Final Fantasy VIII remastered came out a couple of days ago. Listen: I cannot describe how much I love that damn game. It was what got me into gaming when I was eleven years old. Most of my tattoos are Final Fantasy related. And, I ain’t afraid to admit it, I was obsessed with Rinoa Heartilly. I wanted to be her. She was probably my biggest role model and still is. I don’t know if it’s the BPD thing (apparently, we with BPD tend to obsess over people and things and often change our interests and appearances to be more like the person/thing), but it was legit. I used to browse Rebelling Princess from the dawn of its conception (it’s the most comprehensive and thorough Rinoa fansite that’s ever graced the web). Okay, don’t worry people who don’t know/don’t care what I’m talking about, we’re kinda moving away from that now.
So, I dated this guy for like five years. We’ll call him Mr.Always Right. Not because he was “right” for me – because no matter what kind of discussion or argument you had with him, he’d somehow come out the “winner”. He wouldn’t accept anything less. Looking back, I get we had a very co-dependent relationship. I still hesitate to talk about him too much because even though we’re no longer together, it feels like betrayal.
In the beginning it was so good. I mean. You know how romance novels talk about all those overwhelming, cute, fuzzy feelings? It was all that and more. It was intense and exciting and precious and the all-important thing in my world: this man, and us together. His favourite Final Fantasy even happened to be MY favourite Final Fantasy: VIII. I never found someone who loved Final Fantasy VIII (in person)! I took it as a sign. We played through the game together, even though I’d played it dozens and dozens of times. But with him, it was even more magical. I’d leave screenshots on his Facebook wall with little jokes and lines from the characters. His friends would leave “likes” and laughing emojis. “It’s our game,” he said once. And Mr. Always Right was right about that: we made it ours. When “Distant Worlds”, which is a concert featuring music from the series, came to Toronto we saw it together…and met Nobuo Uematsu (the composer for the majority of the series). Nobuo signed my original Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack. Mr. Always Right bought me a limited edition leather moogle. When we got engaged, I immediately starting thinking about little ways we could include references to the game in our wedding. Cut the cake to the famous victory fanfare? Dance to Eyes on Me? Maybe I could find a venue that looked like the celebration hall where the graduation party in VIII was held! Oh, I was so lame. And love-struck, still – even after so many fights, so many breakups. As it was, he broke up with me for good 3 months after we’d gotten engaged. I still love(d?) him so much, seeing anything remotely to do with him pains me.
Which brings me back to FFVIII remastered. I pre-ordered it and sat down to play thinking, “hah! It was MY game before we dated, and it’s still my game!” I mean, how could I give up on it? I loved the story, the characters, the music. From the moment I watched the opening movie as a kid, I was riveted. It showed me how magical video games are. It let me go to another world in a way different from books, or TV shows.
So it hurt my heart that as I was playing, I realized I just couldn’t do it. It reminded me so much of Mr. Always Right. And now I’m worried I may have lost my second favourite thing, on top of everything else I’ve lost the past year. I closed the game and sat in silence, the glow of the computer screen the only light in the room. Loss, again. A rather insignificant loss, to anyone else. But for me? That game had gotten me through the best and worst times of my life. It had always been more than “just” a video game.
I get emotional over stuff like that. Well…loss, I guess. Even things that don’t seem like they’re important or are considered worthless. When someone gives me a gift that is obviously very thoughtful or an heirloom, I treasure it probably more than I should. Trinkets, baubles, whatever. When I lose things that are precious to me, I get so agitated and anxious and upset that I usually end up bursting into tears. It’s so ridiculous. I briefly lost my dad’s iron ring (he gave it to me to wear), and I was in a panic. When I found it I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. But if I didn’t? I don’t even want to imagine how bad that would have been. But I digress.
For now I’m going to have to gently tuck FFVIII away in the back of my mind and my heart. I hope that I’ll be able to immerse myself in that world again eventually, this time without heartbreak. I hope I’ll be able to enjoy it without thinking about Mr. Always Right. “Time heals all wounds,” yeah? Well, we’ll see about that.
My fellow BPD diagnosed friends: do you find yourself getting too attached to people, or objects and forms of media? If so, what? Do you have any suggestions for keeping attachments from getting too strong? How do you cope with the loss of something that was important to you?