When I was a new, young wife
My husband attended university for four hyper years.
I was teaching in an inner-city school Monday to Friday
And earning a little extra money as a Church Soloist –
Weekends and holidays.
After three years of hard grind I became very sick.
And my doctor could not find the cause other than overwork
Which didn't quite tick all the boxes.
She was really concerned.
And then, one day, tearfully, I casually said,
'My husband is writing exams this week.'
She almost leapt over her desk.
'Your husband is IN COLLEGE! UNIVERSITY!'
She smacked her head. 'OH MY GOD! KISSING DISEASE!
Mononucleosis never crossed my mind.'
She looked shattered.
Well, with the right tests, I did have glandular fever.
And I was so ill.
But the real reason for this 'monologue'
Is to chronicle a very weird experience -
An attempted 'mind/body invasion'
By another personality – another 'CYNTHIA'!
It happened just as I tell you, without decoration.
My imagination couldn't fabricate it
Because I have no basis whatsoever to build on.
Whoever 'SHE' was, I didn't want 'HER'.
I didn't like 'HER', and 'SHE' knew it:
Clever, but mean, 'SHE' was.
But, ironically, the last straw was: 'SHE' hated ice cream!
Me – the original Me - I loved ice cream.
Now – who doesn't like ice cream!
This 'new personality' was not welcome!
There was not 'room' for two of us in my SELF!
And I waded in - fists flying so to speak - a real fight!
'SHE' appeared only when I was totally alone
Which I thought was very sneaky.
I never spoke of this 'situation' with anyone
Not even the doctor.
I thought it was MY PROBLEM. I had to DEAL with it.
So I stayed silent.
And I kept a strong heel on 'HER' neck.
I can be mean too.
But, one evening, 'SHE' slyly slipped the grip.
My husband had brought home ice cream
As a treat, and I was delighted.
Spoon in hand, ready to dive in
Stepped right into my physical body
Slammed the bowl violently across the table
And snarled, 'I HATE ICE CREAM!'
My husband almost fainted.
He knew nothing of this situation.
I saw RED!
'THAT IS ENOUGH! HOW DARE YOU!
YOU ARE FINISHED!'
I was furious!
My husband was upset – scared even -understandably.
So, of course, I confessed my problem.
'It's like a bad dream - wide awake.
I should have told you sooner.
But I didn't want you to worry.
You have so much to deal with at college.'
He didn't leap away from me as he might have.
But the intruder in my mind – 'SHE' did.
'SHE' bolted and never came back.
While it's not possible to bury the bizarre
And recover innocence
It becomes possible to think of it without fear.