I have a lot on my mind and heart right now, but I'll talk about one subject that caught my attention today: why are the people I know "irl" (in real life...a.k.a., not on the internet) at times two-faced? Well...not really two-faced/sided, per se, but rather they have different sides to them.
Today Darrell, buddy of mine I've known for a long time now, stopped over by reason of spontaneity. He just...showed up. It was about noon or so when I think that he did. It was nice to get to hang out with him for a bit and chill, basically, which is mostly what we did while he was here. We played some video games for a little bit, went out to Burger King and grabbed a bite, stopped by Inman's and played a game or two of D.D.R. ("was that a challenge?" "are you challenging me?!" "no, are you challenging me?!" "it's all on, now!!" ...yes, this is actually basic conversation for us, shush you), but other than that, basically we just talked. And we talked...about everything, basically. We talked about anime, video games, history, movies, Metal Gear Solid (one of the only games I insist everybody plays...honestly. really neat game; if you don't mind violence, then you play it), relationships, and even a short conversation tidbit about his girlfriend Wendy...who actually is the same Wendy I wrote of back in my DeadJournal, when we went to see "Lilo & Stitch" together. That also is a nice movie, despite the fact it is Disney. Watch that movie, okay? And don't give me that look!! You go watch that movie now, man!
But it isn't the conversation itself which I'm writing about in this post, but about what direction it travelled as environment and company changed. While we were together, just us, things were cool. We talked and chit-chatted like the buds we are. Though we hadn't seen each other for some time, we didn't "catch up on things" so much as we just...talked, and we talked just "about whatever". I thought it was nice.
But then things changed. Sitting there at the apartment with Ryan off to the side in his computer area, Darrell and I were talking okay, and at times Ryan would join in with the conversation. But at these points some times they would make referrence to me as "wussy", "gay", "alien" (oh my gosh...I hate, hate, hate that term...not even funny. at all.), and a multitude of other generally unfavorable terms. And a lot, if not all, of these were completely uninvited and unprovoked by me. And I understand that these sorts of comments are made usually (at least what they've told me...) on a joking sort of level, meant only in jest. But I've noticed the frequency of these occurring, though.
I've noticed this phenomenon occurring in many of my other "irl" friends as well, roommates especially included. Alone, they are really cool people to talk to, really friendly. But when another person joins into the conversation, at times, more frequenly than others, I become target for ridicule and name-calling. And tonight, I've stopped myself and looked around...and found a lot of my offline pals here are like that. I'm surrounded by people that make fun of me.
Now don't get me wrong. The people I know here are really cool people. They're great to talk to, fun, interesting, at times even deep...but where does this ridiculing thing come in? I don't even like it, to tell you the truth. Some joking around isn't anything, really, but this is a constant...constant...constant...constan
I've found myself slipping into what I did back in middle school, and just saying "it's okay; that's just how things are", but man they shouldn't be this way in the first place! Argh!! No wonder I've been finding myself saddenned and depressed some times; I've found no real love or friendship in those with whom I've been surrounded, but instead mockery and light-heartedness at my ridicule.
And, like middle school, people say "why don't you just tell them to stop?" I'll respond do that with a "don't be a wuss" answer, because that's what they would respond with as well. I don't agree with it, but it's like this: if you don't agree with how they're acting, the only way to get away from it is to just leave. But the thing is...they're constantly there. They're my friends for a reason. But why do they treat me like this?!
My friendships it seem are so shallow. Man, I'm getting saddenned just thinking about it. The ones I have are more platonic than anything, I think you could say. We hang out, we talk, we do stuff, borrow stuff...but I don't know when the last time was when I just sat down with somebody and they wanted to know what was going on with me and how I was doing. I mean...honestly doing. Ryan's been like that, and Fallon has too in the past...though passively...but for the most part I've felt bouts of being lonely and alone in this world. I just missed somebody being there for me. I missed having a friend who I could come home to and I know that they would be talking to me and be friends with me and be there for me. Shira was like that...she was great...in my short expanse of knowing her, even in spite of my roommates' heated opinions of her (I'll get into all that junk later, okay?), I found that she was a great roommate herself. I wish things could have gone different with her...that she didn't say the things she did...let her temper flare out how it did. And she even told me she was sorry for having done that, not only because of the results that came from losing control like that, but also because of the acts themselves--basically causing hurt to Ryan and Fallon and causing disarray in the apartment. *sigh. :(
But like I was saying, I just wanted somebody to be there for me...somebody who I could see and touch. Jesus is here for me, and I love Him with all my heart, but the Bible also says that we should have other people here too that care about us. I suppose this would show why I've sometimes found myself lonely and wanting a girlfriend...but in reality all I want is somebody close to me to talk to and...well, be close to. I'm just lonely...quite lonely....
I don't want this to be a downer to anybody. If you're getting depressed reading this entry, by all means, I don't mean to get you down. I'm just posting, getting these thoughts down onto paper made of 1's and 0's.
Continuing, though, I've found solace online. ...well...solace as far as those groups who don't look down on me go. That group is just the one here online headed by my roommates...blargh. They know that some times I can get somewhat down, but only once have they really sat me down and talked to me about it. It was an accident at that point too, really...ha. I didn't think Ryan was paying attention to what was going on in this one channel he had one of his bots in (it's like another person in the chatroom, but it actually isn't a person, but rather codes and scripts that could do various things), but after awhile of talking to a friendly fellow by the name of Matt, suddenly the bot started actually talking, meaning Ryan was there in the chatroom as well, and heard every single word I said. That avalanched into him telling me I shouldn't feel that way, because it didn't make too much sense, and I suppose he told Fallon, and she messaged me saying I could talk to her whenever about anything, and that it was also mean of me to go and talk about her behind her back like that. But the problem of that is what if I can't talk to her? What if my problem is her? Ah, wait, no, no, that sounds mean...and I really didn't mean it like that. This is better--what if I can't talk about my problem to her?
I think the biggest problem of living here has been the lack of love that I've felt. And to correct this problem, what, I'm supposed to walk up to my roommates and say, "Hey, be more affectionate at me, 'kay?" How 'bout no. I've talked with them before, asking them to lay off me with their play insults and ridicules, though a lot has been less than playful towards me, actually, and for awhile this worked okay. But then they would go back, and once again I would be "gay" and a total giant wuss and I'm pretty worthless and argh!! I hate being berated!! I've had to deal with this load of total crap almost my whole life!! Do you have any idea what gym class back in 9th grade was?! How about the closest to hell I'd ever want to be. I'm serious. I was tortured. There isn't any other way to put it: tortured. I suppose maybe that's why I'm so sensitive to being made fun of today, because of what I suffered through then.
Back then is when I was given the reluctant name of "alien", which even today I still completely abhor. Back in middle school I was hugely into aliens, conspiracies, the "X-files" (barely ever missed a single Sunday at 9 p.m., watching in my night clothes of boxers and a t-shirt, the last moments of the weekend before school for the week), and whatever other memorabilia you might classify with that. I wore black a lot and was big into the supernatural. I remember the weird looks I got one day on the school bus, after having gone online in the computer lab to do "research" into aliens, getting out a few stapled pages from my bookbag and then telling my friend (it was Darrell, incidentally), "I have a document here that proves that our government sold us to the aliens". ...yeah...if that doesn't sound dorky.... So I amassed a huge collection of aliens t-shirts as well, plus some other extraterrestrial-themed items on the side.
...but in gym class...I saw the monster that preys on the weak come out in just about everybody there. And I was the hapless victim. I wasn't the most athletic or the most physically fit or in-shape or even coordinated there. In fact, I was just about at the end of the line, if not the end. I was really skinny, long limbs and fingers, had poofy hair, big glasses, double-jointed, quiet and shy, a loner, a little bit of an odd manner...it was all these people needed to descend upon my prone person and start tearing at me with their laughing, jabbing at me with their ridicule, and slapping me with their mockery. And because of my affiniation with aliens at the time, one day one suddenly pointed at me and one of his insults was "...then he must be an alien!!" It went from there. Even "Men In Black" just came out then, and that added so much more fuel to their flames of insult. Needless to say, I quickly stopped wearing anything that had an alien logo on it altogether, and today, what items turn up in the dark, dusty corner of my closet, I look upon with contempt. And even now today the term still hurts. Even after all these years. And I think that those who have heard the term associated with me honestly don't know the pain that is associated with that it.
During that point in my life, I was very open and susceptible to everything; it was a big turning point in my life. I had just become a born-again Christian that summer before, but I had no one there to lead me or guide me except God and my mom's Bible--no real church, no Christian friends, nothing. Zip. Things were ugly for me at that time...finally gaining salvation and forgiveness of my sins and realizing I had a purpose, but other than a couple pamphlets with Scripture verses written inside and my mom's Bible, I had no direction in life, and no human solace either.
And then these people, during one of the most (in-)opportune moments of my life, decided to trounce in and make life miserable for me. In class, in the hallway, whenever they saw me, but especially in gym class, where everybody congregated together, and that Mike Daniels kid got to be the laughing stock, butt of jokes, everything.
I wasn't taken seriously at all. I asked them to stop. I sat there, sometimes laughing a little because the comments sounded sort of funny, but in reality inside I was being tore up. I usually sat there with a quieted disposition, taking the punishment quietly. I remember it became dreadful enough that I thought of suicide at one point, I think. I also remember one day when the day started out horribly with my parents, then proceeding to a big test or quiz in one of my classes that I bombed, and then feeling drained, so early before gym class I went in and lied down on one of the benches, hoping to grab some quick shut-eye before I would have to partake of that class which I looked upon with dread. I lied there for awhile, peacefully enjoying some much-sought solace, suddenly I was rudely awoken by this one kid grabbing me and yelling "boo!!" Yeah, so much for solace.... Class began, I got my gym garb on miserably in silence, while next to me Jeremy B. sat, making his normal array of comments. I told him to shut up. He didn't listen. I threatened to punch him; I was in a rage. He didn't take that seriously. "Hoo! Wah! Kung fu, huh?" I would have showed him; right then and there I would have punched him as hard as I could in the face, flooring him right off of that bench where he sat and mocked and set him scuttling hard and awkwardly right into the concrete of that stank locker room. That would show him. Yeah...he wouldn't mess with me again. But I didn't. I'm sure it was just my faith in God and that alone that was holding me back that whole time...just barely...barely...from snapping right there...because right then and there, with the way my life was, with what I had been through, with what had occurred that day, with my being fed up to freakin' here with him, I would have broken out of that mold that everybody held me in, and I would have beat the life out of him almost until I just watched him sitting there, his face busted up beyond recognition, teeth missing, eyes bruised shut, teeth missing and blood oozing and flowing from his open and bleeding mouth, twitching, on the edge of death...that's what I would have done to him...and I would have smiled in what I had done. And nobody could have stopped me. Nobody...except God. And that's why I didn't try to kill him that day.
But you know what? Jeremy B. was my friend back in early grade school. I remember he came over to my house and everything. During kindergarten, we were both in t-ball, and when we were both in the outfield, we would just sit and talk and pick dandelions, not caring that...um...oh yeah, the ball was over by us, wasn't it.... A spunky blonde kid who was always funny and was friendly, and with whom I quickly bonded, Jeremy was a great guy to me back then.
He left early in grade school, then finally in 8th or 9th grade, he returned. We talked a little bit, remembering our past together. And then we had gym class together. And...at first, little comments were made, sort of a joking way, nothing I hadn't heard before. But other people joined in, Jeremy joined in, people I had known since way back when joined in, then the comments intensified, they became bolder with their words...then soon anything said to me in that class was a degrading statement. Does this sound familiar to anything I was writing about earlier?
I hated gym class. I hated it!! When standing in line for roll call, alphabetical order, I stood between the two worst of the class: Jeremy B. and Michael G. While waiting on the bleachers after exercises were over, I was the main subject of entertainment. While playing whatever sport or activity, I was constantly put down and insulted because I wasn't athletic and genuinely wasn't interested in the physical activities. The locker room was merely another arena in which they would throw their darts of harrassment and insult at me. So what about the guy who instructed the class? You know...that guy who is supposed to make this interesting with everybody, show us ways to better ourselves physically, encourage us, keep things organized, etc., etc.? Pssh, not there. You thought I'd get help from him? The guy looked like a jock who had just grown up and put on a jumpsuit, got a whistle, and then got a room full of jocks to teach! And for the nerd, that nerdy guy who read books even though they weren't for an assignment, and wore those nerdy glasses and was the resident "stickboy"? Oh yeah, fair game. He's all yours!
I always felt so relieved when I left that class. When offered the chance to take another semester of it (the first was mandatory), I declined. Very forcefully. I refused to put up with that horrible...horrible...horrible class ever, ever again! I hated that class! Hated it!! Jeremy had thrown off the title of being my friend, and only was there to beat me up emotionally. Those acquaintances there who I thought I was sort of friendly with? Their voices were among those of the people making fun of me. It hurt me...so...much.... At times I just got up and walked out and left, not wanting to deal with it. I wanted out, and I knew that only time had the key to releasing me from that prison of insults that masqueraded as that white gym with painted green and orange. I didn't do anything to them! Why am I being treated like this! What did I ever do to deserve this?!
The truth is that I did nothing to deserve any of that treatment. I was just...me. I was Michael Daniels. I had shaggy brown hair, was skinny, liked to read, and had a couple friends I liked to hang out with. They were my oasis of compassion in those days. They didn't make fun of me...they liked me...they treated me well...no harsh words came from them...they didn't call me an "alien"...they didn't make jokes about me. But...why were we considered the "outcasts", when in reality we were very much one of the most humane groups there? I don't remember hating people or making fun of them...just wanting to accept.
I remember knowing people that made fun of those "lesser", though...like Nick (same one of today) and Tony Kueke. Kueke regarded Nick and his ilk as his "friends", but they regarded him as "the guy that hangs around that we actually don't like but let him stay so we can make fun of him". I also remember knowing others like that, like Sean McClinn in a number of different groups of people. None that I saw fully accepted him. And I feel sort of bad because I joined in their making fun of him as well. I wanted to "fit in", I wanted to seem like I "was one of the guys", I wanted to do the things they were doing. I didn't hate him; in fact, he wasn't actually too bad of a guy. But...yet...when he was around, I gave him total and utter disregard. And for no reason. I even hit him a couple times, once in the head with the bottom of a music stand. And what was the source of me doing these acts to him? Nothing...other than that other people I knew didn't like him and did the same.
It's so sickening looking back on the past like that. I myself had become a monster to him, one of those very things that tortured me throughout middle school, early high school, and gym class. I feel so horrible inside knowing that I actually committed those horrible, dreadful, and hateful acts.
I don't know if this will ever reach him or any of those other people I might have ever treated like that, but I want to say it anyways. Listen...I'm so...so...sorry for having done that to you. I would say I didn't know what I was doing, but that would be a lie. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I did those things to you. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. You deserved nothing of what I or anybody else did to you. I was wrong in so many ways for having done that to you. What I did was hateful, mean, wrong, degrading, insulting, and I should have known better. Oh geez, should I have known better! I knew what it felt like, but those times...it conveniently went to a blind spot and sat there while I became the thing I despised. I'm sorry.
Please, people...think about what you say to others. Treat them with kindness. Think about what they're going through. I mean...many, many lives have been prematurely ended because of immature high schoolers being careless about their words and taking pleasure in others' pain. Suicide, Columbine, hate, despair, hate.... Is your enjoyment that important?! Think about it!! I think I'm going to end this entry here, because I've been typing awhile. I've just had a lot to say about this subject. Human life is a precious thing. Don't mistreat it or take it for granted....