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SAVE ME! A Young Woman's Journey Through Schizophrenia to Health by Judy Lee

SAVE ME! A Young Woman's Journey Through Schizophrenia to Health


Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday

A curious autobiographical fragment, alternately banal and disturbing, by a born-again paranoid schizophrenic. At first this rambling, artless monologue sounds like one more testimonial from a happy Christian who made it, thanks to Jesus. Lee describes her former miseries (cold-hearted father, drunken mother, brutal boyfriend, LSD, suicide attempts, etc.) convincingly enough. And it comes as no surprise that the heavenly voices she hears during her conversion say things like, ""I love you the way you are. I don't want you to be someone else."" In the end God orders her to flush all her medication down the toilet; she does, and leaves her psychic agonies behind. Almost. Lee talks to Jesus all the time, and he talks to her, but he seems to be the only friend she has. Her concluding account of life in New York as a successful copywriter and account exec is supposed to sound triumphant, but it has a lonely, eerie, spacey quality: the outside world recedes as Lee and Jesus work things out. This conversation even goes on during the horrible scene where Lee is raped by a casual acquaintance. Lying frozen with terror in his apartment, she hears her divine voice commanding her, ""Grab your clothes and get out of here. That man cannot move or talk right now. I've paralyzed him."" Lee escapes, overcoming this nightmare, as she has the others, with ""The Christ Advantage."" The beauty of it, she claims, is that it saves you from yourself. And ""if I have one very alive enemy on this earth,"" she adds with unconscious pathos, ""it is myself."" An inspirational story that saddens instead of cheering.