I'm Kirsty Lindsay. I'm 35 year old. I'm hearing impaired. I wear a cochlear implant to help me hear. I'm overweight - 110kg. I'm short 5"1". I'm a single mum to my 2 beautiful boys. They don't live with me, they live with their Aunty (my sister). I have 2 siblings, a sister Amanda - age 36 and a brother Christopher - age 29. Amanda has 4 kids of her own and married to her husband. Christopher is deaf like me, he got a cochlear implant. He live in a group home cos he cant live by himself, he has intellectual disability and may have other problem like mental illness that I don't know much about it. I have a mum and a dad, they're separated but not divorce. Mum now have a partner for 10 years now. Dad is on his own, not interested in having a new partner. I think he also have a mental illness, last time I heard that he has bipolar but he never talked about it with me. He did mentioned that he hears voices but I don't know if he been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I have mental illnesses. Depression, Anxiety, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and Schizoaffective Disorder. I got some help, I have CLO (Community Living Option) for 24/7 support care. I have a mental health team to support me too. I also get support from my mum and my sister. I wouldn't know what to do without them. I hear voices and see things everyday. I'll tell you about my voices. There are 6 voices, sometime more, but 6 voices are the main voices I hear everyday. They are Ann (age - 54), James (age - 33), Matthew (age - 36), Peter (age - 35), Kasey (age - 8), Emily (age - 4). I see them too. And I see other things, like spiders, clowns, rats, government people, spy people, black shadows, just random things.
It all started when I was young, not sure if it started when I was 6 year old or 9 year old. I wasn't diagnosed till I was about 13. When I was 6 year old, I was playing in the playground at school, I was talking to someone who wasn't there, My sister saw me and just thought I was just talking to imaginary friend but my sister didn't know much about it. So I don't know if it was voices or imaginary friend. Then when I was 9 year old, I was sitting on my bed and all of the sudden the bed was moving like earthquake. And there was voices coming from under my bed. Later on I was in my bedroom playing barbie and I heard this voice yell out "DIE" then another voice said "You must die" ...... I just sat on the floor freaking out. The next day I heard two more voices. After school I was in the lounge room and I saw a lady dress in black dress, black boots, brown hair wrap up in a bun and very pale. I said who are you? She said I'm Ann. Then she started pointing her finger at me saying I should kill myself. Then the 3 men came, they got no eyes but mouth. They're in black suit, black shoes, black hat. Their name are Matthew, James and peter. They chanted "die, die, die, die" I cried and went to my room. After few hours I came out of my room and they were gone. They were on my mind constantly. Wonder when they will come back.
One day I went to school, I did some new dance moves and I was feeling proud of myself, until I showed one of my friend and she said that's stupid. So I felt upset and ran to toilet. I heard voices, they were saying "stupid, stupid, stupid", "Die you stupid". I opened the door and there was no body there. I freaked out. I didn't know what to do, I wonder where those voices coming from. Then there was this lady in black, hair in bun, and she said , "Die". Then 3 men came and said, "Die, die, die" I got upset and went home. I went straight to my room crying. I wanted mum to come in and hug me but she never came. I felt lonely.
I couldn't understand what was happening to me, I was feeling confused, scared, and I was lost. Then Ann came to me and said, "I'm sorry dear, did we scared you?" "I would like to be your friend if you let me, I promise we wont scare you". I just stood there, didn't know what to say then i said yes be my friend. She said, "Now my dear, you cannot tell anyone about us. Cos they don't like us so you need to keep it a secret".
Ann changed a lot. 3 men still scares me. Ann like rules, so she tell me when to eat, when to bath, when to play. She was strict so I followed her rules cos I was scared that she will start saying Die, Die, Die.
Mum said that I've been seeing colours on the wall inside my home. And I remember that the walls were breathing. Then the voices started screaming.
They continued to haunt me till I was 13. I couldn't handle it any longer. When I was in mount barker high school it was hard to listen to teacher cos of the constant screaming. I had a special teacher SSO cos I'm deaf/hearing impaired so needed that extra help. She tried to help me but she was bossy and want us to finish our work first. My best friend Renee who I been friends with since I was 7. We do not like our SSO teacher.
One day I was trying to do my work but I was distracted by the voices and was not paying attention to teacher. My SSO teacher told me off and tell me to go outside. So I went outside crying and I felt unsafe.
Ann started telling me that I should cut myself. So I went home and got a sharp knife. I was in mum and dad's room standing in front of the mirror. I press the knife onto my skin. Ann yell out, "CUT", "Slice the knife across your skin", "It wont hurt I promise you", so I'm looking at my arm with the knife sitting on my skin waiting to make a cut. I slice my arm, I could not believe that i did it. I was so scared. blood dripping. oh shit blood on carpet. Quickly I ran to bathroom next to bedroom. I put my arm under the running tap to make it stop bleeding. But it wouldn't stop bleeding. So I got the towel and wrapped it tightly. So that was my first cut.
When I turned 14, I changed school, Pasadena High School. Cos they have a class for the deaf. Renee and I went to school on our first day and I was so nervous. We sat down on the lawn and teachers were doing their speech. I was focused on the teacher that were doing sign language. It was wonderful to see a teacher signing for deaf students. I met some students and they were nice and friendly. I was in yr. 9.
I was still hearing voices constantly. I was confused cos when they were screaming, no one took notices of it but me. I wonder if they were real or not.
I got sicker and sicker, they were screaming and telling me to throw up, by forcing my fingers down my throat. So i made myself throw up and held my breath till I pass out. Teacher found me and rang the ambulance. It been ongoing and I was in and out of hospital - Flinders Hospital. That's when they diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder. I didn't tell them about the voices. But I think I did, I told the psychiatrist that I hear voices. But she doesn't believe me and just told me that they're just thoughts. I know what the difference between voices and thoughts, so I told her no, I hear 4 voices and they tell me to die. But she just didn't want to believe me. She said that I'm a attention seeker and that I wasted her time.
One day I took the pills to school and overdosed on them at school. I wasn't trying to kill myself, i just want the voices to stop. i remember being in class feeling dopey, then I whisper to Renee that I took an overdose. The teacher sent me outside cos I wasn't paying attention. Then the class were over, time for next lesson. I went up to classroom for the deaf, but it was locked. So I waited for teacher. I was getting sleepier and sleepier, till one of the teacher saw me and she asked if I was ok, i said yeah I'm fine. She said you don't look fine, you look very pale. She took me to teachers room, I sat down on a big red chair and passed out. Renee went to the teachers room and told them that I took an overdose. They rang the ambulance. Woke up in hospital and saw one of my teacher sitting in the chair next to me. I was confused, but the thing was the voices stopped.
A lot has happened, I was in and out of hospital - Flinders Hospital thru my high school years. I was mainly just throwing up by sticking my finger down my throat and holding my breath nearly everyday when I was at school. I had issues with eating so when I ate, i go to toilet and throw up. But I never lost weight, i was chubby, not slim.
When I was 15, my poppy died. That was my dad's dad. He was unwell and had cancer in his lungs. I remembered going to hospital cos poppy hasn't got long to live. So me, my sister, mum and dad rushed to hospital. My aunties, uncles and cousins was there, and my Nanna. My mum and Nanna was over poppy holding his chest and telling him its ok. I remember my sister and I was standing at the end of his bed, watching his last breath and then he passed away. I was sad of course but for some reason, I was excited to see him dying. I didn't show it to anybody, I just cried.
When I got to year 10, I was so unwell that I couldn't focus on my schoolwork. Always in and out of hospital. So I had to quit school. I didn't care, I wanted to die, I wanted to disappear.
One time I went to Women and Children's Hospital for self harming or overdosed, I went to Boylan Ward (psychiatric ward for under 18). I was in and out of Boylan Ward. Can't remember much while I was in there.
One time I overdosed, I had to have my stomach pumped. I had to drink charcoal and it was disgusting. Other times I had to have tube up my nose and down my throat cos I wouldn't drink the charcoal and it was horrible. I couldn't breathe cos the tube was just sitting on my throat, and I had doctors, nurses telling me to swallow. But I couldn't swallow and that's when I couldn't breathe. I did finally swallow and then they pumped my stomach with charcoal.
When I was 17, I heard a child like voice. Its a new voice. She was saying, "help me, help me" I looked around the room, no one was there. "Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty" again she said. I said who's there? Then the voice said "Kasey" and then she repeated, "Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty". She wont stop saying my name. I was getting fed up so I put on my headphone and listen to music.
I've been in and out of hospital, I don't know how many times I've been to hospital, Lots I guess. I've had stomach pumped, stitches, suicide watch, detained, and so on.
I remembered a time when Mum and Dad told me and my brother to sit at the table. Mum told us that she and dad are breaking up. I can't remember how i reacted but yeah mum and dad are separating. Later mum moved out and live in Daws Park.
I remember when I was 16 or 17 I went to stay at Ruby's shelter. Its for young people who are at risk or homeless. I wasn't homeless, but I had problems at home, nothing violence or neglect, just me being unsafe with my mental illness. Cos I was self harming and overdosing. So they thought it would be helpful if I go stay at Ruby's for a while for a break from family.
When I was 19 or 20, I moved into a flat with my best friend Renee. We had lots of fun times, then one night when I drank too much, I became psychotic and was running all over the place and then I had the knife and pointed at something that wasn't there. Renee had to call 000 and police and ambulance arrived. I still had the knife and when police came in, they pulled out the gun on me and telling me to put down the knife. I don't remember any of it but was told by what Renee told me. Police and Renee went outside, and I followed them and slammed the door behind them. I locked the door. Renee told me that when she was looking through the window, she said that I was all over the house, and I still had the knife. I remember falling over and landed on my bum and the knife went in my lower back. I don't think I felt the pain, but it was weird. Then I opened the door, went outside, sat down on the chair and trying to lit up my smoke, forgot that the police and ambulance was there. I tried to lit up my smoke but couldn't. So the police got me and trying the figured out where the blood coming from. I went in the ambulance and got sent to hospital. I had stitches. I don't remember any of it. I remember waking up and went to toilet and felt a bandage on my lower back. Next day I was discharged, and came home. Renee said there was blood all over the walls and fridge, that she spent the night cleaning. I felt bad cos it was my fault.
Somewhere the line, I met a guy. I was falling in love with him, or maybe I was wrong. One night I was over his place, we drank and smoked dope and then that lead to another. I don't have much to say about him, he was just a guy who smoke dope and got me pregnant.
When I fell pregnant with my first son, I stopped overdosing and self harming. I wanted to be a good mum so that's why I stopped all together. I was with a guy for few months and then I broke up with him when I asked him to choose between me and the dope. He chose dope. So I told him its over, I cant have him smoking dope while we are about to have a baby. So he took off and never see me again. I went against dope and other drugs because I think its just bad for you and just mess up in your head. The pregnancy was tough, I had rashes all over my body. It started off one of my leg, I had this bubble blisters looking on the back of my leg, so went to doctors and got on antibiotics. A few days later, it got worse. The blisters and rashes spread so went to doctors and stop the antibiotics. I can't remember what happened after that, but the rashes spread all over my legs and arms, and belly. It called PUPPP - Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (pregnancy rash). I put on weight, 120kg and my legs was massive, it was fluid. I didn't get good night sleep cos I been constantly starching and starching all night long. It been like that till the end. I also had a hard patch on bottom of my belly and it was leaking. Went to hospital and the doctor said to me how you feel having a baby tomorrow. I wasn't expecting that so it was a shock but at the same time I was like, yes get him out! It was about 4 weeks early. But I was so ready to get him out cos the rashes will stop once the baby was born.
My first son Caleb was born by C-section. He had to stay in hospital for 4 weeks. I think I know why they kept him in for so long, not because he was prem, he was fine but they kept him in to keep an eye on me on how I go with the baby, how I was coping, cos of my mental illness. My keyworker from the mental health team had to argue at the meeting when they were talking about not sending my son home with me. So my keyworker fight and said I had improved a lot and a good mum. So they let me take Caleb home.
Being a mum is stressful but I liked it. The love, the bonding, he was so special and cos he saved my life. We - me, mum and Caleb was living in a flat where me and Renee were living. Renee moved out and live with her boyfriend in Melbourne. We needed more room cos it was a 2 bedroom flat, and it was small and not enough room for the stuff. So we applied for housing trust to see if we can move to a bigger house. And cos we had letters written by mental health team and doctors and psychiatrist saying its urgent and need to move to a bigger house. By 3 - 6 months later, we got a house in Mt Barker. 3 bedroom house. I was so excited and it was my hometown cos I grew up in Mt barker. So we moved, and it was perfect.
My Nanna (dad's mum) was very sick and doesn't have long to live. Me, mum and my sister went to hospital when we found out that she is going to die. I remember sitting next to her bed while she was lying there trying to breathe, there was foam coming out of her mouth and was grasping for air. I remember feeling sad, and didn't feel so good. She passed away.
I found out my ex-boyfriend who got me pregnant lives in Mt Barker. I wanted Caleb to have a dad so I hunt him down and found out where he was living. When my Caleb turned 1, Mum and I pulled up by his house, he was at the front lawn, big beard, messy look, scruffy hair, oh my god, he looked like a homo. I wound down my window and said hello. I also told him that there's your son in the back seat. He looked at him, waved hello to him. Caleb doesn't know who his daddy was but he was a bit freaked out, I don't blame him cos his daddy looked scary. I asked him if he would like to be involved with Caleb's life, He said yes. So we made a arrangement for him to come to my house and have some bonding time. It went on for few months on a weekend every week, then he stopped coming. I dont know why he stopped coming, I think it got to do with his girlfriend. I think his girlfriend got jealous and told him that he cant go see his son. Then i got a letter from family lawyer, cos he wanted to see Caleb. So we went to meeting. Two separated meeting, one for me and one for him. We discussed that he want to see his son and that I was stopping him from seeing Caleb. I never stopped him from seeing his son, he just stopped coming. So we made a arrangement that he have supervised visit at the centre, but Caleb never like it there. He was crying and it breaks my heart. But then we decided for my ex-boyfriend to come over my place and started having bonding time with Caleb. One day when he wasn't watching him, I was doing the dishes, and my ex-boyfriend was standing in the kitchen, and talking to me. I went to lounge room to check on Caleb and he was standing on a cabinet and that freaked me out cos he could've fall and I told my ex-boyfriend that he need to watch him and not talking to me. And other times, he came over stoned and he wanted coffee so I made him one. Gave it to him in lounge room, he was so out of it. And Caleb was sitting right there, next to him and he spilled coffee on Caleb, lucky it wasn't boiling hot. I told my ex-boyfriend to watch out, but he just laughed.
Couple month later, my ex-boyfriend came over my place, I told him Caleb's not home. He said he wanted to see me cos he was worried about me. I had a few rough times, and on that day when he came over, and I wasn't feeling too good. He took an advance of me and got me pregnant again.
So I was pregnant with my 2nd and the pregnancy was good, no PUPPP, no problems until the end, he was 10 days overdue. So I had Connor by emergency C-section cos he had cord around his neck so had to have a emergency C-section. It was good to have a baby again. Still no self harming or overdosing. Still hear voices but manageable. I enjoyed watching both my sons grow. But then when Connor was about 2 or 3, I went downhill and became unwell again. I spoke to my GP about hearing voices, he put me on Zyprexa. I took them for couple weeks, but I didn't like it. So went back to GP and he put me on injection zuclopenthixol.
We moved to a bigger house again, 4 bedroom. Cos they were going to pull down the house we were living in. Mum lived with us for a while, but then she moved out to live with her partner cos I had a boyfriend moving in with me. I knew my boyfriend from high school, we were going out when we were teenagers at high school then he went different way and I went different way. Years later we found each other from Facebook and wanted to be together again. So he flew over here and live with me. Relationship went good at the start, but then I got a bit withdrawn and was pushing him away. The relationship didn't last long cos I wasn't doing well. So he moved out and went back to his home.
I always texting mum to come over to help me with the boys, I cant do it and need help from mum. Its hard cos I had voices screaming and telling me that I must die. Then somewhere that path, The voices were telling me that my meds were poison, so I stopped taking them. I cant remember how I went when I came off meds, then one morning I took my meds. That day mum came over and I got up from the chair, and went to kitchen. I told mum that I don't feel good and then the next thing I'm on the floor. Mum said that I passed out and she was on the phone to ambulance. I said I don't want to go to hospital so ambulance checked me over and then they said I'm ok, just from standing up too quick. But I think it got to do with my medication. I didn't tell them that.
Then my sister and her kids and partner moved in with me cos I wasn't coping and mum can't be at two places at once so we decided that she moved in with me and the boys.
One day I became unwell, I was home by myself, my sister and mum was working on that day. I took an overdose of all of my medications. And went to bed. I sorta remember my sister and mum trying to wake me up but I just couldn't wake up. So they rang the ambulance and went to hospital. I don't remember much of it. And then I got sent to psychiatric hospital. I went to Rural and Remote - Glenside hospital on the 6th October 2015, I was no longer able to cope at home due to severity of auditory hallucinations, background schizoaffective disorder and borderline personality disorder. Then I was transferred to TQEH (The Queen Elizabeth Hospital) PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) on the 17th October when I attempted to choke a nurse in response to command auditory hallucinations. I got better and my behaviour and psychotic symptoms settled in Cramond PICU and I was transferred back to Rural and Remote on 22nd October 2015.
In rural and remote, there’s 23 beds. The nurse gave me a tour... There’s lots of windows and a courtyard. There’s a nurse desk, they rotated shifts, give out medications and do some paperwork. There’s a dining room where we eat and there’s a lounge room where we watch tv or relax. There's art room where we go for painting or some art things. There's few rooms where you go for psychiatrist review. There’s also a relaxation room where I normally hang out. In a relaxation room there’s a nice big comfy chair and a CD player/radio. In my room there’s a bed, high flat hard bed and own bathroom with shower and toilet.
I continued to experience auditory hallucinations of a persecutory and distressing nature. I required transfer to RAH (Royal Adelaide Hospital) on three occasions following self harming including cutting and headbanging. The decision was made by the R R treating team, in conjunction with me and my family, that I required ongoing rehabilitation. I was transferred to Glenside Inpatient Rehabilitation Service on 21 December 2016 for ongoing management.
Then I was discharged from Inpatient Rehabilitation Service 10 months later. Within one and a half months I was readmitted to Rural and Remote following intensification of my auditory hallucinations.
One day when I was in rural and remote, I cant quite remember it but I remember that I was having a hard time with the voices. I went to my room, sat on the bed, rocking. Then this voice said, "set yourself on fire". That scares me cos I don't like fires and its bloody hot, I don't want to burn myself. But the voice kept saying, "Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn" so I set blanket on fire. The flame and the heat, got so big and I found it hard to breathe. I locked myself in the bathroom, I sat against the wall and rocking. The alarm went off and then the nurse had to drag me out of the room. The alarm woke everyone up and they were not happy. We all had to go to dining room and nurses were ticking everyone off the list to make sure everyone is there. This is not the first time I've set blanket on fire, I've done it in a different hospital and twice in rural and remote - Glenside hospital.
While I was in Rural and Remote ward, I met Emily, she was a little girl age 4 and she lost her mum. So I held her hand and helped her find her mum. We walked around the ward, outside, everywhere but we couldn't find her mum. Then she said to me, "Will you be my mum?" I said yes I will be your mum. So we played and played and then Ann told Emily to stay away from me. I was trying to figure out what was wrong and then Ann said, "Kirsty is bad, bad, bad". I got upset and was trying to find ways to hurt myself so I head banged.
Sometimes I was violently out of control, head banging, self harming, screaming, and I had times when the nurses had to hold me down to give me injection in my leg or bottom. There was time when I run away and go to shops and get razor blade and cut myself in the middle of the shopping centre. I don't remember much, but it was awful. There was time when I go to alcohol shop to buy drinks - Smirnoff double black, I get 8 cans. And then I would drank myself drunk and blind drunk. One day I had too much and I passed out in the relaxation room. One of the nurse found me and said i wasn't breathing. They tried CPR and everything. Ambulance came and took me to hospital. I can't remember much of it.
Glenside staff were trying to find me a home. Cos I've been in there for so long. They had meetings after meetings. Then they found CLO (community living option). And then in December 2017 I moved to a nice home in Kilburn with CLO. Just me and the staff. Not like in a group home, it was a home where I can be free. I've told them that I would like to move to Mt barker but there's nothing there and only choice is to move to Kilburn. I was happy anyway, just to get out of Glenside.
I was going to Eastern Community Mental Health Centre to have my weekly injection and monthly appointment with Psychiatrist. I was going there for 2 years.
I had up and downs and was in and out of hospital few times. Then in October 2019 I had a psychotic breakdown and spent 3 weeks in Cramond Ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Got put on zuclopenthixol tablets form cos the injection wasn't working. I started to feel better and was return home.
We've been trying to get me to move to Mt Barker for a while, I mean it been nearly 3 years, then in July 2020 I moved to Mt Barker to be close to my family. I love it here. My new house is looking wonderfully. My dream has come true.