The Faeries are back, when a middle aged woman going on a walk makes a rather startling discovery. Its not all so straight forward though, how do you explain to your husband of 20 years that you rather spend your days with the Fae, than taking care of your daughter, what will he think?
She picked a leaf up from the ground and quickly suspected that somewhere between where she left her house and reached this point, she had lost her mind.
There was no other explanation for picking up the perfect leaf to press, and finding, what appeared to be a fairy beneath it.
The sight sparked something within her, a fragment of a memory. Seeing things like this, fairies, everywhere, and she shook her head to clear it. She had such an active imagination as a child, but now she was an adult, and seeing things like this as an adult…
The leaf shook, and she realized it was her hand that was shaking. Oh, oh no, she had a brain tumor. While there wasn’t a history of mental illness in her family, there was one of cancer, and there was a fairy laying on the ground in front of her. She was dying.
She took a step back, prepared to double time it back to the house, when the fairy stirred. When it saw her, it stopped for a second, and when it realized she was looking at it, it froze entirely. Then it was up, inches from her face, and then she heard it, the voice, tiny, reverberating, excited, as if it was coming from inside her own head.
“SHARON!” The fairy knew her name.
It flew around her letting out whoops of joy. “Sharon, Sharon, you can see me, it’s been so long, you just stopped and we tried and tried to talk to you, and you wouldn’t even look, but now you can see? What happened?” And this is how she spent the rest of her day, wandering the park with a fairy.
The more the fairy spoke, the more she remembered, of Buttercup and Dewdrop, and Stanley, who was rather dour, and for some reason strangely named. She felt like she was floating on her way home, like she had found a part of herself that had been missing, and she wondered how, how had she forgotten her friends.
It was all she thought about now, her “runs” started to increase, both in frequency and duration. She spent every moment she could at the local park, with her friends, and it took six months for anyone to realize that for all the running she was doing, she wasn’t getting very fit.
Her husband was the one to confront her.
“Don’t lie to me Sharon, I know you aren’t running. Is there someone else?” He pleaded for the truth and she wasn’t sure how to give it to him. There was nothing that she could say that he was going to believe. She barely believed it herself, and she was living it, but what could she do. This was her husband and she loved him. So she told him everything.
“Fairies?” He asked when she was done.
“Fairies.” She confirmed, and they sat there in silence.
“Sharon, I, could you tell me when you started seeing them again?” He asked after a long pause.
“Oh, about six months ago, right after I started running.” She explained.
“After you started the clean living diet?”He confirmed.
“Yes” She replied.
“Okay.” He said, and she waited for the other shoe to drop and it didn’t
The just went back to normal, and she found it so strange. How could you find out about fairies, and not want to meet one, see one. Maybe he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to see them.
Two weeks later, when their daughter was at his parents for a sleepover he brought them up again.
“Sharon, I think we need to discuss the Fairies.” He stated as they were washing the dishes from dinner.
“What about them?” She asked.
“So, I thought that they were a side effect. Maybe one of those all natural supplements you were taking had something wrong with it, ergot poisoning or the like, so I had them tested.” He started.
“And, they were all fine?” She stated, she knew they were.
“Yes, and you understand though, why I had to check”
“It seemed crazy, even to me, so ya, I get it.” She countered.
“Okay, so I looked into mental illnesses, and based on your age, I couldn’t really find anything that fit. You are a little on the older side for the closest ones” He continued.
“Okay.” She didn’t like where this was going.
“And then I remembered what you said. About remembering them, from when you were a teenager, I uh,” He held up a container with her iron supplements.
“You what? Thought the iron was keeping them away? We started using the iron fish thing, eating iron rich foods. I didn’t decrease my iron intake, so nothing would have changed.” She explained.
“And if they were iron, nothing would have.”
“What, they say iron right there on the label?” And they did.
“Yes, but, you know I always hated that doctor of yours, and well I had these tested too. They aren’t iron, and when I found out what they were, I called your doctor, and confronted him with it. Your parents, they didn’t want you to know, and they worked so well, as long as you took them.”
“What are they?” She felt numb.
“Anti-psychotics. Specifically for early onset schizophrenia.” He stated, and she put down the plate hard on the counter.
She wanted to fight it, to say he was wrong, but it was who her parents were. The kind of people who would sweep a mental illness under a rug of iron pills. If they let her know, she might have told people, tarnished the family name.
“I’ll start taking them again.” She said woodenly, holding out her hand.
“Uh, thats the thing, when you go back on them, they will need you to be monitored, regularly to make sure they are working and the dosage is right. There are side effects, it might be why you couldn’t get the weight off. They, well, sometimes when you stop and start again, they don’t work right. You will need to meet with a psychiatrist.” He talked to her like he talked to their daughter, and oh god their daughter. Why hadn’t she asked when her doctor told her to cut back when she was pregnant. Thank god their daughter had been healthy, the thought that she could have hurt her baby made her want to cry.
“Okay, when.” She asked, all fight gone from her limbs. She was crazy.
“I have an appointment, first thing tomorrow. Someone good, someone…good” She knew he wanted to say your parents didn’t pay off.
“Honey, its going to be okay.” He continued.
She smiled and nodded, but she knew, it would never be okay again.
Okay, I admit it, I am obsessed with the Fae, and schizophrenia. I mean there are a lot of early Fae stories that can be explained by natural phenomena, or toxic mold, but mental illness probably played its fair share as well. Not just schizophrenia, but also autism, depression, and anxiety can be linked back to the old stories. Believe me, this is not the last you see of the Fae here.