Author:  S. R.

Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes 

Imagine yourself trapped. You’re trapped in a cage, or better yet, a box. Darkness envelops you, the blackness consumes you, and you can see nothing more than the pitch blackness that surrounds you. 

Now that you’re in this box, imagine a window. Not a large window, but a slit in the wall that’s big enough for you to peer out of. You can see the people walking by, you can see their mouths moving though you can never make out their words, and shout as you might, no one ever hears you. 

Slowly at first, then faster and faster, everything speeds up, you’re no longer trapped in that box but you have absolutely no control over your body. You’re stuck. What is happening? You’re moving, you’re laughing, you’re talking… but this isn’t you. Inside, you’re screaming, you’re kicking and shouting, punching the walls trying to escape, but nothing you do gets you noticed. 

It isn’t as though your regular routine is mixed up; this is you, isn’t it?

* * *

It was a day like any other; I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, and then jumped on Facebook to check my messages. I wound up talking to a few of my friends. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

The back story: A very important person in my life (as in, 6 years worth of love type of important) had walked out and I wasn’t dealing with it very well. He had been gone for close to two months and I was depressed. I cried, I screamed, and I did a lot of unhealthy things like drink, smoke marijuana, and I even attempted suicide. Eventually, I thought I was over it, I thought I was okay.

I had been talking to a friend of mine, one that I didn’t know all that well. We had hung out before, and he was my friend’s best friend, so I didn’t really think he was all that bad, but we were just talking. There wasn’t really anything of interest that popped up, I think we talked about snakes (I’m a reptile fan) and turtles, and what we had planned for the weekend. 

He had been working in my area and decided to come over the next day. I didn’t think anything was wrong, I was feeling a little “funny” but I put it off as I was getting the flu or I was having a mini episode. It’s a similar feeling to that of a mixed episode, where you’re so confused you don’t know how you’re feeling. 

He came over and before I knew it, all our clothes were on the floor and we were doing something I had never done before. 

Um, what the hell am I doing? 

I was screaming, I was shouting, I was crying inside my head. I was trapped. I was trapped in a body I had absolutely no control over. I just watched. I sat and watched myself be violated in a manner I had never wanted to experience, at least not like that, not to him.

I have always been a conservative woman. I don’t wear skimpy dresses, I don’t like to talk about sex unless it’s with a lover, I don’t initiate anything. I was never a slut. Though after this experience I certainly felt like one.

As soon as it was over, I cried. I cried and I cried and I bawled and then I bawled some more. I didn’t want to lose my virginity like that! I wanted to be with someone I sincerely cared about. It didn’t help that he made terrible comments about me afterwards.

What do I do?

I can’t claim rape, I obviously consented to it. But here’s the problem: I don’t remember consenting to it. I don’t remember what lead up to it happening; I don’t remember anything except for the act itself and what happened afterwards. 

I was a prisoner in my own body. 

I was destroyed. My loved one came back shortly after it had happened and I had to tell him. He flipped out on me, I flipped out on him, I was having episode after episode, I was angry, I was calling him names and being a hurtful little b…

Despite not being in control, I must take responsibility, and I have. But it hurts to know that something so… intimate… happened while I wasn’t in control, and with someone I didn’t love to top it off. This experience has quite literally screwed me up for life, I’ve become a prude. I’ve become scared of myself – the “what ifs.”

This, folks, is what’s known as a psychotic episode. You’re not in control of your body; instead, you’re like a prisoner trapped on a bus, looking through the window of life. You can scream and cry as much as you want, no one can hear you.

According to “professionals”, those with bipolar disorder will generally experience one or more of these. On medication, the chances of having one are greatly reduced, leaving, roughly, a 10-20% chance of it happening again. Without medication, however, there is as great a chance as 80%. 

Your greatest fear can be that of clowns or even spiders, but a psychotic episode is a real life nightmare. One in which there is no escape and the repercussions could cost you a lifetime of regret, shame, and embarrassment.

It’s a manic world.

  1. Tee Bean

    It has been years and years since I have had an episode but it happened quite often when I was in my teens to early twenties. Your words capture the sensation so clearly.


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