My mother's death
Now my mum used to ring me everyday, and one day she didn’t ring me. My dad came to tell me that mum was in hospital – she had collapsed with severe back pains. She was being assessed for kidney stones and various things. So I went to the hospital, and as I sat by the bed I was bombarded with voices saying ‘your mum’s got cancer, she’ll be dead in six months’, over and over again. And my mum was diagnosed with having cancer of the pancreas, and she had to go to a cancer hospital and she was very unwell. And I used to stop there with my dad, and eventually he said ‘look you are going to have to go home, its not looking good for your mum, and it’s taking its toll on you’. So I went home and I started to sleep in the front room so I could be near the telephone.
One morning at five to seven I was woken up by what I can only describe as the angel of death. It was a horrible, brown, stinking bird. It was there for seconds and then it went. At seven my dad phoned me to say, your mum has just died, and that was six months to the day that I was told she would die. I can put that down now to coincidence but at that time it really screwed with my mind and the voices loved it. ‘You’ve killed your mother!’, ‘You’re a murderer!’, ‘You should burn in hell!’, ‘Set yourself on fire!’ and I went to the funeral and there was 200 people there and the only person who never shed a tear was me. The voices loved it. ‘You must be a murderer!’, ‘Kill Yourself!’. You can imagine the vile language that was going with it as well.
I stopped with my dad for a while, and I decided to go home, but as I was going home, the voices convinced me that my flat was possessed with demons, and I could only survive if I lived in the kitchen. So I started to live in the kitchen. It was where I ate, where I slept, and it became my toilet. So you can imagine the conditions after a period of time. And eventually I thought – I can’t live like this anymore. So I am going to do what the voices say. I’m going to set myself on fire. So pardon the pun – I thought I would go out in a blaze of glory. I covered myself in petrol, and I walked into the day centre to set myself on fire. Now you find out who you’re friends are when you smell of petrol, you’re a non-smoker, and you ask for a light! Fortunately, no-one obliged! But I was back sectioned.
So eventually my dad called and he said I’m coming to see you at seven. Well at eight, he still hadn't come to see me, so I thought – he’s not coming. So the voices kick in with ‘he blames you for your mum’s death!’, ‘You’re a murderer!’ ‘Kill Yourself!’. I foolishly listened to them. I went to my wash basin, found my razor and slashed my wrists. Eventually my dad came with a nurse. Well you can imagine the commotion. They patched me up and left me in a room with my dad. This became a very big turning point because he asked me why I had done it. I said to him ‘Its your fault, you should have been here at seven’. He said ‘Pete, I’m in haulage, I got stuck in traffic, you know I always turn up’. Now my dad was a really big, strong, powerful man and his next comment really shook me. He said to me ‘I’ve just lost your mum. I don't want to loose you too’. There was a look of utter despair in his face. It made me realise. Stop being a selfish so and so. You’re hurting other people, not just yourself.