I'm Not a Mad Axe Murderer!
"I can't be mad! I'm hard-working and forgiving." You wouldn't know, if you met Sian, that anything was wrong. So why must she be excluded from society?
"I'm sensitive... till I went bonkers. It was my nose pressed up against the mirror and the person looking back wasn't me. I can't be mad! I'm hard-working, intelligent and forgiving. I care about other people. I don't jump to conclusions about them.
... Only it is me, it really, really is me... If I believed in demons, it might be easier. It really is me listening to arguments between people who aren't there. It is me wading through blood and severed limbs which smell like a butcher's shop on the bridge into town. The demons are trying to kill me, but no-one else believes they're there.
I'm still human. I need a reason to live through all this. I need a job. The doctors say I'm too ill. The job centre says I'm too needy. And there's no money to pay for support at work ... They want to send me to England for a year - for treatment, for personality disorder but I'm not a mad axe-murderer!
The Welsh Assembly are putting £5 million into mental health, because the service is so poor. My share would be the price of a pizza. That won't buy me local services. That won't move budget away from investment in English skills to treat Welsh people. That won't allow me to stay at home with my family. You wouldn't know if you met me, so why must I be excluded from society?"
An interview with the author
Please tell us about yourself.
I'm in my early forties with a primary school aged child who accepts me just the way I am. I value myself through my work and grieve for the loss of it, but my family care for me and see me through.
What's your story about?
It's about having an invisible difference, which hurts and excludes me from things others take for granted. It's about discovering another, not so nice, world and going on anyway.
Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
Because I want people to understand a little more what it's like. I want them to be kinder to themselves - it happens to them and I want them to be less scared of working with people like me.
What did you find the most rewarding about the workshop?
Meeting and working with others in a relaxed and creative atmosphere. Seeing the wonders of modern technology chipping away at the barriers between me and others who haven't been there.