I grew up hearing this:
“You’re weird.” “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re unrealistic and impractical.” “You need to toughen up and live in the ‘real’ world.” (my parents were NOT the main offenders; my peers were)
I accepted it. After all, there were ‘normal’ people who all saw the world the same way, and then there was me. I figured out that there was a proper way to behave, a right way to understand people and interpret reality, and then there was my way. I grew up apologizing for who I was, feeling that I had no right to exist because I was too different to belong anywhere and too weird for anyone to love me for any length of time. My classmates quite literally threw rocks at me. Some people who read Soulbank whether by design or by accident do the same thing.
When you grow up believing that your perceptions are incorrect because you have deviated from a norm, the effects are devastating and long lasting. For one thing, I lost any sense of self worth and became a victim of abuse in personal and professional relationships. I didn’t know how to defend myself, because I was not worthy of defending. I apologized for my very existence because I seemed to offend, anger, displease or upset certain people without any intention to do so. To this day, I arouse strong, negative emotions in certain individuals for simply going about my life.
It’s hard to go about my life. I have tried to fit it to the mainstream in a thousand different ways. Of course, it never works. The result is depression and anxiety. I am very lucky to have a family that appreciates me and is extraordinarily loyal. I would like to think that I am all grown up now and don’t care about those who despise me for deviating from this path that we’re all supposed to take and the philosophies we are all supposed to buy into. However, I recently found out that someone with a certain amount of power and influence in my life has declared me ’emotionally unstable’ due to my interests in the paranormal and life after death.
If, in order to be considered ’emotionally stable’ by the outside world, I am required to believe that my entire existence depends upon chemical reactions in my brain, that God is a concept for controlling the ignorant masses or that in order to be an academic I must renounce all faith in the human spirit and soul, then go ahead: bring on the labels. I have to, after all, toughen up if I am going to handle the bullies.
In the meantime, have the courage to be ‘weird,’ different and marginalized by your culture. You are, or will be, the revolutionaries.
–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW