Many people think that hearing voices inside or outside your mind, is something that only happens if you are A. Schizophrenic, or B. So high you’re going to need a lot of luck to find the door knob. While yes, either of those can and do cause hallucinations, it’s not the only thing. This even took me a while to figure out.
Bipolar individuals can have hallucinatory issues as well. I know, because I have them. If I’m in a depression, the voices come out every time. If I’m in a mania, sometimes they will show up.
So who or what are these voices?
Well, they don’t have names, but the truth is, I’ve been thinking for a long time about naming them to make it easier. The only thing I have to explain them by is the mean one (or the bitch) and the scared one. Toward the end of my last depressive episode in 2014, an interesting thing happened, the nice one joined the conversation in my head.
For a long time, I didn’t think it was hallucinations. People always talk about having conversations in their head, so I figured mine was the same thing, but apparently it’s a distinct difference if there is completely different voices, and they are not controllable. So, yes, I hear voices, and I have for a very long time.
The scared one is much like a small child. She’s young, but still adult. She’s always afraid, and I can’t blame her. I have a hard time with her, because she’s always afraid things will fail, and constantly tells me so, but I feel bad for her, because nobody, not even imaginary voices should have to suffer in that deep of sadness.
The mean one… Oh god, the mean one. She controls my life when she comes about. Constantly livid, and obsessively loud. She takes over my whole mind, and is so incredibly cruel. I can’t talk her down, I can’t make my case. When she rears her terrible head and starts to bare her fangs, all bets are off. She makes sure I fail. She gets into my head so deeply and so cruel that I never have a chance to succeed at anything.
The things she tells me is terrible, I will give you some examples.
“You stupid fucking cunt, are you kidding? You really think you’ll make it through school. You’ve failed everything in your life, and you will continue to do so.”
“Just go kill yourself, you aren’t worth anyone’s time. You’re worthless to everyone else, and you are only ever a god damn burden to every one.”
“You know you’re lying about V. She never raped you. You’re just a fucking whore, and you don’t want to admit it.”
“You’ll kill your children one day, and I’ll help you. You don’t deserve them you fucking bitch. They’re better off dead then around you.”
“You see that knife? You should take it and plunge it into your neck you piece of shit. It’s not like you’ll be of any help alive anyway, you might as well just get out of the way.”
If I ask her to stop… it only gets worse. She screams louder, filling my whole mind even more. It’s not just me she’s cruel to though. She’s even worse to the scared one. Constantly calling her a wreck and worthless. Screaming down everything she tries to say. She never allows either of us to talk and get out our points. Whatever it is that we say, she has something horrible to come back with.
I’m going to get myself better. “Yeah fucking right. You always say that and you always fail. That is just what you do. No, not what you do, it defines you, a failure is what you are, you always will be.”
You need to stop with this. “Like hell I’ll stop. I will stop the day you die bitch. I will fucking destroy you.”
Leave her (the scared one) alone! “Why? So she can bitch and whine and complain about how scared she is. The little mother fucker needs to get over it, or just fucking die. Fucking worthless cunt.”
And I can not stop her, no matter what I do. It’s horrible, and it is all consuming.
You know how, when you mow the lawn or are working around something super loud, and you can’t hear anything, even if someone is right next to you basically yelling in your ear just inches away? Yeah. She’s that loud, but she’s inside my head, not outside. Her loudness isn’t audible per say. I mean, I hear her audibly, but it’s in a distinct, not physically audible form, if that makes any sense at all. She envelopes all of my thoughts, it’s like she’s a blanket of knives covering my brain completely. Cutting, crushing, murdering everything she can in there.
The interesting thing though, is that the new voice that came in last time. She wasn’t exactly a separate entity like the other two. I had at least a good portion of control over what she said. She is the nice one, the motherly one, and I’ve come to understand her as Ivy. The person that writes this blog, my alter ego that is very much me, but much stronger than the me I’ve always known.
I can speak using her voice, I can gather courage using her voice. She is me and I am her, we are not separate entities, but it is important to make the distinction. See, Ivy can butt heads with the mean one. She was so motherly, and took such good care of the scared one. She even got the mean one to back off sometimes. She wouldn’t allow her to talk her down. She’s too strong for that. She’s so much stronger than I am. Ivy is my strength, my caring, my love. My ability to love myself, and to take care of the scared one.
She is the one who can succeed without being manic. She’s the one who continually encourages me to become successful. I don’t know how or why she came about, but I’m glad she did. As I’ve understood how to use the voice of Ivy better, I’ve found my life getting better. I’ve found myself better able to fend off the mean one, and to protect the scared one.
I’ve found myself writing and drawing. Making better music and studying. I got back into school, I’ve held down a job. I’ve been more honest with people, and become so much less of a door mat than I ever was before. I can actually take care of myself and set boundaries. The voice of my legal name can’t do that. Ivy is my strength, my love, my hardiness. My ability to rise up after falling down. She is my capacity to succeed, and not feel terrible about it.
I don’t know why it took so long for me, as Ivy, to show up, but I’m glad she did, because I think, if/when I hit another severe depressive episode, I may be able to help the two of us not be torn down by the evil bitch that is the mean one.
I know many people don’t understand hearing voices, as they’ve never heard them before, but it is a very real thing. Their talking in my head is no less tangibly real than that of a flesh and bones person I’m talking to, and it is the same thing for many who hears voices, be it externally or internally.
One thing I want to make crystal clear to everyone who does not understand voices. Yes. There are many of us who have very negative, cruel ones that tell us awful things and try to persuade us to do awful things, but we are human too. I know several people with voices, and they all do the same thing I do when the mean one suggests harming people. I fight it with all my might. I don’t want to hurt people, and neither do most people who hear voices. Our society has gotten this idea that those who hear voices are dangerous, because they could be persuaded to go on a killing spree at any time. Yes, there are many voices for many people trying to get them to do it, but we are just as morally sane as anyone else, we just happen to have a disembodied voice that isn’t. We hate those voices, and we sure as hell aren’t going to listen to them.
Do not fear people who hear voices. It’s different, and it’s hard to get used to, I know. Especially for those who audibly talk back to them, but we aren’t evil. We aren’t terrifying. Confused sometimes, sure. A little less aware than a lot of people sometimes, yes. Easily distracted by the overwhelming loudness of the voices, yes, but it absolutely does not mean that we are any less morally inept or more inclined to harm others.
As an example that I gave of the mean one earlier, she has told me time and again to kill my kids, or my friends, or even partners, but I would never, ever, ever in an infinite amount of years even muse for a single second that she may be talking about the right thing to do, she’s a fucking evil bitch, not a guidance counselor. It’s scary to me that she thinks like that, and most other people are that way.
Just remember that, and try to help those of us who do hear voices. Please. Try to understand. I know it’s intangible, I know it’s harder to understand than most anything else. I know it’s “weird” and “creepy” and “insane” and uncomfortable. I get that many people see it that way, but you aren’t going to be any more comfortable with it, you aren’t ever going to be able to help anyone with it if you are not willing to contend with your negative and concerned feelings.
I am just as human as everyone else. I just happen to have periods of time in my life where my mind is overwhelmed with more than just my own voice.
I couldn’t tell you how or why it happens, nor could anyone else, as we’ve not figured out what causes it, but, you don’t need a causative explanation and understanding to be able to help. You just need to try to understand the end result, and ask how you can help. Sometimes, you can’t, sometimes you might be able to, but you will never know if you never try.
You won’t catch voices, we aren’t lepers. We aren’t contagious, we just tick with more clocks than you do. Sure it causes problems, but it’s something you learn to live with best as you can. I’m lucky in that my voices don’t haunt me all the time, but they were there often, as I was never not manic or depressed. In fact, my last depressive episode lasted 4 years. For those 4 years, my voices were there. Day in, day out. It’s just life. I have to take in stride, and I encourage you to do so as well.
Thank you so much for reading sunshines, have a beautiful day.