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A Diary
By Fatma Durmush

ISBN: 978-1-84747-321-9
Published: 2007
Pages: 130
Key Themes: diary, autobiographical, schizophrenia, mental health services, strength, resilience, achievement



This is the second volume of diaries by Fatma Durmush. It is a continuation of Nothing Sacred, Vol. One.

The life of a schizophrenic is often far from smooth; discrimination, ranging from casual encounters on the street, or while out shopping, extends as far as the structures and processes of the very organizations designed to give help and support to those with mental and physical disabilities.

Fatma Durmush shows what can be achieved by those, who in former times would have been vastly underrated by, and written out of, society, as irrelevant, and who, even now, have to continue to assert their hard won rights.

About the Author

For someone who has had to struggle exceptionally hard to achieve some level of success in life Fatma continues to apply her talents in many different spheres.

She acquired a B.A. in the Arts, while at the same time exhibiting her paintings in various galleries around London, her plays have been published, and performed in Europe and the USA, along with the publication of books of stories and poetry, some of which have been broadcast on radio here in England.

Book Extract


It is so hot! I am so bloody hot. It is like an oven here. The Turkish TV has been on all day. It has been blaring about Cyprus and I am hot and bothered. Cem Uzan is a billionaire that has had his properties and helicopters confiscated by the government. I find that very confusing. Overall, I find the political situation confusing. Which side to take? What is the right side? I am cooling down now. I hate Turkish news.

Now mum has switched to other Turkish stuff. Cem Uzan’s helicopters have been confiscated. Corruption in Turkey is rife.

I have just walked the dog and it is bitterly cold outside but inside is like an oven. I wonder if it is my menopause? I woke up at 9am today. Read for a while and tried to get myself organised, because I have University tomorrow. I have to phone several places.

I have been hearing voices and they have been calm and collected. I have been ill that’s why. I took two days off. My counsellor has pleurisy. I am bombarded by work. I have painted two paintings that I hope will give me justice. I feel so ill and depressed. I spent four days in bed.


I have really cheered up since I last wrote. I am still hot and thirsty but I’m in a better frame of mind. Steve came today. Steve is my computer man. He showed me how the computer works. I am really pleased with the work done. I’ve printed the images and really they are good. Mum wants me to retouch grandfather and grandmother. I am happy to do that if I can. I think I can.

I was painting yesterday. On Monday I couldn’t paint. So what I did was re-prime the canvases. I need a lot of money for cartridges. I don’t think I’ve got a lot but maybe I can get some from my disability.


I am thirsty and my eyes hurt. As I write I am thinking of what I’ve done during the day. I finished my picture. All I need to do is paint some writing on it. All I need to do is study and think collectively. For the first time in months I prayed to God.

Mum asked, “Am I to blame for your madness?” I don’t know if anyone is to blame. A part of me is certain that if certain things were different I wouldn’t be ill, but who knows? We did have a good chat I must admit.

A student called Becky talked to me. Fazil checked on her to see that she did because I said I wanted to talk to someone. I feel like a spoilt bitch. We talked for twenty minutes about my life and her life. Becky is a nurse and worked in hostels. She is thirty-four years old and has made something of her life, whereas mine is full of bitterness and regret. I can’t seem to cheer up. I just can’t. It seems beyond me.

Who am I? That is the problem. I don’t know. A terrible puzzle runs in my head. What am I? Who knows? I do this and I do that and nobody knows me or wants to know me. I kissed Derek today it was a friendly kiss! I wish it was somebody else, I wish I can communicate.



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