Nova Mnemonic

I put together this look with clothes, hair and accessories by: Ronja Pera, Paulinha Sands, Cranlor Burrito, Mammoth Noel, Cyan Linden and Blue Burke.

I spent some time recently trying out things online that I had never tried before. I was lonely, and decided to send thoughts out into the cyberuniverse to see what would come back. Later on, I also tried Second Life, but I will get to that in a while.

It was good to explore new areas of the internet. I checked out a support group and for a while posted a significant amount, I created a couple of dating profiles, I posted for a while in Yahoo Comments (where the general public comment on various news and pseudonews articles), I did a small amount of chatting, I acquired a Facebook account, a few gmail accounts, I acquired an ebay account, a Paypal account. I did have positive experiences, but I am still left with the feeling that I need to talk to someone, and there is no one it is appropriate for me to talk to. I continue to write a lot on a daily basis, and this kind of writing comes easily. It seems too difficult to figure out how to prune it all down and add more of it to my site.

I created various new aliases, and made an effort to 'be myself' in different settings. I didn't use or refer to the name Xesce, and I chose names that wouldn't be easy to link with the identity Xesce.

It was partly related to my conclusion that as Xesce I had now disclosed more info about myself than anyone was comfortable with. It had been necessary to go through the process, but I realized that what had been necessary might now be preventing others from contacting me. So, I tried to simplify. I tried to start over without all of the baggage in the way.

I was able to communicate, and I did find that I have a 'voice'. I have changed, developed over time, although I am still fairly similar in the overall sense. I can articulate some things I didn't know how to before. But..

What I found was that I experienced a level of anxiety I hadn't in a long time. I felt constantly nauseous, and often as the night would wear on, I would find myself shaking uncontrollably. I didn't experience sweating or stomach pain as I did in the past, but my reactions were a lot more intense than they had been in a very long time.

I found it extremely difficult to work out how to be myself while not oversharing, or purposely concealing.

I realized that part of my anxiety related to my fear others would discover that I was 'Xesce'. I had spent so many years facing fear over and over in trying to discuss various aspects of who I am, in putting new entries on my website, and in my communications with others, and now I was suddenly afraid that the new people I was encountering would discover I was this 'monster', Xesce. I tried to think about it, what this meant. Was it because I realized that as Xesce, people don't like me or respect me? And since people seemed to be responding positively to me with different names, without knowing all the details, I wanted to hold on to that? But there was no way I could do that indefinitely. The more I communicated, the more searchable I was likely to make myself. And besides that, I would eventually have to purposely avoid and conceal in order to maintain the impressions others might have had of me. I felt boxed in, and I felt like I had gone back 'into the closet'. If people liked me, it was probably not based on anything real, and in time, I would reveal the self that has driven everyone else away. I decided to just give up.

When I made a decision to stop all of these activities, the nausea stopped.

I am not sure that was the right way to go about things. I probably should have outed myself as Xesce, and faced the fear that the new people I encountered would not like me if they knew me better.

Maybe the main difference this time around was that I no longer felt I had a motivation or incentive to bear with the anxiety. In the past, I would often connect the feelings of anxiety to sexual attraction, and probably the underlying motivation for hanging in there was that I would have a sexual release or relationship. But, over time, for a very long time, I have had no release.

I should clarify that. Intellectually, I think I appreciate the relationships I have had, and think I have learned a lot. And though I haven't felt understood, and I haven't connected sexually or emotionally in the ways I wanted, I think the efforts at communication have helped me to understand myself and others better. I think it's better to keep trying to communicate than not. But I think there is another part of me that says it's a completely hopeless situation, and that there is no use in trying.

Anyway, I might try again to get out there, but it is difficult to shake off the impression that I am just killing time while rubbing salt in the wound. Many years ago (2004), I wrote:

i do feel like i want to have someone to talk to, or be with, or something, and like i want to be comforted, held, but it's like i don't feel i have the energy to cope with all the stress that might make it possible to find someone, and it seems unlikely anyone is going to approach me for some time, maybe a very long time, maybe no one will ever attempt communication with me again, and if they do, maybe i've completely lost the ability to adapt, or through the years i've continued to mutate in directions that make it impossible to find enough common ground with anyone.

it seems simple enough, though. i have a place here, where i can talk if i want to talk, when i'm ready. it does seem that as time goes on my options are shrinking, and that my potential for coping with new interactions is also shrinking, and that i may have to retreat further and further into myself, and realize that i'm not really coming back out. in a way, i do like that i can come here, at least, to describe that as it's happening, if i want to, if i have the energy.

I was talking about my website. This is the place where I can describe the truth of the situation, if I have the energy. And people can look or look away, whatever they want.

When I joined Second Life, I did choose the username xesce. On SL, you can choose different display names, but it is possible for anyone to see your username if they want to. A (display) name I came up with but didn't use for my new avatar was: Nova Mnemonic. I was going for a kind of scifi feel, but also I was trying to link a few ideas, and maybe search for a new way of unlocking old memories and/or linking new ones.

I had managed to walk, run, fly, teleport and shop (for freebies) before attending my first tutorial. The most fun I had was something I discovered accidentally. In one world, while I was trying to work out how to jump into a pose ball (pose balls offer drop down menus of sexual acts it is possible to perform), someone asked me if it was ok if they animated me. I said yes, and my avatar began dancing. Not long after, a male avatar came over to me and our avatars danced very smoothly together - it was really quite well done. From this, I could imagine that having sex in Second Life could also work quite well.

After I left that world, I went into another one where I was chased by zombies, but instead of running, I tried to dance with a female one. Interestingly, it was like something in the programming there picked up keystroke attempts, and then animated both me and the zombie to continue dancing without me having to do anything. Then a couple more zombies joined in and I found it quite amusing.

I tried to undress my avatar to find out what the naked situation was and if I would have to go find some genitals and nipples somewhere. I had managed to find a demo female shape that was anatomically correct, but because it was only a demo I couldn't keep it for free. And besides, it had really big feet which I didn't think were proportional, and I had a bitch of time getting my editing to stick.

As far as sex, I am still a Second Life virgin. I don't know if I want my first time to be special, or I expect it to be awkward, but at present I don't feel up to shopping for the necessary parts and so I'm giving things a bit of time.

Oh, there was one embarrassing thing: I didn't realize I had voice activated. I don't have a microphone, and didn't realize the default setting would automatically set up the built-in microphone to work, until one time on my travels someone said to me that they could hear me breathing and clicking, and it sounded like I was really annoying.. anyway, I just signed out, but the next day changed my settings, once I had recovered to some extent.

Below are images of the original avatar I started with on Second Life. One of my first priorities was to change the appearance as quickly as possible. The original is pretty, but I didn't want one that a million others also had. The other photos on this page represent what I was able to achieve on my own, for free. It's not that I'm against having a premium account or spending money, it's that I'm not a gamer, I'm not particularly good at this kind of thing, and I wanted to test how well I could do on my own. If I go back in, I will have to again change my appearance, because I have realized that my avatar, while different from the original, now seems to bear a resemblance to Winona Ryder. This wasn't intentional, it was just me mucking around with the editing software trying to come up with something different and not having a great deal of control over the process. (I like Winona, but feel uneasy about accidentally copying her). I will have to try again if I want to come up with a more original avatar.

Anyone wishing to contact me on Second Life might have better luck emailing me - I haven't signed in to SL for a while and am not sure when or if I will go back.

My adventures in cyberspace have shown me some of the possibilities and have inspired some creative ideas. And yet.. I still give up fast. It seems impossible for me to connect.

-Xesce, 24/08/12















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