May times, this is how I feel. As if I’m standing on top of a renegade plane attempting to steer from a tethered strap on my belt. As the entire world races by, appearing to be in chaos, all I can do is hold on for dear life.
On the outside, I appear calm. And I should have it all together, right? I’m a man! I’m not allowed to feel fear, right? I’m not allowed to cry, love, or show any emotion besides happiness and anger, right? If I’m supposed to be Batman, if I’m supposed to be strong, intelligent, and calm, why do I have so much anxiety? Is this normal? Am I allowed to ask these questions, or does this make me less of a man?
From below, the world sees a man standing on top of a flaming airplane with reassurance that he has it all together when, in fact, he feels like an eight-year-old boy afraid to see what may appear on the other side of the approaching buildings.
So, what do I do? I hold on.
I sacrifice my mental health and well-being.
I scream, pray, and ask, “Is this a good death?”
I pray for impact. To give up. For it all to come crashing down and end. At least then I won’t feel afraid anymore.
I won’t feel like a failure.
In an attempt to kill my Batman, I become a martyr. I say to myself, “No one else will do it, so I will. I’m special!” I feel the glow and joy of accomplishment at succeeding where others failed. I feel superior, while faining humility. I say to myself, “I don’t expect them to do it! I can take more abuse because I was abused. I’m damaged goods, they aren’t. I was homeless, they weren’t. I hate myself, they don’t”
Arrogance transforms into spite, becoming hatred at being the person who always has to save the day. To carry the burden on my shoulders that no one asked me carry.
This won’t work.
I can’t kill my Batman through being a martyr. He has to become a survivor. I have to save him.