Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life as a Fairy Tale

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious … I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. –St John, Revelation 2.17

Well, isn’t that special. My friends organized an intervention, demanding I go for counseling. I shouldn’t have been shocked. You can’t keep telling people you never feel like you fit in, that you are tormented by hearing voices telling you there is another self that you need to become, and that sometimes you can almost see into another world, a parallel universe, without raising a few eyebrows. And now here I am about to step inside a counselor’s office.

When I step inside the office I can’t help but wonder if he is the one with no oars in the water. He looks like Jack Elam, only his eyes are even crazier. His desk is cluttered with parchments that appear to be maps and the walls are covered with paintings of mountains being engulfed in flames. When I go to sit down on the couch he is pointing toward, I have to shove dozens of old books out of the way.

Looking at the maps, I ask him if any have written on them, “Here be monsters.”

“You know about the monsters. Good.”

I look for a knowing twinkle in his eye that says, “I am pulling your leg,” but it isn’t there. His demeanor is intensely earnest and utterly genuine. I want to laugh but don’t. And then I feel like a bell has been rung in my heart. At last: a fellow psycho.

I am expecting a litany of questions that will help in his diagnosis. He takes a different tack.

“You are standing on the edge of a precipice. You can turn back, deny the reality of the visions and voices that are tormenting you, and take your place with what society calls normal and sane. Or you can jump, throwing yourself into the quest that your heart has been begging you to embark upon. Choose normalcy and you will need to find another counselor. Choose to throw yourself in and I will do what I can to help you find your way.”

My first thought is of my friends and how they are expecting me to come back looking and sounding like them. But the second thought is more powerful. What if this is my last shot at finding the door at the back of a wardrobe? I’m going with Lucy.

 “All my life I have been tormented by this angst. I have tried to be normal. I threw myself into work, hoping the flurry of activity would drown out the voices. I have joined groups and crowds seeking to look like everyone else, but the feelings of not belonging were only exacerbated. I have tried every alternative path I have seen, but the one right in front of me is always – right in front of me. I have to do this. I have to jump. There is no other way for me. One way or the other, I have to see where jumping will lead me.”

“Good. Now. Who are you,” he asks.

Dumbfounded, I sit there with my mouth agape. I draw a blank. “What’s happening to me?”

“Okay. What is your name?”

I try to answer him. It’s on the tip of my tongue. My mind races ...

“I don’t know.”

(To be continued…)

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

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