I want to let you all in. Having a schizophrenic disorder can be terrifying and confusing and I want to reveal what it’s really like. You might say it’s just a diagnosis, but it’s part of my story and often the reason I do the things I do. As disturbing as the symptoms are, when they cease with medication you sometimes feel a sense of loss.
I recently wrote about my family’s involvement with the Ku Klux Klan. I write what I know and how I feel about it. Honestly, I want answers but everyone’s dead.
What does this have to do with my schizoaffective disorder diagnosis?
Prior to treatment, I thought I could communicate with the dead. I saw apparitions and heard voices. Sometimes I had visits with dead relatives. I saw my mom who died when I was five years old. I was terrified day in and day out, but in a sick way, I thought my “abilities” made me special.
Hence the feeling of loss when medication takes away the thing that makes you special. Also, I have no memory of my mom so thinking I had a way to communicate with her was somewhat comforting.
With medication came a clear head and then atheism. In becoming an atheist I had to conclude that death is final. I never communicated with the dead. It was all symptoms of my mental illness. Thankfully, my feeling of relief has always been more powerful than my feeling of loss.
I was just thinking about this tonight because my grandparents who were in the Klan were my mom’s parents. What happened between my grandparents and me? My mom is an important link in this story and I’ll never know how she felt about it.
It’s now easy for me to say there is nothing after death, but I have to admit it’s hard knowing I may never get the answers that I seek.