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I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (1/12?)

Title: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
Author: musicbendr 
Rating: R overall; PG-13 for this chapter because of language
Pairings: Rachel/Quinn and other various slash, het, and femslash pairings
Length: ~2600
Spoilers: None
Summary: AU. The glee kids are all at a juvenile mental hospital. These are their journal entries. Written for this prompt at the glee_angst_meme.
Warnings: triggers for a spectrum of mental disorders
A/N: I hope I don't offend anyone with mental disorders/who knows anyone who suffers from them. I realize that this is a serious and sensitive subject, and I don't mean for any of it to come off as humorous or insulting to people with these disorder. I am just trying to portray them realistically, and if I fail, I apologize. On another note, please tell me if you think that the journal entries/writing styles are in character. Journal entries will get longer/more in-depth as the characters progress and get more accustomed to writing them. Title stolen from Bandslam.

LIST OF DISORDERS
RACHEL- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
QUINN- Dissociative Identity Disorder
PUCK- Conduct Disorder
FINN- Bipolar Disorder
KURT- Bulimia Nervosa
MERCEDES- Anorexia Nervosa
ARTIE- Major Depressive Disorder
TINA- Panic Disorder
BRITTANY- Schizophrenia
SANTANA- Intermittent Explosive Disorder
MATT- Dependent Personality Disorder
MIKE- Bulimia Nervosa and Hypergymnasia
~

DAY ONE

QUINN

Dear God,

Is this how you're supposed to start a journal? I know it's for the nurses, but I think I feel more comfortable writing to You. It's easier to tell someone you've known your life about your problems, especially when that someone has Your infinite love. I'd give anything to get rid of this disease, this dissociative identity disorder. But we all have our crosses to bare, and this is mine. I think I'm one of the few people here (my roommate is definitely not one of them) who just wants to be able to lead a productive life, fall in love, do God's work. I can't do that when there are four “me”s, though. Of course, there's the real me, Quinn Fabray, cheerleader and piano player. I'm a good girl who gets good grades, is dedicated, and really tries her hardest to do everything she can to be worthy of God's love. Pastor Stephenson told me that I have quite the future in missionary work, which I think would be exciting. But I can't do that until I've destroyed this evil part of me, these other three personalities who take over my body.

There's Princess Antoinette Annabelle who loves nature and animals and singing, like a stereotypical Disney princess. From what my friends have told me, she is very obsessed with finding a suitable husband to help her rule her kingdom. She is thoughtful and compassionate, if a little air headed. I really don't like her persona, as she's very weak.

And then I have Jonathon. I dislike him most of all because he's a gay man, and that is just something I cannot believe to be acceptable. Jonathon likes to destroy my relationships by telling my secrets; he's a terrible gossip. He wants to be a fashion designer (he's just turned 18) and always cuts up my clothes to make scandalous, provocative outfits any good Christian girl wouldn't be caught dead wearing. My parents had to keep all my clothes in their room for quite a period of time because it cost them a fortune to replace all the ones Jonathon ripped to pieces in the name of “art.” He's also over sexualized and I have found myself in some very disturbing places thanks to his desires.

Lastly comes Eliza, a child. She's somewhere around five or six, but she can never remember, so no one has been able to give me a clear age. Unlike Jonathon and Princess Antoinette Annabelle, Eliza doesn't age. She stays consistently that young. She is very timid and even more sensitive, prone to outbursts at even the tiniest noise or touch. Mostly Eliza stays in a corner and sucks her thumb, occasionally asking to play with dolls – those are her favorites. She always asks for dolls.

I'm trying so hard, God, to rid myself of this affliction. I've been on hunger strikes, spiritual purges, and exorcisms, but nothing seems to work. Sunnybrook is my last resort, and I hope that it can finally answer my questions and free me from this burden.

Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, he courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

KURT

Breakfast: plain bagel with margarine, orange juice from concentrate, bacon (795 calories)
Lunch: tuna sandwich w/ tomato slice, pretzel sticks, glass of water (223 calories)
Dinner: chicken pot pie, chocolate milk, brownie w/ vanilla ice cream (1610 calories)
Snack: crackers, apple pie (1300 calories)
Total: 3928 calories

MIKE

Parents took away all my weights, so couldn't do any lifting before going to Sunnybrook. Instead just ran in place in room for about an hour before I had to leave. Sunnybrook's big, with good food. Ate a monster's worth of chicken pot pie and dessert at dinner tonight, so had to throw up before exercising to avoid sickness. Got in two hours at the Sunnybrook gym tonight w/ roommate Matt: 30 minutes of leg work, 30 minutes with the punching bag, and an hour of dancing. Matt didn't dance, just sat and watched. Met this girl, Brittany, who's schizophrenic, but she's one helluva dancer. Danced with her for the last 20 minutes or so.

FINN

So my mom thinks I'm totally crazy because I tried to kill myself a few months ago on Memorial Day and ever since then she's been shipping me to all these crazy doctors with their clipboards and those really comfortable couch-chair things you always see on TV. They tell me I have bipolar disorder, which means I go between being like someone who got that laughing gas at the dentist and those people you see on the news sometimes standing on the edge of a bridge with, like, full police precincts trying to get them to come down. Right now I'm feeling pretty normal, which is weird 'cause usually whenever I get under stress I get what the doctors call “rapid cycling.” That's when I switch from crazy happy to super depressed as fast as Scotty gets beamed up in Star Trek. I think that meeting Rachel, who is kind of crazy, but so is everyone else here, helped me not change. She's a pretty cool chick, super talented and really pretty. She thinks I'm a good singer so she wants us to do duets together. I guess that's fine, because I don't really have anything better to do. My roommate won't stop burning things – he's already set off the smoke detector twice, and no one can figure out where he's getting stuff to start the fires from – and our room smells gnarly. I don't plan on spending lots of time with him, especially since his mohawk makes me think of skinheads and death metal junkies. And those kinds of people are always messed up.

~


Turns out when my roommate's not burning things, he's kind of alright. We talked about football after dinner and how we should start a team here to keep from getting bored. I like him better than Rachel, because she's psychotic and she might turn out to be a stalker. Like, after dinner, I walked out of the bathroom and there she was leaning up against the wall like she was waiting to jump me or something. It was freaky.

PUCK

If you fucktards think I'm gonna spill my guts out to you in this stupid diary, you're more deranged than all the future serial killers running around this place.

BRITTANY

I like Sunnybrook. The trees here are nicer than the ones back home, who are always sticky and they use that as an excuse for me not to hug them. The ones here love hugs, and I spent lots of time today outside hugging them. But the forks here are meanies: they said they'd poke me if I tried to use them, so I had to eat dinner with a spoon. Everyone I've met so far is really pretty, like Puck and Finn and Santana and Tina. They all talked to me so I didn't have to talk to forks who almost made me cry but then Santana told them to shut up and they were quiet. I'm still scared to eat with them, though. They might hurt me when Santana's not looking.

RACHEL

I have been unfairly placed in the mental institution known as Sunnybrook Juvenile Rehabilitation Center. Clearly somewhere along the way to its destination to a prestigious summer drama program, my audition tape fell into the hands of a quack of a psychologist who misdiagnosed my effervescent and gregarious nature as narcissistic personality disorder. Anyone who has met me can tell that I am not being egotistical when I claim to have the best voice in the state of Kansas, because it is a true statement. I have 124 awards lining the walls of what could be considered a shrine to my numerous achievements in my dads' basement. One day, once I make my spectacular Broadway debut as Eva Peron in Evita, that basement will become Kansas' number one tourist destination, swamped by commoners who are not worthy of my presence but free to bask in the glory of my accomplishments. I expect that when this inevitable day occurs, these people will live vicariously through my glamorous lifestyle because they cannot stand to face the realities of their pathetic existence.

So you can understand my frustration in being trapped in a center where everyone strives to be “normal,” while I am destined to be a star. However I will soon convince these fools that I am not mentally ill like the rest of these depressing patients, and they will have to let me go.

My roommate has already proven herself to be sub-par to my singing abilities, as I observed her scratchy voice as she sang “Someday My Prince Will Come” in the shower. It's not even a vocally challenging song, and she managed to make Walt Disney toss and turn in his grave. She gained fast respect for me when I took to singing the incredibly difficult “Defying Gravity,” a timeless classic that this girl is probably too uncultured to understand. Her clear disregard for my talent and presence is a manifestation of her own feelings of inadequacy, spurred on by my superiority. There remains a possibility that these feelings of hers may be amorous in nature, as I have been known to “turn” many people who prefer the male gender.

At any rate, I have found one person who comes close to my outstanding musical prowess, though he is by no means my equal. His name is Finn Hudson, and he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is unfortunate as it will effect the strict practice regimen I've already drawn up for us. Just because my fathers were conned into believing there's something wrong with their perfect child does not mean my craft should suffer. I've already convinced Brad, one of the nurses, to perform as our accompanist. While this is not the most desirable of situations, I do believe that I will manage to convert Finn Hudson into a performer of Off Broadway caliber by the time my stay is up.

And if nothing else, this experience will make excellent fodder for my future autobiography in which I detail how I continued to strive for stardom despite the unfortunate circumstances of my wrongful imprisonment.

SANTANA

I hate what I've become. As much as I love being a badass and scaring the living daylights out of all the Call of Duty freak shows at my old school, I like being able to control it. For years people thought that I was just violent, angry, and I got my kicks out of punching people instead of playing house. Which is partially true. But I only actually beat people up when they really deserved it, you know? Usually I give them a death glare and the problem's solved. Sometimes it isn't, and I have to show them exactly why obsessively watching Fight Club as a child would have done wonders for their fighting abilities.

When I was a sophomore, a cute boy I'd had a crush on for a while asked me to pass him some ketchup, and I threw him to the ground, slammed my fists into his face, and rammed his head into the ground until three hockey players managed to pull me off. I had no idea what just happened and I spent the rest of the school day in the principal's office crying about how I didn't mean it and I didn't even know what I was doing. That was an embarrassing two hours, because I never cry. The principal didn't really seem to know what to do with me, but my mom sure did. We were set up with school psychologist the next morning.

I don't want to be randomly crushing people's existences for the rest of my life. When I crush people, I want it to be on my terms, not on the terms of some fucked up neurons.

TINA

Today, I had three panic attacks. It's all from this hospital, because it's big and new and scary and some of the people I met seem like they could be really dangerous. Puck, for one, looks at everyone with a cold hard stare, and Santana explodes on everyone for no reason at all. Rachel seems like she could kill you in your sleep if you threaten her, Finn gets manic which I think can make you out of control, and Quinn keeps changing personalities. The last one isn't really that scary, but I like to be able to know who I'm dealing with, and when it comes to Quinn, it seems like I get the lottery.

There's a room with a piano and a couple of other instruments, like a choir room. I almost had an attack just by walking by it. I don't know what I'll do when we go in there for an experimental music therapy. Just thinking about that is making me upset. The pen's getting sweaty in my hand, and I feel like I'm choki –

MERCEDES

The staff is making me eat boatloads of potatoes because I told them I'm a vegetarian. Or at least they think I'm eating them. I was sitting next to Noah Puckerman, who goes by Puck, and he asked if I was going to finish those. I told him if he could distract our nurse, Mr. Schuester, I would put them on his plate. So he threw Rachel Berry's plate at the wall and started screaming curse words at everyone. I got away with eating only four tiny bites of chicken pot pie at dinner tonight, which is definitely a victory. Puck winked at me after he saw all the food on my plate, and he upset Rachel Berry. He gets double points in my book, since that girl is making me want to kill Aretha to get her shut up, and I'd never do that normally.

Tina went into a full-on panic attack when we got back to the room, and was it scary. She was breathing like she'd just run a marathon and sweating all over the place. Plus she kept yelling at me, “I'm gonna d-d-die, Mercedes! I'm gonna-gonna die!” Eventually Ms. Pillsbury came in and calmed her down, but it was terrifying. I don't know how she lives like that.

ARTIE

I'm in a wheelchair. I can't do anything. My life sucks. What more do you need to know?

MATT

Being away from my parents is horrible. I feel completely lost and all I can do is sit here and cry. I don't know how to do anything anymore – I don't know how to make friends with any of these people, and no one will tell me how to help them. No one is there for my like my parents were. I followed my roommate to the gym today, but he was too focused on weights to pay much attention to me. So I just did the same routine he did, because he probably knows more about exercise and muscles and anatomy than I do. I did feel really good after the workout, so I bet he really knows what he's doing. Mike (my roommate) danced for a while, first by himself then with a girl named Brittany. They are both amazing and I just sat in awe watching them. I gave them lots of praise at the end, telling them how wonderful and brilliant they looked together even after only a short time being partners. Brittany told me that frogs like to steal her fuzzy pen, but Mike put his arm around my shoulder and told me, “Thanks.”

Being away from my parents makes it hard – figuring out what to do with myself is next to impossible. But I think that Mike might be a great help.

 

 

 


Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
angelicmuse18
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
I'm rather intrigued to see where this will end up. I felt that the characters voices came across really well, so no worries there. :D
trustisalie
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
This is really good. I definitely think that you have everyone pegged perfectly, their characterizations are spot on. I find myself feeling bad for each of them in their own way, but something about Santana's entry really hit me the most. I love this so far, can't wait to read more.
(Deleted comment)
musicbendr
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Ack. Thank you. This is what I get for trusting the Internet to tell me where that came from.
pnutbuttercups
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you are filling this. I loved Santana and Matt. Can'y wait for more.
lynxycrowy
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Wow. This was...this was good.

My friend's younger sister has Dissociative Identity Disorder, and I think you got the description of it spot on. They don't know what they're doing when they become another personaility. They have no control over it. It makes me feel even worse for Quinn, here.

I'm interested to see where you go with this.
elbowrocks911
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
I acutally can't wait for more of this! I knew as soon as I saw the summary I was going to love it, but after reading that first chapter, I do indeed love it more then I htrough I would. I've always through of Brittany as having Schizophrenia and I did try [her with it]in a drabble, but that didn't work out.

I can't wait for you to do more.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Original prompter here.

This was fantastic. I've always been a fan of your work, and was so excited to see you take this on. I though everybody was so in character, I pretty much could hear Finn's voice talking about the 'couch-chair' things. The journal style is really interesting, and something I hadn't considered.

I love this, and I'm really excited to see more of it :) (and thank you so much for doing this).
jyoki
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
This is why I like fan fiction. Gems like this. Taking characters and putting them in a completely different setting/scenario. Can't wait to see where this goes.
thuperlithp
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
I have to say I adore this. As I've spent time in an adolescent psychiatric unit in the past, and also suffer from two of the above disorders, I can totally identify with this story.

You've managed to keep the characters voices, while allowing the undertone of their individual disorder to shine through. It's fantastic.
musicbendr
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was worried about not achieving that balance.
nork_ftw
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
As a person that has IED Santana's entry seemed pretty realistic.

I'm quite excited to see whee this goes.
musicbendr
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you think this is realistic.
theaterrat
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
This is intriguing. You've done a wonderful job and I can't wait to see where it goes. :)

And the fact that Brad, Mr. Schuester, and Ms. Pillsbury are there makes it even awesomer! :O Is Sue going to be there? That would be epic...

Please update soon? :)
aerokk
Jun. 15th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Amazing. This is such a creative idea (the journals) and I think you are starting out brilliantly. I really can't wait to read more!
poisoned_candyy
Jun. 15th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Santana's, Matt's and Finn's especially. All of them seem pretty in character which is a definite plus. I can't wait for where this goes. Also like the use of the journal style; it works with such different dynamics of an ensemble. I'm hooked!
fated_darkness
Jun. 15th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Oh my god. I love you. More, more!
musicffyou
Jun. 15th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
wow I looked up the definition of all those disorders and holy hell you got them perfectly. Santana, Rachel, and Brittany are so spot on that I'm actually wondering how you found them. Did you just do a bunch of research

Great first chapter :)
musicbendr
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I have a fascination with mental disorders, and have actually written an original story similar to this that features those three disorders (well, paranoid schizophrenia instead of schizophrenia, which isn't quite the same). So I did lots of research prior to writing this story.
boysinperil
Jun. 15th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Everyone was great, but Puck was perfect.
race122ve
Jun. 15th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
So excited to see where you take this...
I like the format, I like your interpretation of the characters (generally) and how that can translate into a mental disorder, I LOVE that you made Will a nurse and not a doctor, I really love this (and you're just helping to convert me to an AU fic lover...the Glee fandom has amazing, genuine, AU writers)

OK, awesome fic is awesome! Looking forward to an update :D
firefly_ca
Jun. 15th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
It's really hard for me to type right now because I'm FLAILING SO MUCH. This is seriously amazing. Puck and Rachel both made me laugh, and I think your Mercedes and Santana are all kinds of wonderful. Brittany was perfect and I'm a Brittana fan, so it also made me awwww in a really big way. Overall though? My favourite character is Tina. As someone who has been known to get some crippling panic attacks (although never on this level), I find her both relatable and incredibly sad. You've really got that mix of adrenaline, terror, and complete helplessness down nicely.

(And I love the nurses. PLEASE tell me Sue is also going to work here somehow. Surely someone on staff will need to be known dispensing for tough love?)
krumnut
Jun. 15th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
My Attention. You have it.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
I love this so much!
And the title makes me laugh- idk if you know what movie it's from though- maybe just coincidental?
PLEASE WRITE MORE!!!!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
this was amazing. it was awesome how you managed to keep each character's voice true to who they are and still managed to work in the disorders.

the only problem I can find is that there is no way they'd make someone with anorexia eat almost 4000 calories in a day. did you mean kilojoules? that's more realistic, since the recommended daily dose of calories for most people is around 1,500 and on average there's 4 kj in a calorie.
musicbendr
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Kurt is actually bulimic, not anorexic. So he's sneaking food to help sustain his binges.
phelipa
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Woah, this is awesome.
I love seeing the individual characters deal with their disorders. I loved Brittany's entry and Quinn's - Multiple Personality Disorder has been an area of interest for me since a psych class back in 1st year - very interesting.
Can't wait to read more!
telm_393
Jun. 17th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
Love the style of this fic. I really love how much you seem to have looked into these disorders, because this seems really accurate. I LOVE psychology, so I feel like there should be at least one institutionalized!AU in every fandom, and am really glad you took it on. (I also remember taking this prompt, or one similar to this, in the angst meme, and then totally regretting it because I had no ideas and wanted to see it done by somebody else, so. XD You're awesome.)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
Does this mean I'm not going to get to see it filled?

(Sorry if this sounds rude, I don't mean it like that; I'm curious.)
telm_393
Jun. 17th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
No, I will fill it--I've started, in fact. And it wasn't rude at all, it was a legitimate question. I just wanted to see somebody else write a fic like that too. :)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 17th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm really looking forwards to it. From what I've seen, you're a really good writer and I'm glad you're the one writing it!
themultifarious
Jun. 23rd, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
Your writing is decent enough. But the only character that doesn't come off as a parody of themselves is Puck, in his more or less one line entry. You may have looked up these disorders on the Intarwebs, but each of them are used here in their most insulting and stereotyped forms, and even when the "symptoms" and descriptions you use aren't completely textbook and not ridiculously unrealistic, the characters who are supposed to have them seem in most cases very little like the characters on the show. While not the most unrealistic portrayal of a character or a mental condition that you're written here, Artie's is certainly the most infuriating and patronizing toward anyone in a wheelchair; considering his role in the show, it seems there are quite a few things he can do, and that attitude you've forced him into here is - well, really insulting.

I see that you have a lot of gushing fans here, and that's fine if that's what you're looking for. If you're looking for some serious feedback, start by doing some actual research on any of these conditions, preferably by speaking to people who actually live with them.
musicbendr
Jun. 24th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
So I tried to send you some sort of private message or something, but I couldn't figure out how to do that because I suck at LJ (I don't even know if such a thing exists). Anyway.

First thank you for being honest. Second thank you for not outright bashing. I did use the internet for most of my research, but I have before this done some research at my local library. Unfortunately most of the resources I could find have said pretty much the same basic information. I don't think that these characters would be exactly the same people as they are on the show if they grew up with those disorders, but that's just my opinion. In regards to Artie, as this is an AU, I took a liberty with his accident, being that it happened about a month or two before this takes place instead of in his early childhood like on the show. So that, too, would make for an overall different response to that drastic change. Lastly, I'm not going for a Pulitzer Prize here, so I'm not going to go find people with these disorders to talk to them. It's fanfiction, and I just do it for fun. If you want to offer some suggestions and/or resources that would help this be more realistic, then I would like to hear them.
killing_rose
Aug. 28th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Months after themultifarious left a comment here, I feel the need to add a thought or three. Like zie above me, I think the technical quality of the fic is decent. Especially considering your apparent age.

But here's the thing: what zie didn't say is that there are communities where you could have looked, even on livejournal. Typing in "depression" or "eating disorders" or "multiple personalities" would have netted you multiple places that could have lent more realistic portrayals. A google search for people's stories is quick and efficient. I understand the trap of believing just the DSM, but when it comes to mental conditions? It's helpful to understand the people who live with them.

Here? You've taken cookie cutter diagnoses and applied them in the most literal way. It's offensive, plain and simple. It makes a mockery of what you're writing about. I have to wonder if you've ever sat down and talked to people with any of the mental conditions that you're writing about. If you've ever watched friends lose themselves in the world of eating disorders or disordered eating. (If you haven't yet, and you're female? I promise that by the end of college, you will have. You'll have a familiarity with the disease that you never wanted.) And if you haven't even had that experience, I doubt that you know any applied experiences of these diagnoses. I understand that you're not familiar with the settings and conditions that you write about. I comprehend that you're a high school student and see fanfic as an easy story to tell.

I was your age and in your position once. I didn't like people telling me to get beta readers or solicit opinions either. It took me years to understand that standard-setting stories, the stories than entire fandoms turn to and say, "I want to tell that sort of story!" about, the stories that are extremely close to, if not better than, the standards set by published authors, are those that are slaved over and built not only by an author, but also by beta readers and readers who are willing to offer more than, "This is great!" in misspelled, ungrammatical sentences.

But this is unwise. Fandom is a place where you can hone your writing skills, talk to people with different experiences than yours, find a community, and more.

I'd like to close this comment with one more thing--something that a friend of mine mentioned when I talked about this story on my dreamwidth account. You can't diagnose personality disorders before the person is 18.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )