Friday, February 24, 2012

That's so Schizo

People are always romanticizing schizophrenia and it seems they mostly don't know what it is.
I just saw the haunting Take Shelter which got me thinking about Schizophrenia again.

Take Shelter Review: well acted, lovely, haunting - flawed dialogue, moments of overwraught angst when it could've used a stronger dose of realism. It's about a man and his relationship with schizophrenia ... in a nut shell. (pun) Would've been great if the dialogue was more naturalistic and less M Night Shyamn. I'm not looking that up right now. But this is a good film overall in its achievements vs failures.

And then there's A Beautiful Mind which does a really good job but makes the illness seem a lot more magical than it really is.
People constantly use the word "schizophrenia" descriptively to mean dual personality - they should stop. That's not what schizophrenic means so just go ahead and wikipedia that some time.

What haunted me in Take Shelter was seeing a child witness her father's mental illness.

My grandmother had schizophrenia and she lived with us while I was in high school and college. She had 4 sons. I think I've asked my dad questions about what that was like when he was little, and he'd mostly answer that she was quiet, or off doing something, and he always left and wondered on his own. I'm never sure what to think because there's so much mystery and uncertainly on that side of the family. Those who know me know I've never had much family in America, they are mostly in the Netherlands where my mom is from.

Are you related to this other "Fink"? I never know. We are disjointed.

I can't ask my dad questions anymore because with aphasia, even if he understands my questions, he can't speak and tell me a story.

I've always felt largely confused about myself and a sense that I don't fit in. This works out well when you're a creative and ambitious type, since we are told that many of the world's greatest people are misunderstood. That provides a reassurance that some day, while you may not be understood, perhaps you'll be embraced and appreciated for your talents and skills.

So here I am at 30, still with the feeling that if I embrace the elements of myself that don't fit, perhaps I'll find something especially valuable, worth cultivating. That's my security blanket. And in the moments of doubt that surely come - that perhaps I'm just a little 'off' ... and that oddness is simply odd, with no inherent social worth ... it's scary.

I'm going to keep trying. You should only be alarmed when I'm in khakis, because then you'll know I've given up.

No comments: