Many times, as a child, I played dressing up as Wonder Woman!
I built my golden crown using the golden cardboard strip that the pastry chefs put on the tray to not crush the pastries, then I tied a cover around my neck like a cloak and jumped from the sofa screaming at the top of my voice … great memories!
The noise of the house at night, the creaking of the wood, or the shadows cast on the walls became ghosts and I hugged myself tightly under the covers, being very careful to keep my feet inside the bed to avoid letting the monsters pull them or, worse, eat them!
Then growing up, I started watching cartoons and Scooby-Doo was incredible with his stories of ghosts, disguises and invisible men … with that cartoon I realized that no one should be afraid of darkness and monsters, but of people instead, because in every episode the “monster”, the “bad” was always a person disguised and moved by emotions and absolutely human motives.
Thus began the thinking and today, many years later, I’m going through that phase again.
Monsters exist, in life I have known at least one and at night, often, it happens to see more.
They are still, motionless and black, and stare at me. Sometimes they hurt me, I try to scream, run away, protect myself but I can’t.
I can’t and the terror makes me sweat, my muscles are paralyzed, the voice doesn’t come out despite the wide open mouth. I’m helpless, motionless, awake and I feel the tears wet my face, but I can’t even dry them.
I can only feel them fall, feel the tingling on the cheeks of the salty tears that dry while I have to wait … hoping that the monster won’tt kill me.
My monsters are called hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis.
Then the magic: everything slowly disappears, the muscles recover, I can move and the monsters are gone. Cowards.
Monsters exist only when I’m immobile, unable to react.
Just like life problems, frustration and the sense of worthlessness, monsters exist only if you stay still, if you don’t move to drive them away.
Then there are other monsters, the true ones, they are healthy and they are born in contexts of general well-being, yet they hide and when they reveal themselves they do it to shout their dissatisfaction to the world, without doing anything to free themselves.
Because, let’s face it, hiding is comfortable.
It relieves you of responsibilities, you can keep your frown to tell yourself that you are worth but it’s the world that doesn’t understand you, you can even write polemical comments on social networks hoping to give some of your dissatisfaction to others.
They are the uncommitted, the idler, the functionally illiterates of the 21st century and ignorant by choice, they are the ones who would have all the opportunities to be happy and instead boycott themselves.
And they are the ones who sometimes write me to ask if I’m not ashamed of my illness, if “people don’t mind being with you”, or “rather than living like that why don’t you kill yourself?” …
So, to today’s slothful souls that Dante already described in Canto III of Inferno, goes all my pity. Hidden behind a screen in the usual everyday life, they only show themselves behind false nicknames to confirm how poor of intellect and cold hearted they are.
Trying to make them think about the bad things they write and do isn’t useful, you can’t speak to the mind if what moves us is a bad relationship with your “guts”, the emotions and your inner being.
You don’t even need to start a question and answer, because they would feel entitled to continue, and frankly it would be like fighting a war with unarmed people; yes, because those who hide and don’t face life, those who complain by blaming others, the world, the government, the alignment of the planets for their dissatisfactions and frustrations, those who insult a sick person to feel strong don’t
deserve to be treated as “peers”.
Then there are the invisibles, the inhabitants of that middle ground which is the world of improvement. People who walk in life without ever being truly a protagonist at a certain point arrive at a crossroads: continue to be transparent or take on thickness and color and decide on my future?
Of course … the decision is not simple, but there’s an interesting consideration to make: being invisible, at times, is not a choice, just as it’s not being born in third world countries and situations of poverty. To these invisibles goes all my affection and my commitment that I carry on as Vice President of Bechildren onlus.
The Invisibles who take the crossroads of improvement at some point experience the “hermit crab effect”.
In order to survive predators, this small-bellied crustacean shelters itself using the shells it finds on its path; growing the shell becomes small and in the long run it would risk killing it, so it must necessarily find another to continue having protection: this is the dangerous moment!
The hermit crab in search of the new shell is therefore vulnerable to attack.
This is the “hermit crab effect”: every time we face a change and therefore feel naked, afraid or fragile, our emotions warn us that we are in danger and it’s a feeling that often limit us, but when we face it and overcome it, it generates change and growth.
Superheroes, on the other hand, experience great successes by saving lives and they often do so, putting their own at risk. They are the ones who pay the price of their morals, who don’t submit to the no, the fear and the habits. They are the ones who struggle, cry and do it because life is the most important thing to be thankful for. They are the ones who want to make life a masterpiece. These are the doctors, nurses, fathers and mothers who sacrifice themselves for their children, all those people who have a heart and who are not afraid to show it and give it to others.
Often superheroes are the invisibles who have faced the hermit crab effect and courageously found larger shells that are suitable for protecting them.
They are born in uncomfortable situations, they survive and cling to life with the strength that only those who are subjected to great pain have.
They are the sick, all of them and even more those with rare diseases.
Those who, being a few, don’t arouse interest in finding new treatments or solutions, but who continue to live day after day with many dreams in their hearts and without the repressed anger of the useless.
Because being invisible at times is a condition in which you find yourself, being a superhero is a choice and an evolution, being uncommitted is a non-choice, a hiccup, it’s deciding to live your life by choosing to be useful as a fork to eat soup.
I can’t help but embrace the invisible and encourage them to take the crossroads, to show themselves and make their voice louder: writing, singing, drawing, working and smiling, in spite of everything, to the future.
I want to congratulate the superheroes who fight every day to bring a smile, a hug and the light to all those who still don’t see it.
And to the slothful I dedicate much more wise words than mine, which define how, already in antiquity they were considered:
And I, who had my head girt with horror, said,
“Master, what is it that I hear? and what folk are
they who seem in woe so vanquished?”
And he to me, “This miserable measure the
wretched souls maintain of those who lived
without infamy and without praise. Mingled are
they with that caitiff choir of the angels, who
were not rebels, nor were faithful to God, but
were for themselves. The heavens chased them
out in order to be not less beautiful, nor doth
the depth of Hell receive them, because the
damned would have some glory from them.”
And I, “Master, what is so grievous to them,
that makes them lament so bitterly?”
He answered, “I will tell thee very briefly. These
have no hope of death; and their blind life is so
debased, that they are envious of every other
lot. Fame of them the world permitteth not to
be; mercy and justice disdain them. Let us not
speak of them, but do thou look and pass on.”
To your messages about how my life sucks, I reply inviting you to look at my social pages and ask yourself if your healthy one is just as full and colorful … and if the answer is more anger, I would do like Dante: “I look and pass on “.
Only of colors, kind-hearted people, invisible and superheroes I want to surround myself to fight, rejoice and perhaps bring Narcolepsy to light and be useful.