It used to be said that “A man is only as good as his word”. This saying is probably not considered to be hip, as it is gender exclusive. Nonetheless, it does point to an accepted notion– that to be valued involves being trustworthy. If you say it, you must mean it, in order to be believed.
How can people believe the words of a schizophrenic?
This was a big problem for me, especially at first. Whether it was the illness itself, or just how I was coming across, people tended to doubt the things I said. I often became frustrated, particularly when I was being as honest and as genuine as possible.
I remember once I was in a room full of people. I looked outside the window and saw raindrops coming down. I said, “It’s raining today.”
Someone turned to me and replied, “No, it’s not.”
Of course, I can understand, in a way. If I am hearing voices, or have other symptoms, such as false beliefs, paranoia, and so forth– can I myself be trusted?
Interestingly, modern literature often involves the assumption that there is no completely trustworthy narrator. All characters in a book, including the one whose voice we channel, are human and therefore flawed. There is no modern Percival.
Yet, I would hope that people might consider that schizophrenics, too, want to be believed, problematic as that may seen. And, they may often be right about their notions, or at least they may present a viable and valuable point of view.
I am glad to report that, as I got older, more and more people placed their trust in me, be they family members or others. One, my wife, even calls me- “Her rock.”