Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Flowers

Bought a bouquet of flowers yesterday for our kitchen table. Red flowers with long green leaves. It looks so pretty, so civilized.

I'm going to talk to my husband and try to convince him to volunteer one night feeding the homeless at a soup kitchen. The work would be done in conjunction with my church. I want to see the mentally ill who are not medicated and not part of the system of recovery. I want to be educated. If my husband doesn't want to do it then I can go as part of a group from church, but with my husband I can sit amongst the men and have conversations with them. On my own, a single female, I don't think it would be so good to sit amongst the men. Having my husband introduce me as his wife gives a sign; treat her with respect (or I'll beat you up - the ever present male threat) and she's off limits sexually. I need to make that clear with the homeless men, that I'm off limits sexually. I have a feeling that the women in the church stick to the kitchen, while their husbands go out and eat and talk with the homeless.

Writing today was mixed. Came up with two good ideas. But in-between, despaired that this section of writing isn't as good as I would like it to be. Have to remember that this is all rough draft work, the book shifts on me. I get ideas to place in earlier writings. Perhaps introduce characters earlier. Having problems with the point of view, now that I am writing from a place of third person narration or omniscience. Before always being in the main character's head seemed normal, now it seems abnormal. How much time should I spend worrying about what she thinks, and how much time should I spend worrying about what the narrator thinks? In the end, I know the narrator is going to win. It is more powerful. The insights of the narrator span that past and the future. The insights of the narrator are profound. My main character is damaged goods. I can only show with her a damaged person, broken around very narrow channels. She is limited. With a narrator that can comment on any character, my area of play is very large. This actually is a bit of a danger to me, have to fight to stick to the story and not go off on tangents.

I saw inside of myself today that a part of me thinks that the worst of the mentally ill are animals. Corrected this perspective. Sanity is present even in those most guided by psychosis, psychotic thought is always mixed, the self doesn't merely dissolve. Was writing about teeth. Do the mentally ill who are missing their front teeth feel shame? Feel the loss? Of course. They can look in the mirror and despair even while they are psychotic. Being different, in the way you think, doesn't mean that you have lost complete perspective on where you sit in society. You can be shy about the loss of your front teeth even as your behavior and economic status puts you on the lowest rungs of society. Outcasts know that they are outcasts. Psychosis isn't a balm for a wounded heart. Psychosis isn't complete escape.

Was I an animal when I was psychotic? No. I had delusions. But I know I still wanted to be pretty. I may not have cared that much over whether or not I was accepted by others. There is a self absorption with psychosis. But I didn't want to be an outcast. Obsession saves you from worrying what the other guy thinks. I believe I felt nearer to God when I was psychotic. I felt justified. Perhaps it works this way; for some the loss of teeth don't matter, for others it does matter. I would have mourned loss of teeth when I was psychotic.

Now that I am sane, my fear of losing teeth to poverty is pretty keen.

I think I'll eat an apple, and then, go and brush my teeth.

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