the hallucinations

Indeed, the line between perceiving and hallucinating is not as crisp as we like to think. In a sense, when we look at the world, we are hallucinating all the time. One could almost regard perception as the act of choosing the one hallucination that best fits the incoming data, which is often fragmentary and fleeting.
—  V.S. Ramachandran

anonymous asked:

Is it okay for mentally ill people to use ableist slurs like it’s okay for POC to use those slurs? (Word coming up) I feel like as someone who’s diagnosis is classed as clinical insanity that I should be able to use the words crazy & insane if I please.

If you feel comfortable applying these words to yourself, please do so.

But also keep in mind that applying these words to someone else is not okay unless you’ve discussed it with them beforehand and they’ve explicitly said it is okay for you to do so.


When I was 15, while ridding through the Lincoln Tunnel, dark figures began to scale the tunnel walls. Quickly, they scuttled towards bus carrying my frozen form. As I stared in horror, they pulled open the doors of the bus and slithered and crawled and twisted their darkened forms ever closer. I couldn’t breathe in my panic. Closer. Closer. 

When I was 17, he began to follow me. The first time I saw him was in the rearview mirror of my mom’s minivan. A darkened form against the glowing darkness of early dawn. My heart skipped a beat, my breathing ceased. White knuckles clenched the steering as if to break it as I forced my eyes to return to the road. 

A month later, he followed me into the locked ward and made himself comfortable among my new companions. 

When I was 18, my best friend and I got in a fight. Typed words spew out like thrown knives until one caught me straight in the heart. “Crazy.” It echoed through my head over and over and over. You’re crazy. You’re crazy. You’re crazy.  Code for “I don’t trust you. I don’t believe you.” Echoes of years past flood back with all the meanings, every one Crazy. No one will believe you. Insane. You’re just doing it for attention. Psycho. Not safe. Lock them away. 

Our friendship ended with that word. The fight continued on for days. It forced it’s way back in months later. But the moment she hurled that word against me, the friendship had ended. 

The summer I was 20, I saw faces in mirrors. Grotesque, demonic faces appeared alongside mine. I covered our mirrors with sheets. I learned to look away at the smallest glimpse of a reflective surface. I tried my best to escape the haunting faces. 

Mid summer, I went to a party with my abusive ex for his sister. Upon arriving at her apartment, I entered the living room to discover a wall made of mirrors. I drank until I couldn’t see the faces. 

On the train ride home, I rocked back and forth within my seat, surrounded by the windows with their mirror-like effects and the faces held within. “Crazy” they whispered at they tried to get away from me. 

I’m just crazy. I’m just crazy. I’m just crazy. 

Words that plagued me. Words I used to invalidate myself. I learned to never trust myself. 

Until, one day, or maybe it was several, or maybe it was one of those things you can’t really pin down to a time and date, I said to myself “I’m crazy.” and I didn’t feel ashamed. 

I still don’t always trust myself. 

I still have a hard time with mirrors. 

But I’ve reclaimed the word crazy for myself and have stripped it of the powers it has to hurt me. 

I am crazy. I am insane. I am psycho. 

I am me.