This I Believe

Maryam - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I tell people that I can change the past. Time out. Everybody knows that is impossible, right? Wrong.

I believe in alteration of the mind. To clarify, I don’t mean being doped up, on the verge of a coma, drug induced modifications (let’s be real here, I’m no flower child), but instead I believe in the adjustment of the mind to benefit the self.

I suppose it all started a few years back when I spent countless days in a sterile, somewhat foul smelling hospice watching my grandmother’s strong, beautiful body fade away not five feet from where I sat. She would lie listlessly in bed, glassy eyes fixed on the ashen tile ceiling, never uttering a word. For weeks, the scene never changed until finally she was gone.

My uncle wore black for forty days. I did not.

Why? Because I decided that my grandmother is not deceased. Rather, she is conveniently hiding in my head. Most people have what they imagine to be their conscience on their shoulder; for me, this is my grandmother. Envision the common picture you see of a person with an angel and a devil sitting on her shoulder and replace the angel with my grandmother. Every day she sits on my shoulder, chatting away about the monkey business that consumes my daily life. We have conversations like those that we used to, hopelessly gossiping about some girl who told this guy that a family member was doing this thing with that person.

I am confident that I seem crazy now, so let me explain myself. From previous experience, I know that I do not handle change very gracefully. Had I not told myself that my grandmother had not died, but in actuality is living in my head, I almost certainly would have fallen into a depression and filled the lives of my friends and family with superfluous teenage angst and anger. I can envision myself now, a rebellious, lugubrious teenager pumped full of anti-depressants strutting around town with my “you can’t touch me” attitude. Aware of this, I immediately disregarded my mother’s tearful announcement of my grandmother’s death as a gag and created an alternate scenario for myself.

By not accepting my grandmother’s death, in essence I have changed the past. I have taken a chunk of time, reworked it like a soft piece of clay, and made it fit my mold of a perfect world. I have altered my mind so much that my perception of reality has become distorted to the point that I truly believe that my grandmother is still living. My grandmother will not die until I do.

I am positive that many people (primarily the psychiatrist type) will spout mumbo jumbo about my peculiar way of thinking being harmful for me in the long run. I completely disagree. It is my savior.