A Women of a Certain Age


SKU e-book Category

169 in stock


By Fatma Durmush

ISBN: 978-1-84747-799-6
Published: 2008
Pages: 82
Key Themes: diary, schizophrenia, family, relationships, empowerment


Is a diary of the daily life of Fatma Durmush. Fatma Durmush who is fast approaching her fifties has just finished her studies and is talking about the daily routines which schizophrenia and illness has imposed on her. For example due to the injections she became seriously ill but it is not all doom and gloom there is the family and how she is seeing her nephews and niece grow up. From the daily life we see a picture of the schizophrenic and how working on the MA is a cure which is official for when Durmush went on a talk about schizophrenia the speaker in Hackney College said that all schizophrenics should be in a football team concentrating or on a job which is challenging. Durmush’s writing is instinctive and she protrays herself as the victim of the Voice but the diarist is there alive to all of the sides the Victim is no longer the most obvious and being an MA has sharpen her.

About the Author

Fatma Durmush has had schizophrenia for thirty odd years and after living with that amount of mental health problems she when she reached forty decided she would begin studying in good earnest. So she did an GNVQ and then foundation in art and then a degree and this year she has finished her MA in fine art. When her father became seriously ill she had to make a choice was it to be giving up the BA or doing the BA? In the end her father decided for her and he was gone but Fatma always said it was a thing that she could not decide for she loved them both.

Book Extract


Went and saw Mary, it has been snowing so it was a bit difficult. I went out at 9.30 am and reached the University at 11 am. I want a new computer so I set that in motion or at least updated memory. Mary listened to me. I went to the library I had two emails one from the arts council, the arts council wanted to know what I am doing now. The other was the proofs of Nothing Sacred.

I paid my library fine and went to Oscars where I saw my two friends Leyla and Becky. Becky choose to ignore me. I talked to Leyla after jawing for half an hour I left taking my library books. It has been a cold day.
At home I slept for couple of hours I could not get back into writing the essay. John phoned he has got 67 points for his essay. I am pleased for him I knew he could do it.


The voice and I were discussing the sexual positions of 69. The voice said the sexual act was great and he had tried it many times and also that he and I participated in 69. I said how and he demonstrated. I said “I feel tingly but it is not 69. So I walked the dog and my dogs’ leg is not well the poor sod is limping. I am taking her to the vet on Monday.

Then the voice said he was beginning to feel jealous because I had done fifty postcards and have started the essay. “We could perhaps do a bit of nothing?” he suggested then I replied,
“We’ve separated a long time ago!” after all that self inflicted frenzy I sat and looked at the TV. I felt far more unsettled as if I was going to scream because I had not done anything at all and there was a wall of failure in my brain. I don’t belong anywhere. I am rootless and belong nowhere.


The voice was in a rage wanted me to break my leg but I am better now I won’t break my leg, first it is too painful second I have things to do. Yesterday I was at Michelle’s birthday party, it was held in a Thai restaurant and there must have been about thirty forty people. Sue too came and at ten thirty we left, she would not get on the underground so we went on the bus. Her husband was very concerned and kept on ringing her.

I put her on the West ham station platform and went to the Jubilee line. The train had so many people it was unbelievable. I was concerned because she might not go on the right train and it was getting late. Me I am used to trains and I am not as far away. Also I am too tough now as if nothing would hurt me. Sue is tough too but not as tough as me.

When I went home Mum was in a rage. She had taken the dog out and she said I was an irresponsible dog owner. Why did you buy that dog if you are going to let it suffer so I took the dog out for its walk and was amused to see that she was desperate ,Susie has urinated all over the place.


I took Susie to the vet she has been limping for 2 weeks on and off. The vet thinks her leg might be broken. She then felt Susie’s leg and said to come in a week’s time. She gave tablets and injected Susie and looked disapprovingly at me.
“Why didn’t you come sooner?”
“Money, we had none.”
The voice has been very active and I sat at the bus in the lower deck, Susie in my arms and people looking at me.

The voice and I began to argue on the bus, I began to get the wind up and lost control and began to think nonsense. I was a total wreck and was glad that the dog and I arrived safely.
Mum is telling me there is no such thing as the voice. I sometimes agree but when I am alone I hear the voice and am under the Voice’s control. Today I realized with bitterness that there is no cure. Also today as I went to the South London gallery in Peckham, as it is Monday it was closed.


Yesterday was Valentine’s day and I got no messages or declarations of love. I felt a wee sense of disappointment but then life goes on. Tim did a seminar he had also shaved and we all commented on it and he said he had found the razor amongst the rubbish.

I had to see Atya and she said the essay needed a lot of work. Today Sue’s daughter had a tooth operation and because she does not remain still she had to be anaesthetized. I phoned and Sue was not herself and I was a bit busy because the kitchen needs a lot of work done. I painted two pictures and read Grayson Perry who in the book talked of nothing but his sex life and how after College his step dad said not to return home.

The step dad does not appeal to me and I think not to Grayson. But I learnt nothing of Perry’s art and all I have is a tiny glimpse when I wanted a huge chunk.
I am all right I have a cold sore on my lip and it feels painful. I am going to see the hygienist tomorrow and I have to have my injection. My essay is shaping well but I have a feeling I have over written it. But then I saw Karen and asked her how long the essay should be and she says 3500 words at the very least and I have not written nearly half.


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