Game of what?

I have just started to watch Game of Thrones the TV show and to be honest I am not sure what to think about it. I am 4 years behind the rest, though I admit I tried to watch the first episode when it initially aired but I just couldn’t get into it. Relating to the characters isn’t important but I guess I was trying to find something in it that at that point wasn’t there.

For a while I have been feeling as though there is something missing from my life. I know that I am now supposed to be a mature 40 year old woman who has a life outside of Buffy and fanfiction and studying, but that was never going to be me. I enjoy all those things and find some kind of stability in them. I am always being forced to listen to criticism about how I have chosen to do things; my sister’s children refer to me as their “teenage old Auntie” and my mum finds so many ways to belittle every single thing in my life because she doesn’t approve of my choices (up to and including telling everyone that my chosen path of study is worthless…and why couldn’t I have done something with value). She manages to make me feel like an inadequate and worthless piece of human waste whenever she talks to me; nothing I say is right.

In January I was on the phone with her when I had the first of (unfortunately) many attacks of gallbladder pain. At the time I didn’t know what it was, and it terrified me, I couldn’t breathe and was in so much pain I only just managed to get to the bathroom in time to throw up, but my mum told me that she had no doubt I was “making a fuss about nothing as I have a low pain threshold” and she was “sure that it’s nothing.” Of course since then I have been to the hospital several times and am now on a waiting list to have my gallbladder removed. Sure it’s not a complex procedure but it’s the first one I will have ever had and I am in almost constant pain. Anyway; my trip to the hospital in an ambulance showed that they obviously believed that I was in serious pain and needed to be seen, but my mum didn’t even call to check up on me and make sure I was all right…because I was, of course, “making a fuss about absolutely nothing” and “don’t be so pathetic”…

I am tired of being constantly found to be wanting. I am the first member of my family to graduate from University (TWICE) and neither time has my mum believed it important enough to attend my graduation. For my 40th birthday this year the suggestion was a meal at a ‘pub’…so I ended up inviting everyone to mine the day before my birthday as I share it with his Royal Highness the youngest of my sister’s 4 children and his birthday is more important than mine (no, I am not at all bitter).

I am carrying so much resentment around with me it’s not surprising that I tend to eat more of my feelings than I would like and though in the space of 2 years I managed to lose 12.5stone (175lbs) I have since managed to put 32 of them back on and am struggling to get them off again (and the rest of it), the only bit my mum is focused on is the fact that I have gained some of it back (not that I haven’t gained ALL of it back), because being fat I will struggle to find a boyfriend and I can’t want to be alone for the rest of my life (because apparently the only thing a woman can do that is worthwhile is get married [sometimes to a lazy patronising bastard – in my experience the only men left at my age who aren’t gay or dead] and pop out a few babies to utilise even more of our dwindling natural resources).

I should just be able to put away this resentment; realise that I am a strong person who doesn’t need the approval of someone who has made me neurotic, depressed and constantly in search of said approval, but I think that I have been conditioned to seek it out and when I don’t get it I hit a mental stop button which makes me even more miserable…and this is why I need fandom!

I am not sure how I managed to go off on such a tangent until I realised that actually they are inextricably tied to each other. For me fandom was always a place where I was accepted. Sure there were little in wars when people disagreed with what the other people in their group shipped, but you could always find a little place to call your own corner and stay there with your fellow ‘shippers. I miss that community; the flash fiction writing sessions, the beta sessions, the bouncing ideas off each other sessions, the email inbox flooded with notifications about reviews or new chapters of your favourite stories. Those days are long gone and I don’t know if I am ever going to find them again if only because fandom has, over the last 8 years I have been absent, moved on drastically. The new ‘shippers are younger, less caring in many ways about the quality of what they write (having grown up on shite like Twilight and believing that it is ‘well-written’) and though they are obviously still here, places like Livejournal are no longer able to compete with the instantaneous feeding troughs that are Facebook and Twitter (neither of which really had the same kind of popularity when I stopped writing – in fact Facebook didn’t launch in the UK until 2006).

Fandom was like my best friend and through it I made many friends, some of whom I still keep in contact with, others have moved on (as have I); getting married, having families, deleting everything but pictures of their wedding/kids/pets/latest holiday…this doesn’t create the same kind of bond as something which you share in common like fandom and OTP…

I guess what I meant to say before I started babbling is that fandom was where I felt accepted and no longer having that to the same degree has left me very lonely. I left to study and even though that was an experience I ‘sort of’ enjoyed and gained a great deal from, I didn’t make many life long friends, or have the same bond with them as I did with the friends I made through the experience of writing in someone else’s universe.

Is GoT the next Buffy, Veronica, Roswell? I personally don’t think so. I am enjoying the books, and though the first episode was just as dull second time around (I can’t be the only one who finds all the allusions and direct hit references to incest disturbing in FAR too many ways) I will carry on watching, but I am still searching for my Roswell (the first fandom I was ever a part of)…

And thus ends another blinking long babble…I shall end it with another picture of pretty sugar roses I made for a cake that was devoured by work colleagues this week (made it on Monday night)

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