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The Magician, The Chasm and the Jaguar Priest

By terryfunk in Culture
Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

"You were gonna do what?" I ask in total amazement as the Magician stares through me. "Oh yeah, you see, I came home from college one day, and I woke up, sittin' in the car, in the garage, with the garage door shut and the engine running." The Magician tells me this as if he is repeating this story for the one millionth time.

We sit in the room and for five minutes there is...total...silence. The Magician does not twitch a muscle and I stare down at the sunlight hitting the floor in the room. My throat is thick, I can't swallow and I can't talk. I feel like weeping.

Thus begins my spiral down into the chaos, enlightenment, darkness and knowledge of The Magician. The depths of his plunge are infinite, twisted and broken. His soul is stretched with pain, brightness and horror. I know he lives where there are jagged edges constantly; it never leaves him. The terror is unrelenting and like a vicious junkyard dog it snarls and bites him every day of his life. The wretchedness flashes like lightning and rips his inner fabric to shreds.

The Magician's own existence is magic of the spirit, it is soul-wrenching, and it is powerful. It has a name and it's name is schizophrenia.

"Cat's foot iron claw"

During my student internship, I arrive at the clearest moment of realization; I can never fully know my own follies. They are the follies that wake me up in the middle of the night. I can only recognize their presence and I quickly learn this.

The class is a group therapy session with a psychiatric social worker. The class is developed by my boss, a psychologist. I live outside of town on her brood mare ranch with the Celtic Wench, where I work as a ranch hand. I shovel horse shit, dog shit, mend fence, and pick wild persimmons.

Two weeks into the class, we are assigned clients to talk with and help. The Magician is assigned to me along with a woman. The first questions that come to my mind are; what is he like? Who is the Magician? Of course, the psychiatric social worker doesn't tell us. We are left to figure out who they are. It doesn't take long for the class to realize we are working with people we won't be able to help. Discovering who the Magician is becomes easy. What to do with the discovery is difficult.

After a few weeks of talking with the Magician, I realize that I am face to face with a schizophrenic mind. This discovery is crystal clear. He goes into a reality that is unfathomable. Yet one lucid day I find out more. He sometimes mentions suicide.

"Magician, do you remember becoming this way?" I asked in one of the first times I meet him. "Why did you want to kill yourself?" I sit and listen after asking the question. I expect to hear a nonsensical answer. "I got a scholarship to go to Boston College." he starts out. "I received a bachelor's degree in Philosophy." he tells me. "Where did this come from?" I quiz myself not expecting his answer. I can see part of his soul bleeding through now. Is the Magician that educated? "I then graduated and received a scholarship to go to seminary at Southern Methodist University." He tells me this while lucidness is still with him. "I was home for Thanksgiving and I was depressed and wanted to kill myself. I tried to kill myself sitting in the car, you know, I've already told you about that time."

I can only imagine what his family and local authorities thought about his strange new behavior. "And then during that Christmas I found myself on top of the water tower. I want to jump off of it." He goes on to tell me how the police of the small farm town where he grew up, tried successfully to talk him out of it; that is when he first knew something was really wrong. He met with the doctors and they sent him to the state hospital.

I am taking Intro to Logic, so I ask him about the Informal Fallacies. To my amazement, he rattles them off with a description for each one. He does so in lightning fashion while staring into space. I come to learn that this indicates that he is partially off his medications and that he will shortly plunge into the depths of his own hellish realm.

The slide into oblivion begins when the Magician starts taking "walks". As the slide from our reality and into his secret reality deepens, he withdraws from everyone that knows him, until he no longer recognizes or acknowledges anyone. The slide is slippery and the line separating our two realities is a punctured hole and the puncture is growing ever wider.

There is no surprise for me when after meeting with the Magician for 3 months, he now slips away from my grasp. I am unable to see him until the following February. The Magician is hidden away from us all. The mental health center is the place where he feels safe and secure from our reality. The world we know does not shatter his world. He battles with his torments deep within The Chasm.

"Neuro-surgeons scream for more..."

Describing the descent into the hell of schizophrenia, is not easy. It is rather like this. Imagine taking every conscious thought, every memory and put them in a bucket, like multi-colored confetti and in a precise order. Shake the bucket up. Next throw it as high in the air as possible, from the edge of an infinite pit, with a strong wind at your back. Now, somehow go to the bottom of The Chasm and make sure you gather everything you had in the bucket. Put it all back in the same order you had it when you first started.

The drug Haloperidol (AKA haldol) is the Magician's transport to the bottom of The Chasm and back. The Magician is always running up and down the canyon of despair. While inside the mental health center three months he wanders, for three months, lost at the bottom. The Magician is searching for the confetti that is the structure of his existence. I am not allowed to see him or help him and I am assigned a new client.

Eventually, the Magician emerges from the depths of the spiraling hole. In February he is allowed to go home. I go to see him once again and to help him. I find out from him that the holidays were too much for him to deal with. The mental health center always becomes full during the holidays. The Magician stopped taking his medications during that time and doing so took him to the bottom.

I take him to lunch and we talk about him being inside the mental health center. He doesn't say much about it, so we talk about philosophers I am studying and logic. He enjoys those discussions and I revel in his knowledge of the subject.

"At paranoia's poison door."

Now, having emerged from The Chasm yet again, he once more has hope. This hope infects me as well. Yet for the Magician, hope is a Trickster in disguise. Hope is always there for the Magician but nothing about it can be achieved. Hope is another torn and punctured line between him and I. Hope is so thin, and so transparent for him. Hope is always just beyond his grasp. Spring arrives and with it comes new life and hope is renewed.

The Magician wants to work, to support himself and he's given the opportunity. I am encouraged and think that maybe a corner is somehow turned. But the Trickster called hope is never far away from the Magician. It's only a matter of time before hope fades away and the Trickster overcomes him.

He has a chance to clean yards with a crew and he gets picked up by the crew chief every morning. This works out for awhile. But one day I find out that he does not show up at the curb to be picked up by the crew chief. I am supposed to meet with him the next day.

"No...I am not here..."

I discover he is nowhere to be found and no one has seen him. I decide for the first time, to go to where he lives and ask around. As I approach the old two-story house where he lives, I feel my heart quickening. I don't know what to expect. In a way I am scared of what I will find. I enter and start asking people where his room is.

Approaching his room, I see that his door is open. Looking in, I notice the room is a total wreck and to my left is the Magician. He is laying on his back, and staring straight up into the universe past the ceiling. At first I suspect the worst. "Magician!, it's me Jaguar, I came to see how you are doing." I am uncertain what, if anything, will happen next. The Magician is straight and stiff on his bed; he does not answer me; his eyes do not blink. Dusting off a chair, I pull it up and sit down. Long moments pass. I watch him carefully and hopefully. Finally, I notice that he is taking shallow breaths.

"Huh?" I hear him say. Maybe he's coming back. Maybe I am the bit of reality that he needs to re-enter what we call normalcy. "No, I am not here." he tells me, still staring straight up. For a brief moment, the Magician recoils back to reality, from the thin thread he is treading on; then he is gone again back to The Chasm. My heart sinks as he re-enters his despair. I sit there for a bit longer, trying to contact him. It is as if I am Mission Control trying to reach a wayfaring space traveler.

Then all of a sudden, he raises up, barefoot and walks out of his room, as if I am not there. The Magician quickly leaves, as I follow walking behind him, I call out to him. He cannot hear me. He walks around the house a few times and then he is gone. I go to the center and tell them. "Oh yes, we will find him and have him picked up. Thanks". The lady at the front desk says this so matter-of-factually. "Shit! doesn't she know how important this is?" I think to myself. She doesn't care, Magician is just one of many.

"Twenty first century schizoid man."

Again, days go by and he is gone. I wonder about what will happen to him. I finish my student internship not seeing him again in a professional setting. I find out from people that he has been "walking" lately. He walks barefoot, on the streets until his feet bleed and are a mess. Upon hearing this, on nights when I can't sleep, I drive around the small town to see if I can find him; I drive and search and drive and search.

The police see him occasionally at nights, during their patrols and when they do, they pick him up and take him to the mental health center. Hearing this relieves me a little. But the loneliness he must have, the constant fear he must confront, at times overwhelms me. I ask around at the center about him. One of the psychiatric social workers tells me he is not doing well and won't take his medications. I remember a conversation I had with him once. "Would you ever consider taking your life again?" I asked him then. I remember the Magician telling me, "If I became myself again, if I became what I was ... I might." I am such a neophyte, an idiot. The insight he gives me is astounding, yet simple.

There are times during the summer that the Magician occupies my thoughts. The thoughts are not good and are burdensome. They are like copperhead snakes in my mind, always there hiding, ready to strike and easily provoked. I envision him swirling around deep within The Chasm, furiously grasping at each tidbit of his spirit. Yet with each step he must be tumbling further downward into deeper depths. There is no magic wand nor a silver bullet to save him the misery and despair he must constantly live with. No matter what, I cannot save him. I have no secret spells nor magic potions.

Then on a hot summer afternoon the Wench and I go to get an ice cream at the drive-in. As usual, I keep one eye to the road and one on the lookout, for the Magician. There on the side of the road, walking barefoot, is the Magician. I stop the car and yell at him as loud as I can. He whips back to my reality briefly and sees me motioning him over to get into the car. I run over and help him into the car. I tell the Wench to get in the back seat and when he gets in to lock the door and make sure he does not unlock it.

He is wearing a heavy leather jacket in the incredible summer heat. He has sweat so much that he is totally dehydrated. I look at his bare feet and they are bleeding and raw-looking. "Magician, let's get you a lemonade, OK?" He stares straight ahead and says nothing. "Then I will take you to the mental health center so you can take care of your feet." Magician must have been walking all night and into the afternoon.

At the drive-in I order two large lemonade drinks for him. He quickly drinks them down, realizing his own thirst. I order one more. But before it comes he crawls out the window of my Corvair. He did it so fast I couldn't stop him. My mind is racing about what to do. I decide that if I get him back in the car that I would be unable to keep him there and he might jump out while I am driving down the road. I call the MHC and they tell me they will get the police to pick him up. Maybe that is what he wanted. I ask myself what are the police to him?

"I talk to the wind, my words are all carried away"

I go on with my life and I suppose the Magician does too. He taught me many things. I often see people in the city where I live, walking and talking incoherently. I am briefly reminded of the Magician and his hopelessness. I try not to think about it too much. I look at them briefly...and then...I look away.

NOTES: I should note that the section headings are from lyrics of the first King Crimson album. The lyricist is Peter Sinfield.


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Related Links
o wild persimmons
o Haloperido l
o Also by terryfunk

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The Magician, The Chasm and the Jaguar Priest | 73 comments (54 topical, 19 editorial, 1 hidden)
i knew a schizo ethiopian guy in college (2.75 / 8) (#6)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 09:44:49 PM EST

he said i was jesus, in tree form

he gave away the keys to his car to a homeless guy

then he took all the money out of his bank account at an atm and handed it to another homeless guy

he said his dad beat schizophrenia through faith in god, and didn't need medication, and he was getting off his medication and doing the same as his dad

his parents brought him home a few weeks later


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

You know... (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by terryfunk on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 09:50:58 PM EST

I knew one too. One day, he got drunk and went swimming with friends. Bad thing was, he couldnt swim.

Went to his funeral two days later. He was a cool guy. He always fought with this Eritrian guy too.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

huh? (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:01:47 PM EST

is there some sort of ethiopian/ eritrian connection to schizophrenia?

weird coincidence in our experiences

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I agree... (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by terryfunk on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:13:26 PM EST

he was a brilliant engineering student too. Brilliant like the Magician in the story but in a more technical way. His face was more asymemtrical than most of us and that was strange as well.

Magician, was so good at logic and just imagine the torment his mind went through. That is the unsaid part of the story.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

Malnutrition causes mental disorders [nt] (none / 0) (#56)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:57:30 AM EST

Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
I used to think that but... (3.00 / 5) (#63)
by bushmanburn on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 11:43:27 AM EST

nutrition seems to have very little to do with it. Most serious research has shown otherwise. If it were so then we could put schizos on mega vitamins and they would be cured.

There are fringe theories saying nutrition is the problem, but the fact of the matter is, that the causes are not known at all and nutritional help does not do much for the afflicted.

[ Parent ]

I have a friend (2.60 / 5) (#10)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:36:31 PM EST

from high school that's not as bad as these guys but will always be on a precipice. He self-medicates with marijuana and alcohol all the time, is unable to hold a job, has a business that is propped up by his parents (whom he lives with) and what is essentially the kindness of his clients (who I suspect feel as sorry for him as anything else - not that he is incapable exactly of doing good work. More that he is unable to have any kind of schedule or consistency.

I'd played with him in bands in high school and abortively a couple times since. His complete inability to see his own destructive behavior or make critical decisions are major problems.

I worry about what will happen to him when his parents die (and they're rapidly approaching their seventiesa).

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice

oh my... (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by terryfunk on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:41:25 PM EST

and yes it is all too common. It is a helpless feeling.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
I had a schizophrenic neigbour (2.71 / 7) (#12)
by my gold bling shines on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:58:38 PM EST

One time I went over to visit when he was manic, and made the mistake of mentioning that it was my birthday.  He started giving me a whole bunch of his possessions as gifts - his half-completed paintings, all sorts of stuff. Then he took me to his garden, and started ripping up vegetables to give me, armloads of lettuces, carrots, etc.  The same day he showed me a 6 " high, pyramid-shaped crystal that he claimed was what he owned instead of a computer.  He claimed it stored all of his memories, and that at night, he would sleep face down, with his forehead on the crystal, and all of his memories would download into it.

Other times he when he was depressed he was like a completely the opposite.  He would do everything in slow motion, even walking, and when you spoke to him, it was like it took enormous effort to think.

Most of the time he was okay, but when he was having an episode, he'd often get in trouble with the police for doing crazy things, like driving off in other people's cars, or going into the desert and collecting native wildlife.

It's a shame because he was actually a really kind person, intensely intelligent and thoughtful to speak to.  He did maths at university and told me about how he was perfectly sane until 3rd year, when he started having issues with his perception of the world

Stop your blubbering prima donna - BottleRocket

I know what you mean.... (3.00 / 4) (#13)
by terryfunk on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:04:46 PM EST

I had to leave the field. Today even, it is difficult, but at least I am not submerged in it like I once was.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
so you got out of it and into IT? (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by my gold bling shines on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:05:58 PM EST

Stop your blubbering prima donna - BottleRocket
[ Parent ]
I have had several... (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by terryfunk on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:08:57 PM EST

careers. The last 15 years have been programmer analyst, systems administration etc.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
I will be asleep... (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by terryfunk on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 01:13:20 AM EST

for the next 5 hrs. So any edits that need to be made I will answer around that time

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

I must say.. (2.60 / 5) (#17)
by dakini on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:44:48 AM EST

that this is the most awesome story I have read for a very long time! Your other stories were excellent, but the way you have portrayed yourself and the Magician here is beyond just "story telling." This story takes one right inside the minds of those involved and allows you to see what is going on in the thoughts and fabric of these minds. It is mesmirizing to say the least. A definite +1FP when posted to vote. And yes, reading your comments about leaving this "area" of expertise as a career, is quite understandable. It is not one that can be readily let go of however....:o)

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
Excellent story. Very well done (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by moondancer on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:43:42 PM EST

tends to "grab" ones whole being.
**We are simple and we are free.**United Fools
IT DIDN'T GRAB MY WHOLE BEING (2.33 / 6) (#27)
by Tex two point oh on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:05:19 PM EST


[ Parent ]
keep it in your pants now George (none / 1) (#28)
by my gold bling shines on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:14:32 PM EST

if this makes FP, why, children might see!

Stop your blubbering prima donna - BottleRocket
[ Parent ]
(2) Obvious joke (none / 0) (#31)
by BottleRocket on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:42:51 AM EST

We try to save those for the kiddies.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $

[ Parent ]

On a good day... (3.00 / 4) (#29)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:29:23 AM EST

Michael Crawford is accepted to study Astronomy at Caltech, eventually graduates in Physics, buys a Macintosh and some technical books, then uses them to build a career as a software engineer and now has a resume to die for.

On a bad day, Michael Crawford mistakes the ski racks on the tops of some cars for flashing squad car lights. The "thought police" aren't coming to arrest him, but to kill him.

Ever wonder why Michael is always submitting twenty page stories to the queue? It's because he gets anxious sometimes, and for reasons that aren't quite clear, finds writing to be comforting.

One time while intensily manic, he hallucinated so hard he could not see where he was going when he walked. Asked by a doctor what he saw, he replied "I see worms coming out of your face".

Given enough of the right kind of therapy, most mentally ill can become insightful enough to know their delusions aren't real. When the men with guns are sneaking up outside his house, Michael can look out the window and see that they aren't there. But when he turns away the men with guns return. It is of no comfort whatsoever to know that his delusions aren't real. That's not how delusions work.

Michael Crawford has provided for himself and his art student wife by working as a software consultant since 1998. In the last two of those years, he has been in the emergency room three times because he was experiencing psychiatric emergencies.

Michael Crawford takes three milligrams of Risperdal for psychosis, 500 mg of valproic acid to prevent mania, and 125 mg of imipramine for depression, all at bedtime.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

ChefSalad feels you. (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by The Ghost of ChefSalad Past on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:39:13 PM EST

I hallucinated some weird shit last night. I've been in a hypomania/mania for a while now and I couldn't get to sleep, so I decided to smoke some pot. That usually makes me sleep. Unfortunately, it makes me hallucinate even worse than normal, and it makes me more paranoid. But I do get to sleep on it, which is what counts.

Anywho, I was watching SurvivorMan (not to be confused with Survivor) with some buds and the usual motion/heat waves started on the sides of my vision. Then shadowy figures started walking around just outside of where I could see. I can deal with these things, since I know what they are. Then they went away, thank God.

But then the weirdest thing happened. SurvivorMan picked up a snake and took a piss. On TV. When I said something they all called me crazy, but I could swear I saw it. A little while later I left, just after they told me that he really picked up camera attacked to a pole and attached it to his belt.

While driving, I was chased by cops about four times, they even flashed their lights a couple of times. But everytime I looked, they weren't cops and the lights were just street lights reflecting off their paint. It's the most ass-annoying thing you could possibly imagine. I know when they aren't cops, but not until after I've already shit my pants.

Don't even get me started on the aliens in the woods.

One night .. he just spontaneously vomited and simultaneously defecated in his pants. - osm
[ Parent ]

SurvivorMan is awesome (none / 0) (#66)
by r3u8rb on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:57:26 PM EST

I just watched an episode where they dropped him in the middle of the ocean in a leaky raft. He landed on some tiny island and cooked a snail with a road flare.

Join me on irc.slashnet.org #Kuro5hin.org - the official Kuro5hin IRC channel.
[ Parent ]
Is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder... (none / 0) (#55)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:54:12 AM EST

...self-reference in the third person?
Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
No, that's a symptom of (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:50:43 AM EST

... thinking that one can write.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

MICHAEL CRAWFORD (1.00 / 4) (#69)
by Love Child of Baldrson and HollyHopDrive on Tue May 02, 2006 at 03:02:48 AM EST

michael crawford... michael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawford
michael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawford

michael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawfordmichael crawford

michael crawford...michael crawford...michael crawford...

michael crawford--michael crawford

michael crawford.

trane: Eventually the human race will realize that scientific progress is (almost always) slowed down by lies, and promote truth, justice and the American way over lying, discrimination, and the lesser American way.
[ Parent ]

I used to walk too (3.00 / 4) (#30)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:32:06 AM EST

On one occasion, I walked from Venice Beach to Pasadena in one night, a distance of about fifty miles. On another, I walked from Pasadena to West LA, perhaps forty miles.

I used to spend most of my time walking.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

see what most people call the butterfly effect (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by my gold bling shines on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:23:19 AM EST

I like to call the MichaelCrawford effect. So when someone says, "Looky yonder at those dark storm clouds.", I'm all like,

"Yessir, probably MichaelCrawford. Motherfucker walked clear to Pasadena once, stirring up who know WHAT kinda trouble when he got there."

Stop your blubbering prima donna - BottleRocket
[ Parent ]
I am schizoaffective (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by Orion Blastar Again on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 12:15:43 PM EST

I used to take walks too. I would lie in a bed for hours staring at the ceiling. I also am suicidal at times, esp november and december.

I have a personality disorder in which sometimes I create alter-egos on various Internet sites. While doing so I am in a trance and hardly have any memory of doing those things. Only to be attacked by administrators and editors who see the same IP, but cannot understand my illness that forces me to have that sort of behavior. One time I created an alter-ago that announced my death, and got both accounts anonymized and deleted here on K5.

I hear voices who tell me to do or say things. Many of my K5 posts ect are the result of those voices telling me what to post. I become a troll, not wanting to be a troll, but when I ask for help I get savagely attacked, abused, harassed, and threatened.

Nobody knows how much I've suffered. My mind is so messed up that I do not want to take illicit drugs and I get discriminated against for not taking drugs. Former employers ruined my career and I am unable to be hired and been out of work since 2002. I am not medically cleared to work. Every day life situations stress me out. I fight off the suicidal thoughts only to have someone post "Shotgun mouthwash now!" to my posts on the Internet. Others tell me to use illicit drugs. Others say don't take my psyche meds. Some of my psyche meds make me suicidal, and if I don't take them for a day or two I could get suicidal. Yet without the psyche meds I get worse anyway.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

Not complicated enough (none / 1) (#42)
by Orion Blastar Again on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:33:56 PM EST

Try this:

<FONT FACE="verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif" SIZE=2>

c = random(1,12)
if c = 1 then
else if c =
2 then
  print "DRUGS ARE BAD"
else if c = 3 then
  print "I'M SUCH A TROLL"
else if c =
4 then
  print "I'M CRAZY"
else if c = 5 then
  print "BUSH IS NOT SO BAD"
else if c =
6 then
  print "I HEAR VOICES"
else if c = 7 then
else if c =
8 then
else if c = 9 then
else if c =
10 then
else if c = 11 then
  print "YHBTYHLHAND!"
else if c =
12 then
  d = random(1,5)
  if d = 1 then
    print "YOUR MOTHER"
  else if d =
2 then
  else if d = 3 then
  else if d =
4 then
    print "I AM A PIRATE NINJA"
  else if d == 5 then

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

I am not a troll (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by Orion Blastar Again on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:52:47 PM EST

I am someone with mental illnesses that people confuse for being a troll.

By the way are you using an Apple //+ or something? Cannot afford a computer with lowercase characters?

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

No shit Sherlock? (none / 1) (#48)
by Orion Blastar Again on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:19:02 PM EST

You think so?

That is the secret of my success, I try harder than dumbdfucks like you who cannot even turn off their caps lock key.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

uh? (none / 1) (#76)
by DaoDePhys on Tue May 09, 2006 at 08:23:35 AM EST

Could you stop your unconstructive posts? Is it what we call trolling? I'm trying to read his stuff without spam. Please.

I don't care if he's weird, as long as he goes, as long as he flows.

[ Parent ]

-1 Already posted to HuSi and Diary (1.00 / 9) (#33)
by toulouse on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 12:16:18 PM EST

'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki

So? The story was pulled... and you know it was /n (none / 0) (#34)
by terryfunk on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:55:04 PM EST

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
Then dont think about (none / 1) (#35)
by dakini on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:06:16 PM EST

the story..geeeez..use your thought processes instead of making yourself look like a fool you are..more negative attention for the attention seekers..LOL.

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
Good heavens. +1FP (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by TheNoxx on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:57:35 PM EST

Those were some unexpectedly powerful paragraphs. I am stunned, bravo.

Thanks ! (none / 0) (#38)
by terryfunk on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:03:06 PM EST

and thanks for taking the time to read it.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
wow..i thought (none / 1) (#39)
by dakini on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:05:46 PM EST

ALL the paragraphs were very powerful..:o)

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
well told!! (none / 1) (#49)
by NurseRachet on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 01:12:41 AM EST

This is very well done! excellent writing.

Thank you!.... (none / 1) (#52)
by terryfunk on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:09:18 AM EST

I am quite honored, coming from a nurse?

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
yes, I am a practicing (none / 0) (#59)
by moondancer on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:13:50 AM EST

registered nurse who has always had an interest in the mental health field. I find it to be very fasinating indeed. The mind is wonderous place and there is so much to learn.
**We are simple and we are free.**United Fools
[ Parent ]
Good posting. (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by jd on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 01:52:47 AM EST

Some of the drugs mentioned are not considered recommended, if I understand it right. (A friend of mine has enough degrees in this field to fill a baseball field, and still needs more to get a job that'll pay.) On the other hand, sometimes the best there is, when there is a best, is merely a clumsy tool to grossly manipulate the brain.

In the UK, I believe I've seen statistics that indicate that 1:10 homeless has at least one degree, so the "magician"'s claim does not seem to me to be outside of the ordinary. Indeed, one of America's most famous schizophrenics is Professor John Nash, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. The mentally ill will often have huge problems with cleanliness and social norms, but those are very poor measures of a person's intelligence.

Some percentage of homeless people have mental illnesses such as the bipolar waterbed of destruction, the schizo-effective spectrum or the autistic spectrum. They wander into hospitals, get some basic treatment (often whatever medicare will condescend to cover and no more), leave, be totally incapable to sustaining even that basic minimum, and collapse further.

This isn't the fault of the hospitals (except in those cases where inappropriate medicine is given to control a patient on the cheap before turfing them out) and it isn't the fault of social workers (who, if they're willing to work on starvation pay, probably haven't the paperwork necessary to prescribe in the field, likely are operating in dangerous conditions, and rarely have the tools or training to provide adequate help).

Mental health care (in the US or the UK) is badly under-funded, critically short-staffed, severely under-resourced and has excessive levels of superstition attached to it. (Chances are high that most schizo-effective or schizophrenic people or carers haven't read any of R. D. Laing's work. It's not well-written, it can be confusing, but it IS the best information out there for such people and has an unrivaled success rate.)

I agree with what you are saying... (none / 1) (#51)
by terryfunk on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:06:35 AM EST

this occured in 1978-79 and I understand that Haldol is no longer used much and there are better drugs for controlling schizophrenia.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
There are, yes. (none / 1) (#54)
by jd on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 06:56:09 AM EST

Much less powerful ones with fewer side-effects. The 70s and 80s tended to be very experimental with drugs for controlling mental disorders. Not a whole lot was known on what could be beneficial and no data at all existed on theraputic doses or long-term effects. The medicines benefitted a lot of people dramatically (again, Professor Nash springs to mind) but they also turned others into zombies. The quality of treatment massively varied according to who you were and where you were.

Mind you, I'd argue that as I know of no clinical trials for drugs that involve fMRI or isotopic tracers within the medicines, I'm not convinced the medical world has any real quantifiable data on the safety of medicines even today beyond those side-effects acute enough to be observable.

I was diagnosed bipolar in 1998. Having needed to try various medicines to see which would work on my bipolar - one of which temporarily shut down my colour vision - I am firmly of the opinion that the whole thing is way too hit-and-miss, that our massive strides forward are still too much the massive strides of an infant.

Admittedly, what we know will never be enough for me. Medicine is not an exact science and never will be, which means there will always be one more thing that can be done.

[ Parent ]

it is still used for other things. (none / 0) (#67)
by Linux or FreeBSD on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 11:04:17 PM EST

it's unpleasant.

[ Parent ]
"He's only...slightly dead." (none / 0) (#61)
by A synx on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:44:32 AM EST

"His soul is stretched with pain, brightness and horror."

Not to mention brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Suicide can halfway work! It is indeed possible to be somewhat dead. Healing that though, is a fantasy reserved for the Princess Bride.

Only you can prevent suicide.

I am somewhat sorry this story did not make (none / 1) (#62)
by dakini on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:53:29 AM EST

front page..but please realize that it did bring the subject to the forefront of those minds that read it..it is a subject that is finally being brought out into the realms of society and i feel it is about time that mental illness takes a front seat to medical diagnosis..we all need to take time to more fully understand what others are truly going through...anyway, keep up the excellent work and keep caring!!!  

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
a great read $ (none / 0) (#64)
by skyknight on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:13:51 PM EST

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Thanks for reading it.../nt (none / 0) (#65)
by bushmanburn on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:55:25 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Excellent (none / 1) (#68)
by Marvaud on Mon May 01, 2006 at 05:29:08 AM EST

but it's so raw and frightening the whole thing and if you know someone like that, and I do, I think it's worse than cancer maybe but what is puzzling beyond belief is that sometimes the most brilliant and true statements are spoken in the midst of madness.

Mumbling Man and Crazy (none / 0) (#72)
by Pingveno on Fri May 05, 2006 at 02:17:19 AM EST

Wow, that was quite the story. It reminds me of the feeling when I see a mumbling man walking alone around in the middle of a downtown area. I know that he has a story, a past, just like The Magician. The schizophrenia that has attached itself to him is sucking his life away, keeping him in The Chasm. I want to walk up to him and help him out of The Chasm. But I have to pass the mumbling man by because I have my own life that needs to be attended to. For the short period of time that I can devote to thinking about him, I have a feeling of helplessness because I can't give him the help he desperately needs.

On a different note, the recent book Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness gives Pete Earley's account of battling both his son's bipolar and the United States' mental health care system. I haven't read the book (I just heard an interview with the author on NPR's Fresh Air), but the author reaches some interesting conclusions. For one, he realizes that his son's bipolar disorder will never be permanently cured, only in remission. He also realizes that the US's systems for helping the mentally ill are broken. The prisons have become the new state asylums. Huge numbers of mentally ill people are stuck in prisons, serving time for crimes that could be prevented if they received enough help. He was able to slowly wade through a gauntlet of insurance companies and doctors hampered by illogical laws, but many other families don't have the ability to do that. It's "crazy."

In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
I understand what you are saying.... (none / 0) (#73)
by terryfunk on Fri May 05, 2006 at 02:39:30 AM EST

I had to leave the field for that very reason. It becomes overwhelming and I could not separate myself from it as others are able to do.

Thanks for reading it and sharing your thoughts on it.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]

my bf is schizophrenic (none / 1) (#74)
by Chani on Fri May 05, 2006 at 04:38:31 AM EST

the last year has been pretty good, up until april. he's on a downward slide again.. sometimes he acts as if I mean nothing to him. logic tells me he does care, but, it hurts so much... somedays I think he's the most wonderful guy in the world, other days I wonder if he's intentionally toying with my mind and fucking it up. doesn't help that I'm on antidepressants now - soon as I left school I was lost and started getting depressed. not realyl sure whether I'll cope with life, I'm great at math and programming but not good at everyday things like making myself appear to be a good job candidate... and over the past year my self-confidence has mysteriously disappeared... but, I'm babbling about myself now. I meant to talk about him. I just... sometimes I dunno what to do. he doesn't seem to want me to do anything but it's so hard to stand there and watch him withdraw from the world, in so much mental pain...
----- This insane ranting brought to you by eevil bananas. Blaa!
Tough? (none / 0) (#75)
by Pingveno on Mon May 08, 2006 at 03:04:09 PM EST

I have a very good family friend who forced her boyfriend into dealing with his ADD by sort-of breaking up with him (not seeing him until he dealt with it). That tactic probably wouldn't be healthy for either of you, but sometimes someone just needs to force a loved one into facing their a problem. Of course, that's must easier for me to say than for you to do...

Good luck to both of you.
In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
[ Parent ]

The Magician, The Chasm and the Jaguar Priest | 73 comments (54 topical, 19 editorial, 1 hidden)
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