Speaking Her Mind

brainstorm_mm.jpgFirst-person accounts of illness fall into two camps: Lugubrious or Poignant. The former is generally unreadable; the latter is either papered over or untrue.

But Orange County Register reporter and 2005 Pulitzer Finalist Valerie Godines managed to create a third type of account: Breathtakingly naked. In a five-part series that continues today, Godines recounts how she “lost her mind” to bipolar disorder and how she had convinced herself she killed her 3-year-old daughter.

In a profession where credibility is king, Godines’ confession is stunning. We asked if any of her sources have balked since the series began running on Sunday. She told us they haven’t – yet.

“It’s pretty interesting. I haven’t heard from any of my sources yet,” she said in an e-mail. “A lot
of my sources are Spanish-speakers who don’t read the paper, but I thought I would have heard from some of the others by now. Who knows? I’m dying to know what they think.”

[Evening Update: Some very astute reader noted that I, Mayrav, write a weekly column for the O.C. Register. I don’t work there, but in the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the Reg is one of my freelance clients. There, Encyclopedia Brown, feel better?]