This is the extraordinary story of Karl’s life; an ordinary man with a controlled mental health problem
“27th December 1991
This book contains my self-portrait in the form of text. It conveys what it is like to live at the edge of human experience and to wrestle with spiritual thoughts, darkness and light, reason and chaos.” – Karl Lorenz Willett, The Memoir of a Schizophrenic
In the book Karl discusses his thoughts and feelings regarding specific events, natural disasters and human atrocities, among them Princess Diana’s death, the catastrophic Turkish earthquake and Venezuelan floods, the Dunblane school massacre, the 9/11 attacks on New York and other acts of terrorism, as well as day-to-day considerations on such things as love and marriage, family, faith, monetary issues and the national lottery.
“To my children and children’s children
Written November 1982
Now that I am twenty-six years old I have decided to give you, my family, an account of the interesting happenings in my life which were full of incident. I shall try to describe events which have come to mind and capture them on paper, so that, when revolved in the kaleidoscope of time, it will build up an image of the changes through which I have lived and the problems I had to solve. I hope that through these recollections, with all these imperfections, my children and children’s children may be tempted to learn something about the world in which I and my parents were born and grew up in.” – Karl Lorenz Willett, The Memoir of a Schizophrenic
About the Author
Karl Lorenz Willett was born in the mid-1950s in St Kitts, West Indies. One of five children, he was the second son and has two older and one younger sister.
When Karl was very young his parents moved to the UK, leaving their children behind in the care of their Nanny. The parents managed to send for their oldest child in 1965, but it would be another year before Karl and his other siblings, along with their Nanny, would emigrate to England. The family was finally reunited a few months before Karl’s tenth birthday.
On the cusp of adulthood Karl’s mental illness first became apparent when he suffered periods of delusion and hallucinations. With the support of his family, and following a short stay in a psychiatric hospital and prescribed medication, Karl felt that he had recovered from his illness. However, he has suffered further psychotic incidents, breakdowns and suicidal urges throughout the subsequent years.
In 1981 Karl married the love of his live, Euphemia and the couple have three grown up children.
Karl’s book, The Memoir of a Schizophrenic, is written for his family and clearly demonstrates the struggles he has suffered and the impact that his illness has had on every aspect of his life.
“In this passionate autobiography I hope to tell in crystal clear lines the experiences of having mental illness and the love of the gospel. Not for sensationalism but because I had to untangle creativity from self-destruction and was unable to, I ultimately had a breakdown. Its ugly effects on my life is not dramatized, it’s plain and is told. I acquired a survival instinct. I now think that whatever I am going through is what is supposed to be.” – Karl Lorenz Willett
Note that sections of the book were written during periods of illness or emotional distress. For the most part language, punctuation and grammar have been left in their original form