Blue Water

A 350-page mystery,-thriller-and-suspense book by Joseph Parcell
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A little girl with a stuffed rabbit.  The inescapable nightmares, whether awake or asleep.  The words she keeps hearing like a song stuck in her head.  For Emily Hunter, the time to discover the key to her madness has finally come.
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Blue Water is a complex and deftly plotted journey into an unsettling mystery. Parcell gives readers just enough information to make them wonder, as the narrator herself does, if anything they're seeing is actually happening, and just as desperate to put together the pieces.
– Laura Winther Galaviz
Intriguing, mesmerizing and -at times- heartbreaking, Blue Water is one of those books that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let you go. The story haunts you when you are not reading it. Truly a beautifully written and structured novel.
– Ricardo Henriquez, author of The Catcher's Trap and Bad Medicine: Slay it Queen!
About Blue Water

Blue Water is the story of a young woman, diagnosed with schizophrenia, who has been plagued with hallucinations her whole life. Told from her point of view, she tells the reader of the little girl in purple pajamas she’s come to know as "Carrot" who she believes is trying to tell her something important. As she’s finally beginning to make strides to improve her life, does she burn everything down, stop taking her medication, and follow Carrot into madness?

Read part of Blue Water

I’ve been here before.

The old room is dark, but I know where I am. I know what the room looks like in the light. It’s cold tonight; I always remember it being warmer.

The clock seems louder than usual too, almost as if I can feel every tick wash over me from behind. The old grandfather with a mocha finish watches over the room. The glass panel on the front is cracked, a single shard missing from the top left of the pane. A piece of masking tape covers the glass around the edge of the hole, a temporary attempt to make it safer.

I can’t see it in the dark, but I know exactly what it looks like.

A radio plays some beautiful classical music from behind me. I couldn’t name the piece, I’ve never been in to classical music. For the life of me, I have no idea why it’s playing.

I’m sitting comfortably alone in an oversized elegant looking antique chair. The fabric is an olive green felt. The chair itself smells like it’s sat in a grandmother’s house for decades, but it’s worn in all the right spots to make it feel like it was made for me. The floor under my feet is covered by a red and black shag carpet, worn on all the common foot paths. I know all the details of this old house. The dirty windows, the china cabinet with less china than is necessary for a cabinet, the scratched rock on the mantle over the fireplace that has never been lit. I remember it all, but I can’t remember how. Every time I’ve been here it’s been dark.

The body lies on the floor to my right. I’ve always assumed it was a woman because of the pastel blue nightgown and the long fingernails with the remnants of a red nail polish, long ago applied, but never cared for. She’s old too; the blue varicose veins crawling up the outside of her legs like a parasite just under the surface of her skin are enough to guess she’s over seventy. I couldn’t tell from her face, because all that’s left above her shoulders is a blood soaked carpet, cracked skull, and the inside of her head spilled outside, like an egg dropped on the kitchen floor. Whoever she is, she didn’t die well.

I’m sad that she’s dead, no matter how right it feels.

And here’s the weirdest part: the beautiful music, the comfortable chair, the rhythmic pounding of the clock, the corpse; I feel at peace. I feel like I could be on vacation. As soon as I notice how good it feels I can feel my relaxed heart beat start to awaken. I can hear my breathing. My mouth is drying out.

All of this is happening because I know what’s coming.

Outside the house is nothing. I know that. This is all there is. The air in here is all that’s left, and it’s stale. It hasn’t been breathed since the last time I was here. I wonder if on one of these visits it will run out. I doubt it, I think to myself. This always goes the same.

My heartbeat begins pounding harder and harder, and now the sound waves from my chest have overpowered the clock. I can hear it in my ears, along with the music and the clock, both seemingly louder than before. Now I want to leave. I...

Discuss Blue Water with the Author.
I just wanted to say one last time that I am so grateful for everyone who helped this dream become a reality. Today is the last day of the BLUE WATER Inkshares campaign. After today, the book goes from "Funding" to "In Production." I know I’ve been silent for a bit since we hit Quill, but I’ve been making a few small changes to Blue Water to make it as great as it can be, and worthy of your support. I will continue to update you here as to the progress of the book, as well as release date information as soon as I know it. (I can’t say officially, but if I had to ballpark it, after all the "in production" processes are finished, it will probably be close to Holiday 2017.)

Thank you all for your belief in me and in this book. I hope you like it.




Entry #15: October 3, 2013

Things are getting worse. I got home from work today, and I saw Carrot.  I know she wasn’t there, but I saw her.  She was standing on my kitchen table, just smiling at me with her eyes closed as usual.  Like she didn’t have a care in the world, and didn’t think it odd to be standing on a kitchen table.  I’d look away, and look back and she was still there.  Maybe it’s lack of sleep. My nightmares are getting more frequent.  I’m going to call Dr. Harper.  

Entry #16: October 11, 2013

Ever have a song stuck in your head and catch yourself singing it out loud?  Or just running through it in your mind.  Is it ever a song that you don’t know the words to, or you only know the chorus?  And it goes on for days and days.  It’s the first thing your brain does when you wake up.  Before you even realize you’re awake, it’s playing on a loop.  It keeps you awake at night.  You toss and turn and it’s there always, driving you more and more mad.  That’s how this feels.  Except instead of a song, it’s words, it’s ideas.  And I don’t know what they are, or what they mean.  I know they’re there, over and over, repeating.  But they’re on the tip of my tongue, and I can’t remember them.  But it feels like I’m forgetting something important.


Entry #17: November 4, 2013

I had the Living Room Dream again.

Entry #18: December 1, 2013

I’m so sorry mom.  You didn’t deserve any of this.

Entry #19:  December 29, 2013

My last appointment, I got in trouble for not writing more.  In fact, my once a week has become once a month.  I’m not sure what else to add.  I hate writing. 

Merry Christmas.

Entry #20: February 27, 2014




Entry #14: September 19, 2013

I’m going to try to be a little less somber now. 

This is one of the dreams Dr. Harper wanted me to write down the next time I had it.  I’ve had it for a long time. For the last few years, I have it once every couple months or so.

I wake up back in my room at Sandy Shores.  Only it’s different.  You know how sometimes you have dreams about places that don’t look right, but you know where you are anyway?  This is like that.  I’m in Sandy Shores, but my room is smaller and the door doesn’t have a window (which would have been nice).  And I specifically remember this feeling like I’m back, because I’m pissed at myself for screwing up and getting myself thrown back into a place like this.  I told someone about all my crazy thoughts, and they threw me back in.  They wrote it all down and gave it to the doctors.  (I’m sure this is anxiety about therapy.  Not hard to figure that one out.) Anyway, not important.

So I wake up and look out the window, and there’s a forest outside.  But all over the forest are these people lying down.  They’re moving around and talking, but I know they’re dead somehow, and that’s their "graveyard."  And Carrot is out there.  She’s running through it, and I’m scared they’re going to reach up and grab her.  Right before I see if she made it, all the lights go out and the hospital shakes violently as if there were a giant earthquake.  The quake is over after a few seconds, and the hospital is ruined.

My door is open, and I walk outside my room.  The hallway is destroyed, like it just fell apart.  It’s also empty.  And I’m walking really carefully and quietly, because I know the devil is under the floor and if he hears me, he’s going to kill me.  It’s like directly under the floor is hell.  I can see it without seeing it.  I just know that under the floor is fire and evil and I have to get out before the devil knows I’m awake.

This is the weird(er) part.  It’s at this point, the trek down the hallway, that I remember that this is a reoccurring dream.  In the dream, I remember that I’ve done this before, and every time it ends the same.  But I think in the dream that this time I’ll go a different way, or try something else to avoid Satan hearing me and killing me.

There’s someone else here too.  Someone who I want to help get away from the devil.  But she’s already been seen by him and she’s running.  She’s a scary old lady, and when I see her, I know she looked at the devil because her head is on fire.  She runs through the hall screaming, and I try to will her to be quiet, because at this point I know he heard us, and he knows I’m up here too.  But she doesn’t shut up.  And she starts laughing because she knows she’s toast.

None of the hallways make sense.  I’m panicking now and I’m trying to find the way out, but I don’t know the way.  The halls are like a maze and turn in weird places.  I pass another person, another patient.  She’s sleepwalking and has no idea that she’s in danger.  And for some reason I feel like I have to help her, but can’t because I’m too scared.  She’s carrying a dead rabbit.  I don’t understand it, but I feel like she’s got the right idea.  Like the dead rabbit is the key to getting out.  Maybe to give to the devil, or use it as a distraction or something.  I have no idea.

(You know how sometimes things "feel" in dreams.  Like you understand them even though logically they make no sense?  My therapist suggested that the dead rabbit is Carrot, or symbolic of Carrot.  And as I look back, it sort of makes sense.  When I imagined Carrot as a kid, one of her favorite toys was a stuffed bunny rabbit.  She always had it with her.  So now this other woman is carrying a dead rabbit and walking with her eyes closed.  The thing is, Carrot always "feels" a certain way, and this woman didn’t "feel" that way.  Does that make sense?)

So anyway this woman turns a corner and I don’t follow her.  And I imagine she’s going to be mad at me for not following her.

And this is where last night’s dream goes differently.  This time, knowing I always die in this dream, I decide to follow her.

But it ends the same.

I turn the corner this time, and I am in the White Room. 

The room is just white.  White walls, white floor, and white ceiling.  In the middle is a giant skull.  This thing is massive and horned, the size of a barrel.  And I know it’s Satan, and I wandered into his lair.  You can see the heat radiating off the skull, but the rest of the room is cold.  The skull doesn’t move but it has a heartbeat.  And it’s loud, and that’s how I know it’s alive and I’m about to die.  I turn away from it and in the wall is a small observation window.  Very very small.  Just enough to look through with two eyes.  And someone is looking though it at me, waiting to watch me die.  A doctor, like just observing an experiment or something.  I feel like he doesn’t care that I’m about to die, like I’m a test subject.  Just a number. 

Carrot is there.  Her eyes are closed as always, and I feel like she wants me to close mine too.  And I’m sad, because I know it’s over.  But I’m also relieved.  My fucked up life is about to end, and I got out without losing control and hurting someone, or doing something wrong.  (In group therapy I found a common fear among a lot of us was that we were terrified we will lose control of our actions at some point and do something horrible.  You know how sometimes you can’t sleep on vacation because you are obsessing over whether or not you locked the front door of your house?  It’s like that, except instead of worrying if someone is stealing your TV, you’re worried you’re going to get the electric chair for shooting up a mall.)  In this way, my death feels like success, and the world will be safer and better now that I’m gone.  I guess self esteem has never been my strength.

My head starts to get hot, and I know the devil is behind me and about to kill me.  And at this point, I’m strangely calm about it, and somehow I’m sitting relaxed, although there were no chairs in the room.  I’m scared, but I just want to get it over with.  The heat is awful and I can’t breathe and my skull starts to crack like glass in the back.  I scream.

And wake myself up screaming.

It always ends like that.  


Hello Blue Water followers.

Two things.  One, I hope you have been enjoying the look into the past of our protagonist Emily Hunter via her blog diary.  I hope I’m not spamming you guys with entries.

Secondly, and most amazingly, I am writing to you all to thank you for all you’ve done to support this book.  There were times I didn’t know if I could keep this rollercoaster called "Crowdfunding" going.  But you all kept me strong.  And thanks to you, as of 7:00pm eastern, Blue Water has gone from a dream to a reality.  I am so proud to say that because of you all, we have officially hit our Quill goal.  Blue Water is going to be published.  That sentence was so fun to type that I’m going to do it again.

Blue Water is going to be published.

Now, a few things to know.  The funding period for Blue Water still ends November 14.  Preorders for the book are still going to be sold until that date.  Once that date comes, Inkshares will get in touch with me to request the manuscript.  Currently the manuscript is still in a draft form, however, it’s very close to where it will be when I submit it.  I have a few last changes to make before I let it loose.

After Inkshares receives the manuscript, it has to go through a process with them, before it’s released during a scheduled period.  There are books ahead of mine that Inkshares will release first.  It’s likely your copy of Blue Water won’t be in your hands until sometime after mid 2017.

Between now and then, please continue to follow us here, or at our website ( or our Facebook page ( for updates, and for more fun surprises as we get closer to our official release.

Thank you all again, I cannot wait to share this story with you.  And thanks to you all, I can.

All my gratitude,



Entry #11: August 27, 2013

 I didn’t write that.  I didn’t go off my meds and black out again.  I seriously didn’t write that.  Someone is messing with me.  Someone has my password or something.  I changed it, so you can’t do it again asshole.  Seriously, who does that?  Who gets on a persons blog who obviousy has issues enough and is it and writes shit>;;;? I bet it"s those Sandy SHores assholes.  They laughed atr us all the time.  THey’d make videos of peple to show their friens. They thogt it was funny to watch Jack hit his head Sick fucks.  I can’t get away from you.  You have nothing beter to do that to fuck with me?  Of cousre not, youre loser who get a life you son of a bitch all you ever do is fuck with people whell i hope it comes back on thoye ten fold assholes donet ever come near me or my family or i swear il;l kill anotherone of you wyou assholes everythine i try to get my life in order theyre is someone therye woto take it all away again everytime and they keep beating over and over theis noise why wone she open her eyes she always closes them and te she can setill see me everywhere she goes and i go and shes there allways to follow me she can’t help it they need me if i cant ehlp them they all are in nowhere its not my fault i didnt hurt anyone i never want anyone to hurt i cant help it save us save us save us

Oh my god.  I just threw up.  I’m not deleting anything.  I remember starting this entry.  My head is killing me.  I don’t know what any of that means.  I’m calling Dr. Harper now.

I left a message.  What the hell?!  I haven’t missed my meds.  I don’t know what just happened.  I haven’t slept very well lately.  Lots of bad dreams.  I don’t know what

Dr. Harper is calling back.  Gotta go.  

Entry #12: September 6, 2013

 I got my dosage upped.  The truth is, the medication isn’t always 100% effective.  Like anything there are good days and bad days.  Sometimes there are flare ups, so to speak.  So to anyone reading, I’m okay.  Thank you for any concern you may have had if any.

It’s been a rough few weeks.  I’m sleeping less, although it’s a little better now.  The meds make me feel like shit, and now they’re heavier.  I have a hard time falling asleep, but once I do, I have a hard time waking up. And to be honest, I still feel a little keyed up and shaky.  It’s like being drowsy from no sleep but wired on caffeine at the same time. 

This is why I don’t have a boyfriend, or really many friends in general.  This shit is embarrassing enough to write out sometimes.  And while I accept who I am and the struggles I live with, asking someone else to do the same is a little much.  It sucks, to feel like you’ll always be alone.  Stuck in this little one bedroom one bathroom apartment.  No one to love you but yourself.  No boyfriend, no husband, no kids.  I love kids, but I couldn’t dream of passing this on to them.  Studies show schizophrenia to be prevalent in families, that it is passed on from parents much more frequently than can be explained by coincidence. Besides, no child deserves me as a mother.

Poor me, right?

Thing is, I’m not wrong.  I’ve accepted it.  I’ve moved past it.

It’s not easy though.  It feels like other people have this thing, and I have to watch.  I’ve never really had many friends.  I got pulled out of school after third grade.  That’s a fun story.  When I was in second grade, the week before summer vacation, I had a seizure in the middle of an oral report about my favorite book ("Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints." Seriously, I remember that.)  In front of the whole class, I fell over, breaking Julie Dent’s diorama of some book about a vampire rabbit, and hit the ground shaking.  According to the teacher I was babbling some shit about god knows what, and when I woke up, I had wet my pants. 

They took me to the hospital, checked me out, and said I was fine.  They couldn’t explain it.  And when I got back to school, my name had been changed to Emily Pisser. 

So, summer vacation started right after that, and then it was over in what seemed like a blink of an eye.  I told my mom I didn’t want to go back to school, because the kids would make fun of me.  She said they’d all have forgotten it by this point.

Kids have long memories.

Day one it was "Hello Pisser!"  Someone would spill something on themselves and say "Hey look, I’m Emily!"  Kids would fall down and shake around by me, and then laugh.  I went through it for all of third grade before my mom let me be home schooled.

She wasn’t happy.  She raised hell with the principal, the school board, the PTA, everyone.  Mom had my back. 

So really, I haven’t had a lot of friends.  I’ve been alone most of my life.  I’m mostly okay with it. 

Sometimes though... It would be nice to hug someone, ya know?


Entry #13: September 9, 2013

 This isn’t working.  This is a waste of time.  All of it.  This blog, the meds, therapy all of it.  I feel like I’m just postponing the inevitable.  This is going to kill me.  



Entry #9: August 10, 2013

In an effort to continue this mental purging, I’m going to write my entry today instead of next week.

So I didn’t hurt Dr. Harper’s feelings saying that I missed Dr. Winchcombe.  She actually suggested I talk more about him.  I’m not sure how much I can say, or how much I want to say, but I’ll let you know he was awesome.  My parents disagree, but they don’t really know him.  Plus they’re quick to blame what happened on him, and his inability to "fix" me.  It’s not his fault.

I started seeing Dr. Emil Winchcombe when I was a teenager.  Like 15 I think.  It was mandatory that I saw him at first because I really did try to kill myself.  (That was the longest sentence I’ve ever typed. It’s hard to look at.)  

This might be the first time I cried about it.  I’ve been lying on the floor for the last half an hour.  I know you’re reading this.  I’m so sorry.

I get why you didn’t want me to see Dr. Winchcombe.  I’m sure you were scared.  You just cared about me.  I can’t fault you for that.  I’m so sorry I put you through that.  But you have to admit, Dr. Winchcombe figured out I was on the wrong meds.  And I’ve told you until I was blue in the face, I wasn’t trying to kill myself the second time.  It was an accident.  But I digress.  We don’t need to rehash that.  It’s in the past now.

I love you.  Both of you. Thank you for putting up with such a screwed up daughter.

Okay, I’m exhausted.  That’s enough.


Entry #10: August 25, 2013

I hope no one was alarmed by my absence.  Although, the two people who read this blog both know exactly where I’ve been, so it doesn’t matter much. 

In case anyone else is reading this, I’ve spent the last ten days up north with my family.  My mom just dropped me off at home about 30 minutes ago, I just unpacked, and now I’m going to hit the hay.  I have an overnight to work tonight. So that’s fun.

I was going to write an entry up there, but to be honest, I just never felt it.  It was vacation. Sue me.  I promise though, I’ll be back on track here now that I’m going to sink back into my normal rotation.  My good ol’ boring ass normal rotation.  I have some stuff I might have to catch you up on.  Maybe.  If I feel like talking about it.


Entry #11: August 26, 2013

..,,can yo useem,e>;;;?

  save us





Entry #8: August 8, 2013

That was embarrassing.  So I feel like I have some splaining to do.

First of all, I don’t always make the best decisions. 

My medication doesn’t mix well with alcohol.  For this reason I don’t drink.  Normally.

Not sure why, because it’s all pretty hazy, but for some reason, I decided to break that rule.  I feel like someone asked me to go out with them, but I can’t remember who.  I honestly can’t imagine who it would be.  Probably someone from work.  Two days are a bit of a blur.  Actually "blur" isn’t the correct term.  A wash is more like it.  I don’t remember really any of it.

I did a pill count, and I didn’t take my meds for five days (I know I missed a few doses, I didn’t realize it was that many.)  The first thing I remember is waking up this morning at 5am in a bed at Malcolm Crisis Unit.  Apparently my mom took me there.  She has found my blog as I had feared.  (Just kidding mom.)  Dr. Harper met us there.  I had an emergency shot of haloperidol, and stayed for observation for a night. I just got home two hours ago.  

Mom said she called me after finding my blog, and I answered crying, begging her to let me come home from the hospital.  Apparently I thought I was back at Sandy Shores.

Great.  Now I have to explain that.  I promise I will.  Let me finish this train of thought first.

So she came to pick me up from my apartment.  I wouldn’t let her in.  She said I thought she was a rapist and I wouldn’t let her into the door. (That’s new.)  So I called 911 from inside the apartment and said some man was trying to get in and hurt me again.

Now I must take a break here, because I know what you might be thinking.  I suffered some molestation or trauma as a child and suppressed it, and that’s where all my issues started.  And after reading this series of events, I’d start thinking that too.  Never happened.  I’ve never even been touched in a weird way.  My parents were pretty protective, almost to a fault.  This rape fear is just a paranoid thing, I’m sure.  And I honestly don’t know why I said "again."  Not only have I never been assaulted, I’ve never even been scared of it in this way before.  If you’re looking for things to make sense while I’m completely decomped, good luck.  I was convinced I killed a staff member at Sandy Shores, and was going to prison for the rest of my life. (Again, more on this later.)  I also had a paranoid fear that I’d become a suicide bomber after watching the news during the Iraq War.  I’d have panic attacks about it.

Anyway, the police show up and see my mom outside the door.  She explains the situation, they see she’s not a big man trying to break in.  They cut the chain on my door and bring me to crisis services.  The rest is history.  Blurry, blurry history.

So.  Sandy Shores.  Here we go.

Sandy Shores is a residential mental health facility.  I lived there for a few years starting when I was 21.  The reason why is a source of controversy, but being that this is my blog, and I was the only one there, it was because I was in an accident.  That’s all.  Nothing more than that, despite what my parents think.

So anyway, I was there for a while.  I met some really interesting people.  The food was terrible, and usually cold.  The staff were horrible assholes.  Seriously, they sucked at life.  Not all of them, I’m not being fair.  A couple were nice.  Not enough of them though.  I could go on.  I won’t.  They were the worst people.  I’ll assume you understand.

Anyway, I was there for about five years until I was no longer deemed a suicide risk, (again, it was an accident, I was never a suicide risk), and I got my own apartment in a supported independent living environment.  I had to check in everyday, go to a central office, (which was just another apartment in the complex,) to get my meds everyday.  I could have visitors and even overnights if I cleared it with the office first.  After being there for a while, I was able to move to the apartment I have now, all on my own. 

When I got out of Sandy Shores, I started seeing Dr. Winchcombe again.  (He was my psych doctor before the accident, and my parents decided it wasn’t in "my best interest" to see him anymore after that.  But being that I could make my own decisions, I went back to him.)  Eventually and unfortunately, he transferred me to Dr. Harper who specializes in "odd" cases of schizophrenia.  (No offense Dr. Harper.  I just liked Dr. Winchcombe a lot. He also was the first person to look past my diagnosis and see I was originally misdiagnosed, instead of reading my file and just assuming he knew me. I wish I still saw him sometimes, but I blew it.)

So, that pretty much brings you up to speed on my life.  The relevant details at least.  I see Dr. Harper every week, take my meds myself (mostly.)

And I’ll give Dr. Harper some credit.  Her idea for me to write this stuff out is helping I think.  It doesn’t always feel like it, but I think I got a lot out this week.  I feel a little lighter.  I’m smiling.  That’s got to count for something, right?

Okay, that’s good.  I have to clean my apartment now.




Entry #5: July 30, 2013
Not sure what to say.  Not really feeling it.  It’s been a rough week.  Work sucks.  These meds make me feel like shit.  I don’t have anyone.  Fucking bored.  My mom is once again all over my case.  Fucking done.  There’s your entry.


Entry #6: August 4, 2013



No one gets me.
No one wants to.
No one should.


This mind in my skull hates me.

My own worst enemy.
My own best friend.

All alone.

Leave me alone.  

Entry #7: August 5, 2013

Fuck this.

I am so fucked up.  So stupid.

Why a I even writing this?  WHo fucking cares? 

I’m so numb to it all now.  Its all the same, over and ovr.  I should just jump in front of a bus.  Maybe it will work this time.

Ok, I’m not going to kill myself.  Don’t read that Dr. Harper.  I would have delettd it if you’d fucking let me.

But seriouly what’s the point?  Do you want me to write his just so you can write a paper on it or some shit?  This isn’t helping.  I can fel it coming again.  I know how this works.  They’re telling me something.  You won’t listen.  You never listen.  They want to tell me soemtihng.  It sounds like theyre screamiung.  Now.  They’re screamimg.  ITs too loud. I hate this i hat.

its all wroing.  its on the tup of my tonge and i cant hear it.  these meds are Stopping me teyre killing em .  you aren;t helping.  you never help./  ARE OYU LISTENING NOW?  I TELL YOU THIS EERYTIME AND THEY WONTS TOP.  THEY WONT STOP THEY WONT STOP THEY WONT STOP.  SHE NEEDS TO SHOW ME sOMETHNG

is ee her now..  




Entry #3: July 19, 2013

Tossing and turning again.

Sweating, freezing.

They are calling me.
Do I listen?
Do I dream?

Do I stop swimming against the current?
Do I lose (give) myself to madness?

They don’t stop.
They won’t stop.
They can’t stop.

I can’t fight.  Or can I?
I can’t sleep. Or can I?
I can’t dream.  Or am I?

Maybe I’m not crazy.
Maybe I’m not dreaming.

Yes dear? What do you need?


Entry #4 July 23, 2013

When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary acquaintance.  This is how I knew something was wrong early.

Most little girls have imaginary friends.  They play together, they go on silly adventures.  They make up stories.  They get silly names.

Carrot was not my friend.  We didn’t play or have fun.  Lots of times, she was just there.

Sometimes she was scary, or mean.  Sometimes she was sad.  Sometimes she would smile.  But we never really played.  I always pictured her with a stuffed toy bunny, which might be why I came up with the name Carrot.  She also never opened her eyes or spoke, which is what made my mom curious when I was a kid.  She thought I was progressive and forward thinking, like I made up a blind, mute imaginary friend and wanted to include her in my life, and I would grow up to be a caring individual who took care of people less fortunate.  It wasn’t that.  Carrot could see, she just kept her eyes closed.  When I explained that to my mom, she stopped asking about Carrot. In hindsight, it is a weird and sort of creepy detail for a kid to make up.  Not the weirdest I ever heard though.  I was in a group therapy session once and brought up Carrot, and one of the others had an imaginary friend named Marley who’s scalp was made of sponges.  So who’s the weirdo now, mom? :)

It was comforting to know she was there.  "There."  Of course, she was never really there.  I know that now as an adult.  Dr. Harper seems to think she was just a way for my mind to visualize inner emotions or turmoil. To deal with things my mind didn’t want to deal with, or didn’t know how to deal with.  Granted, this is why a lot of kids have imaginary friends.  Carrot didn’t want to play with me, probably because I didn’t want to play with me.  That’s either sad or ridiculous.  Maybe both.

What can happen, especially with children with my diagnosis, and with me in particular, is that these imaginary people or creatures can sometime manifest themselves into full blown hallucinations, because your brain is already using these archetypes to deal with stress.  It’s likely the reason I believed in Carrot for so long (embarrassingly long) is because I started really believing I could see her.  Though I never heard her, even though off my medication, I would hear things every now and then.  Voices, or banging sometimes.  Not really banging, more like a loud thumping, like a heartbeat.  That was the worst.

I’m sure it seems weird to believe in imaginary friends as long as I did.  The medications I’m taking really curtail the hallucinations, but I still have vivid dreams sometimes.  And sometimes she’s in them.  This little girl I made up when I was barely able to talk (something that also took some time for me) and I’d still think of her.  My brain would still reference her as a way to cope with stressful situations, or emotions I couldn’t handle.

My point of bringing this up is really just fascination.  They say the most a human develops in any given time is between birth and 3 years old.  In that time, you grow a personality and a paradigm of life, the universe and everything. (Douglas Adams reference... thank you.)  These moments in this time, the lessons that you learn and things you see shape your entire life from that point on.  It’s where you learn how you fit in socially.  If you’re hugged a lot, you tend to be okay with touch.  If you are left alone screaming in your crib, you tend to grow up cold.  Child psychology (and as you can probably tell, psychology in general) is all so interesting.  At least to me.

I eventually, through certain circumstances that I’m not up to sharing quite yet, decided to take control of my life.  I have it good when it comes to mental disorder.  I’m still very cognitively aware and high functioning.  Not everyone has it this good.  So rather than be a victim of the hand I was dealt, I have done what I can to be as knowledgeable about my diagnosis as possible. I didn’t go to college, and I was home schooled after 3rd grade, so I never really took any psychology courses.  I had planned on taking some classes at the community conir, but then I decomped (meaning I basically lost my shit again) and couldn’t.  I do however have a library card, and I read everything I could.  I got a copy of the DSM IV for my birthday (weirdest birthday request ever), and when the DSM V came out, I bought it immediately.  I don’t want to be in the dark about what’s happening in my brain.  I did that for too long.

And like I said, I’m lucky to be able to understand what’s happening.  I’ve lived with people who cannot, and it must be hell.  They’d probably give anything to be able to cope how I do.  Who am I to waste it?

Okay, I’m getting tired, so I’m calling it a day.

All the best!



Entry #2: July 17, 2013

So this week, the assignment is to be a little more forthcoming.

Yeah, assignment.  This blog isn’t entirely my idea.  And while I am getting credit for listening to my therapist and actually starting it (not something she was entirely sure I would do), the goal is to not hold back.  So I guess I should re-introduce myself.

My name is Emily Hunter.  I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Specifically, my files say "auditory and visual hallucinations and nihilistic delusions."  Currently I am in partial remission.  (How’s that for forthcoming?)

In simpler terms, I am fucked up.

Now notice that I’m not saying the government is out to get me.  I am not currently wearing a tin-foil hat.  Schizophrenia is not something that is very fairly represented in popular media.  We aren’t all rocking in corners, babbling incoherently, and screaming at shadows.  (I have lived with those people though, and some of the stories they tell are better than anything you’ll ever see on TV.)  I can hold a conversation, I can hold a job.  I keep track of my own medication (Clonazepam twice a day for anxiety, clozaril, one in the morning, four at night, and one shot of haloperidol and a blood draw every two weeks.  The chloropromazine gave me a fever when I was 21 and put me in the hospital for a week and a half.)

Here’s what they don’t tell you about anti-psychotic medication:  It’s good for your mind, but shit for your body.  It makes you feel drowsy, achy, constipated, and just generally miserable.

I seem to be breaking records for forthcoming.  Hi, I’m Emily and I can’t poop sometimes.  Nice to meet you.

So yeah, sometimes I see things.  Sometimes I get confused and think strange thoughts.  The meds help, as much as I hate to admit it (and especially since Dr. Harper is reading this.  Hello.) Although I do hate the way they make me feel, but I guess it’s better than some of the fucked up nightmares I used to have.  Sometimes while I was awake.

Sometimes I would see thi

Okay, per the rules I can’t delete anything, but I don’t have to keep typing either.  That’s enough forthcoming for today.