Dissociating with Jesus
I am a sane person. I just also have an incurable illness called schizophrenia. Now that I’ve said that second tidbit of info, you’re probably wondering how sane I am. Schizophrenia? Sane? Those two words don’t go together. It took a very long time to build my sanity up, after it was rocked by hallucinations of all horror. When you see me on the street, you won’t see a naked person holding a knife, or even someone mumbling to themselves to “blow it up” or some phrase along those lines. You may see and hear someone singing a jaunty tune, as I am prone to sing while walking alone, but you won’t see a schizophrenic.
It’s impossible to see schizophrenia. Even if you do see someone with the aforementioned traits, they could be so because of numerous other reasons. It could be a man on drugs and losing his sanity, or it could be a man who has just went swimming and lost his clothes, and picked up a butter knife on the street. The point is, schizophrenia, while it can leave marks on the victim, from scars physical or mental, it does not leave a tumor, or a cough, or some other way to spot the illness. The only way it can be labeled on a person is if a doctor does the labeling, and this is based solely on what the now schizophrenic is able to tell the doctor what they experience.
This label is both beneficial, as it allows the person to be assigned medication and help that they could desperately need, and also harmful as it distances the person from the rest of humanity, placing a label which they have to live with that ostracizes them and is always approached with stigma.
Schizophrenia. Sane. Not possible, no one would believe it, I must be lying or too kookoo to be able to tell that I am crazy.
But I bring forth that I am just like you, with a label that is more the significator of a biological defect and not a mental one. Even if I fail to convince you that schizophrenia is a biological illness, then at least I wish to bring forth that I can be sane and still live with a stigma, an illness, and a curse word in the form of a medical term, that is schizophrenia.
I didn’t know why or how I started hallucinating. I had previous experiences with hallucinogens, drugs that make you hallucinate like magical mushrooms or Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, both positive and negative reactions, but I did not know why a voice in my head was starting to tell me that I was the love of her life.
It happened after a traumatic event, that much is certain. I sent this person who was now talking in my head some writing that was very close to me, and in her hands was a betrayal of trust and not understanding like I hoped. I believe my brain had “all systems firing” to provide me with protection or, more likely, escape from the threats I perceived everywhere. The hallucinations were not helpful at all, and were a defect in the system causing me to panic, feel manic and depressed, and have ideas strewn from hallucinations that inevitably caused me to be in dangerous or vulnerable positions.
It was absolute hell, in those beginning days. If I die and go to Hell, then I’ll know how it feels. There is nothing so awful as having your entire mind see through to others, or so you believe, and having them comment on your most intimate thoughts, and even harass or bully you with them. I believed, because of having no prior knowledge of hearing voices, no actual experience to fall back on and act on, that these voices were telepathic people, and worse that this is how the world really was. That I was somehow let in on the “truth,” a very difficult merit for me, and that my life was spent living a lie. I felt like glass, see through and shattered, as I tried to protect my mind from what was essentially my own mind.
I hid important thoughts by temporarily forgetting them. You don’t know how hard it is to forget knowledge like important phone numbers of people you love, your social security number or even debit card number. It was impossible, because I had to use those numbers sometimes, and then the voices would “steal” the information and somehow use it against me. Of course, nothing came about when they did know this information, but when I thought they did I panicked, and sometimes made mistakes believing that someone was going to steal all my money or impersonate me somehow.
I’ve had times where I was so paranoid and frightened that these voices came out of the woodwork, so to say, and were inadvertently more frightening and menacing. They got me to try and commit suicide, after telling me over and over to kill myself had failed, in a roundabout way by making me so frightened that they were real and coming to get me.
Remember that writing I sent? The voices had convinced me, the writer, that they were going to charge me with plagiarism of my own work. Prison, fraud, and more was put against me by these, not imagined, very real sounding hallucinations that I solely could hear.
I thought I had nothing to live for. I thought they had won.
So I cut myself with a razor, trying to lose enough blood to die.
Thankfully I didn’t know enough surefire methods to kill myself, and thankfully I snapped when I was bleeding on the ground, and thought… this was fucking nuts.
I thought this was actually crazy, as I was hearing voices telling me to keep cutting my wrist.
So, I got up, and collapsed before my father, from hiding in his room and cutting myself with his razor.
I had told, previous this suicide attempt, a nurse practitioner that I was hearing voices telling me to kill myself. With a tear in her eye, she said, “It sounds like you have schizophrenia.”
She was very sympathetic, but did not know how to correctly help me. She got me on one medication that actually made the mood swings ten times worse, as well as the voices. I attribute these traits to the suicide attempt, and the medication.
If you are ever taking medication and you’re sure it isn’t working, please, tell a doctor immediately and stop taking it. If a voice in your head is telling you to stop taking it that is not your own, well, then it’s actually a good chance the medication is working. But every case is different, so appeal to professionals for help. They won’t lock you up forever and ever, they won’t swallow the key and forget about you, they’ll try to help. Now, this is also not the same in every case… but in the case of professional help for schizophrenia, stay out of jail, and go to a hospital instead, of your own free will, where you can leave of your own free will too. The judicial system is not geared towards helping people. I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again in any court thrown at me. The judicial system does not help the person charged with the crime, and will not help someone who also has a mental illness.
I have personal experience with this. I could go on and on about how cops are not trained to recognize or help a person who is suffering from a mental illness, and I could go on and on as how they wish to keep you locked away forever in a jail, but this story is not about that currently. Where were we again? Oh yes, my argument that I am sane, not deserving of indefinite imprisonment or stigma.
I do not plan on killing anyone. I never did. Someone else could think I am, especially when I am labeled with a mental illness… but that is their own fear and lack of knowledge regarding the situation regarding me. A schizophrenic, most of the time, is more scared of you than you are of them, at least regarding my own cases. I acted in self defense, because I believed, oh, someone like you was going to get me.
We, schizophrenics, can sometimes say things rashly and out of touch with reality. We, schizophrenics, most of the time do so because of real world threats that are embiggened in our own mind. I am not sociopathically trying to get you to hurt yourself, I am not going to lash out at you because I believe myself superior or even that you are harmful.
I was just so, so very scared. I puffed myself up, like a blowfish, because I believed in threats everywhere, most of them not even possible because of hallucinations which had become possible. This inevitably made people scared of me, but I do not blame them. It’s what I would’ve done, and tried to do, too. Protect myself. I just also blame their lack of knowledge to improper education regarding mental illness.
We, as a society, are not prepared for stuff we label dangerous, amongst them people with illnesses like schizophrenia. If only a little more care had been given to the study of “danger,” then perhaps we wouldn’t have a class of society called the mentally ill that are made jokes about, laughed at, and improperly shoved under the rug to forget about again, and most of all, inevitably, feared.
I’m not a freak, and I don’t belong in the show.
I am a religious man. I am a God-loving person. I don’t always feel like the churches are the place for me, nowadays, as I have hallucinated very much regarding religion, but I do have a guardian angel of my own up there, as well as a benevolent deity called God, sometimes called Jesus Christ.
Catholicism was taught to me at a young age, mostly by my relatives who also practiced the faith. I went to Catholic school, grew up in nine years of that ungodly hell, but still kept my faith despite, at the end and later in life. I drifted away for a long time, but the fears of the Christian kept their hold on me, in roundabout ways of rebellion, like an impromptu “Hail Satan!” in the face of authority.
Satan triggers a lot of people with just the word. Satan. Santa? No, Satan. Satan is just a word, and I will take a hint from a popular J.K. Rowling work where a female heroine, Hermione Granger, says, “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.”
It is the same with any sort of slur as well, like the words, “nigger,” “retard,” or “faggot.”
These are only words, and should be treated as meaningless instead of accidentally given such great importance that they are. These are words of hate. It is possible to say the words, you can if you really try, although societally it is given a strange taboo. This, to me, is very frustrating that these hate words are given such meaning by society unknowingly. By giving it weight against saying, you are giving the word more meaning and importance itself. This is frustrating to me, as I have been called things like “schizo,” “retard,” “psycho,” “freak,” and more, and dislike the terms and weight they are thrown at me.
I intend instead of accepting stigma, to shrug it off as meaningless and coming from a judgmental, misinformed mind.
The word, Satan, is also given this form of weight and fear, but strangely is also one of the most prominent, and also, important characters in the Good Book.
People who are religious look at the word Satan, and any who collude with the word, as evil. People who are not religious look at the word Satan, and any who collude with the word, as hateful, chaotic, insane, or also evil.
The word should not be given its great importance in that roundabout way. It should instead be talked about with a lucid and level head. It should be stripped of importance, learned why it was ever given importance, and then talked about rationally where new ideas can come about regarding its use, or more importantly why instead it should be forgotten, labeled as archaic and in modern times not meaning anything of real importance to anyone.
I know I have fought against Satan more than once, in realistic settings where he and more often his hallucinated words were against me of all evil. It took a good while of thinking, writing, and talking to people about my battles to come up with the place I put Satan, in a metaphorical fictitious way.
I put him in a book, a burning book of evil, in Hell where he could harm no one, for Satan is just a story, a very evil story, that really is as useful as a burning paperweight.
I’m sure with some hard thinking and talking about we can also come up with similar places to put words that do not accurately depict the people they sometimes intend to describe.
So how did the title of this story come about? Dissociating with Jesus… Oh, yeah, I’ve done that. When my world was falling apart in a psychotic relapse, because I had not been taking my medication which reduces these misfires in my brain, I turned to the good Lord when Satan, and my own created boogeyman, the Lich, were before me and tempting me with megalomaniac power.
I of course refused the two, Satan and the Lich, when they asked me if I’d like to become a god.
I said to them, as they appeared in that purple hazy sky to me, no.
Not what you expected, eh? As I’ve labeled myself the hero in this nonfiction story, justly defending my place in society, you’d expect some more conflict to arise, especially in my hallucination addled mind of the past.
But I declined these two symbolic characters of ultimate evil my own ultimacy.
Of course, it did not end there. As I had John, the telepath who harassed me the most, always, ALWAYS, under my skin, as it infuriates me even now, I had these two abominations of mine luring me into a trap.
John appears a lot, as this snide, sharp, cold, evil voice that constantly insults me, harasses me, and bullies me with one agenda. To ruin everything I have, and get me to kill myself. He’s said this was his plan all along. I don’t know if that’s because I accidentally perceived him into creation like that, some deep harbored evil put against me, or just because it is. JOHN… the main voice I hear in my head, sometimes around me and in fractures of sound, wants to destroy me.
It was not only him. He has tons of evil buddies that also like to torment me in my worst. They even love to describe what they do as just that, torment. I absolutely hate these hallucinations; I find them despicable and they fill me with so much rage. It’s like this, someone is mocking you down the street. You just walk away, right? Or insult them back? Maybe beat them to a pulp? But I could not escape the voices in my head. They were an innumerable, evil, invisible crowd that followed me around WHEREVER I was. When eating food, I hear voices. When taking a shower, I hear voices. When trying to sleep… I hear voices. And they were never pleasant, except for strangely that first time, when I heard a girl I had a crush on tell me that I was the love of her life.
You don’t believe something like that at the start. Love of your life? Give me proof, especially not telepathically in my head. But the voices have a strange sort of way of repetition. It’s like throwing bricks at a brick wall. Eventually the wall will crumble, or maybe you open the window wondering what all the fuss is about and a brick hits you in the face.
I believed it. And I fell.
For then I was the most vulnerable, my bear heart beating before a vicious mob.
I had learned from this, as I was lost. Not for the first time, not for the last. I learned, as I was broken into a million pieces, psyche shattered on the bloody ground.
So I told those two, Satan and the Lich, no.
But I still took the “power” in fear, in roundabout ways that only one in my head would be able to contrive against myself. I became God of Madness.
And I fought Jesus Christ, in a writing as I am prone to imagine, in Heaven.
I punched him first.
He punched me back.
Then he was, is, God.
Complete annihilation was not mine. I did not fear him. I respected him for even partaking in a trivial fight between mortals, imagined it may be. When I hallucinated Satan, he shot me in the head, at the same time as a gunshot in a song I was listening to. And it hurt, real pain from a hallucination. Jesus, we shook hands, and then he hugged me. Jesus helped me down from that megalomaniac high, scared off the two monsters in the dark, and brought me back down to Earth peacefully.
I am so, so thankful I landed in God’s hand, rather than smashed onto the ground.
I dissociated commonly. Let me first explain what it means to dissociate, at least my own experiences. I am very lucid in my illness, and it’s taken a lot of talk and thought to get that way. I was lucid when characters would jump in my skin and “be” me. Imagine how you look like right now. That is actually not an accurate image to how you look, is it? You can’t see yourself correctly, even if you’re looking through a mirror. Even the mirror is only a mirror image. When I imagined how I was, there would be other people as me instead. John, Satan, the Lich, or worse. But most of the time the good fought back the bad. Jesus, my dead Uncle Matt, my main characters of my stories, and my fictitious loves that only ever appear in books I write or art I draw.
They saved me, with Jesus dissociating with me, being me and correctly guiding me to safety.
Jesus is in all of us, right?
Let me describe my God to one who has never met him before. I’d like to. I am not trying to convert you or even say my experiences are worthier than thou, I just want to describe this very influential figure in my life, even if he may be millennia old.
Jesus is a cool dude. The coolest. He’s the guy at the party who always has time to listen to you speak, whether it be worries or jokes, he will take the time to listen. He is the grand introducer of friends to friends, being the best friend of everyone whether they know it or not. He is a savior, when you are bleeding on the pavement, lost and confused, and he will guide you back to helping hands. This is my God. I don’t care if he is also yours. This being has helped me immensely, when I was in the pits of my life.
And my Uncle Matt… I could hear his words, somehow coming out of my mouth. I didn’t want to let him go again, I wanted to be with this person I never got to know growing up, whose Tolkien books I read, whose trombone I played…
In the end, I still know he is always with me, faith albeit. He’s my guardian angel, a guardian angel to all the Allen kids, just like my grandma says.
I was back on Earth. And my time is precious. My life, my soul, my being, is precious, not only to me.
So yes, my unimportant argument that I am sane. If you look at research regarding schizophrenia, you will notice that people with schizophrenia have a lot of extra dopamine firing in their head. Dopamine is not only a “happy” chemical, it is more the connector chemical. It is the reason when you smoke pot you feel such amazing feeling of happiness, as dopamine chemically transfers the feeling to you in great masses. I of course cannot smoke marijuana anymore, as when I do it feels like I am having a thirty minute psychotic relapse.
You may, after reading this conjunction of ideas, opinion, and nonfiction account of my life to think me more insane than I originally sounded. That is perfectly alright. Sanity, and insanity, are all up to the experiencer. It’s up to you if you wish to act sane or insane, what is generally accepted or no. I suggest finding your own method of sanity, some norm that you can feel safe in, as I have done. It will benefit you, whether this has beings like Jesus Christ or none of the above.
Allow me to live my own life, as sanely as I please, and I assure you that you will receive the same from me. I don’t like to have hallucinations, dissociations, or anything that rips me from safety and makes me fear for my own life like the voices do. I do sometimes like to feel like I am close to my characters in a dissociative episode, but I understand that is not real. It may give me more insight in how to write them, but like most of my other writing, I know this is fiction and a product of my own mind. Oh, how wonderful it is to imagine! Never take a vivid mind for granted. You have power, safety, control, when writing, and it can save your life and give you insight more than once.
So. I’m a sane schizophrenic. Have a beautiful rest of your day.