My name is David Michael Atiyah; born Cambridge, UK. 20/11/1958
My mother, Lily Atiyah, and my father Michael Atiyah were/are both mathematicians, and I also have a maths degree from Cambridge University, UK
Now aged 57, I have long history of mental illness – as defined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, to whom the British people have outsourced those whom they find “different”
I went up to Cambridge University aged 17, aspiring to follow in my father’s footsteps. My father himself went up to Cambridge aged 20.
Immature, not knowing what a girl looked like when I arrived, I survived the first two years of my three year course, but was struggling by Christmas ’78. Looking back that was simply a natural response to realising that I wasn’t coping, at the high level I chose to set for myself, with the final year’s courses.
Society’s response was to lock me up, and more or less throw away the key. In an act of despair, whilst in a toilet, I set fire to my jeans.
Whilst my memory is fuzzy, I inflicted a significant burn on my leg – requiring a stay in the burns unit of another hospital. I was then sent home – the short period of time in a “normal” environment being sufficient to improve my mood.
Long story – not relevant now, but I then crafted a career as a maths teacher; never successful, never staying very long, never really making networks of friends.
Christmas ’97 – from Aiglon College in Switzerland – a school that markets itself as the most expensive school in the world – i headed out to Starehe School in Kenya, having fundraised to be able to donate them the latest DELL server. Even the President didn’t acquired one yet.
I took Lariam as an anti-malarial drug – one that is now banned. Result = Mania on return to Switzerland, not that I knew what Mania was at the time.
I once more fought back and after a period playing the databases for the Maths Dept @ Bristol University, I arrrived to run the computers and teach maths at the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Flekke, Norway in Aug 2000.