As most of us human beings do, my brother was dealing with hardships. However, on his last night, he was online and being bullied. Although, I’m not sure whether or not the bullying contributed to his death or influenced it in any way, I’m positive that it did not help. Now, the sociology of online behavior interests me a great deal more than it ever did before. Since his death, it has taken me years to be as comfortable as I am communicating with anyone online, especially strangers. I’ve made progress since his death, but I am always guarded.
Lately, however, I’m going through substantial hardships of my own. My emotions are being tested, in my mind, to their extremes. I find myself almost inexplicably drawn to the comfort of strangers and people that I only know in cyberspace. With my e-friends, it doesn’t feel as though I’m burdening them with my problems. And, I feel more able to escape the stressors of my reality. Although I wish that my brother hadn’t turned to his e-community in his time of need, I get the draw.
To be honest, I always got the draw. I was mildly cautious but fairly active in online socializing years before my brother passed away. My skepticism was a result of the emotional trauma that I incurred when he passed. I may never embrace online socializing with the almost reckless abandon that I did when I was in my early 20s, but maybe that’s not a terrible thing.
The thing is, I need a hug. And, I need one from someone who isn’t attuned to the personal stench of my pain. I need a hug from someone that can sympathize or, better yet, just blankly and emotionlessly embrace me while I exhale. Empathy just makes me feel guilty. I get that that may have been where my brother was when he detailed his suicide-cocktail to his online community. While I’m not suicidal and can’t see myself going down that path ever again, I will admit that I have surprisingly few things keeping me tethered to this plane of existence. They’re powerful, but few.
Anyway, this new set of hardships inspires me to beg the question, “Why?” I kind of hate that question. I ask it, a lot; but, I hate it. The timing sucks. The situation sucks. I mean, there’s never a great time to go through a break-up/separation/divorce, right? So, I suppose that’s the wrong train of thought– just a distraction. Back to, “Why?” Maybe, it’s to build empathy. I’m not usually a fan of it being directed towards me, but maybe I’ll need to have it for someone else in the future. Or, maybe I’m just supposed to survive. Maybe I’m supposed to be an example for someone of how to live through the situation. Hell, maybe I’ll thrive through it (eventually). Maybe, this dissolution won’t happen and I’ll be my own example of how to work through impossible shit. Maybe, I continue to choose wrong angles with which to look at this situation. Who knows? “Why?” & I are working partners, but far from friends.
I do know this, the hardships that I’ve already lived through… things that made me think that my young heart would spontaneously combust at any moment… things that, for no logical reason, made me believe that I wouldn’t live past the critical age of 25… they’ve prepared me to at least bear through my present situation. It’s still not an easy situation and I feel every teardrop as if its a razor, slowly and concurrently making mirroring slices down my heart and soul. But, I’ll live through this. And, as macabre as it is, I can attribute some of this fortitude to my brother’s infinitely more painful and horrifyingly untimely death.