When people think your mental illness is made up, or just an excuse to spend a lot of time sleeping or doing nothing. Because they see you laugh at things sometimes. Because they see you go out for a meal with friends. Because they see you coping with some lame everyday stuff and…
Living with mental illness is like navigating a mine field every day where you’re the only person who knows about the mines. If you get through the day without tripping a mine, to everyone else it looks like you just took a walk across a nice open field. It’s not worth mentioning, let alone congratulating you over. But if you lose and everything blows up in your face, everyone notices. Everyone sees. And since they can’t see the mines, they just assume you built the bomb yourself and let it explode.
I haven’t posted anything lengthy or terribly eloquent on the subject of women in geek culture lately, have I? Have this instead.
And this scene right here? That 100% set up Natasha’s scene with Loki. Actually, all her scenes set up that moment where she allows her secrets, herself into the open. She knows that every single thing that comes out of her mouth is likely to be used against her, and she puts it OUT there, expecting it to be used against her. She gives people small (or large) bits of herself because she knows who and what she is. The bits she gives people don’t matter because the first cut is the deepest and all of it, all of it, has cut the nerve before.
Something terrifying about Natasha is that you can’t break her because every, single, tiny bit of herself has been broken. So even if something unbroken and good comes into her life, she knows it’s going to get destroyed. She KNOWS IT. And it might be a terrible way to look at the world, but you know what? It’s a damn practical one.
And I love this scene between Natasha and Bruce because they are so SIMILAR in this way. I don’t think Bruce has come to quite the understanding of self that Natasha has, but he’s on the way there. And while most of Natasha’s origin stories have this being done to her, and her having time to deal with that, Bruce did this to himself. And that’s a shit load of fault and frustration to deal with.
And I just… love the idea of them. Kind of in the same way that I love the idea of Scott and Rogue. Bruce and Natasha have had so much taken from them, that they’re now just giving it away. And I guess there’s some kind of really deep zen koan of being truly centered and wanting nothing about that.
And comic fans can be amongst the most passionate types of fans I’ve ever found, and sometimes that passion is brought to life in the most beautiful of ways. Look at the community ‘Sex Criminals’ (‘Brimpers’) and ‘Captain Marvel’ (‘Carol Corps’) have created around their books; those fans are fonts of pure, unbridled enthusiasm.
It doesn’t matter if they’re recreating comic covers or talking about the time they found porn in the woods or having incredibly positive events at Emerald City ComiCon, they are what we should all hope to amount to as fans of the medium. They take their love of the books that matter to them and they externalize that in all of the best ways. They make people want to find out why they love those books so much.
Which is why it makes it so frustrating that some comic fans take that love and turn it into the worst form of negativity, the type that is designed to take others down to their level and to make them feel pain in one way or another.