I’m not sure if any of you have ever experienced this or felt this way but, my whole life, I’ve been an outcast, living on the fringes of society. But, the thing is, even outcasts eventually find their nitche. So I’m more than just an outcast (an estranged lone-wolf maybe?).
I was doing a rewatch of the Nepenthe episode of Picard and, when Troi was telling Soji about Thad and how he said he never had a home world, that hit so hard for me. I have never belonged anywhere in my life; metaphorically speaking, I’m a clanless nomad. I have always felt different, like REALLY different. All I ever wanted to do was help others and make a positive difference in the world; be remembered for doing good and leaving the world a better place.
I’ve always been incredibly sensitive in all meanings of the word. I’m allergic/sensitive to most medications, chemicals, weather patterns/systems, etc. Also, emotionally, I’m incredibly sensitive. I feel things much more strongly than everyone I know. I also have a tendency to mirror others emotions, aliments, etc. For instance, when my dog was sick I didn’t just feel bad that she was suffering, but I got the physical symptoms she was experiencing. Same when family members are ill or injured. I’ve been bullied for this my whole life, accused of making things up and being attention-seeking.
In fact, I wrote about this in a creative writing class in grade 12 and the teacher called the crisis team on me for being ‘mentally umstable’. I spent 4 days in mental hospital with the doctors pumping God knows what into my body. Doctors have labeled me with a litany of mental/neurological illnesses (bipolar, Schitzophrenia, autism and so on) to explain why I’m so sensitive to the world at large, only to rescind the label when further testing showed I didn’t have that particular condition.
I’ve never met anyone like me. Maybe that’s why I like Trek so much. You don have to change who you are to fit into the norm. It’s okay to be different, to be yourself. Even Barclay was accepted in the end, despite being socially awkward. In Voyager, Seven was eventually accepted despite being Borg and not understanding emotions or human customs (same with Data). The way that everyone became a family, despite their differences, and helped and accepted one another - I want that so, so badly.
There is a positive to this story. I’ve shared before how both Marina and her character of Deanna Troi saved my life (literally saved me from offing myself). I’ve shared how her character was the only character/being that I found myself relating to. But I wanted to share the full story with you guys (especially you Marina). Tori embraced her empathy, her physical and emotional sensitivity. Even when others treated her differently or poorly when they found out she was a Betazed, Troi didn’t let those individuals get to her and she didn’t try to stifle her empathy or change who she was. Rather, Troi embraced it and used her ability to help others, which leads me to another point; Troi viewed her emotional sensitivity as a strength and not a weakness or a flaw.
I still struggle with this, but I am trying to embrace myself and my identity as well, even if society says being highly emotional and sensitive is wrong. It’s who I am. I can’t change it or turn it off and, deep down, I don’t want to. Troi (and Marina) have taught me not to hate myself, but rather embrace my individuality. And I have hope that I will find my niche, my homeworld, one day. So, thank you Marina for everything.