Alternative title: Because it’s not weird at all for your first love to be a very muscular, very green and very angry dude with a terrible hair cut.
You see when I was a little Ruebi my parents would sit me in front of the TV to keep me occupied (I have a younger brother so this happened a lot when he bellyached), custard cream half smushed in my hand and half smushed into the carpet, eyes wide as saucers as the mild mannered Bruce Banner turned into a creature angrier than a porcupine with hemorrhoids. A creature that would shriek “Hulk SMASH!” as everything in his path was obliterated. A creature who favoured purple shorts. A creature who was completely misunderstood.
And I would sit there, kicking my legs, waving my biscuit covered hands and squealing alongside as an act of solidarity (well … More like squealing as he crushed cars and destroyed the bad guys).
I’m pretty sure ‘ulk was my first word … If not then it was definitely my second one.
I guess it was only natural then that the topic of the Hulk would come up in therapy.
“So do you have a way of distracting yourself when you feel anxious in public?” My PWP asked “some people fidget a lot, other people repeat mantras to themselves … What do you do?”
“I have an Incredible Hulk key chain on my handbag” I muttered “if I’m anxious or stressed I hold onto it”
“Almost like a comforter?” She turned her head slightly, brow furrowed.
“Something like that …” I said, what I didn’t say was that the day I thought I’d lost the key chain I’d dived headfirst into an Anxiety attack and insisted on retracing my steps to find him. Ready to tip over anything and everything in my manic desperation to locate it (“Ruebi SMASH!”) … The Hulk, it turns out, was lying in the foot-well of M’s car, safe and sound.
“Hmmm, a comforter …” she scribbled notes on her pad “we’ll have to work on stopping that Ruebi”
I didn’t want to stop that … I don’t want to stop that.
You see the Hulk is not just a source of comfort in the fuzzy custard cream infused nostalgic sense, nor is it because we currently have the swoon-inducing Mark Ruffalo* as Dr. Banner (yes swoon-inducing … Ok so maybe I don’t swoon, I pretty much just face-plant but I was trying to sound all lady-like and stuff).
It’s because Banner lives with an uncontrollable monster hiding within him that takes hold when emotions run high … A destructive impulsive monster that indulges how it feels and responds in an act of pure, raw emotion. A constant shadow over Banner’s life. A constant reminder of the devastation that emotions can reap … Be it to yourself or to those around you. How they can tear you apart, ruin relationships, be all consuming. How hard it is to fight as they start to take control. How easy it is to isolate ourselves so as not to hurt others as we spiral.
Banner and Hulk.
Hulk and Banner.
They are my analogy for life with Anxiety/Depression.
Plus – who doesn’t find the Avengers Assemble scene where Loki gets his butt kicked by Hulk to be utterly hilarious? I watched this film originally in a small cinema in Peckham and the cheers that roared when Hulk proclaimed “puny god” were amazing. I may also have lost a tub of popcorn.
PS – *Another reason for this Lancastrian to absolutely adore Ruffalo is that he gives us a voice when it comes to the fracking debate. In case you’re curious, Lancashire said “no” to fracking and instead of listening to us (yes us, I’m totally anti-fracking), the final say on whether or not OUR homes and surroundings will be disrupted and destroyed will lie with the ministers in London.
Am I disappointed? Yes.
Am I angry, frustrated, disgruntled? Yes.
Am I surprised? No … I’m not … Not even a little bit.