First found and captured in a cave in West Virginia, he quickly escaped from the scientists studying him and ran free, through the Virginias and into the New York subway system, and on into our collective psyche:
“This is a tragedy beyond measure,” said Dr. Dillon, who has been studying the bat boy since his capture last May. “This little creature is quick, powerful, and as much as I hate to say it, as vicious as a lion in the wild. If he feels his life is threatened, he will lash out without fear of consequences. We mustn’t forget that this child evolved as a cave dweller and knows nothing about our society and civilization. I hope and pray that we are able to capture him before anybody gets hurt.”
I’ve been channeling my own inner BatBoy of late, crawling up from the caves of the psyche, with or without rubber ears and makeup. At the moment, I seem to have regained my equilibrium, thank ye gods and little fishes, chased BatBoy back to the caves he came from, but during the the bad times, it’s all id and ego, a nasty roiling ball of emotions, anxieties, and fears, overlaid with a thick coat of inertia.
The worst of it being that not that it’s alien, but that it’s me, so very recognizably me, just the very nastiest bits thereof, the bits I’d disown if I could, the bits I hate, the underlying mutterings we all have speaking loud and demanding their turn in the spotlight. It’s the emotional intensity of childhood or adolescence with that same lack of perspective, everything immediate and raw and overwhelming, minus the energy – instead, it’s all I can do to maintain the basics, anything beyond that is utterly beyond me. All things considered, that inertia’s probably a Good Thing – had I the energy, I think I could be truly scary.
Chemically induced clinical depression and severe anxiety disorder, basically. What Lies Beneath.
Even at the time, I can know that this is the chemicals in my system, mucking about with my head, but I cannot feel it, and, therefore, I cannot quite believe it in the moment, either. The borders between the realities of what I feel and what I think I know blurring, all feeding the tightening spiral of anxiety, depression, and self doubt. The self, pure and raw and irrational, all the fears and doubts and insecurities risen to the surface, but the self still, only more so – the self ungoverned.
It’s not a pretty sight. It’s cumulative, each round a bit more intense, a bit less controllable – I don’t remember noticing on the first go-round; the second it was there but still manageable; this last time far too intense for my liking. I can’t trust myself, I can’t trust the stories I’m telling myself… it’s all smoke and mirrors and reflected distorted truths. The Snow Queen’s Looking Glass, broken.
” When one of these tiny atoms flew into a person’s eye, it stuck there unknown to him, and from that moment he saw everything through a distorted medium, or could see only the worst side of what he looked at, for even the smallest fragment retained the same power which had belonged to the whole mirror. Some few persons even got a fragment of the looking-glass in their hearts, and this was very terrible, for their hearts became cold like a lump of ice. A few of the pieces were so large that they could be used as window-panes; it would have been a sad thing to look at our friends through them. Other pieces were made into spectacles; this was dreadful for those who wore them, for they could see nothing either rightly or justly. ”
Luckily enough, it passes. There’s always the underlying fear that it won’t, that the wind will change and I’ll be stuck like that, or in some lesser version of that – and I know it’s possible. It’s possible, and since I can’t trust myself or my perspectives anymore, I may not even know if it does happen.
For me, this recognizable and uncontrollable chemical mucking about with my mind and my emotions is by far the worst part of this whole cancer deal. Physically, it’s harsh enough, even this “cancer lite” that I’m going through; the emotional and mental loss of control is far harder to deal with. I do not like the self I see then, I do not like myself at all.