot of thinking to do, I need to examine what part I played in this and find a way to prevent it from happening again. It’s not the first time a friend let me down, not the first time I misplaced trust, not the first time I got hurt, not the first time I dreaded the idea of confronting a person or situation. People are so quick to say “don’t let it change you” and I appreciate both the sentiment, and the good hearted place it comes from, but I do think a few changes are in order. People warn me against becoming bitter, urge me not to build up walls, but from where I sit those both seem like viable options.
I don’t know where my Second Life will take me now and it’s possible that I will continue to wear my heart on my sleeve on this adventure, but I know one thing for sure… this time I’m packing a little more spine.
Outfit : MetaTheodora Star of Venus Ballgown, Gloves, and Nipple Covers (head piece not shown)
FEET!!!!! Slink Female Feet (AvEnhance) M – Mid (a blog post dedicated entirely to my new feet is in the works)
Below eye piercing: .:ellabella:. Helene’s Tears – silver
Above eye piercing: – .HoD. – Fire In The Water Prt. 1 – Midnight
Skin: -Belleza- Ellie Gacha 5 (old Arcade Item)
Hair: Wasabi Pills Lory Mesh Hair Aquatic (old Arcade item)
Make up: -Belleza- Eyeliner 1
Collar: Hello Spacegirl – Ilia Collar (long) M (black)
Lashes: Maitreya V.I.P. Group Gift Mesh EyeLashes (old group gift)
Mesh spine attachment is part of the [StG] Neuropuppet RLV Slave Unit on the marketplace.