By Damien Knight
Commentary in italics. I wrote this journal a month before my birthday while in a Louisville, Kentucky psychiatric facility. I was in the long-term ward. I spent my teen years in various psych facilities from the time I was 13 until I was 19 years old.
You want to know something? I’m 17. Want to know something else? I have decided I want to be 18! I want to leave here and grow up. I want to take the advice of staff and peers. I want to be new. I will remember I can do as I will but must do no harm. I was born with the freedom of choice. My higher power gave that to me.
17-year-old me had a very cringey writing style. I will likely say the same about 30-year-old me in another 15 years!
Want to know something else? I am not as strong as I act. I have gained wisdom and I am very intelligent. I am no longer a child, but I have the heart of one. I heard being young is a state of mind, foolish things are used to confound the wise. Wisdom is spoken from the mouth of a child.
I was a cocky kid. Also, holy clichés Batman!
People don’t understand what I’m saying. Someday they will reach this point though. When they realise they aren’t always right, not everything is a battle. They will realise they are no longer innocent. They will have self-realisation.
Now it’s holy ego Batman!
I have reached this point. I am no better than anyone else. I can’t fly off the handle because I think I am never wrong. I have to listen to their point of view. I was told once there are two sides of the story and then the truth. To know the truth, both sides must be heard.
I feel like this journal rambles.
I’ve been told I must control my temper. That I can’t respond to others whose words or body language directed toward me to challenge and threaten me. That I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, and everything is the small stuff except for death.
I don’t think I was wise I think I was good at repeating other people’s pseudo-wise philosophies.
William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” In this play I am the main character, everyone is acting. When I am alone on the world’s stage I am me, around everyone else I am a “dove feathered raven.”
I have my short comings My life is Mount Everest. I sometimes lose my footing when I climb this mountain, I learn from my falls. I must continue to climb. Sometimes I stray from my small narrow path to the top and take the wider road slowing down my progress.
I sit and ponder many things. Most of all I recall my wasted years, losing my teen years. I never went to a homecoming dance. I have never just spent time after school with friends. Only tenth grade did I manage a whole year in the real world. I went to my first homecoming game. I got to go on my first date to the movies. I lost all that, but I can never give up.
I wrote this to motivate myself. Maybe I had hoped to comfort myself in the loss of my youth. Had I hoped to hold on to childhood while denouncing it? The writing is cringey but it also was a cry for help, comfort, and maybe a boost of my ego. I wanted to think I understood life. I have yet to figure out life or love, but what is true I was an actor on stage. Now I am me.
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