Friday, February 11, 2005

Fortunately, I couldn't understand them…

It's a story that happens far too often, someone suffering from a mental illness cannot get treatment because hospitals are criminally under funded.

Let's stop and think for a minute. Hospitals heal the sick. Wars kill. But what gets the lion share of our society's money? It's just fucking sick.

So, anyway, the story happens far too often. This wasn't the first time I heard of it. It was how the story ended, however, that makes it special.

I'm talking about Joseph Parker, who, two years ago, walked into a grocery store in Irvine and went on a killing spree with a samurai sword. He'd tried for years to get help but no one would help him. We were all too busy putting our money into wholesale slaughter to help a fellow human being. I'm sure that someone exclaimed, after seeing the bodies on the news, "What the fuck is wrong with this world?!"

And the reason this story is special is because of what I read about him today. Turns out that he heard voices for years and he had troubles sleeping… sounds awfully familiar.

Now, I haven't heard my voices in nearly half a year and, for the most part, I sleep just fine. But there were long years there when I'd hear the voices daily and nights were spent walking in my sleep, screaming awake from nightmares, or too terrified to sleep. I think back on that time (trust me, without a single desire to go back) with a great deal of fondness for the people in my life who helped me make it through. Without you, I might have ended up like Joe Parker. Now, okay, I would always joke that I couldn't make out a word the voices were saying but they were so loud at times, I would often think I was losing my mind. I look at Joe Parker and think, "There but for fortune…" and I feel a strong compulsion to thank those who were with me - you know, even if they don't read, the bastards! - for helping me get through.

Now, of course, the only voice I heard at night is Vicky's and she's saying, "Stop snoring!!!" And I consider myself amazingly lucky.

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