I have found with my own distressing voices that often they have a message that is spoken in symbolic
and metaphorical ways.
I often had voices telling me to cut my brother and make him bleed like he has to you followed by the
hallucination or rather vision of blood dripping from the walls and roof filling my cup and drenching me
and everything around me in blood.
Naturally this distressed me or rather freaked me out at the time this was happening and I struggled to
make any kind of sense from it other than I was a nutter.
Then a Turning point in my life I moved out and while I flounded for a bit over time I slowly learnt to
control the voices and get used to the visions.
But I never really understood the meaning of them.
Then I hooked up with the hearing voices network, to this day I am not certain if they found me or I found them.
Perhaps it was destiny.
Anyway there ways fascinated me and I was perplexed at the notion that they said I wasn’t crazy and it
was ok to talk about voices and even more astounding was there claim that what I was experiencing had
nothing to do with a chemical imbalance.
Intrigued at the last idea I began studying the likes of Carl Jung, John Watkins, Dr John Weir Perry and of
course Marius Romme’s Work.
I had to find the truth cause if I could find it and learn there ways I could teach it to others.
So I studied and through studying and using what I found on myself I found quiet a lot of interesting stuff
that changed not only the way I view myself but the way I view modern psychology.
I found interestingly enough that in the times when the voices where most persistent where times when
there metaphorical message or symbolic message was most relevant to either my past or present
emotions like if I was stressed or taking on too much work the voices would get worse to warn me to cut
At times my emotions triggered them for example if I was angry at something the voices would state that I
had to kill people and when I felt guilty they would yell at me to cut myself.
The voices for me held my emotions and trauma that I had suppressed for many years.
I was angry at my brother for emotionally abusing me and guilty that I had not stood up for myself in an
appropriate manner and more so that I let him do it by not doing anything about it and in my passive ways.
I let him destroy me.
Once I found this out I was able to begin to learn to manage my emotions by doing art when I felt the
anger coming on and expressing my pain in my glass works as shown in some of my slides.
I also found the vision of blood I spoke of earlier represented emotional hurt or anguish when I studied
My art is my savior as is my fiancé who sees me through and offers me words of encouragement to help
But seen as this is a talk on coping with distressing voices I will now speak of some ways that I use to
detach from my most horrid visions and voices and these ways work for me.
I think double checking is a powerful tool, we all have an ability to look at situations logically and while it
take time to learn to do this first thing before succumbing to the second reality it is surely a powerful tool.
For example a couple of weeks ago I had a vision of spiders jumping from a roof and covering me and I
saw the spiders crawling on me but I looked at my fiancé and she seemed pretty chilled so I figured that
as real as this was to me if I was really covered in spiders she would be trying to swat them off me.
The first step to detachment is acceptance.
Accept that and at times you slip into it.
There’s nothing wrong with doing this you are not sick it’s just part of what makes you, you.
Like art makes me, me.
Later on I am sure you will find out that your alternate reality was a coping mechanism to a traumatic life
and sadly something went bad in this dream world your mind created to escape.
If you can accept you have an alternate reality and at times you lapse in realities which I call reality
lapsing then you are off to a good start.
It takes much practice though.
The next step is look at it logically for example I see many things including demons and evil clowns and a
man with a syringe full of blood.
But when I see these things I double check witch reality I am in.
If these things where actually happening surely other people would be distressed around me.
When I am alone I think if this was happening it would be on the news or something cause the news loves
messed up shit like this so they would have warned me about evil clowns on the loose lock all doors or
something like that.
This combined with accepting I lapse in reality’s helps me.
When I lived in my parents’ house I used to be awoken by my voices telling me that I had killed my
parents while they slept and this used to freak me out I think one night I checked on them 48 times to see
if they were still breathing and one time even held a mirror in front of my dad’s mouth looking for the
mirror to mist up to see he was still breathing.
One day I woke up and the voices told me much of the same that I had violently stabbed my parents but
this time I was in a thinking mood so I lay there and then I said to them surely if I had killed my parents
would I not be covered in blood or would I not have changed my bed cloths come on is that the best you
Then I went back to sleep and got the best night’s sleep ever.
If you double check the situation every time and use logic you will find you have a powerful tool against
The next thing is preparation.
This involves identifying your triggers and warning signs to when you are heading into a reality lapse.
For me I get light headed and feel I am floating then I can’t feel my feet on the ground when I walk.
Then start preparing what you’re going to do when you start lapsing in reality’s and it’s a case of hit or
miss with finding what works because each person’s different so different things work for different people.
For me I do art and I listen and talk to my voices asking them things like why do they say that? Or why do
they want me to do that?
I encourage all of you to challenge the voices and if they haven’t got a logical answer tell them to put up
or shut up and you will only listen to them if they speak in an appropriate manner.
I found if you also treat them respectfully rather than yelling at them to fuck off then they will eventually
respond in an appropriate manner.
Also try to make deals with them about listening to them.
For example I am interested in what you’re trying to tell me but I am very busy at the moment how about
when I do some art tonight we have a good old chat.
When chatting with the voices try to remember they speak in metaphorical and symbolic terms and don’t
always say what they mean.
For example kill yourself as said by the voices often means there’s a part of your life you’re not happy
with and wish to change like you wish to go out more and make more friends instead of sitting at home or
maybe you’re working too hard and you need to take time out to relax.
Voices saying kill yourself sometimes means you have some suppressed anger towards that person for
something they did that upset you or it could also mean you are worried about that persons health maybe
they have a virus and your concerned about them and your worry is just manifesting it’s self in another
form through the voices.
Try to explain to the voices that you are both in a kind of symbiosis where upon to co-exist the two of you
must set some guidelines as what affects you will surely affect them...
A turning point for me was when the voices where telling me to kill myself repeatably and one day I said
to them quite simply you guys know if I die so do you and all was quite they really didn’t know what to say
Always question the voices motives ask them why a lot it helps believe me.
If you do not feel strong enough to dialog with or set boundaries with your voices try to distract yourself
from the content of your voices or better yet express what they are saying in an appropriate manner.
A bit like I do art to express what they are saying to me in another form.
Like I used razor blades in my art to design the razor pendant at a time when I was being commanded to
Another good example of this is the feel my pain and cut the pain away glass panels as seen in the
In the past I have taken a knife and stabbed the shit outta a box when being told to kill my fiancé and
I have danced to burn of the energy, I have taken of running full speed till I am so tired I feel like I am
going to pass out.
I keep a skipping rope by the door or I shadow box to burn of the extreme emotion I feel.
Often you will find it’s not the voices that take control of you they are just there commenting on how you
It is the extreme emotion and the body’s way of not knowing how to deal with it that makes you lose
If you can find a way to express that emotion in a positive and productive manner you will most defiantly
make it through.
You can’t kill someone or yourself if you are exhausted from skipping or running.
I like to write to help me with my paranoia.
I write poetry or articles or sometimes shit that just don’t make sense.
But it’s not what you write it’s the process of writing and getting the bad shit outta your head and on to
paper where it can’t hurt you anymore.
I had a friend in the ward that used to write all his paranoid delusions down to keep record of them.
One day I looked at them and said have you ever tried linking these all up to make a story?
I never thought of that he said might give it a go and now that friend has written like 5 books I think.
The first being a book on our stay in the ward and how I was a vampire out to destroy him.
This explains why he didn’t sleep much after they put us in a shared room.
If all else fails there’s a sure fire way that will shock the voices although I am not entirely sure how it
works but to the best of my understanding it soothes the adrenalin that courses through my veins when I
am in a state of emotional distress and thereby nullifies the voices.
This method worked wonders for me when I lost control or was beginning to lose control and was
commanded to kill my brother.
What I would do is jump in a cold shower or stick my head under running cold water.
It worked surprisingly well and to this day I still use it if I miss my warning signs and go beyond the point
where I can dialog with my voices or express my extreme emotions in an appropriate manner.
I use it for the times when it feels like the voices are taking control of my body.
I urge you all to identify your warning signs and try build a list of coping strategies and carry it round in
your wallet or pin it to the back of your bed room door.
As you have more successes at beating the voices or rather co-existing with them, you will become
stronger and this is a fact.
We can take the power back from the voices.
Also take note of your milestones no matter how small.
At the time of this being read for me it will be 4 months to the day since I self-harmed.
But I counted every day of those 4 months and patted myself on the back for each day I made it through.
If you have a setback try to remember you have gone x amount of days with no trouble and one day or
one minute out of many is not such a big deal.
Always take pride in your achievements.
Try to remember the voices have a metaphorical or symbolic meaning for us and we just need to figure
out what that message is and it’s never what it appears to be.
But most importantly remember you always have a choice with the voices no matter how small it is you do have a choice and your mission should you choose to accept it is to find that choice and then build on it
till you are dictating the choices not the voices.
I want to end on saying I’m very proud of all of you it’s a rough road to travel believe me I been there.
But with allies like hearing voices groups we can take back our lives and our identities but most importantly we can take back control of the voices cause they are part of who we are they are not
who we are.
Peace out my voice hearing brothers and sisters now stand proud we are the few the elite the awesomely
creative we are the voice hearers of Australia and if anyone’s got a problem with that then to end on a
hearing voices network slogan there just jealous cause the voices are talking to us.