One day the scars of the trauma will fade the way the scars on my knees have, to the point that they’re damn near invisible, only noticeable if you’re squinting and know what you’re looking for.
It feels like the credits should be rolling at the end of a coming-of-age movie. I should have learned something important about myself. I should be ready to move on to another part of my life. Instead, I find myself asking the same question over and over again: Why am I still here?
We all carry stuff with us wherever we go. Sometimes it’s whatever mood we’re in, sometimes it’s a song we just can’t get out of our heads and sometimes we’re literally carrying something. Lately, especially after everything that happened last year, I find myself carrying around two words in particular: “the past.”
In recent weeks the live entertainment industry has gone dark, including Mendelson’s own tour to support If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, but she refuses to let that stop her from performing. She flips on her “party lights,” crystalline specks that electrify the gray curtain backdrop in her Brooklyn home, and arms herself with her keyboard, acoustic guitar and harmonica.
Imagine there are 50 radios on a table. Each radio overlaps the others, one louder than the next. This cacophony of noise is how Allilsa Fernandez describes her life with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and psychosis.
“I’m going to die in a car,” I would always think to myself after the crash. I saw it whenever I closed my eyes. It was a never-ending nightmare that was always on my mind. The crushed metal, the glass…