The day I left home for the first time
to go to university was a bright day
brimming with hope and optimism.
I’d done well at school.Expectations for me were high,
and I gleefully entered the student life
去上课 参加派对 还偷交通路标
of lectures, parties and traffic cone theft.
Now appearances, of course, can be deceptive,
and to an extent, this feisty, energetic persona
of lecture-going and trafficcone stealing was a veneer,
albeit a very well-craftedand convincing one.
Underneath,I was actuallydeeply unhappy, insecure
and fundamentally frightened —
惧怕他人的目光 惧怕未来 惧怕失败
frightened of other people,of the future, of failure
and of the emptinessthat I felt was within me.
But I was skilled at hidingit, and from the outside
appeared to be someonewith everything to hope for and aspire to
This fantasy of invulnerability was so complete
that I even deceived myself,
and as the first semester ended and the second began,
there was no way thatanyone could have predicted
what was just about to happen.
I was leaving a seminar when it started,
humming to myself, fumbling with my bag
just as I’d done a hundred times before,
when suddenly I heard a voice calmly observe,
“She is leaving the room.”
I looked around, and there was no one there,
but the clarity and decisiveness of the comment
Shaken,I left my books on the stairs and hurried home,
and there it was again.
“She is opening the door.”
This was the beginning. The voice had arrived.
And the voice persisted,
days and then weeks of it, on and on,
narrating everything I didin the third person.
“She is going to the library.”
“She is going to a lecture.”
It was neutral, impassive
and even, after a while, strangely companionate and reassuring,
但我发现 这声音看似平静 却时有异态
although I did notice that itscalm exterior sometimes slipped
and that it occasionally mirroredmy own unexpressed emotion.
So, for example,
if I was angry and had to hide it,
which I often did,
being very adept at concealing how I really felt,
then the voice would sound frustrated.
Otherwise,it was neither sinister nor disturbing,
although even at that point it was clear
that it had something to communicate to me about my emotions,
particularly emotions which were remote and inaccessible.
Now it was then that I made a fatal mistake,
in that I told a friend about the voice，
and she was horrified.
A subtle conditioning process had begun,
the implication that normal people don’t hear voices
and the fact that I did meant that something was very seriously wrong.
Such fear and mistrust was infectious.
Suddenly the voice didn’t seem quite so benign anymore,
and when she insisted that I seek medical attention, I duly complied,
and which proved to be mistake number two.
I spent some time telling the college G.P.
about what I perceived to be the real problem:
anxiety, low self-worth, fears about the future,
and was met with bored indifference
until I mentioned the voice,
upon which he dropped his pen, swung round
and began to question me with a show of real interest.
And to be fair, I was desperate for interest and help,
and I began to tell him about my strange commentator.
And I always wish, at this point, the voice had said,
“She is digging her own grave.”
I was referred to a psychiatrist,
who likewise, took a grim view of the voice’s presence,
subsequently interpreting everything I said
through a lens of latent insanity.
For example, I was partof a student TV station
that broadcast news bulletinsaround the campus,
and during an appointmentwhich was running very late,
I said,”I’m sorry,doctor, I’ve got to go.
I’m reading the news at six.”
Now it’s down on my medicalrecords that Eleanor
has delusions that she’s a televisionnews broadcaster.
It was at this point that events began to rapidly overtake me.
A hospital admission followed,
the first of many diagnosis of schizophrenia came next,
and then, worst of all,a toxic, tormenting sense
of hopelessness, humiliation
and despair about myself and my prospects.
But having been encouragedto see the voice
not as an experience but as a symptom,
my fear and resistancetowards it intensified.
Now essentially, this represented taking
an aggressive stance towards my own mind,
a kind of psychic civil war,
and in turn this causedthe number of voices to increase
and grow progressivelyhostile and menacing.
Helplessly and hopelessly,I began to retreat
into this nightmarish inner world
in which the voiceswere destined to become
both my persecutorsand my only perceived companions.
They told me, for example,
that if I proved myself worthy of their help,
then they could change my life back to how it had been,
and a series of increasingly bizarre tasks was set,
a kind of labor of Hercules.
It started off quite small.
For example,pull out few strands of hair,
but gradually it grew more extreme,
culminating in commands to harm myself,
and a particularly dramatic instruction:
“You see that tutor over there?
You see that glass of water?
Well,you have to go over
and pour it over him in front of the other students.”
Which I actually did,
and which, needless to say, did not endear me to the faculty.
实际上 恐惧 回避
In effect, a vicious cycleof fear, avoidance,
mistrust and misunderstandinghad been established,
and this was a battlein which I felt powerless
and incapable of establishingany kind of peace or reconciliation.
Two years later,and the deterioration was dramatic.
By now, I had the wholefrenzied repertoire:
terrifying voices, grotesque visions,
bizarre, intractable delusions.
My mental health status had been a catalyst
for discrimination, verbal abuse,
and physical and sexual assault,
and I’d been told by my psychiatrist,
“Eleanor 你若是得癌症 那还好
“Eleanor, you’d be better off with cancer,
because cancer is easierto cure than schizophrenia.”
我已被诊断 被开药 被放弃
I’d been diagnosed, drugged and discarded,
and was by now so tormented by the voices
that I attempted to drilla hole in my head
in order to get them out.
Now looking back on the wreckageand despair of those years,
it seems to me now as if
someone died in that place,
and yet, someone else was saved.
A broken and hauntedperson began that journey,
but the person who emerged was a survivor
and would ultimately grow into the person
I was destined to be.
Many people have harmed me in my life,
and I remember them all,
but the memories grow pale and faint
in comparison with the peoplewho’ve helped me.
The fellow survivors,the fellow voice-hearers,
the comrades and collaborators;
the mother who never gave up on me,
who knew that one dayI would come back to her
and was willing to wait for me
for as long as it took;
the doctor who only workedwith me for a brief time
but who reinforcedhis belief that recovery
was not only possible but inevitable,
and during a devastating period of relapse
told my terrified family,”Don’t give up hope.
I believe that Eleanorcan get through this.
Sometimes,you know, it snows as late as May,
but summer always comes eventually.”
Fourteen minutes is not enough time
to fully credit those good and generous people
who fought with me and for me
and who waited to welcome me back from that agonized, lonely place.
但他们共同铸就的勇气 创造力 正直
But together, they forged a blend of courage, creativity, integrity,
and an unshakeable belief
that my shattered self couldbecome healed and whole.
I used to say that these people saved me,
but what I now know is they did something even more important
in that they empowered me to save myself,
and crucially, they helpedme to understand something
which I’d always suspected：
that my voices were a meaningful response to traumatic life events,
particularly childhood events,
and as such were not my enemies
but a source of insight into solvable emotional problems.
Now,at first, this was very difficult to believe,
not least because the voices appeared so hostile and menacing,
so in this respect, a vital first step
was learning to separateout a metaphorical meaning
from what I’d previouslyinterpreted to be a literal truth.
So for example, voiceswhich threatened to attack my home
I learned to interpret as my own senseof fear and insecurity in the world,
rather than an actual, objective danger.
Now at first, I would have believed them.
I remember, for example,
sitting up one night on guardoutside my parents’ room to protect them
from what I thought was a genuinethreat from the voices.
Because I’d had such a badproblem with self-injury
that most of the cutleryin the house had been hidden,
so I ended up arming myselfwith a plastic fork,
kind of like picnic ware,
and sort of sat outside the room
clutching it and waiting to springinto action should anything happen.
It was like,”Don’t mess with me.
I’ve got a plastic fork, don’t you know?”
But a later response,and much more useful,
would be to try and deconstructthe message behind the words,
so when the voices warnedme not to leave the house,
then I would thank themfor drawing my attention
to how unsafe I felt —
because if I was aware of it,
then I could do something positive about it —
but go on to reassure both them and myself
that we were safe and didn’tneed to feel frightened anymore.
I would set boundaries for the voices,
and try to interact with them in a way that was assertive yet respectful,
establishing a slow process of communication and collaboration
in which we could learn to work together and support one another.
Throughout all of this,what I would ultimately realize
was that each voice was closely related to aspects of myself,
and that each of them
carried overwhelming emotions
that I’d never had an opportunity to process or resolve,
memories of sexual trauma and abuse,
愤怒 惭愧 罪恶感和妄自菲薄这些记忆
of anger, shame, guilt, low self-worth.
The voices took the place of this pain
and gave words to it,
and possibly one of the greatest revelations was
when I realized that the most hostile and aggressive voices
actually represented the parts of me
that had been hurt most profoundly,
and as such, it was these voices
that needed to be shownthe greatest compassion and care.
It was armed with this knowledge
that ultimately I would gather together my shattered self,
each fragment representedby a different voice,
gradually withdraw from all my medication,
and return to psychiatry, only thistime from the other side.
Ten years after the voice first came,I finally graduated,
this time with the highest degree in psychology the university had ever given,
and one year later, the highest Masters,
which shall we say isn’t bad for a mad woman.
In fact, one of the voices actually dictated the answers during the exam,
which technically possibly counts as cheating.
And to be honest, sometimes I quiteenjoyed their attention as well.
As Oscar Wilde has said, the only thing worse than being talked about
is not being talked about.
It also makes you verygood at eavesdropping,
because you can listento two conversations simultaneously.
So it’s not all bad.
I worked in mental health services, I spoke at conferences,
I published book chaptersand academic articles,
and I argued, and continue to do so,
the relevance of the following concept:
that an important question in psychiatry
shouldn’t be what’s wrong with you but rather what’s happened to you.
And all the while,I listened to my voices,
with whom I’d finally learnedto live with peace and respect
and which in turnreflected a growing sense
of compassion, acceptanceand respect towards myself.
And I remember the most movingand extraordinary moment
when supporting another young womanwho was terrorized by her voices,
and becoming fully aware,for the very first time,
that I no longer felt that way myself
but was finally able to helpsomeone else who was.
现在 我很荣幸成为 Intervoice 的一员
I’m now very proud to bea part of Intervoice,
the organizational body of the InternationalHearing Voices Movement,
这一计划受到了 Marius Romme 教授和 Sandra Escher 博士的研究的启发
an initiative inspired by the work of Professor Marius Romme and Doctor Sandra Escher
which locates voice hearing as a survival strategy,
a sane reaction to insane circumstances,
not as an aberrant symptomof schizophrenia to be endured,
but a complex, significantand meaningful experience
to be explored.
Together,we envisage and enact a society
that understandsand respects voice hearing,
supports the needsof individuals who hear voices,
and which values them as full citizens.
This type of society is not only possible,
it’s already on its way.
正如 Chávez 想表达的
To paraphrase Chavez,
once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.
You cannot humiliatethe person who feels pride.
You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
For me, the achievementsof the Hearing Voices Movement
are a reminder that
同情心 友情 正义和尊重胜过言语
empathy, fellowship, justice and respect are more than words;
they are convictions and beliefs,
and that beliefs can change the world.
In the last 20 years,the Hearing Voices Movement
has established hearing voices networks
in 26 countries across five continents,
working together to promotedignity, solidarity
and empowerment for individualsin mental distress,
to create a new languageand practice of hope, which,
at its very center,lies an unshakable belief
in the power of the individual.
Peter Levine 曾说过
As Peter Levine has said, the human animal
is a unique being endowed with an instinctual capacity to heal
and the intellectual spiritto harness this innate capacity.
In this respect, for members of society,
there is no greater honor or privilege
than facilitating that processof healing for someone,
to bear witness, to reach out a hand,
to share the burdenof someone’s suffering,
and to hold the hope for their recovery.
And likewise, for survivorsof distress and adversity,
that we remember we don’thave to live our lives
forever defined by the damagingthings that have happened to us.
We are unique. We are irreplaceable.
What lies within us cannever be truly colonized, contorted,
or taken away.
The light never goes out.
As a very wonderfuldoctor once said to me,
“Don’t tell me what other peoplehave told you about yourself.
Tell me about you.”