Saturday, 16 February 2008


Her very special Mile High Club

As she boarded the plane at Rhodes Airport, she could never have imagined or guessed that very shortly, and while she would be high over the Mediterranean, she would found her very own Mile High Club. Such a unique Club, and so bizarre! She must surely be the only member, and to the best of my knowledge, she probably is.

She and her partner, Tom, had had an idyllic holiday, and had prepared for their return later in the year, when they would get married on the island. And so, full of happiness, and well pleased with their plans, they both settled into the in-flight routine. He went into the gentle doze that whiles away the air-miles: she, as was her nature, began planning the minutiae of their wedding, albeit half a year away.

Suddenly, her mind was invaded by voices – the voices, she thought, of every other passenger on the plane. She was being attacked verbally and condemned in virtually every aspect of her life. Her clothes, her morals, her lifestyle, the way she worked – there wasn’t a single aspect of her life that didn’t receive destructive comment or reaction. She cowered in her seat, unable to look up and confront her accusers. Tom suddenly became aware of her distress, and when told, he looked around all of the plane and at the other passengers, and persuaded her to look around herself. Not a single other passenger was even mildly interested in her.

Although reassured enough to be able to continue to their home in relative calm, she had entered an entirely new and alien phase in her life.

“I was in fear of my life as I thought that I had been wired up, after hearing voices which I thought at first was my own inner self – they were speaking to me throughout my whole body and in my ears and through electrical appliances. I hardly slept for fright of what they were saying they could get me to do, as they got quite nasty and were going to steal my identity and corrupt my good name with my family and my employers. My life was under scrutiny from bathing to driving, and morals past and present. I couldn’t walk as I was so exhausted…”

Thus she wrote in part of a letter that she sent to me, and which began: “I want to thank you for writing on the Internet about your experiences. I found it to be the only true version of what I felt happened to myself last year. I had been looking for books to read on the subject but I found nothing useful until I came across your account…”

She and Tom came to stay for a weekend, and talking with me resolved many of her problems. They went back to Rhodes for the wedding, and, in the words of the fairy stories, they are living happily thereafter.

While this Blog is possibly not where you intended to arrive, please pause before moving on. 

 Most people know someone with mental health problems who might profit from reading my book.

 ‘Hearing voices’ is something that many people don’t talk about because of the stigma. They might welcome the chance to read about someone else’s experiences and ways of coping. Feedback has told me that many voice hearers and carers identify with what I have written, so please note the Web/Blog addresses, and pass them on.