You're going to have to tell them. / They're going to put you on more medication if you do. Is that what you want? / There's a difference between accepting the help that the pills have to offer and depending on them to make you well. / When you put it that way, it doesn't sound much different at all. / You want to feel better about yourself, don't you, Ciarán? Of course he does, the other voices mimic. And what better way than through medication? They turn to me. Hasn't it always helped you in the past? / Why must you make this so difficult for him? / Shut the fuck up, Gilda. You want to be heard just as much as the rest of us. Even more so, which is why you argue your point so desperately.

Gilda wants me to talk to my parents. She thinks they could help me work through the urges to hurt myself. Antonio and the other guys think that's absolutely ridiculous; if my family finds out what's really going on with me, they will want to have me admitted to the hospital again. Antonio points out, every time you open up to them, they adjust your medication and hope for the best. / Because they're concerned about you. / No, they're afraid of you becoming more powerful than they are.

I laugh out loud. Powerful? How the hell could I be considered powerful? I can't control the thoughts going on in my own head. Ciarán , you have the ability to communicate with forces you can't even see. That doesn't make you crazy. It makes you different. Unique. Your mind is far above everyone else's. Gilda pleads with me not to listen to them, but what they're saying actually makes sense. All this time I didn't understand what was so wrong with me. Now I know. I'm not troubled. I have a gift.


"One thing I want to emphasize to you, Ciarán, is that you're probably always going to have hallucinations." Chuck, the social worker, tells me. "Our goal isn't to eliminate them completely, but to make them more bearable for you, so that you can make the most out of your life. Do you understand that?" I nod dumbly, my eyes burning with tears. I want the voices to stop. Shouldn't they have a medication that's capable of at least that much? How do you explain to your family that you may never get better? That you're stuck listening to the grind and halt of your own brain, not knowing which gear to shift until the problem has magnified itself, and its come under the scrutiny of countless others, some of whom you can't even name? How do you tell them that you can't identify everything that's going on within your own mind, or that your thoughts are sometimes so outlandish you feel like there's something terribly wrong with you for having them?