“you are the perfect level of complex and zany and inquisitive and tortured”

This is my story. It is tragic, but I do not see it as a tragedy. I am still holding out for a positive ending.

I was born into a dysfunctional family that hid it well. My dad was an alcoholic. He used to beat my mum. He loved me and my sister, who was not his child. He attempted to sue my mum for custody of both of us and of course lost as he was unfit as a father. He died on Valentine’s Day from pneumonia and liver failure. His dogs had died before then. The first experiences I ever had of death. His mother, my nanny passed away a few years later, when we had completely lost touch with her. One day, I called for our monthly chat and there was no answer and no explanation. At school, several people attempted and achieved suicide. I used to try also, wanting to speak to or join the dead.

I have a half sister who is ten and a half years older than me, from another father. She and my mum have fought a lot. My mother is not someone who is easy to deal with and so we rarely speak to her. After my dad died, my mum married my stepdad. He was alright, but he was never really a dad. That did not work out either and they got divorced. Later on, my mum met a man who I wish she could have earlier on. He is a really great father to me and truly knows the definition of love and parenting. He can be my friend, mother, father and teacher.

My mother used to hit me and my sister all the time and I would go into school bruised and get questioned a lot. I got her into so much trouble and she just hated me more for it. I would cry all the time and I could never stop. It was just all too much and I was not tough enough yet. There were so many times that my mother told me to get out and that she did not want me and did not love me. I used to walk around, a child on the streets, taking in the harsh sights and images: learning survival.

I was bullied at every school I went to because I was just different. My wild imagination took me to places beyond my life. I was teased for all sorts of superficial reasons, such as being too fat or having terrible skin. However, it hurt to be teased for my mind, the one thing that I was proud of. I was forced into sensible thinking from a young age so never watched television or got to play games. My life was always work, work, work and to make sure this happened, my mum controlled me and made me into a slave, driving me around and never giving me a choice. I am an overachiever. I work really hard because I am too scared to fail and let everyone down.

I do not need any of it though. I always wanted to just escape.

I got my escape. I got into boarding school. I found proper friends who let me be who I wanted to be. I got to branch out. I love drawing, writing and reading. My mind is creative. On a free day, I could sit and think forever. I have my own world. I want to make people happy. Inspire them. I want to break free from everything.

I want to learn how to love and trust. Learn how to do these things and survive a day as just me. I do not need validation or approval from others as I have learnt that all it leads to is more abuse. I cannot do it anymore. People have crushed me in too many ways: physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I hope to slowly rise from this. Little by little, every single day.

I have always needed a vice or some kind of coping mechanism. Something that takes me away from the harm, even for just a little while. Exercise and art are my cure for this. I love to lose myself in a pool or on a run. All that matters is getting to the finish and all other thoughts cannot enter or catch up with you. It is the same with music and I have now found writing also can be an incredible escape. I used to only be able to write songs and poems, speaking in metaphors, but now is my time to be open and honest. Just to do something with your pain brings a lot of relief.

I have tried many ways of coping, but often I would either end up back where I started or worse off, learning more and more. Running away does not help. Drugs did not help. God could not help. I wished, one day, that I could help the world, save it from its own doom. Poverty and hunger make me so upset. My wish is for everyone to be free and equal. I want to help. No more pain. No more sorrow.

I met a girl. She is an angel. I am sure she was sent to me and I will be eternally grateful to whoever sent her. My best friend is so special and I love her more than anything else in this whole wide world. If she ever left me, my heart would not just break, it would shatter. She will probably never know how much she means to me. I could not imagine my life without her and I do not know how I coped before her. She keeps me alive. I do not even know if my mum cares about me anymore but I know that this is just the beginning of a long, long road called life.

My birthstone is emerald – it is deep, beautiful and natural. Green symbolises hope. There is always hope somewhere. I have the faith to find it. I have hope for hope. Everything will be ok.

(I actually wrote this many years ago, as a child. Apart from some small edits, I decided to leave it as it was. I quite liked the raw explanation of myself, it is still pretty accurate.)

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