Schizophrenia: A Fractured Mind
I recently experienced another breakdown (curious how, every year since I can remember, they seem to build out of manic episodes, which start to escalate from my birthday in mid-April, with a culmination of the madness in early September) during which, for the first time but a handful since my teenage years, I was going through big-time auditory and visual hallucinations.
This time, they lasted for an unbroken 3 days and nights. It was a break from reality which I later confirmed by questioning some 3 or 4 people who I believed had been there at the time (they hadn’t) about certain events which had occurred, and which had seemed very real to me (they apparently hadn’t been). So, either I was an MK-Ultra experiment, and everyone I knew except myself was in on the game and sworn to secrecy - or, I had been hallucinating for 3 days, nonstop.
Hallucination is nothing new to me; I went through it during my mid-teens (around age 16), which, in women, is typically a time of hormonal upheaval. It is known to resurface (again in women) during the menopause, a time of oestrogen deprivation (I am 48, and definitely going through this). Since I’ve always been sensitive to PMDD, and have generally gone off like a rocket every time my hormones have run amok, this should probably come as no surprise.
People ask me if I’ve done drugs and no, I never have - however, periodically, when I shut my eyes and go to sleep, it is as if multilayered, fragmented colours and patterns relentlessly flicker before my eyes; or, I fly at the speed of light, through red Northern larch forests and over streams of wildebeeste; I hurtle through speedy, fluffy clouds, towards the bright nemesis of a melting sun in a red sky. It is as though my whole mind has fractured, as though the whole universe has downloaded itself into my brain, as though it were a multidimensional 3D movie on steroids. For an example of what I mean, see my book The New Barghello - the discombobulated stitch patterns of which, are representative of the kind of thing seen, on a regular basis, through my mind’s eye: https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Barghello-Experiments-Embroidery-Design/dp/B09CGBM6Q1
Those three days in early September were as if in a dream, but searingly real to me (I still have written notes made at this time, relating to the events as I perceived them). For a full three days and nights, I could hear the malicious, taunting voices of police and prison guards walking past my cell door, throwing repetitive insults at me - and since I prefer to see myself as undefeated, I gave them back as good, as I got (by the end, they were literally begging their higher-ups that my appearance at court should not be delayed any longer).
Then, when the time came for me to go to court, and I was locked in my small box in the security vehicle, words equating to what can only be described as a stream of consciousness started pelting out of the van’s radio system as I was trapped in this small box with no means of escape; the words came thick and fast, but were all completely lucid and made perfect sense, and made oblique references to both myself, and to people in my daily life, with whom I’m fairly familiar.
Even on the train back home, everybody was raving about a song on Youtube which was apparently about me - and shouting a nickname by which I was known due to the social media success of this song, across the road at me - since, I had a distinctive hairstyle, and was supposedly recognizable from the video. I walked quickly, and covered my face where possible. This stuff did not let up until I arrived home, and I questioned my host about the goings-on of the last three days.
It was when they, and also others I knew whom I believed to have been participating in these events (none of them know each other), actively negated all my accounts, that I realized there were but two possibilities: 1) everybody I knew was under MK Ultra’s thumb; 2) I had resurgent schizophrenia.
As I’ve mentioned, schizophrenic experiences are not new to me; I certainly thought (and hoped) it was done and over with in my teens, but apparently not.
It seems I was grossly misdiagnosed, unsupported in my illness; it was swept under the carpet, I was told there was “no excuse”, that I had to “pull my socks up”, that I “wasn’t going to be allowed to turn out like Cousin David” (more about him later), and I was largely expected to “get on with things” and fend for myself, because of the misconceptions and social prejudices against schizophrenia which have shamefully persisted - even to this day, 30 years later.
Schizophrenia and mental illness is hereditary in my family; not the German side, although the German style of child-rearing can be considered to be its own form of mental illness. On my Welsh side, it seems that a rogue gene has largely been responsible for (as described by Mr. Rochester, “devoted” husband of his wife Bertha in Jane Eyre), “idiots and maniacs through three generations” ( - Charlotte Bronte's writing, not mine). My cousin David and I both suffered from schizophrenia. Cousin David is now dead, but according to those around him, lived a tormented life, and at one point lay down in front of a train and lost an arm. He was considered a “shame on the family” and since I was also odd, I suspect, so was I. I was never invited to family gatherings - which to me, is rather redolent of the Queen’s notoriety for having allowed her mentally incapacitated relatives to be locked away, and never having permitted them to participate in family gatherings, or any sort of public life. Truly, the lot of schizophrenics versus the rest of society, is a “them-and-us” situation.
Still further back along the family tree, there was a great-uncle of mine with Learning Difficulties, and a pair of twins who ended up in an institution. I had a brain scan done of myself several times over the last few years, which revealed that I had a meningioma in the right frontal lobe of my brain; the positioning of which, as such, has governance over impulse control and emotional regulation. Now, these things can run in families, and there was no doubt in my mind that hereditary meningiomas could be responsible for this high preponderance of mental disorders (even though medics, psychiatrists and other “specialists” in the field, in their infinite wisdom, have consistently dismissed this possibility).
I asked many times if I could meet Cousin David and talk to him - so that I could get some sort of a handle on why he had got so upset in the first place, but I was never allowed to meet with him except at my uncle’s funeral, where he was quite clearly drugged up to the nines on lithium. Now he is dead, I will never get the chance. It angers me that such people are seen as “bringing shame upon” the family - whereas it is more appropriate that the family, and society, should feel ashamed (and actually, they secretly do) - of their failure to have nurtured these people who, at a vulnerable point in their lives, were and/ or continue to be, in desperate need of help.
The schizophrenogenic upbringing theory is one which has been officially discounted, but as far as I’m concerned, is alive and well, in my book. From what I’ve observed, in retrospect, you can recognize children who will grow up to be schizophrenic from a very young age - certainly from age 7, but possibly even earlier.
There is a social disconnect in schizophrenics. I probably had schizophrenia from age 4-5; I wasn’t interested in playing with other children much. I was in my own little bubble, and quite happy, until the miserable faces and dispositions, the mean-spiritedness and petty-mindedness of the other girls at school, teachers, or my mother, served to disrupt my tranquillity and train of thought with their irrelevances, and their sheer jealousy of my innate self-containedness, by which they felt almost royally threatened.
Schizophrenic children typically have an innocence about them, a bright-eyedness, at 7 years of age. They are not on the same plane as other folks, but in their own mystical, magical, carefree child's world. By 14, it would be surprising if most, if not all, of the stuffing had been knocked out of them. No matter what they have done, or not done, they elicit a hostile response from others, and the social rejection is abominable.
They are criticized for their speech not being the same as other people, for not “reading” people well (particularly of their own sex), and for not "moving in the same way". Since when did all this make a person a worse person? And yet, according to the Great Unwashed, it does; because social standing, outward appearances and money, are everything, and anything that has any actual value - anything which is inside, as opposed to outside, a person - counts for absolutely nothing.
Even though William James Sidis may not have been schizophrenic (and frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was), his upbringing by all accounts had similarities to my own, and serves as the carbon copy of “how to turn your child schizophrenic” or “how to promote latent schizophrenia in your child”. Like him, I was taught to read before I was two; this, amongst other situations within my own and I’m sure, Sidis’ experience, was an example of where the child is thrown in at the deep end, before it can swim.
The child is expected to be perfect in all matters, without teaching and without prompting. It is expected to “just know” how to do things, or how to behave, automatically (otherwise, it is called “stupid” - including, by the parents). It doesn’t matter whether the situation is an academic, social or sports one; the child is expected to perform perfectly at all times. (This was partly why, even though I have severe myopia and could hardly see, I would indeed thrash my bigger, beefier classmates at certain sporting events; I’m a tough little bastard, when I want to be).
The parents are so out of tune with the child that age-appropriateness is never considered; along with the baffling combination of overinvolvement/ underinvolvement and hypercritical control/ not caring, is added a fostering of dependence, on the part of the child. We cannot in any way blame Sidis for the schism from his parents, if only for the sake of his reclaiming his own identity.
As a result of my own early oppression, I became a highly independent individual, with an ingrained and lifelong distrust of authority figures, and society as a whole. Whilst I can be pleasant, on the outside (any social behaviour on my part, is all of it learned - the hard way), I have a silent seethe of my own - a heaving cauldron of deep anger - buried down deep beneath the ready quips, the jolly watermelon grin, ringing laughter, and the throwaway blase merciless Pimpernel-style wit. You don’t need to go to Iceland, folks; come and visit me, for a day.
At an AA meeting yesterday, we were invited to meditate on the Step of the Month, which involved making amends to all those we have wronged with our addiction. I do not know how ready I am to carry Step 9 out, as yet. I realize that I bear grudges very easily; I have the memory of an elephant, and that pain, and hurt, and resentment which I have suffered from others, have been covered over with geological layers, so that I have grown my own thick hide. I used to cry at the drop of a hat; I don’t any more. I suspect my overarching sensitivity was what started me drinking, but that the brain cells corresponding to the triggering of crying jags have probably been killed off, by nearly a decade of staggering alcoholism.
These people who have wronged me have never apologized to me, and so, I reason, why should I do so, to them? That would only give them extra power, which they don’t deserve. Of course, we’re not obliged to do anything; and for the moment, I suspect it would be better to go away and work on something else, rather than force an issue before the time is right.
I cannot say that I am enjoying my treatment by authority figures right now, although lack of complicity would doubtless expose me to further limitations. I can’t drink, any more, at this point in time; I am a tagged entity, with a curfew, and have to comply with this and with going to AA meetings, and still other alcoholism treatment facilities, and the requirements of the people I live with, as they have all basically told me, “You are stuffed.”.
What has barely been recognized - or at least, has been roundly dismissed - is the magical thinking of the schizophrenic world; the fact that symptoms such as hallucinations are seen as a “mental illness” or less desirable quality.
I am of the mind that different worlds exist on different frequencies. How does anything else explain my having seen and spoken with spirits (no, not the alcoholic kind - the kind, from other dimensions)? How does it explain the experiences I had over 3 days earlier this month? How does it explain the visions I see when I shut my eyes at night?
There is a spiritual disconnect within modern life. People look for spiritualism in all the wrong places. If it occurs according to some “Order”, which is accepted by the general population, then it’s OK. If it occurs spontaneously - if someone has their own natural interpretation - then that’s not OK.
We’re not allowed to say we’re God, for instance. That’s “having ideas above our station”, or “it’s nonsense” - irrespective of the fact, that God is in all of us, and in everything - if we want it to be.
In bygone days, and in the right type of tribe or civilizations, schizophrenics would have been seen as “seers”, with special powers and gifts. Except, of course, Jesus, who was executed for blasphemy against the Temple (i.e. saying he was God), and treason against the Roman state (for simply “being different”).
Now, the vast majority of humankind is of the “Roman” mentality. “When in Rome - do, as Romans do”. The fact is - I’d rather have been anything other than a poor little Roman. I’ve no interest in being some cannon-fodder foot-soldier, marching for flag and country and in being kitted out in the same uniform, just like everyone else. Nope. If I had to be anyone from the ancient world, I’d be a Phoenician. Clad in furs, and with my own bespoke weapons, I’d follow Hannibal over the Alps, with his band of mercenaries, elephants, and more besides. Fitting in was never my concern; being great and ultimately legendary, was.
In Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, men of ability grow so disillusioned with the world that they actively withdraw their brains and talent from it, in order to see how it will fare without them in it. I would say, don’t make me do this; ironically, I love the world so much - irrespective of its people - that I cannot help giving of myself, and I continue to do so, whether I like it or not - or whether the world appreciates me, or not; because the spark of life is within me, and seems very difficult to extinguish.
The fact that in truth, I have given so much of myself, is what is never noticed about me - because I do it so effortlessly, and with so much jolly patter, that whatever it is, is done before people have a chance to notice it; and furthermore and moreover, people are so distracted with their own needs and desires, trying to navel-gaze, and trying to pick holes in me, where there is no reason to - that, in the words of Joni Mitchell, “(they) don’t know what (they’) ve got ‘til it’s gone”.
(The tiger disappears noiselessly into the grass)