Bittersweet (or how i feel the fucking world)

You know that craaazy person?
The one that was dropped on their head as a baby?

Well, I was dropped on my head as a baby. Twice.
Technically the glass coffee table broke my fall.

I can actually remember that night.

Or maybe I recall the bright hospital lights
Or that I was thrown through the coffee table
With force
By this ominous figure I’ve come to call
“DAD”

Or maybe what I recall is the nifty Transformers coloring book
That made it all better

Whatever I remember it has transformed
Like so many distant memories,
Hanging on for validation
Fighting between what happened, what has been fabricated
Can memories be true falsities when riddled with so much shit?!

In the fact of the “baby through coffee table” incident
I was exactly 4 years, 4 months, 6 days, and 47 minutes old.
Things changed for me after this closeted familial skeleton.

In second grade i attempted suicide for the first time.
Clearly, i did not succeed.
But that was after my “Miss. LeMaster, your child is drawing very disturbing pictures” phase, and my involuntary admission to a mental hospital for “further observation.”
Momma knows best I’m told.

She does.

It was decided that i was “Manic Despressive.”
An archaic term nowadays.
And it was decided by professionals in suits and bullshit loafers
You can laugh that awkward laugh if you must.
Momma did everything that she had to
Because she did know best.

I feel like someone is always watching me,
Like someone is going to kill me.
I don’t like it when people touch me.
I spend lots of money.
I am an addict. Recovering. Relapsing. Back and forth. Up and down.
I am invincible
I relieve my internal angst with physical pain upon myself—to some that is a fetish, to me—euphoric fascination.
How much pressure can the skin take until it breaks.
Really, you can laugh that awkward laugh you feel creeping up.
It really is pretty fucked up what I’ve become.

When i was 18, my baby brother was murdered by a child killer
A killer combination of leukemia and the famed American health care system
Back to psycho-therapy for me

Am i psycho or just a manifestation of what others hide?

“Good news,” said therapist #342, “you are not manic depressive”
Slumped low in seat.
Tapping foot at rapid pace.
Busy with insistent thought,
Clouding of conscious ability to function,
As a normal human.
That makes me, INhuman.

I look up, rage pre-present.

Flushed.

“Then what the fuck am i?”

“Well bi-polar of course”

Me… “Of course.”

“The same thing as manic depressive, but more cutting edge. Here, some help.”

Help in tiny morsels.
Colorful tangents of light, on tray. Red. Green. Blue. Chalk. Mixed. Mangles. Candy-Coated.
In little orange bottles.
Scribbled on pads
Prescription verdicts leading to stabilized false moods.
Predestined ways of being. Or lack thereof.
Samples, i’m told.
Lithium. Prozac. Xanax. Zyban. Wellburtin. Lithium pushed.
Again.
A-Z in all.

I don’t tell many people this but,
I have severe social anxiety.
I drink sometimes to help.
And i smoke,
A LOT!

I don’t drink much now.
I have a problem you see.
With drinking.
With drugs.
Not with medications. You see.
I am consciously un-medicated

A conscious decision.
I made years ago.
With my momma
In protest.
Momma knows best and stood steady ground by me when I proclaimed:
I am un-medicated. I do not want to change who i am.
I am this way for a reason.
Head trauma perhaps, genetically wired maybe.
I am this whatever the reason.
And i am a functioning Type 1 Bipolar persona.

Don’t be too afraid of me.
My mania is bliss.
My depression is under control.
Most
Of my rapid, rappity thoughts are kept inside.
Unless I have a question to ask.

And I ask a lot of questions. I talk a lot. But slower.

N.o.w… I breath.
For my sake.

I write.
I am a self-help success.
Who knows my limits.
Who knows all too well the possibilities of bipolar-ism.
Who views mental illness as potential leaps forward in develop-mentality.

I am un-medicated and no longer ashamed of who i am.
I am bipolar and i have ups and downs like so many others.
I write because it helps.
I see beauty, through dark lens.
I am mentally strong.
And i am a roller coaster.
Sturdy.
Scary. And strong.

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About Benny

My name is Benny LeMaster. I am an academic, activist, and artist. I research questions of identity, culture, and representation. I am interested in exploring ways to relate to one another in critically affirming ways. In terms of identity, I identify as queer, trans, mixed-race Asian/white, fat, and, frankly, fabulous. Let's talk!
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