The Compound

I am in a strange city. I have no idea where it is, but I am with familiar people. It is a pretty ordinary day, nothing notable nor remarkable happening.

The street is on a hill. It is curved towards the right, where, at the apex, there is a large building. It is imposing and dominating. Also, very secret. There are no signs, nothing to reveal what is going on inside.

There are armed guards at the doors and around the perimeter, but that does not appear to disturb anyone. People are milling around and walking past the building without noticing it.

The building itself is made of concrete and glass. There is a front entrance, with a roof supported by two massive pillars, where the cars ca drop off the people.

The sun is shining brightly. I take my sunglasses out and put them on. I look to my companions and they shrug. Time to move along.

We head towards the shop selling Christmas goods. There is nothing on display and all the attendees tell us they are closed, we should go elsewhere.

It was then the fire starts. I don’t know what causes it, but it very quickly engulfs the entire wooden building. We run to the street and there is chaos and mayhem everywhere.

People, a look of sheer terror in their eyes, are running here, there and everywhere. Panic has taken hold of the street.

It seems that the source of all the trouble is the Concrete Compound. Without truly knowing why, I walk towards it. A group of people I don’t really know follows me.

I yell something at the guards. They turn, see me and continue on their stoic patrol.

Something is not quite right about that building. I can feel it in my stomach. I look around and see the same look of mistrust in my newly found companion’s eyes.

“We must storm the building.”

Everyone nods. There is a crane nearby, with a suspended platform. A group of ten , including myself, climbs on top and we instruct the crane operator to swing us around in circles by the entrance to the compound.

As we go by we yell, unintelligible screams, meant to distract the guards. By the third time going around the guards open fire on the crowd with machine guns.

Bullets everywhere. Screams. Pain. Blood. I take out my phone and start filming. The platform continuing to go round.

Everyone else on the platform follows suit.

The machine guns stop firing at the crowd. They are turned up towards us on the platform.

They open fire.

I wake up. Muscles tensed, bracing for impact.


Wounds that won’t heal

Today I went to see a show. It was spectacular. It starred an old friend of mine from school. We lost touch, we haven’t spoken in years…

I was reminded today of how it ended. Of how, had I known about my schizophrenia back then things could have been so much different, but I didn’t know…neither did she.

Like with her, I’ve lost so many friendships to this disease, so many people have come and gone from my life.

And it hurts. Every single one of those lost people is a wound that won’t heal…if only they had known, if only I had known. But I didn’t. And neither did they.

And now, now it is too late, whatever chemistry there once was is now gone and the gap in years cannot be made up.

So I am left with the people I meet…yet I cannot start by saying “hello, I am schizophrenic” or that would drive them away, so do I start with a lie? When exactly is the right time to say it? For if they do not know, then the outcome can only be one, the one I’ve always known…

we need more awareness about mental health, about schizophrenia. So that there is more understanding, so that I can be upfront about it and not have to fear the worst….

Oh! To hallucinate at work

This is not a dream post, but having nowhere else to put it, here it goes.

The worst part of schizophrenia is living a lie. Hiding it, why? Because nearly everyone I know tells me I should, and God forbid people at work found out. But, if no-one speaks out things will never change.

My schizophrenia is pretty well controlled, but any emotional stress and it goes off…or it can and my own self expectation can’t make it spiral downwards.

Today there was an incident at work, a very minor and trivial thing. Except it wasn’t, it meant that my assumptions as to what relationships I had built there were wrong. Someone got angry at me, I got angry at them.

Expectation and anticipation of catastrophe. I started to spiral. I started to hallucinate, here that age old voice telling me I was worthless and nobody cared less about me. What happened was to be expected, because it was all my fault, no less than I deserved.

Already angry, plus hallucinating, I was a dream employee…anything would make the vile, spiteful Arkangel rise up. Ready to sabotage me and bring me down…all to prove a point.

And then of course, come the helpful comments. Such as this gem:

“I better give you a wide berth or you will snap at me, you get angry very easily. Ha ha ha”. Hilarious. And oh! so helfpful.

With very few people knowing what’s really going on I felt trapped and cornered. What to do? Speak to someone, was the obvious choice, but then of course the Arkangel had his own views on that: she doesn’t care, she’ll just shrug.

Better not risk it then…but keeping it to myself would not help.

So speak I did…she looked concerned, but what could she do? What can anyone do, really?

Should I just go home? Admit defeat and exit stage right? Do that to often of course, and some day you won’t be allowed to return (oh yes, probably illegal, oh yes, heartless, but oh yes, inevitable).

So battle on…once again, until it is time to go home.

Something has to change, if it had been low blood pressure no one would have expected me to work, take some time, have something for it, just relaxed, it will be fine. Same for an asthma attack, or diabetes.


Schizophrenia? No. Is it any less crippling, no. Does anyone know or care? No. They’d probably laugh at me for it to be honest.

Someday, at some point, things will change…and I hope this blog entry goes that little way forward and changes things in the mind of those who read it.