It’s no secret I’m a nerd. I was nerd-cool before being a nerd was cool. Ok, no I wasn’t, but I was still a nerd. A TV nerd, a movie nerd, a drama nerd, and my personal favorite – a comic nerd.
That’s why growing up, and getting to experience the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as an adult, has been off the charts amazing. Unless you’re watching any of the X-Men movies (minus Logan), or anything with Ryan Reynolds in it, pre-Deadpool. Then, you’re probably looking to slit your wrists before the movie hits the halfway point.
But one thing, that has made experiencing these movies as an adult so much more enjoyable, is that the characters have gone from iconic gods with amazing powers, who I wish I could grow up and be like, to….well, iconic gods with amazing powers, who I wish I could grow up and be like, but who are also flawed human beings.
They’re all regular people, just like us…who just happen to be able to kick some major ass with super powers, and cool suits…again, unless you’re watching the X-Men films, or anything with Ryan Reynolds in it, pre-Deadpool.
They’re flawed. Really flawed, and suffering; usually second guessing some decisions they wish they made differently, or someone they lost because of a poor decision they made. Just look at mainstay in this first 3 phases of the MCU; Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
He’s cool, he’s rich, he’s super-duper smart….like *Havad Smaht (*Boston accent)…he can have any woman he wants, and…his life is basically a shit show. And just when he gets it pretty much together, what does he do? He jumps aboard a spaceship to go fight Grimace on steroids, and loses.
And then there’s Thor….well, Thor pretty much laid out all his failings in Infinity War, so I’m going to give him a break.
Ahh, what about my all time favorite superhero? Why? Because he’s relatable to us nerds. He’s a nerd!! A nerd who was minding his own business, daydreaming about the girl in school he had a crush on, and out of nowhere, BANG….bitten by a radioactive spider on a field trip – now he’s Spider-Man.
Spider-Man was created just for this very reason. He’s the every man; the average joe; the person out there who just yearns to be more, but has resigned himself to never will. And then one…he gets his shot.
Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man has always been, and always will be my favorite superhero. But, after seeing Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, I feel like I relate to this hero so much more now. Obviously I’m not talking about Miles Morales…even though we have a ton in common. We’re both young, good looking kids. We’re both artist. We’re both really smart; half Latino, half African American….wait, no…scratch that last part.
I’m talking about Peter Parker…Peter B. Parker to be exact. Who is Peter B. Parker? Well, some argue he’s the “real Spider-Man” we’ve been following all these years. But, for the sake of explanation; Peter B. Parker is from Earth-TRN701. Sorry, I know I got all nerdy on you. To put it simply; he’s one of the Spider-Mans…Mens?…Spider-People? I mean, there was a woman, and a talking pig, soooooo.
Sorry, got distracted there.
Basically, his story is he’s been Spider-Man, on his version of Earth, for 22 years, and now he’s kind of bored with it….oh, and he’s pretty much lost everyone important to him, through various reasons. Most notably; the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson had divorced him because he wasn’t around very much, and his actions began to hurt her.
So, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with everything up top. Hold on, I’m getting there.
Basically, I see myself in the flawed nature that is Peter B. Parker. Peter always wants to do the right thing, but, anyone who knows Spider-Man’s story, knows that a lot of the time, Peter ends up paying a hefty price for decisions he makes on the fly. Because something he’s always struggled with, and even mentions in the movie that he’s sick of hearing about…look no further than the title of this post.
The originator of the saying this post is titled after, is Peter’s Uncle Ben. No, not the rice guy, dummy! Ben tells, a still wet behind the ears Spider-Man, that he needs to grow up a bit, and think before he leaps, because…well, the more powerful you are, the greater risk you have of hurting others. And I think we all know what happened the very next day. No? You don’t know? Well here, I’ll save you a google search…heads up – Uncle Ben dies, and it’s pretty much all Peter’s fault.
Quick side note…yes, I know Uncle Ben is not the first person to say, With great power comes great responsibility. But, if I had said, Oh hey…Voltaire said it first; I’m willing to bet more people know who Uncle Ben is, over Voltaire. Which is a sad fact…anyway, I digress….
I feel like I’ve taken that saying with me through life. Not that I’ve ever had a great deal of power, but at certain points in my life, and in your life, and in everyone’s life – the choices we make, end up affecting other people’s lives. It happens every day, especially when you’re a parent. But it happens in our daily lives as well.
For years I was in management. I tried my hand in several different industries as a manager, and while the money was usually pretty good; the end result was always the same. I would burn out fast, and end up hating everything, and everyone around me…not unlike parenting.
I feel like I’ve “managed” pretty well; at work, and somewhat with the kids. I mean, they’re alive, sooooo….I’m totally above the curve. One area I haven’t done so well…or to put it in more realistic terms; I’ve outright failed at, is my personal life, especially since I’ve had this online platform.
For years now, I’ve had this forum, and I’ve loved spending all this time with you. I’ve gotten so many messages from people telling me how sharing my struggles with mental illness, or growing up in an abusive home, or even jokes about my kids helps them get through the day. But, for every hundred of those messages or comments on a post, or seeing someone say, “You’re doing great”; I’ve knowingly hurt someone, by sharing personal details that cast them in a bad light. Did I lie? No…well, not in my opinion. But that doesn’t matter.
Recently, as I’m sure you’ve read; I’ve been, once again, on a journey of self-discovery. And while I’ve said this before; this time, it’s sinking in a whole lot more:
The problem with self discovery is, all the self you discover.
I’ve come to realize my attitude of, Well, if you don’t want me to talk about how you hurt me. You shouldn’t have hurt me, is in it’s own way, worse than what (I perceived) the person did to hurt me. Why? Because I took that hurt, and instead of turning inward, and focusing on myself; doing the proper work, or self-reflection, boundary work, and in turn communicating my feelings with that person; I turned outward, and projected my feelings, to all of you.
My life has always been about one thing; I seek to fill a hole that was created a long time ago. Created by the worst kinds of people – at an age when I couldn’t even grasp the concept of boundaries, but I could understand disappointment and abuse. A hole that could have, and should have by now, been filled by the adult I am today. Yet, that hole remains open; a never ending chasm of self-loathing and doubt. I’ve sought to fill it with comments and praise, and defense…and as laughable as it sounds – love, from thumbnails on a computer screen. From people I will never meet, and who have no idea of who I really am; instead of talking with the person who I feel hurt by and figuring out where we go from there.
My approach has been something like, Oh, you brought a knife? Great, I brought a nuke, and the fallout is going to be way worse than the wound you gave me. Oh, and everyone is going to blame you. Good luck.
Ok, to be fair…that’s never my attitude, or actual intention; I’m not a freaking sociopath, but that’s still how it feels to the other person. An argument or slight between two people, eventual turned into 1 person vs 40,000 or so. And I’ve come to realize, I’ve done it more than once…which is far too many times.
Recently, I had a major falling out with someone very special to me. The falling out was over something I believe to be a major deal breaker, but the details are not important (here). She doesn’t disagree with that assessment, but I forgave her. I forgave her because I know her actions weren’t the real her. I’m not excusing anything, nor am I speaking for her. We are very similar, her and I. We both live with, and work very hard, fighting our battles with anxiety and depression. So, while some in my life may not agree with my forgiveness…I don’t care. I see her. I know her. And I would forgive her again.
Unfortunately, there was more miscommunication, and some fall out; in part to my young Peter Parker like rash decision making, and I shared with all of you, details about our situation that…well, were none of your business.
In short, I hurt her…badly. I betrayed her trust. Violated her boundaries, and privacy, and worst of all – I broke her heart. People in my online community found her, and insulted her via messenger. Which, by the way, if you are one of those people; get the hell out of my community. Yes, I shared that unfortunate story, but you don’t have the right to attack someone on my behalf. Especially not someone who I love very much. And, you don’t even know me! I could be the biggest asshole on this planet…I mean, some people already think I am. Which is well earned at this point.
I did it to my ex wife too. She supported my writing all the years we were together. She never once told me not to publish something when I was writing about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother. Which naturally lead me to write about us splitting, and the how I had asked for a divorce, not even a few weeks after it happened. I let her read what I wrote. Nothing was mean, or inflammatory, and she said, Ok.
I found out later, it hurt her badly when I published it. She was sad, mourning, and embarrassed. The wound of our marriage ending – still fresh and painful as ever, but I just had to write. All because I felt I had the right to publish whatever I want. Because, you all would be there for me. You would see I was the good one here. I would have all of you…what would she have? A broken heart and feelings of betrayal…that’s what she had. All because my feelings were hurt. The same for my most recent person.
I love this person very much. In fact, she IS my person. And while I’ve learned a lot over the last month about my own toxic personality traits, none of that will take back the words I said; the hurt she has experienced, or the absolute neglect in how I handled her heart. I had no right. It wasn’t my place, and it wasn’t your business.
I know, some people think we online personalities owe you unblocked access into our lives 24/7, because we ask you to like and share our crap. But, that’s all this really is…crap. Especially now, because I literally shit all over someone I care for more than life itself.
I found the person, I know for a fact…know it in my soul, that I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. How many people can say that? Especially after coming out of a divorce. And then some things went sideways, and a lot of hurt happened. And then I cut her so deep, because that hole wasn’t being filled by her…even though that’s not her job.
The worst part…if that wasn’t bad enough; is that 3, young and innocent little kids got swept up in all that. I wanted to share the details how, but….no. I think this is where I’ll start over.
I’m not doing this anymore. I’m not sharing my life like that anymore. It belonged to someone else, and I hurt her. I’m not sure she would ever share this life with me, nor would I blame her. And, spare me any comment about they knew what they were getting into, because fuck that. I know better. I don’t have to share my life with to that degree. I don’t have to hit publish, or run to you faceless people every time my feelings are hurt. I should have gone to her, not you.
She’s the one that found me; broken and raw, and saw beauty, and something worth investing in; not you. She’s the one that held me when I had panic attacks and kept the kids occupied so they wouldn’t see me like that; not you. She’s the one who taught me how to move forward when I was still stuck in my post-separation funk; not you. And how do I repay her? By breaking her heart.
Some of you are going to naturally see this as me just feeling lonely, or hurt, and wishing she would come back. Or that I’m making excuses for someone who didn’t really care about me, and I’m willing to do anything to not be alone. Well, you can join the people who decided to attack my person, if you’re one of those people.
Like the superheroes of our youth; we’re all flawed people. We’re all capable of greatness, and we’re all capable of destruction. We have to decide which one we want to be…and be prepared for the ramifications from our choices because, with great power comes great responsibility…and loving someone; being entrusted with their heart and soul, is the greatest power of all.
I saw quote today that made me think of this post. It read, Beautiful people can still make ugly choices. I think that pretty much sums up the last month and some change between my person and I. But, of the two of us…I made the ugliest choice anyone could make, and I don’t feel so beautiful right now.
So, consider this my official notice of termination. I’m not leaving, but I’m not sharing very much anymore, unless it’s something about happiness or joy, or in some way can help someone. Because right now, all I see is hurt.
To my ex-wife:
From the bottom of my heart…I’m deeply sorry for hurting you. While our relationship may not have ended the best terms; you are good person, and amazing mother to our children. And you deserved better than what I offered you in parting. And for that, I am eternally sorry.
To my special person:
You too are an amazing person, and and even more amazing mom. Continue on your journey. I’m so proud of you. You have inspired me in so many ways. I will never be able to take back the things I said, but I am sorry. I will always love you, and cherish the time we had together. I’m sorry I let you down…I’m beyond sorry I let *him* down. But you deserve better than me…the current me, and I wish you all the happiness in the world. Thank you for everything you brought into my life.