Here’s a video of me performing “Psychotic Break” taken by Shanet at the Yeah, That’s What She Said Motherland Open Mic awhile back. And this is the original run when I performed the monologue for In Full Color 2017 in February.
It just occurred to me that I should share my monologue on this site, sorry it took me so long to realize it haha. Here’s the entire monologue typed out:
I know it’s been four years since I last heard from you. But I miss you. It’s wrong, but I do.
The last four years without you have been the best years of my life. People say I’m better off without you, but they don’t know what it’s like to be with you.
To feel with utmost certainty that EVERYTHING you gave me was power and Divine truth. No matter how nonsensical, inhumane, and horrific your words and allusions were.
With you, I had power as The Leader, an Ancient god, an Aswang demon, a cult figure, a deserving Antichrist. I could control time and raise the dead. 9/11, tragic car accidents, and ensuing wars were all done in MY name. With you, I was the focus of all broadcasts, newscasts, printed word, strangers’ conversations, and assassination plots.
My destiny was sealed.
Yet that fate came with a paranoia that engulfed me and dwarfed all reason and self-preservation. I went catatonic from the horror and I would never want to go back to that. But I hate how I regret this loss and now I don’t know what to do. That life had meaning, no matter how fucked up, and now I don’t know my place in the world anymore.
Today I have to cross-check what I see, hear, and think to ensure that this reality is the right one, every single day. A persistent doubt runs undercurrent to my being and I’m so scared that I’ll wake up believing I’m in Hell again.
But I can’t tell anyone any of this. Society won’t let me. And you didn’t either.
Society will only talk about mental illness after a shooting or a suicide. Why do we always wait until it’s too late to help those who are already dead?
When I finally revealed to my parents that I wanted to see a psychiatrist, it was at the onset of my first psychosis. I was already severely depressed and suicidal for years. It took me another two years to get the help I needed when I had an emergency, month-long hospitalization and much more severe delusions. I didn’t become stable until four years after my third and most threatening psychosis hit me.
Now, here I am confessing to you, and only you, that I don’t think I’ll remain this happy and this stable a year from now.
It’s so taboo to talk about mental illness openly, especially one as severe as mine. They either look at me in horror or in awe for what I went through; maintaining a distance that only piles upon my isolation. They forget that I’m still Eileen and I just want to relate and feel human again. Despite the monster you painted me as for years.
Keeping such secrets and impulses inside me is what led to the psychoses in the first place. But can you please tell me how do I get the world to listen to me?
To not ostracize me. To help me. To not ignore me when I end up desolate in the street, or hidden away in an asylum. When I’m not a headline in my hometown newspaper, or the subject of a eulogy my mother should never hear.
I wish we weren’t plot twists, villains, and family secrets. I wish I could tell the world what I did to save them and those I love. When I left the house in the middle of the night, fully aware of an unspeakable, endless torture that awaited me, I thought I would die going to Hell knowing my siblings would grow up to be safe and happy, away from me.
And every day, every time I remember a horrific delusion, I cling close to my bravery, that innate goodness that I never believed I had. That you always told me I didn’t possess.
But you’re wrong. You’re always wrong.
And I wish I was brave enough back then to tell someone what was going on inside my head. Instead of hiding behind a smile, a sweet voice, and “I’m good. How are you?”
But I won’t remain silent anymore. I’ve become too strong to think that you still matter. I’m finally at a place where I can say I’m happy and love who I am after everything. If my words can save someone from the Hell I went through, then I don’t give a fuck how others look at me.
I might miss you, but I love the real world more and this growing potential I have.
I’ll never let you win. I’ll do what I can to make the world understand how pain shouldn’t be ignored. And that the real targets of the violence wrought by the mentally ill are largely themselves. We all deserve to live happily despite the voices in our head.
You’ll never be the end of me.
And I’ll make sure everyone knows your name.
It’s been a constant revelation to perform this at every open mic I’ve attended. I never thought it would feel this amazing being this vulnerable. I hope the next piece I write gives me the same power and catharsis “Psychotic Break” has done. It’s time I write something new, so maybe I should retire this one for a bit.
You’ll always be my first.
Until next time,