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Journal of Possible Things
This journal will help keep tabs when it comes to roleplays that involves myself along with character sheets of roleplay characters I will use here on Gaia and elsewhere.
To All My Friends Here On Gaia... Words of Wisdom
I wrote this a couple of years back and posted to my Facebook but wanted to post the same here on Gaia and add a little extra afterwards... Please read this and take the advice given if anything about this applies to you.

I was talking to a friend earlier about the ups and downs of roleplaying. The ups that I can think of include having fun, making friends and finding people with common interests to just talk with at times. The downs include becoming addicted to it, ignoring things that need to be done, and putting too much trust in people without making sure they are who they say they are.

I've been roleplaying since 1999 when I first started chatting on MSN before the chats started to have a fee to use them. It was new and fun and I made friends... But it got to the point that my parents had to restrict my time online to an hour a day until I was able to handle it and not let it control my life. I never did thank them for that for because of that I know today when to step away and take a breath and clear my head before going back in.

It was during this time that I met who I honestly say was one of my best friends at the beginning... Paul. We became fast friends even if he was two years younger than me. He was a goofball, a sweetheart, and a fun person to roleplay with. Sure, we butted heads once in a while (okay about once a week or a bit more), but the next day, he had an e-card waiting for me in my email saying how sorry he was for arguing with me over silly things.

I admit, my feelings for him started carrying over from our roleplays together into real life. We constantly chatted on microphone and web camera as we got closer together. He was home schooled and didn't have a lot of friends. I only had a couple of good friends that I knew in school. But, even though we knew each other and our parents talked to one another from time to time, nothing prepared me for the ramifications of just how lonely Paul really was...

He was home schooled because everyone bullied him. It was to the point, he and his father told me, that his teachers were bullying him. Sometimes it happens to the nice ones like that and kids can be mean from time to time. Parents pulled him out of school because of it. But, knowing that, I didn't realize until one night before Christmas 1999 when I turned on the mic and web camera...

He had a knife in his hand... Yes, you read it right. He had a knife in his hand and he had it pointed to his stomach, primed and ready to kill himself while his parents were at a Christmas party for his dad's work. I did everything I could to calm him down that my teenaged mind could think of. When he didn't listen to me, I woke up my mom at 11pm to get her to talk him out of it. Here's the sad part: When he called a hotline in his area to talk to someone, the line was busy...

We calmed him enough to put the knife down and promise us that he would tell his parents when they got home in a couple of hours. Mom told me to go to bed shortly after this and I did. What I woke up to the next day was the consequence of getting my mom involved...

She saw that the hour a day a while ago did not help me. She reminded me about how there were crazy people online. I know she was trying to protect me and I do thank her for that... But I didn't see it that day when she told me either stop talking to Paul or the Internet would be taken out of the house. I had no choice that night to tell Paul on microphone after about an hour of being silent that I couldn't speak to him again. After that, I had to block and delete him. I was so heartbroken that night and for a while.

That minor obsession I guess you want to call that followed me over the years because shortly after my parents' divorce started, I got back into contact with Paul. He had got the help he needed to get better but admitted that he wished that I was around during that time to help him heal. He knew what he did that night wasn't right and he apologized for it before we really caught up. It was shortly after this that he went to visit family in Portugal that I fell out of contact with him.

I... I guess you can say that I did fall for him in a way. I still miss him to this day, even after finding out after all this time that he died in a car accident last year. The sad part? I had heard through a mutual contact that he was going to contact me again the day he died... He always had my information and knew I was looking for him. He was just scared that if he talked to me that I was going to be mad at him for making me worry over the years.

What brought this mini autobiography up? It's been raining too much around here and I've found myself this evening in a bit of a down in the dumps mood. When that happens, my mind wanders to the past... To the ups and downs... I don't roleplay as much as I used to because I was involved with a group for several years and we had a bit of a falling out. Yes, I know when it gets too much to step back, see what's going on and correct it. But it can't be helped if once in a while, you start to make friends and get close to them.

Now for the added stuff for Gaia:

To the handful of my Gaia friends that I know out of character a bit and have gotten close to: Thank you for putting up with me and letting me be your friend.

To the rest that I randomly added due to interest in roleplay or same Anime or Doctor Who/Torchwood/SJA that haven't gotten close to me yet: I'm here if you ever need a friend or a shoulder to cry on or even someone to roleplay with just to forget your worries and hurts in your life for a while.

But I do warn this: I have been in several online relationships that I tried in real life (including moving for said relationships to Ohio and Iowa and almost having two move up here to Michigan for me) to make them work and all have failed thus far. As flattered as I am when people online do get crushes on me... My heart cannot take the pain all over again. And please don't tell me 'Oh I won't do that to you' or 'I'll be the one that will change all that'. I'm 27 and I've heard it before... I currently have a boyfriend in my area.

This is all I say about crushes: Please just keep the feelings in our roleplays and be friends outside of it. If you cannot do that, then either deal with your feelings by talking to me about it or I will understand if you do not talk to me anymore... It's plain and simple as that.

Thank you for your time and hope this was able to help at least one person here.

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Sarah-J-Smith
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Sarah-J-Smith
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