People who equate truth with fact are missing the point.

A Flip of the Mood Switch

I planned to post The Transcendent Familiar Part 4 on Sunday. Really, I did. Why isn’t it up yet? Two reasons.

First, I was struggling with how to tell the next part of the story because I didn’t understand it until yesterday. WHY did I date, marry, and have two children with a man who was so vastly, devastatingly wrong for me (and I for him, though that’s his part of the story)? I know the answer now, but that answer stings, so writing the story is mostly the opposite of fun.

But write it I will because that’s how I arrange my experiences – not with lists, not with equations or pictures. Narrative structure is the only structure that makes my world – my life – coherent.

Second, Carter is symptomatic. He said today that they (meaning “the little guys,” which is what he calls his hallucinations) made a deal where they wouldn’t scare him if he did what they said, namely saying hurtful things to his great-grandma (terrible especially because he feels quite protective of his grammy). I didn’t know anything about the terrible battle Carter was waging (though I could see he was very anxious and irritable) until after we were in the car and away from his great-grandma. His terror over the little guys scaring him as punishment for not doing what they told him to do…aye de mi. What a little, little boy to be fighting such a large battle.

He drew a picture on the sidewalk for his family, a love note to his dad and me, his siblings, and his grandparents. He was furious and ashamed that he had made some mistakes in his drawing, and we couldn’t talk him into believing that we loved the picture, mistakes and all. Turns out, his little guys were climbing up his ass, scolding him for not doing it right and taunting him with threats of fear.

Honestly, the bullying I experienced was bad, but this shit? This is bullies right in his own skull. When he’s having lots of trouble like this he sleeps poorly, calls out or cries in his sleep frequently, walks in his sleep, and wakes often. He can’t even get a break when he’s sleeping!

So, my story is coming, but at the moment, Carter needs my attention. I watched him ricochet today from a mixed state (the misery of depression and the misery of mania, experienced simultaneously) for most of the afternoon, to euphoria in the early evening, to mildly depressed after dinner, and every time the mood changes it changes like somebody flipped a switch.

Honestly, even though Carter’s diagnosis is no longer new, it still surprises me to see him change so dramatically, and instantly.

And so, if you are a sayer-of-prayers, we welcome some of those on our behalf. Carter is sleeping now and I can hear him moaning, talking, and just being restless in general in his bed. I want nothing in the world so much as I want that child to have quiet in his skull so he can get on with the business of being an 8 year old kid.

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