Howl at the Moon – Daily Prompt

Trigger Alert … Trigger Alert … Trigger Alert

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg

“Don’t hide the madness.”  Even considering that this is only part of a larger quote (see Rideo, Ergo Supero’s response to this prompt), it touches something deep inside me.

As a teenager I was part of the untouchables in our school.  There was a whole cadre of us – we didn’t fit in any of the other groups so we sort of melded together as a result.  We were intelligent, if unmotivated; not quite the nerds of our time.  Existing on the periphery of the class, we excelled at very little.  I’m not sure where I’m going with this or how this prompt got me here of all places but bear with me, maybe there will eventually be a point.

Even with my posse (is that still a thing?) I remember feeling lost and alone.  My mother was on stepfather number five or six, and between working full time and giving him the attention he craved she had little time for mothering and less inclination.  My brothers were six and 12 years younger than I so we had very little in common socially.  Being the eldest, I had a lot of responsibility at home when the ‘rents were at work.  That made it difficult to do anything beyond going to school, coming back and keeping up with homework and chores.

I don’t remember how old I was the first time I tried to end my life, probably around 16.  It was quite humiliating; not only did it fail, but no one even realized I’d tried.  I did get a great night’s sleep though!

It was around this time that Cody came into my life.  I’d gone so far off the deep end in my loneliness that I created this imaginary friend based on a character in a book I’d read.  I don’t even remember what book it was.  Looking back, I think Cody became more than a friend to me; he was my constant companion, my partner in crime (so to speak; I was too afraid of my own shadow to even think about stepping over the line); my phantom boyfriend.  I hid the madness then, even from myself.

I don’t know what it was that snapped me out of it.  Perhaps it was the next suicide attempt where I tried to bleed out in my own bathtub.  Again, it was an embarrassing failure accompanied by heartbreaking guilt that my little brother was the one who found me.  Hospitalization didn’t heal anything but the body.  Mandated group therapy was worthless to a reclusive teenager with no communication skills.

And yet, I survived.  Here I am approximately 40 years later, mostly-happily married with six children, nine grandchildren and a few very real, very loving and deeply loved friends.  I still feel mad at times, who doesn’t?  Often I still hide it.  Except here.  Here I’m safe.  Here I can unleash the crazy and let her run a little wild.  Appropriately, my best friend’s avatar quotes the Cheshire Cat, “We’re all mad here.”

Some of us just admit it.  😀

13 thoughts on “Howl at the Moon – Daily Prompt

  1. The secret is no one is sane or really got it together. There are the vast majority of us who consider all or part of themselves “crazy”‘ and then there are the delusional. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your communication skills have come along since teenage, I’d say. You veil the pain with humour, but the pain still shows through. I’m glad you survived, and that you wrote this. Also, you have nine grandkids, and you’re not even sixty yet? o_O

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember, when I was a teenager, my mother told me something I’ll never forget and will definitely tell my children, if I have any. She said, “This is the worst time of your life. It will get better after this”.

    She was so right and it’s so true. It’s such an intense period. One that so few come through unscathed.

    Thank you for sharing your story. We’re indeed all mad, some are just better at hiding it than others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Cheshire Cat is my favorite AIW character..
    We have some things in common.. Unlike you though, I had 2 loving parents willing to help me thru anything.. But I rebelled and put them thru hell instead.. after loads of trouble and years later, my life turned around, I got to be the proverbial prodigal child.. Your writings, in every post I’ve read so far, resonates with me on some level.. Yours is the first blog I’m reading for a “me” reason.. And I just started reading you a few hours ago 😂
    All the blogs I follow are really good, interesting and most are funny and have stories that are new horizons to enjoy.. Your blog brings reading more on a me level.. And I’m glad to have you on my list of great reading

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now you’ve gone and done it! Crying before work is so not a good way to kick off the day. At least they’re happy tears. I’m happy to have found your blog too. We can thank ChattyKerry for that!


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