The Dissection of Me
The night had grown pitch black, with thundering skies.
The night had grown pitch black, with thundering skies. Only the frequent flashes of lightning to reveal the earth. The boy, no older than thirteen, held himself hunched over in the rain.
What did I do? Why does he always hurt me? It's all my fault, he says! You should've never been born! You're not my son.
Those same thoughts are seemingly set on repeat in the child's mind. Until he cannot bear it any longer…
I want to leave. I need to leave.
So he ran. He ran towards the woods where he had often found peace for himself. Each drop of rain that hit his face felt like a slap on the face. Each drop adding more weight to his ever-increasing anger and frustration.
Just a little farther… There!
A bridge, old and damaged, providing a passage away from the source of his frustration. Beyond the bridge was a small abandoned house. The boy picked up his pace as he approached his one sanctuary, the one place he could be truly alone. However, as he crossed the bridge he heard a crack.
No! No no no no—
“No!” The boy screams and closes his eyes as the bridge breaks from underneath him
My life from a young age has been as traumatic as what this scene entails. Similar themes ran rampant throughout my childhood. However, I believe I rose above it. I never blamed anyone for my misfortune, never took it out on those I cared for. Instead, I simply accepted it for what it was and moved on.
The social structure of my family was a typical one, at least before I turned nine. I had a father, a mother, and when I turned five, a brother. However, it was not a typical environment in which I lived. I had to live as though I was surrounded by a sea of eggshells that if stepped on, would lead to lots of pain. So I adapted to the social structure, I became a quiet omega, did my best to stay out of trouble. However, just like any omega, I was the scapegoat.
I suppose I didn't conform to what society would've expected from an abused child such as myself. Instead, I did the opposite. I became a very kind, well-mannered, and mostly happy individual. I became well versed in high-stress situations, and instead of crumbling, I simply became better. I was expected to become a thug, a bully even, or at the very least a sensitive very dependent individual. However, I rebelled against this notion, even if not consciously. So perhaps I am a typical child in a way, we always see children as a rebellious force, well I was a prime example of that notion. I refused to accept the way things were, I sought out better alternatives, and in doing so, I grew as an individual. Though the very notion that society had no hold on me, confirmed the fact that it, in reality, very much did. It had an influence on me that can best be compared to how reverse-psychology works. It subtly and not so subtly nudged me to the right, so I went to the left. My actions were still dictated by the influence of society, because I cared about what society thought, and so I was still affected under that umbrella. This developed mindset also had the effect of making me believe, so long as I do well enough, I could manage to do just about anything. So I suppose that I have become the “true American” in mindset, as I have developed a self-made mindset. Depend on yourself first and foremost.
I developed a very specific sense of who is actually crucial to me as a person. Through the experiences I have had, I have developed strong feelings about who is and is not important to me. Just because someone related to me by blood, does not mean that I care about them. Being my biological mother, father, uncle, cousin, or sibling, does not grant you automatic access to my list of precious people. The only thing that matters to me is if you have earned it. Being important to me is a venture that I deem merit-based. If someone does not put in the effort to earn my respect and love, they will not receive it. My experiences, my socialization into society, has granted me a very much merit-based mindset. One must earn his keep, he must not simply rely on what is handed to him, or what he expects to be handed to him.
Fend for yourself, Tristan. I cannot buy food for the rest of the month, or at least not for you. You're gonna have to make some money, or something, my mother says.
I can't believe she said that. I'm only thirteen! Well doesn't really surprise me that much I guess.
Well, I suppose I need to sell this, then. She won't see this small bit missing anyways, too drugged out…
Enough! I am done! It's time for a change.
"Grandma, hey, it's me. Yeah. I need to stay with you, she can barely handle herself. Yeah, thank you. Bye."
People can be pushed down certain paths in life, however that sort of compliance only goes as far as one willingly lets it. While a person may have several influences in their life, with enough self-awareness, they can begin to ascertain which of those influences they wish to have a direct impact on them and which they wish to have little to no impact. After taking that step, it becomes much easier to essentially become who one wishes to be and to learn exactly who they are at that particular time.
Societal impacts are enormously important in regards to the development of that particular society’s people. A particular family structure, a commonly frequented institution such as a school, a neighborhood—all of this contributes to the growth of an individual. I, just like any other individual, am a being arisen from the conditions of my environment. However, that does not mean I am what society would’ve expected to have arisen from my particular situation. I am not: I am an outlier. I am proof that not all abused children are broken, anger-filled beings. Those are just the loud ones. The ones who draw attention to themselves and then proceed to blame their past, or better yet, they have someone who does that particular blame for them. Societal conditions are important in understanding one’s possible motivations. However, those same conditions do not force them to make any untoward choices. That isn’t completely any society's fault. That fault belongs mostly to those individuals who choose to make those bad choices in their lives. What is society’s fault is being the enabler of such excuses. Everyone has a choice, I made mine, and I'm better for it. Society does not define us. We define society.