There’s a rant associated with this.
Will make it my Sunday feature…
I’m so mad right now. Not angry with a someone, I’m angry with an institution, an administration. I’m mad because I followed the bazillion rules they have in order to qualify my disability, and then they turn around and COMPLETELY disregard what they were supposed to honor.
You should know better you silly bitch! No one is looking out for you!
Oh I get it now. The abject discrimination is too much. Lemme have my half my face blown off, okay, we get it, pass on through. But have a debilitating disorder that takes over even the simplest aspects of your life? You need to fill out three hours’ worth of forms, and oh, by the way, we’re gonna go ahead and revoke your benefits before you sign the final page.
No review board. No honoring of appeals. Just….doors slammed shut. Phone calls not returned. Our official decision is…we don’t acknowledge you.
I can’t deal with this. A raw nerve I am, every little nip, quip, snip sets me off. I’m not experiencing despair, just raw, unfiltered…RAGE. I want to talk to someone about it, it’d be REALLY nice if I had a reliable go-to, but instead I have the holier-than-thou people, the ones who tell me they get what I’m going through but have never actually experienced what I’m going through, then follow with a condescending, “you need to get it together. Don’t take things so seriously.” Yeah, you know all about that.
Before I tear open the Feeling Homicidal Emergency Phone Directory, I’m gonna re-watch Maria Bamford’s latest stand up on Netflix, The Special Special Special! because she does deliver an EXCELLENT presentation on the rampant hypocrisy towards the mentally disabled.
If, after watching this, I can’t fight off the rage, I’ll initiate the phone chain.
Help me out, Maria…
Find a seat close enough to the stage, but not directly in the lighting. There. Center spot, middle row right. Close to the door, in case…
Just never fucking know. My body’s still adapting to the new medication. Haven’t been sleeping, my racing thoughts are a loud flip-book of a stick figure doing cartwheels. But I gotta be here, I gotta do this. Get on the mic. Bring this art of yours to public awareness.
I fuckin’ don’t want to be here.
Show should start in 12 minutes. Sit, sit, sit. Chill.
“Helloooo therrrrrre.” Her nasally cat voice purrs towards me. I look up at the large, dark skinned woman with blond highlights, and I realize who it is.
OH. Not this bitch.
As she settles into the seat beside me, Yuengling resting on her misshapen, milkful tit, I feel the muscles in my neck and shoulders wring.
“I didn’t recognize you.” It was the truth. It was also the only pleasant thing I could think of to say to this sick, sad, stupid excuse for a human being.
Keep it together.
Show should start in 8 minutes. She tells me someone is on her way, as if I was part of her evening plans. I glare at her incredulously, then look around to validate the rows upon rows of available seats. I open my mouth to say, “There’s other seats open” when…
“Oh hiiiiiii!” she spies a lady sitting at the end of our row. I remember her from our screenwriting days, but she doesn’t remember me from Jesus, because like this bitch, she’s stinkin’ drunk too.
I sigh a bit of relief, sensing she’ll take her beer and join her equally inebriated friend on the far end. Leave me to my quiet space, mentally prep for my presentation, tamp down the desire to stab her in the throat.
Instead, the wino slides from her seat to the one beside me, and I’m now flanked by two alcohol-wielding, heavy jewelry-clad, flabby forty-somethings. I feel the familiar spike of rage, a spear which usually bursts from my gut through my heart and to my mouth relaying menacingly how dead the two of them will become if they don’t fuckin’ move. But instead, I felt the spike tip my heart and bounce back down. Hmm.
Fascinated by this shift in modicum I let the two sows oink at each other over me, noticing the spear keeps tipping tipping but never breaks to the surface. I think this is what the psychiatrist meant by “mood leveling.” Interesting.
The other woman arrives with a friend, and all of a sudden it’s a sorority reunion, five deep in the same row, everyone armed with alcohol save for me, because I’ve learned in my years of public speaking, drinking anything before reading makes my mouth slippy, makes me slur my words.
It’s beyond showtime and I’m frustrated. Extremely frustrated. When my name is called to present I stand up creakily, as my body had practically rigor-ed from tension. By the time I hit the podium the blood’s returned to my voluptuous ass, and by the time I launch into my presentation under the stage lights I’m fuckin’ relieved.
I can’t see those stank ass bitches when I’m standing in the spotlight. I don’t hear their stupid cow mooing when the microphone is at my command. It is then I realize the comfort my art allows me on stage – the opportunity to escape what and who disquiets me, to control what everyone else gets to experience.
The applauding cues me off, and I’m saddened that I have to return to the hen house, but then I become empowered, knowing I read from my complete, published work while every single one of them is still trying to get past their revisions.
Fuck you, you stank ass bitches. Fuck you in your stupid asses.
His hand slowed its feverish massage as his laughter grew.
“What the hell are we listening to?”
I stop my humming and open my eyes, lifting my Galaxy to my face.
He shakes his head and keeps moving the mouse ball, putting the finishing touches on the design I made. A complete overhaul of my book cover. It’s beautiful.
“What’s so funny?” I ask.
“It’s just that when I left here, you were listening to Otep.”
I smile. “It’s my thing. Country music is where I go when I need to bring the rage down.”
He’s right. A few hours prior, I had sat at his workstation. I had Marie’s artwork framing the screen. I had a blank Photoshop layer precut to the background artwork in the center. And I had the roars of Otep, Killswitch Engage, Rammstein carrying about me, helping me bring my rage to resolve.
And from resolve begat beauty.
I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a living fact. My online persona constantly engages in controlled folly, and much of that folly comes from my actual persona managing the ebb and flow of the disorder. I found over the last few years transforming from shadow artist to true artist, having PTSD is a gift. A strange one, in that it can be a crippling situation if not managed, but when it’s harnessed, it can become a powerful source of creativity, sometimes bucking you crazy, but at the end of the ride, you’re left with a masterpiece.
If my actual persona was not the skilled master of the ol’ Put The Stick Down, the design flaw I had to deal with yesterday would’ve sent me into a vortex of fury. I chose to convert my dark thoughts into a working plan. You know what, if you don’t like it, change it, I said to myself. I knew what I wanted to create, but I didn’t have the equipment. Made some contacts; finally, the guy who did my photo shoot not only had the full suite but he didn’t need to use it for the day.
At 2:37AM my time I sent the completed design files, the proofed manuscript, and reference files to the publisher, then I passed out. Today, whatever latent malevolent feeling I have about the ordeal is going to get exorcised out productively. I’m thinking, jog around the park with Bobby, go read my book on the pier, and listen to something that goes like this:
Resident M.H.D. Bobby hates my camera flash.
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BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
international speaker, author, interfaith minister and creativity coach
Conjured by Sarah Doughty
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