Mental Health Friday #19

Mental Health Friday #19

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The cop came back into the living room where I was sitting, nursing my two and a half month old daughter. “The boy didn’t make it,” he said. “Ma’am, I need you to come with me.” I handed my baby girl over to her dad as I got up from the couch to obey the officer.

His words drifted through my foggy mind as I told myself, this is all just a bad nightmare— I will wake up soon. With no socks or shoes on my feet, I silently followed the officer out of my house not knowing that would be the last time I would ever exit that front door. Yet, I felt an unusual calm and peace enter my heart as I sensed that this was “my path” or “my destiny.”
Little did I realize my journey would lead me into years of torment and pain when the truth finally came crashing through my delusional head….
*****

I once had a previous life where I attended college full-time, studying business management. I held on tight to a 3.9gpa as I managed to make mostly straight A’s in my classes. I was officially divorced from the abusive “sperm-donor” of my happy little boy who seemed content without a man in the house. I smoked marijuana on a regular basis to help me with my terrible mood swings as well as to help me focus on my homework (which I started to find hard to concentrate on while sober).

Then a few years later, during my senior year of college, I became pregnant again with my daughter. I was excited and filled with joy at the opportunity to raise two children as a single parent. My daughter’s father was a good man that kids naturally seemed to flock to. My son adored him and in spite of our cultural differences, he accepted me and my son as family.

He helped me when he could; however, with his mother being in her late 70’s, he lived with her in an apartment across town to take care of her. As a result, we never officially “lived together” and this arrangement worked perfectly with my increasingly introverted self.

Then came the day that I started speaking in tongues (and no, I wasn’t at some radical church at the time). I was home alone with my two children. I also had an “internal interpreter” who could understand just what I was saying. I went to the bathroom to use the facilities and then I started to shout out a name. I heard my son saying “What?”
This happened about three times until my son opened the bathroom door and said, “What?” again.
“In the name of Jesus you shall flee!” I shouted at him from the toilet in English.
My son replied: “Goodbye.” Then he shut the bathroom door.

Once I got done in the bathroom, I went to check on my son. He was in his room holding a little ball. He told me,
“Mama, I tried to hit that boy with the ball, but he flew out the window.”
I knew then that a demon was trying to attack my son. Yet, I had a sense of knowing that this moth that was flying around in his room was actually that demon which transformed and it would be dead soon.

The very next morning, as I was nursing my daughter on the couch, my son came out of his room with the dead moth in his hand. So I “knew” the demon was gone… This initial experience along with my son’s statement and behavior started my trip into what most would call a very delusional and psychotic journey.
The command hallucinations held me like a puppet on strings for about a week doing various things to rid the demon from my son as I thought the voice in my head was God telling me what to do. For example, I started fasting and eating nothing, just drinking water. Read more

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Mental Health Friday #15

Mental Health Friday #15

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When the psychiatrist first told me I had paranoid schizophrenia, she started it off with, “I have some bad news.” I have heard my diagnosis described as, “Every parent’s worst nightmare” and many other almost fatalistic phrases.

How are you supposed to feel about yourself when people describe something that is so much a part of you as awful, terrible, tragic, or sad? Living with paranoid schizophrenia is not for the weak, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Those of us with a mental illness know that suicide is the worst thing, because in the case of suicide everyone loses and the illness is the victor. Suicide should be every parent’s worst nightmare, not schizophrenia.

Unlike suicide, there is hope with schizophrenia. I have symptoms every day, but I live a good life. I worked most of my adult life as a social worker, a library assistant, and a marketing director. I am happily married to the love of my life, and I am currently enrolled in a certificate program for writing at UCLA. I am an aunt to some wonderful young women and men. I am a sister to all five of my brothers. I am an only daughter to my parents, and I am a niece, cousin, and friend to many people. Does that sound like “a parent’s worst nightmare?” No, it doesn’t and it isn’t.

Read more

Flash Fiction: May-Fair Banned

Flash Fiction: May-Fair Banned

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“It’s hidden in those balloons.”
“Baby, nothing is hidden in any balloon,” I reassure her.
“Nooo- I’m telling you. It’s there.” she’s pointing towards a man selling balloons. “Can’t you see, it’s the perfect hideout.”

Having had countless of such situations, I wait for the next phase and she doesn’t disappoint. Shouting at bystanders to back off, Lola attacks the balloon man, yelling gibberish. I walk as calmly as the mother of a schizophrenic fifteen year old in the middle of a crises can manage.
“I am sorry about my daughter,” I apologize to the balloon man and offer to pay for the damage to his balloons.

“Yeah right,” he mutters. “Get your crazy kid under control.”
A screw comes loose and fire alarms buzz in my head. Did he just call my Lola crazy?! The next thing, I am tearing Olaf’s face to the horror of onlookers and destroying Elsa and Rapunzel. Done, I grab Lola’s arm and scream, “now that’s crazy”.
           ….. And this is the reason I am banned from Mayfair grounds.


Word count: 174. This story is in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring writers photo prompt challenge where a picture is given weekly and we write a 150 (+/-25) word story. The above image is courtesy of Pixabay.com