My name is Janice F. Brooks.

That’s the name I was given at birth but my new name is: PARANOID SCHIZO INCAPABLE ERASED AND DEAD.

Today’s topic is toxic shame.

I was born normal. I had my first psychotic episode in 2006. I was incapable of continuing my job at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. I was politely excused for cause. The day I lost my job I lost my health insurance. Then I lost my apartment and car. I was absolutely stripped bare.

The psychosis I was experiencing was causing me to see panels of a wood ceiling that were dripping blood. My inner voice was telling me that I had murdered my daughter. Every time I opened the trunk of my car I would, for an instant, see my daughter’s body curled in a fetal position. I had to literally touch her arms and face to confirm that she was alive. This went on for months. 10 months.

I was an attorney licensed in the State of Minnesota. I applied for state health insurance and was rejected. I had no energy to apply again. I was couch ridden. Unable to sleep in any normal way. I slowly realized that the visions of death were coming from a place outside of me. Let’s call it Ben. Once I found that Ben was threatening my child, I flew into a rage. I screamed out loud, “SHUT UP SHUT UP.”

I also stabbed a pillow with a knife to get out my uncontrolled rage. I learned to hate Ben. Once I knew who he was I began texting him and emailing him. He is a real person whom I had dated in the past. I was convinced that he was threatening us on purpose.

I also believed there was a hit put on me by another attorney. Let’s call him Membo. Now I was fighting two demons. Membo and um Ben. Membo and Ben’s mental torture went on for four full years and continues to this day. Finally my rage morphed into suicidal thoughts. I made a suicide plan. On July 22nd, 2010 at 2:00PM. The implement to be used was a set of razor blades. I was going to slice my wrists and descend into oblivion.

I did have Medical Assistance by 2010. I finally got some help with my physical problems. Acne, toenail fungus and dental care. I did not seek mental health care right away. When I am in a psychotic state I cannot believe that I am mentally ill. Just tortured by demons. Two weeks before planned suicide I heard a familiar voice say, “Go to a Hospital.” It was the voice of my guardian angel. Let’s call him Wren. I did as the small voice commanded. I called 911. I also told my immediate family to go to a domestic violence shelter. They refused. I went to the hospital anyway. I arrived at the local hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center. I complained of chest pains. The ER Doc quickly realized that I was not in cardiac arrest but in a full-blown panic attack. I was given valium through an IV. Once the valium kicked in all the way, I was seduced into revealing my suicide plan, which did not seem abnormal in any way. At least not to me. The ER Doc was on the other side though. He politely informed me that I would not be going home. At least not that day. I was taken to a small room with concrete painted walls. The color is green. It’s a stainless steel large rectangle. Actually quite large. Human sized. Even for me. I stand 6’2”. A nurse coldly ordered me to lie on the cold blank slab. I was not given a blanket or a pillow that day.

I can’t recall how long I was in that room. I just can’t. There is no memory there. They call this total loss of memory a dissociative state. I learned that later. At some point I was taken by wheel chair to get a CAT scan. I still had no idea why I was there and did not know what day it was. After the CAT scan was completed I was brought by wheel chair by another cold unemotional male nurse to an elevator. We soon flighted up three floors. As soon as the door closed behind me I was taken to a room and ordered to change into the brown psych ward uniform. I believed that I had been taken prisoner. Not protected or safe in any way. A nurse entered my room/cell and ordered me to the front desk. I was given three or four pills to swallow. I refused to swallow them. She angrily told me that I was making a mistake. Why should I take these creepy pills? I was fine. The problem was I couldn’t complete my suicide plan.

(To be continued)

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