Poverty, Family History, & Schizophrenia

I am a scientist with schizophrenia. I want to elaborate on something maybe obvious, that poverty and discrimination are intrinsically linked to schizophrenia.

I am highly intelligent, member of Mensa and Intertel. I had a decent life as a kid before we left Eastern Germany. When we came to Western Germany when I was 12, we suffered poverty, my family had to start from nothing. I started to work hard at school and became a model student, liked by the teachers. I also took up my first job at the age of 13, distributing papers, later I worked in bakery and sold meat for a supermarket and started to always search for work. I have worked most of the time ever since, and always tried to get my hands on a job.

I have to admit that I started also meandering on the dark side. My mum asked me to stay slim (it was her idea of discipline), and I started to compensate for our misery with eating chocolate. I needed that emotionally, because I lost the love of my mum and dad as soon as we came to the West, they were too troubled to continue to love and raise us, so I spent my afternoons after school with my little brother in front of the TV, munching chocolate and watching McGyver. I friend told me what to do, a dirty little trick, put your finger into your throat, and you can eat and stay slim at the same time. So, I developed bulimia. Mind you, I was a traumatized young girl, with little guidance. I started to steal chocolate and money from my parents.

I was sent to a therapist, to help me with my bulimia. She told me to follow my dreams, and I imagined I would find the love and happiness back that I had as a little kid if I went back to Berlin. So, I went back to Berlin. I was very lonely there but found my first job at University. I figured that this is what I want to do.

I felt first like McGyver. That was what I was now raised by, mind you. Only when I became a little older, I realized I was wrong. When I moved out of my parents’ house, I was given so little money that I could only pay the rent for a tiny room in a shared flat. I did not even have enough cash to buy food. I had to cut my own hair with kitchen scissors (that was in the year 1997 or so!). Never even to dream of having my own car! I never did. Not even now, at 45! The money from the chocolate is now paid back, by the way. I had a boyfriend at school, but decided against early marriage because my dad said I should go to University.

I lived very spartanically. I could not find a boyfriend. A friend of mine from Munich whom I loved very much had followed me to Berlin, but he was not in touch. I think also my poverty was repulsive. No one likes being around someone who cannot even afford to sit in a café for a drink! I had my first psychosis in 2002, I was working very hard, starving myself (I ate literally only one bag of sweets a day and maybe an apple because I thought I need to be slim to find love), and lived in a dark basement apartment. I was poor. I had an out of body experience then and psychosis, which felt like spiritual guidance. My friend from Munich died in a car crash, and I screamed out in terror and was brought to hospital.

After this, my lot improved a little. I got sponsored for an extended visit to the US, and then when I came back, I managed to find work. I found a partner at a conference in Turkey (not a happy relationship, very sexualised) and migrated for him to the UK. We separated as soon as I arrived, because I fell ill with schizophrenia and did not find a job close to him and he could not cope with that, but I found a good job in the UK. Schizophrenia became chronic. I was tormented. I did not have a lot of money, and while I managed to find friends, because I am basically a smart and nice person, I did not manage to find love again.

I worked very, very hard. I struggled with my schizophrenia. I was lucky after some years and was promoted. Finally, I had some little cash. I met a lovely man and we fell in love. When that happened, I realized how poor I had always been, because even if he was not rich himself, he lived a more or less normal life. He had a normal house, a little normal car, and some savings. All things that I never had.

The evil thing that happened was that as soon as we were together and I had my better job, we fulfilled our dreams and travelled a little. I think people got envious of me and wanted to force me into having a baby, just because. My mother especially. It got so painful to me that in fact I complained with the International Court of Human Rights! At least I imagined that my family wanted a child out of me. I think it is credible. That’s what happens to women, I’ve heard and seen it in others too. That became so disruptive, that I could not manage to keep my job and ended on disability income. That’s awfully little money. Poverty knocks again.

So, again I live in utter poverty. I can’t even afford to take out a loan. I never owned my own car at the age of 45. I am discriminated in finding work. For some strange reason, my boyfriend still endures my misery. And the brilliant thing is that my intelligence is becoming recognized and I am allowed to study at Harvard! I wish more would come of this. I have the same dreams as anyone else, living a decent life, secure and with enough money. I am already sterilized and in early menopause, so kids are not anymore in the game, and to be honest, I don’t want any. I did not have a happy childhood and I rather crave professional luck than being a mother. I don’t even desire a car. But I want to live DECENT life with the feeling of being loved and respected and having success.

All I have is a loving man at my side (that’s a LOT, and he honestly IS really nice to me) a room for myself and a computer and many books. Not even a functioning bicycle, not a car, no travels (no cash for that). But otherwise, I am poor as a dog again.

I am grateful for my boyfriend; he is really sweet. But at 45 years and with a PhD, one wants more than a boyfriend and to live on disability income, which is so little money that I even need to borrow the money to pay for my medication. I have the suspicion, that behind of all of this, my mother is a factor, because I have the suspicion she works together with psychiatrists and her lawyers (she worked in a law firm) to direct my life and causes all this mess. I know she likes to direct my life minutely and to know all that I do and all my friends.

She is in touch with nearly everyone I talk to. She always wants to know all I do. She is the only one who still calls me. She is on the right side of the political spectrum, I think. It was even worse under Trump; she became fascist under Trump.

I needed to make a lot of noise against forceful breeding (I am sterilized and we both don’t want children). My brother was on Trump’s side and I think her lawyers too. I am with the Greens and have strong sympathies for Labour. Psychiatrists would help me a lot if they helped uncover this case and would help me find work again. My mother has far more money than myself, and never lost her job in the law firm. She married a man with already a child (my father). She owns a house. My father lost his job many times, is poorer than my mother, and is with Labour. I don’t know anything about my brother, because since we were teenagers we never talked. I only know that something here is not right. Otherwise, I would have a proper job with my intelligence. I am a member of Mensa, Intertel and have a PhD. ~ by Anna B., UK


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