Being crazy is noisy:
Not all voices are demonic. I once met a man who heard happy voices. I was walking down the hall of the locked ward in the hospital’s inpatient facility (“Club Head”, we called it) and a young man with dark curly hair approached me, staring into space, smiling, giggling, laughing. He turned his head to whisper to someone who was obviously not there. We passed each other and I heard him chuckle and say, “That’s very funny.” I knew he wasn’t talking to me–I hadn’t said or done anything–and I knew he was psychotic (I recognised the symptoms). At dinner that night I asked my roommate about the young man. “Oh, that’s Kevin,” he answered. “He hears happy voices.”
I immediately hated Kevin. I have been tormented with psychosis and delusions since I was four years old. To meet someone decades later who apparently relished the very same symptoms that have haunted me all of my life felt unfair, an abomination. I avoided Kevin. When I did run into him I wished him the worst voices–the kind that would finally push him over the edge. I wanted him to fall into the endless pit of suffering and pain where I have spent nearly every day of the last 40 years. This is wrong, I know, but I do not yet understand how to be both crazy and compassionate.
Join over 320,000 readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.