The Connections.

I’m feeling troubled lately. Not just the usual troubled that happens when things in the media burst my bubble (and for the record, Alice Wong, I’m still going to call you out about that shark fin soup thing) but more about the circumstances around Amanda Todd, the continued harassment of her after her death, bullies, entitlement and a sense of ennui. The headlines (distressing) in conjunction with the season (autumn reflections) have the wheels turning and the cogs grinding. What started out for me as a blog about a teen’s suicide due to bullying has me examining that old chestnut of life and reflecting back on my own path…

Sorry, a little heavy right out of the gate, but these are the things that sometimes just need to find a way off of my chest.

Let me just point something out: I was bullied mercilessly from grade six to grade nine. I’m not sure what it was that made me have a target for other kids on my back other than being ‘weird’. A state I now, in fact, luxuriate in. But when I was growing up, it took a long time for me to get over the betrayal of trust from childhood friends and learn to start letting people into my world again. So I carried a little bit of this alienation into my adult years. I made friends with other weird people, and my life took on this strange questing quality. For a long time I looked for a group, a tribe, a scene to belong in, never finding one in my earlier years or finding the acceptance I craved. I moved in lots of circles, and had roots in many but none did I feel 100% like they were ‘mine’. I proceeded to run away from the city of my birth to join a roadshow, a circus, and a host of other bizarre phenomena. But what always felt like I was ‘home’ inevitably turned sour; broken hearts, isolation, alienation, and a sense of restlessness.

There are many chapters where I feel like I’m reliving strange versions of one of my favourite childhood story, Where The Wild Things Are… In each incarnation I run away, run with wild things, enjoy their company, then feel isolated, and long to go home to the place where someone loves me best of all. It’s happened in many areas of my life, and I’ve gotten very adept at feeling alone in a room full of people.

Kind of like this.

Despite being a mirror-girl, adapting myself to any and all situations, whether under lasers and trees in the rainforest, up in strange towers in glass cities, dirty clubs in the Old World or in a sweaty punk bar, or in secret spaces in the world that exists alongside the mainstream, I’ve learned an important lesson. I’ve learned that all these feelings, experiences, ups and downs have contributed to the being that resides in the core. It didn’t happen in high school. Or early 20s. It’s taken a long time to get these battle scars and I wear them proudly. But that took a long time to develop, and it’s still very much a work in progress.

And it saddens me to think there are those that will never get the chance.

Because of the relentless actions of a few people, kids in Columbine snapped, a girl would rather die than live on, and countless others are intimidated and cowed into thinking that something is wrong with them, instead of their tormentors. I have nothing but the deepest sympathy to Miss Todd’s family. I think of my own dark thoughts, both as a teen and adult and it’s only the people who truly loved me got me through, and when I read Amanda’s story I can say that I didn’t even have to deal with a FRACTION of the pain she did. This isn’t the story of a young woman with a chemical depression from hormone fluctuation. She was brutalized by people around her… and other people let it happen.

The whole affair in itself is hard to take, but when I read about Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old girl shot in Pakistan by the Taliban for being vocal about her right to education as a girl, I think it’s not just about one kind of bully. We’re not dealing with a school yard bully or an internet troll; we’re dealing with a fucking global attitude that needs a serious adjustment. It brings to mind a piece from the Huffington Post I reposted here and sent to every one of my younger female relatives, which you really should read HERE. I want more than anything to hand these out to every newborn girl and her family, and hope she’s raised in a world where she doesn’t need to CONSTANTLY fight for her equality because of her gender.

Because how DARE anyone look themselves in the face after they shoot an unarmed 14-year old girl, and how DARE they live with themselves knowing that their actions drove a young woman to take her own life. If you are so proud of your religious cause, your actions and your the big badass you believe yourself to be, come out to the world and announce yourself for everyone to see. Congratualations. Your officially what’s wrong with our species.

To all the people who are tormented, to the little girls who don’t know yet, but will one day, the people born the wrong gender, the misunderstood, the ones who unintentionally offend people due to being different or ‘weird’, it truly will get better. You will develop armour, callouses, strength, and you’ll find other other weirdos and you will give one another hope.

And if you can’t find them, come find me.

Much love,

Little Miss Risk

littlemissrisk@gmail.com

 

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7 Responses to The Connections.

  1. Douglas Proulx says:

    Brilliantly written. I’m shaken AND stirred by the last few weeks as well as being transported back to my being bullied. I STILL do by a few idiots. That’s the fucked thing. Loved the~ ”I’m not sure what it was that made me have a target for other kids on my back other than being ‘weird’. A state I now, in fact, luxuriate in.”
    ya, to the TENTH!

  2. ned says:

    You make me think about so many moments in my life Risk. Battles, struggles, truths, lies, favors, disgraces.. They don’t make sense unless I remember that every one of them has shaped me into the man I am now.

    What power do I have now? I have the power to do what I believe in, no matter what. I have the power to effect change and confidence.

    Be proud of the voice you’ve soapbox’d. You make people proud. Weird is a technicality :) *BIGHUG.

  3. Miss Meadows says:

    Great post! As one of the outcasts in school, I know exactly how dark the world can be when no one understand you, and make you feel bad for being yourself. Luckily – just like you – I have now found my proper heard of weirdos – people I feel I belong with. The funny thing is most of my friends are real knockouts now, since we all got so strong from the bullying and harsh words, we now dare to look different and actually be ourselves! Many of us are signed to a modeling agency called “Nocturnal Agency”, that promotes alternative talents. I call it “The Addams Family” ;) But just like you say, it’s so sad some of these different people die far too early, never getting to know that if they get through the bad years THEY will be the ones living the most exciting lives as models, performers or whatever they choose to do with their special talents – while the people who were the cool, popular ones in school probably ends up in grey suits, working at grey offices, and living in grey suburbs!

    xox

    Miss Meadows

  4. Jesus Novoa says:

    Risky,

    As someone with my own scars, I commend a post like this. I was bullied or teased as early as 3rd grade, it was that year I experienced my first fight in school. Why did I get into a fight back then, the class bully wanted to impress a girl so he started the day proclaiming that he would fight me at the end of the day. It was purely one sided fight, I didn’t get a punch in, nor did I want to, I had no reason to fight.

    As the years followed the bullying and teasing continued(well into college), I can probably say it has scarred me pretty well. One of the biggest things I was teased about was my looks and weight. Not to mention my intellect, but I’ve learned to embrace that about myself. To this day I remain to have overwhelming social anxieties, where I have constant thoughts like “nobody is interested in what I have to say” or “No one wants to talk to someone who looks like me”.

    In my youth I was a HUGE pessimist, more specifically I was a pessimist about myself. I always valued others before myself. I felt I had no value in life except to give other people more value. I was always negative about my own life, but it never went to the point of conteplating suicide. The thought of it and how it would affect my family was really what kept me from giving it a second thought. I was always an introvert, even at home, so I never spoke about this kind of stuff to anyone. Not to mention being a guy, growing up, it’s weird to even talk about emotions. Guys are suppose to be confident, outgoing and completely stable. Heh, how wrong that is.

    I know how you feel about being that mirror person, I was that as well, sometimes I still carry those qualities. For me, the desire to be a part of something to feel wanted or needed, to see or experience the value you have in someone else’s life can be intoxicating. It can grow to become an addiction. Sometimes it’s hard to be strong enough to continue on your own and give yourself value all the time. Your own support can become worthless at a certain point.

    For those that are out there suffering from things like this, let me say this; don’t let it take you over. Don’t let it darken who you are. Along these lines, there’s another part of that story in 3rd grade, the next day my mom came marching to school with me after seeing how I got beaten up to complain to the principal. After arriving she had learned that most of the class had rallied to my defense and brought the incidient to the principal’s attention. Even though, I wasn’t the coolest guy in school, I was one of the nicest, and there were people there that really enjoyed my kindness. I never let the ridicule darken who I was, I still love and care for all the people in my life. I just value my life’s priorities first and then go from there. It’s not impossible to stay strong through things like this. I honestly managed to survive emotionally on my own, but don’t let that force you to do the same. If you have any way to get support from a friend or family member, reach out. The pain can build and become unbearable at times. Even if the friend or friends are online. I made many online friends in my early teens whose friendship I still value today.

  5. Levi says:

    Tristan, thank you for this article. I’ve been following (read: obsessively stalking) you and the Soska’s online for about a year now and this is exactly why I can identify so well with people like the 3 of you. I’ve finally found people who have the same outlook on things as me, I finally have people who truly are like family to me (my “real” family never bothered to look out for me, so yeah). The horror community, body mod community and even the ones from Sweet Soul Burlesque that I follow online are just the nicest people on the planet, because they know what it’s like to not always feel appreciated by others. Writing an article might not be a huge deal to people, but reading stuff can really help people with issues they might be dealing with. This article has done that for me. Thank you again.

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