This feels like bullshit (that's the teenage part of me speaking.) But I think that's why I have to do it. To challenge every pre conceived idea I have about myself.
This is the alter ego of my trauma narrative. This is focused on the spirit that was crushed by my father but is slowly emerging as I travel this painful healing journey.
This is the perspective of those that see my spirit. My grandmother, my partner, my daughter and my friends. Sometimes I know what they mean when they tell me I'm a good, funny, caring, clever and deserving man. As occasionally I have access to my truest self.
It's true I can be very funny. A mix of working class London cynicism, political frustration and a awareness of how absurd the human race is has conspired to produce some successful humour. Of course I die regularly, but that's a part of taking risks and tackling subjects others won't touch, or just saying something that only I thought was hilarious. A friend refers to me as the elephant in the room.
Following on from that I care passionately about human rights. I don't seek retribution because it doesn't send the right message to society and it doesn't work. Rehabilitation, understanding, compassion and empathy are some of my greatest values. I do not understand how the hatred of 'difference' works or the revenge of an eye for an eye. I have often seen this as a negative personality trait, like I was just too idealistic and didn't understand how the world is, but it's not. This is the difference between real justice and injustice. I should be proud of the side I'm on and increasingly I'll become more able to advocate for myself and others. Again I am not perfect and I sometimes struggle to afford others dignity and respect. But I constantly work towards this.
I am capable. This is a tough one. Long have I believed that I would never amount to anything. But in truth I've done well. I've made mistakes some of which I still need to come to terms with but given where I started from I'm proud of how fucking hard I've worked on myself. I've never quit and I never will. I've felt like quitting on thousands of occasions but I know my spirit has much to offer me and others. As I sift through the debris of abuse I see the man others see. Reaching out for a hand to pull him clear. I'm not sure how much longer it will take to reach him but it feels closer than ever before.
People like me. The people I work with, live with and my friends. Not all people I meet but that's fine. I don't connect with everyone I meet. I fight to see things from others perspectives. I've managed to accept and feel compassion for people I once reviled. Not because they changed but because I work so hard to.
I deserve help. Sometimes I don't cope well with life's stress. That's understandable and it's fine for me to feel unstable. During these times I need assistance. There is no shame in this. I deserve to feel proud not ashamed. I've come through some very hard times. I don't deserve to have my feelings minimized, no one does. If someone isn't prepared or equipped to respect my struggles then I'll be with people that can. These are my kind of people. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by quite a few of them.
I'm allowed to be angry when I'm treated with a lack of dignity and respect. I'm allowed to express my dissatisfaction at injustices against myself or others. This is my right. I do have rights. But I need to fight for more. I want to live in a more compassionate world.