Just a quick page to let people know about a part of me. Normally I keep this to myself, but since this website is for guild members only, and a lot of you interact with me, I do feel safe with sharing this. I’m sure from RP and interactions in guild chat and OOC you may have noticed that I can range from moods of being upper happy and a big participant, like yesterday, and other days I seem down or misunderstanding jokes or a bit grumpy.
I want to say that majority of the time it’s not you, it’s actually me. Well, it’s a part of me. See I have two mental conditions: Asperger’s Syndrome and Borderline Personality Disorder. Those two can be a challenge enough on their own, together they make my life… Unpredictable to put it mildly.
Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of high functioning autism. High functioning I can live life for the most part independently, but I am hindered in terms of social interactions. I need to be taught things like voice tone, body language, what is and is not humorous, and I often live the life of a hermit both in and out of game. I can be quite obsessive with specific things, hence why a lot of my SWTOR characters are either pureblood or togruta, and why I often watch the Star Wars movies to get my fill of Darth Vader instead of watching them from beginning to end.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder based fast mood swings (usually ranging in terms of going from really angry to really depressed), fearing abandonment or perceived abandonment, nearly uncontrollable impulses (spending, gambling, eating, sex, etc), extreme ideation to devaluation of people, and suicidal thoughts. When I was diagnosed in January I fit, and I still fit, all of those criteria. Although BPD isn’t diagnosed in children and adolescence, unlike autism spectrum conditions, the symptoms of BPD often appear in the early years to the point where diagnosis might be changing.
SO now you all know why I sometimes react the wrong way to a joke, say things that are rude even though I do not mean for them to come across as rude, and often have rigid divides between things like structure or out of character vs. in character interactions. For the misunderstandings and hurt and mood killing that I probably have caused on occasion, I do apologize. I honestly do not mean for my moods to spiral out of control, nor for my mind to misinterpret what is being said.
Given this information, why am I in such a large guild on SWTOR? Why do I play SWTOR, a social game? Well… It’s hard to explain but I will try. Perhaps a lot of you will understand my reasoning. First, online games offer a means of emotional release for many people who have mental conditions. Second, SWTOR gives me the opportunity to be alone, because I play in my room on my own most days, and be social at the same time. Thanks to SWTOR I do get socializing into my life in a way that is free of judgments I get outside of game because SWTOR removes the face-to-face interaction, thereby people do not see me using body language wrong and I cannot misread a vocal tone I can’t hear. Third, it’s Star Wars and I’m with people I can enjoy one of my obsessions with. I think sometimes one of the worst things that happens when you have Asperger’s is no one wants to hear about what your REALLY interested in. Gets worse when one of my interests is m/m relationships, and I cannot really share it with anyone in real life because they are homophobic one way or another or would use to invalidate other aspects of my identity.
I am getting and got treatment for both conditions. For Asperger’s it was mostly social training so I learned how to live as a “neurotypical”, which is someone who as far as they know doesn’t have any mental disorders/illnesses/conditions. It worked for the most part, but sometimes social training for people on the autism spectrum is like conversion therapy for LGBT people. On the surface it appears to work, but deep down I still have Asperger’s and still think through social situations like someone with Asperger’s. Not saying social training = conversion therapy, but it is similar enough of an analogy.
For BPD, I received 8 weeks of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT is “successful” for the most part in that I can manage my moods, and be better able to deal with stressful situations. However, some times it is hard to default to DBT, and I think the program would be easier if there was more follow up and I had a more steady team.
The last sentence is why I’m looking into supportive housing where I am. One is a year long supportive housing where they continue where my therapy left off, but it is a full time living situation. They also watch my spending (one of my BPD impulses is rampant spending) and make sure I take my medications properly, because I have a history of overdosing, I cannot take my medication on my own.
I distract myself with playing SWTOR, especially when my moods are down, and colouring. I have 5 adult colouring books and a giant case of pencil crayons . My other source of distraction is writing. I have a blog and I post my fanfiction on deviant art, and of course RP! So glad I found this guild where I can be accepted, I do not have to tone Crim down nor make him bi to appeal to people’s comfort levels, and I can get all kinds of in-game fun like RP, erp, pvp, conquest, etc.