Somehow, despite never ever having actually lived in the fifties, I managed to get one of the core values drilled rather permanently into my skull:
You don’t air the family’s dirty laundry.
Somehow that has come to encompass everything from honest to God family matters, to friends secrets and more recently guild stories. I try not to talk about my guilds in anything but a positive light because, well, they’re family. Talking about the bad seems like airing the dirty laundry for the neighborhood to see, and that’s BAD!
However, like many other of my guild posts, this isn’t really about my guild, it’s about ME. About my behavior, my needs in-game, and frankly, whether or not other people have had similar situations and whether or not the solutions they found worked for THEM.
Recently my guild has been working on HM Alysrazor. We’d had ~35 attempts at the flaming
bitch bird, and with our regular track record, we expected to be seeing a kill on Thursday.
Thursday also saw my personal, absolute worst performance ever on the fight. If there was a tornado I was standing in it. Over and over and over again. I’d love to say that I was just one of those people who always sucked at tornadoes and Thursday was no different. However, I knew that just wasn’t the case. A fight that I loved turned into a nightmare, and likely cost us a kill even with 3 hours worth of attempts.
To say I was having a bad night would be an understatement.
When you’re in a guild like mine, it doesn’t really matter if you’re having a suck night. There are no subs. If you suck, you make the entire night miserable for everyone because there is no relief in sight. Their only hope is that you’ll somehow manage to get your head out of the fire, and actually remember how to execute the fight. I was embarrassed. I was keeping my team from getting a kill and moving on with their lives. It was horrid.
My guildmates I’m sure were ready to strangle me. Most of them kept it to themselves. Some tried the loving approach which I personally find suffocating and even more embarrassing, but I appreciated that they were doing it out of love.
And then we had one guy. One guy who told us how easy the tornadoes were after every attempt. Who told us how much he wanted to kill himself that we were playing so badly. That our performance was an embarrassment to him. (And yes, it was directed at the raid team and not me personally. Apparently no one was supposed to know who was the “bad” in a little ol’ 10-man team.)
That night I didn’t walk away sad or frustrated or even self-pitying. I walked away from my game, and I was angry.
Once upon a time, I spent many a raid night walking away from the game angry, furious even. I raided with a guy who was exceptionally good at his particular role, but failed to care about anyone else other than their ability to do whatever they did to make the fight function. Every wipe brought about a diatribe about the fail of every single member of the team but himself.
Invariably at the end of the night, I would spend the evening doing damage control and trying to keep everyone on an even keel. Even when he was right, his rants never improved a single player’s performance since there was never a single word that helped a player actually know how to improve their performance. Even players who had performed well previously and were having a bad night invariably got the same treatment as those players who were consistently not as good.
Nerd fucking rage.
My husband soaked up a lot of that rage. It had to go somewhere so that I could arrive at the gates for another night. So that I could provide comfort and direction to another group of players. So that I could perform myself and not spend the night fretting about which way the volcano would blow this time.
My husband finally had enough. Before I joined another progression oriented raiding guild, my husband had conditions. For his sanity, I was not to take a leadership position. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a guild where I wasn’t an officer of some kind. I’ve surely never been in a guild where I haven’t been at least a confidante of one or more members of the leadership. I don’t intend these things to happen, it’s just the kind of person I am.
The other, and perhaps more serious, is that I would not become an angry raider. The emotional roller-coaster of my previous raiding experience was a strain for us, and we had a lot more “couple” time then. Now we’re lucky to see each other a couple hours a day unless he’s off, and frankly, angry Anne is a scary thing.
Of course I agreed. The requests weren’t unreasonable. Surely I could manage to maintain an even keel. He didn’t say I couldn’t be frustrated he just didn’t want a return of the anger monster 3 nights a week. And even if my little organizational heart wants to volunteer, I manage to curb myself for the most part, and pretend that, no I really can’t do that.
[Spotlight of Shame]
So, when Thursday ended on the stunning high note that it did, when I walked away from my computer to assess how I felt in my shriveled little heart and realized I was riding the wave of fury, I was disturbed. This was not supposed to happen. I was not supposed to be angry. And here’s the part I’m having a hard time with:
I went to private forum, notified my GM that I wanted the recruitment thread to be updated to include a healer replacement. I would, of course, continue to raid until they found one, but I thought perhaps I was in the wrong place after all.
Let me just tell you, that was the hardest damn thing I’ve done in a long time. And to add salt to the wounds, the GM took one look at it and give me an “things will work out” response.
There’s a lot of muddled thoughts and feelings around the whole thing. The first is that I’ve never, ever quit a guild over a single incident. Hell, I’ve only quit one guild in all the years I’ve been playing. I honestly felt like a drama queen when I wrote that post, and even more so when I got the reply. Dude, I was serious. I wouldn’t post something like that for …. sympathy? I’m not even quite sure what people who threaten to quit and then don’t expect to get out of the deal.
I seriously thought, in light of my promise to my husband, that maybe I couldn’t manage to raid without the fury buff. However, I was also very, heavily upset that I would be leaving one of the best guilds I’ve ever played with. I love this guild. I like the people (yes, even the guy who was giving me/us such a hard time). I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I left.
Currently I’m in a semi holding pattern. I want to be serious about my commitment to not be angry. Frustrated, a little zany, but definitely not rabid when I leave the game for the evening. On the other hand, I just want everything to work out. I want to chalk this one incident up to a fluke, and make it all go away. However, I worry that I’ll let it happen again and again if I don’t nip the whole experience in the bud and just let it go. I mean, I really love raiding. I’m willing to lose a lot of precious sleep to be able to pursue this activity, and I love sleep right after my hubby and cat.
On the other hand, I feel like I acted rather rashly. I mean, you just don’t quit on your family. You hang in there until you just know it’s never going to get better. While there have been some other annoying, semi-irritating and pre-rage moments before, I managed to keep the lid on full blown anger. What in the hell was I thinking saying “I quit.”
I’m not really happy about how I’ve chosen to handle this. I’m not really happy that my GM thinks I was speaking solely from frustration. As the kids like to say “It’s complicated.”
Post-note: As a courtesy, I chose to share this post with my GM before publishing. While I sincerely planned on bowing out from the Production Company team (because, as I hope this post reflects, of me not them) as I feared when I posted my notice, I think I acted rashly. I fully intend to remain committed to my team, and hope that this event will be an isolated incidence: that I can continue to keep my promise to raid and keep my cool. Only time will tell, of course, but I’m sincerely grateful that my frustrations were met with understanding, and my decision accepted with respect.