Sisterhood

For those that have trouble identifying these, this is one of my “Hamlet’s play” series of fictional posts.

I saw Evelyn’s sister’s face today and they do look remarkably alike.

I remember, let’s see, it was 1980 or so. I was eight. There was a car, a big one like the ones common in the 1970s, brown or beige, a station wagon, if I am correct.

The driver of the car followed me to the end of the driveway of my neighbours, the Mackenzies. I turned into their driveway.

One of the people in the car told me that she would place a bet, could I run faster than the car? I told them I wasn’t interested and then, because these strangers were creepy, I decided to walk more quickly toward the Mackenzies’ house. I knew I could get home by cutting through their backyard, through the trees to my house.

I am not entirely sure what happened next- I turned my back on the car, I heard engines revving, someone yelled “stop”, I ran toward a tree.

I do not know what happened next. I honestly can’t remember.

Thing is, though. Thing is: one of the people in that car knew me, thought she knew me really, really well, thought she knew me from infancy, perhaps. She was 10 years older than me, so an adult, and she was in that car, and thought she knew what I’d do, thought she could control me, thought she’d see me die that day.

And the other thing is, she is not the only one who saw what happened that day and all the days subsequent, all the times I’ve been attacked; there is someone else that knows me, doesn’t try to control me, thought they saw me die at least once, maybe twice (yes, I remember 2012, or was it early 2013?). Someone else to bear witness. Someone else to help me investigate, because even though I have no proof and a poor memory and struggle daily with wondering what thoughts I have are real and what thoughts delusion, this person doesn’t have these problems, and this person knows me.

This person saw what happened that day, with the car, to the small child I was. I don’t know if both of you have children of your own- Evelyn does, maybe you do, too. My friend definitely does.

Imagine what you would do to someone that tried to run over an eight year old child on purpose.

Now imagine that child is mine- because she is, she’s a part of me, that frightened eight year old, she is mine.

Now imagine what I would do to you. With evidence- maybe not of that long-ago summer day in Ontario, but it’s not like that has been the only such exercise among such loving and busy sisters.

I know how you know me. I’ve seen your faces and I know both of your names. You never did tell me your names, before, but that is not important now. I saw your faces, before. You never thought I would be able to say that, right? You had a foolproof plan. You both had it all figured out, long, long ago, and it worked well for so very long.

Only she screwed up, you see. Evelyn asked me to impersonate myself. She told me I was not ugly enough but I would do. A pivotal moment. It’s a long story, what happened after, and I’m saving that one for a film.

I was not the only one who saw you, and not the only one of your acquaintance that knows you for what you are, now.

When the time is right, all will be revealed.

Tick.

Tock.

Evolving ideas

I’ve decided to fold my ideas relating to my “Hamlet’s play” series of posts (I talk a little bit about them here, and I’ve made a couple more additional such posts since that one). The premise of these should be obvious to anyone that has actually read Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and I’m going to use this idea in a series I’m envisioning as working for television, which I have been tentatively calling “October 6th”. I had originally decided to write this story as a short story or novella, but it has blossomed in my mind to encompass a large variety of my dreams and actual experiences, and I’ve actually roughly plotted what might take about 14 episodes to relate. I am actually thinking of changing the pace (which would be too fast, I think) and making the year’s worth of story I planned to tell take even more episodes over perhaps a couple of seasons, and folding the concept and some of the material in my “Hamlet’s play” series into season two. I like the idea of a writer catching her abuser with absolutely no evidence except her own memories, which when related are powerful enough to convince those that know her to investigate and find the truth.

I’m writing “October 6th” (I really have to find a better title) mostly for my own satisfaction, as I have no illusions about an unknown amateur writer selling TWO seasons of a TV show, but that doesn’t mean the story isn’t worth telling.

This weekend I am working on a podcast (episode two! I’ll be discussing clinical trials, not fiction; this is about the pandemic, so I’ll be describing it in my science project blog, www.gut-bacteria.com).

I am feeling more or less myself again, though I am cognizant of the psychological problems I face and I still cannot shake the idea that I’ve met certain people and certain very negative things have happened to me. There is not very much I can do alone without any evidence of any kind, though, except what the protagonist of “October 6th” might do: post fiction pieces online that describe these things, and hope allies find these, read them, are reminded of events they themselves remember, and decide to investigate.

2016?

I’m feeling a little better than I had been, but I’m plagued by a recurring notion that people calling me right around now (or in the past weeks) have been getting me in 2016. I can’t explain this. I just seem to remember phone calls from 2016 that I didn’t understand then that are relevant to things happening now. Around August, so I didn’t even know anything about Trump being elected, let alone the current pandemic.

Time travel features prominently in my work, and so this sort of thing is probably something I’ll write about- I’m feeling better than I had been (I think I went through a slightly manic phase, then a slightly depressed phase, and am only now resuming what I hope is normalcy). I might be able to write it today, if I can get some quiet time. I don’t have anything pressing to do once I scan and email some paperwork.

It’s frustrating to tell yourself “just rest and do nothing for a while,” but apparently that has worked in my case, because this morning (aside from wondering about misdirected phone calls) I feel a lot more like myself.

Dear readers, this pandemic is hard on everyone’s mental health, and you yourself might need some time away from a busy schedule or pressing worries- however you handle your forms of stress, I hope you make time for yourself, for self-care, and remember that you are just as important as everybody else you might be taking care of.

Morning thoughts

There are times I really hate being bipolar. Sometimes it’s like being given 10,000 small weird gifts all at once by someone insisting you open them NOW, and you spend all your time unwrapping and trying to figure them out so you can get on with the rest of your life.

In fictioneering news, the past few weeks have gifted me with several rather bizarre entire novel plots, some of which have some similarities to things I’ve already written, and some of which are very new. Given that I have upwards of 60 story ideas already, I might write down these new ones in case they are useful, but I’m getting tired of having ideas but not enough energy to do actual writing.

I’m trying to follow advice and rest and do self-care for at least a few days so I can shut off the pipeline of weird thoughts that generated these new ideas; I don’t know what triggered this particular episode- I think just contemplating my time in one department on my campus was enough! I had a really bad time then and worked in a very hostile environment that I found intellectually stifling and psychologically almost abusive. I never had a specific thing I could pin down that was outright abuse, though. Anyway, just remembering that building and those people might have triggered some very paranoid thoughts, and I’m trying to let all the dust kicked up by my psyche settle.

In the meantime, sifting through the ideas this particular spate of paranoid thinking has provided, I’ve possibly considered something that might work as part of my series October 6th, though I have to figure out how the creepy new character I thought of would fit, and I’ve dreamed up some major points in a sequel to Infinity. I meant Infinity to be a standalone book, but I guess it won’t be. I thought of a crime drama plot as well. Plus I’m thinking of turning my entire “Hamlet’s play” series of blog posts into something more substantial. There’s a lot to unpack there and much of what I’ve written for them falls into different stories already, but I like the idea of a writer who has no proof of crimes, only hunches, using fiction to trap criminals.

Here’s hoping my next post will be from a more psychologically well frame of mind.

Mrs. Dempster

I freely talk about my experiences in being bipolar. I am not ashamed that I have a mental illness, and while at times it is distressing or inconvenient to have to parse truth from fiction, it has left me with an absolute ton of story ideas. I’m well above 60.

So I understand that when I get paranoid my mind invents fancies. That being said, I am fairly convinced I’ve figured out a few things about my own past. It’s a double whammy, isn’t it- suffering actual and bizarre traumas which sound unreal to family, friends, and therapists or doctors, while also battling bipolar delusions. What’s real? What’s not?

I test my theories. I form them and I test them, because I am a scientist. When I am angry or upset, or feel I have made some insights into my own past and real trauma which happened (as opposed to trauma which I freely admit is up for debate), I form a theory and I test it as best I can. It helps to have data, so I collect as much as I can.

I’ve recently formed an extension of my evolving theories about my past, a character I call Evelyn in my “Hamlet’s Play” series (this is a real person, mind you), and interactions with several figures. There are several main characters in these interactions with Evelyn. One has only recently come to mind and I can remember when Evelyn “introduced” us. I was a kid in high school and did not wish to hear his name or undergo the little performance that she had planned out for us, so I actually don’t know what he’s called. But I remember what he looks like, and I can guess about Evelyn’s obsession with this particular tableau. It’s not even original on her part, it’s from a book by Robertson Davies, called Fifth Business. She’s been trying to force me to recreate scenes from that book, and trying to force me into the character of Mrs. Dempster. I don’t even know why she’s obsessed with this book. I recall reading it, liking it, and mentioning the most memorable scene with Mrs. Dempster (where she’s found having sex willingly with a hobo because the hobo desired it) because that struck me- it really is a strange thing to write- and apparently my fate has been to suffer endless attacks from Evelyn and people she recruits or hires or manipulates. I cannot even count the number of times Evelyn has contacted potential employers, actual employers, friends, family, acquaintances, total strangers, my neighbours, anyone she thinks I might get some kind of help from at all, and tells them all sorts of lies about me- that I’m a prostitute, that I’m mentally challenged, that I’m a compulsive liar, that I desire sex with all men and will have it willingly no matter the circumstances if a man wants it, and on and on it goes.

This would explain why, on so many occasions, Evelyn tells me that I’m cursed, and it would explain why someone in the BIO building on my campus, back in 2016, called me “Boy”. That’s an actual character name from the book.

I suppose I’ll have to get a copy of Fifth Business and read it now to figure out what Evelyn has been up to or wants me to suffer; I am not in any hurry because I have spent years now dissecting her interactions with me and quite frankly she’s really not that interesting. She probably thinks she’s untraceable.

She’s not.

I wrote to her a short while ago.

I know she won’t write back, but that was not why I wrote.

You kept accusing me of being “rude” and asking me, “What’s my name?”. You never told me your name, you never ever did, but I know it, I know what state you live in, I know what town and what street and what number. I know you have been impersonating a wide variety of friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and relatives to me using a variety of phone and email and social media accounts, and you thought I would never figure that out, either. I know what you did to your husband, and me; I know about what you did to the child that was taken from his father and maimed, I know whom you hit on the head with a brick on my campus (UCR) and left for dead, hoping I’d be blamed. Funny how you told your husband I was a friend of yours “from high school” when you’re eight years older than I am and we grew up in different countries. Funny how you thought I could experience all of this, either by you telling me in riddles over the phone, or by actually experiencing it firsthand, and funny how you thought because I was traumatized for decades, and re-traumatized by you and your associates often enough that I could not recover, or remember much, that I would never, ever heal and remember. You’re a real performer, aren’t you?

I saw you next to your husband- him I recognized from as far back as Vancouver- where I lived, by the way; I never even had been to your city, Chicago, back in the 1990s. Over the phone: “The gloves are off!” They’ve never been on. I remember the hotel downtown in Vancouver and what happened there, too, and afterward. Such a pity you did not profit as you had hoped. I remembered your grin back in that hotel. I remembered your grin from a surprising number of attacks, do you realize that any one of them can put you behind bars for the rest of your life? You never thought I’d ever be able to recognize you, didn’t you? You always thought I was an idiot for never being able to overcome the massive quantity of abuse you had heaped on me, and all the conditioning as well, to pack those memories deep down. What did you call it? The oubliette?

Did you really think you had gotten away with it?