Ever since I was young, I’ve been convinced that I couldn’t be human.
I think they call that a delusion. There’s the Japanese term, chuunibyou, children who are convinced that they have magical powers. Here in the west, people use the term alter-human, someone who doesn’t identify as human. Otherkin, therian, mentally ill. Some people would blame it on my being a furry.
I tend to think of it as an itch under my skin. It’s the disembodied voices I hear when I’m alone, or the shadows in the corner of my vision, they’re reaching out, trying to get my attention. Something murmurs in my ear and tells me that I don’t understand people because I am not one. Something whispers that my body is so cruel to me because it is rejecting me like a bad blood transfusion.
Even as a child, it followed me. I clung desperately to YA novels. I was a werewolf, or a witch, or a demi-god. Something magical was going to happen at any moment. Something would happen and everything would fall into place and I’d be somewhere that fit. I’d finally feel at home.
I got older, nothing magical saved me, and I decided I was the monster all along. Horror was a blanket I could pull over my head and use to hide from the world. I would never be the glorious, appropriative shapeshifters of Twilight, but a wolf could tear its way out of my body and devour the world. I didn’t understand people because I didn’t want to, not because I couldn’t. I got angry, bitter, a festering wretched thing. I grew fangs and claws and told myself that the world didn’t want me, but I didn’t want the world either. I sulked in corners and glared at my reflection in the mirror and told myself that I was special in this, I was evil in a way no one else could be, I was broken and rearranged into something loathsome. When I talked to people who loved me, every time I smiled or laughed, I convinced myself I was lying. I was just playing nice. At any moment, the true me was going to burst out of my skin and rip them apart. I waited for that itch under my skin to break out into a rash of scales or fur or bony spines. I waited for something to break. I wanted to snap.
Monsters aren’t real, though. I stewed in my anger until I was tired, and then I was numb, and then I went to college.
That’s a shitty ending to a horror movie. Let me try again.
Monsters aren’t real, though. I never had my Carrie moment, or my Ginger moment, or my Jennifer moment. I made friends that didn’t make me angry. I stopped being angry in general.
That ending sucks too.
Monsters aren’t real, but I sometimes wish I could’ve been one. Childhood made me hate myself. Puberty made me angry. Adolescence made me lose the ability to care. I wish I killed people instead.