Learning To Love You More




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

Reading, Berkshire UK



I was born in Reading in May 1983 at Royal Berkshire Hospital. I was an accident, but a happy accident as I've been told, so that's ok. I'm much younger than my siblings, but its good because I got really doted on. And also picked on by my brothers but I don't really mind. I grew up in Reading with my mum, dad, 2 brothers and sister in a lovely big house with a garden and a climbing frame. My dad wasn't around much when we were growing up because he had a very successful career as a solicitor. I never understood what that meant when I was younger, and I remember once my mum told me that my dad was in court, and I thought he was going to jail and got really upset until my mum explained. One day when I was about 3 I dropped a jam jar on the floor and it smashed and to my mums horror I then set about playing with the glass. I had to go to hospital. That's the only time I've ever had to go to hospital. I remember my first day at school, I was very quiet and nervous but cheered up when I met a girl called Sophie who asked me to do a puzzle with her. After that it didn't seem so scary anymore. I remember the toilets were in the classroom which I thought was weird, and they had really little doors so you never got much privacy, but being 5 I guess I didn't really care about that. When I got a bit older I used to encourage the other children to do stupid things like headstands on concrete for half an hour, or doing cartwheels on a tiny narrow bench in the playground (not sure how I managed to get a bench out into the playground and was allowed to do such crazy stunts, I guess this was before health and safety was so much of an issue.) Once my friend Tara fell off and really hurt herself. We didn't do it much after that. Once in class we were doing an experiment involving a coke can and all the boys convinced me to shake up the can because it would be funny. The teacher opened it and it went all over her and then they told on me. I remember feeling really stupid and quite embarrassed because the teacher was my friend's mum and so I felt bad. At school we had a music teacher who used to rock out on his electric guitar in assembly and we all thought he was really cool. He used to talk to us about Bob Dylan and other people we'd never heard of. We used to sing funny songs at school and I'm not sure whether every school sung them, or whether it was just us because we had such an eccentric music teacher. One of the songs was about a cup of tea. And one was about saving pennies and something to do with buildings. My friend Sarah and I once had to do the overhead projector so that we could all see the words and sing along. We never managed to get the acetates the right way up and we always found it really funny. I once participated in a school performance where we had to do a dance to 'I do like to be beside the seaside' I am certain I didn't choose that song. I was really annoyed because I did it with a boy I hated and he messed it up completely and so it looked rubbish. I also did a gymnastics display with my friend Helena though which was much better.
When I was about 10 or 11 I started going out with a boy called Ed. He gave me a ring and I was really upset when some mean girls stole it and threw it in the pond. I remember all the boys standing up for me which was nice. Our relationship didn't last long, we did have a snog behind the piano at the school barn dance though. And also in a hedge while we made Sophie keep lookout and read a Where's Wally book. He's gay now. Not Wally, Ed.
When I was 11 my sister had a baby girl called Lucy. She was beautiful and I loved looking after her. I remember the first Christmas after Lucy was born was much more exciting, with lots of toys and laughter. For a while after she was born, my sister spent time in hospital with severe post natal depression. I remember finding this very confusing, I was so excited that there was a little baby to play with and dress up I couldn't understand how my sister could feel depressed.
Around this time my mum started going to hospital a lot. My dad explained that my mum was depressed but I never understood it properly. I remember that we used to have a long drive to get to the hospital to visit my mum, I never understood why she couldn't go to the Royal Berks Hospital which was right by our house. My dad said it was a different type of hospital, that's why. Mum was in and out of hospital a few times over the course of a couple of years, and when she was at home she had to take lots of tablets, which she kept in a little box by the side of her bed. Sometimes she wouldn't want to take them but I told her she had to because the doctor said so and they would make her better. I'm not sure if she took them or not. One day I came home from school and mum was looking out the window with a vacant look on her face. I tried to talk to her but she was unresponsive. I ran across the road to get the neighbours. They called the doctor and my mum had to go back to hospital. One day in July 1995, the summer between year 7 and 8, I went to a party at my friend Sarah's house. It was really fun because it was hot and we had a sheet of plastic which we covered in water and slid around on. At the end of the party my sister came to pick me up, and I remember being very surprised that my auntie had come along as well, until I realised that they had some bad news to tell me. My sister sat in the back of the car with me and told me there had been an accident at the hospital and my mum had died. I remember crying into her lap while we sat on the driveway. We went back to the house which was full of people. It was strange and everyone was crying. My dad was very quiet and was gripping tightly to a little piece of paper with a prayer on it. When he tried to explain what had happened I got really upset and ran outside. My Auntie came out to see me, and at that precise moment the realisation set in that my mum had drowned whilst having a bath. This information was too much for my brain to take in, even now I can't figure out how something like that could have possibly happened, and I've had 12 years to figure it out. I remember later that day we went to Burger King and I found it really exciting, which seems like a weird thing to feel when your mum's just died but I think I was in shock. After that day everything was different. My sister and Lucy spent a lot of time at our house, helping to look after me. I used to argue with my dad a lot. I felt like he didn't understand me. It was a time when I really needed my mum around and I took a lot of my anger at her not being here out on my dad. We're now really close.
When I was 15 I met Ian, my first love. He went to the boys school down the road and we used to meet up after school. He was lovely and very generous and treated me well. My dad approved. We spent a lot of time together just laughing and talking. I opened up to him a lot about what happened with my mum and I found him a great source of strength and comfort. Time ticked on and we came to realise we were in a long term relationship. This was hard because we had a lot of pressure with school work and we had other priorities in our lives. We're still together now and planning our wedding.
I'm 24 now but I have a very prominent inner child. I like saying silly things to make people laugh, and I love playing games and my favourite smell in the world is tumble drier smell. It's a pity I don't have one. Sometimes I think about things too much. I worry about things I can't control like illness and death, and also worry about what people think of me, and whether I will be successful. Often I want to run away to a far away land, escaping normality. I hate mundane routine. I hate social norms. I hate wearing 'work' clothes. I think people should wear what they like. I'm very transparent sometimes and not very good at pretending to like someone who is an idiot. If they want to be liked they shouldn't be such an idiot.