Issue 8 is even more sad and depressing than the last four issues of the book. There is very little relief from the slide into madness that took a total of eight or nine years to come to treatment. Sardonic, dry humor peppers the whole proceedings. I think the relatively lucid, objective tone of the narration at least reassures the reader that things turned alright in the end.
I told a friend of mine not long ago that the reason I am so inexperienced with women is not because I've seen to little, it's because I've seen too much. I've seen a side of women in particular and people in general that is very ugly and distasteful. The totality of this view comes through in this issue and continues unabated well into the next issue and the one after that. I still find myself dealing with these kinds of issues with the human race to this day. I have to make intelligent decisions on a daily basis regarding these issues. It doesn't help me when friends and family insist that the things that I talk about have no basis in reality. And such "insights" in no way contribute to my ability to make intelligent decisions about individual women and groups of people in my environment.
Some people would like to live in politically correct version of a kindergarten class in every aspect of their lives. They prefer to have this worldview surround them at every turn and have no stomach to experience a side of the every day reality I find myself in to this day.
I remember several years ago the Vermont Teddy Bear Company came out with a teddy bear in a straight jacket. Some advocates for the mentally ill took offense and made them take it off the market. Such groups who purport to speak for someone like me and seek to censor things like a teddy bear in a straight jacket miss the point entirely. The greatest danger of stigma I've faced is from people such as psychiatrists, therapists, and friends and family. Teddy bears in straight jackets come nowhere close to causing the kind of lasting harm the people closest to me and the people who supposedly have my best interests at heart can potentially pose.
The problem lies in the supposition that because these people closest to me don't experience life the same way I do, I must be wrong when I tell them of the problems I'm having. I find myself having to shut off people I would normally confide in and find other people to talk to in my support network. I find friends who have had big-time struggles in their life to be the only ones who will let me say what I have to say without passing judgement on me.