Introduction Foreword Writing Together Coping Within The System Coping On My Own Coping With Teenagers Coping With Relationships Live Performance

Julia Stapley

My Emperor King

You get up to greet me
When I come in
You smile at me
You give me that penguin look
And give me a kiss
And you never answer back.
Your coat is warm and cuddly
Your ears smell heavenly too and
Your breath has its own distinctive perfume
You bark when we go and visit Rosie
And get excited too
You follow Snowy around
Always sniffing up her behind
And have lots of other dirty habits too
You get so jealous when Snowy gets a stroke
You gobble food down
Then start to choke
You are such a joy to have around
With that black coat and white throat
You have that penguin look
You are my emperor, king.


Six Bright Lights

Lying on the bed
Legs astride
In a crowded room
Full of people
Pushing and pushing
Legs kick me under the ribs
Electric shock runs down my leg
Oh my baby, my baby
What are they doing to you, to us?
More pain more pain
Please make it disappear
Call the doctor
Can’t take it anymore
All spent
So tired
Bright lights above
Then all is quiet
“You have a boy” I hear.
My loving son you are so dear to us
We have been through hell
It haunts me still
So I’m sorry you had no brother or sister, it was a no go zone
What will you call him?
Benjamin or Christopher I say.



Julia is also part of the Hearing Voices Group in East Sussex, for whom she is a volunteer.