I am grateful to my jailer who has graciously allowed me to communicate to you by way of this letter.
I write to let you know that, although incarcerated against my will, I am safe and now resigned to my imprisonment. So far, I have been given no indication of how long I must wait until my release, but here in the Grey Tower, time doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters here. There is no colour, no scent, no savour. There are only shadows, and nothing is real. The Grey Tower is surrounded always by grey mist and anything you think is real has no substance here.
I ask you to be kind to the body I left behind. I know you think she is me, but she is not; she is merely my shell which is normally my home. I think I shall name her that – my shell, Michelle. Michelle is finding it hard.
Normally, she relies on me to tell her what to do. I am trapped now in the Grey Tower, however; far, far away, and my messages to her are delayed and garbled – things get lost in that vast distance between us. She finds even simple tasks, like keeping her balance while walking; like speaking in coherent sentences; like cooking a recipe we have both made a hundred times before, difficult. Sometimes it will take her a moment to recognise you or to make sense of what you are saying. She will look at you with blank eyes while she sends a message to me to ask who you are.
Please be patient with her; it takes time and effort for her to send and receive messages and she gets very tired. She needs to rest and to sleep. It is I who am the force and power in our partnership, and without me, she is running on emergency backup power only.
I would be angry, upset, distressed by this – because there are lots of things to do; commitments to fulfil; promises to keep, but none of them much matter here in the Grey Tower. Michelle gets upset though; she weeps weakly or rages – without the strength to act.
We have agreed between us, she and I, that we must not let our clients down. We have a duty of care to them and her energy must first go to those work obligations. There is little left for family or for friends and she is sorry for that. I’m sure I would be too, but there is no emotion here in the Grey Tower.
Please be kind to Michelle. Please remind her to sleep. Please let her know it’s okay not to get everything done. Tell her you understand. When she cries, don’t be upset; just hand her a tissue. When she gets angry and frustrated, remind her that she cannot hope to function perfectly while I’m away. Please reassure her I will come back.
I will come back.
A Moodscope member.