I don’t want to be relatable.
I want to be unique. One of a kind and once in a lifetime. This isn’t to say I think I am something special.
I just don’t wish my life on other people. People who understand and relate to me only fill me with more sadness. There are some who would say it is nice to not feel alone. There is strength in knowing there are others out there. I gather no strength from empathy. Only sadness, looking in the eyes of someone who has been through hell and back too.
I wouldn’t wish sadness and wounds, never seeming to fully heal, on anyone. And why would I? To know near unbearable sadness late at night, as you run your hands up the side of a half-drunk bottle, collecting the cold condensation because at that moment your insides are yearning for your outsides to feel something, anything.
No, I would like to hope that is my cross to bear. Maybe that is martyrdom. What is wrong with that?
I want to tell you a story.
There was a boy who enjoyed walking around in cowboy boots. That boy sang his heart out to anyone who would stand by to listen. He loved his mother and he loved his God.
There was a boy who was left with someone who didn’t care he was a little boy. Enticements and promises to a young boy, making the boy vulnerable, and scared.
There was a boy who started feeling angry, and hurt, and confused. He knew what had happened was wrong, but didn’t know how to approach it.
He loved his mother and he loved his God. He loved his family, and feared disappointing everyone. He chose to bury the memories.
There was a boy, who suddenly woke up halfway across the country and became used to the sound of the belt as it cracked against his backside. Told it was for his own good, he got used to not seeing his God every week.
It was all for his best interest.
Told he would never be loved as a child. He watched, as the cowboy boots and songs in his heart were discarded.
His life, upended and replaced.
He had nightmares. Knocked quietly on doors before being turned back to far his nightmares alone.
He would read the dirty messages written on the underside of his bed. The wood frame holding secrets of it’s past owner. Learning words he never knew existed. He would squeeze himself beneath his bed and read the words, because in the tightness underneath his bed he felt safe from the monsters keeping him awake at night.
Once there was a boy, who loved his mom and loved his God. He loved his family.
Let me tell you another story.
There is a man. He spends his days trying to find balance. He sings, to his children, in that way he knows just how to make them laugh. He misses his mother and doesn’t speak to his God.
His body, if you examined it, is an intricate patchwork of scars. His hands are covered in cuts and scrapes from being used to earn a paycheck daily. His skin has always quickly turned cuts and scrapes into scars. They bleed, they scab, they heal over and he forgets about them after the bleeding.
He struggles looking for balance. Yet, in the rage of emotions, he finds time daily to take photos of his children. He wants proof of life lived, happily. Not for himself, but for his children.
He loves his family and struggles daily to keep his emotions in check. He feared disappointing everyone. He chose to photograph every memory.
The man wakes up sometimes and feels crippled by sadness and anger. It leaves him chained to the bed, for fear he takes it out on his family. For everyone’s own good, he becomes absent.
In his absence, memories continue to be made. He forces himself to be a part of them, because being crippled is being selfish.
He doesn’t sleep much and when he does there is tossing and turning and overthinking. He writes, wrapping himself tightly in words where he feels safe from the monsters.
Today, there is a man, who loves his family. He doesn’t speak to his God and his mom is gone.
A boy becomes a man, things change and life moves on. Daily a man has battles with demons a boy long fought and lost. Some days he wins, sometimes he loses, but the thought that demons like his die with him someday keep him going. The idea that, no matter how badly it hurts sometimes, these are battles his children won’t experience because they are secluded to him, they provide comfort.
I don’t want to be relatable. I want to be the furthest thing.
Briton Underwood, better known as Punk Rock Papa, is a parent above all else. When he gets sick of being at their beck and call, he likes to escape to his page or site. He writes about any and everything he wants, but mainly about his twin boys or his newest addition- another boy. He also would like the world to know he has a beautiful wife, because the couch isn’t that comfy.