Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I have a confession to make. Last fall while writing Gemini’s War I bought the song Skyfall by Adele on Amazon. And over a four to six week time period I listened to it on a loop (fantastic song) while I wrote Gemini’s War. With ninety pages to go I saw Skyfall. Within a week the book was finished.

I adore that book. I adore the song. I adore the movie. For the second book in the series I’ve been listening to the Skyfall score. That is fabulous as well. Gemini’s Legacy is so close to being done. Seventy-seven pages to be exact. I’m going to work on it first today. I’ve been kind of scattered as of late.

I meditated last night and this morning. I take issue with the words God and people shoving the ‘religion’ on me, no matter how well intentioned they are.

My dad(John) once called me his little iconoclast. Here’s what I do believe, the Universe is a large place and everyone has their place in it. I don’t believe things happen for a reason. Or that God wills for people to be traumatized. I think that particular notion is bullshit. If you believe it that’s fine, there are a great many people who subscribe to it.

I do believe man has free will and such when a man, or a woman chooses to break the law they should answer for their crimes. Do I believe that people with mental illness deserve a free pass because sometimes they break from reality? No. But let me tell you why.

I have a mental illness and ultimately I believe you’re responsible for your own actions. Because when I see these mass killers (the movie theater shootings) and Newtown do what they do I have to look to the people around them.

Surely they must’ve seen the warning signs. Those with serious mental health issues always have warning signs. Just because one thinks you should just suck it up and be a man or woman and ‘deal’ with it doesn’t mean the Universe is letting you off the hook. The Newtown shooter’s mother took him to the shooting range and talked about the end of days. I have an outlet for my emotions. My writing. The movies were my refuge. I watched television. Now it seems sometimes when these things happen the news starts through the world mental illness around and painting everyone with the same stigmatizing brush.

They use terminology and get so called experts that target one thing or another. First it’s movies. Then it’s television. Now it’s video games. Here’s the thing, back in the day it was Tipper Gore’s insane crusade against rock music. Teenagers find outlets. These things aren’t the problem. They are not the reason why people kill. These people are sick.

They need medication and therapy. But even then the way people are treated, and the way treatment is viewed, people often think their trash, that they’re disposable. And yes, often people break from reality and these tragedies occur.

But the legal definition of insanity is such, to know the difference from right and wrong.

I knew the difference between right from wrong.

I sometimes didn’t know if I would live or die.

I read controversial books.

I questioned authority.

I wrote dark stories. I still do.

And I live with a bipolar disorder diagnosis in a hostile environment. But that doesn’t give me the right to go and inflict my state of misery on someone else. It doesn’t give me a pass to destroy someone else’s life.

However, there are very real situations where self-defense pushes you to do the impossible, the unthinkable. Domestic violence is often the end result of broken people perpetuating a cycle of brokenness upon themselves. It doesn’t give the abuser a free pass.

When my mom and stepdad tell me I didn’t have it hard, or that my biological father had a bad childhood only half that sentiment is true. Jerry had it very rough growing up. There was, no warmth in his life. As a result he is a pain filled with anguish and pain and is dying a lonely old man filled with bitterness. But that doesn’t give him a pass for what he did to me.

In my parents defense they don’t know what Jerry did to me. But then, they’re broken too. The one they weren’t, was cold. There was love in their home, and to some degree I’m sure I clung to that.
I’m not perfect. Not by a mile. But I take responsibility for the adult I’ve become. I am not failure. In fact I consider myself a success, with both professional friends and close friends whom I hold very close to my heart.

When handling myself in my career I try to follow my heroes examples. Like George Clooney there are ‘girls’ as opposed to the boys. In that circle is my best friend, Missy Goodman, and my friend Pamela Turner. Each authors, award winning screenwriters and authors in their own right. They have been there from the beginning and as far as celebrating it is they I want to always tell first when something good happens. I know they are genuine, good people who have my back.

The next level are professional friends, Bertena Varney and Elise VanCise (she and I bonded over our mutual love for the Highlander television series and Russell Crowe movies).

Then there are those who have helped mentor me, Lea Schizas, Ellen Eldridge, and Delilah Stephans. And there are many others I am failing to mention but they should know the good turns they have done me have not been forgotten.

Like you I choose to concern myself with my own career and not worry about who’s doing better or who’s doing worse. Because there is always that dynamic. My career is successful because I’ve worked hard and I’ve capitalized on certain opportunites.

I am a survivor of childhood sex abuse. I live with a mental illness. I chose right over might. I read banned books. I see violent movies. And I know there is a stigma talking about all of this. But I’m sick and tired of people blaming outside elements on what is essentially lack of treatment for a serious illness.


Amy McCorkle

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