They said to me, “Walk!”. My feet wouldn't move, frozen by the accident. Appendages that normally would make me useful, mobile, independent, I now drag them along, taking care that I don't injure them, leaving me bleeding or with an undiscovered infection. The accident, as I call it, was not an accident. It was a purposeful intended act, inspired by lust and hate. They did to me that which I cannot tell, the acts so horrific. Regardless of the details of their brutal incursion, what I was left with was a handicap, one of the mind, not the body. Having to make do with a shredded normality, crawling through my life, instead of walking, never able to run. What others take for granted, now became life challenges for me. Others run, leap, climb, and move about with impunity to mental mobility. I must develop new ways, ways that hurt, ways that require intense concentration, intense discipline. Still they taunt me, “get up and walk”, “why can't you just be like the rest of us”. They can't see I'm disabled, bound by forces that were neither chosen, nor desired, but forced on me in a cruel and harsh manner.
My injury cannot be seen, my now useless legs are a shattered self-esteem, a mind crippled from thinking in a sane manner. Insanity, psychosis, visions, voices, nightmares, self-deprecating thoughts, and accusations invade my every waking moment. Perceptions of reality and fantasy mix together, making the deciphering of fact and fiction a huge effort in itself. All day, every day, like one with paralyzed legs, committed to wheelchair, an implement of bothersome necessity, in my mind. I watch the heads wag, “Tsk, tsk. Quit being a pansy, just get up and walk”. Damn it! Can't you see I can't freaking walk? Can't you see that it takes me longer to do normal things? I must make preparations for the ordinary, that which you do without an effort takes me great pains to produce, to perform, to succeed.
I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I am a success and exceedingly happy, and in these I will continue, but I'm upset at the insensitivity of others, who refuse a patience with or acceptance of the fact that I am not like them. I cannot get up in the morning and be without fear, I cannot go into a crowd and relax, I cannot be in the dark. Paranoia haunts me, I sense conspiracies coming from everyone, from everything. Shame burns in me, flushing my cheeks at the least exposure of my faults or idiosyncrasies. My mind races with thousands of thoughts a minute, deep thoughts, all of them.
I ask for no special treatment, just for a bit of patience with me as you accompany me on my journey through this world. Please, not only with me, but with the many others afflicted in a like manner, be sure you understand that although the pain of mental illness is not visible, it does handicap us from doing things in a normal manner. Be patient with crazy people, we really are cool, even if it takes us awhile to work our way through the battlefields of life.
First written in: Opinionsofeye.com