I was 4 when the voices started. First a soft whisper, asking me for friendship. So I let them in. They spoke to me, feeding me secrets that made me feel special. They had conversations with me. First about the weird blue spot on mama’s leg. Then the weird cup thing with the flowers that lay on the floor, broken. They comforted me when the yelling would start, followed by the loud bangs and thuds. They would speak to me, distracting me of the fact that the house was now silent. They held me when the loud sirens arrived, the thud of boots on the steps and papa shouting. Papa was always shouting; at me, mama, the cat. At anything. Just always shouting. Papa came home though, he said sorry. Mama said she forgave him.
When I was 8, I was sent home early. Mommy looked scared, I didn’t know why. I soon found out. See, this kid on the playground stole my things. My bag and my crayons. The 24 piece set with 3 different blues. The voices told me to punch him, get my things back. So I did. The boy dropped my things, my crayons scattering, grabbed his nose with the hot crimson stream gushing down his chin, and ran. Ran all the way into the arms of the teacher on duty, a fat ugly lady who made me sit in the corner one time for shouting out an answer. That bratty kid told on me, the teacher phoned my mommy and my mommy drove us home, her face white with fear.
When Daddy found out he screamed at mommy, screamed at me and then locked me in my room. Once again the voices came to my rescue. Comforting me as the smashing and screaming started again.
At the age of 13 the principal began butting into my life. He called my parents in, saying that I was a “special” child. I had the brains to do well but I was too “aggressive”. That I had no “people skills”. Because I had no friends. I had friends. Just only I could see them. I didn’t like the people around me. They were always judging, saying I was weird. A freak. The voices told me to hurt them. Make them suffer. I just wanted them to leave me alone so the voices and I compromised and I just shut them out, ignoring them as much as possible. Mom and dad signed me up to see a counsellor. Said it would “help” me. The only help I needed was from the voices. They were my friends. They mattered. The counsellor tried to talk to me about what was going on in my head. I didn’t tell her about the voices. They were mine. My secret for only me to worry about.
I was 17 the last time I heard the voices. Mother and father constantly fighting. The screams became louder and then quietened all together. The final straw was when father came home from the pub, drunk. Eyes red, face purple, he grabbed mother, throwing her down the stairs. The only sound was the continuous cracks as her bones shattered on impact. Tumbling down and down, only stopping when she reached the bottom. She lay motionless, unseeing. The voices roared, blood pounding in my head, rushing through my ears. The last thing they called out was “Finish him!” They fell silent as I stared at the blood mixing on the floor, pouring from the two broken bodies lying side by side. As man and wife.
“So you see your honour, clearly my client was not in control of his actions. He has been suffering with this mental illness for most of his life. He is innocent. He pleads, not guilty.”
He did it. He got me out. I’m going to St Ann’s home for the mentally ill. I’ll be okay there. I am okay here. I have been since the voices stopped their whispering. I should have never let them in.