Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Shadow Man

Bit of jumping on the bandwagon going on here I’m afraid. Have just come across a great theme this week being developed by two very interesting bloggers I discovered this week, Cardinal Guzman and Richard Guest, who are marrying their own images with the titles of David Bowie songs.

Now whilst I can’t begin to compete with Cardinal & Richard’s photographic talents, I do have a fondness for Dame David verging on the obsessive, and couldn’t resist putting my oar in with this iPhone image I caught the other day (and yes, it was on the same day I got the profile picture I’m using at the moment).

Anyway, here are the lyrics from David Bowie’s Shadow Man – an outtake from 1971 released on the Shadow Man bootleg CD. Maybe I’m biased, but I think there’s something about the lyrics and the image that fit quite well.

(Oh yes, and at least the image has got something to do with walking!)

There’s a man back a-ways
Who believes at where he is
And there’s a girl
Up ahead who says she knows
And the street overflows
With the folk who understand
But for the guy who can’t be seen
He’s the Shadow Man
And the Shadow Man is close at hand
Take a turn and see his smile
Made of nothing but loneliness
Just take a walk and be a friend
To the Shadow Man
You can call him Joe,
you can call him Sam
You should call and see who answers
For he promises to come running,
guided by the truth
But the Shadow Man is really you
Look in his eyes
and see your reflection
Look to the stars and see his eyes
He’ll show you tomorrow,
he’ll show you the sorrows
Of what you did today
You can call him foe,
you can call him friend
You should call and see who answers
For he knows your eyes
are drawn to the road ahead

And the Shadow Man
is waiting round the bend
Oh, the Shadow Man
Ohooooo oooo
Shadow man, shadow man
It’s really you, it’s really you, it’s really you
He’s the shadow man
Oh yeah
Shadow man

Shadow Man
Is waiting up ahead
Shadow Man
Waiting up ahead
Is waiting up ahead

Filed under: Camino Countdown Tagged: David Bowie, Photograph, Photography, Walking

Bipolar, Rape Survivor, PTSD. In that order.

In a previous post I wrote about my dread of April 22nd, the anniversary of the first time  was raped.

I know that I was a bipolar child.  A bipolar depression set the stage for that first rape.  I was heart-breakingly vulnerable.  The combination of my own depression and vulnerability with intense familial emotional abuse set me up as a prime target for predators. 

No one in my family noticed that I was depressed, just as they hadn’t noticed that I had anorexia.  I guess they just thought I “looked good,” which is the family code word for “thin.”  Yes, even at 5’1″, 78 lbs is thin.  “Lookin’ good.”

Even if they had noticed my depression, they would only have given me the usual treatment for any kind of aberration: derision and mockery.  They didn’t believe in psychiatry, not for us, even though my mother worked in a psychiatric hospital.  Even if they had taken me to see a doctor I wouldn’t have dared to say anything for fear that my parents would find out and give me hell.

So I came by my PTSD by way of the abuse at home, the initial rape, then running away from home and living pm the streets,  more rapes, more PTSD, untreated bipolar… But I didn’t die.  I fought my way back.  I haven’t won the war yet, but I’ve won a lot of battles, and with G-d’s help I hope to win more and more.

By the way: if you happen to know my family, I thank you to watch my back.   Don’t go to them and say, oh guess what I just read….

Writing that last paragraph just jogged my consciousness to notice how difficult it is for me to let go and trust. When we write a blog post, it’s like an offering to the world, a butterfly that flutters up from the palm of your hand into the breeze. There’s no telling who willreceive it, or what their reaction will be. It takes a certain measure of chutzpah to publish these extremely personal reflections publicly, as all of us in this particular mental health blogging community do.

Nevertheless, even as I sit here in this coffer shop I’m aware of every door. I’m sitting where I can see all of them at once. I didn’t do that consciously. It’s burned into my neurology. At the same time I’m watching the man who just came in and sat down at the table to my right with my peripheral vision. He is directly between me and a rear exit. My breathing is constricted. After I finish this post I will move so that he is no longer in my field of vision. He is paying the table in time to the bubble gum music overhead. He chews whatever he is eating loudly. Space invader.

Time for me to move my act somewhere more safe.

Copyright 2012 Laura P. Schulman all rights reserved


i’m so deep in my head that my sensory experience of the external environment is dulled and muted.  i have things to write about, but no drive to follow through.  in fact, i don’t have drive to follow through with just about anything.  it’s like being depressed without the heavy feeling.  apathy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

it feels like my internal motivation is gone.  which is weird for someone whose fascination with all things used to propel her through life.

i am decidedly an introvert.  i have little desire to socialize with others, and the range of people with whom i am interested in interacting is much more narrow.

i can’t even tell if this is a reaction to the news i received last week, or if it can be attributed to the lithium, or if i really have morphed into someone quite different from who i used to be.

it’s extremely unsettling when i can’t even predict myself.

Brain Goo

This is what my head would look like if you cracked it open…. Goo would just ooze out of it.  Maybe that was what the Blob was? someones brain ooze?

Things are not working like I want them to. Have lots on my mind and lots of things that need to get done. And we are having a heatwave…. Yuck.

Someone wake me up when fall begins. Hopefully everything will just pass over me by then, no one will need me, and I can just pretend like nothing ever happened and go on about my merry way….

Yeah, things are pretty mudane and blank here. My head continues to be sort of dopey, and the air is thick enough to cut with a knife (which will always mind me of a Raggedy Ann story about sandwiches being derived in that manner). It’s just… a day. There’s work that will get done, there’s gaming that will get done, and eventually I’ll go to sleep. There’s sad lurking and I’m sure I’m slowly sinking deeper, but it hasn’t gotten to me yet. Could the watering of my eyes have been pollen or sadness this morning? I really don’t know. There’s nothing I can do really either besides continuing to hunker down and hope the worst of that storm is weathered when it makes itself truly known. Well, and take my hay fever medicine, but that one was a given.

Still, it’s not a complete wash; there are still little blessings to be counted. I am still enjoying the things I enjoy. I am looking forward to the forecasted thunderstorms that are supposed to show up today; they’re always like a taste of back home. Most of that nasty cold has cleared off, and my body moves freely. My focus might not be ideal, but at least it’s not irritating me that it’s so poor. So that’s something, and it’ll have to do to help me limp by. :)


Riding the Crazy Meds Train

Reblogged from A Canvas Of The Minds: I started mood stabilizers in November 2011, and after about 2 months of …

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Just a little warning for you all…. my life is about to take a turn. Medication may be in my near future. My daughter called me tonight and asked if she could move back in. I am hoping for the best. This is a test, of the emergency mood swing queen that is me….

I love my daughter with every fiber of my being. And I hope we can make this work. I am hoping for smooth sailing ahead…