I still just sat there and stared into the void, feeling as though I wasn’t truly there, like I was floating amongst the rest of existence, and after that I stood, naked, in front of the mirror and it was as though what I saw was changing with every second that passed. I stood there for a long time and I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what I was looking at. I’ve felt like that for a long time, I don’t think I could even put my finger on when it all started because for as long as I can remember I’ve felt like an alien.
‘ I always felt like that, even when I was younger. I remember once, when I was little, this kid I had made friends with had asked to come to my house to stay over. I remember being so excited – I don’t think I’d ever been that excited about anything – because I’d never really had a friend before, especially not one who wanted to stay over at my house. He was supposed to come over at 6.30pm, after dinner, and I wolfed down my dinner that night, barely even tasting it, because I was so excited, and I organised all of the things we could play with when he got here. I was so excited and so worked up that at 6.20pm I went and sat on the doorstep to wait for him. I waited there until 7.00pm, that was when I went in to get a blanket because I was cold. I was out there until 8.30pm, that was when my mother came out to bring me back inside. She didn’t bother saying what we already knew, she just told me that it was maybe time for bed. I never mentioned it to the other kid, my friend, at school the next day and he never mentioned it either. And I felt completely disconnected again. I’ve always had this difficulty relating to other people – the normal people – and I’ve always had this feeling that when I’m talking to someone, looking them right in the eye, that I’m somehow not looking at one of my own kind, like I’m from some other planet. I’ve always thought that this theory actually sort of held some weight because it isn’t even just that my mind isn’t of this planet, there’s so much physically wrong with me as well – my lungs don’t suit the atmosphere of this planet, and nor does my skin – I think I’ve maybe held out hope for years that maybe a spaceship would land in front of my house to take me home, and that one of my own would step out of it and say, “I’m sorry you got lost. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone anymore. I’m here to take you home”.
‘I’ve only told one person about this dissociative/alien thing, and I’ve decided against telling anyone else because that one person seems to think it’s a cause for concern since it was those feelings that led to that whole incident, that one that led to this whole situation and led to me having to do all of this sort of stuff, but that won’t happen again, there was a lot more than just dissociative feelings going on then, trust me. That whole thing was ridiculous if I’m honest, the whole thing attracted a really weird reaction from people, especially the medical staff. I mean, I get that they must encounter it a lot, but they just seemed so unenthusiastic about it, I guess the last thing you expect in that sort of situation is for people to react so…professionally; you don’t expect that situation to merit the standard/one-size-fits-all-seeming questionnaire that came with it, checking boxes and that kind of thing. Plus there was the aftermath, I mean…**** me. They said that I’d been made a priority case of sorts and that I’d be put further up the waiting list and that I’d be seeing someone within the next week – which was reassuring if I’m honest, because I can admit now that I definitely needed help as soon as was possible – but then I got the phone call, and the day of that phone call was when I realised that none of them actually gave a ****, that each person they dealt with was not, in fact, a person, but, in fact, a patient. They called me and told me that I wouldn’t be receiving any sort of priority treatment because I wasn’t what they considered a “crisis case”- which confused me, to say the least, because, as far as I could see, the only thing more extreme would have been if I were dead.
‘To be honest, the aftermath of the incident was entirely surreal because of the fact that you were very much dealing with two polar extremes: those who knew exactly how to react to the situation (or at least thought they knew how to react) and those who had absolutely no earthly idea as to what to do. I mean, I’m not blaming them, they reacted as well as anyone possibly could, I doubt anybody knows how to react to such a situation – and I feel sorry for those who have had enough personal experience with that situation that they do know exactly how to deal with it. But, anyway, the thing that sort of exemplified the latter extreme was this: after I’d been taken home and put to bed, I slept for…I don’t even know how long, I think 14 hours or so, anyway, when I woke up I looked around my room – which I don’t think has ever been as silent as it was in that moment.
‘You know, it’s strange, even now, in retrospect, I can’t pinpoint why I did what I did, the whole thing is just such a blur, it just seems like such an abstract, faraway concept to me now. It just seems like such a spontaneous act. The feeling leading up to it…it isn’t just some intense sadness, like so many people assume it is, it’s just this dull, hollow pain, this strange emotional paralysis. So many people call it selfish to do something like that in response, and it’s often these same people who “really try to understand”, without realising how contradictory they’re being, but even they genuinely wanted to understand they couldn’t, because there’s nothing to understand. It is, in a way, like loss, except that those that try to take their own lives have experienced the truest loss, and I don’t mean the loss of a loved one or that sort of thing, I mean the truest, purest and most indescribable existential loss. Again this all sounds very selfish, and I suppose that’s because it is. This loss is…it isn’t like waking up one day and discovering that you’ve been robbed of everything, but more like the same thief kept coming into your home and taking one thing at a time, so you know something’s gone but you just can’t quite figure out what. Until one day there’s nothing left, so you just sit there in some unrecognisable empty space that was once home to everything you held dear, while all you can think is “how the **** did I let it get this bad?” And, I suppose, once you’re at that point, why would one more loss even matter?
‘Look, I’m sorry if I’m babbling at all, but I’ve only just started with those meds that I’ve been put on and they’re kind of flooring me. That’s another thing though, the drug situation. Like most other people I was under the impression that these doctors just threw pills at everyone who came their way, but that sort of thing obviously caught up to them. I got in a really bad way a couple of months ago – the demons caught up with me – so I asked to be put on a course of medication because I was sick of always having that hollowness in my chest, but I was told that my case would have to be reviewed by a board of doctors, which I had no problem with. After a week I got a phone call telling me that they didn’t think my case was extreme enough to warrant a course of medication, and they said the reason for their coming to this conclusion was that I had managed to make it through the highs and make it through the lows without any meds before. I didn’t understand that. I don’t understand that. I didn’t understand it. I don’t understand it. As far as I can see, the lows led to the incident and the highs made me put my entire life on hold, and, as far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t constitute getting through it. When the doctors use that phrase they mean physically – that I got through it physically – and that seems contradictory to their profession, considering that their profession has nothing to do with the physical being of a human. The physical husk of a human. I suppose they’re right, I did get through it physically, since the flesh is still here. The husk is still here. All present and accounted for. I definitely made it through physically, but mentally, emotionally, existentially? Not so much, I don’t think, and those are the parts they should be concerning themselves with, as professionals, it’s the parts the demons concern themselves with, after all. Maybe, I dunno, maybe the meds will never work though. I’ve been thinking this recently, that maybe there isn’t anything wrong with me. I mean, you get all these terms thrown at you, and it’s like nobody can figure it out, regardless of their supposed qualifications. I’ve been told it’s Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and it just goes on and on and on, because I’ve supposedly, at one time or another, exhibited the symptoms of each of these conditions. But now I’ve got the meds – thanks to me insisting that I be put on them – and everything is going to be A-OK…it still isn’t though. They haven’t done anything for me so far, and that’s my point: maybe I’m not sick, maybe it’s just me, or maybe whatever’s wrong with me hasn’t even been discovered yet, maybe I’m unique and maybe I’m special. So now I’m on these meds, and they’re supposed to fix me, but I’m still broken. I suppose it’s advantageous for the professionals though, since they get to say that their patient is “making great progress” and that he’s “taking a big step in the right direction”, or however else they want to phrase it.
‘But then, that’s a big part of the problem too. As I said before, they don’t really care about you, you’re not really of any tangible concern to these people. They seem to be under the impression that – just because they’ve spent however many years training and earning their degree – they somehow possess a greater understanding of your mind than you do yourself. I spend hours with these professionals only to be told either that it’s the condition talking or that the condition isn’t supposed to affect me that way, that it must be something else that’s happened in the last few weeks. God forbid that they actually take just a moment to listen to their patient, to pay attention to their patient’s needs, to take into consideration just for a second that perhaps, maybe, just maybe, they don’t understand the mind of their patient quite as well as the patient themselves, to whom it is a unique and terrifying universe that they wake up to everyday, and a universe that they have to endure every day.
‘I keep having more and more these strange little realisations, these epiphanies, as the days go by, and I think even the demons are helping them along. One I had the other day was after I had this nightmare the other day: I was being chased by something, but all I could was this horrible shrieking, and I woke up just as this thing caught up to me. I realised after that nightmare that I hadn’t dreamt about monsters, in the true sense of the word, in years, not since I was a kid. That’s what everyone thinks: that when you’re a little kid you dream of the scary monsters, with such big teeth and such big claws, and then you grow up and you don’t dream of monsters anymore. But I realised something. I realised that you grow up and so you think the monsters aren’t a threat anymore, but the monsters are still there, they just grew up too, and they learned to stay with you, even when you’re awake. And, you know, people ask one another all the time if they believe in God, or a God of any sort, and I still don’t have an answer to that question, but I can say one thing for sure: I believe in the devil. I believe in the devil because I’ve seen him, because I’ve seen where the devil lives. The devil lives up here, he lives in the mind; the place that I call a prison, he calls home. And it’s not just me. He lives with everyone. He lives with you. I’m just the only one who’s ******* realised it. ‘So, yeah, sorry, anyway, what do you think?’.