Well, life was a struggle for a long time.
From 6th to 7th grade I was bullied so much for my weight that I developed body dysmorphia, which lasted until my mid-twenties. Over time I learned to accept that my weight wasn’t a reflection of my value and that no amount of exercise would fix my body type. As an adult, I learned that I have an endo-mesomorphic body type, which makes it nearly impossible to be skinny like my heroes (drugged-out rock stars and artists). I’ve learned to work with my body type instead of against it, now I’m a 33-year-old, 6’0, 240-pound Viking that walks 15,000 steps and day and can maintain muscle without even trying. A blessing in disguise.
In addition to my body image problems, I suffered from undiagnosed Autism; I wasn’t diagnosed with it until after the Navy, at 28.
For years, it felt like everyone hated me and was constantly angry at me, and I could never figure out why. I tried my best to develop a mask good enough to hide my identity, but it would inevitably slip at the most inopportune times, particularly in work settings or relationships.
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I also grew up in an abusive household with two parents diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, while my dad was a vulnerable narcissist and my mom was a sociopath. My older sister was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder at a young age and later with Schizo-Affective Disorder.
My sister was seven years older than me and used to antagonize me simply because she thought my emotional meltdowns were funny. She was also physically abusive until around the age of 11 when I was finally too strong and could easily overpower her.
While I was bullied at school, my mom was indifferent and my dad’s solution was to man up and solve my issues physically. I was too passive to get physically violent and was already in a dangerous environment. I lived with poorly adjusted kids from violent households that had coalesced into a gang, one of which I was on the outside of after having a falling out with the trailer park “leader”. They divided their time evenly between smoking cheap marijuana and huffing any inhalants they could find.
I joined the Navy to escape from the environment I grew up in, and it helped me to develop the skills I needed to cope in a world that wasn’t willing to cater to my differences, so I’ve slowly learned how to carve out my niche to survive. I’m now married and live in the Philippines with my real family.
I talk about this in detail in my book: