Letter to myself nr. 1: a painful decade

Dear self,

young man,

26 year old queer boy,

you hated yourself for so long. for long enough.

years and years, carrying a storm of shards around your head, constantly cutting the flesh away, wounds never closing.

you hated yourself for being a nerdy, thin, glasses-wearing boy. shy and pale, gay, uncool, self-harming, awkward, intellectual, sensitive, interested in the arts and heavy topics, drawing strange things in class and at home, taking dark and twisted photographs. outsider art, an outsider. never a teenager, a proper young kid, who enjoys the crazy years of puberty with friends and first love.

now you feel old. too old to be a teenager, those years will not come back and you lost opportunities to experience things in an innocent way. the waking of your sexuality, first kisses and hands held, shy sex, beautiful moments with a boy. growing up healthy.

instead all those years were a slow, painful process, a constant, bloody live birth, dirty and disturbing.

twenty-six means: ten years ago you were a real teenager. but that boy was closed up in himself, dressing in black, always wearing those ugly glasses, being laughed at, being a joke for those spoiled, conservative kids that he perceived as more beautiful, more everything than himself. even his friends, all heterosexual boys, joked about him, talked negatively about homosexuality, were confused, insecure and in puberty themselves. and a disturbed, fat girl stalked this gay boy, showed him the self-harm cuts in her fat, white legs, bloody stripes. and, and, many other things back then.

but: the invisible block of time behind him is a relief. ten years feel like a big slice, memories of other places, frozen in transparent jelly, lie between him and the nauseating past. a painful stretch of time, a constant fight against self-destructive, self-defeating forces, even the wish to die. the process of healing is painful, but finally, finally, a brighter line of life comes in sight.

you also hated you family, your parents, your sister. now it has become calmer. you are a grown man and feel like a father yourself, although you are the son. your poor dad, never really capable of handling your very difficult, very agressive mother. you always were the only one with a certain deeper emotional connection to her. the oldest son, sensitive and gay, your mother needed your presence and support when the roles should have been the other way round. your poor, fragile, internally destroyed mother. what is it, just what in her is so sick and violent. she gave off so much violence into the family, demanded to take all the control, to have all her needs respected while not giving us the space and freedom we deserved.

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you feel guilty for having treated her so violently after finishing school and shortly before. all those years of suffering and self-censorship broke free in a messy and ugly way. disease made disease grow inside you. emotional and mental tumor growths. a sensitive boy being attacked in school and in family and unable to stand up for himself to a certain extent, only fighting in those last years he had to endure without his friends in a horribly chaotic class in a private school of spoiled kids. trying to still make it through school with acceptable grades and it wasn’t even bad in the end. but you were exhausted, internally depleted. weak, like after an agressive virus. disgusted with yourself, with life, the world, the people, humanity in general. feeling lost and unrooted, only finding refuge in art.

now you are grateful for the opportunity to have spent time with the mexican side of your family, in mexico, surrounded by warmth and love and caring and good food. it was so immensely refreshing, without it, this gift you and your parents allowed to yourself, everyhting would have been less tolerable, now you realize you would maybe not have made it without that wonderful year.

but you felt you had to flee again, for being a homosexual, feeling it would be impossible to be one in mexico. berlin seemed like the only possible choice, the only positive outlook. the thought of a small city did not satisfy you. you wanted anonymity, international people, to be surrounded by art and the avantgarde, beautiful and modern things.

but still, you broke down. you were not ready to act like a grown up and live on your own, maybe. you were too unstable, internally destroyed, to grow up while studying at the same time and getting used to a country you thought you knew but that was actually foreign and cold. and while you were struggling with your own sexuality and the looks you hated so much. you wanted anonymity but also suffered from it. you needed your parents, but dad lived far far away and your mum was hardly strong enough to support you.

now you think that stretch of time broke her down even more. destroyed her once and for all. but it seems she never was able to take care of herself properly and in the end that is the responsibility of every adult human being. even more if one is a parent and has kids that need strong support.

it feels like she is a child in her core and confused by everything around her and all the things she set in motion with her life choices. which often seem so random and improvised, but also adventurous. she seems to be a hard, worn down shell of a woman, internally soft and destroyed, but almost manly on the outside, dressed in thick black sweaters, stiff jeans and leather shoes, thick metal jewellery. all together giving the feeling of an armour and prosthetic to hold her together, broken down, hard clumps of old flesh. often she can be commanding and cold like a military leader, then suddenly reveals warm, almost kitschy and childish, overemotional sides. there must be huge chaos and ambivalence in her, a huge mess and confusion.

did she really do what she wanted in life? did she really want to have children? did she plan ahead, try to imagine what it would be like? so often it sounds like she did never really know what she was doing. but, in a more positive view, both mum and dad always were adventurers, wanting to explore unknown countries.

just why did it all turn out in such a violent way? how much is their fault, how much can be attributed to circumstances of the outside world?

the reflection has just started. for me too, there is a huge unknown to explore. human lives, the human brain, are a big, unknown ocean, even today, in 2017. and they all relate to each other and the huge networks of society and history around them.

we are a small ship in the outskirts of the milky way.

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