A View Through The Window: Entry 7

We are moving now, you and me, through a time capsule of sorts. On our way, we are seeing different stations of my life that range from childhood to the teen years. We can stop here for now at the confusing years and the troubled years. As we go, there is special notice of people and how they live or who they choose to live with.
There are the questions that young people have about life and love; or is love real. If so, how does this happen? Then of course, there are the challenges of and ideas of intimate curiosities which are not necessarily the focus at this stop, but I am sure we will get there soon.

I am starting to grow now. Can you see me?
Perhaps not so much physically. I am still smaller than most people but my hair has grown long. I am facing new things and new ideas. I am young but not so young, which means my age is distant from the times when I believed in faith or hope or things like Santa or the Tooth-fairy. I am a mid-teen now.
See me? 

I am at a crossroads here; in which case, I see myself more like a spectator than a person who is living in this life. I see myself as being in the middle of different decisions yet my only description of the way I thought or felt is the same as the description I’ve offered in other journals. 

In the case of Ben versus depression and in the case of Benny versus anxiety; or when it came the case of me versus school or schoolwork or the authorities and school admins – or in the cases of me versus everything, such as the challenges of self and my social interactions – and certainly in the cases of Ben versus drinking, or my mild start of drug use, which turned into something more deliberate, and in the instances of family disputes, or me finding a place where I wasn’t in trouble – I lost to all of these things the same way that water loses to a drain. 

All I could do was accept this and be flushed away, which is exactly how life seemed to me.
This entry will be raw and honest but also; this view is necessary.
Trust me . . .

But ah, there was something inside of me. I knew there was.
I just didn’t know how to get there.
There was a hope and a dream and a wish that somehow I could walk away and overcome the weights and pressures. There was an idea or fantasy that I would somehow settle all of the disputes in my life, whether these were with my family or with the other kids in the neighborhood, domestic or towns away.
But more, there would be no more fear of self. There would be no more need to be “in” or be involved.
I had this place in me which is not so different from this place now, where I could go and sit and write or think. In that moment, there was no crowd or pressure. There was no confusion or burdens of worrisome ideas.
I had this small but burning wish that deep down, I knew this existed. I knew there was something yet I never knew how to make a connection or perhaps what I needed was an introduction to self.
I had this vision where I didn’t have to include myself in everything and thus, I could finally understand the compliment of being invited.

I know that I showed you the tricks of the devil; in which case, he doesn’t come in this wild fashion saying “come hither” or anything like that but instead, the demons we dance with are demons that know us very well.
In fact, I could say the devils we choose are devils that know us better than we know ourselves. 

There’s no lapse in judgment between right or wrong.
Most people know what they’re doing and to be clear, deep down, most people know why they do what they do or say what they say.
If we investigated our truths with a level of honesty and without worry about these truths leaking out to someone else or God forbid, being up front and open about fear or “being afraid” of say, not being valid or not being enough, and if we look deep within the details of our personal inventory or should I say – if we had a way to speak our thoughts or explain our feelings without the burden of shame and vulnerability – we (or should I say me in this case) could understand why and how we operate as people.

So there I am, over there.
Still skinny. Still fighting my useless rebellions.
I have some scars on my arms now from personal bouts of unsureness.
I say this because we understand things that come with a physical description. I can understand why it is heavier or harder to lift a 25 lb dumbbell than it is to lift a 5 lb weight. I can tell the difference from the physical pain of a bump on the head to a papercut or a broken bone to receiving stitches in a doctor’s office.
I could understand why headaches hurt and why this made me feel unwell. By now, I certainly knew plenty about nausea because nausea and I were on a first name basis. However, physical pains, pleasures, ailments or challenges come with a physical and visual description – ah, but the mind is a trick. The mind experiences pain and unexplained sadness or heartbreak and rejection and while our receptors acknowledge the chemical reaction of pain – the mind cannot see the physical explanation for the pain.

Physical weight or pain comes with a physical or understandable description.
Emotions? Well, these can weigh an infinite amount and thus, with no understandable description, we tend to be overwhelmed by our discomforts.

So, we react.

This is where the scars came from and yes, while I admit to the dragging of a blade across my own flesh; I offer this as an explanation as a breakdown to make sense of certain behaviors.
See, the fact is self harm is far more frequent and common than people believe. Also, self-harm comes in countless different fashions.

Ever make a decision that you knew was not in your best interest? Or, did you ever find yourself, painted into a corner with no other options and in a way, you’ve fulfilled your own sad predictions by subconsciously acting out (or acting as if) and the next thing you know, you find yourself in the aftermath of your decision, which at least make sense.
You had fears . . . You had worries . . . and you spent so much time pondering them that they seemed to manifest.
And here’s why?

You can understand why the sting of a blade hurts. You can understand why a fight breaks out and while you gave what you had; the responding pain makes sense. The fact that a relationship ended makes sense now because before, while you were thinking someone was going to ‘leave you’ you acted on this behalf and therefore; you created the situations you were most afraid of.
Now your fears and pain are justified. (at least, this is how I see it.)

By the way, there’s a word for this.
The word is far less complicated and yet; this is a word that most therapist, shrinks, clinicians, guidance counselors, and people of authority (or people who think they have authority) never really use.
The word is a simple one, which even doctors or people in the mental health profession seldom use when it comes to discussing a given disorder,

Do you know what this is called?
It’s called common . . .

It’s called being human.
Bit no, We can’t have anything be that simple to something that seems so goddamned complicated
So, what do we do?
We label people. We label ourselves.
We create names and classify our disorders as if the name disorder itself is a degrading factor because, and let’s face it; who the hell wants to have a disorder?

Nobody wants  to have a bad life. No one wants to be hated or punished; however, feelings tend to lead us into behaviors and our behaviors tend to create us in a sense.
And look, see?
See me over there, somewhat off and somewhat distant; somewhat detached and yet; I am somewhat clinging to my life with hopes that somehow, something would make sense to me.

And was I labeled?
You bet your ass I was!

In my efforts now to help people find themselves or relate or understand; I can say that one by one, I am acquiring both skills and certifications that allow me to defend the minds of people who were like me or who are lost. 

I say this because at an early age (like 12, I think,) I can recall a therapist or maybe it was a psychiatrist or it was someone of the sort. And I can remember being told that I was emotionally disturbed.
What the hell does that mean?
Better yet, why would you tell a 12 year-old who is struggling to find him (or herself) that “you are emotionally disturbed?
What kind of thing is this to say?

How about, rather than label someone; we can say how common it is to feel lost or misplaced or out of place. Rather than specify dysfunctions or stigmatize people with a diagnosis, which is not to say this is not necessary in many regards; however, how about recognizing that this is a natural and normal. Why can’t we be honest and say life is a struggle
I say this because, and I say this quite honestly and with all sincerity – I can name countless people who’ve died either by their own hand or whose choices of self-harm led them to an early grave – and had they known this or had they came to an understanding of the above, they’d still be alive today.

There I am, walking through the neighborhood, wearing a persona and an image of who I am as a shield and a sword.
There I am, right there, standing by the liquor store, asking the cooler looking people if they could pick me up a bottle – if I gave them the money, of course.
There I am, right there, walking through the vacant lot near my house, out of my mind.
And there I am too, right there, lost somewhere in the empty alleys and parking lots or wherever suburban teenage tragedies take place.
Oh, and there I am over there – hiding away because I am fed up.
There I am too, hiding after a trip out to Brooklyn to get some tiny envelopes

All I had was my rebellion, a pack of smokes and a few chemical advancements which in my case, would take me to a place where the mind could be non-existent and fine – like finding myself warm in a safe little cocoon.

There was no more “me or you,” – nor was there a “me and you” or the need to attach, connect, or correlate us with anyone; and therefore the constant pressures of who likes me, who doesn’t, or who cared could be silently dissolved in something like say, a fast action such as the moves of an outlaw with a pad subscription to a pipe, a glass and a bottle, a pill or a blade that cuts the powder. 

I was told I had a disorder.
But to be clear –
I wish I had the voice I have now.
I’d have told him to go fuck themselves.

I no longer hide from my scars.
In fact, I share and show them openly.
Want to know why?
Because somewhere, there’s a 12 year-old or a 16 year-old or to be clear; somewhere there’s a person of any age who lacks the ability to explain themselves. Or perhaps they lack the ability to accurately define their pains – so, I share my scars with them – not to compare or say “hey, I’ve been there too!” I can’t honestly say this. No one can because as close as I might have been, I can’t say that I know it all or I’ve been there too – because in truth – no one knows what touch feels like to another hand and no one knows what colors look like through someone else’s eyes. 

No, I show this version of me and explain about the kid I was or the man who I turned out to be because I want to normalize and humanize the fact that everybody is going through something (at all ages) and to each their own; which means we all have our own private battles.

By the way . . .
I delivered a presentation to a table of school administrators and teachers. I explained my path and what I look to uncover to help kids people understand more about “self”

I tend to be a bit explosive when I speak and for sure; my presentations are not low-key, by any means.
And when I was done, a man whom I supposed was going to hate me was the first to speak.

He told me how he has been in the mental health world for a very long time and that with regards to the label of being emotionally disturbed. And right there in a professional atmosphere, this man told me “I wish you and I could go find that person so we could kick the shit out of him because he clearly had no idea what he was talking about.”

He was the first person to ever stick up for me on this one.

Did you know that?

See me?
I’m the adult in the room now.
I’m the specialist and yet, I am that boy who always wished someone was there to defend me a little – to let me know that I’m okay.

“You’re going to do just fine in this business, son”
“Believe me. . .”
Thanks, Doc.
You have no idea what this means to me

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