Kendrick Lamar – Mortal Man
Do you think about death?
I notice there are huge contrasts in opinions about suicide. Some people consider it an act of cowardice. “Not being able to deal with reality so taking the easy way out.” Other people regard to it as an act emboldened by the divine or chauvinism (e.g. suicide bombers). And then there’s the group of people who are drained by the drudgery of their human existence to such an extent that they don’t see the purpose of it anymore. I used to be part of this group. (There are probably more groups and opinions, but these are the ones recognizable to me.) Sharing this part of myself is quite hard for me, but my story might be something you can relate to.
Do you have an opinion on suicide?
The longing to end my life was the strongest at age 10, but the emotional process that initiated it started long before that. You know young children can often say anything they want and get away with it (depending on the cultural environment). When I learned how to speak, I would talk everyone’s ears off. It was even so extreme that once I invited a homeless person to my birthday party. (He never showed up, though, haha.) The people who were victim of my curiosity and enthusiasm would always respond to me with the same warmth, so I thought this was how all humans communicate. This was seemingly just how people treat young children, because they’re innocent. What made me odd as a kid was that I was emotionally hypersensitive. When, for example, a parent of one of my friends would yell at him/her, my friend wouldn’t really respond to it, and I would end up crying. In Kindergarten the diversity in people’s true nature came to my attention. The only thing I could give people through communication was my love – being mean wasn’t part of my skill set – which made me an easy target for bullies. (I had to learn how to be harsh to be able to fight off these people, and still feel uncomfortable invoking this “self defense mechanism”.)
Have you ever been bullied?
When you express your happiness, enthusiasm or love for someone you expect/hope to get something similar in return, right? (In “economic” terms: you would expect the “emotional marginal cost” – you saying something positive – to be equal to the “emotional marginal benefit” – the (positive) response you get.) For some reason the effects of a negative response would emotionally weigh down on me for a much longer period. If I would tell someone “you have a nice shirt” and he/she would respond with “fuck you”, the memory of this would haunt me for days (or even weeks).
Meanness of others was one of the factors that made me dislike my life, since I was so sensitive. Another one was the education program I followed for children with an above average IQ. We used to do exercises which assisted us to reflect on our emotions and express these. This, however, made me realize how much I bottled up a lot of my feelings, and even though I shared them (in the group), no one would ever really understand them. So my emotional awareness became a burden.
Are you fully aware of your emotions?
Puberty and chronic loneliness were the two final factors that made me favor death over being alive. I was one of the first of girls in my class whose body started to develop, which made me feel very uncomfortable (especially because it went quite fast). And other kids would gossip about it, and that made it worse. But the funny thing about this is that, besides my boobs being too big for my age, I looked and sounded like a dude. And people would mistake me for one, depending on what (oversized) clothing I would be wearing. (My Borat mustache didn’t make it any better either, haha.) Bad looks weren’t the reason for my preferred demise, though, it was the judgment and mistreatment by people in my environment that came with it.
Were you confident about how you looked at the age of puberty?
Is it a given that people who look good get better treatment?
I was, am and always will be a total nerd. Most of my friends were (and are) guys, because my interests were “more manly”. (Gaming, programming, cars, etc. interest me more than shopping and make-up…) But even though my friends were really sweet, the feeling of inner loneliness was stronger. “Who created the universe?” “Why am I black?” “Who is God?” “Where do musicians get their inspiration from?” “Where am I from exactly?” “Do the stars always stay in the same formation through the night?” “Why do we have to go to school?” Were the questions on my mind, but nobody cared about that. (Especially in Kindergarten.) I started to question the purpose of life, but was brainwashed by the idea that we live to work long hours like mindless zombies, which seemed meaningless to me. (Back then I didn’t know there were other ways to survive.)
- Escape @ writing, sports, piano, gaming. Passion @ writing, hoe. Less and less enjoyment.
- Tired. Tired a, b, c. Would rather not exist than experience these emotions. I never signed up for this?
- Monday? Afternoon. Sudden fit of anger & sadness. Grabbed knife. Grandma & sister. Couldn’t leave her, didn’t want it to happen to her too, watch out for her. Deal with myself: make it count. (When sh*t hits the fan….)
- Anxiety: left-over weakness, being indifferent, scared to make mistakes. Business, but peers say get a job. Get a job. Get a job. I don’t want to waste my time and brain capacity! Do it anyway. Put mind to something like mom. Grandfather same ambition. Finish what he started.