Jennifer Brozek | The Question #HoldOnToTheLight

The Question #HoldOnToTheLight

by Jennifer Brozek 12. September 2016 07:30

(This is a fictional blog post, written from Melissa Allen’s POV, protagonist of Never Let Me Sleep, Never Let Me Leave, Never Let Me Die, and the Never Let Me Omnibus.)

Adam finally asked The Question.

“What does it feel like to be, you know, like you?”
“Crazy, you mean?”
“That’s not how I’d put it. I mean, I know what it feels like to be afraid of the sky, of falling off the world because there’s no ceiling, but that’s not something you can be medicated for. Not really.”
“How does it feel to see things that aren’t there, hear things that aren’t said, feel things to a point where it’s all too much, or feel nothing at all?”
“Yeah.”
“Overall, it sucks. But, then you deal. You, of all people, should understand what it’s like to just deal with something you have no control over.”


It was a copout. I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to go into the anger or frustration or the helplessness. I didn’t want to spiral into…into what I’m spiraling into now. How does it feel to know your brain chemistry will never be considered normal? That it actively tries to sabotage you? That even when you get the pills right, eventually your brain will change and make the pills wrong again?

It sucks. It sucks so bad I don’t think about it. Unless I’m forced to.

Doc and I are going to have a lot to talk about in this week’s therapy session.

But, like I said, you deal. As broken and uncooperative as my brain is, it still has the capacity to deal with its shitty hand. I know I can’t explain it to anyone who hasn’t felt this. It’s too alien. I can’t even try. Not in this “let me fix you/it” world.

Some things can’t be “fixed.” Only understood, categorized, combated, accepted, or mitigated.

I live by the clock, but I survive by the pills.

It helps that my family understands. We all have our own problems. Adam is agoraphobic because of where he grew up. Carrie has the prejudices of her deformity. We all know what’s really out there, trying to get it. We all have the nightmares of our time in the lab. Hell, all of us have been shot. Not many adoptive siblings have that experience to bond them. So we understand when any of us flinches at a car backfire.

But, we still have walls. It’s why Adam asked The Question. It’s why I’m thinking about it now. It’s why I’m sure he’s agonizing over his stupidity at asking. It’s why Carrie will come see me later tonight to see how I’m doing. There’s understanding. Then there’s understanding.

Yeah. It sucks, but you deal until you can’t deal anymore. At that point, either you break or you get help. Sometimes both. Sometimes the help can mend the break. Make you a little bit better.

Right now, I’m dealing with it as best I can. It’s all I can do.

#holdontothelight - Support for PTSD and mental health issues

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Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions, and was the managing editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and assistant editor for Apex Book Company.

Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

"I see story ideas. All the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories."