Broken Mirror Pt 8: Dave, Interrupted


Of all the pieces I’ve written to date… this is the one I most wish I could skip over.

(which is saying a lot because the two that come after this… oof)

Because this one really isn’t about me.

Oh sure, I’m the central character and all the things in the story are happening to me… but this post isn’t about me.

This is about what happened to me.

Or, rather, the circumstances I found myself in that were dictated by others.

“You’ll feel a small pinch.” She says it in the bored tone of a nurse who does this all day long.

My sleeve is rolled up. My inner elbow looks like a heroin addict’s. The bruising is near constant now. Blood draws done so frequently that they never fully heal anymore. No time.

I used to have a fear of needles but being on Lithium has eliminated that the same way being a parent of a newborn eliminated my phobia of dirty diapers.

Some shit you just get used to.

And so I’m unnaturally relaxed. It’s a disciplined and forced nonchalance.

The problem is not the needle going into my bruised elbow pit.

No. The problem is when she can’t find the vein.

And so she kinda… maneuvers the needle in a scooping motion trying to dig through the arm muscle to find the vein that has clearly gone into hiding.

While the needle is in my arm.

Scoop. Swoop. Dig. Wiggle. Twist.

Now in case you’re wondering… while my bruised elbows do look like hell, I assure you every. single. nerve. ending. was. working. just. fine.

Can feel everything.

And while Sadistic Needle Lady from Hell™ tries to wiggle her way to victory I decide to sorta mentally detach from the moment and contemplate the things that are happening in my Broken Mirror Life.

What would you do, if you were a parent and your teenager had just had a recording session for a demo reel that went as spectacularly as mine did?

If you had a kid that two Grizzled Industry Veterans™ said was NextLevelTalented™.

Which you as a parent probably already knew because this publishing company with worldwide distribution networks had been using your kid for 6 years… so you probably already knew how good your kid was… but now your kid knows how good your kid is.

And really, really, REALLY wants to go into this industry.

And you have been trying like hell to NOT have this kid go into this industry that you think is pure evil.

And I want to take a quick side tangent here to point out a particular quirk of my family. For the entirety of my childhood I was told whenever I was proud of something I did and wanted my parents to acknowledge whatever it was I had done– get good grades, win awards, get trophies, etc– my parents would say this phrase again and again and again.

“Don’t brag about yourself… let others brag about you.”

It was a mix of Southern Aw Shucks Humility™, a sprinkling of some form of self deprecation that runs deep in my family, and a dash of Thou Shalt Not Have an Ego which is the underlying psychological thread thru the entire Fricking Evangelical™ experience.

And of course the primary reason I’m jumping through all these hoops to win awards and get good grades and get trophies is so my parents will give me the pats on the head that then never came once I had achieved the thing.

I was a kid desperate for positive feedback. And the thing is… nobody brags about you to you. So I always strove to achieve things to see if I was capable of doing whatever the thing was that got a trophy or award… it was some way to understand where I fit in. Does my understanding of a skill set match with reality? But also a big reason for striding for great things was to get validation. Some pat on the head. Maybe the occasional “well done, Pig”.

And for 6 years I had been trying to get someone to finally explain to me how good I was at this and it finally arrived.

And as I search my memory I can’t recall my Religious Parent™ being happy for me at this moment where I finally understand how good I am.

I don’t recall a celebratory family reaction to their Golden Child turning out to be genuine 24 karat instead of cheap alloy. I don’t recall my parents blowing up the phone lines to tell everyone in the family all over the country the Good News.

What would you do with a kid this talented and desperate to get into the business?

If God Almighty™ had blessed you with a kid with the kind of talent I had… for you to parent... what would you do?

Also at the risk of getting totally sidetracked here a thing that bugs me about writing this stuff is that I feel both braggy and whiny. 2 emotional states I do not like to experience. Like, I have to talk up what I did so that people can understand what I’ve been frustrated with for 30 years. But talking/writing about myself in a positive way is so damn hard if you understood the psychological prison I was raised in.

And then the awful stuff I’m writing about feels so damn whiny. Oh poor me look how bad I had it. It’s hard to shut these competing and contradictory feelings off and makes the writing a slog.

I’m very self conscious about everything I’m writing and it’s such an uncomfortable feeling.

And what did we learn about uncomfortable feelings?

That God Almighty does not give a crap how uncomfortable you are.

Get that Whale Vomit out L’il DaveyBoy™!

You suck, SkyMan.

Where were we?

Oh yeah, what would you do if you had a kid that was a phenom at something? Sports. Music. Math. Mechanics. Acting. Whatever.

What would do if you were a Religious Parent™ who adhered to a system like the one that Focus on the Family espouses where children are a gift from God Almighty and parents are the Brute Squad authority of that child’s life?

Would you try to get your kid some guidance?

Maybe get the kid signed up for some professional classes with reputed teachers/coaches?

Find the kid a manager or agent?

Maybe ask the dozens of professional actors your kid is regularly working with if they’d help give him access to their agencies or who they would recommend could give some career guidance to set the kid up best?

What would your family have done if it was you?

Many families get behind the talented member of the family. Cuz they know if this little lottery ticket can hit the big time it will pay off for everyone.

Now in many cases this is super abusive to the kids. Most often this is the dream of parents who failed and think their precious little hobbit is going to be a superstar and they run the poor kid ragged and destroy their childhood.

I suppose I was lucky to not be in that kind of family… dunno.

You be the judge.

Because that’s not how they do things in my family.

This is the story of:

The Ultimatum

It was an ultimatum up at the Lake House during the Summer Vacation My Bleeding Penis Ruined ’94 Edition™.

How the !@#$ is this supposed to save democracy, Old Sky Dude?!?

Fucking Ninaveh™

Y’all suck, too

“That’s a tricky one! Lemme try again.”

She pulls the needle out.

She. tries. again.

“Where is it?”

Scoop. Dig. Twist. Wiggle. Over Under. Maybe left? Maybe down and left?

I close my eyes and go back to BrokenMirrorLand™.

The Ultimatum had been given by The Parents up at the lake that my grandparents never want me to return to.

Now that I’ve graduated high school, I can’t just sit around and heal while suffering through an ongoing trauma the likes no one in 100 generations of my family ever went through.

Gotta stay busy.

I am given 3 choices.

Get a job.
Go to college.
Go back to High School.

These are the choices.

A question I’ve asked myself over the years is why I didn’t just run away like so many other street urchins who end up in Hollywood. And the reason for this is twofold:

  1. Growing up in AnchorBabyLand™ is such a cozy life of luxury that to live on the streets… I literally would have no idea how to do that and survive at that time of my life. I think if we had been another rung or two down in economic class I probably would have done that. But when your needs are met you’re never taught how to fend for yourself to survive. I know I thought about it a lot at the time, but I felt I would die faster if I fled home– which even though I’m suicidal I don’t want to die. No suicidal person wants to die.
  2. And EffinKidz in EvangieLand™ are kept infantilized and naive about the world due to the demands of keeping the narrative of the religion from falling apart under academic scrutiny. I think it’s a way to scare the kids into staying in the nest as well. Or at least that’s how it was done in my family. I mention how information is withheld and an effect of this is young people are kept in dependency. Economically especially.

And remember, even though I’m making content being broadcast and sold all over the world… I’ve made less than $5,000 for 7 years of work at this point and so I don’t have the kinda bank account a kid actor should have to go get my own apartment or move in with a friend and pay rent.

And I just turned 17… but emotionally I’m probably 13. I think the Fricking Evangelical™ system emotionally stunts children raised in that environment. Another volume of material I’ll never write.

Anyway…

Get a job.

Go to College.

Go back to High School.

These are the options. Pick one.

Now I just graduated from High School and you can not drag me back into that environment ever again. So scratch that one off the list.

And “get a job” does NOT mean “we’ll help you start your career” it means go work a 9-5 entry level job like any other 17 year old kid.

And I don’t have a car– another negative about MentalHealthLand was that the medications were affecting me so heavily I CAN’T DRIVE. Now, if your motor skills are so affected you can’t operate a motor vehicle should you be working an 8 hour shift?

Can’t just sit around. Gotta do something, kid.

At that time the idea of being a kid going to get a job seemed scarier than attempting college.

So college it was.

“I am so sorry. Do you get your blood drawn a lot?” She’s more embarrassed as a professional than she is sympathetic to my plight.

She pulls the needle out.

She.

Tries.

Again. Again.

Now she’s frustrated.

Btw, I do not recommend having a frustrated person with a needle trying to use the tip of the needle like a lost spelunker’s headlamp in an abandoned tin mine desperately seeking the exit.

Wiggle.

Twist.

Over under.

Under over.

Down left didn’t work so let’s goooo… right?

Down? and right?

How about down. Right. and Under?

Wiggle? No tried wiggle already.

Waggle?

Our Hero returns to the abyss of his Wrongly Medicated™ internal thinking process.

College.

I am not ready for college.

I’ve effectively been in high school for basically one and a half years.

I’m an emotionally immature Fricking Evangelical™ who is on bucketloads of medication so severe that at times I catch myself drooling. While my legs won’t stop shaking.

*sigh* I hate writing about this shit.

A thing to note about where I live. At this time in my life I live in Claremont, California. Claremont’s claim to fame is that Claremont has 7 colleges (Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Claremont Grad, and Keck Institute).

And because I am effectively a high school drop out with no transcripts or AP courses or letters of recommendation… I will never qualify to attend the bougie Claremont Colleges.

I will need to go to a community college. And while there are 7 world class colleges within walking distance of my exterior bedroom door that I smashed with a crowbar… there are zero community colleges nearby.

There are 3 community colleges that are all 10 miles away. One east (Chaffey), one west (Citrus), one south (Mt. San Antonio College).

And Our Hero does not have a car.

And each one of those colleges is an hour away by bus.

Did I mention Southern California has one of the world’s most useless and inconvenient public transportations systems anywhere on earth?

And so a downside for Our Hero…
but a possible upside for our Religious Parent™
is that if I am in school full time….
and taking a buses to and fro…

I’m not going to have much spare time to do anything at all.

And this is what I’m thinking about as the nurse withdraws the needle for the 3rd time.

“Let’s try the other arm,” she says clinging to hope.

I roll up my other sleeve to reveal another abused and purple and green and brownellow (technical term) elbow pit.

“Oh. Wow, you do get your blood drawn a lot. Like an old person!” The hope fades replaced with professional curiosity.

Btw, I do not enjoy being a fascinating medical subject in case anyone is taking notes.

The needle slides in.

It fails to find a target.

The Wiggle Dance™ begins anew.

I close my eyes.

I’m not going to have much spare time to do anything at all….

One thing I haven’t written much about is how becoming a teenage mental health patient became almost a full time job by itself.

The appointments. The professionals. The therapists. The doctors. The psychiatrists. And getting the lab work done. And going to the pharmacy. The handfuls of pills taken every day and how they destroyed any sense of normalcy in my life. The daily fight through the side effects and then the nightly fight.

Always exhausted. Always my OCD in overdrive.

And. none. of. it. was. really. working…

I’m not feeling any better after nearly a year.

In fact, I’m feeling worse by the day.

And every small victory I have that gets me closer to my goals, suddenly another half dozen obstacles “magically” sprout up that prevent me from attaining progress.

The biggest of these is transportation. In 1994, to be a teenage actor living 45 miles from the Industry… I may as well have been on the moon.

And my parents were not going to lift a finger to help me more than they had, “Hey we helped make the demo tape… you’re welcome.”

Maybe I shouldn’t complain. Maybe that’s more than most kids get from their family. They did pony up the money and get the tape made. But now what do I do with it? Where do I go?

I don’t have any phone numbers of any of the adult actors I’m working with, and so there’s nobody to call and ask. The internet is a solid half decade away from existing. There are no VO agency guides at my local library.

Isolation. Again.

Which is married to the isolation I’m now experiencing as a mental health patient. I don’t know anybody else in my life that has these problems. There’s nobody to guide me or to give me any hope that this is getting any better. Or gonna get better. Or that a light may exist somewhere at the end of this dark tunnel I find myself in with my shattered mirror.

All my friends are still in school for the next two years.

I will be the only kid my age at the college I end up going to in all of my classes.

My life path has completely gone into the weeds and nobody is giving me a machete to hack my way to freedom.

But even if I wanted to hack my way to freedom I’m so tired and exhausted and depleted and a shell of myself that whenever I do come home from college I’m either rushed to a therapist appoint or a doctor or a blood draw or I’m so tired I take naps all day. The only time I’m ever really awake is at night because it’s the only time I have to myself where I’m not a Professional Patient™ all day long.

When exactly am I supposed to have time to go follow my career path you put me on this planet to do, OldSkyDude™?

I’m not going to have much spare time to do anything at all….

“You’re not an IV drug user are you?” She laughs to cover the awkwardness.

We both know I’m not. I’m the most obvious EffinEvangieKid™ you ever saw. Maybe by this point I had slacked off in appearance, but you would never mistake me for a heroin addict.

She’s getting antsy that this thing she’s supposed to be good at she is failing at while this kid just sits there getting stabbed repeatedly and she knows the digging she’s doing is killing me and I have no choice BUT TO JUST TAKE IT.

She withdraws the needle a fourth time.

“We’re gonna get this one.”

We. Did. Not. Get. This. One.

A. gain.

I close my eyes and go back to Narnia Neverland HappyPlace™ BrokenMirrorLand™.

And the ChristianCounseling™ is. not. helping.

A thing that will frustrate me to insanity is how those who wield the Magic Book of Answers called The Bible™ is that they will swear this shit works. They will look you dead in the eyes and insist that all you need is to have more faith.

You need to heal you anger issue with God!

*he blinks thru his glasses*

How do I do that?

Well, uh…. confess your sins to God.

Ok. I did that. I do it all day long. Every single time I have a thought I’m not supposed to. I beg God to forgive me and I try to not be a sinner…. except the smoking… I can’t stop.

Have you prayed about the smoking?

*Dave stares at the camera and blinks*

Every puff of every cigarette of every pack I ever smoke every single day all day long I am BEGGING God Almighty™ to take this addiction from me. What else am I supposed to do?

You need to try harder. *blinks*

How do you know I’m not trying as hard as I can?

Results. You can tell when the Lord is working in someone’s life because they get less depressed and they have an internal happiness. They don’t want to die or smoke cigarettes. You’re rebelling. You can tell when someone has the Joy of the Lord in them… it shines through. You struggling with so much depression and sadness and worry is proof that you are not giving these problems to God and Trusting that He will take care of you.

And this is the fundamental thesis of the Fricking Evangelicals™.

Depression is a Spiritual battle. To have depression is to prove to the world that you are not walking with God. And if you’re not walking with the Lord then Fricking Evangelicals™ won’t help you because they won’t help people outside their faith no matter what they say they do.

This is why my church family has abandoned me. Or not bothered looking for this Lost Lamb™ now that I’ve wandered from the flock. And if there’s one thing that Fricking Evangelicals™ refuse to do is chase Lost Lambs™.

Oh sure, they’ll annoy you with verses and tell you you need to go back to church 10,000 times. Because in their world that’s all you need to do. Go to church. Have good life.

But they don’t actually try to help you and stop the bleeding. They won’t make your life better. Unless you’re already one of them and willing to jump through all the hoops. And certain sins in their eyes, you never recover from. Ask any single teenage mom whose parents forced her to give birth how the church treats you. Do they ever look at you as not a sinner again?

The Fricking Evangelical™ inability to believe that the Depression is a mental illness is conflicting with the Medical Community telling me that this is a Chemical Imbalance.

AND BOTH SOLUTIONS ARE NOT WORKING.

“This has never happened to me before… I’m really sorry.”

She means it the 5th time.

She.

Tries.

Again.


Eyes Closed ™

I’m not going to have much spare time to do anything at all….

AND BOTH SOLUTIONS ARE NOT WORKING.

And I’m committing everything I have to both solutions. Praying my guts out. I read The Bible™. God Almighty™ is rather elusive and apparently so mad at me that he won’t bother helping me feel better OR help me kick the smoking.

And this makes me smoke More Cigarettes™.

And the Medical Community™ is filling me with the Wrong Medication™ and it’s really impossible in a few posts to describe what that experience was like. How brutal. How utterly all-encompassing it was.

You will have diarrhea AND constipation.

You will be hungry AND unable to eat anything AND unable to make decisions about eating anything. (you spend a lot of time very very hungry but too tired to eat)

You will eat less food AND gain 30% more body weight and have wicked stretch marks all over your abdomen and thighs.

You will be unable to move AND be filled with a need to RUN. ANYWHERE AS FAR AWAY FROM HERE AS POSSIBLE.

You will have Junk™ that doesn’t work AND you will be a Horny Teenager™

You will finally eat food AND you will then choke on it as it gets caught halfway down your esophagus.

You will shake AND be still and catatonic.

You will have insomnia AND you will have nightmares when you finally sleep.

You will be as angry as you ever have ever been in your life at the unfairness of all of it AND God Almighty™ and everybody in your life will. not. care.

You will do everything that everyone tells you to do, you will listen to all the experts, you will follow all their advice for nearly a fucking fricking™ year…

AND™

Nothing.

*ouch*

Gets.

“OMG SO Sorry.”

better.

At this point I’ve oozed enough blood that there’s probably nothing to take a sample of anymore anyway.

She withdraws the needle a 6th time™.

“I’m gonna get the Head Nurse™.”

Dave’s Veins™ have defeated the first level mini-boss!

But will they elude the Final Boss™?!?

Before the Head Nurse Final Boss™ arrives I’d like to make a quick point about where I stand on the issue of Psychiatry and Big Pharma™ and Science.

I spent so much time over the years in this system that I would consider myself to be an armchair expert in the Lounge of Lunatics™.

I’ve seen it all. The good the bad the qualified the unqualified the qualified but misguided the qualified but biased/prejudiced the unqualified who hacked their way in for a reliable paycheck the prejudiced who became qualified the charlatans the healers the genuises the incompetents the artists…

Psychiatry is a legitimate medical and scientific practice that adheres to standards and peer review and data.

This scientific effort to heal people with severe illnesses like bipolar and schizophrenia is a godsend to people who were once locked away forever or forced to live and die on the streets like now.

However, abuse does occur in this industry just. like. any. other.

And there’s greed. And Big Pharma™ will always put profits over people and Fricking Evangelicals™ just love capitalism. And so as much I may hate Big Pharma™ I hate the people who vote to keep them in business even more.

And people will be misdiagnosed and there will be Wrong Medications™.

But these medicines save lives when given to the right patients. Are they perfect? Hell no. We’re still in the dark ages here. 50 years ago they were lobotomizing people.

And for everything that goes wrong in my story I believe that for the most part everyone was trying their best within the limitations of the systems they are in whether ideological systems or political/industrial systems.

For those christians who may read this who doubt the validity of psychiatry and believe it’s evil… you. are. wrong. and. ignorant. and. illiterate. on. this. issue.

Full. Fricking™. Fucking. Stop.

Do not get mad at me, get mad at The System™ you are a part of that lies to you.

As awful and horrible as my story goes… the Psychiatric Industry was not the problem. And I would advocate that anyone who is unwell or struggling with mental health issues to get treatment because it will and can save your life.

But the for-profit health care system that runs the psychiatric industry is absolutely evil and is actively genocidal against the patients policy-wise in this country. It’s a political problem that allows an industry to prey upon patients.

And if what I’m saying is contradictory it’s because it is. Psychiatry is real. The for-profit corporate application of it is pure evil and killing people. Remove that and psychiatry would flourish with positive results in this country. Build more hospitals. More doctors. Better meds.

And had my problems been properly assessed and treated appropriately, if I hadn’t fallen through the cracks on a quirk of fate as a ’93 Paxil Teen™ I probably would have shown much better results in the first weeks after that first attempt.

And as for the Fricking Evangelical™ solution…

Praying never did shit. Maybe give me a placebo boost which has merit and value in times of panic and crisis. But not one problem was ever solved by giving it to god and still has not been solved no matter how much I have prayed for 30 years.

Guess I just sinned too much with that first suicide attempt.

“Got a difficult one, eh?”

Head Nurse Final Boss™ has entered the battle arena and is stretching the gloves over her hands maliciously. She lives for difficult patients. Needs a good challenge.

She is confident. And assured.

The needle slides in the 7th time.

Every reader just looked at the sidebar to see how much story is left.

Suddenly.

Something extraordinary happens while HeadNurse FinalBoss™ is lightsabering her way through my bloody elbow pit…

Suddenly, 46 year old Dave Griffin is transported into the body of his 17 year old self!

Our nurse is too absorbed in her quest of mining for gore to notice the switch.

*46 year old Dave Griffin talks into the camera and breaks the 4th wall*

We’ve gotten to a point I’ve dreaded since the beginning of this blogject and something that has always put me off attempting this project for years.

In order to tell my story it forces me to Out somebody else’s mental health situation. And I am severely conflicted about the ethics of this. Because on the one hand, you. do. not. out. people. Period.

The discrimination of the world towards these kinds of health conditions can mean that this stigma will follow you for a lifetime… believe me I know.

People have a right to medical privacy.

But a unique phenomena with mental health is that often certain conditions affect other patients. Trauma can be inflicted upon a patient by someone with a mental illness and that can cause mental illnesses in others. PTSD being the most obvious one most people would think of.

And as my story goes on, it will become clear that the mental health situation of a Party Other Than Me is directly affecting my mental health.

And in order to talk about what I went through, I have to discuss how and why I went through it.

And I guess the only point I’ve been able to get to psychologically to write this all out is that a child raised by an alcoholic has some right to say in their life story “I was raised by an alcholic”. Right? Like does someone raised in that environment have the right to out the health issues of another if it affected them?

I don’t know what the right thing to do here is.

But I know I’m incapable of talking about my story without doing so. And I don’t know what the potential consequences of this could be. Lawsuits? Angry phone calls? Destroyed relationships? These people are still alive.

And I could be wrong! What if I’m wrong? What is the responsible thing to do?

I don’t know… but if the goal of this blogject was always Harm Reduction… then we’ve got a bit of a Trolley Problem.

This week there was a 5th bomb threat called into my library and school district by Moms for Liberty sympathizers so I hope you’ll forgive me if I choose to give no fucks. And if I cause harm by trying to not cause harm… fuck it.

“That IS a tricky one.” HeadNurse FinalBoss™ scoots forward on her chair.

This just got good!

She executes the 8th attempt.

The schizoaffective diagnosis was an incorrectly identified– but very much present– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And I am certain of this diagnosis, this has since been proven beyond a shadow of doubt.

And one of the things that 17 year old Dave doesn’t know yet, but I do... is that this is the primary inherited mental illness in one line of my family tree. And without question Religious Parent™ has this illness in a severe form. Most members of this family, cousins and aunts and uncle all exhibit mild to moderate to severe forms of it.

I would consider my Religious Parent™ to have a very severe form of it.

And it affected everything all the time.

This parent would acknowledge they have this issue as well.

The claims I will now make I am certain to get pushback on, but I believe my story will show some accuracy in my suspicion.

A key part of this entire project is to crack a cold case myself. I’m trying to figure out what the hell happened. And I have incomplete information, inaccurate information, bad memories, Wrong Medicated™ memories, my own heroic opinion of myself… this whole project is a jumble of chaos.

And I could be wrong. I’m not afraid of being as you will soon learn about 4-5 posts from now.

But I believe my Religious Parent™ struggled with other mental health disorders.

I believe this parent suffered from Narcissist Personality Disorder.

And I believe this parent suffers from Hypochondria, Medical Anxiety, and Fictitious Disorder (Munchausen Syndrome) or some sliding spectrum or scale of that family of disordered behavior. I have witnessed this parent engage in each of those 3 behavior types at different times over the course of my life

*46 year old Dave stares straight into camera and does not blink*

I don’t want to have to discuss somebody else’s hypothetical diagnosis but I have to because….

Some

mental illnesses

cause

mental illnesses

in

others.

“Wow. She wasn’t joking. Let’s give this one more shot.”

HeadNurseWhoIsNotTheActualFinalBoss™ says to 46 year old Dave Griffin trapped in his 17 year old body while she slides the needle in a 9th time.

*46 year old Dave Griffin stares at camera and does not blink*

I have to talk about someone else’s diagnosis because I believe that the reason my career was largely killed was because I was a product of:

Hypochondria by Proxy

Medical Anxiety by Proxy

And™

Fictitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Munchausen by Proxy)

“Got it!”

Crimson fills the tube.

“Let’s get you patched up.”

The Daves™ arise from the chair and as the body of 17 year old Dave walks out the room the head of 46 year old Dave is trying to yell through the years to warn himself.

The hallway suddenly stretches bending space and time…. figures emerge on both sides.

“Think about it Dave…

if you’re always busy going to college and being sick what can you never do?”

*Blinking Therapist™ reaches out as we walk past*

“You’re not Trusting god…”

“Religious Parent™ has never wanted you to be in this industry”

*2 Grizzled Industry Veterans*

“You’ll never go hungry a day in your life!”

“The praying is not working.”

*church AIO FOTF*

“Sinner. Prodigal!”

“The meds aren’t working.”

*psychiatrist*

“have you heard of delusions of grandeur?”

“And what separates you from every other child actor?”

*AIO employee*

“The fans demanded you back…”

“What separates you from every other kid actor is that your Religious Parent™ was not a failed actor or had aspirations to be in show business…”

*GoodCop™*

“Just give him his damn shoes…”

“Your Religious Dobson Reading Parent™ was. a. failed. nurse!”

The Daves™ emerge from the distorted hallway into the lobby.

And the imagination of 46 year old Dave Griffin separates from the memory of 17 year old Dave Griffin.

And 46 year old Dave watches as this 17 year old kid with gauzed and bandaged elbows greets his Religious Parent™.

“How’d it go, L’il DaveyBoy™?”

The Final Boss™ queried

“Took 9 tries.”

Bitterness and exhaustion in each word.

“That was why I quit… I was never good at that. Had to practice on oranges. I was always too squeamish when drawing patient’s blood….

Anyway, let’s get going…

you’re late for your therapy appointment.”

The Final Boss™ places a loving hand on L’il DaveyBoy™’s shoulder and walks him outside.

While Adventures in Odyssey: Episode 282 – The Fundamentals airs worldwide in September, 1994.

I don’t remember this episode at all.

Suicide. Addiction. Bad Kid School. Therapy. Legal Problems. Suspended from School . Still Faces. Bad Kid Friends. Losing Families. Anger. Destruction of Property. Parental Manipulation. Discrimination. High School Dropout. Disappointing Generations of Relatives. Shoplifting. Cops Called. Brutal Side Effects From Medications. Tardive Dyskinesia. Tremors. Dry throat. The World’s Most Painful PermaBoner™. Genetalia Failya. Professional Patient. Hypochondria by Proxy. Medical Anxiety by Proxy. Fictitious Disorder Imposed on Another.

Red elbow pits.

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

**SMASH!**

*Wrestling Announcer*

“OH MY GAWD IT’S RELIGIOUS PARENT™ WITH A STEEL CHAIR!!!!

AS GAWD AS MY WITNESS THEY’VE OBLITERATED THE MIRROR!!!

GLASS AND SILVER SHATTERED BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION!!!

SOMEBODY PUT A STOP TO THIS!!”

When the glittered splinters settle one final jagged piece remains.
A last lonely guardian of my life image of my
self.


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4 responses to “Broken Mirror Pt 8: Dave, Interrupted”

  1. David K Johnson Avatar
    David K Johnson

    So I’m not entirely sure I got everything out of this, why do you think she has Munchausen by Proxy? Or will future posts make it more clear?

    1. dave Avatar

      So this is a tough one to explain.

      Short answer: The readers have incomplete information that will be fleshed out as the story continues.

      Longer answer:

      This post has probably caused me the most internal stress and that may explain the chaotic narrative here… I’ve been conflicted about how much information about Religious Parent I feel comfortable sharing. There is a mountain of data I am withholding in this story that would have tipped off this piece of information much earlier. But as it involves other siblings and entire family dynamic I’m not certain what I can talk to the world about and what not. And what the boundaries are of other people’s circumstances and issues.

      I left out a key line in the sequence where the The Daves walk down the hallway because there was no way I could find at this rough draft stage to make the information pithy enough to not disrupt the rhythm of that section. That line was something to the effect of:

      46 year old Dave trying to tell 17 year old Dave in the hallway…

      “Religious Parent™ never enjoyed being in the Lounge of Legends. It was a place that never made them comfortable or that they enjoyed. They would usually stay outside in their van reading… because they were not interested in show business the way other child actor’s parents were.

      “And a common thread of most other child actor’s parents is that they tend to be raging narcissists or have other personality disorders. And they proxy their dreams onto their kids so that they can then enjoy being on set, rubbing shoulders with famous directors they always wanted to work with, they get to have the lifestyle through their kid.

      “But my Religious Parent was never interested in this. Rather, my Religious Parent was far more comfortable being in the room of my mental health experience. The doctor’s visits, the appointments, this parent never complained about running me around all the time as a mental health patient. So why the difference?

      “Because Religious Parent used to be a *nurse* and failed out of that career path. The medical field was a place of comfort and interest for this person. And so now they can proxy all their hypochondria and medical anxiety and fictitious disorder onto my situation where the Narc Parent can now find themselves in an environment where they are getting the attention they want.

      “Blocking my career dreams and turning me into a suicidal mess then allowed this person to turn me into a long term mental health patient that sucked up all the bandwidth of our family life.”

      ^ I have no idea how to simplify that monologue in this draft. Yet.

      The other problem with this draft of this post is that I realized the audience doesn’t understand hypochondria and medical anxiety and fictitious disorder imposed on another (FDIA) and the amount of bandwidth to explain those personality disorders would make the post go so much longer and it was already a monster post.

      But if I have that information in, it might help sell a lot of the breadcrumbs I try setting up earlier in the story. I was trying to signal certain themes that return here… I may have to rework all of that in later drafts.

      And finally, I’ve dreaded this part of the story where I have to out a family member as being a villain of my life story. It’s very stressful to write and in this draft my goal was to just push the damn thing out so I can continue on… this post was my most psychologically painful to write to date so I kinda gloss over things to get it out theorizing “done is better than good” at this point.

      So yes, you probably are experiencing a “huh?” And you’re not wrong, and I don’t know how to fully fix it at this stage of content production.

      But it’s at least drafted and out… and now the pain in my chest is subsiding slightly lol. Will fix in future drafts…. I hope.

  2. Kate P Avatar
    Kate P

    If there’s a digital equivalent of whatever it is you prefer to have people do when you are in distress, please pretend I’m doing that now.

    I, too, have experienced people telling me just to pray and my depression should leave.

    I, too, am mad at God. And I wonder how much that impacts my depression. I feel like I can’t bond with him like I should. Tree and roots and whatnot. But there are just some things that I can’t get past regarding how he’s described in the Bible or things he wanted written in the Bible.

    I believe all the stuff I’m supposed to believe regarding basic salvation concepts. But I struggle with the love part. I don’t feel all touchy feely about someone I’m mad at. And there are some things in the Bible I just don’t know how to submit to fully. And it scares me so much. Because I’ve been taught full submission my whole life.

    There are a million more things I could say. I appreciate your story and your bravery so much. This is probably the most personal, touching thing I’ve ever read.

    Part of me wants to share your blog. But part of me wonders if I’ll have outed myself in the comments despite the fake name. Part of me doesn’t want to share it because I’m afraid of the negativity that would bring to you. At this point, I know so much about your story, I’ll probably wonder how you’re doing for the rest of my life, and I’d hate to be the reason for bringing negativity to you. And I also have the suspicion that despite being well-meaning people, those who need to hear your story might not get past the anger and the language to see the person. Which is often the problem with evangelicals, right?

  3. Connor Avatar
    Connor

    I can absolutely understand the mental health industry being something that helps so many people and also gets many things wrong. I was nearly misdiagnosed with bipolar because no one my entire life thought to get me evaluated for autism and college was causing me to burn out and it looked a lot like bipolar. I still got put on mood stabilizers that made me more depressed partiality because they made me gain a significant amount of weight though. Misdiagnosed disorders are so hard to deal with.

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