By Camille Gold
Key Themes: fiction, satire, mental health system, trauma, schizophrenia, religion
My book is about someone suffering a mental breakdown after witnessing a ‘traumatic’ experience. What that experience is isn’t clear until the end but the effects are that the protagonist gets locked up and put on medication, and treated by Drs and nurses of questionable intentions. It describes good as well as bad aspects of the ‘schizophrenic’ state, some of the voices being welcome and providing insight and wisdom. It outlines his frustration with his treatment and his struggles in relation to God, how he copes with his imprisonment and how it changes him.
About the Author
My experience of mental institutions and having a diagnosis of schizophrenia have been drawn upon, but have been made into a fantasy story so they are not entirely factual. I have been hospitalised about 9 times in the last 10 years and have found the experience devastating; similar to being imprisoned or taken hostage. I have found the solution to be the Christian virtues of suffering patiently, being thankful that it’s not worse and forgiving the Drs and nurses. I have found my life stripped bare and the meaning of life in Jesus Christ to be the one thing remaining.
Dr Nasty saw himself as an ‘inner space’-man, boldly going where no one in their right mind had gone before. He had his own ‘scientific’ technique, he called it the emotivator. It consisted of a bunch of graphs where you could plot emotional co-ordinates and be informed of their outcomes through mathematical formulas, which were discovered by him.
He was optimistic about the future in the light of his science, and looked forward to all mankind becoming Gods. He wasn’t averse to being worshipped as the highest God of all and often wondered why his patients didn’t get it; he was a million times more worthy, intelligent and qualified than any of them. Compared to himself they were all snivelling worms squirming around in their inadequacies, finding it hard to justify even their own existence. Either that or they were no better than zombies, so reduced by their illnesses that they had no human consciousness and could be treated without dignity or compassion with no moral dilemma on the doctor’s part at all.
It was just the next step in his magnificent career when the United Earth Space Exploration Company asked him onto their next mission. They were inviting all the top people; top physicists, top mathematicians, top sociologists, top geographers, top managers, top hairdressers. He agreed and started writing a paper called ‘Inner Space in Outer Space’.
As he preened himself in front of his floor length mirror one morning, he congratulated himself at this recognition and determined his career would always come first; no weakly human sympathy would stand in his way. He always took the hardest line with ill people- have them locked up with no questions, put them on medication no matter what the side effects were. Don’t worry about the bad conditions of the hospitals- the patients didn’t know any better.
The captain and some interviewers came and talked with him before the mission began. They asked Dr Nasty how he saw himself fitting in with their agenda on the exploration. He had no doubt in his mind that he would be most useful to them. He told the captain about his collection of drugs which the crew could try if they got bored. No doubt, they would get very bored out in the vast empty void. He could even put them to sleep for months with an injection in the backside. He could counsel people if they were stressed out by any alien experiences. The captain said he was very excited about their coming mission; it was the ultimate search for life and the answers to the most difficult of humanities questions.
‘Though he doesn’t actually know what these are’ thought the psychologist smugly. ‘Surely the exploration of inner space is much more important than playing spacemen?’ In fact, he began to plan how he could be the power behind the works once they were out in space. Maybe the captain himself would need counselling, anyone could theoretically fall ill at any time, only he himself was immune because of his qualifications, he thought.
The ship was being tossed about on the whirlpools of space and time. There was still the problem of boredom here as anywhere, although it was accentuated by the blank dark sky dotted with pinpoints of light, the vastness was oppressive. Some people were excited by imagining what it could contain; the unexplored reaches, probabilities of life out there. All the people had been trained to grin and bear it. As this was a ship that could plot a course through time as well as space, all the travellers also had to understand relativity.
Tim Tragic knew he was somebody; he was one of the elite, handpicked for the journey. Sometimes he thought he could glimpse God looking at all they were doing from behind the inky black veil outside. He wasn’t interfering; maybe they just had to make their own mistakes. Tim Tragic wished, if he believed that concretely in God, that He would just tell them whether this mission was worth it or not. The cost of it all was so high.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 12 December, 2007.