I’m on a mandatory day off from Twitter, as the sudden downshift in the temperature has me feeling extremely negative and snappish. I’m having trouble focusing on work, and the usual cast of voices in my head is joined by the Master Debater, a whiny little shit who won’t leave any topic alone.
I hate having multiple sclerosis, and I wish it was the only issue I had. But I’ve got three different flavors of mental illness to go along with it. It often bugs me to see people say in jest that they’re crazy, or worse, when someone says genuinely, “I’m crazy,” they seek to boost the self-esteem of the confessor by saying, “Oh, yeah, man, me too.” I want to ask people like that, “Oh really? So you’ve had a fight with the voices in your head about picking up scissors and cutting a hole in yourself?” Because when they mean crazy, they mean Steve Martin, “two wild and crazy guys” crazy. When I say I’m crazy, I mean some days I hear voices that say everyone is out to get me.
Where did those voices come from? From being stomped into the ground no matter where I lived, and having my head pounded and softened up at least once a month during the school year. From having my head thumped throughout life by my mother, who thought my skull was a moving target to practice her throwing skills on. Maybe part of it is being misdiagnosed as ADD and being fed Ritalin until I was lacking in the attention span department.
In adult life, people graduate from bullying to shunning for people with my kinds of problems. They don’t hit you anymore. They just find the most derogatory thing to say before stomping off to leave us in exile. And how dare I not play along with their need for 100% sunshine blown up their ass? As an artist, my “job” is only to be inspiring, not to be ranting about social injustices or bullshit politics or oppressing religions. If I can’t find the right tone to kiss your ass with, then what kind of friend am I?
This is what I mean by working with handicaps. I’m an abuse survivor cursed with a tendency to snap at the slightest provocation, and no one gives a fuck about understanding why I am the way I am. People online expect me to be happy and joking all the time, because the internet “is not for serious stuff.”
I get so tired of this need for shallow pandering at all times to everyone. My sense of humor came as a defense mechanism because bullies who are laughing are less likely to be throwing punches. I became self-deprecating because bullies throw punches when you try holding a cutdown contest. This is what I’m reduced to online by so many people telling me to be good, returning to defense mechanisms to please them. It’s online bullying, but in a milder, more socially acceptable form. It’s maddening to me, being asked to wear a happy mask even after coming out of the deepest darkest part of my closet.
I’m tired of the hypocrites of this world saying “Nobody had better judge me because I don’t plan to please you,” but then will turn around and judge everyone around them for the littlest shit. They’re anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-socialist, and anti-social. For fuck’s sake, they’re anti-teenager and hate kids, but somehow, this rose colored cynicism is the new cool mode for the average Joe. They think everyone should agree with them, and people who don’t should have a law made again their kind. They have little to no empathy, and these are the sane people.
Most of all, I’m tired of people treating me like I should be their best friend, when they’ve always got me on conditional probation. I’m just one unvoiced opinion away from not being good enough for them. I’m sick of insincere people who say how much they care, but don’t really care at all. I’m sick of people who pursue happiness to the exclusion of all other emotions, as if this escape from negativity is the only right way to live. I’m sick of our cultural forced assimilation of individuals while our delusional films, TV series, and books continue to celebrate “chosen one” heroes. We claim to worship people who stand out as unique individuals and fight back, but only if they fight back against “the real bad guys.” But real world people who stand out and speak up are slapped down hard from all the same people who claim to worship individuality. In these cases, they don’t really celebrate diversity or the individual’s triumph over conformity. They only like the idea of their “right” to be unique, while everyone else must conform to social ideals.
People, part of what ALL minorities are trying to tell you is that a lot of “good people” are really the bad guys. We’re not paranoid about others plotting our oppression. We’ve had direct, daily evidence of their plots, and the plot is so widespread, we can’t even call the cops, because they’re mostly in on it too. Worse, there ain’t no motherfucking chosen one to save us from our oppression.
That’s the reality I’m coming from as a writer, and it why I write what I know instead of pandering to a social lie about chosen ones saving everyone else from “the forces of evil.” Instead, I recognize that social conformity and peer pressure are a large part of “the forces of evil,” and I write about people who struggle against that demand for conformity. Some win minor battles, and some lose. But none of them will “save the world.”
I see people say they want to read more diverse artists, that they don’t want the same old cookie-cutter stories, and I’m screaming at them “HEY, I WRITE STORIES LIKE THAT.” But people look at my books with the most passing glance and say, “Oh I didn’t mean like your stuff. I only read for the escapism.” You don’t want queer authors telling you about queers. You want straight guys mansplaining everything to you through a perspective that isn’t so…gay.
And y’all wonder why I drink so much.
I’m just tired, people. I give you the thing you ask for most often, complete honesty, and instead, you want me to lie to you and pretend to be your best friend. But I don’t know you, and you won’t take the time to know me. So what exactly would make us friends?
It can’t be because we’re both into the Internet. We have to have something else in common to be friends. So no, I don’t want to lie to you and pretend to be your bestest buddy when in truth, I’m afraid of you and I’m just waiting to find out what kind of bully you are. How are you going to oppress me, and what derogatory term will you deem appropriate for me? Am I ugly, skanky, or nasty; stupid, retarded, or moronic; a bitch, slut, or a prude; a queer, tranny, or a homo? Or maybe you can go for the ultimate low blow and call me a pedophile. What’s your angle of attack going to be? I want to prepare myself for the worst with all of you, because while I’ve heard every insult listed, I never develop thick enough skin not to feel your judgments.
I’m tired of being a crazy person in a land full of people who only want good behavior online from their artists. Why can’t I just cope like the rest of you? I don’t know. I guess I’m just crazy.