Some people are destined to live lives of hardship and difficulty. At least that’s the way my dad always explained it. He told me that the strongest people tend to lead tragic lives because God decided that there was a certain amount of hardship that had to occur in the world every day. He said that God realized that if he divided all the problems up equally among humanity, that most of the people would die; instead, he started dealing it out in accordance with how much a person could handle. I know that’s a burning bullshit sandwich, but it’s somewhat comforting to think that the reason everything sucks all the time is because god knows you can handle it. That’s the premise that I grew up with; thinking that the reason we struggled when I was a kid, the reason I wound up being the living punching bag for someone I couldn’t hit back, and the reason that I had gone to more funerals than birthday parties by the time I was twelve was that we were strong. the truth of the matter was that we were strong because of the struggle. It wasn’t some Divine Plan, it was just a shit life.
We couldn’t afford to eat because my folks didn’t make enough money. I got the ever-living-fuck beat out of me because someone I looked up to was a manipulative, abusive psychopath. I lost everyone I cared about because life expectancy in our neighborhood was under twenty-five. All of these things were easier to handle when they had a purpose behind them; it was absolutely terrifying to think that life could be horrible for no reason whatsoever. Hell, I’m a grown man and it’s still easier to pass it all off as divine child abuse rather than the culmination of thousands of years of human lives, natural events, and random events converging on one incredibly unlucky group of people.
It will break you. People told me that the world would chew me up and spit me out; they were partially right. This world will chew you up. It will NOT spit you out, however. It will chew and chew and chew, grinding you up until you simply…cease to exist. I know this is a pessimistic, nihilistic view, but it’s true nonetheless. Some people can find the high points in life, but I, however, cannot.
These things are the reason I howl at the moon, and why I hear voices when I am alone. They are the reason I have never really fit in anywhere, and why my own mother said that I was going to die an early, violent death.
There is a twisted silver lining to all of this, though. The shit that I have gone through has made me tough. I’m not afraid of a damn thing; I won’t back down. when you spend your entire life feeling like the creator of the universe is personally kicking you in the teeth, you learn to laugh in the face of the chaos. You learn to take it all in stride.
Life sucks sometimes, and for some people, it sucks all the time. It can feel like you never get a fucking break, like every breath is a fight. For some people, that is a literal statement; I suppose I should be grateful I’ve avoided injuries and accidents that had me laid up. No matter how tight the money became, no matter how hard people hit me, so matter how hungry I got, I was always able to get up and go to work. Or at least LOOK for work.
I’m quite convinced that my life will be a wreck until the day I die. I’m okay with that; it’s just the way things are, and there is no use bitching about it. Complaining about life is about as effective as barking at the wind; you can’t stop it, can’t slow it down, and you damn sure can’t comprehend it in its entirety. The way I see it, you might as well strap in and enjoy every second that you can, because there’s no stopping the ride.
Sit down, shut up, and stop blaming everyone around you for your problems. We’re all in thus mud pit together, so stop making it an even more miserable place. Or, in the much more poetic words of the devil on my shoulder…
Welcome to the shit show, princess; it only gets messier from here.