patricia chambers

Patricia Chambers was a much valued member of Shaping Our Lives management board. Patricia is sadly missed by her friends and colleagues. We wanted to remember her with a couple of poems that she wrote for our newsletter.



Classification Unknown   by Patricia Chambers

I happen to be one of those people

That people call insane

My doctor says it’s got something to do

With the chemicals in my brain.

I’ve also heard it’s hereditary just one of those

Things that happens to some.

What ever it is, because of it. I’m forced to have

Injections in my bum.

I’m classified dis-abled

Definition she’s lost her mind.

But something tells me they’ve got it wrong

And they are the ones who are blind.

I think I’ve had a spiritual experience

But they say that I’m mentally ill.

I think they just like giving pills and injections

It gives them some sort of thrill.

They say it can happen to anyone

But there’s little empathy for the unfortunate few.

And according to statistics

It’s happening to those with a darker hue.

What I need is research

How’s and when’s and why’s

What I need are honest answers

Not blatant open lies.

When will someone look into my experience and listen to me

Because I don’t think I’m mad.

But until someone does I’m one of those people

And to be honest that makes me quite sad


The Voices and I


I live in the presence of the voices, Ancestors, Satan and God.

I know I shouldn’t hear them, because people tell me it’s odd.


Sometimes they’re a comfort, saying things of cheer.

Some of the time they are nefarious, saying things I’d rather not hear.


Sometimes we have good conversations and they make me laugh out loud.

But I know that hearing voices sets me apart from the crowd.


I don’t mind being different but it seems to be a problem for some.

I think that they should hear voices and have a little fun.


I don’t see that hearing voices means you have to take a pill.

I don’t see that hearing voices means you are forever mentally ill.


I don’t see that hearing voices means that you are demented.

Even though at times by these voices I am tormented.


The voices have become for me a part of daily life.

They even give me companionship like a husband or a wife.


They often entertain me, give me knowledge, make me wise.

In fact they’ve told me lots of things that have opened up my eyes.


Don’t inject me because I hear voices leave me to be free.

I think they’re a part of nature like the wind, the sky, the sea.


Oh when will hearing voices be something that’s not bizarre

Maybe when the voices confess and tell us who they are.


O.K. I hear voices a phenomenon of today.

And to tell the honest truth I don’t want my voices to go away.


I like listening to my voices, they’re like the radio.

And I think that I’d be quite sad if my voices should ever go.


You don’t have to lock me away for an experience that’s strange.

Don’t say that I’m mad, psychotic and deranged.


I think that hearing voices is just a paranormal thing.

I don’t want to be told I’m disordered, like my voices are a sin.


You can’t control the voices with drugs and medication.

I don’t think it’s humanly possible to be rid of them, I’ve tried with dedication.


Only God can get rid of the voices and maybe it’s his way of getting


Don’t be so quick to judge me because Gods next choice could be you.


Let me enjoy the phenomena, let me see where it could lead.

Take me off the medication I shouldn’t have to plead.


I think the voices are spiritual, voices from heaven or voices from hell.

I have notions that they’re my ancestors which ones I cannot tell.


Lots of things come to mind for me about the voices that I hear.

But more than the voices it’s the medication that I fear.


It stops me from brushing my teeth, having a bath and keeping clean.

When they say it’s better for you, I don’t know what they mean.


I don’t feel better drugged up and unable to think.

I don’t feel better not washing for days and beginning to stink.


I don’t feel better not working and playing with the rest.

I don’t feel being in hospital of all my talents is the best.


Let me live my life the way it’s meant to be.

I think that this is what God has ordained for me.


So once again before I go, I don’t think I’m mad.

And once again before I go, hearing voices isn’t bad.