Prozac for Sylvia
Written by
January 2013
Written by
January 2013

Prozac for Sylvia

short prose by Gabrielle 

My therapist has this look about her as though she truly understands. Maybe that's what scares me about her. In our first session she asks  me to write a letter addressing my mental disorder. In the next session I show her the letter, and after she's read it there are tears in her eyes,"You have so much potential Gabrielle." She says, "And you describe it so well. Most people with schizophrenia can't do that..." Potential...hmmm. Later, we are trying DBT to cure my Bipolar disorder and now I'm feigning overstimulation, thanking the Gods of ADD that I can pretend I am not psychotic after-all. It's easy, you see. I could pass any diagnostic test if I tried. After eight years in the mental health system, and plenty of alone time to read up on psych text books I am an expert at madness.
Yet still, it is completely impossible to describe what they would call schizophrenia. One has to have walked those miles in someone's shoes before they can truly understand the depth of this disorder. Modern science has failed time and time again to describe the loss of contact between each block of time, the identity crises that can accompany a person who sees too much.
There is nothing to fear from schizophrenia, other than losing everything you once believed in.
Most people are afraid because they do not realize the truth of what sets a schizophrenic apart. Often it would seem that the most sincere learn to overcome schizophrenia, but it may just be that some are luckier than others in their prognosis. I choose to reach for the inner beauty, the illuminated truth reflected in the madness the world has chosen discard. I am living in a dark & dangerous world. 
It was my fifteenth birthday, when I decided I had to lose my mind. Inside of a white machine, I began to lose all sense of color..The doctor pointed to a chart where my EEG pattern spiked-- reaching to the clouds of the unseen. And, then I fell back down from that place where dreams had the ability to become reality. Tortured back to perfection, the voices in my head wouldn't shut up in the hospital, whispers..said.. “You're an animal. You've been domesticated...” I asked the nurses at the counter one day. "What is the definition of domestication?" They wouldn't answer me.
And voices? The voices seemed to have come after endless seconds turned into torturous infinities of isolation for refusing medication though I was definitely sick, the isolation was only making me worse. I waited, in my dark cell, I waited to be let out. Tic tock tic it went. To be released for my crime of resistance. I waited for eternity. After all, my real sanity was to arrive in that bottle of pills I had been assigned. A secret fix for the "broken". After it was said and done, their crazy machines couldn't locate my pulse let alone my reality. I let the nurse close the heavy locked doors behind me, and I dared them to destroy me leaving my parents helpless to do anything to stop them.
I try to remember a life of sanity before schizophrenia. I was two, standing in the grocery store staring at a blue and white frosted birthday cake with trains on it and a big number. Age Number 3. I felt exquisite, oh to be older. There were balloons on the cake. Red. Green. Yellow. To be tall enough to reach things I wanted to reach, and be in charge at last of my world.
I was a bright sunshine to my mother's dark sequestered world--of family values, guilt, and punishment. Some were in awe, of my big blue eyes and intelligent mind. An early talker, at least nine months old. At night I was plagued, though, suddenly my parents vanished and I--this mere three year old girl--holding onto a large steering wheel with no idea of how to steer. The car would steer on its own. life seems aimless sometimes, but it's not. 
My dad took me everywhere around the city in a blue backpack. He took me to a large graveyard, and I remember the big stones and the awe and peace I felt...actually, all I have to do is TRY. I could probably remember everything about anything if really wanted to.  I had this kind of poetic depth of a writer and I was melancholy with bursts of blissful awe in experiencing the world. A Sylvia trapped in an eight year old's body. I soaked up everything, turned thoughts and ideas around constantly. I loved museums and plants and stars and God. My mother stirred my deepest sympathy and awe as she broke down. As the world shattered around me.
In a coffee shop down the street from my family's house, I'm in a stroller and the adults laugh and smile at the baby girl with the bright smile. Little did they know, I can and still remember. I don't really forget things. In fact my memories are more than non-physical, they can never truly wiped out so don't attempt that dear doctor.  God has a mind too and he wouldn't be please with it.. So as she tries to protect her children, and he tries to shelter them from a world with ideals turned extreme...they grow up in a world so strange.
Her suicide attempts still perplex me, and by this I mean. I sometimes wonder if they ever really happened. I never saw it. I never saw anything but bottles of Prozac, and then mom leaving to go to a hospital where bad things happened and her coming back, and being better, and then...years later the delusions returning. Borderline, Manic Depressive, Psychotic, Schizophrenic Mom. My mother who was a social mis-fit.. in her battle,  constant rage and fury held so deep inside, at doctors, at war, and at everything wrong in the world. Who did so many great things, whose heart cannot burst.
White blood cells, anemia, dementia, lost dogs lost minds or lost friends. A pattern in the sky. A voice whispering on the wind, a colorful picture book that is too bright to call anything. I am schizophrenic. I am schizophrenic. I am a schizophrenic. I dull my hues to a perfect bruise of blue, purple and yellow. I refrain from remembering, I have stopped myself from questioning, from asking anything at all.
And I cry silently for the abused animal I have become. You will never know the true me, she's hidden beneath layers of darkness. I remember her how my mother was once before this madness; she was full of bright-eyed sunlight and known to things that no one else was aware of. As a child I colored rainbows that danced and together we journeyed away from normalcy, far off into the horizon.  She handed me a tearful letter,"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.”

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