Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Storytelling Is Hard

A thoughtful little piece from Kieran*. Enjoy.

Every once in a while, it occurs to me that my life is essentially one big, massive train wreck, and I'm not really sure how to feel about that.

It's hard to talk about my life, not because it pains me, but because the people I talk to either can't be told the full story or they stare at me in horror throughout the whole process and when I notice I start feeling really uncomfortable and I can't bring myself to talk about it anymore. It's weird to think that almost everything I've experienced is so terrifying to other people. I mean, yeah, I know it's bad and all, but it's my life. I got through it. I'm okay now. Mostly. I don't see why everybody around me has to have a more dramatic reaction to the stories of my childhood than I had while actually living through those stories. I suppose that's just how things are in the world, but I wish that people would stop making me feel like I'm not traumatized enough by what happened to me. So, I end up talking about the events in my life that other people can relate to, like the time I went camping and a hobo spider bit me while I was sleeping and I panicked when I saw the rotting skin near my elbow the next morning and cut out a huge chunk of my arm. That scar is actually bigger than the one on my neck, and I'm grateful for it because it's usually the first one people notice, and it's an easier story to tell than the one about my mother's head getting blown off right in front of me and being trapped under her corpse for several hours with soiled pants and a couple of bullet wounds.

The thing is, I know that a lot of what happened to me is horrible. I still can't shake the feeling of being perpetually alone and ignored that came from those first few weeks in the lab. It's just that when you spend ten years of your life being constantly observed and tested by scientists, some of whom had a severe case of head-perpetually-stuck-in-anal-cavity, it tends to warp your sense of humor a bit. I honestly can't tell half the time whether the story I'm about to tell is funny or disturbing or both. So, I've started prefacing my stories with that, which doesn't make things less awkward, but at least it's a funny awkward and not a painful awkward most of the time.

I guess I'll have to share some of those stories at some point in time. Maybe I will, but only after I've gotten a better idea of whether or not they're stories that I can share without traumatizing everybody who reads them. We'll see.

*Kieran is a fictional character. More will be revealed about him over time.

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