Sunday, January 29, 2006

My 14th year of madness

Shortly after I turned 14 years old a change began inside me. I look back on it as an awakening; the sugarcoating began to melt away from the world around me revealing something I hadn’t been able to see before. I saw darkness, I saw corruption, deceit, injustice, I saw life. It was similar to getting the wind knocked out of me; all of those notions of pride & glory were blown away leaving me gasping for a breath of fresh air. I was in my freshman year of high school & everything was all changing at once, I could almost feel the wheels churning inside. At first I responded with a strange mix of emotions, I hated everything, I didn’t care, I was depressed, anxiety started to eat away at my soul, it felt as if I was constantly walking a tight rope & the whole time I was the only one who knew. My grasp on reality was slipping; I started having the notions that my life was a big set-up. Some sort of government scheme. All of the things happening around me were made to happen so that my responses could be observed, monitored and documented. I believed I was watched everywhere, cameras were hidden in all sorts of places, behind the mirrors, in the showerhead, doorknobs, you name it. Also during this time I began questioning all sorts of realities: How could I know what to believe when nothing seemed certain? Couldn’t what I feel are dreams be a reality while my reality is but a dream? Furthermore how do I know that everything I see, touch, feel & hear isn’t just a vivid creation from some force in a universe of nothingness? Maybe that force is alone and all of the other people, animals, etc. are just another creation to satisfy this forces needs. (Hmmm…that force is starting to sound a lot like God, I never connected the dots on those two before.) I questioned what are considered by most to be the basic constants of the world we live in, for example the grass is green & the sky is blue but how could I be so sure, somehow I couldn’t be. What makes us deem a man who sees colors differently than we do color blind? Because what he sees is inconsistent with normality but what defines normal. Could it not be the vast majority of us are odd so to speak? All of this was hard to accept and made life much more difficult for me, it was at this time my anxiety levels reached a peak. One night my family ordered pizza, pepperoni & mushrooms. After eating I began to worry that an employee had put some sort of psychedelic or poisonous mushrooms on the pizza. I felt a sense of panic & fear stirring in the back of my mind. I recall then seeing extremely vibrant & disturbing images on my TV. What I saw was so strange that I had to wake my mom so she could see, when she came in my room my television set was off. The incident scared me terribly, my pulse was racing, I thought I was going to die. Anyways after all of that my mom decided we should go to my family doctor, I told him about the experience along with a habit I had picked up of constantly checking my pulse & having episodes were I felt like my heart was about to explode or something. He advised that I cut back on caffeine and if that didn’t seem to help to come back. So I gave it a shot, talk about an addiction, and it turned out to just be a pointless pain in my ass. One night my mom and I went out to see a movie. During the movie I began to notice my heart racing, I was checking my pulse routinely. When we left the movie it came on stronger than ever. My heart was racing out of my chest and I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. I vomited in the car, not knowing what the hell was happening my mom took me to the ER. After a little wait I had calmed down then I was seen by the nurse. I told her what happened and she told me that I likely had a panic attack. They sent me off with a little medication and the advice to go back to my family doctor. So I went back to him & this time he told me I likely was suffering from panic attacks which he described as an anxiety disorder along with depression (at 18 after several more doctor visits I was diagnosed as being bipolar with psychotic tendencies, or something like that). He prescribed Zoloft to me which I took regularly for some time but when nothing changed I quit taking the medication. I lived my life under constant paranoia expecting death to take me at any moment. I honestly didn’t expect to live to see my twentieth birthday. I was terribly depressed & eventually I went from fearing death to almost welcoming it with open arms. I was drinking, smoking pot & popping pills here and there. Nothing really mattered, it was all just an allusion to me. I despised people. I hated their ignorance, their ego’s, their stupidity. I particularly despised authority, a hatred that I believe emerged from an experience that occurred during this time. At my school I was hanging out with the kinda punk kinda goth crowd. After the Columbine incident my social characteristics, if you will, automatically tagged me as an object of suspicion. One day someone apparently went to the dean with some bullsh!t story claiming that we had plans for some sort of an attack on April 20th, the anniversary of Columbine along with Hitler’s birthday. (I didn’t know that April 20th was either but I did know that it was the reefer holiday of the year, the only plans I had was to get baked.) So on April 19th just moments before my last period was over the dean and the resource officer “deputy d!ck” came into the room and waited for the class to end. Once the bell rung me and a friend of mine were told to stay behind. There we were harassed and searched, the cop assured us that if we tried to run he wouldn’t chase us he’d just shoot due to his knee that was recently injured. On top of that while he was searching me he sort of got this smile on his face and grabbed my d!ck and said “What ya got in there?” It was pretty degrading. After that we were cuffed and walked across the school to the deans’ office where we were held and then questioned for several hours before we were allowed to leave. The following day several of my friends were forced to stay home. The whole thing really revealed what level of justice we actually had. Naturally after that whole episode it was hard for me to have any faith in the police force. To me they were just criminals with a badge, and actually if you consider that it’s certainly not far from the truth: They carry guns, they instill fear in the people, they’ll dig through your belongings without right, they take the things they find, they hold you against your will and put you in captivity with a smile on there face like your some animal that’s just become there prized catch on some sort of hunting expedition. I guess to sum it up, cops suck.
Anyhow, in the end I survived my 14th year but from there on I knew my world would never be the same. Do I regret it? I don’t think so, in a way I feel privileged to be able to see things as I do. It does hurt at times but that’s life I guess & through all my trials & tribulations I’ve come to know that you just have to keep your head up & remember that after every pitch black night there’s a sunny day after that.

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