“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” - Brad Meltzer
Unfortunately Ben is no longer here to tell his own story. But amongst his journals and writing, there was a letter written by him that speaks of his mental health at the time. His illness was not one that was easily understood. If you can take a moment to disregard your judgement and the label 'crazy' we too easily bestow on people, you will see that this letter speaks more of loneliness and lack of connection than anything else, something I am sure we can all relate to.
The photo below was taken on his first day of school, he was a bright and popular child who had a wonderful future ahead of him, yet, his illness took so much from him, including his life.
Hello Sally, my name is Ben Temperton, I live in New Zealand and I am 99% sure I am telepathic and empathetic. Everyday I am flooded with people's thoughts and emotions, to describe it, it's like being an antenna receiving radio waves of thoughts and emotional waves of people around me and then projecting my own thoughts and emotional waves back into their heads in a general radius around me.
I have struggled throughout my life with being telepathic, about a year ago I started taking prescribed drugs that allowed me to function more normally as at that point it was getting so bad I was having terrible anxiety attacks. I was extremely fearful of being around large groups of people as I was overwhelmed by their emotions and thoughts. I can imagine people thought of me as a weirdo, strange, or crazy, or all three. Things started going wrong for me as soon as I hit puberty as I was sensitive to every nuance or vibration in the emotional atmosphere. I also found my behaviour reflected the feelings of people around me.
During puberty I began to retreat into my own inner world and cut myself off from others. I lost all my friends and really struggled to face the world. I looked forward to being alone and away from people as then I would get a break from the negative feelings and emotions of those around me.
I believe people know subconsciously that I am psychic or special in some way as they have learnt how to use my abilities against me. They give me 'pings' which are emotions directed at me, such as, embarrassment, or anger, or sadness. They do this subconsciously and hit me with an emotion. This often gives me a fright and makes me react to the emotion by replicating it. If people ping me in certain places like in groups of people, they can make me embarrassed by sending me an embarrassed ping emotion, this makes me look stupid and people think I am dumb, which in fact I am the exact opposite. With medication like anti-anxiety drugs, they dull my emotions so I don't react so strongly when people ping me. I believe people do this to me because it makes me look stupid as I cannot control my emotions like everyone else.
I seem to project most of my thoughts into other people's minds and when I am in a bad mood or extremely bored, I tend to start playing mind games with the people around me. I can convince them my thoughts are theirs and can convince them they are thinking something they are not and influence them into doing things, it doesn't always work though.
My problem is people don't understand me and I have great difficult fitting in because I am different. I feel my telepathy is both a blessing and a curse. It is what makes me a special individual, but on the other side of things I just wish I could be a normal ordinary guy. So in one way I wish it would go and in another I am scared it will go as I have known no other way for so long.
A few months ago I told a psychiatrist that I thought I was psychic and they put me into a mental health unit for a couple of weeks. I told them how I pick up everyone's thoughts and the psychiatrist came up with the idea that I might be mildly schizophrenic as he said it is impossible to read minds, even though I was reading his at the time. My family don't like it when I tell them I can read their minds, because who wants all their private thoughts and secret desires revealed to the world. So as not to scare them, I usually don't talk about how I can read all their thoughts or even mention my psychic ability around them.
Another one of my strengths is my imagination and I often daydream to escape the mundane reality of life. When under stress my mind races and I struggle to slow it down. During this time I send my thoughts to others, with no control over the thoughts I am sending. When I am bombarded with other people's thoughts I find it difficult to concentrate on what I am doing.
I feel deeply for others and I can easily put myself into their shoes. Sometimes people's grief and sadness overwhelms me so much I begin to weep for them. Because I don't fit in very well with most people, I was wondering if you could give me some contacts, perhaps of people like me who live in New Zealand. I would love to come to the Rhine research centre and be tested and be around other people like me. I might actually fit in for once in my life. I know I am not living up to my potential in life and perhaps with help from you I could use my talents to help more people. I could probe criminal minds to reveal the secrets they harbour about a certain crime. I mean the possibilities are endless.