Your Origin Story

by Chris de Serres

Imagine for a minute that you are a superhero.  You have a superpower.  You’ve decided to use this gift to help children.  You were bullied as a child.  Abused by a parent.  Targeted at school every day.  You know that there are millions of children out there who experienced what you did.  This power allows you to intervene in the lives of children around you.  To protect them.  To protect women and all innocent citizens who are abused by the powerful.

What is your origin story?

In the world of comics and movies, superpowers are obvious.  They are given by lightning bolts or toxic sludge.  When we realize we have them, we realize we are interesting.  We can’t go back to the way things used to be.  We owe it to others, to ourselves, to use this gift.

We are normal people.  We don’t have superpowers.  We can’t influence those around us.  We are not able to really help the vulnerable.  Our origin story doesn’t matter because we don’t matter.

What is your origin story?

Maybe our origin story is rooted in a bland and boring existence.  We graduated from high school.  We may be a veteran or a college graduate.  We didn’t use our degree.  We didn’t pursue a job tied to our passions.  We settled.  We have great health insurance.  This is our origin story.

The kind of origin story that is hidden below.  It’s a draft document that we’d rather delete than share.

You might be grossly obese and eating yourself to death.  An uncle sexually assaulted you as a child and you find physical contact disgusting.  You are disgusting, so you isolate yourself from others to avoid any confirmation of what you already know.

Your father left shortly after you were born.  Your mother killed herself just before Christmas when you were 8-years-old.  It didn’t really matter because you were already living with your grandparents at the time.  She was a shifting shadow in the night at that point.  That’s what you tell yourself over and over and over again.

You don’t have a superpower, and that is the prerequisite to having an origin story.  Otherwise, no one really cares.  Your character never makes the comic book.  Right?

What is your origin story?