Walking A Different Plane: Getting Over My Obsession With A Fantasy CharacterTo most people I have lead a decidedly enchanted life. My family was never well off, but I was never left wanting for nearly anything..tangible. I had a roof to sleep under and toys and my own room, the trouble was that I was born the youngest and only girl of five siblings. Because of this I was exposed to boy's hobbies and interests and few of the female persuasions. This included action figures, video games, football and Dungeons and Dragons. Though I cherished these things and accepted that the girls at school thought I was odd, my own family taught me to disparage my gender. Misogyny was rampant in my house, and I took these things to heart, without ever knowing it. As I got older I started embracing female things, slowly at first. Of course I was taunted and teased endlessly by my brothers. Acting female meant I was just like all of the other girls and that one day I would be a nuisance..like all women are. I felt useless.
Despite being incredibly impressionable, I have always been terribly stubborn. I decided to soldier on and wear all the pretty things I wanted, while still embracing what was in my soul: fantasy.
When I was thirteen, things began to escalate. I had always been bullied at home and worse at school, so I began to withdraw. Playing video games was always an escape for me and I took to the Legend of Zelda series more than the rest. I relished the adventure and the romance of every game in the series. However, when I was thirteen I loaded a game into my console that would change my life forever.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was that game. I played it endlessly, my parents had to drag me away from it to eat dinner and see my friends. All I could think about was this game, I wrote about it, thought about it and told my uninterested friends about it. It was my soul, my only saving grace for years afterward. That was where the problem arose. As I pulled away from my friends I began to think that maybe Link (who is the games protagonist) was the only friend worth having. He was there when I needed him as nobody else was, and I quickly began to develop affections for him.
Of course it can be said that most fictional characters are good looking people, and my love for this character deepened as I realized that not only was he brave and noble, but also very beautiful. Every boy I saw was being compared to this avatar, and every one failed to measure up.
I was fifteen and withdrawing further from society. My parents noticed this and took measures to remove the atmosphere that was, as they saw it negatively influencing my life. I rebelled naturally, but I carried on with my fantasies in other ways. I wrote fan fictions , drew artwork and envisioned my world in my mind but soon it was no longer enough. I had to speak to him in any way I could.
My school work began to suffer as I took to online chat rooms in search of my hero. I finally found someone who would suit and began speaking to him regularly. Once a week turned into once a day and escalated from there. I became obsessed with living a cyber fantasy with this false Link. Eventually, this man asked for a photo of myself' panicking I cut a photo of a gorgeous popular girl from a yearbook at school and sent it to Michigan. What I didn't realize was that this man, whom I had never met would get my address in the process.
Our relationship continued for another year or so. He thought I was eighteen and beautiful (to which I was neither at the time) while I dodged advances to meet in person. I spoke to him every night, never realizing that my older brother (a computer programmer) had caught on to our romance. He emailed the man and told him that I was a high school student and most likely "not a beautiful princess" as I had pretended.
"My hero" was irate, and armed with his own mental deficiencies he set out to find me and set the record straight. Because he had my address he did this easily and arrived at my house one day after I got home from school. When I opened the door, there was a stranger there. He was twenty eight years old, massively overweight and of a completely different persuasion than he had let on.
He demanded to see "his princess", and I told him about my ruse, and that he was talking to her. He was furious and shouted questions at me to which I had no answers. My brothers heard the commotion and called the police. That man whom I had fashioned a noble hero and the love of my life, was hauled away in handcuffs. He threatened to come back to my house when I was alone so we could "talk" and a restraining order had to be filed before I could sleep at night.
Needless to say, my relationship with my family was strained. I felt ashamed, petty and stupid for what I did, and I came to know endless hours of lecture and therapy before I was able to return to normal life.
After that, I focused on school and graduated while under the close supervision of my parents. I got braces, which improved my poor self esteem and boys began to pay attention to me. Of course I continued to write fan fictions and conduct my fantasies in my head about the love of my life, but nobody knew.
Despite rules against the matter, I had a boyfriend. He was tall, handsome, blonde and an athlete, just like my other-worldly crush, seemingly a dream come true. Who I thought was a noble and soft spoken gentlemen turned out to be anything but. He pressured me to have sex, which I refused. Because of this rejection he cheated routinely with my best friend behind my back. I forgave them each for their betrayal but it continued in secret, so I dumped them both.
Shortly afterward my father died of a heart attack. Though I was crushed, my family secretly rejoiced, because he was never well liked by any of them.
Despite his chauvinist nature, I still loved him and was heavily rendered by his departure. For years afterward I loathed my family and distanced myself from them.
At nineteen I finally began to find my way. After my dads death I forwent plans for my future until this time when I realized I was young, somewhat pretty and intelligent enough to make the most out of my life. I made several friends, got numerous fun jobs and loved life. It was then when I crossed the path of the man I would marry. He was younger than me, soft spoken, androgynous and had the most beautiful shining blonde hair I had ever seen. Not only did he look like my fictional knight in shining armor, he was quiet and reserved and incredibly smart. A crush was made. I didn't take long for this guy to notice how I looked at him and we began to spend time together.
Things moved quickly from there, we played video games, went on dates and eventually called ourselves a couple. My family accepted him right away, despite my past embarrassments. After a couple of months we took our relationship further and had sex. We dated for another year before he moved into my mothers house with me. Three blissful years later we were married, and bought our own home.
This is when things began to wear. I still had my obsession with my fantasy hero, and my spouse began to suspect. For the next few years my husband began to gain weight and otherwise ignore his upkeep while still maintaining the attitude that I always loved. However, this change in appearance would dispel the fantasy that I had woven into reality. Because of this our love life began to suffer and it soon disappeared altogether. Frustrated with the lack of affection, my husband soon boiled down the issue. I was in love with a blonde elf boy who could never exist in the real world and not with him.
Though I did indeed still love him, he was on to something. I had fantasized loving a man who could never love me back and I was unable to envision intimacy with someone who didn't measure up physically. I sought therapy to get to the bottom of the problem.
The males in my life were loud, crude, mean and hated women. What I saw in Link was the antithesis of this. He was quiet, polite and willing to stake his life for the girl he loved. This is what I wanted in my life, and couldn't find in the material plane.
The next year would be difficult for my spouse and I, and continues to be difficult. I have admitted things I have never thought to tell another soul, and opened my heart to the real world. I still enjoy my stories, but have firmly planted a foot outside of fantasy where it will stay. I have found a place for my hero, in my imagination, in a fond place in my memory. I had striven to be a better person because of him and that will never change.