I used to be an enormous fan of Michael Jackson.  Lots of grown males could be embarrassed to confess that, however not me.  Not solely was he an excellent performer and songwriter that outlined the 1980’s which made up most of my adolescence, there was one thing else that triggered me to really feel I had a particular understanding of who he was.  That one thing else was his eager for a misplaced childhood and the battle inside himself to each be a person whereas recouping a number of the misplaced innocence he felt was stolen from him.

Whereas we definitely lived very totally different lives and I make no pretensions to be a famous person of Michael’s stature or possess the identical expertise he had, one factor we each did share was an enormously emotionally damaging childhood.  It’s nicely documented the combination of loathing, worry and love that Michael felt for his father.  Joe Jackson was a stern disciplinarian who would pummel his sons if they didn’t do what he needed.  Some have credited this with driving Michael and his brothers to the unbelievable success that they did.  Nevertheless it additionally left monumental emotional injury.

I grew up with Tourettes Syndrome.  It went undiagnosed largely as a result of I had a average case and my dad and mom have been in full denial that I had it.  The teasing, ridicule and typically bodily abuse that I endured triggered its personal form of injury in me and triggered me to develop up fast and understand how merciless others may very well be.  As an grownup, I discovered myself stunted for a few years.  In my twenties and even early thirties I longed for the completely happy, satisfying childhood that I felt I by no means had.  I had no recollections of nice friendships or completely happy occasions in grade or highschool.  As a substitute, it pained me to think about a lot I had endured.

Like Michael, I typically loved spending time with my younger nephews and niece and even labored as a camp counselor so I might reside vicariously by means of the younger folks I oversaw.  I all the time appeared to have a capability to sit down down subsequent to a baby of seven, 10 or 13 and make them really feel like I used to be a pal and that I understood precisely what they have been coping with it doesn’t matter what it was.  I checked out this as a form of unusual present that was a ‘silver lining’ from all the abuse I had undergone when youthful. 

Michael clearly had this present too.  It’s one of many the reason why I doubted he ever was responsible of the kid molestation costs that have been leveled in opposition to him.  I imagine he was misunderstood and that spending time with younger folks was cathartic for him simply because it was for me.  The distinction between us is that I all the time acknowledged that whereas I may need a particular means to empathize with younger folks and join with them, I knew I used to be an grownup and would by no means cross sure traces.  Maybe due to Michael’s isolation he wasn’t round sufficient people who weren’t his servants and hanger-ons to totally acknowledge that distinction like I did.

Michael’s supposed pre-occupation for dwelling endlessly, or at the least so long as attainable has been mentioned all through the years.  In fact folks have seen the stories that he slept in an oxygen tent, that he wore masks when exterior and ate particular meals to try to hold as younger as attainable.  Michael took our societies preoccupation with youth to an excessive and have become the last word boy-man, virtually a cartoon caricature of the youthful Michael Jackson all of us knew and beloved. 

I feel a whole lot of us have tried to do the identical factor in our personal manner.  Inevitably, all of us get older regardless of how good we care for our pores and skin and our bodies.  It doesn’t matter what merchandise we use or how we costume.  I take a look at somebody like Madonna, one other 80’s icon that has chosen a unique path.  She fights like hell to remain in form and care for herself, however she additionally embraces that she is rising older and is doing so with dignity, even though like Michael Jackson, her preliminary fame and expertise have been tightly woven along with her youth and sweetness. 

If there’s one factor I’ve discovered in regards to the passing of Michael and the lesson that his cut-too-short life holds, it’s that life is valuable and fleeting.  As a lot as we’d wish to we will’t re-live our previous.  It’s higher to embrace our lives and look to the longer term.  Right this moment is the primary day of the remainder of our lives, and no person can compete with father time.  Not even Michael Jackson.

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Supply by Robert Levin
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