013-Light Under the Shade-Memoir


I’m planning for a smooth day ever since I woke up. I woke up early, and have been waking up early every day for the last couple months, since I’ve been staying here in this garden motel. There’s not much to plan—I have my list of activities that I check off as I do them. They’re just small, mindless activities. It’s no big deal. Playing with Georgie the kitten, having a cigarette and soda every hour… things like that. I had planned to write today, even if it’s not much that I write. And so, here I am. It can get pretty boring here, especially since I have only a little bit of money, and I don’t drive, don’t know the area too well, and besides, I consider myself a loner. I am a loner. A loner, yes… and with only a few interests in daily life… but I miss my wife terribly. About a week ago, she and I had set up a plan to talk to each other at around 9:30 AM, 3 PM and then 7 PM, of course depending on whether she or I have something else going on, like Maureen’s NAMI meetings on Thursday which run until about 10 PM.

I had a paranoid spell last night. Maureen was texting me, and I was convinced that it was my stepmother impersonating my wife. I think the paranoia came about for a couple of reasons. First, yesterday morning, when I was on the phone with my wife, the call was continually being interrupted with a really loud and annoying “scrambled” sound, which then cause me (and Maureen) to think that possibly Someone was somehow tapping the phone lines. Nobody would believe us, if this were the case. Someone has hacked our computers in the past and has attempted what they call gas lighting. When I say she is evil, it’s an understatement. I’m trying to leave a lot of those stories and even my opinions and the hurt she causes me for Maureen’s book. I don’t want too much of an overlap of certain things, and to be honest, even thinking, talking or writing about her can set me over the edge. The second reason for my paranoia is because she had called he front desk yesterday and asked the woman working there to ask me if I had received “the Fed Ex.” I had no idea what she was talking about and it haunted the hell out of me to even know that she had called anyone about me in the first place. So the illness ended up getting the best of me later on in the evening when Maureen was texting me, and I had my episode. Perhaps I’ll be able to write more about the family abuse and how it has affected me, either here within this project or perhaps in another book. But quite frankly, the situation paralyses me so much that I am frightened literally to death, of even mentioning her… of course I mean Someone.

Being a loner is what it is. I mean I know a lot of it is a reaction (or non-reaction) to the illness, but I had been living independently since I was 15. Of course I had my million-dollar bank account readily accessible during those times, so I had people to help me and do things for me. This caused the doctors to think I was too high functioning to have Schizophrenia, and I used to drink (every waking hour) so I was quite social. When I sobered up and had my estate taken away from me, it was pretty clear that I did, in fact, have Schizophrenia. No question about it. The family just made it worse. Gave it a kind of post-traumatic element but not from just one traumatizing event, but continually, most, if not all of my life… abuse, abuse, abuse.

I’m not at all worried about considering myself a “victim” of the illness, but instead a victim of child abuse, even as I am in my mid-30s.

I’ll check in with you soon. Going to read a little and try to get a hold of a friend of mine. Mac Daddy—a true friend of over 20 years.

-J. Harnisch

About Jonathan Harnisch

Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
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