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Schizophrenia’s Voice

I would perhaps start with explaining that everything that I say is honest and true, the reason being that some of it may be unbelievable, but then I find many of the stories I have heard about schizophrenia to be remarkable and hard to accept. I even find it remarkable that people have the courage to say that they have this condition, which is something they may end up living with for the rest of their life, and something that is barely discussed by everyday people without them conjuring up images of the psychotic with the blade in one hand and the head of a dead child in the other. My story is not that gruesome or hard to believe, but at times you may just have to swallow it. This is the short version.

It’s hard to really say where I grew up, as I grew up far more quickly than I would have liked. I know that might sound clich├ęd, but I was born premature and was raised by a single mother who played the disciplinarian and the caregiver in my life. The latter, I am hard pushed to honestly raise any awareness of. I was born in Scotland to a married couple, who were my parents. I say were, as they split up amongst lies and deceit which still exist today, and the truth of their breakup I am not aware of. Before I was removed from Scotland by my mother, I was kidnapped and taken away to Pakistan by my father.

He was born and raised in Scotland, so I’m not sure why this transpired — again, this is from what I’ve been told, as I recollect very little from my haunted childhood. I was recovered, and we moved to England, Lancashire to be precise, and Blackburn to be pedantic. I grew up with cousins, who were the nearest thing to family we had, but I grew up being teased and insulted about my not having a father, about being of two different Islamic castes (Shia and Sunni), about having big ears, or being too fat. This wasn’t playground stuff though, and I often cried until they stopped tearing my soul apart. It would have been OK if my cousins (who were of mixed age and gender) were the only ones that did the soul ripping, but their parents got involved too. I still remember the cackling their mother used to make, and even hearing her talk causes nausea and the will to vomit repeatedly to distract myself from the childhood torment.

Once more, I may have turned out OK, if the only person that was in my life related to me by blood and was in the vicinity didn’t get involved in the piss taking. That person is my mother. You see, my mother was raised strictly by her father, and so she tried to instill the same discipline in me. If I didn’t like the clothes she bought for me, she would beat me. If I didn’t eat the food she bought she would beat me. If I made a mistake, I was beaten; if I wasn’t in the wrong but involved with troublemakers, I was beaten again. Most of my childhood is filled with beatings, insults, threats and violence. If you can believe it, I was seven years old the first time I thought about committing suicide.

Schizophrenia’s Voice

Personal Story

A personal story contribution is a story told by someone who is living with mental illness, a caregiver or family member, or a professional who treats mental illness. We believe in the importance of the patient's voice, and those most impacted by the effects of mental illness. These stories are a vital part of the mosaic that makes up the complexity of living with mental health concerns.

APA Reference
Story, P. (2020). Schizophrenia’s Voice. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jan 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.