The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #10: Hannah Miet in Conversation with Her Brother, Gabe


Hannah Miet: So we’ve never spoken directly about the fact that you were recently dual diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Schizoaffective Disorder. I’ve been wanting to know how you feel about that. What do those things mean to you?

Gabe: I have trouble looking people in the eyes and understanding if a person is interested in what I’m saying. I also talk over people and cut them off, but that’s all that there is to my Autism. It’s minor.

Every second of my life I have what I call “mind creations,” where I believe a fantasy about something that didn’t happen. Sometimes it has to do with something I’m excited about and sometimes it’s something I’m upset about. I’m always very afraid when I think about it.

Sometimes, my mind creations mix with things that are true because I was loaded on medication at the time of the memory. For example, lately I have a mind creation that, when I was about 15, our babysitter [redacted] gave me the death sentence, and in the last weeks of my life she let me experience her body naked. She would drive me in her sports car totally naked.

Hannah: How did you determine that this was a “mind creation?”

Gabe: The fact that the story was just so long and weird. I was on so much medication that it felt real, but the truth is, if I were to get the death sentence, it would be from someone tougher than her. She also would have gotten arrested for driving me around naked.

Hannah: Probably. What is a death sentence?

Gabe: Sometimes minors who do illegal things, things that I was doing at that time, like being manic and pointing knives at family members, get saved from going to prison by getting the death sentence. I think I was given the death sentence then, but my body was too strong for the medication, so it didn’t rot my body like it was supposed to. I lived, but I also died.

Hannah: Once you identify that you’re worrying about something that’s not real, how do you stop?

Gabe: I don’t even know how to describe this. It’s like saying “I don’t want to do my chores because I want the aliens in space to do my chores.” I try to stop obsessing over mind creations because they prevent my body from growing into a man’s body. Your body develops depending on what goes on in your brain. If you don’t stop thinking about mind creations, you won’t become a man.

Hannah: My next question is about a time in high school when my boyfriend broke up with me. I was sad for a while, but then we got back together. Soon after, you threw food at my boyfriend’s face. I think I acted mad at you. But I wonder, in retrospect, if you were trying to defend me. Do you remember this at all?

Gabe: I remember that. We were at Andrea’s Sweet 16 party. You and [redacted] broke up because he had a sexual affair with some other girl. At the party, he kept saying “leave us alone, we’re talking.” That pissed me off, so I threw snack mix at him.

That year was a really weird year for us, because I was on a lot of medication and you were both suicidal and homicidal.

Hannah: I was suicidal? I was homicidal?

Gabe: Yeah, you were extremely suicidal. You were into grunge bands like Nirvana.

Hannah: So because I listened to Nirvana you thought that I wanted to kill myself, and also other people?

Gabe: Yeah. Well, you were homicidal meaning you wanted the world to die. You wanted the world to go away.

Hannah: And now?

Gabe: I think you’re much better now.

Hannah Miet used to work as a hostess at swinger parties, helping couples find each other. Now she works as a librarian at her grad school. She writes here: More from this author →