Doubting Myself – Hearing Voices

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A symptom of my Bipolar disorder is hearing voices. Sometimes the voices can be engaging, comforting and dynamic. These are the times I enjoy the most, when the voices spur on my mania and lead me to experiences I would never have attempted before. There is a darker side. Sometimes the voices can be terrifying. Hearing voices doesn’t sound like an internal monologue, but feel completely separate from my own mind. They are so clear and concise I often don’t realise they are coming from the inside of my own head.

The scariest moment for me has to have been from February last year. I was working in the town centre and would walk to and from work everyday. It was a fifteen minute walk along a bustling, vibrant street. I live near this busy street, full of shops and people walking to and fro. I walk down this street nearly everyday and rarely feel intimidated. I enjoyed putting in my headphones, putting my head down and marching home. It gave me a chance to breathe and relax after a busy shift. I remember that for some reason my music had stopped and I was busy fiddling with my phone trying to fix the problem. At the time I was depressed. It was the beginning of an episode that would culminate into a severe depression that would leave me bereft of happiness and not being able to function for over a month. It was dark and the road was busy with traffic. I heard a voice from behind me, that said in a vindictive, sneering tone,

“I’m going to strap you down and rape you bitch.”

I turned around but there was nobody there. It was horrific. I looked around again, but the nearest people to me would not have been audible. I carried on walking, hurriedly now, jumping out of my skin when a woman walked past me. I had forgotten all about the music I had wanted to listen to. I could feel my heart rapidly beating in my chest. I was on the verge of tears; the two options to what had happened were both unthinkable. I was so certain someone had uttered such a vile statement. I convinced myself somebody must have been behind me. I imagined a hooded figure walking past me after the incident, so I could tell my partner that there had been someone behind me. I didn’t want to be crazy. I didn’t want to feel out of control, unable to do anything about what I was hearing. I didn’t want my partner to think I was insane, to look at me in a different light, to be afraid of me, or afraid of what the voices might tell me to do. It’s a horribly intrusive feeling to think your own mind is sabotaging and scaring you. I carried on walking home for the next ten minutes with this all circling my mind. I felt more vulnerable than I had ever felt in my life. Scared of both the outside and my own internal world. When I arrived home I told my partner what had happened and he convinced me to ring the police. I was reticent to do so as I was still in two minds as to whether what had happened was real; but it was real to me. Something cruel and vicious had invaded my mind, like my mind had been robbed. I felt violated, but my own mind was the culprit.

The police arrived and I gave an awkward, embarrassed statement. I explained what I had heard and gave a vague description of a figure that had quickly walked past me. I wasn’t lying about the voice. I had heard it, but by now I had convinced myself it wasn’t real. I felt ashamed that I had lied about seeing someone behind me and that I had wasted police time in making this statement. One of the police officers looked confused and commented that it was an odd situation to happen on such a busy street. I could feel myself turning red, my ears becoming hot. I didn’t know what to say in return. I felt too ashamed to admit what had really happened, that I suffered from Bipolar and occasionally heard voices. I didn’t admit to my partner for a long time that I definitely believed I had been hearing voices. I eventually did and remarkable as ever, he took it in his stride. He hugged me and didn’t say a word. That was all I needed.

I’ve also made a video about hearing voices and you can watch it here

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4 Comments

  1. TheOriginalPhoenix February 12, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    First of all, that sounds terrifying and I’m very sorry you had to go through that. I truly hope you aren’t still hearing voices. Second of all, I think it’s amazing that your partner is so supportive of you! By the way, you’re very brace for opening up and sharing your story like this. I’m honored to read it.

    • Katie Conibear February 12, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      Thanks for reading! I’m not hearing voices at the moment which is a huge relief. I feel very lucky to have such a supportive partner in my life

      • TheOriginalPhoenix February 12, 2017 / 10:24 pm

        You’re welcome 😊 oh my gosh that’s very relieving. I wish you the best!

  2. Elliott February 14, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    Very brave post. Thanks for sharing.

    Ex

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