Spotlight Sessions: Adam
Okay, here goes. This post is mostly about my story and what I go through almost everyday. What I do to get through it and what i’ve done in the past to get to where I am today. A somewhat mentally stable, YOUNG professional human.
I don’t have life figured out and I’m in no way a master at how the mind works. But, I have been doing a lot of research and reading over the last 10 years to help me get to where I am at this moment. I feel that I’m dealing with my mental health much more resourcefully and successfully. There are times though when the voices in the back of my mind will take over, to a dark place and it can be a struggle to find my feet to walk back into the sunlight.
So, as most of you will know i’m mixed race. Half Indian, half English and unless you’re in that same minority, you’ll know how feeling different can either be detrimental to your sense of self or rewarding. In some social situations being the minority can be advantageous as I belong to 2 races and can relate to more things and in other situations there’s that awareness about whether you belong or not, as a child I experienced racism from both sides and that opened my mind up to adapting to fit in.
I made choices that didn’t align with who I was because i didn’t know who that was. I’d say in honesty that it’s only recently i’m starting to identify with who I am. For many years I didn’t like who I was. At my worst i’m stubborn, irrational, cruel, calculating, selfish, hateful, weak and damaging. I’m so scared to be seen as a person who doesn’t have it together. I’m terrified that at any moment i’ll be exposed as a fraud, someone who displays only what I want the world to see. When a part of my ego is bruised I lash out because it’s easier to try and hurt someone else than it is to face what I fear most: that I’m broken. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of pain to understand that, to understand that I was only a reflection of what I believed was true and because I didn’t know who I was, I believed everything negative that everyone else said about me.
At my best I’m powerful, forgiving, caring, funny, humble, confident, loving and the opposite of all those things I said above. But I struggle to find the equilibrium.
There are some things i’m still learning to come to terms with and right now I believe I have the strength to share them with others. I won’t go into detail as i’m still trying to figure out how to fit these pieces into my own life but I am a survivor of abuse, of homophobia, of racism. I have survived domestic violence and trauma that children shouldn’t have to piece together. I’m fighting everyday, sometimes I lose and sometimes I win. But I fight.
Almost 3 years ago my world, my families world in fact was hit hard by the death of my older brother. Damian was the strongest fighter I knew. He battled with mental health issues silently, and I only wish that he could have shared one of his struggles with me. I wish he could have felt that he had someone to share that burden, whether it was me, someone else in the family or just a stranger so he didn’t feel so alone. I’m still dealing with the loss and i’m dealing with it everyday. One of the ways that i’m dealing with it is through this group and the projects we have planned for the future and in some way, Damian lives on by the work thats being done to encourage an open space where others can share their stories so that even if one person relates and reaches out, that person will feel a sense of belonging and the loneliness will fade, even just slightly.
I applaud anyone who can share their story and i’m so thankful that you’re able to read mine. I just wish I could have been reading those same words, but from my brother. There is no shame in fighting and there is no shame in feeling like giving up but it is a shame if we are made to feel like we can’t be who we are and share our struggles and what makes us, us.