Words have meanings that you don’t just make up.

It’s not “trauma dumping” to say that participation in fandoms has become detrimental to my mental health such that I no longer wish to do that any more, especially when considering that the next action I took was to leave all Discord servers and Facebook groups relevant to fandom. As it was, participation in fandoms was such that I made specific social media accounts to discuss relevant aspects of them on that people who I knew in real life would be incapable of finding (and furthermore, would have an extremely difficult if not impossible time actually deducing that it was me who ran those accounts). Fandom participation, known particularly for the equal amounts of drama and passion that people put into this, was always something that I was going to “keep to the Internet”. More to the point, I kept it to specific parts of the Internet… my Facebook friends knew very little about the fandoms that I participated in, and people on my friends’ list on LiveJournal (yes, I have and still write in one of those) had no idea that I participated in anything having to do with fandom until I actually told them. So I basically got 5,122 posts into something — the number of posts currently on my LiveJournal — with no one having any idea that I participated in any fandom activities.

The drama, and the… passion for certain things that I was not capable of mustering up after so long because I was literally burning myself out trying to do so and “not let anyone down” were two of the chief reasons that I chose not to actively participate in fandom as it is widely known. So far, for the most part, my decision to do so — to make this decision — has been met with support, particularly amongst friends of mine on Facebook who have known me for years if not decades, and the people that I game with that had begun to suspect that something was amiss. It also got to the point that the effort to ensure that absolutely no one who I knew in real life would ever find out about my participation in fandom activities was getting to me, namely the fact that I didn’t want to continue to cordon off entire parts of my life (or interests of mine) because I didn’t want certain people finding out about them and possibly, probably asking questions. There’s already the fact that I effortlessly managed to combine being brash, conceited, and preppy in high school with gaming and being geeky on my “off time” to the point that no one actually knew that I was both of those things while I was attending high school. Now I just casually remind people that even in spite of my geekiness, I continue to love things like the color pink and “preppy” clothes (as well as fairy kei and harajuku), and I can sometimes be… less friendly than people might think I am. Perhaps the most ironic, and telling, thing about all of this has been that I’ve always felt like I could talk about being a gamer in real life, even with people who themselves did not game, but I never once felt like I could bring up fandom anything.

Hell, I’ve talked about Satanism with people that I know in real life and they haven’t been off-put.

I think I am going to begin to ascribe to the rule “if I can’t explain this in real life, or I don’t feel comfortable talking about it in real life, I’m not going to get or stay involved in it”. I feel like this will suit me pretty well…

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