I wrote this up and submitted it to How Games Saved My Life. I figure since there's no entries on this great title I would put how it helped me out in a bind:
I have been a genuinely kind person since the day I was born, a gamer since I was merely two years old, I have patience that exceeds most, and I can mediate most any problem that is not my own. Modesty to boot, as well.
However, the one problem that has happened over and over again in my relationships is infidelity. They never had the courage to break up with me and I’ve never given them a reason to have that mentality. I’ve been in relationships lasting four years, two years, three years, one year, and two years respectively. They dissolve into a spiral of lies until someone eventually tells me I’ve been cheated on multiple times throughout the duration of my relationship. On only three occasions my girlfriend told me herself.
After the fifth time it happened I kinda lost it. I took it entirely out on myself. I figured if I was cheated on by five different serious lovers that the problem could be nobody’s but mine. I sealed myself up and lost myself in the world of gaming. I went from casual gaming back to hardcore gaming like I did when I was younger. I spent time rejecting others and more time loving my games. I hated the idea of relationships and I became a bit of a monster towards those that were romantically involved with others. Negative comments were the only things that ever left my mouth on the topic. I would write rants upon rants about how women couldn’t be trusted, how men were all looking to steal someone else’s lover away, and how society didn’t deserve someone like how I used to be in it.
Eventually, to get myself some mental clarity after a few years of what I coined “living in darkness,” I took a huge chance and got myself out of the city I was living in. I sought the help of a good childhood friend who was willing to help me start new and fresh. I also picked up a nifty game called Catherine, which is concerned with cheaters and cheating.
I was obsessed with this game. I would play it and play it and work through all the challenges just to see my main character struggle living with the guilt that he was a backstabbing cheater. I would thoroughly enjoy watching him squirm through his deadly nightmares and have to face what he had done while he tried so desperately to lie and cover it up. I beat the game a good 8 or 9 times to see all the different endings and by the time I was done with the experience I found a good amount of solace in the messages the game presents:
Cheat and your life will be a living hell.
Commit yourself to cheating and you will be sent to hell.
If you cheat and don’t feel bad about it, you will be left behind in the dust by what you want in life.
If you cheat and do everything in your power to make your wrongs right, you may be forgiven, or at least you’ll feel a bit better inside.
If you cheat, break up after speaking to your lover about what you had done, and don’t choose to stay with the woman you cheated on her with, you will have a lot more freedom and happiness.
I found it simply mind blowing that cheaters, who I previously looked at as being subhuman, have so many hardships and so much pressure on them. It gave me the mental clarity to let go of my past and accept them for what they had done, since they’ll have their own personal demons to fight against for the rest of their life – metaphorically, anyway.
I can’t say I’ve entirely moved on when it comes to my love life and I can’t write a big happy ending about how I’m in another relationship full of smiles and sunshine. I still have some deep trust issues but now I’m not fighting against love. I have respect for those in relationships and I feel cheaters don’t need me belittling them anymore because I imagine their conscience is probably beating them up enough. I feel that one day I will be able to be in a relationship again and it feels great having the idea that someone is out there for me when I’m good and ready.
So thank you Catherine for engaging me in a story about a cheater so I could see the inner workings of what being a cheater is like. Even if there was a bunch of supernatural stuff peppered into the game I have the idea that cheaters suffer. It was enough to help me stop lashing out toward friends, co-workers, and social circles for my own personal problems and find a bit of acceptance toward something I hated so much.
X/Adult/Adult Puzzle Game