What I Hear When No One is Listening
1, 2, 3 and 2, 2, 3 and:
Row, row, row your boat...
Row, row, row your boat...
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...
Gently down the stream...
Row, row, row your boat...
Life is but a dream...
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...
Blue bird ringin’ my doorbell...
Rollin’ my blues away!
Huck- “Hey Hoo! What the hell was that?”
Hoo- “It’s John Fogerty, dummy.”
Huck- “I know it’s John Fogerty, but he doesn’t sing Row Your Boat!”
Hoo- “Would sound better if he did.”
Berry- “True that.”
Huck- “Will y’all please shut up. Let’s start again, from the top.”
Hoo- “Forget you, Huck! Who made you the boss, anyway?”
Huck- “Well, my name does come first.”
Berry- “True that, too.”
Hoo- “Can we at least get in out of the rain first?”
Huck- “Not until we get it right.
Hoo- “Screw that, I’m getting out of the rain. My Momma didn’t raise a dummy.”
Huck- “But, we have the same Momma.”
Berry.- “Too true, and she raised three.”
Huck- (Heavy sigh) “Everyone together, from the top:
Row, row, row your boat...
The People Inside My Head
Disclaimer: I do not have a mental disorder and I am not trying to offend anyone here.
Vinte- Vinte is the writer in my mind and every time I sit down to do something, she's the one that comes to life. She is the one that has all the information gathered together and sorted in some chaotic way. She can also take the side of any character I'm working on and figure out what their reactions and such would be.
Jordan - Jordan is the carefree side of me, the person I want to eventually be. I don't see a lot of her as she only appears on good days when I'm happy or helping others. When she comes out, it's like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders and the mask has fallen away and I can actually be me.
Emily - Emily is me. The one that I have to live as day in and day out. Emily holds all of my doubts and insecurities and feels the pain. Unlike Jordan, she's not as happy and sunshiney as some think and unlike Vinte, she has a hard time keeping everything together.
Fangirl - Yes, that's what I call her. She's the totally happy side of me that loves to sit down and talk (hahaha) about what she loves. This side of me comes out on a daily basis whether it be at the dinner table or in a chat with my friends. This is also the part of me that feels the most happiness, aka, second-hand happiness.
Apollo - She is the precise side of me that is meticulous in everything she does. Everything must be perfect and just so and she never leaves a job unfinished. Apollo never really appears and so I continue to procrastinate.
A Throw Away
I am the sole occupant of my mind.
If other voices echo it is only
like they mattered.
a microsecond later
forgot what you said.
A throw away.
to believe your opinion counted
took you home
replayed myself to sleeplessness.
They flow like blood
A herd, a stampede
I write them down as quickly as possible
Try to make sense of the mess
That repeats over and over.
The thoughts won’t let me sleep
Until every counter is doused in ink
Every paper scribbled with nonsense
That I try to cover up
But the words fill my dreams
My escape is my cage,
And I run faster
to snatch them
To hide them
Because forgetting the voices is losing me
But my stamina is weakening . . .
Insanity is crippling.
There are five.
There are five at the helm of my mind, and they all have moods. Hard to categorise, and occasionally a new one turns up only once and then gone--never seen again.
There's the intellectual. He rebels against my body with his flattened chest and shortened hair, but this is how he appears. He dances along the back of conversations:
Tell them about the fact that 'Sonic the Hedgehog' is also the name of a gene, a ruthless one for malfunctions- can cause cyclopedia!
Scientifically speaking,....apOe helps digest meat.....evolution took us here randomly....there used to be giant dogs....we used to have larger brains than we do now.....the universe is constantly expanding....
Did you know...
He is the terrible choking laugh I can't control when someone is incorrect and he knows it. He always knows, even when I don't. Arrogance, is that your other name?
The tumor metastasizing between my amygdalae has many names. She licks her way around my brain in whispers, which turn to screams if I let them. She is heavy breathing and standing on the edge of the world. Her thoughts are more daring than mine. She occasionally feeds off the intellectual in order to wrap her arms tighter around me.
They're talking about you.....but it doesn't matter...nothing does....he told me how you will die soon....your imperfect body decomposing.....even the worms who eat you won't remember your name....tombstones decay....but your name is pointless to remember...you have done nothing anyway....
She has a fun nickname for me. "Mistake". She seems to know that I wasn't born to fit here on this earth. She tells me nothing matters but she brings my heart to a stop at the slightest noise. She tells me she's much better at reading facial expressions than I am.
Then there's Child. She's a screamer, a squealer of delight. She dances in the kitchen and talks to the walls. Everything matters, everything is new and fun and happy. She has a sister, Older. Older is still happy and she still delights but she is peaceful. She is lying in bed at 3 am in tandem with the silence. She's reading a book next to the one you love. She tangles with her whirlwind of a sister in my mind.
LOOK IT'S A FISH!!! LOOK LOOK LOOK HELLO FISH OH MY GOSH HE'S SO CUTE I WANT TO DANCE I'M SO HAPPY WOOOOHEEEYYYYYY!!!!
Calm, sister. Take a breath and look at the sunrise. It is beautiful in a way you cannot scream... even though you try so hard. Keep breathing this all in...can't you feel how it fills your soul?
There are smaller voices. You might call them insecurity or anger or jealousy. The last voice speaks very seldom. A deep, somehow ancient voice that silences all the others. Immune to even the tumor, the fear. I have only ever heard it say three words. It speaks them through my mouth once in a blue moon.
I love you.
Hey, It’s Crowded In Here!
The loudest one in the group is Mimic, the best singer ever. She can copy any person's voice after listening to their song and repeat it for hours on end. She tends to get attached to certain parts of songs, and doesn't intend on letting go until she gets tired of them.
Another noisy fellow is Snicket. They're the one telling me what this says now, and changes their voice to match anyone that we read about (right now it's just my own voice). But when we're not reading, they also tend to iterate certain lines from books or subtitled anime that we've already seen, or just add commentary to daily life.
Danky is both my most and least favorite voice. Regardless of whether it's a good or bad time, he makes me laugh by shouting out the dumbest things. He just mentioned right now that I could accidentally copy and paste fanfiction instead of my DBQ as my AP exam and confuse the judges, something that I truly hope doesn't happen (as funny as it may seem).
I occasionally hear the voices of OCs that I haven't put onto paper. Right now, I have quite a few quoting Tiktoks that we've seen or acting out the same scenes over and over again. I can name about five new characters, the rest of this invisible cast not even having names yet. Until I can get over my writer's block with their worlds, they will stay in my head.
Most of the problematic ones don't really have "voices", per se. Anxiety just shakes me up and blurs my vision at the worst times, and Doubt just adds question marks to all of my other voices' dialogues. L'appel du vide, my intrusive thoughts, only jump out when Mimic stops singing for too long (so, rarely). The same can be said for Insecurity, but they're able to shout over the noise at their very worst.
It's hard to put something so abstract into words, but here it goes: While they are probably more folks dancing around my mind, it's hard to say if they're all different voices or just the same group that can make different impressions, depending on my mood.
There is one in my mind that drives me insane
Taunting me at every turn
Is there any point she asks
She encourages my anger
Tripping me at every turn
Another is a man
His voice is soft cavern going to depths unknown
Gently he guides me towards understanding
Mother is merciless
Stop complaining when you know this is nothing
Finally there is the quiet one
Never speaking, always guiding
She gives me messages to decode
Questioning, curious, childlike
Yet there is a darkness to her
Always hidden in shadow
Emotions are the easiest way to understand her
In dreams I greet her
Over time I gather pieces to her puzzle
A lifetime won't be enough to understand her
Tat Tvam Asi
Primagravida, twenty-nine, accustomed to being healthy
I sit huddled in a corner; it’s pristine white,
otherwise would have made patients feel clean, sanitised,
Patients? She sneers.
See... it’s a small way between being healthy and sick
a mere dirtroad that takes you there.
I call her B**ch! A sadist, who creates elaborate castles.
Houses of cards, arranged neatly, even precisely,
but vulnerable all the same.
Same as you. A tiny wisp of breeze and how it tumbles down.
It’s the other one, matronly and more patient,
who didn’t come barging in the same night as the others.
She has been always there, chiding me when I strayed.
She tries to soothe me.
Didn’t they tell you, your parents,
that you ought to take care during this time?
You shouldn’t stay out for long, watch only happy movies,
not the ones in which Robin Williams dies
and makes way around heaven, hell... or purgatory.
Dante’s not always good for you,
leave the intellectual pieces for other times when
you’re better equipped to handle all the heavy stuff.
You shouldn’t have discounted generations of wisdom...
I call her Rachel. It comforts me. She looks like
the runaway nurse from Shutter Island, the movie.
The one hiding in a cave. I shudder. Caves... they scare me.
How many times have I told everyone here that this is thanatophobia?
Goodness! Not again.
The cheeky guy in white tee, worsted denims and sneakers.
An expert in all kinds of phobia.
Agoraphobia, fear of open spaces.
Claustrophobia, fear of closed spaces.
And now... Thanatophobia.
What is that? A feeble voice asks.
It’s the freckled anorexic teenager with severe acne.
She’s the one who always comes in at the most inopportune moment,
bringing down my house of cards. Unwittingly, asking questions,
looking for answers.
Who am I? What place is this? Why am I here? Where is God?
Is there afterlife? Would I get to meet my beloved pets on the rainbow bridge?
Will I stumble around like Robin Williams, or will I have my Guardian waiting?
How does it feel to die? What if the body still feels pain when they burn you,
or worse... when they bury you under layers of earth, for an eternity?
The cheeky nerd sniggers.
See; I told you. This is thanatophobia.
Fear of death, ridiculously awaiting an eternity, an afterlife
that isn’t even there. God? What a grandiose concept, but baseless...
Nothing after this. Period!
Stop him! Stop him for God’s sake.
The teenager clutches at handfuls of her hair.
Covers her ears, so as not to listen to the mindless shattering of her hopes.
Doesn’t he know I’m afraid? Oh God! I broke your house of cards again.
No... no... I don’t want to lose this baby. They say I’ll,
if I’m unable to get back to normal.
What? You’re pregnant? For what?
This is Jude. Looks like Jude Law’s character from ‘Road to Perdition’
The murderous villain who shoots Tom Hanks and then clicks a photo.
See. I’ll come to claim you in the end. Even if you hide till you’re ninety.
And then, I’ll show you there is no heaven and no hell. Only purgatory.
The forever limbo state. Like in Inception? Marion Cotillard’s character?
No liberation! No salvation! No redemption!
The nerd grabs him by his throat and they end up sprawling on the floor
jostling and punching, kicking each other in a frenzy.
It ain’t like that. There’s nothing. A void. No afterwards. No afterlife.
Both are opinionated, eccentric and ruthless.
Hello! Your tinnitus. It’s never leaving. You’ll have to learn to live with it.
And what psychiatric problems? You’re educated. You need to self-counsel.
I can’t prescribe drugs for you. Your mom... she was saying you haven’t slept
Since a month at least, two maybe. I no longer remember....
What? It’s dangerous for the baby. You need to sleep.
Not as long as they fight like dogs.... But yeah, what do you know?
Just like I didn’t a month ago. Thought all these are for the mentally weak.
I was a snob. I submit myself. But to whom? Doctors are helpless.
Medicine useless. Science doesn’t know.
We leave the pristine white Doctor’s waiting room.
It’s a moment of silence after all the brawl. I decide.
I’m not going to ask anyone to leave, I’ll make peace with what they say,
but I’ll find out my own version of truth. Faith must be one’s own.
So... six years later, I’m a believer, a theist, and profoundly spiritual.
The molecules of gases that used to randomly hit the walls of the container,
still do that. They fight, they laugh and they make fun of the new entrant.
The monk, who just sits in a corner, and always smiles.
He never speaks, not at least to them.
But I can hear him say softly....
Tat tvam asi
inside my head
A girl is curled up in a blanket, with your pet cat. She is reading by the window. Soft music plays, and there is sunlight. She watches as the days go by, popping in to point out beautiful things. Her eyes twinkle, and an unrestrained smile fills her small soft face.
A women is wearing sensible heels. Her makeup is flawless. She carries a portfolio and smiles confidently. She insists on button downs and skirts. She checks in to see that I am taking care of myself. A mental checklist runs in the back of my head.
A teenager dances in a theatre. it is strewn with different discplines and she tries them all, singing softly to herself. She dreams for me, talking of all we might do, reminding me of what I have done.
There is an old woman, she is baking, and grinning gentley. She is reminding me to clean the messes I leave behind. She is listing gratittudes and reminiscing of the past. When I cry, she tells me it’ll be okay. She reminds me of the joy in companionship, and sharing.
There is a tiny, terrified child. She is hiding, deeper than I can dive within myself. She cries. She whispers. Her eyes are shut, and her head is covered. Desparately lonely, yet infinitely paralyzed by fear and confusion. Everything seems contradictory. Every action feels wrong. Every thought condemnable. She silently cries. She makes me feel things I know are not true. She is the shakiness in my voice and body. She holds my eyes to the ground, and bends my shoulders forward. She is a constant stream of everything I’ve done and why it was wrong. The neverending doubt at the back of my mind.
She cries for me, so that I can walk forward and try to smile.
She senses how others are feeling, she tells me their secrets. Translating moments into emotional rollercoasters.
She is scared of cars, and talking to strangers.
She is scared of pain, and hurting others.
She does not trust anyone, not even herself. Everything is uncertainty. Except that she is wrong. She is always wrong.
And everyone knows that. Everyone will leave her.
Her voice is soft, and constant, like tiny cuts that never heal. stinging with every movement. Cuts all over her body. All over her heart. My heart.
What is love?
She asks me for answers I cannot give. She asks me to end it. She asks me to hide. She screams ever so softly that we are aching. That I am broken.
So I send them to find her. My voices sitting by her in the dark. They stay, so that she can feel. So, that I can feel things that I can’t feel right now.
“I love you,”
“It’s going to be okay,”
“They didn’t mean it,”
“You are going to be okay,”
“I am going to be okay,”
And the voices which are all my own, all cry together in my voice, they comfort in my voice, they hope, are scared, and ache together. They heal together.
It hurts too much sometimes, but this is how I cope.
I am Inside my Head
Max is the fearless and relentless one. He’s never afraid of doing or saying anything. He’s the adventurous and nature lover type. Also, he has no filters to express his emotions.
Alex is the shy and procrastinator one. He is a kind of person who just pushes everything deep down inside, even when he is hurt badly. And he always runs away from responsibilities and confrontations.
Eddy is the outgoing of all. He can hold any conversation with anybody. He’s smart and always in charge.
Dave is unique. He’s honest. He would rather get hurt than disappoint others. Dave can never tell a lie.
Woody is the expert and helper. He has a sharp mind that can solve issues. He always finds ways to make things easier. He’s the troubleshooter and resourceful one. He loves helping others at any cost.
Jay is me. The reserved, adventurous, smart, outgoing, fearless, helper, procrastinator.
I am made of all these people.