Update: I was confused about why the pope picture kept coming up on my search…I figured WordPress was goofing with me, or misunderstood what my post was all about. HOURS LATER, I finally get the Pope picture..I used the words child molester in the title..Sorry! I didn’t do it on purpose..lol. I don’t think all priests are child molesters…..OMG!!
So, I was reading this: Why Do Comedians have A Higher Suicide Rate and it reminded me of a therapist that I once visited.
Unimpressed with my witty diversions in our conversation, she point-blank told me that I
hide behind my humor. I made some quick-witted retort, and promptly left her office, but I knew she was right. In the past, the more unhappy I am, the more hilarious people around me have thought I was.
What is this phenomenon that causes the broken-hearted men and women of this world try to make others laugh? You got me. I have no idea why. I only know that it is true, because I’ve watched it happen time and again in my own family.
Hands down, my father is the funniest man I know. He sugar coats absolutely nothing, and he is irreverent, crass, bold, and given to the darkest forms of humor I’ve ever known. And believe me when I say, I have laughed at some raunchy stuff. I can’t help myself…I know, I know. Somethings aren’t funny. But in my dad’s world, nothing is off-limits. If you were to look at his life, though, you would think this man should have been living his days in the fetal position in someone’s basement. A physically abused child, he became a criminal before puberty. The one time he tried to change his course in this life, and join the Marines, he was unable to fully assimilate to the life. He married my mom, a beauty queen, who left him high and dry for a guy who made more money. She hid his kids, bankrupted him in court and emotionally as well, and, in my perception, never gave him a second thought. His only son changed his last name to his stepfather’s name, and refuses to this day to even have a conversation with him. All he has is me… (personally, I think he is lucky, because I’m clearly awesome..but who knows?) His life has been filled to the rim with pain and hardship, and yet he makes every one around him laugh, even if it is somewhat nervously. Hands down, he had the hardest life of all of us. Does his pain decide what level his ability to make others laugh is at? I have a feeling that it does.
My brother Mike was raised in the same home as I was, but his journey involved different problems. He is very close-mouthed about our childhood, choosing to focus on his future instead of sorting through his past. Yet, as a fellow survivor of that household, I see the scars on him too. He has built for himself a successful and happy family, and he is a pastor of a pretty impressive church in Colorado. He even wrote a book called How To Knock Over A 7-Eleven and Other Ministry Training. You should read it if you ever get a chance, even if you have no interest whatsoever about churches or church building. The things that have happened to him are hilarious. The guy can tell a really good story. Again, I have to ask, would he be so funny if he had had a Noodle Salad life? Don’t know what a Noodle Salad life is? Read this: Noodle Salad People.
I am told I’m funny too. I have my moments, I guess. The more nervous I am, or the more I am trying to divert your attention away from something I find uncomfortable or painful, I am pretty damn witty. The difference, though, is that I am generally a happy, peaceful person. Yes, I bear the scars of childhood sexual abuse, neglect, and a ton of other painful experiences. But, those scars are healed up, and I find that when I get rolling, I’m genuinely happy to make others laugh, and in turn, I enjoy the happiness I am feeling because they are laughing. When depression rears its ugly head in my life, I generally ride it out by sleeping or coaxing my mind to pursue happier thoughts. I hope that is what Dad and Mike are doing to. Again, same question. Did my past have anything to do with this?
It is an interesting diversion to life’s pain — humor. Does everyone, to some degree, use this tool for coping as well? I’d be really interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject.