I am invisible – to others, to myself. It doesn’t matter what I do or say, I remain invisible. My parents didn’t see me, my teachers didn’t see me, people walking down the street don’t see me and neither do the pigs; no-one sees me. They might have noticed me kicking-off, but they didn’t see me.
I am so invisible that I often wonder whether I am even alive. Some people cut themselves to check that there is blood flowing through their veins; I check myself by seeing what I can do to people and stuff around me. If I pummel the shit out of that kid walking across the park, wave a knife or a gun in someone’s face, or smash up the bus shelter, or swear at and generally intimidate people going about their business, then I prove that I am having an effect. I must be alive.
Oh and the buzz. The buzz of actually being noticed. I’m still not being seen, but being noticed will do for now, it is my sweet elixir. The buzz when someone crosses the street to avoid me or when someone begs me not to hurt them. Oh and if someone starts giving me verbal back, oh what a sweet high. The blood starts pumping them. Oh God, I’m actually alive.
When no-one has ever really seen me, ever really given a stuff about me then I can actually do what the hell I want. I’ll even do stuff right in front of CCTV- it captures me in time, but it doesn’t see me. I can’t see me so how the hell is some poxy camera going to be able to? Plus being on CCTV gives me status. It’s like being on the TV, I become a somebody. It proves I am alive.
And people keep on banging on about my binge drinking and mucking around with drugs. “It stops you from thinking straight. You end up doing stupid and dangerous stuff”. You idiots. I want to do the stupid and dangerous stuff. That’s what proves that I am alive.
The only way to stop me from constantly having to check that I am still alive is to see me, not notice and react to my behaviour, but to really SEE me. To want to find the real me, to want to get to know me, to understand me, to ‘get’ me.
So don’t always go launching into intervention programmes or paperwork with me. Take the time to try and get to know me. Do something fun with me. Play pool with me, kick a footie around, make something with me, and over time the conversation will flow and bit by bit you’ll get to know me. For once I will feel that someone sees me and I won’t be so reliant on being an anti-social dick. Some uninformed people will say that I am being rewarded for being scum. No, that’s not the truth. You are helping me to change my ways the only way that will work. I know there will be hard work and challenging sessions, but none of that will amount to anything until I feel that you actually see me.
You can also make me feel alive by helping me to be seen in a positive way by others. Help me to check that blood flows through my veins by having a positive impact on people and things around me rather than having a negative effect. Get my blood pumping and the buzz going through achieving good rather than bad. Get me volunteering or help me to make my mark on my community by creating something. Anything that will result in positive rather than negative attention. Even helping to clear up a space and then making sure that someone notices and gives me the thumbs up.
I will resist at first, afterall I’m putting myself out there and I’m scared of rejection. So you’ll really have to hold my hand tight. And again, over time I will begin to see myself, and others will see ME. And soon I won’t need to behave like an anti-social ass, cos I will get the real recognition I have been craving all along. Positive reaction from others will become my new elixir. Real recognition beats negative attention hands down.