Hello all you jolly opinionated folks. I’m S. and I’m a twenty-eight years young, average white man. I dress casually, act like many white people are expected to and live my life, taking care of my business, as I think I should. I have my responsibilities and I tend to live up to them. So, I’m your average, privileged white man. I have absolutely no reason to complain and I’m probably better off than many people of colour, due to my whiteness.
Or that’s how all your social justice media-hogging, politically correct, pro-equality, pro-diversity assholes would perceive me. On the counter-side, I’ve been raised in poverty, in an unstable family with a good share of physical and emotional abuse.
I’ve had the absolute shit kicked out of me from as young as I can remember, because it made daddy feel like a real man. Being an only son and eldest kid didn’t help either. If anything, bad happened, I was blamed. My sisters were better than me and I grew up with this knowledge presented to me in any possible way, by anyone I knew.
I was a curious kid with a fascination for any information I could get my hands on. Never mind amusement parks. I could get lost in museums for hours, whenever I had the chance to do so. So, mommy and daddy made sure to plan fun trips to any museum I read about, with sisters-dear, leaving me to do some medial chores at home, especially cutting grass from around the bushes in our garden, using scissors of some sort. I’d spend hours on my knees, making sure our garden was presentable, while they were visiting such a museum.
But don’t think I missed out. Oh, no. Whenever they got back, they made sure to show me the pictures and extensively tell me how much fun their trip was, especially because I wasn’t there to ruin it for them. Good to know, mom and dad, surely that wouldn’t proceed to scar me for the rest of my life.
Coming from such a great, warm family, I was still somehow to useless for regular schools. I was always bigger and stronger, so whenever there was a fight, who could possibly be to blame but me? I can’t count the times I was punished at schools, for fights I wasn’t even involved in. Teachers hated me, parents hated me, other kids thought I was weird and of course I hated me.
So, I grew frustrated and I became violent. Whenever a kid would push me over the edge, I would burst into some violent rampage. And it became easier and easier to push me over that edge. I hated myself every time I did, because I wanted to be accepted, I wanted to be normal. But I wasn’t. At age ten I was sent to some house for extremely troubled kids. Little did change in the way I was perceived, I was still universally loathed. Any attempt I made to just fit in was sabotaged either by other kids or by the wards. If I recall correctly I had been living there for around half a year when I first attempted to just end it all. Damn near succeeded too, I was found unconscious in a bathtub, my head submerged.
Somehow that event changed the attitude of some wards towards me. Some of them became compassionate, even kind. I was soon placed in a different group, among young teens, a little older than myself. A smart move from whoever made this move, looking back, possibly the first act of kindness I ever experienced.
Because I was younger, I was no longer the big guy who always got the blame for anything and everything. I was no longer constantly picked on, I even made some friends, something that had never happened to me before. Some of these teens even went to do fun activities with me. One girl who was several years older than me took me out, skating. We were both horrible at it but boy, was it fun.
At the same time though, friendly interaction was still very new to me. I never learned how to be friends, so I was a very troubled kid. I was put on heavy medication and due to screw ups from the ward, I received regular double or even triple doses. The medication that was supposed to temper my anger and keep me in check, had some nasty side effects. Mostly they increased my depression. But I wasn’t as bothersome to others, so I kept getting those damn pills. Doses of pills that no one should ever take, let alone a young kid, understandably left their mark. I stuttered for years, I had weird facial twitches and I strongly suspect them to be responsible for the cluster headaches I suffer regularly from to this date.
Eventually my parents took me back in. Troubled and emotionally instable as they were, they did love me. They didn’t want me to be depressed and they thought taking me away from that place would improve my psychological health. They managed to convince my psychiatrist and once again, I lived with my parents. They never hit me since then, though the emotional abuse remained as it was.
Of course, being a troubled kid, I couldn’t go to a regular school. Instead I went to a school that “rather than focusing on education, was about learning troubled kids how to be social”. In other terms, I learned nothing, I had no use and no purpose. If not for my own curiosity and tendency to learn as much as I could, I would have not only been a societal outcast, but one who knew nothing about anything. Including “how to be social”. Regardless, I went to this school until I was no longer required to go to school by the laws in my country.
At age thirteen I started to work at a local farm, with friends of my parents. Really warm, kind and overall amazing people. I looked forward to going there, because it was all I had. But my depression remained. At age sixteen, during a particularly bad phase, I, yet again, attempted to commit suicide. I dropped down a hay stack, head first, aiming for the concrete below. Rather than landing as I hoped, breaking my neck in the process, my foot got stuck mid-fall and I shattered my right knee. I made up some weak excuse because I didn’t want to say I wanted to kill myself,
and my regular visits to that farm came to an abrupt end. To this day, I walk with a limp and I’m no longer able to do a lot of physical work.
Fast forward a decade and it turns out that my lack of a formal education, along with my physical disability, makes it damn near impossible to find a job. I don’t really have the cash to afford an education and I doubt it would do me any good at my age either, since I have so much catching up to do, it would take years to even remotely be able to put an education to use. I’m already “too old” for some jobs, so I’m sitting at home, spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen.
In my daily life, though I’m sure I should be very privileged, I don’t notice too much of it all. I do get mistrusted by strangers, I do hear and face the insults because I look different. My light skin doesn’t really prevent me from standing out among a crowd. After all, I’m abnormally tall, I walk with a limp and I just come across as different. I have been suspected of theft, though I can honestly say I’ve never stolen a thing in my life, nor would I ever want to.
My chances at a normal life are gone. I don’t make any illusions here. I won’t find the love of my life and I won’t land a well-paying job. I won’t blend in with any crowd, even if I tried to fit in. All I can do is make the most of what I have. That’s still a learning process and I’m not as efficient in it as I want to be.
I do have a pretty good mind, more life experience than many people twice my age, a sincere compassion and affiliation with other outcasts and people down on their luck and the ability to rationalize, understand and otherwise deal with any kind of judgmental dickbaggery. I speak my mind whenever my opinion is asked, because I don’t have to try and look normal. I can be honest, because the repercussions one would otherwise face if one spoke their mind, are an average Tuesday to me. I get looked at funny even if I keep my mouth shut. In fact, whenever I do speak, the boring, general folk avoid me and people I find interesting, are far more likely to stick around.
All this gets me nowhere in society, but I can at least say that my life isn’t half bad. I like where I am, even though there are some improvements I hope to make over the coming years. If I left the odds to anyone else, I wouldn’t be here right now.
Now, after all this, back to the start of the story. With the media rambling on about white privilege. What is this white privilege and where can I get me some? I sure as hell could use it.
White man signing out.