I don't know how to start something like this, so here it goes.
I grew up playing Tomb Raider. I was only 3 years old when I picked up a PlayStation controller, and my family couldn't pry it out of my hands. In between being thrown back and forth between my aunt's house, mom's house and dad's house. I was constantly playing this game. But I stopped playing it around 2000 to 2004 because dad had taken me from aunt Lori and we moved into his apartment. It was scary, and the abuse began not long after we relocated to Devil's Lake. (Which was sometime in early 2002 or 2003.)
After years of hell with dad, he married my step mom Amber. But he handed the torch to her when he went to Iraq to serve in the National Guard. She was abusive as well, if not more than he was. But it wasn't even a full year with her before one night where she packed my bags, drove me to a runaway shelter, dropping me off. Dad was still in Iraq. He might have not been aware she had done this.
Somehow, I remember a phone number I was told to recite over eight years ago. (I was about eleven when I was in the runaway shelter.) In about two or three weeks, after a bunch of court hearings, I was on a train back to my hometown.
Now fast forward to about almost two years ago...I was in tenth grade.
My dad has managed to stay in my mind throughout the years, and he really dug deep under. I turned into one very very rebellious fourteen/fifteen year old. I didn't really care about anything. I didn't feel the need to. Didn't care about succeeding in school, either...which is why I dropped out in tenth grade. As far as I knew it my life was over.
I then started one of those teenage drinking fazes. I turned into an isolated, depressed machine. Even began thinking of suicide. I even had one of the brief "cutting" stages. That continued until I heard about a new Tomb Raider game being released. I figured, hey I might as well play something I've loved since a little kid before I...well...you know... and I was going to do it too.
But as I started reading the plot points and different articles on Tomb Raider, they were explaining that Lara Croft was being rebooted to where she was young, inexperienced...a completely new person...a real human. It intrigued me on how they were going to start her story over.
That kind of sat in my head, of how someone can start over...completely become a new human being who actually cared about things...cared about surviving.
And when IGN had a live stream of Tomb Raider for an hour and a half, I tuned in. I was beginning to get obsessed. After seeing Lara struggle in the environments, it got me to start thinking about myself. On how life can still begin and still progress even after a traumatic experience has fallen on you.
I watched as Lara committed her first kill. She pulled the trigger, and her emotions overtook her. She just collapsed, starting to cry. But she stood up moments later. She stood up, and with the gun cocked, she continued.
It was then when I realized something. My life can still continue, I can still have a great experience even when I had a bad start with dad. Even when something bad happened, I was still going to progress through this journey called LIFE.
Over the next few weeks after that live stream, I quit drinking. I didn't even WANT to. I didn't feel the need to any more. And regarding school, I'm going to get my GED. I plan on having a career in writing, maybe even get a job at Crystal Dynamics. (That is my ultimate goal.) I plan on getting my music started, I plan on living life...not trying to end it.
So when someone questions my obsession with Tomb Raider, this is why. It saved my life...in one way or another. Lara was the person that I needed most, and she gave me the strength and told me to JUST KEEP MOVING.
and in the words of Crystal Dynamics...
A SURVIVOR IS BORN.