Paranoia

Posted on February 1, 2010

2


Odd how you can suddenly notice something that has been happening in your mind and realize it has been happening for quite a long time, much the way you can have your attention brought to the humming of an appliance or some other subtle sound and realize you’ve been hearing it for quite awhile. Today I had a momentary flash of fear that one of my best friends was secretly furious at me for some failure at which I couldn’t even guess. It happened while I was writing, so I jotted it down, aware that it had happened before, and within the next few minutes it happened once more. It’s a feeling familiar to me in an unconscious way, always banished by reason after a moment, yet utterly terrifying in the brief instant where it burns white hot. I think I know where it comes from…a few traumatic experiences over the past year or so that taught me that people can loathe you suddenly and for no reason that exists outside of their own minds.

The thing about it that’s really scary, though, is that for the second before the thought gets batted down by my rational defenses, it feels completely and unimpeachably true. It comes so suddenly it almost feels like someone else is reaching into my brain and turning my thoughts to poison, and it goes just as fast, but I wonder if this is the tiniest glimpse of what it’s like to have some kind of mental illness, to lose control of your own thoughts. Strange. Anyway, I hope by writing it down I can turn it into something I notice consciously every time, and by doing so, cut its balls off. So to speak.

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