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Schizophrenia, My Life Story.

 

Schizophrenia And What It Means To Me

 

When I go for a job interview or just in ordinary conversation I am often asked what schizophrenia means to me and how it affects me in my day to day life. There are 3 main aspects to being a schizophrenic and they are as follows; Firstly the sufferer hears voices in their head. I am convinced that this is a perfectly normal phenomenon as I am a firm believer in telepathy. The difference between a schizophrenic and a normal person is that when a normal person hears voices, which they do rarely, it is to instruct them to perform a particular task the reason for which may not be apparent to them but it has a definite purpose. More importantly they do not get into trouble for doing it no matter what it is. With a schizophrenic they may be told to do something and they invariably get into trouble or cause trouble. Also the voices often talk about them in a derogatory manner. Sometimes they even reassure the sufferer when they are depressed or in trouble.

This was seen when Peter Sutcliffe, an infamous schizophrenic was in prison. He often said that the voices comforted him while he was awaiting trial for the many murders he committed under their guidance.

Another aspect of hearing voices is that they can often be heard talking to friends about the schizophrenic or something that they have done.

Where do the voices come from?

I believe that they originate from a very large number of people who guide all of our lives for the good of the community and not necessarily the individual. I am convinced that all people hear them and receive their guidance whether they are a policeman on the beat , a teacher, a judge or even a doctor.

They come from trained medical people Psychiatric nurses, doctors consultants etc. Ordinary people are employed by them to help control the population but that is I believe what their function is

Some schizophrenics do not hear any voices until they first become ill and at this point they are not in a fit state emotionally to rationalize about them.

Why do they torment/pester schizophrenics ?

This is for a very good reason and I believe it is basically to control them emotionally and to find out when they reach the point when they can no longer hear.

How are the voices heard if telepathy really exists?

I believe that we all have an organ called the pre-frontal lobe situated at the front of our brains, the so called 3rd eye. This organ receives radio waves from the electro magnetic spectrum, of which light is a part, and processes them into sound.

Many years ago the only cure for madness was a lobotomy. This was an operation where the lobe was surgically removed. Nowadays it is destroyed with drugs or medication.

Electric shock treatment has also been used to burn the organ out but this method of treatment has also been phased out almost entirely. The problem with using these potent drugs is that they also affect the nervous system harming it slightly and making it function less efficiently. This in turn causes a problem because the life force or electric impulse that the brain creates that keeps the lungs and heart working becomes weaker and falters. This causes the victim to stop breathing and then they need a jump start from a healthy individual. The spark of life is imperceptible and a gentle touch to the temples will usually start somebody breathing again. If the victim is left to long  resuscitation techniques may be necessary such as a respirator and shock treatment.

Ultimately death would result if the person was just left for days. You may think that if someone's heart has  stopped for 4 minutes they are dead but this is not true as we have all heard about children who have fallen into an icy river and been trapped underwater for anything up to an hour before being brought to the surface and revived with no ill effects.

However this temporary 'death' again causes a problem and that is a small amount of brain damage is indicated by reduction in memory. The more times a person has this kind of attack the worse their memory gets. Also they will eventually get cataracts in their eyes.

Perhaps the most important aspect of schizophrenia is that of unconscious actions. Schizophrenics often do or say very silly, rude or disgusting things. They may strip off in public or even worse urinate in public places.

In fact anything that a normal person can physically do then so can a schizophrenic. The difference is that when they have an attack and do something irrational they have no conscious control over their actions. The attack can last for a few seconds in mid sentence, minutes, hours or even on rare occasions a day or two. When asked to explain these attacks I usually give an explanation that is readily accepted and that is as follows;

The schizophrenic when acting irrationally is basically asleep and is sleep walking. That is to say the conscious part of the brain is not in control but the subconscious is . This part has no emotional control and no self control at all. Anything that you are capable of dreaming the schizophrenic is capable of doing without any feelings or thought for the consequences. If it means hurting a loved one then no feelings are felt nor do they obstruct any actions. The person becomes totally unpredictable and is capable of doing anything to anyone.

Furthermore the schizophrenic will not react to any amount of pain and cannot be brought back to consciousness with pain.

Most schizophrenics I should point out when in this state do not commit violent acts, only a small percentage do, most are far more likely to do some harm to themselves such as commit suicide.

This explanation usually satisfies most people but I believe it is not quite the truth as I believe there is control in a person who has such an attack. However the control is not internal but is external as in a radio controlled toy. It is done by telepathy.

The instructions are sent to the person who's subconscious hears the commands and blindly obeys with the conscious playing no part at all. If this is true why do the controllers make the victims do the crazy things that they are prone to do.

All I can answer to this is that they have their reasons at all times although we the lay men may not always readily understand them. Perhaps the most frightening thing about someone having an attack of this nature is the strength that they have. The average woman becomes more than a handful for the average man to restrain and a man becomes a circus strongman in his strength.

How is this possible you might ask ?

Well as we all know the body functions by electric impulses sent down the nerves. The impulse makes the muscle contract or relax giving rise to movement . The stronger the signal, as in any electric motor, the more power the muscle exerts. When a person has an attack the conscious part of the brain is short circuited out and as always if the electrical signal takes a short cut it remains stronger with less resistance in the circuit.

Consequently the muscle exerts more power. This can be seen from the reports in America concerning the drug  P.C.P. or Angel Dust as it is commonly called.

When people take this drug they have phenomenal strength and you can see one man being mobbed by policemen who are tossed aside like rag dolls. I believe Angel Dust was designed to give people with muscle wasting diseases more strength and it works by increasing the power of the nerve impulses in the body. As with a lot of drugs its use has been criminalised.

 Most people don't realize that the pshycadellic group of drugs including L.S.D. were originally created for the medical purpose of treating certain types of mental illness of which schizophrenia is one.

 

Before My Illness.

         The Bank

 After  failing my "A" levels I left school and still got a good job at one of the local high street banks. This was down to a mistake by the manager over my age rather than because of anything else. It occurred because I took my Maths and English 'O' Levels a year early at the age of 15 instead of 16. The manager thought that I had taken my 'A' Levels a year early as well. As the results were not out then I got the job.

The mistake only came to light when I got a rise for my 18 Th birthday which was of course my 19 Th and it was to late for him to admit his mistake then.  

Basically my job for the first 6 months trial period was that of junior or general dogsbody. I had to print the customers account numbers on cheque books, answer inquiries if it was something simple or else find the right person to help, encode the days cheques that were paid in, list them and balance this total with the computers. Other jobs had to be done from time to time such as the post , but more of that later.

The next big event that happened was totally unconnected with work but still nearly got me the sack. As with most youngsters I did not pay much attention to the driving laws. I drove too fast and I often drove after having a drink.

The inevitable happened and one night on my way home from the pub after I had had too much to drink I smashed my car up very badly. Fortunately no one else was involved and the police were lenient but the car was a write off and I had knocked myself out from the force of the impact.

After my trial period was over the manager persuaded me to study for the banks diploma which I  did by following the first stage of taking a part time ONC in Business studies course at the local college. This meant one day off a week to go to college so I promptly agreed and temporarily got back to studying which I enjoyed.

I found the course relatively easy because in my opinion it was just like doing 5 "O" levels all at once under one umbrella and some of the subjects were repeats of what I had done for O Level. They included ;Economic History, English, Accounts, Economics, Elements Of Banking and English Law.

I was advised on my grades not to attempt the HNC which was the next stage. This was to be taken at a college further away so I took the easy option and did nothing.

I was not a good clerk at the bank because I was terrible at learning new tasks and frequently made monumental mistakes such as the day I was in charge of the post.

The branch sent out hundreds of statements daily as well as numerous cheque books and other letters. 

The night before I started I was told to make sure that I changed the date on the franking machine before starting to frank the days post with a prepaid frank that the machine produced in ink on the envelopes.

The next day came and I changed the date as instructed but what I did not do was change the amount. The last thing to be franked every day was a large heavy parcel containing the days work.

After I had franked several dozen letters I looked down and was quite shocked at what I saw. I had franked 30 or 40 statement envelopes at 4 odd each instead of the normal first class rate of a few pence.  The sub manager was duly informed and threw his hands up in despair. There was some discussion with the Post Office but eventually the bank managed to reclaim most of the money so no real harm was done.

My carelessness led to another embarrassing incident with the vault door. They are just as seen in the movies, a large steel door weighing over 1 ton swinging on hinges and fitting very tightly.

One day I spilt a box of paper clips, picked them up and thought nothing of it until the next day.  The safe door was given a good hard tug and slammed shut at the end of work. In the morning the various alarms were disarmed and someone attempted to open the vault. They pulled on the heavy door to no effect.

Eventually 4 of us managed to pull it open just before the timed alarm went off to summon the police.

Needless to say a paper clip was found in the door jam and the full weight of the vault door had come to rest upon it when it was slammed shut the night before.

It was a busy branch with about 16 members of staff and it was customary for the staff to be moved periodically onto new jobs for training and to prevent boredom.  I was moved onto the computer to input the days work but was worse than useless as I kept making mistakes. Fortunately this was considered a girls job so I was soon tried on something else.

I received several warnings before the manager found the one thing I could do reasonably well was be a cashier.

It was the Banks policy to encourage inter branch sporting competitions and after being there for a short while I discovered that darts was such a sport, but more of that later.

Snooker also interested me as we had a 1/4 size table at home although I had never played on a full size table before. I duly entered and lost in the first round of the competition.

With so many staff working in such a small office disagreements were bound to occur although everybody was always polite about it. The tea fund led to such a dispute because everybody paid into it except me because I didn't drink tea or coffee. I took my own orange juice and drank that but one of the girls would always refuse to fetch mine when she was on tea duty. She was not popular anyway as she was a little short tempered and she was quite ugly. However one day my charm won her over. She was getting all hot and bothered and was bending over a drawer when I heard her say 'I am all behind'

My witty reply was 'You dont look all behind to me ,it does not look so bad from here'.

It was a poor witiscism I know but she was unused to getting compliments and it impressed her. She was never the same to me again after that.

After 2 years I gained promotion, mainly on the grounds that I was studying for the banking diploma and was transferred to another local branch. Here my cashier training continued until I was relief no 1 cashier.

This led to another mishap.

On a busy day considerable amounts of money were paid in to the bank by shops and other businesses. This had to be counted, bundled up in paper bands and passed on to the senior cashier.

One day I had a pile of bundles on my till after we had closed and I was getting behind with my work as usual.  Time passed and eventually I got round to balancing my till which I found to be 500 short. This was 20 years ago and 500 was a lot of money. The manager came round and asked if we had all balanced and I said "No sir, I am 500 short."

He was used to my sense of humour and took no notice. Some time later I had not found the error and the sub manager and myself were checking the cash reserves in the vault. The manager came  down and asked why the cash had not been put away. He was informed of the error and to say he nearly tore his hair out would be an exaggeration but he was not happy.

For large errors the banks own Guestappo ( the bank inspectors) have to be called out and everyone is locked in the bank until they arrive and find the error which could take half the night.

To cut a long story short another cashier came down into the vault with a bundle of notes and said that she had found it in the waste paper bin by my till.

I was not popular for a while.

One day when I was on a till a new account was opened for a lad that I used to know at school. The manager made some comment about 'I hope we can trust Hartleys friends'.To which I replied' I would not trust him as far as I could throw him. He is no friend of mine'

The manager took no notice of my warning and a few weeks later he the lad was put on the black list. Then when he came into the branch to cash a cheque the cashier had to check his balance would cover it. This was done for a week or two and then he came in with a cheque for 50 to cash. The balance was checked and he had 60 in his account. A short while later he came in again when it was busy and went to a different cashier. The same procedure was followed and he had his money. We had 5 tills operating that day and he went to 4 of them with no one noticing.

The next day when he appeared overdrawn the manager went spare but as I pointed out he had been warned.

Another unfortunate incident that occurred was when I was opening a customers moneybox. It was filled with coins and one or two tightly rolled notes. When I opened it the cash flew everywhere. The customer watched and said that there was 5 missing which she accused me of taking. The sub manager was called and the till balanced but no 5 note was found. I was called into the Managers office and searched, of course no money was found but the customer was adamant. Fortunately a customer behind her had witnessed the event and confirmed my story but the bank still received a solicitors letter a few days later and I was again under a cloud for a while until the event was forgotten.

Although I was quick at serving the customers I seemed to make a lot of mistakes as I had rather a lot of till errors, not enough to get the sack, but several small ones each week.

One day when I was on nos. 2 till another cashier passed me a bundle of notes that had purportedly been paid in by one of the shops. It was the rule that bundles of notes should always be checked twice  before being handed out again. On this occasion I did not get round to checking or using them but passed them on to the nos. 1 cashier at the end of the day . The notes were counted and found to be short. The cashier was told and instead of phoning the customer who had supposedly paid them in she got the extra money out of her till to put the bundle right. Now if the customer had mis counted that would have made her short but she balanced as usual throwing suspicion onto her. Nothing was said and I kept on having till errors.

At the bank I formed working relationships with the girls there and became fairly close to one married girl in particular.

One day she finished work at the same time as myself and we left work together. She followed me and tried to pull me up an alleyway saying that it was a quicker way to the car park. I resisted and she said "Alright then kiss me here in public".

This embarrassed me yet again because A) she was married, and B) because it was the center of the towns main square. I struggled and so did she, then a gallant bystander saw this 6 foot man struggling with a girl and came to her rescue.

"Leave her alone " he shouted and grabbed me.

The girl and myself both looked at each other and burst out laughing . The man let me go looking somewhat puzzled and bemused as we sauntered off chuckling to ourselves leaving him wondering what had just happened.

When I was 21 my friends took me out and got me drunk at a local pub. This had nothing to do with work but I was still at the bank so I will include it here.

I was well and truly out of my skull well before closing time so my friends gave me water to drink and told me to have a walk outside in an attempt to sober me up a little. It was a dark night and I was walking around outside the pub aimlessly when I heard a couple arguing. The argument turned nasty and I could hear the girl screaming as the man was hitting her. I shouted out something like 'Arent you man enough to hit a man come over here and I'll sort you out'

We could not see each other in the dark and started shouting at each other but at least he left the girl alone. She ran off and I quietly left with him still cursing me. After a little while he heard me talking in the pub but my friends were with me then so he could not do anything and left muttering 'If he ever saw me again.....etc.'

One day  the manager decided to have an impromptu till check and he found a few pounds on my till in a little drawer. This was not part of my till and was unofficially used for balancing small till errors which we were not supposed to have. He said that I should get rid of the money immediately so I bought a box of cakes with it for the staff as was done on birthdays. This got rid of the money without my pocketing it which would have looked bad. In a few days it was replaced.

Eventually I felt that I should leave the bank before I was sacked. I handed in my notice and as I had not got another job to go to I worked my notice. That month I did not have a single till error and even the manager noticed and commented on it the day  I was to leave. The Sub manager told him that he was suspicious of one of the other cashiers and I was asked if I would like to cancel my resignation, but by this time I had made up my mind to leave so I did. I had no job to go to so I tried to start my own little business.  

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