*Despite the movie reference, this post is important. Please read ALL of it. Word for word. And please do not hesitate to reach out to me, family, friends or a professional if you identify with any of this in a life threatening way.*
The movie X-Men: First Class came out last summer and even if you haven’t seen it, don’t worry; there are no spoilers in this post. The movie is based on a select group of humans who have special powers, thanks to a rare x-gene. The Mutants, as they are referred to, grow up realizing that they can do extraordinary things that the other children cannot, thus they try to hide their abilities and mask their true identity. The ‘normal’ humans see the Mutants as “dangerous and diseased” because they can do these things. Simply stated, the Mutants are feared because they are different and misunderstood. It isn’t until they finally meet other Mutants that they realize there is nothing wrong with them, they are not alone and that together, they can make a difference.
After watching this movie, I couldn’t help but think that while we may not have actual superhuman abilities, most (if not all) of us have felt like a ‘mutant’ or outcast in some way, shape or form, (pun intended) at some point in our life. We’ve all had those days where we thought we would be better off if we hid our true identity from others. Most of us can relate to this notion of feeling lost, misunderstood, like we are alone and don’t belong; as if others don’t really get us or accept us for who we really are.
Hank fears society won’t accept him as he is. When Raven realizes this she tells him, “But you’re beautiful! We are different. We shouldn’t be trying to fit into society. Society should aspire to be more like us. Mutant and proud!” Hank ignores this and injects himself with a self-created compound to hide his mutation. When Hank emerges again he says, “It didn’t attack the cells. It enhanced them. It didn’t work.” To which Raven replies, “Yes it did, Hank. Don’t you see? This is who you were meant to be. This is you. No more hiding.”
What Hank didn’t understand was that he should have been proud of who he was and that regardless of his exterior, he was a beautiful person. He didn’t realize that despite his unusually large hands and feet, the other mutants all respected and loved him anyway.
Unlike Hank, YOU should be proud of who you are. Learn to love and believe in yourself. Accept who you are, who you were born to be, faults and strengths alike. Realize you are beautiful and you shouldn’t pretend to be someone you are not. Just as it is in the movie, people naturally fear what they don’t know. Sadly, social constraints cause people to make snap judgments but you should rise above and be who you want to be, not who your peers or society expect you to be. Raven is right, society should be more accepting of people’s individuality and beauty rather than forcing us to try to fit in with the ‘norm’.
But I get it. It is easier said than done. Life is hard. Feeling like a mutant sucks. It is even harder when you have demons in your head and all around you. Maybe you feel that you are alone in this world and that no one gets you; that no one will ever love you for who you are. Maybe you feel like you got dealt a shitty hand or that you just aren’t good enough. Maybe you are afraid of what will happen if you tell the truth. Perhaps there is a reason I have not listed here. Whatever your reason is that is making you feel like “a mutant”, please stop doubting yourself and start believing in yourself. You are more than good enough. You are loved. While it is hard right now and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, life is worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for. I know it hurts but it does get better. Someday, you will look back and be glad you didn’t give in. Just like the characters in the movie who eventually realized their purpose when they found others like themselves, you will too. You just have to hang in there.
If you are reading this today, and you feel like this resonates with you or you feel there is no way out, that the pain of feeling like an outcast is just too much to handle, please send me an email, or call/email someone,* anyone. Tell someone what is going on. Let me or someone else help you and be there for you. And although I may have never met you, I care about you, too. I’m here for you. You are special and you are meant to achieve something big! You are braver than you think you are. Your best days are ahead. It does get better. You are valuable; you matter. You are beautiful, and you are loved more than you realize. You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.
You might hate it now, but someday that mutant feeling will go away and you will realize that the very thing you cursed or that people ‘feared’ about you is the very thing that makes you so unique. What makes you different is what makes you special. Don’t deny the world of your beauty, your abilities, and all that you have to offer. Someday you will realize it only made you stronger and shaped you into who you were meant to be. When you honor your true self, you can make a difference and truly find happiness. Stay strong & hang in there because life is worth fighting for. You will find your own team of heroes who support and get you.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde
Do not try to change or hide your true identity. Be proud of who you really are. No more hiding. Never forget that you are not diseased or alone and you DO have people in your corner who believe in you. Remember, at some point or another, we’ve all felt like a mutant, too. There really is a little bit X-Men in us all.
Mutant and proud!
*We live in a challenging world, sometimes a very broken world. Should you feel you cannot talk to any friends or family, please seek help. There are wonderful organizations out there like:
It Gets Better
The Trevor Project 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
To Write Love On Her Arms