I could go all whimsical here, even quote a bit of Rush. Ah, who am I kidding, I'll do that just for the fun of it:
Spinning, whirling, still descending
Like a spiral sea unending!
Sound and fury drown my heart;
Every nerve is torn apart!
It's topical. :)
I am currently struggling with the symptoms of burnout. It's not something I particularly want to have to deal with right now, really. But my temper has been getting shorter, my patience has been lessening, and I see the way I almost frantically keep flipping between manic intensity and unbridled, deep loneliness. I would say depression, but I think that's inaccurate at this point. I'm not nearly so bad if somebody else is along, though at that point I am simply exhausted and almost broken.
I keep pouring myself into the game, even though it takes more and more of my time. Why do I do that? Because it is a refuge from everything else clamoring for my attention. Because I don't have to think about work. Because I can focus on something I can be good at and enjoy, where people appreciate my efforts. And even when I feel so alone, I can at least focus on the task at hand and put myself on autopilot, without having to think about how badly I don't want to be alone right now. I don't even have anything much to talk about with people; I just don't want to be alone.
Some part of me is fighting against coming back. Some stubborn, rebellious part of me simply refuses to believes that either of my mates will ever be around to talk or do fun things as a family. It happens, but I don't really believe it when it is happening, and I don't really believe it will happen again, even though it has been proved that it can. And I feel really badly about this, because I know my mates are doing all they can to be there to help support me. But some part of me simply doesn't want to believe it. Some part of me is absolutely 100% convinced that we'll never return to the fun we used to have in mutual gaming, until we find a new game and essentially reset and start from scratch. I think the thing we had with the 101 games is irreparably destroyed. I don't see that kind of anger and "going nuclear" and willingly return to something that provoked it. Not unless I am asked, and even then I will not believe that it is genuine until enough time has passed to convince that stubborn part of me.
In some ways, I think some of my current troubles are due to my reaction to that instance. I tend to have much milder reactions, unless I am already stressed to breaking point, in which case the slightest touch can trigger the entire cascade of chain reactions. But I was already stressed, and so I reacted to the thermonuclear reaction by shutting down and blocking it out. I preemptively severed my emotional and mental ties to our main go-to family activity, so as to give it a quick and relatively painless death. I simply couldn't deal with a long, protracted struggle between one who wanted to kill it, and one who wanted to save it. So, I didn't even try to save it--I saved it the bloodbath the other one desired, and simply ran it through with my metaphorical sword. It's dead; we move on. I have other stuff to worry about.
And on some level, I don't even care. I don't know if I ever will. In that part of my head, I am not the one who did this. I am the angel of mercy who simply saved us all the trouble of having to fight internally over the issue. Rather than fight, I decided the issue and ended it quickly and mercifully. Paradoxically, I was merciful by being merciless.
Unfortunately, I still have a conscience. Whether that part of me wants to believe that I was driven to it or not, I can't escape the fact that the blood is on my sword. The nuclear explosion would have killed the victim in a few more days or weeks, but it would have been a long death of radiation poisoning. Sure, I ended it swiftly, but in so doing, I became the one who ended it--the blood is on my hands, and the death is on my conscience. I did this.
In a way, it's fitting that the next game that was put up for the family is all about killing each other. And naturally, as is my eternal fate with such games, I always lose. I die. As I have always died--without knowing what to say, without knowing how to save myself. I am faceless to the other players, as I have always been and will always be. And that makes it easy for them to kill me. Easy for all of us to slaughter each other, without the slightest shred of guilt. Except that I still have a conscience, and I feel the guilt anyway. But if this is to be our new family activity, slaughtering each other like cattle, what am I to do? Run away? Abandon my family?
Chaos glories in all of this. I sit, exhausted, staring over a landscape of broken bodies and tortured souls, fires flickering across the desolation as the wind moans over the barren wasteland. It used to be fertile. It used to be green and warm. Now it's all cold and frozen. There's not even any snow to provide shelter. Just the twisted remains of what was once living flesh, as the world before me dies a fruitless, useless death. When this is the fate of every world, Chaos glories in it--and seeks to make it all worse. To prolong the pain and increase the torture. That is what Chaos loves.
But if this is the fate of every world, what can Order do to stop it? Absolutely nothing. In such a case, I find that the only logical outcome is to become an executioner. Justice no longer matters. Morality no longer matters. The only thing that matters is how quickly I can slaughter all those around me, to spare them the pain of having to dance with frozen death. Whether an arrow to their heart or a blade to their throat, it matters not.
To spare the innocent from suffering, I must become a twisted monster myself, wielding my blade with a heavy heart. The angel of death, doomed to perish for all eternity for slaughtering the innocent. But it is the only way, in the end. My soul is the price I must pay in exchange for lessening the suffering of countless others.
That will be the next game, I think. Until then, we are in limbo.