What Do You Do When You Publish Something That’s Incorrect?
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that in the last installment I wrote about being institutionalized. If you read carefully, you know this wasn’t the first time, and you may have guessed that it wasn’t the last.
I made a mistake in my timeline, readers. That particular time, I was released after about a week and allowed to resume my life. There were extenuating circumstances, as you may recall, and the doctors took this into consideration.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this blog. It’s a puzzle to me. How do you write about psychosis? I’m not really satisfied with the solutions I’ve come up with so far. One of the problems is that writing comes from (at least in part) a more logical part of the brain. Even when inspired, the words come out in bursts and pauses as the concepts gel into images, then words, then sentences. At least that’s how it is for me.
So when thinking about times leading up to institutionalization there are consistencies about the state of mind even when the delusions change. A week without sleep causes black outs. Reality is bent, but in such a way that there is a through line to each episode. If it doesn’t pick up exactly where it left off, it is in many ways indistinguishable from the last time and the time before and the time after and the time after that. This had been happening to me to greater or lesser degrees from the age of 15, though I was first committed in my early 20s.
I begged my parents to commit me if it ever happened again at one point and they held me to my word.
“Please. This has to stop. I can’t take it. I need to be hospitalized. This isn’t helpful.” All these words came out in a bitter cascade of tears and snot.
They took the promise they made to the barely psychotic me and applied it to the point-of-no-return me. And they did it again and again and again. And I’m glad they did. There was not any other solution.
Being locked up in your mother’s house as an adult in a near catatonic state watching your mother drink coffee with her friend as they calmly talk about some diamond ring and its significance takes all kinds of sinister undertones when you think your thoughts are audible and the dryer slamming seems a suicidal gunshot in the basement. Being chased, forced home, regarded with pity, rage, remorse, resentment and love is a lot of pressure when you really need detachment and a clinical environment.
I do not blame them for taking care of me the best way they knew how, even if it was painful and frightening and frustrating. Hospitalization had been my biggest fear until being psychotic and locked up in my mom’s house became even worse. And if I think it was bad for me, I can only imagine how bad it was for them, especially my mom.
So I’m going to make a line in Part Four where truth became the truth from another time and begin from that point in Part Five. Thanks for reading and especially to those of you who comment. You help me feel there is a point to writing all this down, and that maybe I’m doing something to fight the stigma of mental illness. So thank you. Really.