Author: Sender

Glorious Torment of the Misunderstood

My name is Sender. I am a 38 year old writer who has suffered since early childhood a series of mental disorders related to what ‘they’ call unresolved childhood and adult trauma. The laundry list of my issues is almost as long as the alphabet; Bipolar Disorder, S.A.D., O.C.D., A.D.H.D., Major Depressive Disorder, Paranoid Psychosis and the list goes on and on.

My family life was not a joyous one. Of course, it goes without saying, that there are always moments, in life, that we have happy memories, however mine seem to be limited to acts of extreme self destructive medication. The strain of the family environment stretched the limits of my ability to deal with the realities of my life, let alone theirs. From a young age, I found myself mentally fragmented into three selves. The first was what ‘they’ would term the ‘normal’ Sender. Well, friends, I ask you, what is normal and why would any of us want to be that?

Twelve and Thirteen is where the other I’s began to manifest in earnest. As the third of eight children who was the oldest in the home because my older brother and sister had already flown what I affectionately term the coup, I was left to deal with the mess of a crumbling marriage and three younger brothers and two younger sisters. I took this responsibility seriously as my mother left and my father was never around because he was the ‘Chairman of the MacLean family Board.’ His M.O. had always been to make money.

I loved and hated those years. I resented the break up of my parents despite knowing that it was the right decision. I was thrust into the middle of a full scale war of the roses on a nuclear scale. I realized that I was forced to grow up from a twelve year old boy to a grown man almost over night. Each of my siblings also struggled with issues related to the break up and the apparent coming dissolution of any meaningful family unit. Save for those of us left there to deal with the mess. Please do not take these words as anything other than what they are. I love my family. I love my brothers and sisters. I do however resent that I was forced to grow up much quicker than I believe I or any child should have been expected to.

I started to drink. Heavily. I started to smoke. Heavily. I started to use Marijuana. Heavily. Legendary bouts of self medication that were the only way I could deal with the stresses put upon me. 

Then, after a particularly important accident, at age thirteen, things started to spiral out of control. Playing ball hockey at school one day, for no apparent reason, I had a massive seizure which left me unconscious for several minutes. This incident, as best I can recall is when the other I and I became readily obvious. Moreover, that is when the voices began daily. At first just jumbled noises that I could not make sense of. Frightened, ashamed, confused and unable to tell anybody the voices grew louder as the ‘experts’ did their best to figure out what was wrong with me.

After a series of tests it was determined that I had heart palpations and a murmur. Surely, these had nothing to do with the voices, whom, I would shortly learn were the Lost Generation; Stein, The Fitzgeralds’, Joyce, Pound, Elliot, Picasso and MOST importantly Ernest Hemingway. I still could not tell anyone. How could I? I knew what the result would be and even in the absence of telling anyone it was shortly thereafter that I was thrown out of that school due to my inability to adhere to the rules, care about the material and do anything but read REAL books about REAL things that mattered. I became consumed by war trying to understand the vulgarity of man. All this resulted in the beginning of my lifelong therapy sessions and attempts to medicate me. Attempts that I was able to avoid vehemently. 

I spent six months out of the school environment before I was sent to a very private public school filled with rich kids at a time that my father was in the process of going bankrupt. Loosing his fortune and our house for a time I was forced to live in a piss covered stairwell near our former home until some friends caught wind of what was going on and took me in.

Returning to the school system I was forced, twice a week, to see a psychologist. For weeks I drove him crazy by not saying a word until finally he asked me what I wanted to speak about. My answer was simple; “What is going on with me? What are these voices? Where do they come from?” He couldn’t answer so I spent the next few years continuing to hear voices. He spent them speaking to me about a subject he knew I was interested in, serial killers.

One night, in the middle of a paranoid delusion I became convinced that there was a gathering of the KKK in my back yard burning a cross and holding shot guns to their mouths as if I should be quiet. I did what any ‘normal’ person would do. I called the police who showed up en masse. This was the first of many such experiences. My little brother told my parents at that time there was something seriously wrong with me as my Father, Stepmother, he and I had started living together again. However, it was dismissed that I was just drunk, despite the fact I was sober and writing at the computer at the time this happened.

The next event, unresolved, until recently, involved getting an extremely wealthy girlfriend pregnant, the details of which I will not go into to protect her, just to say, that her parents had enough pull to have her drugged up, declared mentally unfit to make her own medical decisions and then forced me to go with them to Detroit so we could get an illegal abortion due to where she was in term. The voices grew louder, the hallucinations became worse. Life as I knew it, now eighteen, was without self medication on a massive scale no longer possible.

This I believe, is a good introduction, to me and what started young and progressively got worse. I will write a series of articles going forward that explain my conditions, how I’ve dealt with them and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Love and Light,


It’s a manic world.


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