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Insanity Can Be Compelling May 4, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in ESP, mental illness.
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The case for insanity is compelling.

In early February 2008, at the beginning of my journey into a world of my own making, I thought I had Extra Sensory Perception (ESP).  I talked with people who passed through a little room inside my head.  I had lots of powerful friends who hung on my every word and who were dedicated to making my life as care-free as possible. Some of my close friends included Oprah Winfrey, The Dalai Lama, and Bill and Melinda Gates. Melinda was actually a long-lost sister.

Then there was my job situation.  In my fantasy world, my boss, via ESP, directed me to quit my (real) job.  So I did. Then, via ESP, he begged for my return, promising me more money and better control over my job.  In the meantime, Bill and Melinda Gates offered me a job at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  For twice the amount of money.

As part of my compensation package, Melinda Gates told me to pick out a new car and a new wardrobe.  So I trotted down to the nearest Lexus dealership and picked out a beautiful shiny gold brand new Lexus convertible car.  I went shopping for my new wardrobe, spending thousands of dollars for clothing that I never even got the chance to wear.  I wrote checks for these things, with the understanding that Bill Gates would put the money in my account to pay for my purchases.

One of my closest friends was a “time-turner”, able to revisit the past and change it, bringing me things like great parking spaces. He also designed special makeup just for me, manufactured it, and managed to have it waiting for me on a shelf at the makeup department of my nearby Fred Meyer store.

I decided that I had to move to a house on the beach, so I spent hours scouring the neighborhoods next to a waterfront park, looking for the perfect house. Finding it, I let Bill Gates make the purchase, confident that I would be moving in shortly. To fill that house,  I spent hours shopping for new furniture.

I acquired $2 million in jewelry, including a 3 carat yellow diamond ring in a platinum setting (put at a nearby Target store by my time-turner friend). At the Goodwill in downtown Seattle, I found an abalone bracelet that had once been owned by my (Mermaid) grandmother.

I had long conversations with my dog, who had a deep voice when he talked. My cat inquired about my health, and I had a few close friends who were trees.

Last but not least, I was a genuine Mermaid.  Fish talked to me (literally). I had fins for feet. I had a beautiful tail.

I was beautiful.  I was energetic.  I was wealthy.

Now tell me that mental illness is terrible.

The Mermaid and His Alien Baseball Team January 24, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hallucinations, mental illness.
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One morning, I was just finishing up swimming my laps (I thought I was a Mermaid) when I noticed a man getting into the lane right next to mine.  Rising to my feet, I told the swimmer that he could have my lane, as I was done swimming.

He thanked me, but he said that he didn’t like to swim in that far lane.  When I asked him why, he explained that it made him uncomfortable but he didn’t know why. I explained that he was probably sensitive to the energy buildup along the bottom edges and corners of the pool.  Instead of looking at me like I had lost my mind, he became very interested in what I had to say.  Fascinated, in fact. Wanting to discuss the  concept further,  he asked to meet me at a nearby Starbucks  in about 15 minutes, to have coffee and talk.

But I hadn’t left the pool yet. Dunking my head in the water to clear my mask,  I noticed the familiar faint green tint to his skin. He was a Merman.

Arriving at the Starbucks a bit early, I purchased my coffee and contemplated the logo on the cup. A two-tailed Mermaid. Hm. A Sign. I settled down to wait for my new Merman friend. Shortly  he arrived, purchasing his coffee and joining me at a small table by a fireplace, surrounded by other patrons.

Explaining that I saw the green tinge of his skin in the pool and that he was a Merman, I was prepared for him to walk out on me. But he didn’t flinch. Instead, he insisted that we move outside where we wouldn’t be overheard. Once there, he told me his little secret: he was a mind-reader.  Then he offered to demonstrate his skill, telling me to think of a word and to concentrate hard on that word.

As I sat across the table from him, I concentrated on the word “Abracadabra” as hard as I could, even mentally painstakingly writing the word on a blackboard in my mind, willing him to succeed.

Although he tried many times to come up with the word I was thinking of, he just couldn’t do it.  He didn’t even come close. Finally, he said had to leave. We parted, not even exchanging names or phone numbers. He didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t know who he was. And that was okay by me.

But before he left, he told me about his Alien baseball team.  He said that there were lots of Alien baseball teams throughout the galaxy, and that they played each other in games that were similar to the ones played here on Earth. Then he offered to show me pictures of his Alien baseball team. When I assented, he pulled out his wallet and extracted several baseball cards.

On each card was a photo of an Alien dressed in a baseball uniform. The player’s name, unpronounceable, was written underneath the photo. Statistics and the player’s position were written on the reverse side. In all, the cards were virtually undistinguishable from regular baseball cards with the exception of the players. He explained that he owned an entire baseball team of Aliens, but he never told me where the games were played or invited me to watch a game with him.

The next day,  the word “Abracadabra” was written in blue letters on a whiteboard hanging on the wall. I was shocked. Directly below that word, written in green,  was another word:  dandelion.  Clearly the Merman had returned to the pool and had written the words on the whiteboard. I understood writing the word that was in my mind, but I had no idea what the word dandelion meant. Then it came to me: that was the Merman’s name. Dan De Lion.

Was Dan De Lion real? I don’t know.  If he was, then he was as mentally ill as I was.  If he wasn’t real, then I was one of those people you see sitting in restaurants talking to themselves.

How Long Does it Take to Become Psychotic January 8, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, Disability Claim, ESP, mental illness.
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Back when I was working as a Project Manager in downtown Seattle, my employer- let’s call them M Construction- paid for a long and short term disability policy as part of my compensation package.

As the stress on that job escalated to impossible levels due to the fact that I had no support staff (no matter how hard I tried to get it), I began to believe that I had ESP, and that I could communicate with my flesh-and-blood bosses via that ESP. As my mental illness rapidly progressed, I became more enmeshed in my delusional world, communicating with my bosses via ESP several times a day.  They knew, I believed, the untenable position I was in.

As the pressure on my job escalated to impossible levels, we (my ESP bosses and I)  hatched a plan.  They directed me to in effect hold my job hostage. I was supposed to tell the flesh-and-blood boss that I had a job offer with a competitor- someone whom the company had recently lost a lot of employees to. The result was supposed to be leverage to get the staff I needed in order to perform my job. At the direction of my ESP bosses, I made that threat to my flesh-and-blood bosses. But instead of getting the staff I needed, the flesh-and-blood bosses wished me well and held an exit interview.

During my exit interview, as I sat in a Starbucks with my flesh-and-blood boss across the table from me, my flesh-and-blood boss wrung his hands, asking me why I didn’t say something sooner. I tried to argue that point, saying that I would stay if I was given the staff I needed. The flesh-and-blood boss said it was too late, while the ESP boss told me this discussion was part of the ultimate plan to get me that staff.  At the end of the interview, I was officially out of a job. But my imaginary ESP boss told me to sit back and wait for things to happen.

After a few days of waiting around for their phone call to return to work, my ESP boss told me to give him a call, which I did. My flesh-and-blood boss tried to argue with me, telling me that I had quit. I explained that I was only doing what he told me to do. Confusedly, he ended the phone call, telling me once again that I had quit. During this conversation with my flesh-and-blood boss, that same man (in the form of ESP) told me this conversation  was all part of the plan, and that the offer to return to work was imminent but that he couldn’t say so over the phone. “Just relax” was my direction.

As the weeks leading up to my ultimate involuntary commitment wore on, I continued to maintain regular phone contact with my flesh-and-blood bosses, truly believing that my return to M Construction was imminent, despite his continued assurances that my job had been filled.  When my husband asked me how my job hunt was coming along, I explained that there had been a mistake and that I would be returning to M Construction soon.  I didn’t even bother to apply for unemployment, because I knew my return to work was imminent.

Within three weeks of holding my job hostage, I was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. During the three weeks at the hospital and the subsequent months in recovery, the furthest thing from my mind was the insurance policy. But as I began to mentally re-enter the real world, my husband reminded me of that policy and asked me to check on it.  Digging around the house, I located the policy. Sure enough, I was covered!

I called M Construction’s Human Resources department to start the claim process, only to be informed that I had quit before entering the hospital. Policy null and void.  Submitting the claim anyway, I wasn’t surprised when Prudential’s denial letter arrived, saying the same thing: I had quit before I became crazy.

Upon further consideration, I realized that what I really had was an on-the-job injury, just like I was hit on the head with a 2X4.  But the 2X4 in my case was the stress that caused me to go psychotic.

There was no doubt that I had become sick. My involuntary commitment was physical evidence of that. But one burning question remained:  How long before my hospitalization was I psychotic/sick?  Was it before I “quit” my job, or afterward?  How long does it take a person to become psychotic? More than three weeks or less than three weeks?

I hired an attorney to find out.

Hearing Voices and A New Identity September 16, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hallucinations, Hearing Voices, mental illness.
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I admit the first time I heard the voice of my boss, Mark, while driving down the freeway alone in my car, I was surprised.  He wasn’t in the car or on the cell phone, and yet he spoke to me as clearly as if he were sitting next to me. I realized immediately that I had a special power: ESP. It didn’t seem unusual at all to be gifted with special powers, and it didn’t even cross my mind that I could be mentally ill. I was simply gifted.

I assumed from the very first time I heard Mark’s voice that I had control of my ESP. I assumed that I would be able to simply stop hearing the voices whenever I chose to, and that was how it worked. At first.

Then things changed, and suddenly I was no longer in charge.  The voices were. As the voices slowly increased in number- around 50 at the high- they also increased their grip on my mind, ultimately refusing to leave. When I eventually begged and pleaded with them to leave, they wouldn’t go away.  That’s where the strength of my personality played into the situation.

I should have been terrified when the voices wouldn’t leave. I should have sought immediate medical intervention when I felt my mind being smothered by theirs, wrapping their thoughts around mine and choking me off  like morning glories on a rhododendron.

But because of the nature of my personality, I felt strong enough to handle the situation. I had always succeeded in everything I had undertaken before, so this wouldn’t be any different. I fought hard to keep a sense of self, knowing that I would prevail, despite the increased smothering of my ideas by theirs. To keep things from unraveling, I learned not to express fear. To express fear brought on the evil voices. But to embrace the voices with love kept the voices slightly off-balance. Where there should have been fear in me there was a sort of pity for them.

My saving grace was that the voices never learned how to read my own independent thoughts. This situation is hard to articulate even now, but suffice it to say that they tried to smother and replace my thoughts with their own, but they never knew what my thoughts- my real thoughts- were.

Trying to maintain my separate being from being taken over by the voices was like being in a room with someone fighting for possession of increasingly more space. Never satisfied with taking just a part of the room, they moved their line of possession to increasingly larger sections of the room. As long as I could maintain even a tiny portion of the room, I could hold on to my identity.  That was what protected me from total destruction.

Eventually, the voices took over my entire mind, cleanly breaking my mind off and replacing it with their own, plunging me into a total and complete break from reality. Their reality became my own.

In the days and hours before my involuntary commitment to the mental hospital, my independent personality was a sliver of what it had been before the mental illness took over. As my husband drove me to the emergency room, the last shreds of what used to be me disappeared, replaced in totality by Pangea the Mermaid, the identity of the new inhabitant of my body. The old Kathy was lost forever.

Only strong medication administered in a mental hospital under constant supervision broke their thoughts from my mind. But as their claw-like grip on my mind receded, what remained in the room was not what used to be there. The thoughts that took over my mind also took over my identity, and the medication that wiped out Pangea never replaced it with the old Kathy. My former personality was destroyed first by the voices and then by the medication. The mind emerging from the tunnel isn’t the mind that entered it.

As you might imagine, this situation created an identity crisis of major proportions. I’m not the old Kathy, and neither am I Pangea.  I’m someone entirely new. And that’s where therapy comes in.  My therapist has slowly, over a two year period of time, helped me define and identify who this new person is.  I hate to think about how empty my life would be  without the help of my counselor. Her assistance in rebuilding me from scratch has made life worth living for me and my friends and family.  Without her help, I would be in a horrible place- neither one nor the other. Now I realize that I’m not Kathy 1, and not Pangea. I’m Kathy 2, and that’s just fine.

New Hallucinations in the Mental Hospital April 7, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in ESP, Hallucinations, Mental Hospital, mental illness.
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It’s understood implicitly that once you enter a mental hospital, you don’t have any new kinds of hallucinations. If you have any at all, they’re supposed to be simply a repeat of hallucinations that you’ve already had.  But that’s not true.

On June 8, 2008, I was at the mental hospital during the 2008 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Boston Celtics at Boston. Having been involuntarily committed the week before, I sat in the commons room with Bruce, a patient diagnosed with bipolar 1 with schizophrenia, watching the beginning of the championship game from a point about 8 feet away from the screen of a tv encased in plexiglass.  Bruce was a huge fan of the game, which was being broadcast live from Boston, home of the Celtics.

For the record, I never grew up around basketball, so never had the opportunity to become a fan of the game.  I don’t know the various basketball players except for the extremely famous ones like Kobe Bryant, who happens to play for the Lakers. I don’t know the positions each of the players play, and I don’t know the rules of the game. About all I know is that a player takes the basketball down to the opposite end and tries to put the ball through the hoop. If he succeeds, his team gets a point. But unlike many other games, the game doesn’t stop once a player scores a point.

Before the game started, faint squiggly lines, resembling a flashlight moving rapidly across an object, superimposed themselves on top of each player, keeping within the outline of each player’s body.  As the camera zoomed in and out and the size of the figures changed on the screen, the light kept in scale to those changes without going outside the outlines of the player’s body.

As the game started and the players began to move, the intensity of that white light increased. When a player went “all out”, their light became especially bright. When the player stopped moving, his light dimmed. As he sat on the bench, his light dimmed almost to the point where it disappeared. At least that was the way it worked in the beginning.

In one player, the intensity of light was about 3 or 4 times that of the other players. I made a point of finding out who that player was, and was not surprised when that player turned out to be Kobe Bryant. After I figured that out, it was easy to pick out Kobe while he was on the floor, since his light was so bright.  Even at rest, his light was brighter than the others. It didn’t really matter what was going on around him, because his light intensity didn’t vary much. It was always very bright.

Once the game started, each player’s light changed in intensity depending on what was going on in the game. For example, if the Lakers had the ball, all of the lines of the Lakers players dramatically increased in intensity. Bryant’s light lit up like a Christmas tree. As the Laker lights increased, each of the Celtic player lights decreased in intensity to the same degree.  When the Lakers lost the ball to the Celtics, the reverse would happen. The Celtic lights, once dimmer than the Laker lights, increased in intensity while the Laker lights, once brighter than the Celtic lights, dimmed. Back and forth the light intensity went, depending on who had possession of the ball. That was all very interesting. But even more interesting was the crowd.

Before the game started, I noticed that the stadium crowd, like the players, had those same squiggly white lights on them as well. The difference was that the spectators were wedged rather tightly together, so that their individual lights formed one large ring around the stadium.

Mirroring the players, that light brightened and dimmed, depending on how their team was doing at any particular moment. As the home team did well, the crowd’s ring brightened up. As the home team did poorly, the crowd’s ring dimmed. Bright and dim, bright and dim, the crowd’s light changed over and over.

That particular game was unique in that the game came down to the wire. The closer to the end of the quarter the game got, the brighter the crowd’s light got. The bright lights got the brightest they had been during the entire game, and the dims got the dimmest. Violent swings of intensity marked the crowd’s lights.

It didn’t matter to me who won and who lost. What mattered was that I had this hallucination, and that this hallucination was shared by Bruce. As the game began, I asked him if he could see what I did. When he answered in the affirmative, we whispered our awareness with each other as the game progressed.

So it’s not true that the delusions stop once we’re hospitalized. And it’s not true that we don’t start having new hallucinations once we enter the hospital.  I know what I saw.

The Job that Took My Mind Part 4 November 8, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hearing Voices, mental illness, Stress.
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A few hours before I held my job hostage with Ben, Marvin had assigned me the task of unraveling how much money we owed the prefabricated stadium stairs subcontractor, who was threatening to leave the project because he hadn’t been paid enough money. My job was unravel all of the revisions and come to an understanding of how much money I thought M Construction truly owed him. I was supposed to have the assignment complete before Marvin’s Monday morning (May 4th) meeting with the subcontractor.

Believing that I was still employed by M Construction, I drove to the jobsite on Saturday, May 2nd, in order to complete my assignment from Marvin. When I arrived at my desk, my computer password had been changed. Panicked, I called Mark explaining that I had done what he and John N. told me to do and held my j ob hostage. After hearing the story, I asked him what he was going to do about it. He told me that I needed to find a new job, since I had quit mine. I argued with him, reminding him of the direction I received from him via ESP. He ended the conversation without providing me with an answer to my question.

After I hung up the phone,  Ben arrived at the jobsite and I asked him why I couldn’t get into my computer. He explained that I had quit. I argued with him, explaining that he needed to give me more help. Finally, after arguing with me for several minutes,  he told me to gather up my things so he could drive me home. He drove me home in my company car, helped me unload my things from the car, and drove away as my husband stood watching the whole thing. When my husband asked me what was going on,  I told him there had been a mistake, and that somehow Ben had the impression that I had quit. I assured him this wasn’t the case, and that I would be returning to work very soon.

The following week, I waited around the house for the anticipated call from John N that would tell me to report back to the jobsite. Several days elapsed without a word from John or anyone else at M Construction. Wednesday morning (May 6th), John directed me (via ESP) to call him so he could give me permission to return to work. So on Wednesday, May 6, 2008, I called John (as he requested via ESP), asking him when I was returning and reminding him of our conversation via ESP. He explained that I had quit my job and that he had replaced me. At first, I argued with John, until he began explaining (via ESP) that he needed a little more time to arrange things. Hanging up the phone with John, I believed that my return was imminent.

As a Mermaid, my life revolved around the water. I swam at the local YMCA pool several times a day, and took occasional trips to the local beach where I would wade around in the (very cold) water to “refresh” myself. I began eating sea shells and wearing them inside my clothing and in my (new) purses. I also began to observe that many of my fellow swimmers were also Mermaids. I could tell them from their (slightly) green skin, although I didn’t confront them about that point.  At the pool, I met a (real, as far as I can tell now) writer named Dan DeLion who insisted that we meet for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He told me he owned an intergalactic baseball team, and then proceeded to show me the baseball cards of the individual players on the team.

As the voices became higher in decibal and more numerous, I became more and more distracted by them and less focused on the real world around me. I became increasingly more annoyed that the various voices in my head refused to leave me alone. Finally, I got fed up and on May 8th, 2008 I consulted my primary care physician, Dr. Paul, about the whole situation. After I told him that I was hearing voices (but not the extent of the problem), he wrote out a referral to a psychiatrist. But the voices were insistent that I didn’t need to see a psychiatrist because 1. I wasn’t crazy and 2. I didn’t want anyone else thinking I was crazy. So I never made the appointment.

The Job that Took My Mind Part 3 November 7, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hearing Voices, mental illness, Stress.
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My delusion began in February 2008, when I began hearing voices in my head as I was driving to work. Believing that I had acquired the gift of ESP, I was surprised and thrilled to learn that I could communicate via ESP with my boss Mark and his boss John N. As I believed that I was communicating directly with each of them, I also believed that they were each fully aware of the challenges I was facing on a daily basis as I did my best to put the construction claim against the owner together.

As the pressure to perform increased, my stress level increased accordingly. I learned that I was- and always had been-  a mermaid named Pangea.  I communicated via ESP with powerful people, who hung on my every word. The Dalai Lama, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Oprah Winfrey were part of my inner circle, as well as various people I worked with (including Mark and John N.). I talked with fish, dogs, and cats. I began spending money on clothes and plants.

As I sat in John N’s office in mid March 2008, I turned over the $2 million claim to him, which by that time included 15 four inch binders, numerous as-built plans, and an “as-built” project schedule. Receiving my claim, he told me, for the first time, what my new project was, directing me to report for work the following morning at the ice rink. I was shocked that I received no real recognition for my efforts. No thank you, no gift certificate, no nothing for the job I busted my ass for.  Just “Report to a new job tomorrow morning”.

My new job was  managing what is called the Structures Package on a brand new ice hockey rink in a city an hour (in good traffic) from my house (one-way). The installation of the concrete work, including the stadium steps and ice rink floor would be part of my job, as well as installation of the “cat walk”, the bridging system high above the rink that contained the cameras, tv screen, and all of the other electronic gear you see at various arenas. The entire Structures package, I had been told, was valued at $11 million.

Arriving at the new ice rink jobsite the following morning, I learned that Marvin, a man employed by M Construction but supposedly the owner’s representative, made the unilateral decision months before that M Construction’s project superintendent would do double duty, acting as the guy overseeing the entire $55 million project as well as the guy responsible for my $11 million contract. I realized immediately that each job (managing the entire project and managing the Structures package) would require its own superintendent, and that trying to save money by using the same guy for both jobs was a foolish thing to do. The net effect was that the Structures package was given almost no attention by the superintendent because he was involved in the overall picture rather that the minutia. I couldn’t believe it!

I gave my (unasked-for) opinion of that arrangement and requested permission to hire my own crew. I also asked for a copy of the subcontract for my scope of work so that I could understand the nature, scope, and price of my subcontract. Ben refused both requests.

In late March 2008, the President of the entire company, Tom, visited the jobsite and spent 30 seconds talking to me. He immediately joined my entourage of people who talked with me via ESP.  At around that same time frame, I began to realize why Marvin kept the job so short-staffed. It became crystal clear that he was embezzling large sums of money from the company.The best way to get away with it, I realized, was to keep everyone at the jobsite so short-staffed that they couldn’t keep track of what he was doing.  It was a perfect set-up, and explained why he was running the job so short-handed and burning out people right and left. When I explained (via ESP) to Mark, John N., and Tom what Marvin was doing and how he was doing it as well as how to catch him at it, they thanked me (via ESP).  Assuring me they would work behind the scenes to apprehend Marvin, they asked me not to worry about it any more.

Meanwhile, the stress of trying to run a job short-handed continued to eat away at me and the people around me. No matter how hard we all worked- weekends and late into the evenings- it was never enough. I made no secret of my failings, keeping Ben apprised of the fact that I was falling further and further behind. I told him that I had 140 unopened emails. Still he did nothing to reduce my work load.

Realizing that they couldn’t interfere directly in the Kent project, Mark  and John N. told me (via ESP) that they had hatched a plan so I could get the help I needed. They directed me (via ESP) to hold my job hostage by threatening to quit. They said to tell Ben that I had a job offer from a competing company, and that the second I made the threat, Ben would get me the authority I needed to perform my job. I had been begging Ben for my own superintendent and 2 project engineers so I could get on top of the structures package work since I had arrived at the job in the middle of March 2008.

At Mark and John’s direction (via ESP), on Thursday, May 1, 2008, I walked into Ben’s office and shut the door. I explained that although I had another job offer, I wanted to remain there as long as I could have the authority of a true project manager for the Strutures package.

In shock, Ben told me he would check with Marvin, the Construction Executive. I took this as a good sign. Returning to my office half an hour later, Ben told me that he talked with Marvin and that everything was taken care of. Interpreting that statement to mean that I would be getting the authority I needed, I began fielding calls from various co-workers calling to ask if the rumors of my imminent departure were true. I explained they were not true. Thursday afternoon (May 1st), Ben told me to call John N. to set up my exit interview. Via ESP,  John N. told me the interview was just a formality, and not to worry because he was working behind the scenes on my behalf. At the interview,  the real John asked me to stay on for 2 weeks while he found a replacement. Believing that this was his way of buying time so he could work behind the scenes, I agreed.

I Am No More October 22, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hearing Voices, mental illness.
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I admit the first time I heard the voice of my boss, Mark, I was surprised.  Driving down the freeway on my way to work, although he wasn’t in the car or on the cell phone, he spoke to me. I realized immediately that I had a special power: ESP. It didn’t seem unusual at all to be gifted with special powers, and it didn’t even cross my mind that I could be mentally ill.

I assumed from the very first time I heard Mark’s voice that I would be able to simply stop hearing the voices whenever I chose to, and that was how it worked at first. As the voices slowly increased in number- around 50 at the high- they also increased their grip on my mind, ultimately refusing to leave my mind. When I eventually begged and pleaded with them to leave, they wouldn’t go away.  That’s where the strength of my personality played into the situation.

I should have been terrified when the voices wouldn’t leave. I should have sought immediate medical intervention when I felt my mind being smothered by theirs, wrapping their thoughts around mine and choking me off  like morning glories on a rhododendron.

But because of the nature of my personality, I felt strong enough to handle the situation. I had always succeeded in everything I had undertaken before, so this wouldn’t be any different. I fought hard to keep a sense of self, knowing that I would prevail, despite the increased smothering of my ideas by theirs. To keep things from unraveling, I learned not to express fear. To express fear brought on the evil voices. But to embrace the voices with love kept the voices slightly off-balance. Where there should have been fear in me there was a sort of pity for them.

My saving grace was that the voices never learned how to read my own independent thoughts. This situation is hard to articulate even now, but suffice it to say that they tried to smother and replace my thoughts with their own, but they never knew what my thoughts- my real thoughts- were.

Trying to maintain my separate being from being taken over by the voices was like being in a room with someone fighting for possession of increasingly more space. Never satisfied with taking just a part of the room, they moved their line of possession to increasingly larger sections of the room. As long as I could maintain even a tiny portion of the room, I could hold on to my identity.  That was what protected me from total destruction.

Eventually, the voices took over my entire mind, cleanly breaking my mind off and replacing it with their own, plunging me into a total and complete break from reality. Their reality became my own.

In the days and hours before my involuntary commitment to the mental hospital, my independent personality was a sliver of what it had been before the mental illness took over. As my husband drove me to the emergency room, the last shreds of what used to be me disappeared, replaced in totality by Pangea the Mermaid. I was lost forever.

Only strong medication administered in a mental hospital under constant supervision broke their thoughts from my mind. But as their claw-like grip on my mind receded, what remained in the room was not what used to be there. The thoughts took over my mind and therefore my identity, and the medication that replaced it also replaced my identity. Either way, my personality was destroyed first by the voices and then by the medication. The mind emerging from the tunnel isn’t the mind that entered it. I am no more.

The Talking Tree Part 2 October 14, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hallucinations, mental illness.
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Talking with a Tree wasn’t like talking to a human. It was much more intuitive. I didn’t  hear the voices of trees like I heard peoples’ voices when we talked via ESP. This was on a much grander scale. Pure thought.  Conveyed from his soul to mine.

As I started to “probe” his soul- for lack of a better word- I quickly realized that he- and I don’t know why I knew it was a “he”- knew more about everything than I did.

Impossible! How can an inanimate object know more than I do?

By using all sources of information.

But you can’t go anywhere. You can’t learn anything. That’s impossible.

Knowledge is everywhere. It’s all around us.  Trees- and almost everything else for that matter- live- really LIVE- outside your three dimensions.  Only humans- and many dogs- make exclusive use of only three. And you didn’t even pick the best three.

What are you talking about?

Look beyond three dimensions. Open up your mind.  Stretch. A Tree stretches to the sky. You stretch to the sky too.

I don’t know how, but I knew exactly what he meant.  I stood there in front of that tree, stretching my consciousness out as far as I could. Reaching…reaching…reaching.  As I reached out, the Tree’s energy flowed to me.  Ancient history. Billions of years. Not in pictures, but in thought.

You…Understand?…

I’m trying to. The energy surged through to my brain. Billions of thoughts, all simultaneous, pushing themselves into my consciousness.

I can help you…with your task from God. I am helping already.

I broke the connection. I had to pull away from all that energy. It was frying my brain.

God: Too much.

Me: Too much.

God: Try again.

I stretched my mind, plugging into the Tree’s soul once again.  This time I knew what to expect. I was ready for it, having fastened a kind of defense mechanism into my brain. Kind of like a circuit breaker.

Better?…Let’s try again…

My finger had been plugged into a light socket- or at least that’s what I thought at first. I saw the past. The present. And a little glimmer of the future. All at once.  The term “mind-blowing” came to mind.

You think in pictures. Here’s a picture of your soul. A shiny white light, cross-shaped, appeared in my mind.  This time no picture.  Better, yes?And then, the picture was gone, replaced by an explosion of energy. I had to unplug again. Before I lost my mind.

The Talking Tree Part 1 October 13, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, ESP, Hallucinations, mental illness.
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As I strolled down the lane, my trusty rat terrier, Randy, bounced ahead of me, ducking in and out of the low bushes, stopping here and there to deposit his watery mark.

Several weeks prior, God had revealed to me my Purpose In Life. I was The Chosen One, charged with the special duty that would unlock the secrets of the universe to the mass of humanity inhabiting out tiny planet.

Contemplating how I would fulfill my  mission, I came to the realization that I had absolutely no idea how to accomplish my God-given task.  Distractedly, I walked along the lane, looking at, but not really seeing, the scenery as I contemplated my undertaking. The majestic cedars and stately pine trees swayed slightly in the wind, but I didn’t really notice.  I was too bent on looking from a sign from God.  Everywhere I looked, I saw nothing to help me. How was I supposed to proceed?

Coming to a stop in front of a large tree at the end of the lane, I stared hard.  A tree. A tree? A TREE!

When I first look at that tree, I saw a relatively inanimate object.  It swayed in the wind, but it didn’t  budge on its own. Why would it need to?  Everything it needed to survive came to it.  Food and water came to it.  Pollination came to it.  And when I got down to it,  its ability to absorb nourishment from sunlight made it superior to me.

But did trees have souls? Did they get lonely, longing for the company of others trees?

The answer to those questions, it became clear to me, was found in the world of dimensions. Relegated to the realm of algebraic equations, dimensions held no life-affirming purpose in my life.  What did they mean to me?  I lived in three dimensions. The only dimensions I needed to survive.  Or were they?

To quote Oprah Winfrey, my “ah-ha moment” came as I stood face to face with that tree. Turning on my ESP, I held out my hands, palms up, as I slowly circled the tree, feeling its vibration as the energy flowed from it to me and back. The tree was talking to me.