Handling the Truth

baby-pictures-23“You can’t handle the truth!” Jack Nicholson roars at Tom Cruise from the witness stand…

And “A Few Good Men’s” iconic soundbite has been born.

I’d like to appropriate this verbal snapshot as mine. Just for this morning. Just for this blog. I’ll give it back to Rob Reiner, et al admittedly thereafter, I promise.

Alright, assuming Mr. Reiner, et all doesn’t give a rat’s behind about this lowly, Prozac-ridden blogger, I’ll carry on. Any stray lawsuits may be sent to the Florida Penitentiary System, in care of Chloe Stowe. (Hint: I’ll be the one in the straitjacket sent up the river on Jury Duty Evasion charges.)

Yep. I got summoned for Jury Duty this week.

Now, a normal person might fuss, fume and perhaps even curse at this ill-luck, but a woman chained to a chronic Panic Disorder, well, panics.

Big time.

As in, colossal freak-out.

Care for an example of what runs through my mind in a freak-out? Here you go…

Oh, I’d show up. Walk unsteadily right up to the sign-in desk and start projectile vomiting over the first civil servant I saw. Seriously. A fetal position maneuver would then follow, leaving me on the floor, hyperventilating/sobbing in my own vomit. Guards would be called. Tasers would be used. The courthouse would shut down. And I’d be sent off to Florida’s version of Sing-Sing for the next twenty years.


And I do mean, seriously.

This is what my brain believes. This is what my normally “Ok for public consumption” mind is honestly terrorizing me with. It would all be rather hilarious if it wasn’t so pitiful and embarrassing.

Don’t worry. This jury duty thing has happened before. The court system is surprisingly ok with excusing a potential juror from showing up if a certified, well-respected psychiatrist sends a “Please excuse this nut” note.


It’s these situations in which I’m confronted head-on with the mental illness that defines so much of my life that sting… that makes me (who tries so hard to pretend everything is “just fine” all the time) want to roar accusingly at myself in the mirror, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Diatribe finished.

Mr. Reiner, you may pick up your soundbite now.

Until tomorrow…



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