Letter from the Inside

Hey, Big Brother,

It has been awhile since I’ve written I know. I’ve been busy I guess. You’ll be happy to hear I’m making great progress here though. My therapist (we call him Dr. Q, isn’t that cool?) said I was doing good. But I’ve been thinking about you, you and mom. How is she, by the way?

Remember when we were little and we used to pretend to be a superhero team? That’s a blast from the past, isn’t it? Bet you haven’t thought of that in a while. I don’t know what made me think of it. You were a good brother even back then. Your super power was to fly, wasn’t it? My power was being invisible. Invisible! Wouldn’t that be something? To really be invisible and not just pretending? Then I could walk right out of here. (Yes, I know. I need to be here. ON THE INSIDE. SAFE FROM THE OUTSIDE. For my mental health. But you can’t blame a person for wanting, right?) What I most remember is you would go along with it and pretend you really couldn’t see me. You were so convincing that you nearly fooled me and I thought maybe I had become invisible!

Anyway, above my bed I have the birthday card you sent me last year. I don’t know if you remember it but it has a cat on it. Cute. Kinda like the cat I always wanted. I also have pictures of you and I together…at a family picnic I think. Mom sent them to me before she stopped writing. But I don’t want to talk about her. Not yet at least. Dr. Q says I have other things to work through so I don’t have to think about her yet. The pictures, though, they help me to have good days. It’s funny really, but I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they’re real. That you and I are close. And happy. That we see each other on a regular basis. Go out for drinks, meet up for happy hour after a long day at work. Maybe see a movie together. The smiles in these pictures make me think of birthday dinners. I’d make you a cake. And you’d unwrap your gifts. One would probably be a book because you read so much. (Do you still read a lot?) The other gift would be something silly, like a kazoo or magic 8 ball. Something that’d make you laugh like you are laughing in this picture on my wall.

I don’t remember being at a picnic with you, though, so I can’t figure out when the pictures were actually taken. The background is grass and sky. In one of the pictures – I’ll describe it and maybe you’ll remember – We’re both sitting in lawn chairs, although they aren’t exactly right next to each other. You are laughing at the camera. Is it mom who is taking the picture? I am holding a plastic cup and I imagine it has lemonade in it. The weather is warm after all because we are both wearing short sleeves. I am not smiling. I’m looking down at my drink. My free hand is clenched in a fist. (Maybe you were right about my ANGER ISSUES.) I’ve actually just noticed that at this moment. The other picture has you and mom and me in it. You and she are facing each other and I’m kind of in the background watching you. I’m off to the side and half of my body got cut off in the picture. We are wearing different clothes than the first picture so it must’ve been taken on a different day. How do you like that? Didn’t know your sister was such a detective, did you?

Dr. Q says I’ve got to stop living in a fantasy world. I’ve got to start accepting things like they are. I showed him your last letter, the one where you said you wouldn’t be writing me anymore, that you couldn’t deal with my kind of crazy, that you had your own life to focus on. He said that was smart of you, that you should focus on your own life and that I should just focus on getting better and not worry so much about what you or anyone else is doing or not doing. I’m not going to lie; it was hard reading that letter. You don’t know how it feels to get mail when you’re in here. There are so few tangible links to the outside world. That’s what your letters were for me. But it’s not all bad. Especially now that my meds seem to be right. That’s kind of why I’m writing, if you want me to be honest. When I sent you the letters that caused you to stop writing me, which by the way I heard you sent copies to my doctors and I was pretty mad at you for that, so mad I did some things in here in reaction and had to be locked down, WHICH WAS WRONG, but I’ve forgiven you because I know you were only trying to look out for me. Anyway, my meds weren’t set right back then. It’s not an exact science, you know. There’s TINKERING involved. But it’s all good now. Even Dr. Q said so. So maybe you could write me again? You could even send me another birthday card even though it’ll be late I won’t mind. I can hang it up on my wall next to the other one. And then in a few months maybe you’d like to visit. Dr. Q says people don’t leave here without having a support system in place. I guess that’s smart, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem fair because how can I make people be my support system?

Well, it’s time for my group to meet with Dr. Q so I’ve got to sign off here and see if I can find a nurse to mail it for me.


This post was in response to the recent Scriptic challenge. Cheney gave me this prompt: I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they’re real. I started several posts using this prompt, but when I got into it, the prompt never fit. It seemed simple enough, but it turned out to be deceptive! At least for me.

I gave Talia this prompt: I thought you’d want to eat alone.


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