Descent Into Hell

Between thirteen and fifteen (1981-1983) I had my first mood swings. My first depression was hardly noticeable, but during my first mania all hell broke loose. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I would tear myself apart unless I did something, but I didn’t know what to do. I was so sexually excited so that I would masturbate five times or more in a row. I started to view myself as unhuman. I was apart from the rest of the human race.

I had my first debilitating depression in the winter of 1984. I became incapable of doing anything. I started burning myself with a soldering iron and with electric wires at this point. It was important to me not to leave visible marks that anyone could see so I only did my genitals.

My cat had been hit by a car when I was thirteen and I started seeing him around the house again. One day I was home sick with a fever and I got a phone call. The person on the other end knew all about me, and knew I was gay. To this day I don’t know if the call was real or not. I found out later that it was known amongst the teachers at school that I was gay (even though I hadn’t admitted it to myself). It could have been one of them.

I read The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub, and it became an unhealthy obsession with me. I believed I was the character Wolf (a werewolf). I had more mood swings.

When a particularly bad depression reached its nadir, I had a dream that everywhere I went I encountered the devil. I woke up (or so I thought) and I was being pulled down my bed. I turned into a wolf and leaped over the devil and out my bedroom door. My parents found me seconds later in human form in the hallway. From that point on I was never afraid again. I was a wolf and nothing was worse than me. Even when I was in Berlin in 1998 and a man started shooting indiscriminately with a gun, I ran away because I didn’t want to get shot, but I wasn’t afraid.

In 1985-1986 I began to do everything I could think of to live as a real werewolf. I would go outside, no matter what the weather, and run around on all fours, convinced I was experiencing what it was like. One night I was laying in bed and suddenly I felt my body become liquid and start to shift. For a few seconds I was halfway between human and wolf, but when I became aware of what was happening I immediately shifted back. One night I woke up in bed at 4am with my window wide open, covered in thick mud from head to toe.

For a while I thought everyone could read my mind, so I had to learn to “submerge” my true thoughts behind decoy thoughts. It was especially important that no one find out that I liked guys, or that I was a werewolf.

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