Tag Archives: mental illness


And madness
Bares fruit
On the London commute.
“White people think we live in trees.
How I ring the bell”.
She is unwell
Her mind full of some song
Of real or imagined wrong.
“Stolen from Africa” she says.
Soon we will go our separate ways.
Her days
Full of god knows what.
The train stops
And she gets off.
Has there been racism in this lady’s life?
Or is it some other strife
That made her rant and shout
As we travellers went about
Our daily commute.
I can not get to the root
of it
A mind shattered into bits.

This morning while traveling on the train, a lady who described herself as coming from Zimbabwe addressed her fellow commuters. Among other things she said that white people believe Africans still live in trees and asked that someone tell her how to ring the bell (the communication cord to stop the train).
I don’t know what was going on in this lady’s head (no one had said anything to provoke her outburst) and I can only conclude she is in need of medical help.

The Lady On The Bus

Shortly following my move to Crystal Palace in 1997 I took a bus to the Sainsburys supermarket, located at Crystal Palace’s football ground. There I sat, my then guide dog, Zeff lying at my feet, minding my own business when a lady began rattling Keys. I remember being torn between the desire to smile owing to the sound being reminiscent of the rattling of Marley’s Ghost’s chains in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and the wish to get away from this lady who, quite obviously had mental health issues.

I remember, at the time thinking “I hope she doesn’t follow me off the bus”.

On reaching my stop I alighted and to my dismay the lady followed me, muttering incoherently to herself, keys rattling as she walked.

I quickened my pace wishing to reach the relative safety of Sainsburys in double quick time. I entered only to have the lady grab hold of Zeff’s harness and for her to say “I’ll kill the dog”. Matters descended into black comedy with a member of the supermarket staff asking whether I was acquainted with the woman. I felt like answering,

“Do you think I hang around with mentally unstable individuals who threaten to kill my guide dog?” Instead I merely confirmed in a surprisingly calm voice that I had never met the woman before and could they please eject her from the store. Fortunately a security guard intervened at this juncture and escorted the lady off the premises.

In retrospect I should have insisted that the supermarket call the police as the lady was clearly mentally unstable, had made a threat to kill my guide dog and, quite obviously required medical and/orpolice intervention. I suspect the woman had stopped taking whatever medication she was on leading to her bizarre and, quite frankly frightening behaviour. I hope to heavens she didn’t go onto harm some other poor soul.

The above recollections where prompted by the following post which I came across earlier today, http://doctorly.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/sightless/

Is Your Boss A Psychopath?

An interesting post but, as one of the commenters remarks the author of the article ought to have entitled his piece “Is Your Boss A Sociopath” rather than a psychopath. Fortunately I have never experienced either a sociopathic or psychopathic boss although I have, in my personal life encountered people who, almost certainly fall into both categories.

In my short story, Samantha Sam’s pimp, Barry exhibits psychopathic behaviours. His sole goal is the making of money and he uses whatever means, including extreme violence against Sam and the other prostitutes who “work” for him to achieve that end.

For the article, Is Your Boss A Psychopath please visit http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/01/is-your-boss-a-psychopath/. For my story, Samantha please go to http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samantha-K-Morris-ebook/dp/B00BL3CNHI or http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-K-Morris-ebook/dp/B00BL3CNHI

Feeling Queasy

The subject of paedophilia is a highly emotive one, “others rush in where angels fear to tread”. Over the weekend I wrote “An Act of Madness” in which we are introduced to Ian, a man with an unhealthy sexual interest in young teenage girls. Ian graduates from looking at images of child abuse online to raping a 13-year-old child who has been procured for him by an unsavoury pimp, Tom.

Although I wrote “An Act of Madness” in a period of only 2 days it is the most difficult story I have written. What Ian does is monstrous and I felt queasy throughout the composition of “An Act of Madness”. The best way to describe why I wrote this story is to say that I felt compelled to do so. One can not brush child abuse under the carpet and it is important to understand what causes men (and sometimes women) to sexually and physically abuse children. Of course to understand is not to condone, the monstrosity of child abuse can never be condoned, however by attempting to get into the mind of the paedophile we can, perhaps help to prevent him from offending or reoffending.

On the one level there is an inevitability in Ian’s offending. He has, for a considerable period and by his own admission maintained an unhealthy interest in very young teenage girls. This interest escalates from looking to physical and sexual abuse (the road from clicking on images of child abuse to the rape of 13-year-old girl is, for Ian all to easy). However Ian recognises that he has a problem, he has the opportunity to seek help, an opportunity which he fails to take. Had he listened to the wee small voice of conscience which cries out in the depths of the night he may, possibly have avoided the offending behaviour which leads to tragedy for both him and the children involved.

For “An Act of Madness” please visit http://newauthoronline.com/2013/06/01/an-act-of-madness-part-1/