I was born January 14, 1972 in Columbia, Tennessee. My parents didn't make much money and had to move to Iowa. My father was in the army for 20 years and had retired. I lived on a farm there and my brother was born.
My brother was born with fluid on his brain and they had to put a shunt into his brain to drain the fluid. He was then mentally retarded. This put a gap between my parents and I. Then things only got worse.
My father was diagnosed with manic depression but I believe that he had what I was diagnosed with and that is schizoaffective disorder. He had delusions and was quite verbally abusive and scared all of us. He started taking medication and things flattened out.
Back in Tennessee, I didn't realize what was ahead of me. I first attempted suicide at the age of 12. I picked up a guitar and started expressing myself as I did with art at the age of 4. Writing was also a way out and I continued to do so until the depression was too much to bear.
I got involved with alcohol and then drugs to try and self medicate myself. The hell that world bestows upon someone is far worse that any affliction so I stopped high school and went to a rehab.
When I returned I decided to get my G.E.D. for fear that going back to school would have troubled me more. The depression only got worse and with it came bouts of hallucinations and I also had delusions. That was when I was diagnosed with manic depression. I started medication and that didn't seem to work that well. Later I was then diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I started medications and like a merry go round some worked and some didn't. I ended up in and out of mental institutions and finally got the medication right.
My father then died when I was 20 in my arms. This had a horrible affect upon my recovery.
I then went to college for graphic design and life was fantastic. I had a 3.8 grade point average and felt on top of the world as I had a beautiful wife and a child on the way as well.
Things fell apart when the home my wife and I so desperately searched for was lost due to a complication with my disability. They turned us down on the day of closing. So we had to move back home with my mother.
My wife soon left me and took my son. I then gave up and quit my medication and had begun to plummet into a hell that was incomprehensible. To the hospital I went and back on medication.
The only way to describe that kind of hell is like living in a play....a play on a stage full of fog and dim lights....you are the marionette and the puppet master takes over, the other actors are the other people in your world, but you somehow are not part of the script....they dance and continue to taunt and laugh at you as your puppet master bestows thrashings to your mind and into the crowd so they can only laugh or be frightened at you.....and you in your cage so desperately trying to cut the strings, fall short of your own expectations and the fog gets thicker until you just want the curtain to fall.
Whispers from whom you never know, demons? the master himself laughing and taunting? your subconscious maybe? The horrible pictures like a bad projector film that continues to show frames over and over. Are the dead baby dolls real? In the play? in my mind? the smell of death...can that be me? Or is it the dolls? That old man in that chair I caught a glimpse of...what does he want? to chastise me? Is he beckoning me? The noises around you consume you as if you were a snack to be devoured until your very existence is like a rock trapped in a drum and thrown off a cliff....every bashing enough for you to end the play and drop the curtain on the play yourself.
Thank Jesus that he pulled me out, lifted the foggy box upon my soul and I can finally see, see the reality so crisp and yet the knowledge that beneath all of it there is so much more.
My mother, Jesus and medication that finally helped are what I can thank for my life today.
I got myself an apartment and started with my work once again.
With my own website with my artwork and photography and doing freelance work I did ok.
Now God has given me peace and I now reside with my mother and brother to give them support. I thank God for all of my trials and successes and also failures. Here I am now and proud of my life, my son and all I have accomplished.Thank you for your time and trying to understand.
Bradley G Michael
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