The Art Of Seeming Happy

Before I begin this post I feel the need to explain that this is in no way a post for “attention”. More so for understanding of who I am, and why I am the way I am. Most people don’t care, which is fine. Everyone is caught up in the daily shuffle of their own lives, and I don’t expect people to jump out of their seats to read an almost narcissistic attempt at me trying to explain myself.

Growing up, my siblings and I weren’t praised for doing things that my parents felt we should already be doing as a human being. Getting an A on an assignment meant nothing, but getting a B would get me in trouble. Being in activities at school took time away from things I could be doing to help the family, such as working, and providing things. After a while I stopped expecting anyone to come to my shows, I didn’t expect to see a familiar face at curtain call of my first major production, I just didn’t expect much support in general. I was always astounded to see people’s entire families supporting them, and wondered what that felt like. I wondered why I didn’t have that, but never really questioned it, because I never had that.

Coming out to my family, meant silent treatments, forced dates w/ daughters of their friends, and prayer time. Not to mention that one time that I overheard that the prayer time focus was to “pray the gay” out of me. I never questioned, I never declined, I was subservient, because we were raised that way.

Our bodies were also fully open for discussion. Our weight, our clothing choices, even our body language was critiqued daily.

“Don’t sit that way, you look gay.” The word faggot was thrown around whenever someone was upset with me, by my siblings, not by my parents of course, but they never felt the need to defend me from this word, or even try to explain that this word could be hurtful.

Once again, this isn’t an attempt to make my parents out to be some kind of villains, but an attempt to shed light on the fact that a lot of minority households are run this way, and it’s not okay. You don’t have a say in your life. Personal space or privacy is not a thing in minority households. You don’t close doors, you answer anything that is asked, nothing is private. Which actually could be a great way to have a parent/child relationship. UNLESS it’s one sided. I started to feel extremely unhappy. Unhappy is an understatement. I went to my mother and told her what I was feeling, and explained that I even felt that it may be depression and was told, “black people don’t get depression.” I cried. For a long time. I tried to ask for help, but mental illness is something that just isn’t a thing for minorities. Unless of course you’re gay, then you have a mental illness. I kept living this way.

Then I met Lucas. Cue the butterflies, cue the heart eyes, cue me being okay for a period of time. I never have and never will meet anyone that will ever live up to the way Lucas treated me, the kindness that he showed not only me but everyone around him. After years of living a certain lifestyle all of that changed. Lucas attended shows, Lucas didn’t mind that I wanted to write music, Lucas supported me in anything that I wanted to do. He was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and my life, and I’ll always be grateful for him. He taught me more about loving people, being kind to people, and accepting people than anyone ever had.

Lucas died.

Is there a word more intense than devastated? Whatever the worst feeling on earth is, that’s what I felt. I had a long talk with a coworker, and told her what I was feeling, and she told me, “black people don’t get depression.” Holy shit, this was really a thing. Her parents had taught her this too? This wasn’t just my household? Oh my god, we were kind of normal. Fuck no, this isn’t normal.

I found Smule. Smule was nice, it was fun, it made me feel… something. Anything, I didn’t feel completely empty. Smule exploded. People told me I was good, I hadn’t had this before, it was nice. I joined the line app. That was the worst decision I’ve ever made as far as Smule goes. People called me names, people were mean, people wished death on me. I didn’t understand why. I’m not mean to people, unless they do something to me first. The last straw for me was being invited to a chat, going into that chat, and realizing the purpose of the chat was to make fun of me, and say hurtful things to me. Some of you reading this were probably in that chat, and I want you to know, that was one of the worst moments of my life, but I forgive you. You didn’t mean to call me a faggot. You didn’t mean to call me fat. You didn’t mean to tell me that you wish my father would die from the cancer he’d been diagnosed with. I forgive you. I cried, again. Like many times before.

In the end, with all of this being said, as mentioned before my father was diagnosed with cancer, and I dropped everything in my life to move back home to take care of him. That’s how I was raised, and I’ll always do that. The things I said here could never take away the fact that I’ll always take care of people that I love. Over the years I’ve become very good at pretending I’m happy for the sake of other people.

I’m loud, because it’s the only way people hear me. I complain, because no one listens to me otherwise. I love people too hard, and I expect way too much, because no one ever expected anything from me.

Recently, I finally stopped listening to everyone else and got a psych evaluation on my own.

Black people DO indeed get depression.

I’m finally taking the steps to better my own life, and to make the rest of it a positive experience for me, and the people around me. My parents have been working on our relationship, and I’ve cut ties w/ a lot of my siblings. I have a few friends, and that’s okay. Like I said, this isn’t a cry for attention, but more so to understand this person that y’all interact with on a daily. I’m sure you notice the mood swings. I’m sure you notice the random fits of anger. I’m sure you notice the fact that I no longer am the little gay push over who allowed people to do and say to him what they please. However, I’m trying to find a balance. I shifted too far the other way, but hey everyone is working on themselves everyday. Hopefully you understand me better, and maybe seeing someone else talk about things this way will help others understand that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. However, if you feel you need to seek help, absolutely do. Anyway, I’ll see y’all around.