Christina Thibodeau "Dissociation"
There are days when
I’m either moving
too slow or too fast,
though does speed really matter?
The fact is that I can see
the very fabric
breaking into pieces around me.
Sometimes I see every second pass,
like water slowly dripping out of a leaky faucet.
Other times hours pass by all at once,
punctuated only by “are you alright?”s
from concerned friends.
Sitting in a running car
and quiet music
and the knowledge we both have:
that I don’t know if you’re real
the person I know so well,
the person I’ve touched so many times,
the person I’m afraid to touch now
because maybe you won’t be there this time.
And even the dashboard looks
as if someone who has no idea
what a car is supposed to look like
has created a simulation
and thrown me into it
and if I reach out to change the station
there will be nothing there.
And when this happens to me,
when reality is fractured—
or maybe I’m fractured?—
I wonder if this is how
some people feel
when they hear about the stigma
surrounding mental illness.
I wonder if they sit and think
and wonder if it’s real or not.
And they think that it must not be
because they love someone with depression
and they don’t discriminate against that person.
But you know,
as soon as someone does something vaguely odd
and as soon as their ex
says something wrong
and as soon as they hear someone has schizophrenia
or a personality disorder
or anything they haven’t heard of
it’s either “scary”
or it “doesn’t actually exist.”
And I wonder what they would think
if I told them
that I doubt their existence
in almost the same way
that they doubt mine.