A pair of weeks ago I decided I couldn’t take the weight of two full lives, and had to “simplify” my SL one.
Yes, again :-p
This time the idea is to avoid things I should hide from my RL husband, like cybering. While I can’t stop loving, I can stop behaving like a lover, and I hope that a clean conscience, or at least a slightly gray one, will let me sleep better.
The thing is, I have been told that this happens every September, and it may be true. It seems that last September I did a massive defriending, and that the previous one I commented I was exhausted and I needed a rest; if we check 2007 archives, the average of 20 posts/month falls to a trickle of one or two after September the 16th.
I wonder if it was 2006’s September when I decided I couldn’t take the weight of my SL life and killed my main, Alana. I know it took me around six months to come back but, since London had already been worn as a working alt, I don’t know when it happened. What I know is I started writing in 2007’s June, and I had ambled a lot as London before doing so, so the chances are good.
I know about post-vacational depression and, while I don’t think I suffer it at RL, it may affect me at SL. While I don’t like to be said there are cycles in my behaviour, it is true that I always find hard to come back to SL after holidays. As my dear sis Zippora explains, way better than I could do:
I think emotional experiences in SL are even more wearing us out than the RL ones for several reasons: you lack direct communication with body language and facial expressions, most of us are communicating in a language that’s not our own – both also with the risk of misinterpretation btw – , many of us stay up too late to see SL friends and therefore ask too much from our bodies, the secretness of virtual affairs forces us to stay quiet when we would like to cry out.
If I can add something, is the devastating effect of double loyalties for those of us who are married at RL.
At first it is easy to keep a SL relation private: no names, no pics, no voice; we can choose clear limits. But keeping yourself a secret from somebody you love isn’t an easy thing to do, and feels deeply wrong. Even if the idea is to protect your RL close ones, it sounds like lack of confidence, like saying “I am not telling you because you can use it someday to hurt me”.
Your friends may respect your privacy and understand when you need to keep a secret (says the relentless googler .-p), but as you grow closer you give and take, sharing more and more. And even if I have never given away my full identity, my closest friends could probably discover who I am (Google again :-p), and that makes so tempting to take that last step, to stop the secrets.
But as barriers fail communication increases, and so does risk. Maybe you will check continuously your e-mail, or exchange phone calls, or dream about brief, hot RL encounters; maybe your SL lover makes you laugh, blush, maybe he keeps your mind busy while you are driving. At the end it doesn’t matter it is a virtual affair, because we behave like RL cheaters… and as RL cheaters we can’t give ourselves fully to our lovers, which can be so unfair, if you are the only thing they have.
Once upon a time I was so deeply in love at SL that I failed my RL. This time I had been more careful, not letting myself go, but still getting closer, deeper, until the daily mess of SL relations absorbed me, until too many hours weren’t enough, until giving everything was at the same time too much and not enough.
If I go a bit crazy in September it is probably because after the holiday ends, I must log in and try again to balance between my desires and my needs, seeing how little I see and talk with those I love, and how much of my life is taking that little.
What can I say? Coming back feels like a ton of bricks :-p
Solutions? Well, you can try never get into an SL relation (oooops, too late), stop loving them (sorry, not possible) or taking a rest (yeah, fun, I also saw that chapter from Friends).
No, there are no solutions, no perfect ones, at least.
I will try to keep away from those sweet things that I must hide from my husband, try to keep my nature under control, and that should relieve part of the pressure; it isn’t perfect, but it may work…
… until September comes again.
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