The short version of my journey would be that in my past I got in with the wrong kind of people, got betrayed by friends, suffered from the trauma of my parent’s separation and the following solitude, and later on got into games. In one of these games, FFXIV, I experienced a lot of lows and highs, and it was there, in the streets of Limsa Lominsa, that I met Wrath Black, my husband.
My past feels much like there were only kicks and slaps that the world had to offer, and I imagine a great many people feel the same. From childhood I had to deal with things by myself, trying to navigate the difficult feelings and fears as a kid without anyone showing me a proper path. It molded me into a very complex being, my tender soul could not quite solve the emotions that hit me when my parents separated and things went downhill from there.
I grew up as a chaotic young lady, and before my time I stepped into the dating game. For some reason, which psychologists are sure to explain in tedious detail, I always picked shady and immature people to be in my circles. It was no wonder that I would meet with abusers and users of all kinds on my quest to find solace. To find a protector so I could start mending my heart. Desperation is not a friend to any of us when it comes to trying to find a companion to trust with our peace.
My childhood friends ended up following the same road, I got cast out, partially due to my own volition. I couldn’t be around people that had no respect for me, and that would try to peer pressure me into doing things I didn’t want to do. And it’s a good thing I split from my old group, as it turns out they were pretty much bullies in the end. I never quite trusted people after that, and have only made only a few friends later on in life, although those relationships are now barely flickering with some of them having died.
Missing a path
Before my בעלי I was entirely lost in life. I was living mostly in one room that I thought was my sanctuary until the day came when it got violated. I was existing through the game world, the fantasy realm, where I could always disappear and start over with just a flick of a cursor. Nobody knew the real me, although a lot of people got to know various parts of me that I chose to show in my Borderline desire to not be abandoned.
I had stopped to even try and find a job after my dog passed away and was mostly just floating around in the vast greyness of it all. I wasn’t interested in anything but my survival, which back then meant pleasing my cohabitor so I would not be kicked out. I truly believed that I had nowhere else to go if that were to happen.
With all that being said, I also had my Borderline whispering its love notes into my ears. Without having a heading, or anything to grab onto, my disorder grew stronger. I learned habits and ways that I now have to try and correct to become a better, happier person.
Then Mr. V came along. We got to know each other and before long (quite literally, it was like 6 months from when we met to when we married), we tied the knot. Things came down crumbling, and I ended up having to prepare myself to lose everything I had ever thought was my life. My family relations, the way I had been living along with all the stuff I had accumulated in an attempt to fill the void, my spiritual and religious beliefs, and even giving up the name my parents gave me. It all either got lost, replaced or destroyed in the process of becoming Mrs. Vana.
Other than the material, tangible stuff, I had my past mentalities. I gave away much of myself to regain my humanity in a way, including my idea of my sexuality, and my political views on a lot of things. I think I might’ve fallen into the hands of the progressive, man-hating feminists, had my husband not come along when he did. The bitterness in me had grown so great that I was pretty much in a pit of tar made from the maladaptive patterns and sheepish ideals I had learned elsewhere to fit in.
I wasn’t the only one to sacrifice though, and oh my, did he do it with flair. Within one day my husband bought tickets and flew to support me in what turned out to be the most chaotic, yet the most rewarding time of my life so far. Nobody else came, but there he was, having left everything from family to work and friends behind. The man even left his dogs to come to get me!
Learning to live again
For both of us, this was a new beginning. My husband told me once, when I was agonizing over my terrible state and how I was more or less damaged goods and not worthy of him, that this is a clean slate. Whatever happened in the past, I am now his wife, it’s time to close that chapter and start a new one with him. Start a whole new book if needs be! I had to learn to live in the present and look to the future, which I had not done for over a decade at that point.
I took a bold step and decided to change my first name after we married. He explained to me that in his part of the world the rabbis can sometimes even recommend it, as our names carry a lot of weight and have an effect on our lives. So I took the name Maria, which was a part of my name originally. And let me tell you, it felt like a ton of weight had been lifted off my back. I could breathe again!
My actions evoked a terrible reaction from my family though. Backs were turned, horrid things were said, my sanity was questioned. But my life was on the line. I could not live it for other people anymore, I had to start living it for me. The way I need to live it. Even if it meant that the whole entire support network that I thought had my back would come crashing down. Which inevitably, it did.
The new wife’s life
Once the chaos settled, I went through some self-reflection and had to start looking toward the future, and how I’d want it to go for me. That included struggling to seek medical help and doing some therapy to start mending the damage to my mind. It included learning to be a wife and studying humanity, which I had lost somewhere along my arduous path. And most of all, it included having to face the new life with open, terrified eyes.
We got an apartment in the middle of the city, which I would’ve never done on my own. The city was always a place of anxiety and fear, of many threats and dark alleys. I started to learn how to maintain our studio, and even if I am not the most adept at being the tidy housewife of my husband’s dreams, I do my best and improve every day. I even found my way back to things I love doing through the support of my domestic routines.
Some of those things were writing, which I sacrificed many times in the past but is now back in my life to stay. I found the joy in order, the healing qualities of living a slow life that some might call boring and uninspired. But such is life, and the more boring it gets, the happier I am – dullness is in the eye of the beholder after all, and I for one don’t want to be in the chaos and drama any more than I have to. I would rather learn to become a simple, joyful human being that finds beauty and excitement in the small, plain, everyday things of life. And becoming Mrs. Maria Vana is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that!