Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Terrible Brain

I wonder if you are suffering inside your soul because of your disease, or, if like dementia, you are unaware of how ill you really are.
  Do you know what you are doing or are you in a dream, when you grasp a pen and sign my so insignificant piece of paper that could enable me to help you better? 
But you don't sign, you make arcs and ellipses and scribbles and write down a date from several days ago and the paper cannot be considered valid.
What could it be like to hear whispers in your head?
To see things no one else can see, to believe that someone can read your thoughts?
Is it terrifying?
Do you get used to it?
Is it the voices that cause you to tear your hair, to appear animal like, to act in a most primal way, or is it fear?  Could it be repaired?
Others laugh, or say "oh, he knows what he is doing". But I look into your eyes and see the terror inside, along with the forgotten potential, along with the hope that your mother had for you when she took you to her breast so many, many years ago.
I see you, do you see yourself, do you know who you are?  You are not just "the crazy one" in the green suit, the wild eyed "freak.".
You are no worse than me, I am no better, we are intertwined you and I, you teach me and I teach you......

Grief in Guilt

Today I met a woman accused of killing her long term boyfriend.
It had happened a couple days ago, with a knife, during an argument.
She was tearful and quiet, sad, in mourning.
Mourning the loss of her companion, her "best friend" she called him,
"We did everything together".
She missed him so much, despite the ongoing abuse.
She missed his company, the good times, the hanging out together, the intimacy.
Her grief was no different and no less poignant than any other person's loss,
It was bottomless and all encompassing,
It hurt to the depths of her soul, although the death was her doing.
The words were no different than those I have heard over the years,
the sadness and loss perhaps deeper because of the guilt.
I longed to reach out to her, to put my hand on her shoulder, even to put my arms around her,
but I couldn't, although I think she knew that I understood her and that I saw her pain.
A different kind of grief, a strange and cold setting,
A place where there is no forgiveness or understanding,
but in that moment, we were two women, two humans,
sitting in each other's company, remembering her boyfriends life,
Able to feel the sadness and longing, without the guilt.