#ActuallyPsychotic <> programming autodidact and polyglot <> meditation enthusiast <> hobby researcher <> non-binary iconoclast
Cut to 17-year-old Corwin. (My actual birth name, which I don't consider dead because I kept it was a middle name). He's just got his first job in the world of computers, but as an IT assistant rather than a programmer. And he fucks up big time, brings down the entire network. His supervisor has to pull everything out of the fire. The next day, he's asked to resign in lieu of termination.
I thought I wasn't cut out for computers, so I switched tack to psychology, becoming fascinated with cognitive research into human memory and executive functioning. I learned about the hypothetical distinction between experiential and rational functioning, how spirituality has been identified as a way to consciously activate experiential processing. My goal became to research and teach about spirituality from a psychological perspective, and I thought I was uniquely suited for it; my parents deliberately eschewed communal religion, so I didn't have a strongly ingrained religious framework. It was all speculation and exploration for me, so I thought I could sidestep the bias present in a lot of modern psychological researchers; I didn't want to prove God exists, I wanted to study how believing God exists affects a person.
Cut to 22-year-old Corwin. Fresh out of undergrad, he gets a job as an office assistant at a police psychology firm (talk about niche). But there's catch; they hired him in part because he knew his way around computer programming and could keep up with a consultant upgrading some in-house software. They're trying to make a desktop program, and sell physical CDs. SaaS has been taking off like crazy, and so Corwin gets a not-so-harebrained idea: Screw CDs, the Web is the future. The partners of the firm take a bet and gamble on him. Every free moment is spent learning this fascinating operating system called Linux, a language designed for developer experience called Ruby (I'd like to acknowledge Why the Lucky Stiff here), and the framework that made it famous. For the first time in my life, I really felt like a programmer, and I felt like I could be good at it. Windows never made sense; Linux just clicked.
Flash forward to now. A wonderful enby helped me accept my gender identity, and we were even briefly married. But then I had a psychotic break in the Spring of 2014. I still don't really know if it's more accurate to call it a traumatic experience from which I developed PTSD or if something really snapped in my brain and now I'm hypervigilant to the point of delusional. I've definitely had some very odd experiences, and I still have some very odd thoughts. (My favorite right now is thinking I'm being “reverse followed” when driving; that the car in front of me isn't just coincidentally making the same turns I want to make, but the driver somehow knows what turns I want to make.)
I lost some memory during the initial break. I convinced myself I had raped my spouse or one of the two friends who were there that night. I truly thought I was a sociopath monster and deserved nothing less than death. My spouse tried so very hard to help me, for so long, and they were consumed by caring for me while my illness kept me in bed and covered in filth for a year. For their own health, they had to leave me; it's cool, we're on good terms now, and they remarried to a wonderful woman who's fully present for them.
These days, I watch TV, chat with friends, and spend time researching and learning niche or bleeding edge technology. I'm getting help for my psychosis, including medication, and I'm hopeful I'll be able to have a meal in public without thinking the table next to me is talking about me and trying to get a rise out of me.
Also, if I could afford it, I'd pay out of pocket for a piss test every week for the rest of my life just to prove I don't smoke weed.