Waiting For The Mad

I am waiting for the mad. I keep waiting for it. I feel like I am standing on the platform at the station. I can hear it coming, the rattling, the clanging, the tremors; I can see the lights, smell the exhaust, I feel the heat. But that infernal train is running late, off schedule perhaps, or, I fear, never coming at all.
Other trains race by without stopping, speeding to other destinations. I watch, look for familiar faces in the windows, but it is all a blur; I don’t recognize anyone and they are not facing me anyway, so it would be impossible to tell if there is even a spark of recognition in their eyes, if any of them have attempted a wave. There is no way to know, as I cannot make any of it out, and I am tired of trying.
I feel the strain of standing here alone, my legs ache, my back and neck sore from the reaching, not sure if I am leaning towards the past or the future, as I spend most of my time trying to escape the darkness, the blackness, the griminess of my surroundings. I hate this platform, this place where I wait, trying to leave, caught in between stops, where I was, where I am, where I want to go…just get me the hell out of here. 
I am waiting for the mad. I want the mad to come. I have been anticipating it for quite some time. I am ready for it. Preparations have been made to accommodate it all, but so far it is a no-show.
I need for it to come. I need to feel its presence, in fact, I am quite eager to embrace it. I want to feel it. I want to dance with that rage. I want to break things, tear stuff to pieces with my bare hands. I want to chew stuff and spit it out with a fury. I want to scream until my lungs hurt and I go hoarse with the effort. I want to run, actually run until I cannot take another step, and then I want to collapse with exhaustion so that strangers gather to ask, “Is she okay? Is she conscious? What can we do to help her? She clearly needs help. Something is very, very wrong.”
I am waiting for the mad. I want it to descend from above, like a noxious gas that I cannot escape, that I breathe in with huge gulps until I feel my chest getting tight and I form my hands into fists, ready to lash out at the first thing that comes within striking distance. I am stronger than I look, I could do some damage I bet, with a fist like that and near perfect eye-hand coordination. I want to swing with all I’ve got until I make contact with something that will not give way to the effort. I want break my hand, wear a bandage and a sling, do permanent damage so that I will remember this feeling—this feeling of release of all the anger, so that I have a starting point from which to measure how I have healed, how I have overcome my most base instinct, fury at what I cannot change.
I am waiting for the mad, but it will not come, it is not here, it is not in me, I cannot find it, no matter how deeply I reach, no matter where I look for it. It is nowhere to be found.
So I have to settle for madness, the kind brought on by a sad that just won’t quit.
Quintesse Quintesse
51-55, F
37 Responses Aug 4, 2012

If you knew how badly I wanted to feel that rage. I still do. I guess I sort of think that it will heal me somehow if I can just get it all out. But the thing is, I don't have rage. I just have sadness. I had a nervous breakdown too. I know. I crawled my way back to life, but I don't think I will ever be the same.

That's how I feel. Something in you changes after a nervous breakdown. I think something in my personality and soul- though, I can't put my finger on it- is much different.
Maybe if the rage had come we wouldn't have had nervous breakdowns.

I don't know how to feel the mad or the unleashed rage.
I've had moments-months- that I have waited, anticipated the mad. That's worse than the mad itself. I had a mental breakdown (seriously and yes it's as bad as you can imagine) during one of those waiting times.
It's been awhile since you've written this.. so tell me.. did it ever come?


Faery--First of all, thank you so much for reading...You're right, and these days Onica is my idol. She is doing all of the things that I need to do. Although expressing anger physically is really hard for me. I am better at writing...That is my release. And I have been told over and over that I am too rational for my own good.
The definition of depression: Trying to see an irrational world from a rational perspective. I'm doomed.
I sincerely thank you for your perspective and for your advice.

Thanks. I need to accept though, that that train is never coming. It would have come long before now if it was coming at all. I'm not waiting anymore.

No. No mad. Just oppressive, depressive, suicidal sadness. Frankly, mad would be easier. I just don't have it in me. Not sure why. Thanks for reading, and for checking up on me.

Always! Hugs :)

Any updates here! Every catch the mad?

Thanks Tas ( those maid services are SO unreliable! Geez!)<br />
I like what you said about running until the mad evaporated. That is kind of what I was looking for--that burning off of the anger I am supposed to be feeling but cannot summon. So it manifests itself as a low level depression/sadness that will not budge no matter what I do. I do know from past experience though, that this feeling will not last forever. It just feels like it will. <br />
Thank you for understanding.

I thought it was waiting for the maid .. I long for a maid to tidy, hoover, iron; etc, etc .. I really HATE housework!<br />
<br />
But now I see it's waiting for the MAD .. hmmm ..that is something very subjective <br />
<br />
For me the very best thing when I feel like this ( not that I ever ever do of course .. but if I ever did .. ) I would run .. seriously, I would run across fields for as long and fast possible .. and the mad becomes dissapated into the wind .. or something ..<br />
<br />
And when I get home I am exhausted but very SANE ( in my opinion of course.. )

Wheezers and Queen, <br />
Thank you both for commenting. I rather feel that I would be well suited to the podium, speaking to a group of offbeat characters, as you suggest. I have spoken in front of 2oo people, and I was not intimidated; they were not high though, neither was I. I do Iike your suggestion though. I believe I could pull it off, and that we'd all have a good time.<br />
Thank you queen, for encouraging me to keep it up. I will, as it helps me to "stay strong" and I do believe I am getting a little better each day. Thanks for that as well. <br />
<br />
A good friend once told me that I have an insatiable need to be understood. Perhaps that is true of all writers. In any case, thanks for reading and for understanding me. Both of you have made me smile today. And you have NO idea how much I genuinely appreciate that.

that was awesome the way you express yourself through your words.keep speaking from the heart and it will get better each day.ps stay strong

Joyce, <br />
This was draining for me because I want so badly to be able to do what so many others seem capable of--blowing off steam and then feeling better, or, taking some part in some sort of act that cleanses the spirit and exorcises demons, or...but I just don't have it in me, and on this day I found that very exasperating. <br />
I have been through some horrific emotional experiences in my adult life and I have never been able to deal with them in this way, but it seems to make sense to me, that it would work. <br />
But at the end of the day I go to sleep with myself and I don't have this in me--I just do one day at a time, my way. I cry and pray. One of these days I will wake up happy again. That is my dream.<br />
Thanks for relating to what I was saying. Here's hoping that you have more happy days and less "mad" too, my new friend. Thank you so much for stumbling across me and my stories and for making my day. I really appreciate it.

Takenheart, first off thank you, as always. You're right, there are a lot of really caring people here and I have a huge majority of them in my circle. They are there for me when I write this awful wrenching stuff and they never make me feel like a whiny baby, in this case having tantrum fantasies. They are consistently supportive and sincere. I am really lucky and I know it. Thanks for being one of those people.

Saying "I am in touch with that emotion" doesn't cover it. You pinpointed how I feel on so many days. This is a wonderful piece. Thank you so much!

I can't add much more to what the others have said - no, not even an appropriate, pithy quote. In such case, I will just say "HUGS".

No quote? But I love the way you express the sentiment perfectly and you inject a little of yourself by choosing just the right one for the occasion; I consider it an art form. But I will take the hugs, with thanks and admiration.

Avatar, I think you're right, I have been experiencing what can only be described as a slow burn of sorts. I thought I needed a defining moment, as I said, but instead perhaps I have been letting off steam little by little without realizing it, and one day I will wake up not so tightly wound...<br />
Let's hope. <br />
But I have to tell you, I am worlds away today, tonight, from where I was when I wrote this, whenever that was--the comments and the advice have really helped me put it all in perspective just when I was sure I was losing my mind. I almost posted this there, in "I Am Losing It" Now I don't have to join that group. Whew! <br />
Thank you for your insight. It DID feel like poison!

So glad to hear you are feeling a little better, you have many friends all cheering you on.

I do, and it means everything to me. Thank you for being one of them.

TouchofSpring and Ricky I know you guys understand this because you are both such sensitive and compassionate people. Plus, as women I'm guessing you feel my pain the way only other women can. <br />
But the "mad" is pretty universal I guess. You want to sort of burn off the la<x>yer of grief that has built up and I guess we are all looking for the defining moment when there is this catharsis and then you feel as if you can move beyond the point at which you have been stuck...I don't know. That is what I thought I needed when I wrote this.<br />
Maybe sometimes it happens that way, but it is unlikely to happen for me in such dramatic fashion. Mostly I retreat, assume the position and cry myself into a coma. But the thing is one of these days I won't cry at all, and then before I know it, it will be a couple of days in a row and then I will know that I am going to be okay. <br />
But, I have to tell you, I do not know what I would do without this place. You guys are amazing. This is all helping me so much. Thank you both for being my friends.

This sounds so familiar. Surely Sylphy is right, you are already there in the mad, the craziness of unresolved grief can feel exactly like that. There will be moments, or minutes of anger too, that will need expressing in whatever way you find satisfying. Let it out Quintesse, its like a boil that needs lancing, unable to heal until the poison has been drained. You will come back strongr than ever for surviving this.

Quintesse, I've just read this post and I'm certain I will not add anything new or wiser to what has already been written below, but I'll just say I think Sylphy is right. It seems like you're in the middle of the mad already. The mad is so often unrecognizable by those touched by it. Does it sound familiar? And that's a good thing, because it can't get any worse. So breathe, Quintesse. You will bounce off that dark place. I know you will find the strength, I have seen it in your stories SO often.

Reading this I want to reach out to you and take you in my arms. I'm in a deep sadness myself and not even able to be angry. I'm sort of paralyzed, only functioning.

I am sorry Ricky. I have been "functioning" for too long, trying to get back to myself. It will come, for both of us, in time. Prayers for you my friend.

Sylphy--holy **** that is good! THIS is the mad. This is the MAD. I read that and my head nearly exploded. <br />
Let this be it, the hot streaming tears, that gut wrenching sobs, that physical pain that I live with every day and the emotional turmoil that keeps me from eating and sleeping--Let this be it. Maybe I am purging it all right now as we speak and I no longer have to search for an outlet beyond this keyboard, beyond this day...<br />
That is brilliant. YOU are brilliant. I have been waiting for someone else's mad, someone else's idea of mad. Someone else's concept of how you should react under these circumstances...God knows people react badly when it comes to broken hearts. Perhaps I just felt that desperate times must necessarily call for desperate measures and these were the only desperate measures that I could come up with because crying in a fetal position has been so overdone.<br />
Plus I am not getting anywhere. I am not getting better, and never having ever gone through anything like this before I naturally thought that I should be over this by now. And then I started beating myself up because I am not, and I had to figure out what I have been doing wrong as if there is a wrong way to do sad, to do heartbroken. <br />
I thought I had to get mad, but I don't know how to. I know how to do forgiveness, but that is not very satisfying in the short term the way mad is. But I am thinking now that mad just creates a whole other set of problems, and probably--more sadness down the line.<br />
<br />
Can you say epiphany? Sylph I bow to you, to your genius, and to your generosity. Thank god you read my stuff and are not afraid to put me in my place--as if you had rendered the proverbial slap in the face-- you have helped me this night. <br />
This is the mad. I don't have to wait for it anymore. Thank god. People have told me "if you could just get mad it would be easier" so I thought that is what I had to do. <br />
Thank you. Thank all of you for talking me through this.

For some reason, the ep gremlins didn't notify me of your comment. And I saw your "special gift" first... thank you for both. =))) ... ... and I laughed at your first paragraph. I could almost envision you whacking your head like silly. And a whack here and there is often good. Sometimes we get to be too stubborn to remove our blinders that we need that whack for the epiphany. We get to the point that we get comfortable with the blinders because, sad to say this, but it's the easiest way to accept the circumstances... ... I am not brilliant, really. Let's just say that I was in the rabbit hole several times, and I keep coming out when I feel strong enough... only to realize that I only imagined myself going up the rabbit hole, but in reality, I have made it my comfort zone. The Mad Hatter came in the rabbit hole and whacked me with his hat, and to let me know I have not only lost my muchness before, but I am also losing myself. And it didn't stop there... it took a LoT of time for me to finally come out and face reality. The mourning is still here, but I let that be, too and not run back to the rabbit hole.. tho it's very tempting at times... but... tap that muchness that we all have, and focus on it... and in spite of the ache, blurry as our vision may be from tears, the muchness is the light above the rabbit hole.

Hiker--I can't. It is not me. I am fantasizing about destruction as a form of therapy but it is seriously unlikely that I would ever really be able to do something like that. I have been known to swing a hammer and I made good use of a pair of scissors during drunken episode a few years ago as a reaction to infidelity, but I am older and wiser now and I know that I would be filled with remorse. I will have to find a way to capture that short term thrill of "letting go" I think. Not sure that is really me. But then again, if this goes on too long I might get desperate and find myself rereading this with a different perspective...Thank you so much for always looking out for me.

Quin, sweets... the waiting... that IS the mad... don't you get it? It's happening as you speak, as you typed this. It won't come in any other form because it is already here. We tend to envelop ourselves for the readiness and preparation that we fail to see that it is exactly what the mad is doing. Let go of the outcome, let go of the control... and let it be. Only then will we know what to do next.

Mad is a thing some of us do not do well, or easily. I think you are one of them. I do however understand the feelings you're speaking of. I saw a place on TV. I can't remember the name of it but, it seems like a place you could use.<br />
<br />
What they do is have you come in. They set you up a room filled with furnishings. They give you some personal pretective equiptment and a rod or bat or some similar ob<x>ject. Then you just go nuts, and destroy everything in site. <br />
<br />
I hear it helps out a lot of people who are frustrated over certain aspects of their lives. I think it would be something well worth looking into, for you. Though I can't seem to remember where it was ba<x>sed right now or what it was called. I will research it this week and see if I can't find out if it's something doable for you if you're interested.

As always, the way you put your feelings into storied words like this simply amazes me.

Kurlysue<br />
Desperation is the right word. I am exhausted, truly exhausted. I have been fighting this pain for years, the salt continuously being applied at intervals, sadistically. I am finding my mad, my voice-- I think. Only time will tell. <br />
But my best guess ba<x>sed on my history, ba<x>sed on who I am, and more importantly, who I want to be going forward, is that I will allow my forgiving nature to prevail, and THAT will set me free of this at some point. I'm just not entirely there yet. <br />
One of these days I will open my door and I will not be afraid to face the mad, because it will be long gone. Maybe the train will not stop, but maybe I will find my way out of the station and into the light. That's the plan. <br />
Thank you for reading and for your really thoughtful comment. It helped me.

Mdkellyak,<br />
You made me smile. That is pretty cool. I think my face cracked. Thanks for the compliment. Writing may be the catalyst--the mad may or may not come. I'm thinking not, or it would have already. Still it was fun writing about spitting and punching stuff and screaming. Not sure I could pull it off in real life though..

Dinah. The writing for me is easy, and it does bring a temporary sense of release, for sure. But the sad resurfaces--that's the problem. I can tamp it down for a while, but I haven't slept in years...I dream about this...and I sob uncontrollably in off moments, sitting at a traffic light. It feels like a disease, a cancer, and there is not enough chemo in the world. <br />
My sense of who I am and my place in the world has been called into question. To have your heart handed to you, the way mine has been handed to me, after what I have been through...well let's just say I have a new definition for the word "sin". <br />
I will find a way to overcome all of this. I know it. What this story is, is me figuring out how to go about it. I am learning as I go. Finding my "mad" is only part of it, a step in the process. <br />
Thanks for your compassion, as always.

Oh dear....I am worried.... You can define your place, where you want to be, and that can be so hard, and so lonely. You have support here. Take some strength from the mad, be it only transitory. Push off from the wall with it. Even if you have to glide for a while in the pater after the initial push... ( too much Phelps for me, it seems...) It seems to be a grueling endurance race where we get battered and once we have mastered one type of hurdle, new one's appear, larger, and more complex. It is not fair, it never has been, and never will be. But you can survive it. There is always hope. Remember the friends you made during your home visits. You were their unexpected light. Allow yourself to be found by an unexpected light..... you have so much to give. Oh please do not lose yourself.

Dreamgirl. Believe it or not, I rarely do mad. I reason, and I talk myself (and others) through most stressful situations. But I have been hurt, and it has been building over time, in a cumulative way. I think that I can talk myself through this, but I can't. The mad and the sad are definitely born of the same pain, are intertwined, with one exception. For me mad is temporary and impulsive, and fleeting. The sad on the other hand, has become a way of life for me and I fear that this blow will finish me. I can tell this is different, and I am scared.

Sorry to intrude on your reply to another person. If it feels different to you, and you are so crushed that you are scared for yourself, and fear that this last blow may finish you emotionally, perhaps now is not a good time to be alone. We are here on line, but do you have people in RL who can be with you until you feel safer? I am here, and if you would like I can PM you my number. Please be safe.

I am scared because I am alone with a lot of this, but I do have friends. You are right though, that when I log off it is pretty much me myself and I. But scares me, what I meant was that I fear that this will be with me for a long time. I usually bounce back pretty well, emotionally, I accept that life is hard, and that **** happens, and that hearts get broken. I get it. But this is not going away, and it should be gone by now. And that is why I am scared. What if it doesn't go away? I am not a danger to myself. I have been there, and I do not want to go there again.

I know how you feel I always want to scream at the top of my lungs, run, laugh and cry at the same times its just this pain in your chest that doesn't go away (well that's what its like me)

I like the screaming part. That's what I want to do, if I can find a way to do it without someone calling 911. Thanks

I remember this feeling. To me it felt like pure desperation. I wanted someone to recognise the mad, someone who could help me face the mad, and give me the tools to lead me out of the mad. I was screaming for help, screaming for mad to come knocking at my door ready to fight. Because I was ready for mad. After so long, I realised that if I wanted the mad, the mad that has chased me to this very point, I had to take the next step. If I didn't, then the mad would be forever stood at my front door laughing at me.<br />
<br />
"So I have to settle for madness, the kind brought on by a sad that just won’t quit." YOU DON'T HAVE TO SETTLE FOR ANYTHING.

Wow, what an awesome writer you are. I've often tried to put in words how I feel and you said it perfectly! Maybe writing will help with the "mad."<br />
You should consider writing short stories or a novel, I would read it, in fact, may I have your autograph now before you become famous? :)

Q, I am sorry that you feel you have a sadness that won't quit. I agree w/ 1Toady about kids being better able to express those intense feelings of mad and very sad. Our maturity and sense of responsibility and propriety seem to get in the way of the rawness of that spectrum. Sometimes, to feel those things that I am frightened of, for whatever reason, the displacement of those emotions into books/movies/art help. Maybe you will find that you can express and share those feelings not only through writing but other media as well. There is horrible irony in being furious about being trapped in one's own gentleness......wishing you well, and some relief.......

Ceridwyn. Thank you. I see your point, and a number of people have suggested this both here and on another broken heart story. I am starting to understand that while getting my head together is job one, finding a physical, albeit symbolic way of facilitating that might be the way to go. I may in fact need a "ceremony" of sorts to let all of this go. It is all starting to eat away at my sanity from the inside. It needs to come out.

Wheezers,<br />
You're right, that is what I have to do, that is how I am leaning today, something symbolic, intense. I need to do it. Thank you. It is me, suffocating--you're a smart man. Thank you for getting this, for getting me.

Doug and JustMe, I thank you guys for commenting. I rarely expect people to respond to stories such as this one because it must be impossible to know what to say to someone as distraught as I was when I wrote this. Intense? Yeah. So I appreciate you guys, for trying to understand and for having the courage to articulate it here, your concern. I value the friendships I have here--you guys. Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Toady, <br />
I think you got it, nailed it. I think I am in need of a tantrum, scream therapy, an exorcism, something...as these sobbing jags that have been going on for years as my heart got dragged through the mud, have just got to stop. The slow, gradual day to day healing sounds great on paper, but I am looking for some kind of miracle here, some kind of purging technique, some sort of cathartic moment where everything goes up in flames. It is, at times, too much for one person, alone, to handle. Something's gotta give over here. <br />
I'll figure it all out, but thanks for that understanding.

That's what I need. I need someone to listen who is not intimidated by violent heaving sobs. The writing is good, but as you said- it is not enough.

I sometimes think I AM the mad :(

So sorry. It is a bad place to be. Hope you and I find our way.

Quintesse, ...you express it so well...just remember to come back

I always do come around Jen. Thank you for your friendship.