The Sectioned Voice

Our final post responding to The Recovery Narrative: Politics and Possibilities of a Genre is a poem by Caroline Yeo. 

The story teller in the hospital walls, screaming, crying streams consciousness, incoherent,

incomprehensible and worthless. 

And yet this is the greatest story ever told. 


If only you would listen with an open mind. 

But I am just an attention seeker. 

My psychotic word salad not worth a moment of your time. 


In a conference room the service user stands. 

Perfect script in their hands. 

The first of the speakers. 

The last on the invitation list. 

Working for a bus ticket, a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

The token. 

The survivor porn. 


The audience in rapture as each well spoken word falls on welcome ears. 


They clap, perhaps shed a tear or two. 


Poor thing. 


How brave.  


I am glad that was not me. 


The perfect start. 


Now it is time for the real research and the proper talks. 


When they leave the conference walls. 


Back to their pretty little lives, their nice houses and polite conversations. 


I go back to the horrors of my memories. 


In the conference hall, on the agenda list. 


What a story? 


But in the ward, where they reign. 


She claims we abused her. 


What a story? 


See the wildness in her eyes. 


The service user full of lies. 


I tell my story because they would not listen to me before. 


The mad psychotic ramblings of my abuse fell on the cleanest floor. 


I do not want you to admire me or pity me. 


I want you to stop your lies. 


Dr Caroline Yeo, Survivor, Researcher, Activist and Reflector. University of Nottingham 

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