high functioning anxiety

When we moved from Houston, we left the older one behind (it breaks my heart still...I feel like I abandoned her...) and the younger one came with us.  Now it's like she's an only child and she happily saps whatever I have to spoil her with to her heart's content.  Of the two, she seemed quite a bit more fearless and intrepid, with a penchant for all things Gothly and horror movies.

Recently, my PS3 bit the dust.  This actually created a lot of internal turmoil - that thing was with me right after my sister passed away.  My husband gifted it to me, giving me something else to do other than work and sleep (and see my way through a handle of rum or vodka every other day or so).  It let me immerse myself in a game rather than dwell on the fact that I was now having to take time to go through my sister's things and get rid of much that was of no use to anyone anymore.

My sister and I gamed a lot.  Not....gamer girls, you know, the pretty ones that pose licking controllers or whatever, but actual female gamers.  I loved RPGs and puzzle games, while my sister loved platformers and action-packed games.  And we worked oddly well as a team that way.  When I played, she'd listen to me logic out stuff and make suggestions and vice versa.  When she was sick and living with my mother, I came to visit while I was training for Walmart in Dallas.  She was playing Prince of Persia, sands of time.  We had dinner and visited and she was suddenly hit by the notion of showing me the game, where she was stuck.  She showed me his cool abilities and how he moved and the area where she was stuck.  I was immediately focused.  After a few moments, I asked, "Did you run across the wall to that platform and try to run up that ledge and jump over?"  She blinked at me once or twice, then did it.  She shook her head.  "I've been stuck there for a week," she said in disgust.  And...that's kind of how we gamed.

My girls have grown up gaming.  One is very into Pokemon.  The other....into the same types of games my sister played - anything and everything.  Except she will play horror games.

Now, for those of you who don't game, there really is an entire genre of video games out there filled with blood, guts, gore, jump-scares and all sort of sick and twisted shit.  Really.  Stuff that makes most people's hair crawl.

At one point, I observed my youngest playing one of these games, so somewhere down the road, I got it in my head that she really likes them.  I can't even watch horror movies, much less play video games like that.  So living vicariously, I buy them for her.  When she sits to play them, she just makes commentary like, "Ohhhh......oh, that's not good...."  Or snarky stuff. "Yeah....so you took my hand.  I still have a gun."  I took this as fearless and really into it, so...I continued to buy those kinds of games when the PS3 died.

So after a few days, she's playing something called Ori the Blind Forest or something like that.  It's a beautiful game.  But the other night, I was like, "Honey, uh, why aren't you playing Resident Evil or Silent Hill or something?"

She looks at me like I've lost my shit.

"Mom, it's late at night.  Are you crazy?" she asks.

"I thought you liked those kinds of games," I replied, uncertainly.

"Mom..." she says, teen-splaining it to me, "yeah, but c'mon.  It's a horror game.  I won't be able to sleep tonight."

Then I realize she is actually gets scared with those games. And state as much.

"Of course I get scared. They're damn scary!"

I shoot her a sideways look.  For some reason, she's getting into the habit of using those words around me a little too fluently.  "Taindee....you mean to tell me that those games where something is trying to eat your ass or kill you actually scares you?"

"Of course, ma! Geez!"

So all that snark, all that very controlled conversation with the TV that sounds casual, is actually my child chattering out her fear and playing the game anyway.

Damn...I wish I could do that.   Even taking an anti-anxiety med, the idea of it sends my mind crawling up walls.

So every now and then, like I said, vicarious living - I hear her say something snarky and I have to walk through the room with my hands over my eyes, peeking a bit, as she fights the shit that was born of someone else's nightmares.

I do gotta say, I think we both kinda freaked out when the dude was running after her character with the chainsaw.  That was a bit much for us both, regardless of my meds.

So she doesn't play those games after dark and that's fine by me.

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