The Greatest Country in the World, by Allie Burke
He knocks on our bedroom door with a feather for a fist before he opens it slowly, cautiously sticking his head in, like I’m sixteen years old and he’s my father. I want to laugh and say ‘I’m decent’, but I forgot how to do that. Sex with my husband is a distant dream that I don’t think I’ll ever get back.
I’m going to Nate’s, he says, and I mumble something or other, nodding for him to go away. He doesn’t even hesitate before he disappears. He doesn’t ask me if I’m okay. He knows I’m not, and has no idea what to do about it.
He probably won’t come home tonight. No call, no show. I stopped trying to find him after the like, third time. He doesn’t do it on purpose; he’s not a cheater. He’s a damn good man. He just gets fucked and passes out at one house or another, and I wake up to some ‘shit I’m sorry’ text. Can I blame him? Was this what he wanted of his thirties? A schizophrenic wife who doesn’t want anything to do with the universe? He didn’t even really want to marry me. I bet he’s wishing he went with his gut now. His life is probably worse than mine.
The glow of the television booms around the black hole we call a bedroom. I don’t even know what’s on anymore, and wouldn’t even if I tried to figure it out. I’ve been watching the idiot box from my bed for twelve hours. I can’t even remember the last time I got up to pee.
God dammit, did he leave again? I hate being alone.
The darkness creeps in, screaming the words I don’t understand. I cover my face with the blankets as if that is going to do anything. It hasn’t worked for twenty-one years, yet I still do it.
Insanity. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.
I don’t want to die. I haven’t done anything yet. Two romance novels and half of a third. A botched marriage. Debt up my ass. What the fuck is life?
But what am I supposed to do? I can’t live like this; this isn’t living. Psychotherapist to Psychosis Specialist to Board of Psychiatry to Mental Institution. Depression to Sleep Apnea to Schizoaffective to Paranoid Schizophrenia. I don’t really care. I just want them to fix it.
But they won’t. Ironic that it’s because they don’t really care either. That poor man passed away in his apartment. He was only two years younger than I am now. My uncle lost his job; my brother lost his shit; my mother lost her mind. She’s too crazy for even me. I guess that’s the point. We’re all too crazy for this world. They don’t want to deal with us. Why would they? Isn’t it easier to lock us up in white walls and let us live on the streets until we die of starvation or suicide or both? They make so much money off of the mentally ill. Do you know how many people in America have been on anti-depressants at one point in the last five years? Forty-eight percent. Half. Half of America. That’s one-hundred-fifty million people. I pay ten dollars a month for each anti-psychotic drug I take every day.
I hate math. You figure it out.
One-hundred-fifty million people suffering from suicidal thoughts at the hands of their own government, every single day. Don’t even get me started on the schizophrenics. They’ve got the whole world convinced that we’re all planning the next mass-murdering spree. Because there are two million of us born sociopaths at the same time.
Please, spare me.
Lack of education? My husband just left his suicidal wife by herself in a house full of guns. He’s a good man, I said, and I stand by that. He’s a smart one too. But it’s not his fault. The supposed greatest country in the world ranks seventeenth in intelligence. Not sure how we got that far when we still don’t know the difference between psychotic and psychopathic. Safer to lock them all up. At least our government isn’t still executing us. Well, not all of us.
The voices have stopped. Now would be a good time to go. Peacefully. You’d feel better about that, right? Or does it matter? Life would be so much easier with me gone.
That .45 is hella clean though. I’d hate to get blood on it.
Allie Burke did survive, with no assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services, or any doctors or therapists. Though the mental health programs that the United States Government has in place did not step in for her, she refused to give up.
She went on to become a Bestselling Author, Project Manager, and today serves as the acting VP of Operations at Stigma Fighters.
She has Paranoid Schizophrenia.