Sunday, April 16, 2006

What Do I Have In Common With A Child-Killing Cannibal?

I mean, other than home state, hobbies, and psychological problems?,2933,191879,00.html

So, this guy killed, dismembered, and was probably going to eat his ten-year-old neighbor.

But wait, there's more:

Scroll down past the "News Of The Weird" links, and you begin to see a disturbing picture: Lonely, socially awkward nerd, with strange interests, depressed, apathetic, uncertain. At my worst moments, I've had some of these same feelings.

And there's more than a few posts that chill me with how close they are to thoughts I've had?

[quote]I've never understood what's supposed to be fun about getting drunk. What's fun about slurring and stumbling and acting like an idiot? Or, even worse, falling down, vomiting, and passing out? ... Because I can't handle the social interaction, and I get pissed off. Pissed off at myself for not being able to be social, and pissed off at the other people because they can, and pissed off at God for making me be this way. If there is a God. Pretty much the only time I believe in God is when I want to blame Him for something. Or, when I'm really depressed, to cry and beg him to make me better, to make whatever is wrong in my brain go away, so that I can live like a normal person.[/quote]

I guess I'm just too nice, women all want to be friends with me. Even girls I don't like have told me what a nice guy I am, and, as if that wasn't bad enough, I've even been told that "I actually forget you're a guy, I don't even think of you as a guy, you're like one of the girls to me."

That fucking hurts.[/quote]

[quote]I'd always been shy around people, even though I was always goofing off and being the class clown in the past, I was still shy in certain situations, especially when it came to one-on-one human interaction. Goofing off for a class full of people I could handle. But trying to talk to just one person made me nervous. It had never really been much of a problem before, though, but when I went to college, it got out of control. As time went by, I kept getting more and more nervous and scared. ... I was very in love with [a girl], but, like always, I never said anything to her, I never told her I liked her, or asked her out. We were friends, and talked to each other a lot at work, but that was all we were. Then, she started dating a guy ... This made me even more depressed, but I didn't give up hope that maybe they'd break up or something, and someday I'd have a chance with her. ... I was such a coward. I was too afraid to talk to people, too afraid to ask girls out even after being in love with them for months. I was even too afraid to kill myself even though I wanted to.

Over time I started getting a little better, but I battled depression for a couple of years. I still have the social phobia, and very occasionally small bouts of depression, but I'm much better than I was then, at least when it comes to the depression.[/quote]

There but for the Grace of God go I? It haunts me that the basic difference between me and this guy might boil down to I went to a shrink, and he didn't.

You may think I'm overreacting, but, well... none of you knew me "before." Before I was properly diagnosed. Before I got on the right medication. Before I had a handle on my anger and my anxiety. I was not a pleasant person to be around. If you could travel back in time and see me in elementary school, you would never guess that kid would grow up to be me. Hell, that kid would have been lucky if he'd grown up to be iwarrior. And if he hadn't gotten help, that kid might very well have grown up to be this guy.

Even "after" (I divide my life like an alcoholic, "before" and "after"), I've dealt with depression, social phobia, feeling like I'm somehow set apart from everyone else. That I've had such love and support from my family and friends, I give massive amounts of thanks for every day.

But Jesus, this is like looking into a mirror made by Stephen King. I don't know whether to feel fortunate or frightened. Is the line between sanity and madness really that thin? Was it just a medical role of the dice that made me a published author and Managing Editor, and him a psychotic killer?

I don't know. I'm not sure I want to know. But I do know that I'm gonna take my pills today.


Jeff Brady said...

Like JWK said, you have a conscience. The fact you're even worried about this proves it.

John Nowak said...

I wouldn't worry too much about it -- it's almost impossible to read a description of a character, or the description of a disease's symptoms, without imagining that it's about you or that you have the disease.