To explain your mental health disorder, Rosa Garcia, 53 years old, is defined as “listener of voices”. “I have auditory and visual hallucinations about three times a week since I was 18 years old. I see colored lights and many insects. I am aware of them when they occur to me and I know how to manage them. Openly Catalonia, in Barcelona, an entity that fights against the stigma around mental health.
Rosa is not ashamed to explain what she has or why she has it: “I went psychologically and sexually abused in the family environment during my childhood. That is the cause of everything. “She reveals it with a strength and self-assurance that shock and at the same time move. The same ones that she uses to overcome the general sadness caused by covid-19 pandemic, that the number of people with mental disorders is increasing and the situation of those who already had one is aggravating. But this is not the case with Rosa: she does not allow herself to fall. Nothing is comparable to what he has already lived.
“I’ve done a very big work on a personal level. Until after 46 years I did not say anything. I got a very strong anger that pushed me to speak. And I decided to do it also for all those who still could not talk about the abuses suffered within a environment that was supposed to be security “, relates this mother of two daughters aged 21 and 17.
Rosa is an example that, no matter how much life goes wrong, you can get out of the hole. “Right now I have a very quiet family environment. My partner died 10 years ago and I can’t fall because, if not, my daughters fall. “Very recently he created a space for voice listeners called ‘The corner of Persephone’, inside of Trebolmente association.
“Persephone is a woman who lives six months on Earth with her mother and another six in Hell with her husband. two different realities, something that happens to many of us who are voice listeners. “Why don’t you use a psychiatric diagnosis to define your disorder?” Because the only label that represents me is that of ‘survivor of childhood sexual abuse’ “, Rosa responds.
Rosa says that the confinement happened “fairly good”. “The second week the hallucinations rose a lot. But then they stabilized again,” he explains. “When the quarantine began, as I already know myself, I did a rethinking of how to deal with it. I spent it with my daughters. I got up early every day, at 8 in the morning I was already having my first coffee. The problem is the people who passed it alone”, think.
He took advantage of the time so much that it was precisely at that time that he created Trebolmente, which emerged as a result of several virtual support groups with whom you were working during the quarantine. Helped in grief groups. “I have noticed a lot of loneliness in people, extreme loneliness. People who were aware each day of what time they could connect to talk, “recalls Rosa.
“I decided to speak for all those women who still could not speak about the abuse they suffered in an environment that was supposed to be safe”
This person who today helps others to live is the same person who entered a psychiatric hospital at age 23 for a suicide attempt, barely four years after hallucinations began in which he heard a voice asking him “not to talk about him”, about his abuser. Suicide attempts, for years, were recurrent in Rosa’s life, with continuous entrances and exits from hospitals. Something changes from the age of 28, when he starts working in a bar and earning money. “It opens to me a door to leave my house. And I form a family, “he recalls.
Even with other later problems, such as the sudden loss of her partner, Rosa chose life, despite the fact that it “is not easy”, instead of death. “When you feel like all is lost, you can decide to do whatever you want. Sometimes we think that suicide it’s the solution. What if we consider that it is also time to do whatever you want, whoever bursts? I decided talk about abuse and not shut up “, claims. He does not regret taking this step.