It's funny how things can change in SL. One month you can be head-over-heals about someone, the next you have blocked them and all their friends. Granted, I have not succumb to quite as scandalous drama but I have had my share. I tend to spout off when I'm upset, venting off frustrations or lambasting something that just doesn't seem right, unfair or that which skirts TOS rules. I've been banned and blocked a few times, not one of them rescinded and honestly I'm better off. If I've been blocked or banned it's because I have strong values that clash entirely with the SIM owner's. I stick by my values and have no regrets whatsoever.
But, one of the places in which I was banned did bring me a little joy. Or should I say, it was where I met someone I never would have thought could become so important in my SL life.
I've been able to let go of my past, look to a future and have balance and peace for the first time in my six years in this crazy virtual world.
Yes, I still hold a place in my heart for Royce, the first person I (Jussy) fell in love with. One who I can say I am so happy we are still close friends even though he is gone from SL. We still talk on a fairly regular basis. He still makes me laugh and is a wonderful support when my RL has taken some very devastating turns. Although he's not my only support, I have also found a few of the dearest friends I could ever hope for. Two people who know all the ugly, painful truth about my RL. These two have helped me keep things in perspective, helped me remember I'm worth better and deserve to be happy no matter what or whom is in my life.
Now, I'm starting a new chapter. After six months of "getting to know" and finding that we have spent nearly every day together, we've decided to "Make it official." We've gotten partnered, only the second time for me. Both of us have had our ups and downs in SL. He has reinvented himself, dropped every one of his former friends, and put his past behind him. He has stepped out with a new avi, a new life and even though his original thought was to come in casually with no real ties, everything has changed for him. I, on the other hand, have remained on my primary avi, with all my scars right there for anyone to see but with my habit of kulling my friends list on a fairly regular basis, along with having been banned from four regions and blocked from several more avi's lives, I had resorted to becoming a hermit. Alone and having only casual acquaintances. I was sick and tired of the BS and the drama, didn't want anything to do with putting Jussy's heart out there ever again.
Of course, just when you stop looking is when things find you. Drayper came into my life as the result of a off the cuff idea of a friend to put myself up on a dating auction. I went along with it only on a lark. I expected nothing to come of it and really didn't expect the results that occurred. The bidding had been started off with a respectable bid by the SIM owner's partner. Granted I knew it was a polite gesture on his part but then my friend decided to up the bid. What happened next was completely unexpected. A bidding war resulted between my friend and some mysterious stranger with an even more mysterious profile. His avi was brand new, only a couple weeks old, the profile pic was of a television character along with his fabricated backstory . Right there, it rubbed me the wrong way. I actually begged my friend to keep bidding, even sending him more $L's just to fend off this stranger. Then, without warning my friend was called away back to RL for a bit. That gave this stranger the opportunity to sweep in and throw out a winning bid right at the last minute.
I was crushed and a little worried. I had never met this winner and didn't like what I saw in his profile at all.
When he IM'd me just after the bidding closed and the announcements went out, I wasn't sure what to say. I put on my aloof attitude and tried to push him off....but there was something about his reply that said there was much more to this mystery guy than his profile advertised. We started chatting and I found myself intrigued and curious. At one point he told me he was wandering through a gallery looking at the work of one of my favorite SL photographic artists. When he told me which gallery he was at I had to go meet this guy. I teleported to the gallery and we wandered each of the exhibits, chatting and finding out a bit more about each other. What I found was there indeed was much more to this guy and I was terribly interested. Our date night came and went and we found ourselves spending all our SL time together. When he announced he was falling for me I panicked. I hid from him and removed him from my friends list. I sent him a notecard with every excuse I could find. None of it worked, it only made him more interested but willing to talk to me and find out why I was so scared. He backed off giving me time to breath but didn't let go. He was not just charming but very dear. He let me vent and in the end come back to acceptance of where we were. I told him I wasn't ready to let Jussy fall for anyone but that didn't last long. Jussy found herself falling, slowly. When Jussy finally returned the adoration I know it took him a bit to adjust as well.
From that point we came to understand where we both were on our RL levels and realized we were pretty much on the same page. Quite a relief for both of us really.
Six months and a lot of laughs, working out kinks with his animation work and a few hinks with my pc's issues, he brought up the idea of partnering. Again, Jussy panicked.
Luckily for Drayper he was out of town that weekend and I got to go through my panic mode without him getting the brunt of it. Instead I turned to my two best friends to help me put things back into perspective and get a grip. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without them.
It's funny how we as RL people behind the screens of our computers put so much real emotion into our avatar-selves. What's even stranger to the outsider is just how many of us actually blur that line between RL and SL all too often. Sure, there are those who do find RL love in SL but those who actually make it work outside of our virtual environment are very few and far between. What's tragic are those who have RL spouses or other-halves and they either leave or are left by those significant others because of the affairs taken on in SL. What is forgotten, I believe, by the SL'rs of whom this happens to, is that even an emotional affair is still an infidelity to their RL partners. The emotions are so intensely real that it effects their relationships and the RL's suffer for it.
Myself, I too have been effected by the loss of my RL significant other, but I at least know it wasn't because of my involvement in SL. Instead SL was my escape from the heartbreak already occurring in my RL. The irony of it all was those same two SL friends who I relied on to help me put my SL relationship into perspective are the same two who helped me make sense of what was happening in my RL. I also found a very dear RL friend who also knew exactly what I was going through and agrees, SL had nothing to do with it.
I was always honest and open about my doings in SL with my partner. What occurred was an emotional detachment that happened before I ever came into SL, and a subsequent infidelity on my partner's part that was extremely painful to deal with.
I know that my RL heartbreak and feelings of betrayal had a lot to do with my inability and unwillingness to get involved that closely with anyone even in SL.
I had dumped a lot of my SL friends, refused to explain why and retreated into my own pain for a long time. Being with Drayper and my dearest of friends has really helped me come to terms with my RL pain, accept things have changed actually for the better and move on in both worlds.