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On Jealousy, Loneliness, And Not Being “Fine”

I’ve been watching the Mogtalk stream of the FFXIV Omega Protocol world first race, and I’m finding that this seems too “professional”, too “corporate”, too something I can’t place a word for. Hocking Corsair (the presenting sponsor) every few minutes, Streamers with crisp, clear, fancy streaming setups, it just feels so…lifeless, I think is the word. There’s no “roughness” to it, nothing that feels “organic” to me. It’s all streamers with nice setups, acting like they’re “one of us” down here on earth.

I don’t watch many streams, it just isn’t something I typically enjoy, so, I may be completely off-base. But, I feel like this whole thing is too “clean”, it feels like a TV broadcast. I’ve brought it up in Discord, but, it feels like somewhere between the “MegaCast” ESPN does for the National Championship, and the NCAA Tournament’s Big Board, with the multiple screens. Only instead of me raging at Ohio State losing, I’m watching the best of the best of the best getting pounded by Omega.

This is Day Three of the race, and so far, no group has won the fight. Teams across the world being ground into the pavement again and again, high-fantasy Alabama being crushed against the wave that is Omega. Really smart people breaking down what they’re seeing, and putting it into human-parsable words. It’s interesting to watch, and interesting to see a sports-like approach to covering the race, which I didn’t think I’d ever see.

There’s also a part of me that almost wants no one to beat it, that wants to see my “betters” get humbled by the baddest thing in the game. It subsides, because these people are struggling mightily, but, I can’t shake that feeling. It’s something that I can’t ever shake entirely, being the crabby, antisocial, human-shaped ball of jealousy that I am. In a morbid, cruel way, it’s “comforting” seeing people that get to do this as a profession get humbled by the meanest boss possible.

I don’t like being this way, but, I cannot shake it. I’m an incredibly jealous, vindictive person at my core, and seeing people get to live the life I want, that I wish I could live, I get jealous. In my mind, “if I can’t have it, why should anyone else?”, and as much as I try to fight it off, it still lurks in there. My mind thinks that they’re “better” than me, because they have friends, accolades, and here I am at the bottom, fighting and clawing for every small victory I can get.

They get to do these fights, have people around the block who will fight with them, they’re not hurting for help. Yet here I am, slugging things out almost entirely alone, pulling off multiple people’s worth of effort, for nothing. It’s not true, of course. I’m alone because I can’t crack this shell, and let myself try to be around anyone, I’m terrified to go one step out of my comfort zone. And I cannot stand that I’m this way.

I sit here, stewing in my own jealousy and anger, not knowing how the hell to escape it. I see how much “community” there is out there, and I can’t break into it, and it is entirely my own fault. I’m standoffish to an absurd degree, I refuse help or companionship at every turn, because I never feel like I belong anywhere. I play MMOs, and wind up playing them almost entirely alone. Not by choice, even, it just happens. I get to endgame, and there’s nothing there for me, because I’ve gone the entire time by myself, left to my own devices. Left to dwell on how alone I feel.

That part of me wants those World First teams to fail because I’m jealous of them, why should they be happy when I’m not? Why should they get to have loads of friends, and accolades, and a cheering crowd when I’m here in this mental viper pit? But then reality sets in, and I realize that I’m lonely and miserable because I refuse to let anyone get closer than an arm’s length to me. At work, I don’t speak to my teammates, I go in, do my job, and leave. I do good work, but, no one is particularly close to me, I even keep my family at arm’s length. I don’t let anyone in.

I haven’t loaded the stream back up since my tablet ran out of battery, I haven’t had it in me to do so. I know that seeing all these people laughing and talking together is going to make me more irritable, more miserable. I want what they all have, not the money, not the fame, just, to not feel alone. I sit in this room, the same as every single day of my life, in silence when I don’t have a game, video, stream, or work up. I sit here with my dog, except for the few times a day I go “join the living” in the front room. I relive the same day over and over and over again, and it never, ever changes.

I want to scream, and I can’t. I want to pound down the doors of something, somewhere, and just BELONG there. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere, and it feels like no one listens, no one cares. Because I keep everyone at arm’s length, everyone thinks I’m “fine”. Well, I’m not fine. I’m jealous, and miserable, and lonely, and in my head if I ask for help, it’ll feel like I’m burdening whoever is unlucky enough to babysit me.

I try to play FFXIV, and I feel like the oddest man out, like I’m trapped in an older, meaner time than now. I feel like I’m behind the glass, and can’t break out into the actual world. I queue up for fights, and don’t say a word, I think I flub a mechanic, and it kills me inside to know that I wasted people’s time making up for my mistakes. I get inside my own head and I never leave, because I’m so “not fine”. I log off and just stew in my frustration at the game, the world, and myself.

I’m not asking for anyone’s pity, I’m not asking that someone show mercy on me, and drag this sad-brained social reject along on some adventure. I’m screaming into a void, because I don’t know what to do about it. I want to belong, I want to feel like I’m part of something, like I mean something, I just don’t know how. I want to be part of the community, of something, because I’ve been out in the metaphorical cold for so long. I’ve been operating on my own for so long, that I barely know how to function as a human anymore.


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