Prologue to the book

It’s been a particularly long psychotic break, starting on Superbowl Sunday, and here it is, the middle of June. I’ve carefully chosen every spoken word, picked no battles, and have made sure he’s asleep before I dare shut my eyes. I rush home from work every day so I won’t be accused of cheating, while my heart skips a beat when I pull in the long dirt driveway wondering what brand of insanity I’ll be facing when I walk in the door.

I mention to him that a friend wants me to babysit for her kids tomorrow. I don’t know why this particular statement is so offensive, but when you’re dealing with someone for whom logic is not a reality, there usually is no reason. Not one that makes sense in my world.

I see the flowered wallpaper in the budget mobile home’s bathroom. I see the large mirror mounted on the wall. I see the small shelves I’ve covered with contact paper and hung over the vanity. I see the 9mm pistol loaded with 19 rounds of hollow point ammunition, and one in the

chamber, pointed at my head. There is always one in the chamber.

“You have a problem. Your parents hypnotized you when you were young, and they pimped you out.”

What? My childhood was not one of great love and happiness. My father was a mean drunk, and my mother never seemed to care, but they certainly did not hypnotize me or sell me to… who? The other lawyers, doctors and CEOs at our golf and yacht clubs?

“What are you talking about? My parents would never do anything like that.”

“They did, and you don’t remember because you were hypnotized.”

“Well how do you know about it?”

Wrong question, because again, logic has no place in his world. I start thinking about the man at our church whose brother committed a murder-suicide, killing his wife and children and then himself. Suddenly I understand how this shit happens. Suddenly I understand that of course mothers who drown their children are insane. Normal people don’t do that. I’m not only worried about my life, but what will happen to my son sleeping in the bedroom that shares a wall with the bathroom.