To continue from the last post, I will describe some of my realities in having schizophrenia. I was diagnosed when I was in 10th grade after a particularly bad psychotic break.
I’d been hearing voices since 4th grade. As a lonely child who was already experiencing depressive symptoms, I didn’t mention it to anyone. It’s thanks to the voices, really, that I made it through the beginnings of depression. When I wanted to kill myself, they told me that I didn’t deserve the escape of death. They told me that I deserved a long life full of suffering and misery.
As time went on, the most dominant voice was the one I heard the most. It was a somewhat abusive relationship, now that I think about it. I relied on this voice as my lone companion through everything I experienced, even though it belittled and hurt me. It shared in my triumphs, and it got me through the lows. It was a proud voice, and it begrudgingly congratulated me when I made a particularly difficult accomplishment. It criticized me most of the time though. But it was always there, the only thing that was always there. And for that, I relied on it.
From that young age, it would tell me that my life was pointless and that I didn’t matter. It’s hard to remember, at this point, exactly why I kept going. Maybe because it told me that I didn’t deserve to die, instead to suffer for as long as possible. So I kept myself alive and I kept myself safe. And it was in this way that I continued to live until I was 14, in 10th grade.
I briefly mentioned hearing a voice to my mom, and she had me go to a doctor, who pretty much immediately wrote me off as not being schizophrenic. I barely remember the appointment, but I remember her seeming to have her mind already made up before I even saw her. Which is not a good move on a doctor’s part, I might add. I didn’t see her again.
A couple of months after that, it got worse. A lot worse. Other voices started coming to me, more than just the one I’d been hearing. They put ideas and doubts into my head, relentless in their efforts. They told me that everything was lies, that everyone was lying to me and using me and planning on hurting me. After hearing that for months, I’d pushed everyone away, including friends and family, until I was alone and “safe.” And then once I was alone, they started attacking me.
My family had been in the process of moving to a different town. I’d had a boyfriend in our old town, who was also moving to our new town for college. Through these issues with the voices, I had successfully pushed even him away, ultimately breaking off the relationship. The thought of being close to anyone made me sick, made me want to use a hammer to break open my ribcage and tear out my heart. I stopped going to school again.
To be continued…