• Mr. C.

Embracing My Inner "Hulk"

Updated: Apr 13

As an avid comic book reader when I was a teenager, The Incredible Hulk was always one of my favorites. Ditto for the TV show in the 1980's. In each, you had Dr. Banner, this mild mannered scientist who incurred "an infection" of sorts to gamma radiation that sparked physical and behavioral transformations to his person that often led to pain, chaos, and lack of uninhibition.


To me, my Tourette's has always felt similar. There's a side of me that some, hopefully most, people see that reflects kindness, compassion, and intelligence. And yet, there is also this side of me (my Tourette's) that lacks control and breeds excess, whether in movement or behavior. It can't be contained or jailed. It yearns to be heard, felt, and felt again, and again. Like the Hulk, it's an incredible excess--an excess or cranking my neck, pushing in my knees when I walk, and wheezing when I'm all Hulking out. Chemically in my brain, even, it's an excess of dopamine.


In the TV show Dr. Banner ventures from town to town in search of his cure, and in nearly every episode, he falls madly, deeply in love with "The One!", only for both parties to come to terms that he cannot be in love due to his "Hulk-sim."





Again, the parallels are stark for me. I often communicate with women on dating apps or websites, seeking romantic companionship, but once they learn of my inner Hulk (My Tourette's), the beginnings almost always come to a "HulkSmashingly" halt. My Hulk keeps me from feeling one of life's greatest experiences.


I wish I could have been The Mighty Thor instead. At least then, I would have had some hair to shout "Oh say thee nay" about. But then again, Thor has his own problems like alien invaders, a father who sleeps all the time, and a brother that is constantly trying to kill him and rule the universe.


What is your Inner Hulk? What do you struggle to tame and control? I'd love to read your responses below.


Here is a poem from my book, Fingerprints, inspired by my Tourette's/My Hulk.


Hulk Out!


The Incredible Excess: (A Conversation with Tourette’s)


If I felt hopeless yesterday,

and I feel even more hopeless now.

Then I must've had some hope the day before.”


I want it to stop.

The movements.

The fixations.

Excitement.

The root hurt.

My neighbors shaking my apartment when they talk.


Sometimes I wish I were green

so I could get taken in the street,

a rainy night gone kisses

while a hide-and-found girl

cribs my head like a ball,

hugging it heart to neck,

her chin on my top

as the wet pelts down on us

my ear just off her shoulder blade.


I want it to stop.

My neighbors banging up their steps.

Walls shaking.

My mouth opening to a whine

Slutting around in the fear

that I’ll never change

the changes.

The excitement.

Fixations.

Sometimes I wish I were green

not lying on this carpet, a gray for two

trying to sleep it away

dreaming that someone’s in the same room with me

taking punches to my head till I stop

the fixations.

Movements.


People are my symptoms

with that tickle in their faces

when they want to ask,

“Are you okay?”

“What are you looking at?”

My skin closing in on me

as if I’m my own disease

while the things I buy

are the side effects that are really up front with me,

but the walls are shaking.

That doesn’t change.


I want it to stop.

That happy in a foggy glass

I feel counters for,

past the picture of my empty-hole family,

me in the middle

sometimes so close

I can’t see them.


But sometimes I wish I were green

so I could walk away from it,

through the blinking hand

telling me not to walk

on who I am.


Sometimes I wish it would stop.

That it would change

or go north for a summer or two.

The neighbors.

Walls.

The broken hanger I step on

like a face wrecked in sympathy

when I’m trying to bury it in my closet

and take some me back.

The excitement.

The movements.

Fixations.

Yes. You’re guests that don’t pick up after themselves,

even the excess.

It’s all an excess of itself.

Sometimes it’s better to be thirsty in an empty glass

than to drown in an overflowing one.


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