Struggling with Angst

Ulysses - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on May 6, 2008

Sitting in my seat in language arts class, random images filled my mind. I tried to clean them out, imagining light bubbly clouds to sweep them away. Springing forth, a brilliant light broke through the clouds and, then my friend’s head snapped up. He said, “Uly, I had another flash!”

“What did you see?”

“I saw some clouds floating and this sun.”

“That’s what I was imagining in my head,” I said and without any doubts, we both concluded he was psychic.

At the start of eighth grade, we expected new challenges, new friends – like any other school year. I was set on earning straight A’s all semester. This semester did not start too well for my psychic friend however. His father died in the hospital. I felt at fault for forgetting to pray for his good health, but later I knew prayer alone could not save him.

One day, my psychic friend approached me and told me I lied. “About what?” I asked. He told me it was about being quiet. I knew I was talkative during that year, but I did not know why it offended him. He told me a creature was going to kill me. Sitting there across from him, my heart raced and I stiffened up. I begged him to help me and he wiggled his fingers. After summoning their audience, they asked me, “Where is it!?” I cried in confusion, wondering what they were talking about. “Nevermind…” my psychic friend said, and they left as the bell sounded off, ending the period. I rode in my father’s car ashamed, for lying and not having whatever I was supposed to have.

Through high school, I felt terrible about myself. I tried suffocating myself in a cocoon of blankets and stabbing myself with a knife. I even tried running away from home, but I always ended up at my uncle’s house. Seeing a psychiatrist, a counselor, and a social worker, I struggled with my self-defeating thoughts and the bent words I heard in the hallways: “Uly’s retarded! Nobody wants you! Nobody likes you! Ew, it’s Uly! Faggot! Whore! Liar! Freak! Kill him! Kill the dragon!” The last one… is related to a flash my psychic friend had. I heard him say one day in class, “Uly’s the dragon!” It… terrified me a lot… I was scared I might end up hurting my friends. Trying to isolate myself, I ended up seeking their support. I eventually dropped my fear of my psychic friend in senior year.

I experience some angst and paranoia today, but I am on medication for it. I believe now that I am in charge of myself and my own future. It is difficult to do this with all the influences around us. There are also self-fulfilling prophecies as well. Encountering these everyday, people decide which ones to accept and disregard. Now as an adult, I will propel myself.