Tonight we were sat all together at the dinner table, me, my husband, our two children, my mother and my brother who is schizophrenic and has heard voices in his head for the last ten years.
During the meal Oddler (my 2.8year old) was pretending to chat on the phone (the palm of her hand) and was talking to her car apparently. He was big and plastic and had had a nice day. She made us all smile.
It suddenly struck me- no one thinks twice about the voices in our childrens heads- we celebrate them, we are amused by them, there is nothing in them to fear (even if the child themselves may sometimes be scared by certain voices eg. “The monster threatening to eat them”). We know that these voices are “normal”, and if anything they indicate our child is imaginative, quirky, creative and other positive qualities.
So how does it shift into this perception of fear and stigmatisation of adults having voices? What is normal in children is abnormal in adults. I understand the rationale why but the stigmatisation that is associated because of this can be hard to bear.
I don’t really remember my brothers childhood voices, and he never really speaks about his adult voices so I have no real idea about what his life is like living with these voices day in day out. What I do know is for him this is his reality, his normality, and I have decided I am no longer going to fear these voices or think badly of him for having them.
If I am not fearful of my daughters voices, I owe it to my adult brother to think the same.
My brother hears voices and he is imaginative, quirky, creative, intelligent and kind and many other positive qualities.
So thank you to my own voice in my head for helping me come to this realisation.