Hey, I’m Maggie. If you liked this thing I made, you might like other things I make, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to the PayPal helping my girlfriend and I survive the year by paying rent and buying groceries, anything given will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!
I think I’ll start this column off by sharing a quote from a piece I read in the latest American Thief zine:
As if we didn’t already have a problem with prisons to begin with, but now with death essentially being eradicated, this makes The Death Penalty a laughable defense. Nobody is scared of it anymore. So do we just keep these people behind bars, forever incarcerated, spending billions of taxpayer dollars on people we can’t kill anymore? That seems to be where we’re headed, and that’s…disconcerting to say the least. Life used to have a single solution for everything, and that solution was death, and without death…what do we really have?
So, with that being said, let’s discuss what the people in charge think the solution should be. Now, I’ve heard a number of ideas thrown around just in the hospital staff break room I work at, but one woman said something that stuck out from the rest. She said, “they should just institute the life penalty.” We already have life sentences, for people who’ve done horrible things to spend the remainder of their lives in prison, so what exactly is the “life penalty”? The way she described it was fascinating to me, and I’ll try very hard to phrase it as accurately here as possible:
“They should just institute The Life Penalty. Instead of killing them or incarcerating them forever, they should let them out under eternal supervised parole, make them get married, have a family and take an underpaying 9 to 5 job, so they can see how miserable life is.”
Yeah. I mean, I was a bit offended, because I frankly don’t find that life all that terrible, but it got me thinking, we’re really for giving hardened criminals a life but we won’t help our homeless? We won’t give health care to our own sick citizens? We won’t even pay for kids to have better equipment to learn on in schools? The prisoners in American live better than the free citizens. Well, okay, I’m in a good mood, let’s humor this prospect. So, what do we do to those criminals who are too dangerous to be let out? Do they get to come out and get the life penalty as well? That doesn’t seem very fair.
Listen, I personally am against the death penalty. I think it’s a ridiculous double standard, the whole “We’ll teach you that killing people is wrong by killing you!” sort of mentality, but this isn’t much better honestly. I recognize, like many other people in this country right now, that we need some sort of law or prison reform of some kind, but I’m in no way even remotely qualified to begin to comprehend what that could entail or become. However, I will relay an incident that happened this last week to me at the hospital.
It was when we were changing shifts for The Sick Zone, and I was on duty. I was standing with another nurse there by the name of Mindy, and we were just shooting the breeze while she waited to get off work and go to dinner. We were talking about one thing or another when we heard someone yelling from down the hall, and another nurse came out to tell us that they had a killer they’d brought in from the prison because he’d been stabbed, and now needed medical attention, so they were going to take him up past The Sick Zone to the upper area of the hospitals. This guy apparently killed his family, and felt no remorse for it, and then went after his neighbors. As they wheeled this maniac past, up to the area where peoples lives are saved, it hit me that the reason he was being saved from The Sick Zone was because prisons take care of their prisoners with health concerns. A legitimate serial killer was getting better healthcare than a law abiding citizen. Someone who’d killed multiple people was going to have his health taken care of by the state, and a single dad with 4 young kids was going to die because he’d lost his job from being too sick and couldn’t afford any treatment.
The Life Penalty? Please. Now that death has all but been eradicated, the only people truly subjected to the death penalty are our own citizens whose country won’t take care of them. This whole damn country is sick, and I may be a nurse, but I’m only one woman. I can’t fix that.
“This Won’t Hurt A Bit: Memoirs From A Post Medical World” is a satire health column created & written by Maggie Taylor that comes out every other Monday. If you like this, you might like some of her other work, like her webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” and her writing over at Medium. You could also donate to her via PayPal. Thanks for reading!
Gracie was standing in the kitchen, just staring at the coffee machine.
It was just finishing up her drink, while the rain dripped off the gutters over the kitchen windows. Gracie glanced out, picking at her nail polish, and felt like her head was swimming in a fog, like she was having trouble remembering even the most basic things. But, that aside, it was a comfortable day. A cozy day inside while it poured outside. It seemed like it was always raining these days, and then Gracie realized she couldn’t remember the last time she left the house. Not that that was particularly a problem, as she loved the house and would rather be here than anywhere else in the whole world.
The coffee machine stopped and she picked up her mug, taking a nice, long sip. As she finished, she didn’t feel any different…any warmer. She still just felt empty, like always. She’d read somewhere that this was just another symptom of depression, that not only do your interests go away but your appetite becomes less and less, and you stop feeling anything at all. Gracie certainly had been treated for depression in the past, but she wasn’t even feeling bad these days. Actually, she wasn’t feeling much of anything at all. Still, she had her house. When her husband had died, the house had become hers, and she had been fighting tooth and nail to keep it, taking any odd job just to make ends meet, along with her 9 to 5 job of graphic design, which she’d grown to hate over time, probably thanks to said depression.
Gracie walked down the hallway, looking at the photos on the walls; trips she and Jake had taken, or family get togethers for the holidays, or the shots they’d each put up of their college graduation, and finally the one of their wedding. Gracie held her mug in one hand as she reached out and touched the photo, smiling warmly. It had been a stunning service, and they’d both been so enthralled with one another despite having been together 4 years prior to the wedding day. She’d been feeling little pangs of pain in her heart since his death, but the last few days she, much like drinking her coffee, didn’t feel a damn thing this time. This house was all she had now from him. It meant the world to her, and seeing as her family moved around so often she never felt like she’d had a home to call her own, until now. This was her home, and she adored it. She would never leave it.
As Gracie entered her bedroom, she stopped in her tracks in the doorway, dropped her coffee mug to the floor, letting it shatter into a million pieces. Right. That’s right. She had to go through this every single day, that’s why she hadn’t been feeling anything for the last week. Gracie sat on the end of the bed and sighed, looking at the floor before looking over her shoulder at her body resting against the headboard, blood splattered on the wall behind the bed, gun in her right hand. Every single day it was something she had to remember. Gracie wiped the tears from her eyes, though they weren’t coming as strong as they had been the first few days.
She’d lost her husband, and then she’d lost herself. But she hadn’t lost her house.
She’d never lose her house.
Hey, I’m Maggie. If you liked this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. If you feel so inclined to help keep me and my girlfriend from being homeless, you can also donate to our PayPal and literally help us pay rent and buy groceries. Anything is greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!
Hey, I’m Maggie, and if you like these things I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”. You can also check out my writing over at Medium, or if you’re feeling nice enough to want to help my girlfriend and I pay rent and buy groceries, you could donate to the PayPal. Anything is greatly appreciated, thanks for reading!
I’m not really sure how to handle this. I’m not used to recovery.
When you’ve spent your entire life being traumatized, terrified, and abused…you sort of become used to it. And, if it’s the only thing you feel regularly, then it’s not only something you become used to it, but it becomes normalized. It’s just how you feel. But, 2017, despite all of the horribleness that’s filled it (and let’s be totally transparent here, it’s been 97% horribleness, this year’s sucked eggs), has probably been the best year for progress on my mental health. It’s kind of amazing, because you’d think everything I’ve gone through this year, all of it being rather traumatic and miserable and in some cases literally abusive, would’ve had a negative effect on my mental health, and yet…
…yet I’ve managed to pull myself back up every time and keep on trudging along, continuing to find myself actually thinking I’m better than those who hurt me than thinking I deserved what they did to me because something is clearly wrong with me. I’m no longer actively calling myself the victim all of the time, and that’s…that’s a really weird, unfamiliar feeling to have, especially for someone who’s been a victim for the majority of her life. But now I see myself less a victim and more a survivor. I’m no longer just accepting that I was hurt and that that’s who I am (though, in no way am I saying that people who feel this way should feel bad for it taking them longer to get better), now I’m saying, “Well, I got really hurt and used and yes that’s a major part of my identity, but I am more than that too. I’m going to be okay.”
I’m going to be okay.
Never in my life did I ever imagine myself actually saying these words to myself. It doesn’t get better, don’t ever buy that bullshit line, but it does become moderately tolerable. Recovery is a scary word for me, especially because for so much time, I even denied I was sick or hurt. When told I had depression by multiple doctors, I denied it. I told them it wasn’t depression. I have denied being sick for so many years, until I finally realized there’s nothing wrong with being sick, nothing shameful about it, and it’s just another facet of my personality. What was shameful was denying it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a sick person, mental or physical wise. What’s wrong is that we make people ashamed of their sickness.
I am in recovery. I am recovering. I am recovering from a whole hell of a lot, but I’m still here. That’s not to say I’m fixed. Recovery doesn’t end, that’s the thing. There’s no end point, where suddenly I’m magically all better and I’m no longer in recovery. I will be recovering until the day that I die, that’s just how it works. Recovering from a multitude of things, always and forever, and that’s good, because starting to recognize that I’m ready to recover means I’ve moved past everything that hurt me. I’m still depressed. I still get sad thinking about the trauma I’ve endured, but I’m ready now. I’m ready. I’m alive, and I’m sick and I’m recovering.
That’s the nice thing about being a work in progress. You’re never out of things to fix.
Hi, I’m Maggie. If you liked this post, you might like some of my other work, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to the PayPal and help my girlfriend and I get groceries and pay our rent. Anything is greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!
I fashioned a boat, and set sail to be free, left my pressures behind and became a new me. But it didn’t last long, sure the first week was fine, but soon I had found what had been plaguing my mind. They were things I can’t sail from, things I had scorned, things that I soon found that I’d mourn. Sure, sailing is fine, but you can’t run from your mind, no matter how far you go, it’s not far behind.
So I fixed a car, and drove off with no cares, left behind gossip and rumors and stares. At first it was nice, being alone on the street, forgetting your failures and denying defeat. But try as I might, I knew it can’t last, my tires were shot and running short on gas. You can put up a stop sign, you can drive through the night, but it won’t stop insecurities, it won’t stop your plights.
So I bought a plane, I flew into the skies, away from the pressures, away from the lies. I soared through the clouds, I flew with the birds, ignoring those taunts and all their cruel words. The engines were weak, the landing gear broke, this whole idea had turned into a joke. I was forced to land, my trip was a bust, my reasons were flawed and my feelings unjust.
I tried to sail, to drive and to fly, but it didn’t matter which one I’d try; you can’t run away from the problems you have, the things they have said, their opinions of you rattling ’round in your head. Try as you might, you can’t shake the pain, the thoughts that it brings will drive you insane. So if you can’t run, then what do you do? How do you run from your problem when the problem is you?
Hey. I’m Maggie. Like this thing I did? Then you might like other things I do! You can read my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or check out my work at Medium. You can also donate to my girlfriend and mines PayPal if you so wish. Anything you give would be greatly appreciated and go towards helping us pay rent and get groceries. Thanks for reading!
This “Close To Monsters” is brought to you by the fact that you were probably destined to fail.
Hey. I’m Maggie. Like this thing I made? I make other things you might like. Check out my other webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, or my writings over at Medium. I am also launching a podcast network this December. Thanks for reading!