Being Superman

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

After a shitstorm of a day today, I sat in my apartment staring at my phone wondering how this simple statement made me feel as naked as the day I was born. Wondering how this short section of a conversation over text messages just revealed all my personality flaws to the world. My imperfections. My pain. My loss. My stress. My weaknesses. My doubts. Everything was out in the open.

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

The crazy thing is, sometimes I don’t. The crazy thing is, I try so hard to be Superman and sometimes I believe it. No, I don’t think I came from Krypton, but I do try to convince people that I don’t bleed. I try to convince people that I’m not human.

Pain is in the mind and, throughout my life, I’ve chosen to let it stay there. I’m not one to wear my heart on my sleeve. Unless I want you to know how I feel, you won’t. It’s that simple. Trying to read my body language or hoping for subconscious cues are useless. I’m like Mike McDermott from Rounders and you’re Teddy KGB. There are people who’ve known me for years who have never seen me angry, sad, or upset. A lot of times, I legitimately don’t get upset or sad. Some of the things that happen to me aren’t that big of a deal to get upset over. Other times, when I do find myself at odds with certain emotions, I choose not to display or, sometimes, even acknowledge them to myself.

Why am I hiding? Why the shell? That’s a good question. Part of the problem is my twisted perception of weakness. Every now and again, I’ll have a conversation with myself that goes something like this: “You’re feeling overwhelmed/stressed/upset? So what? How many other people have problems too? Get your head out of your ass.” I don’t have time to cry over spilled milk. The problem is, sometimes I just ignore the milk altogether and don’t clean it up. Then later, I slip and bust my ass on the milk that I should have dealt with before. Now I have milk on my pants.

I’m also reluctant to “accept” sympathy or comfort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said some variation of “I’m good” when someone was trying to comfort me. It’s almost a natural reaction. It’s not that I don’t appreciate or desire it. I just don’t want a pity party. And quite honestly, I find myself not wanting to be a burden to others. My problems are my problems. No need to get you involved in my mess or emotions. I want to find a solution myself or just deal with it. I guess it’s just me trying to seem strong. Which brings me to the reason why I won 2009’s Biggest Hypocrite Award…

I’m not Dr. Phil, but if you need someone to talk to about your problems, odds are I won’t turn you away. Odds are, I’d welcome it. I enjoy being there for people almost to a fault (actually, precisely to a fault). Oh, my insults and assholery threw you off? They often do. Seriously, not only does it make me feel good on a moral level, but on an intellectual level as well. Reading people is one of my most favorite things to do and when people talk to me about their problems or issues, I get a chance to do a, albeit crude, psychoanalysis on them. The problem is, sometimes sympathizing with someone becomes an attempt to “save” them. To help them out of their rut and carry some of their baggage for them. The only benefit that I get is knowing that they feel better, which is usually more than enough for me. The only hinderance is that my emotional load gets that much heavier, which is a sacrifice I’m always willing to give for those who need it.

The funniest thing about this is that Superman is actually one of the superheroes that I like the least. His extraterrestrial origin and near-perfect qualities make him almost impossible to sympathize with. Impossible to connect with. It makes me wonder how many people feel that way about me. The guy who never seems to admit to being angry or aggravated. Scared or sad. Depressed or doubtful. How can anyone connect with someone who doesn’t acknowledge that they bleed?

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

Yeah I know. But sometimes, I take the bullet anyway.

-TDA

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13 thoughts on “Being Superman

  1. I don’t think I need to leave a heavy comment. I stand by all that I’ve said and if I must repeat it, you really aren’t Clark Kent with the spandex on. Remember everything I said. I’m gonna like this post then tease you later in the am about it. ^_^

    Great one Kent.

  2. Good post TDA. You got deep this morning.

    I feel you on a lot of this post because I’m far from an overly emotional guy. I constantly work on not shielding my emotions from anyone. I too believed that my feelings and problems are mine so back off. This was going fine until that loved thing kicked in. I could no longer be “emotionally selfish” any more. Hell, I’ve only cried about five times sense ’96.

    Long story short is that I work on it for my sake and those that I love.

    P.s. I don’t like Superman either. I could spend an entire week writing posts as to why I don’t like that character. Sorry if I rambled.

  3. Great post, broham. There is no need to be Superman because its unattainable, hell ppl should strive to be Clark Kent either. Each person has a different emotional threshold. You know me, I’m like the Hulk, the slightest thing that I take out of proportion will make me angry and take a while to calm me down.

    If you want to work on changing how you react emotionally to things, just take little step which will help you out in the long run.

    Oh yea, Batman is a much better superhero to be than lame ass Superman

    • I don’t completely hate being this way. It has proven to be a tactical advantage through a lot of scenarios. But I just don’t want to be so concerned with my image of “strength” that I block out the people who I should have access to all of me. Just gonna work on it some more.

  4. Wow, I like the new digs!

    I can completely relate to this post, but I learned a long time that I’m not Supergirl and will just have to settle for being human.

    P.S I don’t completely understand the dislike of Superman, it’s not like he’s completely infallible.

    • Thanks! I felt like I needed to spruce up the place a little.

      Ugh, being human sucks though. I don’t have to be Superman anymore if I can be a robot.

      And although Superman isn’t completely infallible, he’s close enough to it that it makes for a character that is hard to bond with. At least that’s my reason.

  5. “The funniest thing about this is that Superman is actually one of the superheroes that I like the least.”

    Maaaaan, I’ve gotten in EPIC “Superman vs. Batman” debates. I’m talkin from folks that are my age to middle-aged men. I’m a Batman gal. 😉

    Anyway, on to serious matters.

    This. Is. Me. (In fact, been meaning to write about this. Blog topic thief!) Well, not so much that I can’t show my emotions to folks that are close to me… because well, I’m a Leo… and I do… boy do I. But, this is me in the sense that I don’t ask for help until the very last minute. I’m a Leo… I have pride. Pride Rock up in this piece. (see what I did there?)

    But, I LOVE helping others… often to the point where it goes too far. Like, I’ve helped others and then ended up in a position where I needed help BECAUSE I helped them. It’s definitely more of a flaw than good thing sometimes. I always have to remind myself that I have to take care of me before I’m in the position to help others…

    *tries to stop self from actually writing my post in this comment section*

    Great writeup… especially the last line. That made me go “hmmm… tshirt.”

    • “But, this is me in the sense that I don’t ask for help until the very last minute. I’m a Leo… I have pride.”

      Yup, this is me too (the pride part, not being a Leo. Aquarius up in this bitch). I don’t ask for help until the last minute, if at all. It’s a terrible habit and one that comes back to bite me all the time. *shrug*

      “I always have to remind myself that I have to take care of me before I’m in the position to help others…”

      And yes to all this.

  6. thanks for being so transparent, B. this was a well written post!!!

    since i know you offline, i think this is all part of growing up and maturing. you’ll learn to find outlets and put down the superman front when its necessary. trying to be superman isnt always a bad thing. and not being superman isnt a bad thing either. you’ll find a balance.

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