Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.




I was born in a very suburban suburb on the outskirts of a town in England, to my mother, a former nurse, and my dad, an engineer or some kind or another, in the mid 1980s. A year later my brother was born. When I was 4 my parents divorced and we stayed with mum in the very suburban suburb where we went to school, and stayed with our dad at the weekend. Things were okay. I liked reading at school; I read a lot of books. I wasn't so good at making friends. I hid in the toilets and cried a lot. I was painfully shy and too tall for my age. I liked drawing and excelled at english and art and wrote stories that they read out in assembly. I made a friend on my first day called Rebecca who was my best friend for years, recently we got in touch again and we're still good friends.
At some point my mum re-married, and had two more kids with my stepdad - twins. That time wasn't so good. I hated school more than anything and moved a couple of times. I always felt like the new girl. I spent a lot of time looking after the rabbits and guinea pigs and hamsters or reading on my own in the playground. I was the teacher's special project. I was really unpopular and geeky and shy. My mum and my stepdad used to throw plates at each other. Me and my brother didn't like him. He was aggressive and shouted a lot. I think he used to hit my mum but I'm not sure.
Mum cut my hair short because I never brushed it. My teacher at school loved drama and got me into a couple of school plays even though I wasn't one of the really popular loud drama-type girls that got all the main parts. I used to get bronchitis and chest infections a lot so singing the solo was difficult. I had mild asthma.
When I was about 10 and things were really bad between my mum and my stepdad, my mum had just driven me back from somewhere and we were sitting outside the house in the car. It was quite dark. My mum had made a new friend 2 doors down called Jenny and had been spending a lot of time with her. When we got back from wherever it was my mum turned round to me and said, 'You do know that I'm *going out* with Jenny, don't you?'
Clearly I had no idea whatsoever that mum was *going out* with Jenny. I pretended I did so we wouldn't have to have an awkward conversation. I remember that quite well but I don't remember much else.
A little while after that mum asked me how I would feel about going to live with my dad. I said I wouldn't mind. Me and my brother went to live with my dad and he used to drive us an hour to school every day. We watched nickelodeon a lot and lots of cool tv programmes like Clarissa Explains It All, Ren & Stimpy, Earthworm Jim and countless others. Mum stayed in that house for a while but things were really bad. Eventually she moved out into a house owned by her girlfriend. She gave up custody of the other two children because she said it was too difficult and their dad used to tell them terrible things about her. For a long time I really, really missed them, I felt like I'd brought them up, I had taught them the alphabet. I visited them at their grandparents' house for a while because i was only a child and had no idea how to approach their dad or what he was really like, he didnt seem like an especially nice person. I was only about 12. After a while it got too awkward and I felt like I was putting too much pressure on the grandparents. It was awful. I stopped going a couple of years ago and am trying to get back in touch now that I've overcome some of my own problems.
When I started secondary school I started to go to this technology school which was supposed to be really big on computers and things like that. I joined the netball team. I hated it and was as miserable as ever so eventually I just moved schools again, to the one where some of my old friends from primary school were. I was a bit of a loner. I had a friend, Rachel, who got me a job at the nursery where her mum worked, working 2 hours every night after school. I was shit. I started dying my hair black and listening to placebo after I found a whole new world on the internet. The internet brought me up. I started listening to more music. I felt completely alienated from everybody at school. I became even less popular. I was the goth. I suffered with depression a lot. I genuinely felt like there was no point in continuing, that I was completely alone and that nothing mattered. I slept a lot. I pretended to be ill a lot. I got a lot of headaches.
When I was about 14 and had been chatting on the internet in a band chatroom for a long time I met someone called F, who I just clicked with straight away. We talked and laughed all night on an internet messenger, then I told my dad I was visiting a childhood friend nearby and took a train to his town instead. We went to our first nightclub and got really drunk. I've never met anyone as similar to me who I felt so comfortable with and I never will. We were always completely ambiguous about our sexualities until he pretty much came out. We went through a lot together although we didn't physically spend a lot of time together because of the distance. I still have never met anyone quite like him and probably never will. He introduced me to a lot of music and film and knows a lot about arthouse and indie, and has an incredibly bitter and sarcastic outlook which is kind of great. He's studying film in the capital now. He's been with his bf for about 2 years who is an equally amazing, learned, intelligent and warm person.
I sank in and out of deep pits of depression and self harmed a bit. I got stupid crushes on people online and visited a couple of them. I told myself I was fine and was being stupid for months and years, but it went on for a long time. I saw the doctor about it and got fobbed off. Eventually my dad frog-marched me in there until they sent me to see a counsellor. He was amazing. He listened to me and lent me books and said I was cool, and helped me a lot to see that things could get better. I was suffering with acute depression and anxiety. I got some medication for the anxiety and had time off school to see him every couple of weeks. I tried some antidepressants but didnt like the idea of them. I made a hippy friend a couple of hours away on the train who I visited a bit, we smoked weed and had fires in oil drums. The weed didn't do me any good and I gave it up because it made me paranoid and insane.
Eventually I turned 17 and had to be discharged from the counselling because it was an adolescent health service. I was about to leave school - I was coasting and never doing any work but I still got As and Bs. I couldn't imagine going to college with everybody else as I would probably kill myself. My art teacher told me to apply for an Art Foundation course so I did. I did that for a while, made a friend who was one of the most amazing characters I have ever met and knew everybody who was anybody in the city. We went to indie clubs and took a lot of drugs. I met countless new people through her and discovered the fairly vibrant and creative village that I live in now. We stood in the grounds at uni and smoked fags and skipped classes together. Eventually I got disillusioned and depressed again, and I hated living with my dad, who had re-married someone I hated and tracked my every move. I had to get out on my own, so I dropped out and got a temp job and pretty much ran away. My dad helped me find a shitty little utility room to rent which was awful and full of schizophrenics and drug dealers. Eventually I moved out again into a much nicer room in a big shared house with young professionals (yuck).
At a party with the friend I had made once, I was buying pills off a boy who was shy and nice and we were practically forced into one another's arms by our friends. That was nice. We went out for over a year and had a lot of parties and abused a lot of substances and went to dance raves (which isn't something I ever thought I'd enjoy) and drank too much. After a while I stopped taking so many drugs because I didn't enjoy them anymore, and have pretty much given up smoking at the moment because of my singing voice.
i worked some shitty jobs before I got one as a secretary which paid quite a lot. I studied for an English A level part time while I tried to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I joined a band as a singer because I wanted to be in a band more than anything else in the whole entire world. I'm kind of trying to play guitar a bit better so I can front a riot grrl band or something. We had our first gig recently. It validates me to be on stage.
A couple of months ago I had been feeling miserable in the relationship for a long time and felt like we weren't communicating and had trudged home crying one time too often so I eventually brought myself to break up with him, with support from F in the capital and my friend from Uni. I'd rather be alone and trying to figure myself out rather than stuck like a square peg in a round hole. After I broke up with him, my ex got diagnosed with a stomach wasting disease, he'd been really ill and thin for the whole time I'd known him. He went into hospital for a while but he's okay. I'm not sure what's going to happen with us now but there doesn't appear to be any animosity. I'm not promiscuous so have been spending a fair amount of time on my own, or going out drinking with various groups of people. I would really like a cuddle but I'm just going to wait until that feeling goes away.
I see my mum a lot more now and I think she is a lot happier which is nice. Recently she broke up with the original girlfriend and has been experimenting with her lifestyle a bit. I go to gay bars with her sometimes. Last time someone asked if we were a couple.
I'm moving in with people I actually know soon, really sociable people, which will be weird because I feel like I've always lived on my own. It will be nice to have the choice to be alone or not. I'm going to write songs for my band, do lots of gigs, read lots of Andrea Dworkin, Margaret Atwood and other things, download a lot of music, make some animations on flash, and I'm starting a new job which is just 10 minutes down the road rather than the hour-long trek on the bus it has been, and it pays a lot. I will do that until I figure out something creative and good I can spend my time doing, or decide what to study at University and go there, or go on tour with my band. I'm going to watch films and try not to binge drink quite so much and try to settle down and pursue all the things I want to do. It's been hard work ditching the mindset of when I was 15 but I'm getting there. I'm seeing Sleater-Kinney in September with my band which is amazing. I've made hundreds of new friends over the last 2 years, more than I ever could have thought possible. I hate working 9 to 5 and I hate a lot of things but I do feel capable of becoming someone I want to be, I think. My confidence is slowly improving and I've been trying really hard to 'feel the fear and do it anyway' to do the things I want to do and feel better about myself.
There's a lot more I could say but I'd be here all year.