Turns Out I’m Totally Bugshit

Posted on January 20, 2013 by


When I was in college, my stepmother crushed a cat’s skull with a hammer. He was my father’s cat, and his name was Harvey. My dad went on walks with Harvey through the long grass in the land behind their house. He was a beautiful, sweet, intelligent cat. I held him on my lap as we drove him to the vet and every time he screamed, I felt blood soak my jeans. She’d done it while we were all asleep. My dad was at this time dying of esophageal cancer. They’d separated a few weeks before.

Remember that scene in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader where the ship sails through an oily black cloud, and the cloud surrounds an island on which all nightmares live? All of my nightmares live in upstate New York, circa 2007.



My stepmother was not human by the time she killed herself. Her personality had been entirely consumed by some mental disease. She lived in a shifting universe of emotional realities, all of which were crazy. Given her histrionic tendencies that developed over the years into full-blown delusions, I think she probably had borderline personality disorder that had grown, unchecked, for decades.

I finished my liberal arts degree one point short of departmental honours. People go through shit like this all the time. Academics are important. My father died of cancer before I graduated. Every time I think of Harvey I feel like killing myself.

I’m currently on 20 mg of escitalopram, 50 mg of trazadone to get rid of all the nighttime funboxes that contain rotting things, and 0.5 mg of generic Xanax for when I am so frightened of being in the world I start dissociating to elsewhere. Message from the future: it’s May 2014, and I’m on 20 mg escitalopram (generic Lexapro), 300 mg bupropion (generic Wellbutrin), trazodone as necessary, clonazepam as necessary.

When I don’t renew my car registration for four months after its expiry date because I completely forget about it every day I’m supposed to do it, to the point where someone has to remind me of it every single day and every single day I burst into tears because I forgot that car registration even existed as a thing, I’m dissociating. When I cannot physically force myself to look in mirrors because existing is terrifying, I’m dissociating. If you’re talking to me and I break off mid-sentence then my eyes stop focusing, I apologise, because I’m probably dissociating.

Societal beliefs have it that there are normal people with issues and there are crazy people and the two groups don’t overlap. I disagree because I’m crazy like a loon but I come across well in public and I was high-functioning until about 2010. You might not believe me on that but, you know, whatever. I’m not going to tell a critic of my fiction to go fuck himself, and this is just another story even though it’s true, so you can say what you like in the comments here.

I’ve been diagnosed with “the least harmful diagnosis I can”, by the psychologist, also “I think there’s something else going on underneath but we’ll see” by the psychiatrist. I thought my diagnosis mattered so I worried about the number on the back of my DSM-IV insanity jersey (309.81).

A bipolar friend pointed out that diagnoses don’t mean anything because they don’t change anything.

That’s where I am. Hi from wherever that is.

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