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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.

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.

A Case for Involuntary Commitment January 1, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Involuntary Committment, Medication, Mental Hospital, mental illness.
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As part of my psychotic experience, I believed that I had ESP (extra sensory perception). I thought I had famous people as part of my entourage, hanging on every brilliant “word” coming out of my “mouth”. At first, these conversations took place entirely inside my head, without me uttering a single word.  However, towards the end of my psychotic experience, my need to talk out loud to them became very strong. Too strong to ignore.

Thanking God for Bluetooth technology, I decided that talking out loud to my friends would be mistaken by everyone who witnessed it as simply conversing on the cell phone, as long as I had my “ear bud” in my ear. So I began wearing my “ear bud” everywhere except to bed.

In this section from my memoir (called I Thought I Was A Mermaid), I had just driven to Walmart (really) to go shopping with my (imaginary) friends.

(Note to blog readers: As far as the people with me go, they were a mixed bag. Although I had never met the real Claudia, she was in fact a real person whom I had heard about and wanted to meet.  Mike was actually based on my (real) boss at Mortenson, where I was a project manager on a $55 million ice hockey rink under construction.  Bill Gates needs no introduction, except to say that although I had never met him in real life, my circle of friends (really) included someone who had (really) worked with he and Melinda Gates, his wife, at Microsoft back in the day.

Rolling into the colossal Walmart parking lot, I turned off the key.

Me: Here we are, everyone!

Claudia: I can’t believe how nice the cars are. I thought they’d be all dumpy and old and stuff. But they’re not too bad. Even a Lexus or two.(Note to blog readers: the people I conversed with could see through my eyes, so they saw exactly what I saw).

Bill Gates: I’ve never been to a Walmart before. But I know someone who has. And she’s dying to meet you. Oprah Winfrey, meet Kathy. Kathy, meet Oprah. I was shocked, to put it mildly.

Me: I never expected to meet you in a million years, Ms. Winfrey.

Oprah: Call me Oprah, Kathy.  And it’s very nice to meet you.

Me: It’s nice to meet you also.

Oprah: I’ve been hearing a lot about you, Kathy.  Bill and Melinda Gates are friends of mine. When I heard they knew you, I begged them for an introduction. And it’s so funny that I’d meet you here in a Walmart parking lot. I grew up with Walmart.


During my three week involuntary hospitalization (at Fairfax Mental Hospital), I continued to believe that I had ESP. The day I was released from Fairfax, I met my new psychiatrist for the very first time. After my meeting with him, I believed that I talked with him via ESP during my car ride home.

My point is that it took over a month for the medication, initially forced on me during my hospitalization, to finally kick in enough that I no longer believed I had ESP. Without involuntary commitment and its accompanying medication, I would still believe I had ESP and I would still be talking out loud to my imaginary friends. At first I fought tooth and nail, but in the end, involuntary commitment saved my family and I from a terrible fate.

Delusions December 10, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, Hallucinations, Hearing Voices, mental illness, Psychotic.
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The problem with having delusions and hallucinations is that when you have one, you can’t tell. You don’t realize that you don’t know what’s “real” and what isn’t, because it’s all real when you’re insane.

Because delusions and hallucinations affected each and every one of my senses, my whole sense of reality was messed up. Nothing was sacred or safe. And I couldn’t tell.

Hearing:  That delusion is what started all of the others. I heard voices in my head that weren’t there.  I thought I had the God-given gift of ESP.  Famous people, people I worked with,  and even people who didn’t really exist at all in the real world were at my beck and call 24/7. Although she wasn’t a real person in real life, Claudia, my Diet Guru/Shopping Buddy, was real enough to me. She controlled what I ate and what I wore.

Taste: Because I was overweight, Claudia had me on a diet. One of my favorite foods is Costco Cashews. Big bucket. Lots of calories.  When I first opened the jar and started eating the first handful of cashews, all was well. They tasted marvelous as usual. But as I ate the second handful, the cashews started to taste just a tad bit on the moldy side. The third handful was moldier than the first. As I continued to eat the cashews, they became progressively moldier. Finally, they tasted so moldy that I couldn’t eat another one.

At first I attributed that moldy taste to a bad batch of cashews. Costco’s quality control was on the fritz- at least that’s what I thought at first. But as I thought about the situation more closely, I realized that Costco’s quality control system wasn’t at fault here because the more cashews I ate, the moldier they became. Finally, it dawned on me that it was really my “Duet Guru”, Claudia, at work, controlling the taste of the cashews in order to stop me from eating too much. It was actually Claudia’s control system rather than Costco’s at work.

Smell: Although I couldn’t see any of the people in my head with my own eyes, I could smell them. Or at least one: Claudia.  When she showed up in the “room” inside my head, I smelled her before I heard her. Her perfume was, I was sure, a very expensive brand in keeping with her expensive taste. When she left, her perfume left with her.

Touch:  Touch was, in my view, one of the more interesting delusions. Mermaids, it turns out, can’t wear the color pink. 🙂  Neither sheets, socks, clothes, or even racks of clothing in a clothing store could touch my skin without burning me- as if  I’d touched a hot iron. It didn’t leave a blister, surprisingly, but it was hot enough that it could have. So I had to be very careful not to brush up against anything pink. When a red-headed little girl wearing pink passed me at the mall, it was all I could do to keep from calling CPS on her parents.  Speaking of color…

Color: In addition My color delusions were the most amazing. I had no idea how much color delusions shaped my world until after I was hospitalized and the mania left. Only then did I realize that I even had color delusions. Color delusions, like the others, are hard to spot until after they’re gone.

Shopping with my mom at Target (post-manic), I saw a green snakeskin wallet sitting on a shelf that was identical to one that I had purchased while I was manic. Identical, that is except for the color.  Compared to the vivid, explosive shade of green of my wallet, the wallet on the shelf was a ghostly shadow of mine.  When I finally realized that those two wallets were identical in every other respect, I came to understand that  realized that the two wallets were one and the same. that I saw before I was manic, the real wallet was a much paler, washed out shade of green. With the realization that my vivid, explosive colors of my imagination were all delusion-induced came a sadness that all colors had lost their intensity in my new post-manic world.

Vision:  I saw things- like green skin on fellow swimmers that I identified in my mind as fellow Mermaids. I spent several hours speaking with a man who may or may not have been real. If he was real, then he was as bizarre as I was, taking the time to whip out his wallet and show me pictures of the Alien Baseball team he owned. With the exception of the Alien photos, the cards couldn’t me distinguished from real Major League Baseball cards.

Either I was talking to a man who wasn’t there, or I was talking to a man who was just as mentally ill as I was. If I was talking to a man who wasn’t there, I was exactly like one of those mentally ill people you see sitting in coffee shops talking to themselves. Not good either way.

Having experienced delusions in all of my senses, it’s difficult now to be absolutely sure that what I’m seeing or smelling or tasting or hearing in the here and now is “real”. How can I trust my senses after the Hell I went through?  I can’t be 100 percent sure of anything at all.

Why does the answer matter?  Because if I can discern the real from the imaginary, then I can head off a manic episode. But how do you spot a delusion when you’re in one? Is the food really moldy, or is another psychotic/manic episode on its way? Is that pretty shade of blue real or imagined?  Did that woman passing me on the sidewalk really wear perfume? Am I sinking into another delusion? How do I know?  That’s the scary part: you don’t know when you’ve lost touch with reality. It’s all real when you’re insane.

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.


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.

The Case For Insanity October 6, 2009

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

In early February 2008, at the beginning of my traipse into a world of make-believe, I had ESP.  How cool is that? I talked with people in my head.  Powerful people.   Bill and Melinda Gates. The Dalai Lama. Oprah Winfrey.  My (then) bosses. All of these people and more were at my beck and call.

Then there was my job situation.  In my fantasy world, my (real) 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 money.

And yet money had no real value.  I had access to Bill and Melinda Gates’ money.  I had a friend who was a time traveler who could make it so that I had money whenever I wanted it.  Because money meant nothing, I wrote a (NSF) check for  a beautiful, gold, brand new Lexus Convertible car.  Bill and Melinda Gates were going to reimburse me for the purchase as part of my new employment package. I bought a new wardrobe for my new job.

I owned $2 million in jewelry, including a 3 carat yellow diamond in a platinum setting, and an abalone bracelet that had once been owned by my (Mermaid) grandmother.

I talked with trees, dogs, and cats.

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.