What does it mean to be sane? According to Google’s dictionary it refers to a) a person who is “of sound mind; not mad or mentally ill,” or b) an undertaking or manner which is “reasonable; sensible.” That’s all fine and good, but who gets to judge?
The obvious answer is a doctor. But before that can happen, someone has to take, encourage, or direct said insane person to the doctor in the first place. Because chances are that the truly insane person doesn’t know he or she is insane at all. Not, of course, to put down anyone with mental illness. But for example, I had to be the one to decide to take my Autistic son to the doctor to get checked out. I was the judge in that case.
I often wonder about my own sanity. Considering some of the things that come out of me in my fiction, I think anyone in their right mind would. The thing is, I have no idea where my darker, twisted imagination stems from. I had no significant trauma (that I can remember) in my childhood. I was loved by my parents until my father passed away at the tender age of 49, when I was fourteen. So where’s the psychology in it? Okay yes, I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was fourteen, but can he have influenced me that greatly? No, in fact I don’t think he did.
I’ve had the imagination of a writer since I was very young. I’m talking four or five years old. I remember coming up with stories that, not having the skill to spell, revolved over and over in my head. Some of them even then involved a certain level of torture and sex. So how? Could I have been remembering another life? You may be thinking what I poor child I must have been to have such imaginings, but I grew up with a healthy sense of right and wrong, with empathy, without anxiety or nervousness, and with an understanding of humankind that has prevented me from hating a single soul on the planet. It’s an understanding that has enabled me to write relatable characters. It’s an understanding of everyone else but me.
But then, does anyone really understand themselves? Or does everyone but me?
This questionably “Sane” prompt is brought to you by John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites. Please click on the link to visit his blog, and follow him if you aren’t already!
To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 10th post here!