The book I have just published is already causing a bit of upset, and I am sorry for this. I am sorry if it upsets you, but everything I wrote was, for me, truth. When I write, it comes from a place of pure integrity and humility; a place of undiluted honesty. Everything in that book was written and drawn from what I felt during that place and time. Nothing is said with malice or ill-intent; it’s simply my version of events. People won’t take them as gospel, and neither they should, because there are always multiple versions of stories. My book is simply one of them: Mine. It’s not my way to get back at people or to drag them, or saying that I don’t want them in my life. It’s my catharsis. Don’t make it about you, because for once in my life this is completely about me. I implore all my friends and family that read my book to keep this in mind.
There are only so many times you can be mocked, or misunderstood. Called ‘slut’ or be hurt by someone before eventually your skin thickens and your backbone strengthens. There’s only so much you can take before you start questioning the world and firing back so rapidly that many people will think you’re even more of a nut job. To survive and get success, I must be willing to be okay with that. As somebody that really struggles with the idea of being disliked, this is hard for me.
I look back at my life and how I’ve acted in the past with both fascination and disgust. There was this period where I didn’t care what anyone thought of me; like, literally I didn’t give a single fuck what they thought. That period had its merits, its pluses; but it also came with a lot of loneliness and fatigue. Being on the defensive every day gnaws away at your insides. Nowadays I still adopt that persona, but I feel every dent of every word and negative comment harder than I ever have. It’s hard to keep my head up; to pretend I don’t care. It’s so draining shoving these 200lbs emotions to the side every day, just so people don’t see me as weak or whatnot. But it shows through a lot. I get angry a lot. I go on rants, say things in the heat of the moment (a lot) and thus I feel even worse afterwards as I’ve painted this image of myself that isn’t life-like at all.
To be completely honest, I look back at most of my life and shudder and cringe at many of life decisions that came from that place of ‘not giving a fuck.’ Some of these moments aren’t particularly harmful. For insistence, my ‘emo/goth’ stage where I insisted on wearing those fingerless gloves and sported a fringe that hung over the front of my face like a depressed shower curtain won’t exactly echo throughout the rest of my life. Those periods where I pretended to like certain TV shows and movies and bands simply to get people to shut up about it hasn’t had a domino effect either. Arguments I’ve had though will. Cutting contact with people will. My pride is both a blessing and a curse and my unwillingness to accept that I am human, that I am weak, that I am flawed, that I am sometimes wrong and that people may see me for who I really am – vulnerable – is too much for me to often admit.
Over the last few weeks I have been hurt so many times by so many people I’ve reached the point where I just want to yell at them and say ‘don’t be an asshole.’ I’ve hit that state of mind where whatever is going to be will be. I am glad because carrying this fake cocky persona around, the one that leaks out anger, has proven to be too much. So enough of the bullshit. Enough taking shit from people. I am not here to pick up the broken pieces of your mediocre life; nor am I here to be the solace you cling too during that period of romantic disarray between you and your partner. I am not your therapist and I most certainly am not here when, and if, it suits you. If you are my friend I am there for you, I am a good person like that. But don’t be an asshole. Don’t treat me like monkey meat, because if you do I will boot your metaphorical ass out the door. I don’t need that in my life.
When I reflect, I want to sit down and shake myself. There are plenty of things I’ve done that are downright stupid. That silence you sit in when someone is slagging off a friend of yours. Laughing at a really offensive joke and pretending it is okay that someone calls you a faggot. I’ve left people out because some of my friends didn’t like them. These are all shitty things to have done, and I really regret them. I spent a large chuck of my life trying to appease people and make certain people like me: Topher, granter of wishes. Only instead of a lamp it was probably a vodka bottle or my crotch they rubbed. I wish I could change that, but I can’t.
If I could I’d go back in time and tell seven-year-old Topher that it’s totally fine he’s shite at football. I would tell teenage Topher to shower more and that the straight guys that used him for sex or bullied him are just assholes and that he is above all that. I want tell the version of myself that existed in 2012 that the hurt and anger he is feeling will eventually extinguish and that he was the victim. I want to say to the Topher than went on all those God-awful dates just so he could tell Facebook was he dating that it wasn’t needed; that he didn’t have to pretend to like oysters because in fact they taste like snot. I want travel back to the other week and tell myself that it’s okay if that gaggle of gays doesn’t like you. Topher, you’re not cool. FUCK being cool. Being cool is overrated.
I am exactly like you. I don’t love myself, despite what the persona I throw in the World’s face may suggest. I struggle with the concept of religion; I juggle my belief in God, in spirituality, in science daily. I struggle with myself daily. If you’re speaking shit about me, kindly zip it. Because you don’t know me. Friends and family that have issues with me, if you don’t want me in your life any more then that’s fine. As a member of the LGBT community I get to make my own family. And lastly, I want to tell anyone that speaks shit about me, has an opinion on me that is based on one drunken encounter or what they’ve heard from others. Don’t be an asshole.