Friday, June 17, 2016

"Flashback"

A “flashback can be an extremely intense experience.  Much like addiction, psychopathy and schizophrenia; Hollywood and the media portray Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in an extremely sensationalized manner, increasing the already overwhelming stigma that is attached to these disorders.

A recent example is how lately I’ve been finding myself with intrusive “joyful” memories.  They're still overwhelming, and can be intrusive in my day-to-day life.  The flip side to this of course, is that melancholia is a welcome change from rage.

A recent “flashback” from high school was triggered by hearing the Candlebox song “Cover Me”.  Before I knew it, I was sitting on the desk again in 11th grade humanities, mortified after messing up the song’s chorus, which I was currently performing for a grade.  Yes, I was (badly) covering “Cover Me”.  The irony isn’t lost on me.

A sharp voice cut through the music aimed at a particularly vociferous critic: “Why don’t you get up there and do it?!  Do you have any idea how hard that is to get up there and play in front of everyone like that?”

It’s nice to come back to the “now” with a tear of joy instead of balled fists and rage.

Her name was Gillian Shepard*; and I never told her - until our paths crossed many years later - the impact it had on me.  She was the smart, popular, gorgeous cheerleader that defied the “mean girl” stereotype and fearlessly stood up for me.  Of course with me the rabbit hole always goes a little deeper – even though this was one of those secrets I thought I’d take to the grave…

...but in elementary school I had my first “crush” on her, which I made the unfortunate mistake of mentioning to my fraternal grandmother; who taunted me about it unmercifully from age 9 to 19 and even then only stopping because I was getting married.

It was her kindness that helped build my self-confidence enough to form and preform with several bands, playing local gigs around Detroit, including a few “Fortune 15” company parties.

Mmmmhmmm, laugh it up...

Until that day.

SD



*obviously fake, so don’t bother looking through the yearbooks

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