Why are you a geek?
You have probably been asked the same question numerous times before. “Normal” people, and yes the quotation marks are there for a reason folks, can understand you having a hobby. They can see that you like to go see Star-wars movies with your children. Explaining just why you need to collect action figures, dress up like Link or move little plastic models around on a table going pew-pew is a tad more difficult. Suddenly it’s more than a hobby. You are a geek/nerd/weirdo.
This week I have been confronted (again) with having to explain myself to “normals”. Again, I point to the “ “ , emphasizing that I’m taking the term very loosely. I wanted to explain what I am and what I do by “Well…it keeps me out of bars” or “SUE ME, I LIKE IT!” At the end of the day, I was still defensive about it. Suddenly, I was an outcast..again. It made me think. Why am I like this?
Being the bold (bold..not bald) individual that I am, let me tell you about my biggest scar. The thing that hurt me most in my life and that well…ended up defining it. Even..no, especially as an adult.
I was bullied. Probably like so many of you. Between the age of eight, straight up to the adolescent age of seventeen, I was afraid to go to school. The usual story I guess. A fat ginger kid with pimples had no right to be left alone. I was called names, pushed, spit-on, my belongings vandalized, dragged out of the toilets with my pants down, smacked and what is maybe the worst…..ignored.
By the age of thirteen I wanted to break my own limbs just so I could stay at home. I did.
This year I had to learn that schools react just the way they did in the eighties..awkwardly and with as little attention to the matter as possible. That’s progress for ya.
One thing got me through…well…partially until I became big enough to intimidate my bullies in turn. Superheroes.
I vividly remember sitting on the edge of the bathtub, desperately trying to find a way not having to go to school. Almost panicked. My compendium of the Marvel universe was lying next to me. An encyclopedia of all the heroes and villains I loved. I knew their “real” names, their origins, abilities..you name it. They were my friends and allies. Every day, I closed my eyes and opened the book at a random page. THAT was the hero I was that day. Those powers, on that page, were mine to use in fighting of my tormentors. Did It help? Truly? No, the punishment came through regardless. The insults did not bounce back on some vibranium shield. What it did was forge me though. A geek was born.
I continued reading comics, playing games, collecting robots…being weird. Football and girls were the furthest things from my mind. Well, the football anyway, the latter subject just scared me.
Somehow being geeky gave me a thin shield. Something to keep me sane during the day until I could go home and envelope myself in my own world.
At the age of seventeen, I started to get bigger, so I jumped at the chance to lift weights, box and develop a “mean guy” persona. That ended the bullying. At least until I started working full time.
Bullying is often defined as “A systematic abuse of Power” Someone is being bullied when there is a long-term exposure to psychological discomfort by one or more external parties.
Indeed, it does not stop when you are an adult.
I am a geek because I love all things supernatural. I adore shaping worlds in my head and enjoy the creations of other people. Escapism it may be, but sometimes it holds a candle to the gray world we live in. In our world, the villains often get away with being the bad guys. They become our leaders.
This is my origin story. The powers I have are not dazzling. I do not shoot laser beams or manipulate the force. I see the world through geeky eyes. That is all the power I need.