It’s April, 2013. I’m finishing up the last few months of middle school, but I’ve been missing quite a bit lately. I’m late almost every day. It’s nothing too major though; all my grades are still near the top of my class.
One morning, I wake up and I’m too tired to get out of bed. My father charges into my room. He yells, he postures aggressively, and threatens me when I try to stand up. And most tellingly, he mistakes my defiance for fear.
It’s interesting, growing up without being allowed to have emotions. You do weird things. You come up with jokes– genuinely funny jokes– but you spend half a minute sucking all the humour out of them and making them all nice and logical before you say them. You talk to people and realize deep down how they feel– what they’re trying to say and what they’re thinking– but you don’t let yourself make sense of it because doing so wouldn’t be rational enough. “Come on man, you and me should totally go to IB together” is nothing more than a statement. The guy saying it doesn’t think of you as his friend; that would be a hell of a logical leap. The girl who keeps talking to you doesn’t like you, why would she? There’s no evidence. Get ahold of yourself; you’re acting too emotional and illogical, like a bratty kid.
It’s interesting having parents with low emotional intelligence; you keep trying to express your personhood, and each time it’s rebuked, dismissed or mocked, you lose just a little bit more of yourself until there’s nothing left.
It’s also interesting blasting the whole thing apart. Fun times. First I tried talking, but that didn’t work. Then I realized just how oblivious they were and how utterly doomed I was when I started hissing and cussing whenever I saw them, only for them to blankly stare back and ask, “What do you mean by, fuck off?” I calmed down and embraced empty happiness in just a few months, after I’d forgotten that I used to have my own thoughts and feelings. Then, not even a full year ago, I regenerated enough to start causing trouble again. I started fighting to be human again. I didn’t lose this time.
It was very weird for me to find out that despite what I had been told and how I’d been treated all my life, I wasn’t crazy for wanting to feel alive. I have to thank my brother in part for helping me with the realization. He lectured me on how irrational normal people are, and how stupid I was to care about being connected. He blamed my depression on the weather in our lovely temperate rainforest biome. He called me “evil” for crying about being alone, and “intolerant” for saying it’s natural to want connection. Combined with the five psychiatrists who kicked me out of their mental wards while repeatedly telling me I’m not psychotic, it was just enough for me to consider that maybe– just maybe– I wasn’t actually the problem.
Then I took some months to maneuver through the minefield of excuses and rationalizations that my mother was too skilled at weaving, and gradually get her to start seeing things my way.
So the story of my life thus far is as follows: I was born in Plato’s cave, and shackled there for some fourteen years. I was a social animal and an emotional creature, unable to socialize and punished for having feelings. Then I got sick of the cave, and desperately tried to climb out. The folks in there with me didn’t like that, so they held me back and beat me to a pulp. Fortunately, a lifetime spent staring at shadows on the cave walls left them ill-equipped to hold me for long, so I managed to recover somewhat and make it out (dragging them this time, so they can’t pull me back again). And then I tried to pour a healthy serving of kerosene down the cave, just to be safe.
Oh, and one more thing: I’m pissed. So I figure I’ll try to do it again. Rise to the very level of the world we’re trapped in, and blow it apart. Kill existence.
I’ve done it before, just on a smaller scale. <3