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When A Friend Is One Of The Monsters You Always Read About

I’m not talking serial killers

The type of monsters I am talking about are easier to identify than serial killers. Much easier, really.

Serial killers are silent monsters. They are the monsters that lurk in the shadows, never once revealing their identity to you until the last moment. They never reveal their identity to anyone because they know that if they do, a life of imprisonment awaits them; if they are allowed a life at all.

But the monsters I am talking about are like any other normal human. They appear docile and sweet when silent but when they open their mouths, hell tends to break loose from it.

I’m talking about the racists. I’m talking about the homophobic. I’m talking about the transphobic. I’m talking about all those who think people suffering from mental illnesses should die.

These are the monsters that many in society won’t even label as monsters.

They are the monsters who openly sneer at other humans for being humans. They are the monsters who have an have their own idea of an acceptable human being and they will hate on anyone that doesn’t fit into that standard.

They are the monsters who don’t care that their actions and words will hurt someone else like a serial killer’s knife would.

Now, I have a friend. And for my safety, I hope he never reads this.

He is two years older than me, which means that he is at the age where his opinions are strong and ingrained into his beliefs.

He was a nice person. At least, I assumed he was; I had never actually met any of these monsters in real life, after all. Singapore is rather sheltered in that manner.

We got closer as time went on, and I was tempted to label him as a close friend. He was a nice person, and we were like brother and sister.

A few days ago, though, I found out that he was racist. I found out that he was a homophobic. I found out that he was transphobic.

I found out that he though mentally ill people should die, which is a huge problem because I am very mentally ill.

I could feel my whole body freeze as I realised how… horrible a person he was.

He went on and on about how he agreed with Hitler about the fact that the government should rid of all the mentally ill and physically disabled people. He kept going on about how much money the government would save, and how much resources the world would save, if only people from those two categories were killed off.

I could feel myself slowly getting triggered by his words.

I do not say this lightly. I could feel his words piercing the barrier I have taken so long to build.

I could feel my mental strength wavering as every word he said made a direct hit at me.

In an attempt to distract myself from the growing panic rising in me, I said the first thing that came to my mind.

‘Well, I am mentally ill though. Does that mean I should die?’

It was a stupid question and I regretted asking it the moment the words left my mouth. His answer made me regret it even more.

‘Yes. In fact, you should die right now.’

Knowing him, he could be joking. But honestly, he probably wasn’t.

He said it so seriously and with so much affirmation that I had to laugh my way out of it and convince him that it was all a joke.

It wasn’t a joke, though. And the fact that his answer to my question was probably not a joke as well made me scared.

This guy, who had seemed so nice, sounded like he would have killed me in that instant if murder wasn’t illegal.

And now, I am stuck between ending the friendship instantly or simply waiting for it to fizzle out.

On one hand, despite me trying to distance myself, he has been contacting me as normal and asking to Skype. He has not brought up any topics on racism, LGBTQ+, or mental health recently as well. Maybe he sensed that I did not want to broach that subject anymore.

Too bad I already know how he feels about those subjects.

On the other hand, I am uncomfortable with the mere knowledge that he has such beliefs and opinions. It makes me uncomfortable knowing that this guy who seemed so normal, could hold such hatred towards other humans that he would have them dead, if he had the power to do so.

It makes me uncomfortable knowing that he thinks of human life as such a trivia thing.

And I am scared.

I am scared for the moment he realises that I was not joking when I told him I suffered from a mental illness. I am scared for the moment that he, once more, tells me that I should die; I am rather sensitive when it comes to stuff like that.

I am scared for the possibility of him cornering me and wrapping his fingers around my neck.

I am scared. I want to stop the friendship but something tells me it won’t be easy because of how much he messages me.

Yet, I will continue trying until the friendship has ended. I refuse to surround myself with people who would discriminate against others the way he did that night on Skype.

I pray I have the courage to see my plan through, and that I stay safe until it is over.

I hope you enjoyed this piece. Do leave your experiences or advice in the response section. Any tips on ending the friendship safely would be greatly appreciated as well. Thank you for reading!

This work was inspired by Katherine Fugate’s piece When The Racist Is Someone You Know and Love… After reading her raw experience, I felt compelled to share my own.