Seth Fischer narrates his unsparing experience with PTSD:
I’m spending days in bed, even though I can’t, even though I am working 50 to 80 hours a week, doing a damn good job when I’m there. But still, somehow, I manage to spend entire days in bed, in silence, staring at the ceiling, not listening to music, not cruising the Internet, just staring, cursing every time the ice cream truck drives by my window because of that God damned song. It’s not even that it drives by; it actually parks in front of my fucking house just to make me crazy. My therapist calls what I’m doing “dissociating.”
I want to pour a coke in the engine of the ice cream truck. I want to take a sledgehammer to its speakers. For a moment, I want to be cruel. It is ruining everything. I don’t know what this is. I just know I can’t control it.
His perceives the elements of his own illness in the country’s troubles at large:
Lately, for unspeakable reasons, everyone has been talking about how everything in the world is terribly wrong. People are blaming guns and poor mental health services, but I get the sense that these are not the only things wrong, that there is something more.
It goes beyond this problem of “the stigmatization of mental illness.” Sure, that scares me, but there’s a thing that runs deeper. I can’t name it, exactly, and I certainly don’t know what to do about it, but I think it has to do with how we think about compassion and empathy and cruelty and survival.
(Photo by Gustavo Minas)