There is a rule.
It is why white people who say the N word and call themselves black are disliked by most of society. It is why if my female friend tells me to get back in the kitchen I will laugh, yet if a man said that to me I’d raise my eyebrow. It’s why I would never make a joke about Muslims being terrorists, despite my alliance with the Muslim community, as I have not personally faced the bullying and stigma that becomes the right to turn something so serious into something to laugh at.
And don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with sexist or racist or so on jokes. But there is a rule that only those who indesputedly know the hardships of a group of people, only someone who belongs to that group of people, can successfully poke fun of their hardships.
So why, then, do I see a stream of humourous pictures saying things about how the voices in someone’s head give them good advice or how insanity gets to know each family member individually, shared by people who have NEVER had an idea of what insanity is actually like.
I’m sure you’ve seen them – I’ve probably posted them here. Pictures and comments and jokes that glamourise the experience; make it fun and quirky.
Do they know the person scrolling past these stupid pictures is only on Facebook because her new anti psychotics make it painful and difficult to move?
Do they know that she is on anti psychotics again because during that oh-so-funny time of being “off her meds” she began to hallucinate all because she was at university again?
Do they know the true fear of hallucinations? Do those moments mark the most terrifying times of their life?
Have they ever been in bed, and felt snakes biting them? Have the snakes transformed into men? They lurk in the shadows but you know they’re there. You feel them, sense them, see them. You feel their eyes on you, burning where they watch. You’re so vulnerable in bed, exposed. Two men in your room are clear but you feel more lurking. And you feel fingers. Fingers that creep up the inside of your thighs…
You don’t want to feel the rest, but you do.
Tell me, can you have been raped if their is no perpetrator?
If I haven’t got you laughing yet, thinking “oh, that’s so true and relatable”, can you relate to this?
How many times have you felt your own fingernails scratching up your legs, your arms, your face, so hard it stings? Have you ever collapsed onto your bed and started beating yourself up, no control over your arms, only thanking yourself for being such a weak person? Have you been in an abusive relationship with yourself?
So funny I could scream. Which I do. For no reason. Simply get filled with terror so full and complete it fills me, consumes me, rising up and pushing out in a desperate scream for help.
This terror that filled me each day, leaving me catatonic for hours. Unresponsive to the world around me, because my mind was becoming a world of its own with all the thoughts and feelings racing through. People around me have the ability to study and complete their degree, yet I’ve lost that. I lost my best friend and I nearly lost the love of my life.
Are you laughing yet? I’m not.