You know I wasn’t going write one of these things for awhile. But two things have sent me back to this memoir. One a good, no possibly GREAT thing has happened. And second has really PISSED me off. So let’s start with the good, no possibly great thing that has happened.
I pitched mine and Missy’s many drafted screenplay, currently in competition at Nashville and Indie Gathering, You’re the Reason, to Gina Deeming, an Executive Producer on the independent film, Mark of the Veil, now touring film festivals she told me to give it to their director.
Of course that just means it’s going to be read and may be going nowhere fast. But let me explain something. That screenplay is extremely special to Missy and me. I won’t downplay that fact. I mean it was the first screenplay to get any heat at all. First from Zide/Perry, then from Lee Daniels, both ultimately passing on it.
The versions it has been through. A close but not quite there deal with Lee Hardin (a local indie), and bungled attempt at working with a producer who didn’t want to work with a couple of divas (arrogant youth, I’ll cop to it). But here, it seems the universe has offered us another opportunity.
I thought Grant Wilson was the real deal, (and believe me when I saw that he is all that and a bag of chips professionally and genuine to boot), but Gina Deeming seems to have seen fit to sprinkle her fairy dust on me and Missy and perhaps give us a chance to see that script that we first penned in January of 1999 on the screen at least in Film Festivals and possibly distributed in some fashion or another.
But until that grain of a possibility blossoms to its full potential I turn to what has me TOTALLY ticked off.
I don’t know what it is that makes assholes come out of the woodwork when they see a vulnerable young adult struggling to come to terms with a mental illness that is plaguing them in a public way but I WORDS for that person who decided to strike out against my cousin who is rocking the writing world with her Ravings of a Coffee Crazed Writer blog and her heartfelt addition to the By the Seat of Your Pants blog.
She was attacked for DARING to share the fact she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What she has done and accomplished in the wake of the newness of the illness is nothing short of brave, courageous and spectacular.
And some nameless JACK ASS has dared to call her out and say ‘quit wearing your mental health like a fashion statement’ to which I say fuck off and go fuck yourself. The way Rebekah is rocking the bipolar diagnosis is nothing short of stellar. Open and vulnerable and direct she is facing misunderstanding in places no human should have to and to have you, nameless stranger attack her for her seeking out a way to cope and conquer this illness without any shame or fear of retribution? You’re the one waving your arrogant ignorance and a modicum of ability to string a put down together, you are the picture people see in Webster’s when they look up the word coward.
Whereas when they look up the picture of my cousin, Rebekah McAuliffe, college student, aspiring author, liberal idealist not afraid to speak her mind in family full of loving if not conservative idealists not afraid to let their daughter be who she is.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong struggle. Even those of us who have come from a dark place to a triumphant one have support, medicine, and the encouragement and acknowledgment of the disease and truly how hard it is in the beginning and how it can come back and bite you in the ass later in life if you mistakenly believe it just ‘goes away’.
So Rebekah, rock your author’s aspirations. Rock seeking treatment from your counselor and NAMI. Rock your education. And most importantly when cowards like these attack you? Don’t take the bait. Because right behind you here I am, and that pencil necked jerk, whether they be male or female is gonna know they bit off way more than they can possibly chew.
Daniel, if you’re reading this I hope you know how much your work inspires me in times such as these, when I can’t possibly do enough to protect my cousin from the ugliness of cowards such as the one who chose to attack her.