|Posted on March 19, 2018 at 1:05 AM|
<<Be advised: this blog entry does get intense and is rather long>>
I do not feel that the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie, and the trailers for it, have been conveniently arranged to happen right now in my life. Besides, I am not that special. It simply seems, to me, that the timing does feel somewhat like it was meant to be. As if a theme of things happening for a reason was somehow intentional to fit my life right now. I am just not sure if I will make it through the complex course of whatever will happen during this and next year. Or beyond, for that matter. Break it down however simple that you wish, but unfortunately my outlook is still the same. It will be the same until I manage to get through it. That is the nature of the time-related anxiety I experience. Queue again Hi-Finesse's Disintegration song.
From Avengers: Infinity War, what does Thanos symbolize to me in my life right now?
Thanos is the personification of my future...
A future that, for at least eighteen dreadful years to be fair since high school, I have gradually felt less and less that I belong here. Heck, I was ready to give up in 2003. What do I have hope for? What am I living for? What do I believe in anymore? Why am I still here? Think about it. Nearly two decades of only being able to believe in one week ahead of my life... And I've had fairly good physical health for all those years. Even despite advocating and volunteering locally for over the past year, which has been guiding me towards a positive path if not for the aimless direction of my mental health recovery.
A lack of acceptance from women and dozens of failed attempts at finding just one true love that I have longed for so much. Such humble companionship that I often feel I cannot live without. Yet, here I am. Somehow. A lack of social acceptance beginning with being bullied so much in high school by kids then, a number of adults since, and as recently as a matter of days ago by someone older than me. No, it was not my parents. Things that I should just not remember, but I do. Often being left out of social circles for reasons that I may never figure out, because not everyone has a spouse or a family of kids and a job that consumes their daily lives.
It could not be because of a lack of political acceptance, right? A growing problem I have seen unfolding, since the 2016 US Presidential election, with a rise in bullying behavior as well as the use of more blatant stereotyping and prejudice. The exact same kind of behavior that should have died by the end of the Civil Rights era for how corrosive it is to people. Yet, oppressive stigma continues. Not to mention the confrontational intolerance of more conservative views by the self-proclaimed faux-resistance movement. I fear what other respectfully minded people who do prefer to get along with others have to deal with... I really do.
I do not have the luxury, or the bloody privilege, of perceiving my life through the mind of someone who is always optimistic because of my life experiences and mental illness symptoms. Especially when you consider all of the stigma that there is in society anymore. I do not get to live a normal life, and that does go well beyond anything with mental health. Yet, you do not see me self-proclaiming other people to have optimistic privilege. I choose not to stereotype people because I am not in this to make enemies. I am advocating for mental health awareness because I want to do what I can to help people.
Being judged by my skin color, my sexual orientation, or both of those and my gender too. For how my parents worked their butts off as I grew up and provided the best they could compared to others who feel I personify skin-colored privilege. I use whatever influence I may have or to donate and volunteer for other people. I drive a Subaru, but I worked hard for it and make payments to establish credit that I still haven't been able to use because of my debilitating career indecision. I happen to be in my mid-thirties as well. Young to some, old to others, and creepy to too many people who do not even know me fairly. What do these stereotypes, being so comparative, or the fearful social stigma accomplish? Very little if anything at all.
I try to live to defy the labels that society constantly tries to define me with. The only ones that stick the longest are the truest: compassion, forgiveness, respect, dignity, and humility. Not hatred, for one, or selfishness. Remember who said he had a dream? Remember who forgave his accusers despite already being condemned to death?
I do not care if you are a Muslim. I do not care if you are not a Christian. I do not care if you are an African American. I do not care if your skin color is the same or different than mine. I do not care if you are a woman or a man. I do not care if you consider yourself as the same, or different, sexual orientation or gender identity than I do. I do not care if you vote Democrat, Independent, or Republican in United States elections. I do not care if you are rich or poor. I do not care if you have tattoos or piercings. I do not care if your hair color is any color. And I do not care if you have or haven't personally suffered from mental illness. Should I go on? All of you matter, anyway, and I would bend over backwards for you if only for being treated with respect.
I do not care of the differences that society indoctrinates us to divide ourselves by.
So why does social stigma continue? I do not compare myself to anyone because I know what this is like. I do not consider myself beneath or above anyone. I just care about everyone, except me. Yet, I have seen it reported that people who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community are "two or more times more likely to experience a mental health condition..." (which is understandable and important to address). Except for what the rest of that statistic says, "... than straight individuals" because of being more oppressed.
Are you serious?
Suddenly comes that terribly comparative stigma, which belittles more people by their sexual and gender identity and assumes one person's oppression is cause for putting someone else beneath them. In my humble opinion, it is a mistake to compare one person's oppression to another when the important thing is to root out oppression in the first place. Stop teaching and encouraging such division, for crying out loud. Stigma and oppression know no bounds and at the end of the day they hurt us all very much. So why does social stigma continue?
Sooner or later, people need to be encouraged to rise above the stigma of being a victim if there is to be any chance for stigma to begin fading away. That is why I don't want anyone's pity or sympathy. This is not about blame as much as it should be about empowerment. Genuine empowerment. Working together. Helping each other. Not slighted one way or the other. I want to empower the heck out of all of you! Genuine empowerment is like chicken soup for the soul and it sure beats picking on someone who probably has had a difficult life as it is.
We all matter and we all have only one chance, one life to live. For some people it is too unfairly short. A pre-teenage child who has hung themselves by suicide, terminal cancer patients too late for the cure to prolong their meaningful lives, or the life of a precious unborn child. I do not have the luxury of pretending to feel like social stigma is not a problem, because for much of my life I have had to face an identity crisis of my will to live that few people accept. Still. I have struggled to find acceptance for whether I belong here or deserve my life at all. I weep when I think what the people who do not have the strength or opportunity to stand up for themselves have to endure in their lives...
Why have my symptoms seemed so resistant to treatment? How have I become so stubbornly my own worst enemy? Social stigma. A society so judgmental that I can scarcely turn a corner feeling accepted for the person that I am in this life, especially because I am a heterosexual, light-skinned, male. Most times I can't even hold onto what little acceptance I believe in at all. There are several people close to me who have helped make a bigger difference in my life lately, but only temporarily.
The Avengers: Infinity War movie feels so strongly identifiable for me because I feel like I am in the midst of a war too. We all are. A war with ourselves, as I am in a war with myself. Both have been brutal... Sooner or later, the tide of social stigma has got to stop. For everyone. Until that day comes, you can count on me finding my voice again and raising my voice for the sake of other people who cannot. You can count on me sacrificing myself without caring what happens to my mind, my body, my pocket book, or my soul.
I know what it's like to lose.
To feel so desperately that I'll make it, but to fear and believe that I'll die all the same.
I've dreaded my future.
I've run from my future.
Right here, right now, these next several months, I have to face it. Buried deep down on the inside, I am scared. I don't know what my life will be six months to a year from now. I really don't. And I never have. Yet, I am not dying from anything physical either. Pardon my choice of words, but for years my outlook on the future has scared the s*** out of me. For the lack of acceptance and female companionship as well as all of the things in my life right now to be considered (I know admitting this will not be perceived well)... Guess what? You want honesty? You want reality?? Here, have at it.
Do you wanna know what I have on my unofficial Last Will & Testament for the last five years, and have not once yet considered removing it? A DNR order; a do-not-resuscitate order, which means if I am injured or from failing health I am not to be revived. And in my own words not even if I can be saved. It isn't because of lingering between life and death as a lot of people seem to celebrate a DNR for. I do not want to be brought back. Not even now. Not yet. Kinda sticks in your craw doesn't it? After all I've been saying.
I am ready to go.
Yes. You read that right and I don't care if you happen to be a die-hard optimist. I. Am. Ready. To. Go. And only at the age of thirty six with fairly good health. Try living with that. Not as a threat or to get attention. Not because I am broken and can't be fixed. And definitely not for anyone who thinks they can make me see the light so easily, yet never truly understand how this feels. It bloody hurts. Most of this emotion never sees the light of day, so you're lucky I'm even saying it at all. Imagine trying to live with that while many people around you think you are either a stubborn pessimist or legitimately hopeless.
Imagine someone who has it worse than me and how they feel. A combat veteran, young or older, who sees their fellow comrades killed in front of them... Honest and lawful fellow police officers, their friends and family, who have to deal with one of their own being gunned down by hateful people out for blood. Or vice versa, with a crooked cop out for the same and the victim's family having to cope with the loss. School children massacred because no one acts to prevent or discourage the indiscriminate violence, but blame guns and skin color instead of the real causes. A firefighter who cannot save a desperate child from a fire that should not have happened. A precious young child or teenager who has been bullied/cyberbullied so relentlessly because society wants us to tear ourselves apart... The list goes on...
I want nothing more than to find genuine, meaningful love in life. To find a career that will enable independence, identity, and part of a purpose. So go ahead and consider me lame. Maybe I am? For one, I cannot undo the longstanding desire for love because I already tried. It triggered my suicide contemplation in 2014. Scary, considering if I actually had given up every shred, every scrap of hope and would not be here typing these words right now. Try waking up every day with having to fake, or prolong, your will to live because of something that is not life-threatening, but means the world to you in every meaningful way possible, yet has always been denied to you for Lord knows what twist of fate.
Queue the third and final Avengers Infinity War movie trailer, which was released on March 16th:
"The end is near......
I hope they remember you." -Josh Brolin, Thanos.
[With the following background movie trailer music: Audiomachine - Redshift]
The end of my story has not been told...
...because I refuse to give up!
Read my words.
i will not die today. I will live to fight another day, at least for as long as I can.
With this grit and passion, you will not see me giving up the good fight. Not now. Not anytime soon. How? Why? Because of the theme I expressed when I began this blog series: things happening for a reason that feel like they were meant to be. I know where I'm meant to be; that's why I am still here. Right here in this life amongst the people who surround me, whether people love or hate me for speaking my mind. And I know some people will not like what I've said here or the tension with which I've expressed it. I hope you all feel otherwise. I am meant to be a voice standing up for other people less fortunate than I have been. It is a privilege to advocate with so much compassion. Not because one person has it worse than another. Because whomever you are there are times in life when it... just... hurts.
Thanks to a group of truly remarkable portrayals of fiction superhero characters, Marvel's Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, once more I have found the spark of inspiration which has helped me continue writing blog posts. As well as empowering me to find a foothold against the demons I face today and what I will probably face in the days ahead.
From Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Chris Evans' Steve Rogers, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, Mark Ruffalo's Incredible Hulk, Tom Hiddleston's Loki, Idris Elba's Heimdall, Paul Bettany's Vision, Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton, Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange, Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, the unreleased film (Captain Marvel) starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, and many more.
There are just so many strongly identifiable and inspiring heroic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. I humbly believe we are witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These last ten years have truly been a privilege to enjoy so very much and I look forward to what Marvel Studios has in store for the future.
Now, to wrap up what turned out to be a most intense and revealing nine out of ten days in a row for sharing my thoughts in these blog entries. I want to leave all of you with a new inspirational quote of mine to show that, while I acknowledge the negativity of the 'wolves gnawing at my heels', I still choose to look forward and give the tomorrows a chance. If you now feel like going out into the world to be a voice, and a positive force for good, this is for you and for your journey.
"You would be surprised that, by just giving your best, how far in life you can get.
A lot further than you think." (my words).
Let's see if this goes viral.
April 22nd, 2018: