I am a rogue, a wanderer, free spirit.

I had a fabulous time at Norwescon this year. I’m a little bummed I couldn’t make it for the full convention. My husband was in Arizona watching spring training for his only real vacation of the year, so between my new job and lack of child care, my attendance was limited to Saturday and Sunday. And even Saturday, I had to start late due to the caucus, though I’m glad I went.

I mainly attended panels, skipped a few when friends let me know they were available for lunch. It was really great to be able to catch up with a few people I would not normally see except for at these events. When we sat down to eat, we talked about writing. What we were writing, about the craft of writing, the books we’ve read and loved, a little about fandom, psychology and geeking out, but very little else. There was no talk about people, there was no gossip, small talk, or empty socializing that I find so frustrating. It was all surprisingly enjoyable and pleasantly relaxing.

The first year that I attended Norwescon, I spent the majority of the time manning the booth for Cascade Writers. Same for Worldcon. Orycon, I was able to attend panels, but not as many as I had hoped. I attended the convention with someone, and felt obligated to spend time with them. At Rustycon, I was on a number of panels, and was in charge of the children’s workshops and had very little time or energy to actually attend panels.

It’s funny now, looking back, realizing how much time I spent at conventions in the last year not actually doing what I would have preferred to do. It was a good experience, but I felt like I missed out on things I would have liked to have done if I had been on my own.

So this last weekend, the freedom of just being myself, by myself, felt good. There were no expectations or obligations. If I wanted to do lunch with someone, I could. If I wanted to chat with panelists afterwards, I could. If I wanted to spend hour after hour just in panels, no one was waiting for me, or wanting to do something else. It was just me, myself and I.

I’m not one for groups. One of the lovely people I spent a good deal of time with shared those sentiments, and it was nice to know I’m not strange for feeling this way. I simply feel more comfortable in a one-on-one setting.

It was also lovely that several people made a point to reach out to me, ask if I was alright, wanted to make sure that I was doing well. It was so very kind of them. I was quite well, actually. I felt a little awkward responding to their kindness, because as much as I appreciated it, I didn’t actually need it. It was so touching, though, to know they cared enough to ask.

I only had one real instance of panic and anxiety. I attended a panel on PTSD, and was speaking with one of the panelists afterwards about our experiences. I was talking about my recent experiences, discussing narcissists, how they work, and sharing our text book similar experiences. It was great speaking with someone else who was part of my ‘club.’ It was a relief to discuss how similar their experience was, to be able to express to them how clearly I had had been idolized, devalued and discarded, how it firmly and completely it had changed my view of things.

While talking, I gave away details that would make it easy enough to figure out who I was talking about if they’d been there. I looked to my right, and suddenly, I thought the person I was talking about WAS there. One of the only other people still in the room looked, from the back, rather like the person who had recently hurt me. My heart started pounding, and I had to fight back the panic. Luckily, the panelist I was speaking with is someone who I really relate to, admire, and is so reassuring and easy to talk to to.

I feel so much better now, being able to talk to someone who understood. I was scared that by daring to share, to put into words, to even admit that the person who had hurt me was, it would be held against me. That I would be branded as the bad guy, that I would be turned on as the gossip, the bad-mouther, the drama queen, the pot stirrer. It’s a cycle I know well. Flying Monkeys are nothing new in my life.

Now, though, as I write this, I’m not nearly as anxious. They have no hold on me.

Conforming isn’t my style. I have no desire to change people, except perhaps, to open their minds and hearts to my own unique view of the world. I can enjoy the company of other wonderful people who open my eyes to their own view of the world, who have no need to define, bind or change me.

I came away with a renewed understanding of why I had been so hesitant to get involved in a group or club. I also get why I always felt uncomfortable with the term ‘tribe’ I’d heard thrown around in the community. It’s just another word for clique.

I don’t need a tribe.

I’m a rogue, a wanderer, a free spirit. 

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7 thoughts on “I am a rogue, a wanderer, free spirit.

  1. You know, I have to say… I’ve observed this whole falling out from afar, and the person who you continually publicly call out as a narcissist is a genuine and kind person undeserving of this cyber bullying, which you’ve engaged in for quite a few weeks now. She has handled the falling out between the two of you with much more grace than you have. Also, be weary of labeling people and psychoanalyzing them. People in glass houses you know…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hardly think that expressing my thoughts about my personal experiences on a blog I do not actively publicize is cyber bullying. But reading into and assuming, going out of your way to comment on my blog in an accusatory manner seems like a silencing tactic to me.

      I would like to know how I’ve been engaging in cyber bullying for weeks when my topics have been rather varied. I talked about blogging, cultural appropriation and psychology recently. I’m not sure how blogging on my blog is cyber bullying. Unless you’re referring to something else?

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      • We both know it hasn’t just been the blog where accusatory implied posts against certain parties have been made among mutual friends. I’ll leave you be now. Accusing me of employing silencing tactics is a ploy to call me out as abusive and silence me. Trust me, I am not trying to be abusive but stand up for someone who is on the receiving end of abuse. I would be horrified if I had a parting of ways with someone and then they proceeded to call me an abuser and a narcissist at a panel. No one is doing such things to you. I recommend you do some reading up on waif borderline personality disorders. I know it hurts to be psychoanalyzed by a former associate, doesn’t it?

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      • Pretty sure I didn’t call someone anything at a panel. I shared experiences with a panelist is AFTER a panel. I discussed an experience, and mentioned a few details and did not call anyone out by name. The person I talked with has no idea who I was talking about. It would be just lovely if people would stop reading into things and assuming.

        Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my post, but that could have been clarified privately rather than swooping in to assume and accuse me of things.

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      • Ok. Thanks for the clarification. Also with regards to monkeys… If I recall, you lashed out against everyone when they refused to be yours.

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      • Actually, if you’d spoken to me about that, I could have clarified on that as well!

        So, that was a MISUNDERSTANDING that I have spoken to the people involved and apologized to them. I’m pretty sure one of them has forgiven me, the other seemed to understand and accepted my apology.

        If you would like details of said situation, kindly message me in person rather than relying on gossip and hearsay.

        Though to be perfectly honest, I really don’t see why I owe you an explanation when it really has nothing to do with you. If you want to talk, I kindly ask you contact me via Facebook messenger or email. I really don’t enjoy playing the “I’m going to block you so I control our communication can get the last word in game.”

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