…and how I felt about it

(Content Warning – I’m being hellishly frank about my mental state in this entry. I’m talking about all that good stuff, mental health, including specific diagnoses, I doubt there’s spoiler for Giovanni: Children of the Black Sun, but no promises. Oh yeah and rape/non-consent and suicide warnings because this is me)

I have to admit, I was apprehensive going into this game because I am mentally hella fragile right now, much more so than I was when I signed up for it, much much more so than when I was doing preplay and talking about what I wanted with Betraying Best Friend and Canadian Foodie. The girl hanging from the railway bridge casts a long shadow and I’m midway through therapy so I’ve torn my skin off and there’s nothing there protecting me right now.
I did manage to tell BBF and CF in the car on the way down that I might not be up for the types of play we’d talked about. Goratrix sharing violence from his past sounds good when your brain isn’t full of real life bloody images, or at least when the violence is past and processed and distant. When you’re only a little way out from them, not so much. I thought I was more up for darker personal abuse than I was but in the end I needed my darkness a bit warmer than usual.

Honestly my mental fragility is at least partially why CF and I bounced off of each other so much, the miscommunication was real whereas before we’ve just totally gelled and neither of us quite twigged that we needed to chat offgame and recalibrate until the game was over.

When I read through the power of The Dreamer I realised that I am continually LARPing about memory and it’s loss, about losing my grip on reality in a million ways, and I’m not convinced that this isn’t something I do in my real life. That sense of losing myself is something that I know, that got really bad last year and holy shit was I utterly devastated when Lisa Wesolowski, my longest running vampire character, got executed before I got her all of her memories back. I should have played this one differently perhaps, I pride myself on avoiding bleed…and the biggest bleed I got, being in a threeway relationship was not aided by my sire being the one to anchor me down to earth, because isn’t that what the Fae Ref used to do, albeit with less blood being drawn. I suppose with the memory thing I really need to stop LARPing it, sit down and figure out if this is CPTSD or ADHD or something else, upside – not a brain tumour or that would showup in blood tests. Still, isn’t it sucky when you realise that you’ve been trying to tell yourself something is wrong for, oh, ten years? And it’s taken me that long to figure it out. I’m kinda angry with myself about it really.

Christ though the worst was the moment on day two where we were in some weird triad thing and everything was happy then we stepped through that out of character door to talk about how we were going to kick that happiness out from under our characters. Which obviously I love to do… but gods that was just too close to home, far too close to home. Honestly if there’s bleed from this game it’s not towards any of the people who were playing with me, it’s to two roleplayers who were in Together at Last on the other side of the Channel.

So fucking healthy I know.

The embrace scene was good, how I feel about it is good, and we could have gone darker but it was enough for my psyche doing it at all with a man I didn’t really know. My confidence isn’t quite back to where it was, and at least party there’s the knock from the week before last of being vulnerable to a friend and having him decide that meant I wanted his hands on me. This guy though, to roleplay with was great with boundaries, we told each other a dark vampire story and then hugged it out afterwards. Very much what I wanted.

Overall I think I managed my expectations of this LARP pretty well, I knew I wanted to get good emotional scenes with my friends and I did for all I felt myself pulled towards sections of the game I wasn’t interested in by sheer force of habit. Thinking about that with my therapy head on I guess it’s not just real life that has habitual patterns but my roleplay does too.

I was on a high coming out of it, I still am mostly for all the dips and hits. Some parts of it got weirdly close to bleed though and I’m not used to that.

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