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The Game Master / Players Unhealthy Addiction


Gamer Talk

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A friend of mine (off and on several times over 30 years) was always the GM. He sometimes had a character of his own in the campaign to act as a guide. The man was always prepared as far as how he saw the campaign going. He always had NPCs, maps, special items, plot twists based on the characters, snacks, sleeping areas when the game went past our own endurance and in the later years he even had multiple monitors and a projector! He wasn't able to get reliable people to join the group, so that fell to me. I recruited around 5 people that was a mixed bag, but reliable and strangely enough, played well together. Things went well for some time.

The only thing he wasn't prepared for was life getting in the way. His second wife had left him, but he was able to get past it off (eventually).

I found the woman of my dreams,and married her shortly afterwards (still together 3 years and still going strong). I couldn't play for days on end anymore and 5 to 6 hours wasn't enough for our professional GM. Some things were insinuated and I left never to return.

Later, I was running games at the local hobby shop (the Hobbit) and a friend of mine showed up. He told me about what happened in the following weeks after I left.

You see, my friend was recently married himself and had the same issues I had with playing late. The GM had confronted him about it and said he had a choice. Get rid of the wife and play, or go.

It wasn't a choice. My friend is still married.

I harbor no ill feelings towards the man, and I pray he is well, but This person once said he was told I was an addict to the game. That is another story, but still...who do you think has the problem?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

There are some people who can take anything too far. My players tell me I'm a good GM and they make an effort to come to my games. We generally play 4 hours a week on a Wednesday night.

Sometimes players can't make it due to obligations, wives, kids, work and family all come up at inconvenient times. You just roll with it.

This GM has some big issues, and might need to put some things in perspective. I recommend professional help. This is only a game after all.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just as a fellow gamer, not as any kind of a professional, I think that there's nothing wrong with the call that you and this other player made.

My friends and I have a saying "Everything is more important than D&D, even D&D". The philosophy being that your life, your family, your job and even your gaming group are all more important than the game itself. Life happens and that needs to be respected. Without respect, you don't have friends and without friends, you don't have a group to game with. Even if you start as only acquaintances that play the same game, friendships grow from that and all the lastly gaming groups that I know of are made up of people that think of each other as friends.

Your GM that you left behind has a different set of priorities than you and this other player. His priorities are his own to have but to enforce them upon others is unfair at the very least. He's not respecting his players and the lives that they have chosen to live, possibly extending his perceived control within the game beyond the table and into the real world. Or at least trying to.

Does he have a problem? I would say so. Is there anything that you or another player can do about it? Not much. You can voice your concern as a friend, point out that you still would like to play with him but that his intolerant attitude makes that difficult. Beyond that friendly comment, you can't really do anything but take care of you and yours. Your GM might have an addiction, he might have a hang up on something else in his life that makes him absorb himself within RPGs and GMing, he might have a God Complex. I don't know him, I can't say. But that's for him to figure out and seek help if he feels he needs it. You can't solve his problem for him any more so than he can tell you to choose a game over your wife.

I hesitate to say it, but I think that we all have encountered someone that is like this with one game or another. It can be sad to lose a friend as you move on in life, leaving behind your friend at the game table. But truly, what can you do? As DM_aka_Dudemeister said:

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
This is only a game after all.

Silver Crusade

I'm a bit confused. Does the OP want:
* confirmation that he's not an addict to RPGs?
* to reminisce about the former GM he was playing under?
* to discuss addiction versus personality quirks?
* confirmation that Real Life is more important than RPing?

Sorry, I guess I'm not following today. :/

Osirion

1st: A person doesn't become "addicted" to gaming. An addiction refers to the fundamental altering of your physiology by the item in question. A person can, for example, be addicted to Alcohol, Drugs, etc., but he cannot be addicted to, say, Football. Such a desire would be called an obsession or compulsion.

2nd: Despite the above statement, compulsions can be just as difficult to deal with as addictions. This appears to be one of those cases. D&D/Pathfinder is a game, and while some people may take it further than others, it's still just a game. Part of being mature means realizing that a game, no matter how fun, engaging, or compelling, is insignificant compared to reality.


I can't say I'm 'looking' for anything. This is more of a therapy session I guess. I mentioned the friendship the GM and I had was on and off for 30 years...I know I did the right thing, but it still weighs on me. (He's not heavy, he's my brother, kind of thing...I think I finally understand that saying...)

Addict may have been the wrong word, but most people understand what is meant. I know you understand Davor. I suppose I used the word 'addict' seeing as how 'committed' to the cause he was.

Osirion

This game, no matter how many days, or years, of investment are poured into it, is still a game. It is not more important than your spouse, family, and life outside of the fictional worlds you create There, I said it. If this core fact is lost or ignored then the game and it's complexity does have the ability to pull you in and replace some core needs that are best filled by others. I know this by the harsh road of experience.

I played another game (not pathfinder or table-tops) nearly to the point where providing for my family was secondary. I was spending up to 8 hrs a day focused on this game and my time "away" often found me occupied with thinking about this game.

My wife (the splendid woman) pulled me back from the brink of total obsession and set me straight. The deep end is a very comfy and fulfilling place, but it also unhealthy. Your friend sounds like he needs some help. It can be scary. I know it scared me.


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Behavioral addiction

Osirion

Drejk wrote:
Behavioral addiction

Which, in the original wiki entry for Addiction, is stated as being terminology sometimes applied to compulsive behavior.

It's like calling someone insane, which is fine in the vernacular, but means something different to the psychological and psychiatric community.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
xanthemann wrote:


I can't say I'm 'looking' for anything. This is more of a therapy session I guess. I mentioned the friendship the GM and I had was on and off for 30 years...I know I did the right thing, but it still weighs on me. (He's not heavy, he's my brother, kind of thing...I think I finally understand that saying...)

Addict may have been the wrong word, but most people understand what is meant. I know you understand Davor. I suppose I used the word 'addict' seeing as how 'committed' to the cause he was.

Hey, xanthemann, I feel you. When I said that we all know someone like that, I was speaking of a pretty close friend of mine. Similar situation, it hasn't been as extreme, but most of my other friends and I have had to distance ourselves because our priorities have changed. We've spoken to him about his gaming habits and his level of absorption. He's acknowledge us and our concerns, even agreed that he uses his gaming to ignore issues that he's left unresolved for years. But he won't seek help for these issues and continues to game life away, to the determent of his health and relationships.

I'm sorry that you're seeing a friend do the same thing but all that you can do is remind him that you care.


Christian Seubert wrote:
I'm sorry that you're seeing a friend do the same thing but all that you can do is remind him that you care.

I thank you for your understanding and I pray for your friend as well. Unfortunately, 'my friend' is no longer my friend. The way he saw it, I was the one with the problem, as well as my other friend who followed shortly afterwards.

We do not keep in touch, but it doesn't prevent me from praying for him.

Osirion

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Not to get all dramatic, but something I read once put gaming of all sorts in perspective for me. I used to be heavily into EQ, and gamed waay too much, even after I got married. I was on every evening and read my guild boards every day, etc.

One day our most reliable cleric posts that he is quitting the game. We were all surprised and disappointed because he never, ever missed any raid or event and was on every day socializing, etc.

He and his wife were only married about three years and were fairly young, in their early 20s. Turns out his wife died in an auto accident, and it made him realize how little free time he had spent with her for the past few years, as compared to how much time he spent on Everquest. He didn't want to waste another day gaming after that, which I could understand and respect, even if it didn't bring his wife back to him. It was sort of a "wake up and smell the coffe" moment for me, and I am glad it happened.

If you put gaming ahead of other things in your life that should be more important and will later regret, you are gaming too much. If you look back and feel that gaming enriched your life made those times with your family and friends better, Bravo, you have the right balance.

A good philosophy that is hard to go wrong with is "Real Life comes first". After all, that NPC won't be there with you when your kid first learns to walk, when you lose your job, when your parent's get sick and go in the hospital, etc. Your wife/husband/significant other and friends will.


amen redcelt32, and I pray for your friend.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Gaming is such a part of me that I grow anxious and depressed when I don't play. However, I recognized when I was focusing on it a little too much early in my marriage and that I needed to start focusing on providing for my family more.

I was at a conference when I texted my wife that I needed to stop gaming. She called and argued that I needed to keep playing. That I needed the creative output because it made me happy. She even told me that my current pursuits didn't make me happy.

Long story short, I gave in and only cut out one of two games. That group is still strong and on our fifth campaign. My wife kicked my butt to my first PaizoCon, where I decided that I wanted to work in the gaming industry. Later she became a gamer and I started a new group just so we could play together, and eventually she helped me start PFS in the area. This last PaizoCon she asked to come along and we had a great week together on the first eal vacation we have had since our honeymoon.

That said, the games are done around life, not the other way around. We still have family time, work, alone time, and go on dates. We are fortunate to have jobs and bosses that allow us to be flexible (I am typing this up at work while things are quiet,) but we have canceled games to help cover shifts or trade with other employees.

My point?

You can balance compulsion and responibility. Some of us have spouses or lives that allow for more gaming, but those are exceptions and rare. For those who are not so fortunate, I understand. We have had three people leave my regular group for life reasons and we wished them well, even offered to help out if needed.

One day, I will have kids. I want to be able to tell them bedtime stories and play games with them. When that time comes, I might be able to do one game a week, instead of the two or three I am currently doing. I hope that my gaming friends will understand and wish me well.


Davor wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Behavioral addiction

Which, in the original wiki entry for Addiction, is stated as being terminology sometimes applied to compulsive behavior.

It's like calling someone insane, which is fine in the vernacular, but means something different to the psychological and psychiatric community.

I'll ask friend psychologist when I see her tomorrow about current stance of psychological community.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I used to spend all my time on the computer playing various games online. My wife had to sit me down to make me realize that I only saw her for an hour a day becuase I'd come home, eat, and get right on the computer to play.

She put it in perspective for me.

Now I only play video games when I'm home alone and my RPG gaming is usually only every other week on Sundays - also when my wife and kids are not home.

All things in moderation, right?


I think it all comes down to what is important to the person. If the person's priorities are what makes them happy, what is the problem? I wouldn't put gaming before spending time with my wife. But I also wouldn't go golfing instead of watching a Steelers game on TV. I have friends who would rather golf than watch football.

So, this GM values gaming over many other things (not what I would choose). The only faults I can see are not respecting the priorities of others and maybe not living up to his responsibilities (put time/effort into marriages). It isn't clear that gaming led to the divorces, but probably did. If he is happy, good for him. If not, he should change his priorities...

Andoran

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If anyone ever suggested that I leave my wife and kids to play RPGs more, their first problem would be the shower of beverage flying in their direction as I erupted whatever I was drinking in an uncontrollable fit of laughter.

Their second problem would be what they wanted to do after I told them no.


Well, not knowing the whole story, all I can really say is:

First- you and your friend put gaming on a back seat in favor of your wife.
Now, maybe i completely misread what you typed but.. that doesnt' really seem like you are all that addicted to gaming, to me. Whether you use the term clinically or not, we don't usually connect "addicted to" with "sets aside to do something thats more important".

You did the right thing- gaming comes a distant, distant second to gaming of any kind.

I will say though that there's also a difference between "addicted to gaming" and "wanting to get hte heck out of the house and hang out with the group". Everyone needs "their" time and being married doesn't really change that aspect. married couples aren't conjoined twins. You can separate and do still function :)

Now myself, I'm not married.. but I still like going to hang out with my friends. We hang out and do D&D. Some of them hang out also and do other things I prefer not to do. (nothing bad- just not my gig). If they did something non-gamer that I wanted to do and i was invited- I'd go do that too.

But keep in mind- going out with the guys and rolling some dice doesn't necessarily make one addicted to gaming. It can make you "addicted" to getting out of the house and hanging out with the guys though which isn't really a bad thing.
(using the "addicted" term loosely here, of course)

-S


I know first hand of hard cases of MMORPG addiction, but not P&P rpgs as it's a social thing and thus far can be taken much further as a hobby.

However I don't really see who we shall judge here?
If your GM tells you "your wife or my game", then it's healthy to pick your wife.
The GM is in the right to ask this, if you're the only one that holds "dedicated" players back.

They just weren't compatible. However someone loosing a wife over obession of a hobby is kind of a big hint to overthink priorities.


Drejk wrote:
I'll ask friend psychologist when I see her tomorrow about current stance of psychological community.

Change of plans - I'll see her on Thursday so don't hold your breath :P


Drejk wrote:
Davor wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Behavioral addiction

Which, in the original wiki entry for Addiction, is stated as being terminology sometimes applied to compulsive behavior.

It's like calling someone insane, which is fine in the vernacular, but means something different to the psychological and psychiatric community.

I'll ask friend psychologist when I see her tomorrow about current stance of psychological community.

After consulting with psychologist (master degree, on her way to phd):

As could be expected the wiki entry is partly correct and partly incomplete and inaccurate - Information that equates non-substance addiction to compulsive behavior is erroneous. Addiction and compulsive behavior are two different mechanisms that can be similar from outside point of view. They have different criteria for diagnosis (with some overlap) according to DSM-IV/ICD.

Addiction can but does not have to be chemical. There are diagnosed gambling addictions, internet addiction, computer gaming addiction, etc. While functionally gambling addiction and compulsive gambling can appear the same or very similar to observers, mechanisms that direct the subject will be somewhat different and different treatment would be required. In the circumstances described above we do not have enough information to determine if the OPs friend is showing symptoms of addiction to gaming or compulsive behavior focusing on gaming.


Thank you very much for your research on this matter. I was rather curious myself. If there is any information I can supply to help in the diagnosis please, let me know.

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

God please no!
Even if David Nutt was reading this thread - there is no such thing as remotely reliable online diagnosis - second hand psychiatric online diagnosis is probably less reliable than rolling the dice!

That said, You definatly made the right call. Once your realize your time (let alone spare time) is limited, you should ponder whether you would rather spend time with your dear ones, even if that time isn't gaming, or spent time gaming, if it isn't with your dear ones.

For me the answer to that was always clear.


It wasn't an attempt to make serious diagnosis, it was to clarify if there is such thing as non-substance addiction or if is that only a name for compulsive behavior.

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I know, I was responding to xanthemann, not you, sorry for the misunderstanding.


Mind you I am not trying for a true diagnosis of the man. I am trying to get an idea of the possibilities. The guy and I had been friends off and on for over 30 years and I feel a little grief for letting that go. I am very grateful for being married to my wife and I wouldn't trade her for him. All I can really do is wish him well and pray he sees he has a problem.

Taldor

Well, maybe you should try to help him...i mean you have been friends for 30 years. He obviously has a problem. And that problem can be solved. But he cannot do it himself. So he needs help. That's what friends do, they help their friends, even if they don't want to be helped or cannot see that they need help. And from what i read, your friend needs help. Desperately so.

Prayer never helped anybody. Not on it's own anyway.


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Oh, I have tried. Prayer has never hurt anyone either, but I don't mean for this to become a religious topic. Beyond his pension for gaming, he also has shunned any and everyone who has tried to help him. He is a very stubborn man. As I said before, we had been friends off and on over the years. He had always been the one to call off our friendship and within a couple of years he would apologize and want to be friends again. This last time he pushed too hard. I am normally a very laid back and forgiving person, but he demanded far too much this time.
I know I did the right thing as far as the choice I made, I just feel for him I suppose.


Maybe there is a Gamers Group anonymous for people with these problems...

Taldor

I always thought that a swift kick in the rear should marginaly work.
We had a friend like that, aside from being obsessive, he used to bathe very irregularly and looked horrible. So we secretly recorded his behavior and looks with a few well hidden cameras. We then made an hour long best of video, strapped him to a chair and forced him to watch it clockwork orange style. It sobered him up immediately. Nothing sobers a man up like looking at himself look and act like an idiot.


That would probably work in this case as well, but I don't feel like going against his gun collection...I didn't mention what he did for a living...I'll just leave it at that.


Hama wrote:

I always thought that a swift kick in the rear should marginaly work.

We had a friend like that, aside from being obsessive, he used to bathe very irregularly and looked horrible. So we secretly recorded his behavior and looks with a few well hidden cameras. We then made an hour long best of video, strapped him to a chair and forced him to watch it clockwork orange style. It sobered him up immediately. Nothing sobers a man up like looking at himself look and act like an idiot.

I find this slightly disturbing. I don't think I could have a healthy friendship with people whom I thought were secretly videotaping me.

It sounds like you guys were obsessing more over his behavior than he was about the game.

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Josh M. wrote:
Hama wrote:

I always thought that a swift kick in the rear should marginaly work.

We had a friend like that, aside from being obsessive, he used to bathe very irregularly and looked horrible. So we secretly recorded his behavior and looks with a few well hidden cameras. We then made an hour long best of video, strapped him to a chair and forced him to watch it clockwork orange style. It sobered him up immediately. Nothing sobers a man up like looking at himself look and act like an idiot.

I find this slightly disturbing. I don't think I could have a healthy friendship with people whom I thought were secretly videotaping me.

It sounds like you guys were obsessing more over his behavior than he was about the game.

I tend to agree with Josh here. Regardless of how how good your intentions were, This goes far, far beyond anything I would consider acceptable behavior.


Part of being in a good friendship is the freedom to be yourself and not be judged. Videotaping him extensively and making a "best of..." reel is downright frightening.

Taldor

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Well telling him didn't help, showing him what a mess he lived in didn't help. Explaining to him why girls avoided him like the plague didn't help.

Trust me we felt like a******s while we taped him and made the video, but we really had no other choice. He is our friend, whom we dearly love and we simply HAD to help him.

Man you should have seen the look on his face after he watched it. First sentence out of his mouth was:"And you guys put up with me because?"

We are not proud of what we did, but because of that intervention he is a happily married, contentedly employed father of two. Whatever our methods, they worked, and we are still friends.


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The arguments above would seem to indicate that "true" friends never would ever consider stagging an intervention for something more serious.

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

No, just the secret taping and the fixation while 'making him watch' seem too far off. Believe me, I staged interventions, some of which the friendship didn't survive (while in one case definetly saving a life, still the friendship broke), but there are lines I would not cross. Strapping someone to a chair is one such line. YMMV, of course.


Better than locking him in a closet. I've had to do that before...too bad, so sad, but it worked for that particular friend.

Taldor

We didn't strap him to a chair...we just asked him, in a very serious voice to watch the video in it's entirety.


Yeah, I interpreted the 'strapping to a chair' as hyperbole, but I didn't want to say so and then be wrong. :P


You could have had an intervention without secretly videotaping him. Now, if it were video footage he was aware of, like at a party or a concert or something, that'd be at least a little less intruding.

That doesn't sound like what you did though. You may have gotten the results you wanted, but at what cost?


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Why assume there was a cost? It sounds like it worked fine. Why assume, by default, that he is going to have deep-seated emotional traumas when he seems to have reacted by getting completely past the compulsion?

Taldor

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It's simple, he is my friend. He is destroying himself. I will do whatever is necessary barring any physical harm to his person to help him.
On a side note, he might have noticed us taping him a few times, but was too obsessed with other things to care.


Hama wrote:

It's simple, he is my friend. He is destroying himself. I will do whatever is necessary barring any physical harm to his person to help him.

On a side note, he might have noticed us taping him a few times, but was too obsessed with other things to care.

Destroying himself? By not bathing regularly and being annoying? We're not talking about a meth-addict with a gambling problem, we're talking about an unhygienic gamer geek.

Hama wrote:


We had a friend like that, aside from being obsessive, he used to bathe very irregularly and looked horrible. So we secretly recorded his behavior and looks with a few well hidden cameras. We then made an hour long best of video, strapped him to a chair and forced him to watch it clockwork orange style. It sobered him up immediately. Nothing sobers a man up like looking at himself look and act like an idiot.

If I thought my friends were secretly making "best of..." tapes of me because they didn't approve of how often I bathe, I'd have a hard time deciding whether to call the cops, or just punch them in the face. I've ended friendships over things far less extreme than this.

You think you "helped" your friend, but did you? Now he gets to look over his shoulder constantly to see if he's being taped. Gee, what other things might you have taped him doing? Now he's going to be walking on eggshells at all times around you, out of fear of being recorded and put on trial again. I know I would be.

The "cost" here, being his trust in you as a friend, and his safety/security of being around friends. Secretly videotaping someone is, in my opinion, a serious breech of trust. Go ahead, secretly videotape someone else and see how they like it.

If someone is unwilling to change their behavior, even when confronted by friends, then maybe this person no longer wants to be your friend? Forcing someone else to behave in a manner unnatural to them, simply for the sake of your comfort, is weirdly authoritarian. Forcing them to be, in a sense, "someone else" just because you don't like who they are naturally. That's just how it appears to me.

Can I ask you something? Who's house did you set up the hidden cameras? Was it his house, or someone else's?

Shadow Lodge

I think you're making a lot of assumptions that you have no way to prove, Josh.


Orthos wrote:
I think you're making a lot of assumptions that you have no way to prove, Josh.

You're right. I dunno why this got me so riled up, but it did. I've been in similar situations, and I sort of relate.

Shadow Lodge

S'ok. Happens to the best of us. =)

Taldor

Other people's houses, plus, we recorded his kitchen sink (which had fungi growing) and his bathroom (in which we were all scared of going into). And his bedroom that had four year old socks in a pile under the bed with god knows what living in them. Plus he was starting to get a lot of respiratory diseases in that year, mostly because of the fungi spores (i s**t you not). So yeah, we saved him.

As far as we know, he doesn't get jittery every time there is a hidden camera possibly around. He doesn't have any phobias of that and he needed counseling for his obsessive behavior, that he kicked after two years.

Also, i called him after i read your post and honestly asked him if he thinks that what my friends and i did was wrong, and can he trust as now, and he thanked me again for saving his life, told me that he trusts us all and that without us he wouldn't be a happily married father of two wonderful kids who call me uncle.
Let's not express the gratitude his wife has shown us after he told her of the ordeal and what we did for him.

You see that what friends do. They do whatever it takes to help their friend, even if he doesn't want to be helped, or cannot see that he needs help. We love that guy. He is fun, intelligent, loyal and interesting. He has stuck with us through a lot of crap. The least we could do for him is to help him and save his life.

It's not who is your friend when life is easy and fun, it's who stays with you when it's f****d up and hard that counts.

I am sorry if somebody secretly taped you or stalked you or something similar, those things can be horrible and leave emotional scars that never really heal. We did this because we love the guy, and we tried everything else. It was a last moment wake up call.


Let's agree to disagree then. I'm sure there were other ways to handle the situation, but I was not in your situation, so there's that. We obviously have different standards and ideas, so I'm going to just leave it here.

spoilered blah blah blah

Spoiler:

Orthos is right; I did make some very heavy-handed assumptions and I did project a lot of my own issues onto yours. For that, I apologize. My situation didn't involve any cameras, but other similar instances(thankfully bathing and hygiene are not issues).

Long story short; some of my closest friends decided my behavior was not "satisfactory" and ostracized me. Refused, as a group, to have any contact with me until I completely changed my behavior and behaved like a good dog. They started out with good intentions; I really was a bit of a jerk. But, it didn't end there. For the following couple years if I so much as sneezed the wrong way I got ripped on and put on trial. I lived walking on eggshells 24/7 and it gave me a complex. Every little thing I did was scrutinized; they might as well have put cameras on me, my life was already under a microscope. But, these were my closest friends of several years, and I had no one else(at the time) to turn to. The one friend who stuck by me, turned out to be behind the whole thing. It was like something out of a damn movie.

So yeah, I erupted and projected when I read what you did to "help" your friend. Everybody has different "buttons," and that just happens to be mine. Not your problem, though.

Honestly, there are things in my life that I'm perfectly okay with that would make other people balk and freak out, so it goes both ways. Different strokes for different folks.

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