Disconnected   37 comments

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Les Miserable.  I go to see it every time that it is within a two hour drive from me.  In case you aren’t familiar with it, it is based on the book of the same name by Victor Hugo (the musical starts about 700 pages in).  There are many fantastic characters in the story, but one of my favorites has always been Fantine.  A women who was a single mother in revolutionary France trying to make ends meet to keep her child well cared for.  She tries to earn an honest living, but eventually is turned out into the street where she must resort to prostitution to continue to pay for the people caring for her child.

She’s in less than 1/3 of the show, but I feel that her story is one of the strongest – even if it fades out very early.  There is a gut wrenching scene where she bares herself, and tells the audience about her dreams.  How she came to be a single mother, how she holds out the hope that the father will return to her, how every last dream she had is devastated.  If done well, the scene is breathtaking.  In the end Fantine ends up giving away almost all of herself to make sure she can send money for Cossette.  But you see the glimpses of her remain.  She is devoted, determined and will do anything it takes to shelter Cossette.  In the end, it kills her, but she didn’t let people’s perceptions of her drag her down and she held on to what dignity she could, considering she was a whore at the cusp of the French Revolution.  She fought for what she wanted, at any cost.

Oddly, there is another character in the story who is a jailer named Javert.  He is also one of my favorite characters in the story.  He also clings so strongly to his beliefs, and his actions reflect that.  Every thing he does is done because he believes that it is right, and from time to time he is blinded by what he perceives to be justice, but makes the folly of never giving it any of his own thought.  He is devout in his perception of right and wrong, and draws a very black and white line that distinguishes the two with no grey in between.

As you watch his story unfold, you see that he and Fantine really aren’t that different.  They both have something that is precious to them, and they will both do anything – no matter the cost – to get there.  The difference between the two is that when Fantine is faced with challenges she accepts them and meets them.  She is flexible, and puts her pride away.  Javert on the other hand cannot bend.  There is right, and there is wrong.  There cannot be anything in between.  And, in fact, when he is confronted with an in between, unlike Fantine, he cannot bend.  And trying to do so ends up breaking him.  Another scene that, if done well, is incredibly moving.

At this point, you are all probably wondering where I am going with this.

The past few weeks I’ve been feeling very disconnected.  A little bit from the game, but a lot from my guild.  I’ve been feeling a bit off these past few weeks, but haven’t really been able to put my finger on why.  Until this past week when I’ve been travelling.  It really hit home to me why I’ve been feeling so, well, just not me. I feel a little bit like an outcast in my own home.  Let me back up a little, I suppose.  I think the feeling probably started creeping in when my hands started bothering me a number of months back.  It really cut my play time down dramatically, largely because my hands hurt so bad that is was difficult to play outside of raids.  As such, I started spending a fraction of the time that I used to online.  Which meant that as we brought new people into the guild, I really didn’t/don’t get a chance to know them outside of raids.

I’ve always view Monolith as my family.  When I moved to Seattle, I didn’t know a soul other than Brade, and I’m not exactly a social butterfly.  In all honesty, if I didn’t have Brade I’d probably end up being that lady with 8 cats who keeps to herself and creeps the kids out so that they all dare each other to ding-dong-ditch her front door constantly.  As such, I have always tended to build strong relationships with those that I know in WoW.  And I have always viewed the members of my guild as part of my family.  I’ve offered help to those that may need it, I’ve offered an ear to those who could use one and I’ve offered advice to those looking for it (and sometimes even to those who aren’t).  That’s what you do for family, right?  It’s what I do for mine at least.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling a little bit lost in my home and with my family.  Almost as if I’m an outsider.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had to cut my playtime back some, or perhaps the dredges of my struggles a month or so ago, or maybe it’s something completely different.  I’m not entirely sure.  There are a few things that I am sure about, though.  A few times in the past few weeks, I’ve been hurt and incensed by some people in my family, both old and new.  Every family has warts, or those people who push buttons, but I’ve always tried to be objective about them and neutral.   But lately, a few people have been making snide comments about my performance, most of the time in jest, but sometimes I’m not entirely sure.  And it’s much harder to let those jokes go – mostly because I work very hard to be my best every raid.  I have my off nights like anyone else does, but of all things to complain about with regards to me, it shouldn’t be my performance.  I bust my ass every night, and at the risk of being accused of a big ego, and not that it matters overly much for healers – but I’ve ranked on about 95% of the encounters that we’ve done, so I’m obviously doing something right and have a firm grasp of my class.

Yes, I make mistakes.  I’m human.  Yes, I have areas to improve.  Everyone does.  But I’m extremely hard on myself when it comes to my performance, and I already know where my flaws are.  Not only that, but I’m open with everyone about the areas I feel I need to improve.  And a joke is only funny to the butt of the joke so many times before it grows old.

I suppose that part of it’s my fault for not speaking up and telling them “hey that really does bother me, could you back off”, or perhaps “if you’d look more closely at the logs, you’d see xyz”.  I guess I just don’t want to blow something someone else sees as a joke out of proportion.  But as the weeks have passed, I’ve noticed a little bit that sometimes the jabs and jokes put me into such an angry frame of mind that it actually affects my performance and makes me want to tell people to go fuck themselves.  I am so pissed off about it that I let it control me and end up doing a poor job.  Not only that, but then I’m pissed at myself for not performing.

Truth be told, a little bit of the reason that I’ve not said anything is pride.  Pride is such a strange beast.  I’d rather be insulted, or act like something doesn’t bother be than speak up and say “hey, I’m doing my best here, could you back the fuck off please”.  I’d rather not have people think I can’t take a joke than to tell them when they’ve taken a joke too far and that they crossed “the line” about two miles back.  I’d rather sit like the cold bitch that can handle anything than admit that they’ve found the chinks in my armor and are repeatedly hammering away at them and that the ego behind all of that shell is extremely fragile.

I find that I’m at a bit of a crossroads here.  Do I adapt like Fantine and toss away my pride or do I remain unbending like Javert?  And while I admire them both, when all was said and done didn’t they meet the same end?

Posted August 22, 2011 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts

37 responses to “Disconnected

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  1. Communication is always good. Always. Even when it hurts. If you don’t show people where your boundaries are, you cannot expect them to respect them. Or even be aware that they are hurting you. When someone offends us, we cannot assume that they intended to do so.

    If you give feedback, and the behavior continues… then you can totally tell them to go blow. I’d say have a little faith that if you handle the situation as an adult, then they will too. I certainly wouldn’t think less of someone for admitting that a ribbing really bothered them. I’d feel horrible if I was ribbing a guildmate, and they let me continue to hurt them when I thought we were all sharing a joke.

    Should you hold on to pride when it’s making you unhappy in your happy place? I’d say no. Speak up for yourself. Cause you’re awesome and deserve that.

    And I acknowledge that this is all so much easier said than done.

    That’s my random stranger 2 cents.

    • I think mostly I’m just worried to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Although, you are right in that if I don’t tell them that some of the little things are bothering me, it’s unfair of me to expect them to know.

      • Mountain or molehill according to whose measure? If it’s bothering you, it’s worth addressing. If something isn’t a big deal to them, but is a big deal to you, all the more reason to say.. hey.. would you might not doing that?

        Your feelings are valid. And any guild members worth your awesomeness will respect that.

  2. Personally, I’ve never liked humor which denigrates anyone, but I know there are those who do. Just the other day, another gal in my guild and I spoke up when someone posted a joke on our guild forums which we thought was most definitely not funny. Although there were others who said, “Hey, it’s a joke; don’t get all serious on us,” it was serious, to us, anyway, who were a part of the group which was the butt of the jokes. The thing is, nobody can read your mind, especially across the Internet. If someone else thinks it’s funny and you don’t say anything, how can they know?

    How valuable to you is that pride if it keeps you miserable? If the people in your guild are really people with whom you would want to associate, wouldn’t they respect your wishes if you lowered your defenses a little and said, “Hey, guys, I hate to bring this up, but you’ve really been bugging me with your comments”? (It’s like when I tell my teenage daughters it’s ok to ask their friends not to swear around them. If they are worthwhile friends to have, they will at least listen and try to respect what makes other people comfortable. That’s the foundation of good manners. If they do not care, even though they know their behavior is bugging other people, then they are not necessarily good friends to have. Doesn’t make it any easier on my teenage daughters, though, who worry about losing their friends by talking to them about it.)

    Good luck! I hope you find a good solution to your situation. 🙂

    • I don’t know that I’m “miserable”, per se. I’m just not…me. I know that doesn’t really express what I’m feeling well, I just don’t know that I have a better way to articulate it!

  3. You have every right to be upset with comments/”jokes” that have been made given how much you bust your ass to not only be the best healer you can be, but do that while raid leading, being guild Mom and helping 98369803696 people with 4639036983 healing, spec, dps, personal and pretty much any other kind of issues.
    I think if something is bothering you this much it’s worth it to let the people know that are bothering/hurting you, because quite frankly they aren’t being team players and even if they don’t mean to be malicious they should be reminded that even through the internet there is someone else on the other side of the computer screen that doesn’t appreciate the comments; especially given all the help you’ve taken time out of your day to assist with when you really didn’t or shouldn’t have had to do so.

    • I’m mostly just trying to decide if I’m being over-sensitive or if it’s more than that. I’ve got a lot going on right now, but I’m pretty open about that. Sometimes I think people are just careless and don’t think through some of the things that they say, or the effect it may have on other people 🙂

  4. You should definitely speak up, Beru, just point out what is said and how you hear it. I know I have close RL friend who I only connect with online now and when she mis-interprets something I say, every can go to hell (there are times I hate text-based speech). It’s too late to point out HOW it was meant at that point, the perceptions and reactions are already there and they can’t be changed. It just kills me when this happens, I feel so badly about it, but she lets me know… That’s the important part. Through this all, thick and thin, we’ve remained friends even through several of these events. Yes, you need to let them know how it makes you feel, because you DO work so hard for your guild. You need to do it for YOU. As you said, your guild is your home within WoW, you can help create a happy home, but not if you are sitting there in silent pain no one else can see.

    • I know first hand that text is a very difficult medium to communicate with, it’s just so cold that it’s hard to *really* tell the tenor of what someone is saying. You are likely right that I should just step up and say something.

  5. btw, any update on your hands yet?

    • They put me on a prescription anti-inflamatory (Mobic?) that has helped with the pain and the swelling significantly, although I don’t know if that’s a good thing because the pain was often an indicator that my hands needed a rest. I go in for a nerve conduction study next Tuesday. I am still thinking about firing my Rhumetologist and finding another, though.

  6. I can relate to the jokes that don’t seem so much at jokes at times. Back in Wrath when I was new at tanking (I switched to my Warrior because we didn’t have enough tanks) I pretty much started tanking in HC Coliseum and as a Warrior I had a lot of issues picking up the adds on Anub. In the last phase I got no help from MD or any other possible threat help, and with limited ranged taunts I just wasn’t able to pick the adds up every time they spawned.

    My guild still jokes about it even to this day how I’m a bad tank. Despite me later taking them through ICC. I know I didn’t do so well on Anub, but it hurts when they remind me of how I failed. (Though part of me still believes that if the hunter had taken that extra second off dpsing to MD me we’d have been fine.)

    I never speak up though, and I can’t really tell you what to do. I guess in the end you’re the only one who can know since you know what you can take and what you cannot. But if it’s making you as upset as it seems to – I think it might be worth mentioning to them that you really don’t appreciate those comments. You don’t want to walk around feeling unhappy in your family.

    • See, that’s EXACTLY it. When we learned Rag I *really* struggled with the damn lava waves. But I got better, and nine out of ten times they don’t give me a lick of trouble – but that one time I mis-judge where one is going to hit and clip it, it’s like I’ve put a giant bullseye on myself that screams MAKE FUN OF MY FAILURE NOW!!!

      Only, I’m already pretty pissed with myself for fucking up and even more pissed with myself because it IS a mechanic I’ve worked hard to master. You’d think I was the worst player in the world because I struggled with this one mechanic out of many I’ve easily mastered.

      I totally fee you!

  7. I’m also a Les Mis fan, though I haven’t seen it in ages.

    Drawing from both my online and military experience, guys generally go in for the public joking insult (Man, Al, what happened to you on that pull? Getting old? can’t push the buttons fast enough?) while girls go for the catty private gossip (did you SEE her Recount numbers? Honestly!).

    Both suck, especially when you’re having a bad day, especially because you know that addressing it makes you appear weak to others. Trying to stop it is probably an exercise in futility, especially in a progression raiding guild atmosphere.

    Usually when I start feeling like this about WoW, it’s time for a break. Forcing yourself to log in when you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable has little upside and a lot of potential downside, especially if you’re in a leadership role. Anyway, one of the advantages of everything being online is nobody knows exactly what’s going on…so take a break, either entirely, or just play unguilded alts for a while, until you feel better.

    (Also, if none of your guildies are standing up for you when you get criticized, then it’s DEFINITELY time for a break.)

    Just my .02.

    • It’s weird being up at the top and expecting to be defended. In truth, you are the defender, no? I do get support, often privately. And it’s well received by me, but it doesn’t take away what has bothered me. And Brade is always great support for me, but not always publicly either. He tends to think me made of stern enough stuff to fight my own battles – and generally I am. But right now I’m faltering a bit.

      It’s also hard to know *what* the problem is – do I feel vulnerable because I am making myself that way? Is it because I have an ongoing issue with my hands that bothers me day in ad day out that the constant pressure there over-emphasizes everything else? I think that’s likely to at least some extent.

      I have, however, already been giving some consideration to starting to level my worgen a bit 🙂

  8. I’m really glad this post caught my eye, I’ve been a lurker for a while, and I’m not very social anymore…used to be…but ended up in a situation like the one you’ve described with your guild, and it broke me. I’m rooting for you though!! Don’t let this break you, or the bonds you’ve made. Stick up for yourself…but try your best not to be too hard on them and go the “fuck you” route like I did…I overdid it for sure. I ended up on the other side of pride, using it as a reason to never let someone laugh at me, instead of letting them have their fun all the time. There is a balance, I hope you find it. It’s too late for my guild, but it’s not too late for you ^____^

    Best of luck,

    • That’s why I have a sounding board here! To try and ferret out exactly how I am feeling and exactly how I want to resolve my issues 🙂

      I doubt I’ll tell people to fuck off and die, but I may speak up and let them know that I’m not as amused as they are with some of the things they find amusement in.

  9. But the tigers come at night . . .

    Yes, you should say something. And that might stop these people with this joke, this week. But there will always be someone who is jealous or thoughtless (or just plain gauche), around the corner waiting to make a remark at your expense. It would be great if there was a real-life Barkskin to use whenever you encounter this stuff. But I haven’t found the keybind for it yet either, and am prone to drop hot tears of hurt on my keyboard.
    On the up side, there are lovely people who say nice things and give me hugs and roses. Life . . . .

    We’ve just begun work on Baleroc, ty so much for the vid, it’s super helpful.

    • A real life barkskin would be awesome. I’m usually made of pretty thick stuff, but I think there’s just a lot taking its toll right now that makes it harder to just, well, be me!

  10. What I’ve said in the past is something like this: “hi! So I know you don’t mean anything bad by that! And I know I seem really confident and maybe you actually think I’m really good or something, but I am actually pretty insecure sometimes about how well I play. So even if you don’t mean anything hurtful, you know, just turn it off for a bit please. And if you DO mean something hurtful, then stop that too.”

    It’s worked out ok. 🙂

    • I may have to try that 🙂

      I don’t know that I’m insecure about my play as much as defensive about it – and there is a difference in that I think. I’m quick to anger, so trying to pinpoint my feelings before I address them is important to me!

  11. Disconnected is the perfect word for it. This post sums up the various reasons why I let my account lapse.

    At the end of the day, I’ve done a lot of work to be able to (occasionally) remove the armor in my meatspace interactions – when I feel like I need to put in on in order to get online, that’s my big red flag.

    I hope your hand is getting better: please give my regard to Brade.

  12. I think I am with Alaran here – when you feel like your skin’s become very thin and you start feeling defensive about comments that you might have shrugged away months ago, then maybe it’s more a sign of you changing rather than your “home”? maybe it’s just time to take a break, even if not a final one. especially more extrovert and confident people often forget that the people around them simply get used to them being the leader, the tough one etc. so, once you drop out of that mode, they cannot know – they keep treating you like the person you yourself created. somehow I cannot imagine your guildies truly trying to hurt you, rather they are teasing you a bit?

    I guess it would be easy now to just blame your guildmates for all of it, but then I don’t believe in the easy, comfortable road. 🙂 maybe there’s something to learn here for you. so you know, I empathize very much with this sort of situation, although I do not presume to know you nearly well enough to make judgements. but I know how it feels to always act like the confident one and be driven by your own ambitions and perfectionism. at some point I realized that perfectionism is not a virtue though – it’s just a person horribly afraid to fail. a person not nearly as self-confident as he/she would like to appear. also: it’s very lonely up there. too perfect a person stops being human – if that’s what you display most of the time, then that’s how people will treat you and measure you by. it takes courage to let them see your weaknesses.

    I hope you can take this comment for what it is. 🙂 the biggest achievement is when we learn to overcome ourselves. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and lately you have sounded more and more under pressure, no doubt by others but by yourself too. you’re the one in control, maybe you should allow yourself that sabbatical you’ve been talking about before. the best of luck with this.

    • I don’t really think it’s 100% my guildmates fault – which is part of why I used my sounding board here. Some of it is absolutely my own doing. I don’t say anything and I have a lot going on that makes me a little more sensitive than usual. I’m sure that they are (mostly) teasing, but at times it’s careless and thoughtless. And it’s those times I’m struggling with navigating.

      I would have to 100% agree that perfectionism is not an asset or a virtue. And I would also agree that I am absolutely afraid of failure. Brade and I have had this conversation many times. Part of why I am so stubborn is that failing just isn’t an option. And that’s the way I was raised and have viewed many things in my life as far back as I can remember. It’s also why it’s so hard to just let some things go 🙂

  13. I have to say that this is the last post that I ever expected to come from you, Beru. I certainly don’t mean that in an insulting way. What I mean is that I would have expected you to be the first person to ask someone for clarification on whether they meant something to be offensive or not and that you would also be the first person to snap them back in line if they were trying to be an ass towards you.

    You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for and than I think you allow yourself to be. I feel like you pull punches, sometimes. Granted, I don’t mean be a raging overlord (because you certainly could be that, if you wanted to). But I feel like you could stand to flex a bit more muscle in certain situations and I think you would be much happier, if you expressed that.

    I’m someone who likes snarky jokes and I like to pick on people, but if someone says they’re not having fun anymore or if I’ve gone too far, I generally will stop immediately. But if I don’t know this and that person just sort of take it, I assume everything is fine and they’re fair game. On the flip side, I also get offended by other people’s snarky jokes. I’ve been known to send a tell or two stating “How was I supposed to take that?” and once the person saying those things clarifies, then I respond in kind.

    I think you have been in your guild long enough, where you should feel comfortable enough and confident enough to be able to do both of those things and possibly more. Exercising those options a bit more may turn things around for you.

    Let me know how it goes!

    • I’ve actually thought of one more thing I wanted to add 🙂 that this perfectionism/pressure you often mention in your posts is something so frequent for female ‘leaders’ – every time I’ve heard similar stories, they were by women, not men. I don’t mean to generalize, but it’s a systematical thing that women just have to prove to be tough so much more, than men do. as a consequence, it is no wonder that an ambitious woman will put herself under lots and lots of pressure. but there are limits to just how much stress you want to subject yourself to.

    • @O

      I don’t take a lot of shit often. And I am generally able to let a lot of things wash over me. But the waves crashing on the shore too will still turn even the largest rocks into sand. I don’t think there is any shame in admitting weakness, or trying to work through your feelings on something.

      Part of the reason that I’ve put my thoughts here is to try and work though them and see if after some thought and opinions of others I feel the same way about them as I did when I posted. I have a lot going on that is only tangentially related to the game, yet still having an affect on it. I can’t help but wondering if that is coloring my reactions to an extent.

  14. I am a jokester and I cut up alot on mumble when raiding with my guild. We say alot of things, and alot of times I am thoughtless and regret what came out of my mouth and have always strived to make sure the person the joke included knew I was in the wrong. My point is, is that you do need to speak up, if they are your family ( and I do consider the people in my guild as friends, and love my guild and the relationships that go with it) then they will understand and sympathize with how you feel. Maybe a break is in order, I can’t say, but I can say that know one can read anothers mind and its even worse when you can’t read someones body language, so communication is really the only option. There have been times I felt the same way, and I found that an open dialogue has really helped me shake that feeling and get back to what counts for me hanging out with my friends and enjoying their company while killing stuff :). Good luck and I hope you shake that feeling.

    • You are likely right that I should speak up and say something. It’s unfair for me to expect someone to know that they’ve gone too far – when it’s often as far as they’ve gone previously. Unfortunately, I let myself get so worked up about it that I’m pissed as all hell by the time I realize that they’ve pushed too far and that is far from the best time to talk to someone 🙂

  15. I agree with “O”. You’ve been with your guild long enough to voice your opinion and have your opinion taken seriously. So stick to your guns and stand up for what you believe is right from wrong. That in it’s self is PRIDE.

  16. I have been put in the same situation, and the situation is probably a recurring one. I 110% understand how you feel.

    The way I see it for myself and you as well, is that. These people aren’t right for you. Sure you may have been with them for awhile. But it’s due to that general comfortability with people, people stop realising their jabs can start forming into something more than just words from a stranger.

    I think the problem is you need change. I know I do, whether it be a change of scenery or what not. You need people who appreciate you and respect you, but at the same time know when to joke around.

    The thing about my nature is that it is very similar to this quote “Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.”

    You see the thing about being nice to everyone is, you often end up finding yourself in cruel situations. But hey, sometimes you have to draw the line. Otherwise people are just going to keep crossing it.

    Best of wishes and luck to you, and I hope you get yourself out of this situation. I truly do understand. So I left this message to let you know that you are not alone in this circumstance.

    (Bottom-line is there are not alot of good people out there)

    *Salutes you with respect*

  17. I wrote my post about harassment during a week of incredibly dizzy fail for me on Alys hardmode. I did debate, at the start, if it was my place to say anything about the problematic members since I was dying–but dealing with potential time-bombs is a separate issue from my individual performance. The path of speaking up, taking action, and dealing with the resulting backlash sucked…in the short-term…but I think the atmosphere of the guild would have been a lot worse if I let them continue to step over players. (Yes, rage more that I didn’t let your shaman in ilvl 308 cloth formally app.)

    A lot of people privately thanked me for cracking down on the inappropriate members. And for the new members, it clearly set an example of what was and wasn’t tolerated. I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone will know ‘how the guild is’ especially during tense progression. I felt that if I didn’t do anything, the nasty whispers would start to undermine authority–as it was, mild cleanup had to be done even after just a few weeks. I know it was a bit different of a situation, with the friends of that one raider completely off-the-deep end, as opposed to subtle jabs during raid, but it adds up. Come to think of it, that raider from time to time would be like ‘why is your dps low on Shannox? I bet you’re not getting traps but still are low’ and him getting constantly reprimanded for such comments led to the fault lines becoming a lot clearer.

    I know in the short term, keeping everyone happy is good. But when it starts to undermine the guild’s fabric (and I feel, for server-first guilds that aren’t pushing world firsts, having a good ‘atmosphere’ and ‘fit’ is a recruitment selling point), sometimes short-term sacrifices have to be made for the long-term. Ultimately, your guild is different than mine–and I’m a general officer as opposed to a raid leader–and also, I know there’s a fine line between the jokey atmosphere prevalent in my guild and bashing. But I think that if someone is making you feel helpless or unwanted in the guild you helped to build, it’s time to analyze why and come up with solutions. Heroic Rag is going to be a grind and everyone needs to be as respectful and productive as possible to make the learning process less painful. Best of luck.

  18. My guild is a little rough on people. We tease a lot, especially to the stronger people. But we actually had an officer kind of “melt down” in ICC, something what like you seem to be heading towards. It was rather awkward and weird when it happened. But it sort of cleared the air, established boundaries. That officer doesn’t get teased anymore, and he’s still with us, still an officer, and still a valued part of the guild. So the moral of that story is to speak up if you are having issues.

    However, permit me to play armchair psychologist for a minute. I might be completely wrong or off-base, though, so take with a grain of salt. I also apologize is this oversteps my bounds as commenter or random person on the Internet.

    Maybe this problem is symptomatic of a deeper fear or worry. You mentioned that, ” I think the feeling probably started creeping in when my hands started bothering me a number of months back.” Maybe unconsciously, you are more worried about your hands than you know. That you fear they may be permanently damaged and that could lead to problems in more than just WoW.

    I’m not saying that the problems with your guild aren’t real, but maybe it’s not so much about you making mistakes, and guildies commenting. Maybe the real, deep problem is the fact that your body or hands are betraying you, in a manner of speaking. An incipient fear of mortality, if you will. And it’s manifesting in these surface frustrations with your guild, which in better times you probably would have just shrugged off.

  19. Others have given you some great comments about your situation in raids so I just wanted to say that Les Mis makes me cry like a little baby, especially “I Dreamed a Dream”. 😥

  20. Beru, I’ve been a lurker on your site and have only recently begun to comment on some of your posts. I can really understand where you’re coming from, as I have my own struggles as a hearing impaired raider. I’m also in a raid progression guild on the main raiding team where I manage to raid without vent and depend entirely on addons to get through the raids as a resto druid healer. I don’t have anyone to call anything out for me, and the only time I ever communicate with anyone is when a dead player IM’s me for a brez during a fight. It is stressful, even more so when we’re trying to progress on a new boss and I’m trying to learn the fight pretty much on my own.

    Over the years, I have had raiders make subtle remarks that maybe I wasn’t cutting it, due to the fact I couldn’t use vent, and it was hard for me not to take that personal. I’ve even had people tell me bluntly that I could never raid without vent. However, I would also remind that I’m a very good healer and that it’s remarkable enough that I raid at that level without vent. So I would say, “I get that, but then I’m not the one who needs vent to get call outs to move out of fire/hammer/lava waves, whatever, so what’s really the issue?” or something to that effect and that will shut people up. Like you, I worked hard to get where I am, and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise, that I suck, because I know I don’t.

    So, at the end of the day, you know you are a good healer, and you have that confidence in you. You need to find that again, and say, “Hey, you know what? I bust my ass, and I do my best. If you have an issue, tell me, otherwise, cut it out, it’s getting old.” Although, I would suggest approaching people individually to talk to them. If they love and respect you, they’ll apologize, “Sorry, Beru, I didn’t know that bothered you!” or if they really have issues, they should talk to you, and you can go from there with them. It’s not that you can’t take a joke, it’s just getting old if the jokes were made in jest. If there is really an issue, you’d rather have people be straightforward with you so you can resolve that.

    Do not let your pride be your weakness, and say, “I’m good enough,” make it your strength and say, “I’m good. How can I get better so I can continue to be the very best I am?” Even the teacher amongst students must continue learning.

    All the very best.

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