Peter heard his first voice aged seven, after suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a child minder. But as the abuse went on the voices increased in number, eventually turning sinister and aggressive. By his mid-twenties Peter had lost his business, his family, his home, everything. Peter spent more than a decade after that on heavy medication, but the voices never went away. He had to get out of the psychiatric system to recover.
It was only when he came off the medication and met people who share his experience that he was able to stop being so afraid of the voices and actually start listening to them. He changed his relationship with his voices and worked through the meaning of his paranoia. Life isn't easy. Peter still hears up to 40 voices at a time - it is worse when he is tired or stressed. But he has rebuilt his life and has even been hearing a more positive voice recently, which has dictated a children's book to him. It has recently been published entitled "A Village Called Pumpkin".
He now runs his own training and consultancy agency delivering training on hearing voices and paranoia internationally. "I wouldn't want to get rid of my voices now, they're part of me" he says.
Peter Bullimore and Anna Sexton