April 19, 2008

Paranoia or Reality?

This is what happened when I went shopping a day or two ago. I understand that many will say it is “paranoid” but I believe it did happen as I describe. Go ahead and read. See what I am talking about. Make up your own minds.


I pulled into and through to the other side of a parking space at the Supermarket and came face to face with a young woman with 2 dogs and a wrist-held walkie-talkie, who looked a bit miffed. She stood to the side then walked by another way. I got out of car feeling like a big bruiser for “almost hitting her” though I hadn’t even come close, and went to do my dreaded shopping. As I approached the store, I came across other young women with 2 dogs each and wrist-held walkie-talkies...How strange I thought. A new kind of Supermarket security?

Inside, I was going to get some fruit and produce but for some reason felt too uneasy to get the fruit and went directly to the vegetable section to get just the things on my list. I needed carrots and eggplant and potatoes for the dish I was making for the Passover Seder at Cy’s. I found the potatoes and picked out three large ones. Suddenly, I noticed a man in a thin dark bomber-type jacket and dark green trousers standing close by, watching me. He walked away and half way down the aisle watched me from there. He talked to some woman for a while, then, as I got an eggplant, pretended to shop for dried fruit, keeping an eye on me all the while...I realized with a jolt he was a SPY, and he was monitoring my every move, trying to keep me from doing damage in the store. He started subliminally telling me what to buy and not to buy.

By this time, I was terrified and gave up trying to get carrots. It was impossible to stay in Produce a moment longer. The only thing I absolutely had to get, and it would take me away from the man in the green trousers too, was yogurt. This was essential as it helps me take all my morning pills. So I took off, leaving Produce. I headed towards the milk aisle. As I passed Green Trousers, I said to him, “You spy! I know you are spying on me!” Then I raced away. I felt terribly exposed as I pushed the cart across the store, talking to myself the entire way to give myself courage. There was another spy the first had handed me off to! "Spy!" I accused him, as I rolled my cart across his path.

At Dairy, I picked up 2 quarts of vanilla yogurt and once again made the long trek cross-store to the registers, but ran across more spies in my approach. I told them I knew who and what they were too. Each time I realized they were following me, monitoring me, I was filled with fear and dread. I needed other items but was not allowed to purchase anything else on my list. The whole situation scared the bejesus out of me.

Finally, at the registers, I dared not wait in line for a cashier. Instead, one of the very few times I've done so, I decided to use the automatic check out, which was empty. I managed to work it, much to my amazement. The only problem was that there was an impatient customer who came after me and rushed me when I was trying to get my few purchases into net bags after paying...I knew then he was a spy too. EVERYone was staring as I headed out of the store, and 2 more spies were waiting for me at the door. I hissed at them, “I KNOW who you are!” Then I was free, out of the store and in the clear.

But outside there was too much talking and music and buzzing and humming and NOISE NOISE NOISE! The world seemed to be made of all this noise and hubbub, so much that I could barely see what I was doing or where I was going, could hardly think for all the noise inside my head and outside my head. I got to the car, but thought, How can I drive home with all this noise?!

Suddenly, as if something popped. It ceased. It just stopped. The noise and the talking and music and buzzing ended and there was quiet again, normality. I could hear and think and see as I usually did. I don’t know what happened. I couldn’t figure it out then and can’t now but I got in the car, wary of the girls with the dogs and walkie-talkies, and drove home (with difficulty as my vision was very double, due to it being late twilight and hence much harder to see to drive than during daylight hours...)


I know the girls with the dogs were real and the man in the green trousers was, and the other what was paranoid? Just the fact that it sounds “paranoid”? I have complained about this before, I understand that. I see that. But, but...PART of this experience above was real, NOT paranoia. I feel certain of it. Maybe they weren’t ALL spies, but some or one of them was.

Posted by pamwagg at April 19, 2008 12:47 AM | TrackBack


Dear Pam,

How are you doing? I know you don't want to accept this, but due to the fact that you suffer from paranoid schizophrenia you have to always challenge yourself when you feel spied upon, no matter how real it seems at the time. I know it's hard because I've been there too. The basic things you can do are adjust your meds, make sure to get enough sleep and talk to Dr. O about your experiences. Let us know how you're doing.

Posted by: Kate K. at April 24, 2008 08:11 PM

Pam, I think these people are real, but I don't think any of them are spies. Spies are rare. They are interested in government secrets and corporate secrets: you don't have these. If you hiss at people in stores and accuse them of being spies, they and others are going to stare at you, because that's unusual behavior. You already know that you sometimes mistakenly think people are thinking about you or talking about you or are otherwise concerned about you. The simpler, more reasonable explanation for this scenario is that this happened again.

I am a great admirer of your writing and your courage. Have a good holiday, DF

Posted by: Debbie at April 21, 2008 04:49 PM

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