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Living with Schizoasshole Disorder

By osm in Op-Ed
Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:35:44 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)

To my knowledge, I've known four schizophrenics in my life. Only one of them was an asshole, and even he wasn't always that way. The schizophrenics I've known have each had as different personalities from each other as any of the "normal" people I've known.

The first schizophrenic I'd ever known was the little brother of one of my best friends. Vance was 15 or 16 at the time and I never even knew he was sick until Vinnie told me one day. A couple of our other friends gave him shit for his illness and Vinnie--a rugby player--eventually kicked their asses for it.

As far as I could tell, Vance was a normal kid. He was into the Red Hot Chili Peppers, watched MTV, played games on the Playstation and fucked around with his friends. He had a lot of friends, like his brother. The girls liked him too. He always smiled and always greeted people warmly. Sometimes, his attention wandered, but that's true of a lot of 16-year-olds. Vance started hearing voices and seeing things that weren't there. He also became paranoid. He was diagnosed quickly, put on medication, and lead a normal successful life ever since. I remember Vance being resistant to taking his medication from time-to-time. It never altered his personality when he neglected to take it, though it did affect his reasoning and paranoia, which was never directed at a particular individual.

The second schizophrenic I ever met was a guy named Jack. He ended up sharing an apartment with my cousin, Justin, and I. The guy was usually a self-absorbed asshole. I always kind of attributed that to all the coke, meth, and vodka he did. I know from experience, addicts are the most self-absorbed people you'll meet. Jack always managed to get into fights when he went out to drink. He'd always come home beaten-up. He was also insanely homophobic. He was fired for accusing his boss of being gay. My cousin and I decided he was that way because of something that happened to him during his prison stint. He was arrested for breaking into his father-in-law's business and stealing about five grand to buy coke.

Sometimes Jack could be alright to be around. He'd give people shit and it would be genuinely funny and he would laugh when people gave him shit back. Usually, he just sat there and rambled on in a continuous stream of nonsense that nobody paid attention to.

The third schizophrenic was another one Justin befriended down south. He took me to meet the guy one day. Just basically broke into the dude's trailer and we waited there for him to show up. The trailer was a rat hole. Filled almost to the ceiling with newspapers, broken junk, dirty dishes and pill bottles. He also had electronics books scattered all over the place. When the dude eventually showed up, he showed no concern at all that we had broken into his trailer. My cousin introduced us, he smiled and shook my hand and we all sat around and smoked cigarettes and a joint. The schizophrenic dude--I can't remember his name--didn't say much. He just sat there and smiled the whole time. He made me nervous. Maybe it was the pot fucking with me. I convinced Justin to head out after an hour or so.

The final guy, Bill, was a friend of another cousin. He introduced me to him one night because Bill was wanting to sell his morphine pills. He was a veteran of the first Gulf War and had had his arm all mangled up. He was also schizophrenic. Other than the dangling lump of meat he had for an arm, Bill seemed pretty normal. He was fixing up an old dilapidated house out in the woods next to a creek. He was wiring it for electricity when I met him. Fuck, I couldn't wire a house if I had four working hands. He also had a mild interest in computers and the internet. He'd always ask me newbie questions while we were doing deals. He was a bit dry (you might say he had a "flat affect") but by no means was he unlikable. He took his psych meds, but didn't care for the morphine, which is why he was selling it to me.

So yeah, I've met a few schizos and they're as varied as anyone else. I think if you're an asshole, you're going to be an asshole whether you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder or whatever else. And if you're a basically good person, well, that doesn't change because you're sick either. I'm pretty sure if a 16-year-old kid--as 16-year-olds aren't exactly known for taking responsibility--can make it through life without constantly complaining how difficult his illness makes it, then pretty much anyone can at least make an effort.

Maybe that's the difference... effort, willpower, the desire to be a better person. Every human being has to work at it to some degree. Some of us just find it easier to make excuses, I guess.


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Living with Schizoasshole Disorder | 18 comments (16 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
what, no schizo women? (none / 1) (#1)
by N0574 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:10:26 AM EST

Thought every man had had at least one in his life.

Maintaining a healthy relationship to drugs/meds seems to be the critical factor...No?


i don't know (none / 1) (#2)
by osm on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:11:46 AM EST

actually, vance resisted taking his meds at times and he never turned into an asshole.

[ Parent ]

i should include that... (none / 0) (#3)
by osm on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:13:07 AM EST

[ Parent ]

can u link us to vance''s facebook? (none / 0) (#18)
by McNugent on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 03:36:38 AM EST

i want to see if we can detect his illness by his cranial measurements.. well to see if there is correlation. Like the SS Tibet expeditions. Officer Schaffer wasa prettycoolguy, it wasnt like he was a camp gaurd. not a bad chap for a kraut.

[ Parent ]
Rather redundant, I should think (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by Harry B Otch on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:44:11 AM EST

I mean, look at Merriam-Webster dictionary definition:

woman (n.):  

  1.  The female of man

  2.  A crazy, delusional, psycho-bitch with divided personality skews which are perpetual sources of terror and frustration

A lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear.-.
[ Parent ]
shit (none / 0) (#5)
by osm on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:45:24 AM EST

how the fuck do they diagnose schizophrenia in women?

[ Parent ]

yeah, it's the rare woman who (none / 0) (#8)
by N0574 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:22:19 AM EST

has no need to blame you for things you never even thought about doing, as if there's a phantom yuo over here she can always conjure up to gripe about. OTOH, maybe I'm really like that, in which case I'd be the schizophrenic one.

[ Parent ]
+1 informative (none / 1) (#6)
by horseskin spacesuit on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:36:51 AM EST

This is quite literally the only computer I'm capable of not being offended by. ~ balsamic vinigga
lol (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by nateo on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:42:26 PM EST

Your vote (1) was recorded.
This story currently has a total score of 21.

You're the straw that broke the camel's back!
Your vote put this story over the threshold, and it should now appear on the front page. Enjoy!

think i was the last nail in the coffin on one of crawfords stupid stories this week too.

"I'm so gonna travel the world, photographing my dick at every location."
  - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

you should buy some lottery tickets (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by lostincali on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:54:32 PM EST

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

i wish i could be the deciding vote (none / 1) (#12)
by osm on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:05:02 PM EST

on a crawford dump one of these days. it's like an exclamation point on the -1.

[ Parent ]

A suggestion for rusty: (none / 1) (#13)
by Corey Haim on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:10:38 PM EST

The page you get after being the last -1 on a crawford story should be a redirect

[ Parent ]
And 'Jungle Boogie' every time one gets voted up (none / 0) (#16)
by Harry B Otch on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:23:51 PM EST

Fitting for someone who's fucking bananas.

A lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear.-.
[ Parent ]

Well, I got an opinion that isn't mine (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by Blarney on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:34:40 PM EST

And I mean, this is how it was explained to me by an actually handicapped friend of mine, pretty much. I would invite them to K5 but honestly nobody wants to come to this shitpit, not even if I fronted the Abraham there.

Basically how it was explained to me, by someone with actual mental and physical disabilities - that you have to distinguish between temporary and permanent impairment. For example, being sick or being drunk is temporary. But if it's permanent it isn't a temporary thing, you have to just consider it the way that a person pretty much is.

Like, it's pretty bad to hit on drunk chicks and you shouldn't let the guy with 2 broken arms drive. But if someone is just really, permanently the way they are, and they wanna get laid, they want to drive a car, it really isn't your business to tell them not to do things like that. Of course, that only works if they're willing to take responsibility for their actions. Otherwise, there are totally group homes, or prison cells, or best case scenario welfare checks and some shitty apartment in a project somewhere.

Or so it was explained. That it's about the time element.

Sounds like your friends will always be schizo and Crawford will always be Crawfordian.

But here's the thing that bugs me - maybe it's not for 'normal' folks like us to judge. I know all about being 'normal' because it seems to happen disturbingly often that some authority figure shouts at me to 'be normal'. Well, I dunno where I stand to be honest. Just repeating what I've heard here.

You make a good point (3.00 / 4) (#15)
by Harry B Otch on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:01:45 AM EST

about people with mental illnesses being as varied as other, "normal" people.  It's sort of like when you hear commentary on what "blacks" think about something, or what "gays" are into or what have you.  People are individuals, and there's no single point of view any supposed group has.  

I believe that we're all black, gay, and schizophrenic deep down inside.

A lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear.-.

I hear things like the sswat team outside (none / 0) (#17)
by McNugent on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 03:28:59 AM EST

I ened to get a POE or wifi Panzoomtilt camera setup...

cocaine induced psychosis, bad sleep schedules, et. al.

Living with Schizoasshole Disorder | 18 comments (16 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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