“People are emotionally diseased. We’re toxic and contagious, and very few people see that.”
THE words are Chloe Gunn’s – the main character in the debut novel INDUCED AMNESIA. They’re heavy words spoken by someone who is being pushed under by depression and sadness. Harsh words maybe, but any one of us can say we’ve felt the same sentiment, even briefly, at one time or another.
Looking into the face of the coming New Year 2014, it may seem like a strange topic to focus on – but the reality is – this is a stressful time of year – a time where inner demons do manage to surface for so many, even when they successfully seem to manage them any other time of the year. Even though my own life is good and positive now (though I’ve known clinical depression intimately in the past), I find there are things that surface and have me oddly pondering, always around this time of year. It’s dawned on me that I cannot be the only one.
“You know,” Chloe says to Dr. Kilger, “here’s the thing, the real thing I’ve come to realize and maybe,” she whispers the last two words, “it’s the real reason I’m here.”
Dr. Kilger says nothing. She just waits.
“I just don’t know if it’s me and the people in my life, or everyone out there, but people are fucked. And the scary part is they don’t seem to see it. I do. I’m drowning in it some days. People are emotionally diseased. We’re toxic and contagious, and very few people see that. I’m repulsed by it, and overwhelmed by it. Yet every person in my life has it and doesn’t seem to even notice it. Every person including me, but I’m the only one seeing it.”
Chloe’s words are disturbing and bleak. You are either reading this thinking: this is not the world I live in and I don’t want to look at this side of it, OR – this is a place you recognize, a side of thinking you’ve seen, and a place you very much don’t want to be true about the world we live in.
“What are you seeing, Chloe?”
“People just don’t really care about others. It’s all about them. And everything’s disposable – their family, their marriage, integrity, the self-esteem of others, love. When I start looking at the people I know and listening to them, it’s shocking to me how many of them want to leave their spouse because she hasn’t lost the baby weight, how they’ll do any kind of drug to build muscle, even if it means a stroke or heart attack, cheating on their spouses. One guy at work even sat there telling a bunch of us, that after the second kid, his wife wanted him to have a vasectomy, and he told her not a chance that he would allow anyone in his business snipping away. I explain that for a woman, it’s a far more serious operation that requires general anesthetic. He cracked off that he didn’t care, that she was used to having her feet in stirrups anyway.”
Chloe looks directly at Dr. Kilger, “It doesn’t matter what she’s been through carrying and delivering two children; the embarrassment, the pain. And there I am, sitting and wondering – am I the only one who sees this guy for what he is? Everyone else just sat nodding.”
Yes, there is a side to being human that can be ugly or callous. We’ve all seen it. We’ve even displayed it at times ourselves. None of us are perfect. BUT – that is not the whole of us. That’s not even the reality of us. Life isn’t all beauty or perfection. But what we all need to remember is that we weren’t born here for beauty and perfection. This is school, kids. The secret key is to LEARN from it. Take the lesson from the hurt to heart, and then leave it where it happened. What is it they say……? “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.” So true.
Great lessons, inspiring lessons, our individual power, wisdom, real truth, real love – it’s all found through the pain and ugliness of being human. And what we get to take away can often turn out to be a diamond – a shining piece of beauty, brilliant and tough.
“What did you do?” asks Dr. Kilger.
“Nothing. What can be done, really? It’s just one example of the rampant disease out there, a disease people won’t acknowledge, won’t try to heal; and in fact, work hard to ignore or blame elsewhere. We’ve become a society great at not taking responsibility. By the way, I know I’m diseased as well. This world’s turning into a diseased melting pot of toxic thoughts and emotions. And even when some of us see it, it’s become a losing battle to change it. That’s why I need to leave this place.”
At this point, Candace Kilger takes a seat across the table from Chloe. She starts to say something, and then stops. She thinks for a moment. “Yes, there are many people in pain consciously, and unconsciously. And it’s become a problem that many are aware of. Why do you think we’re here? The medical community recognizes the rise in negativity, apathy and a general disconnection to how we were meant to function in a mental and emotional capacity. And you’re not alone, Chloe. For all those who choose to ignore their negative and toxic level of consciousness, there are millions more who do feel it, and see it and want to find some escape from it. Look at the self-help industry, and the boom of awareness it attracts and cultivates.”
“From where I’m sitting,” Chloe looks at the doctor in weary contempt, “it doesn’t look like that awareness is winning.”
This is only the beginning for Chloe in INDUCED AMNESIA. Her journey takes her beyond the feelings she’s trying to convey, far beyond. The important thing to remember is that last statement only feels true for Chloe in that moment. It isn’t really true – not for her, not for any of you who can relate to it.
That’s not who we are. Joy and pain – two sides of the same coin – life is all about choices and perceptions, actions and reactions. We all make mistakes and we all know what it does to our consciousness to be on either end of them. And sometimes…….the weight of it takes us down to our knees.
So – on the cusp of 2014, this is a call to be better……perhaps it’s a beginning for many of us, like Chloe Gunn. But remember, these things that weigh down on us – the events, the people, the feelings – are not lasting. Just like Grade One came to an end, and Grade Two was a new beginning, so too is the reality of emotional pain and weariness. You have only to learn the lesson, and then make the choice to leave it behind – like trees that you pass by on a hike to higher ground – you see them, touch them and then regardless of their beauty/sparseness or softness/thorny presentation – you walk on by and look ahead, at new trees, the horizon (full of possibility) and the future.
Candace Kilger shifts with a sigh, and then sits on the conference table across from Chloe. The doctor smiles uncharacteristically. “Life is complicated. But the truth is,” whispers Kilger, “it’s really all about perspective. I promise you, Chloe. And with any luck, you’ll view this world in a very different light in a couple of weeks.”
Looking like a small frail child, Chloe sits sunken into her chair.
“Let’s continue documenting your past, Chloe. The sooner we finish, the sooner you can move on….” Excerpt from INDUCED AMNESIA
“This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity. There is no area of your perception that it has not touched.” Quote from A Course In Miracles
Wishing all of you a strong and empowering 2014 xo!!
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