Never in a thousand years would I ever have thought that pain would place me in situations and circumstances. I believe pain made me an addict. It was pain that blinded me and disguised itself as my best friend. At the time I didn’t see it. At the time I saw it as just anger and that once it leaves it will disappear and no longer be existent. For a very long time I was just a bitter kid with a chip on my shoulder much bigger than the street corner. Realizing this was such a shame for me from me. I had placed expectations of what my life was going to be like without living it. I know a lot of it is from what the world had dealt me at a time in my youth when I couldn’t even think correctly let alone defend myself. Being gay had me lock and loaded and absolutely sure that my life was going to be hard. Being a kid in my pre-teens and having people bullying me because of my femininity just added to this belief. I was one of those kids that didn’t go through any denial. I knew what I was and embraced it. Yes it is true I was a very young kid but knowing that I was gay felt absolutely correct to me. I’m not saying that accepting it made it any easier with other people but I am sure I made it a bit harder than it should have been because I didn’t hide it. I was angry that I didn’t stand a chance with how the world was going to look at me. I didn’t want to face life knowing that I had to fight for my space every single day of my life.
When I fell in love I absolutely believed the families on T.V with the white picket fence and the huge yard was what everyone had. Poverty wasn’t part of the equation and definitely white privilege was not a factor I had counted on. Bad enough I was latino! Bad enough I was dark skin. Bad enough I was gay! Bad enough I was very out and extremely outspoken! This wasn’t fair and in my youth I allowed it to be a huge fear and anxiety as opposed to an advantage. This realization of how society will look at me started to fester then rot!!!
At the time of my full on addiction to drugs it didn’t dawn on me that my much earlier traumatic experiences had a lot to play with my reasons to want to numb myself. I went through a very large part of my life not wanting to feel. Anger was a much better feeling to sit in being that it was what I felt the majority of the time. Anger was also my defense mechanism. I never gave myself the privilege to sit with self and analyze it. As with most teenagers at my age I thought I knew it all. I didn’t allow myself to sit in all the tragedies that I had gone through. I suffered a huge price for not doing so and eventually it overwhelmed me till it threatened to kill me. I must say that it wasn’t till I accepted that there are just certain things I needed to go through no matter how bad they were before I was able to let it go. It had to be felt and digested and hurtful before I was able to reach the beauty of myself within.
At an early age the world had already served me evil and dishonesty. I learned quickly that people will take and abuse as much as you allow them. Life’s situations had taken my virtue without me having a say in it. It happened at a time when I couldn’t defend myself physically let alone mentally. It surely didn’t help that all this had been from adults, people that I looked up as safety. My identity was threatened everyday just from walking and breathing and going about my day. For a very long time I had to fight for my happiness. Every day I had to stand tall when there were days that I just didn’t. Every day I had to put the walls up and act like things that people said to me didn’t hurt me or cripple my spirit.
I had to put on this thick invisible armor to protect me. I was seeking through friends a place in which to stand where I didn’t feel like a freak or an outcast. After a while I just stopped trying to find it and shifted to my surroundings only to find that at the end of it all I became more lost than when I first started.
I did eventually come out of it. It took a bit but I found my way. The scars I have I wear with pride. I can honestly say some are self-inflicted but the majority of them come from dealing with other people. I had to learn that I was tough. It hurt like all hell but I realized people are not always nice and they only reflect and treat you the way they have been treated. With that I must add that there are a lot of messed up people out there.
One of the hardest lessons is the anger. Learning to let go of stuff and not allow other people’s actions to rent space in my heart is hard for me. Your talking about years of having to tell people about themselves to just realizing that sometimes those people don’t need a response from you. It is understanding that misery loves company and knowing when that person is miserable. Believe me when I tell you that misery is a master of disguises. Just because someone laughs and is nice doesn’t mean they are not miserable!!! I had to learn to just choose my battles. I refuse to be blue in the face and talk to someone who has a closed mind. In the end that person will have to be true to themselves and to be perfectly honest they have to walk with themselves all their lives I don’t!!!
I like me and I would be in denial if I didn’t say I still have a long way to go. Speaking to many elders I have learned that one is a constant evolution. As life goes on you continue to shape yourself. Things that were once important aren’t. Priorities come and go but you must live for yourself and respect your evolution. No one has to like your change. They don’t walk in your shoes, they don’t know your plan and they sure as hell don’t know your struggle. I mean you know what they say about ASSumptions at the end of the day. If you look at it this way what’s the sense of you accepting me if I truly can’t accept myself. I’d end up falling in love with the person I think you see instead of the person I know I am.
Anger is still hard for me but it gets better as time passes by. At the end of the day I have embraced the fact that anger has also helped me live. It’s in getting older that I choose to just let it go. I wouldn’t have it any other way.