Growing up as a kid, my father never knew me. He lived in the same house as me, we spoke on occasion, but he had no idea about anything about me. The whole time I lived with him, he never once saw me play my cello. He never came to any of my concerts.
My friends would come round to play, and if they were white, they pretty much weren't allowed in the house. If they were black (which was only one and that was a bloke) he was allowed to stay for dinner if he wanted to. When I got a boyfriend at 13/14, he was white. My father never spoke a word to me for 2 months. Even while we were still living in the same house.
More often than not, I had to find my own way home from orchestra rehearsals, often meaning walking miles and miles (I think my record may have been about 7 miles) with my cello on my back and folders full of music. I was about 14.
At school, I was bullied for 4 years by the same two girls. Funnily enough, one of them added me on facebook the other day, which was hilarious given that I haven't spoken to them since. I could deal with bullying, but I couldn't deal with why they were bullying; I wasn't a "proper black person". I didn't wear the right clothes, I didn't speak the way they did, my friends were white (well the black girls picked on me so I don't get much choice there really, do I, dumbass?) They tried to pick on my white friends for hanging around with me and generally did as much as they could to make my life hell. I had no time for them.
At 16 years old I was sexually assaulted by a bloke who lived less than 10 minutes away from my house. My boyfriend at the time, who to be quite honest, was the first person I ever really loved, cried because he was gutted that it had happened to another one of his girlfriends. I'm not entirely sure to this day that he ever said he was sorry for me. On the contrary, it was me reassuring him that every thing was going to be ok. We split up shortly after, and he was very soon dating someone else.
When I reported the assault, the police informed me a month later that nothing could be done because it was my word against his. I later found out that he worked as a teacher at a local college. That still burns me up to this very day.
I dated the second love of my life at 17. I'd admired him for years, and when he finally asked me out, he treated me like a goddess. Until he informed me, right in the middle of my A-Level exams, that he was seeing someone else. And that if I wanted him, I would have to fight for him, because there was a long line of girls waiting to "get with him". I don't remember much of taking my A Level exams. Miraculously, I passed them.
Also during my A levels, my mother and father had the fight of their lives, which started with me asking my sister if she could spare me £1 to get to work on the bus. My father gave her pocket money, and despite being 7 years my junior, she often got more than me. He didn't like me asking her to help me out. My mother tried to defend me and he stepped, and physically started shoving us all around. The house was on the market and had just been sold; my mother, my sister and I had just found a house to move to only a few days before, ready for us to rent. My mother was left lying crumpled on the floor in a state, he had stormed out the house, and my sister had run out of the house to go to school.
I had never driven a car, but I contemplated how the hell to get my mother to the house so she could get out and be free from him for good. I called in work whom I'd barely been working for and explained. After a short while my mother recovered and drove us both to the house. I spent the rest of the day gathering as much stuff as I could to make sure we would be ok, then went to check on my sister at school. I never saw my father again after that day.
On finishing my A Levels at 18 and going straight into work because there was no way in heaven or hell I could accept the places I'd been offered at music college, I dated someone who was roughly 19 years older than me. It turned out he was a depressive alcoholic, going through a divorce and had two children. More often than not, I stayed at his house while he went out to drink. I would also invite him to my concerts, to discover he wasn't in the audience because he was at the bar having a drink instead. I still did everything I could to help him with the drinking, whilst watching his two children get hurt and yet remaining helpless. When I finally reached my limit after nearly a year, he made things very difficult by telling me I had completely ruined his life.
I very quickly met someone else shortly after we split up, who I thought I loved but looking bak, now realise he was a means of escape. He told me he could help me, and that he loved me more than anything. We got engaged even though I knew at the time I wasn't quite sure things were right. We moved out together, and that's when the depression finally surfaced.
He called me various unpleasant names, including saying that I was an unpaid whore, mainly because I had slept with other people before him, and he was a virgin. He also said that I needed him to "mould me into something better and new" because I was such a mess. He also said that I would make a crap mother. Or he may have said wasn't fit to be a mother. It was one of the two, possibly both. I was accused of spending too much time with my music, which was my escape route at the time, even though the people who I thought were friends, didn't treat me much better, including every time I felt sad, to "just get over it", whilst others made it clear that I wasn't acceptable to within various cliques because I just didn't fit in; my skin colour, my family history, my previous education; none of the above were enough to quite qualify.
The person I was with had a family who were initially nice to me, until I discovered that his sister hated me with a passion, and his mother never wanted me to come round to the house. And yet I stayed with him, because somehow he made feel like I was never going to be able to survive on my own, and that I needed him to look after me. I suspect I believed this because he told me on a regular basis. I'm not sure if it was true and whether I should have believed him.
I don't remember much during this relationship, because I spent three years on anti-depressants, in and out of a mental home, and attempting to take my own life via means of gas fumes, sleeping tablets, alcohol and painkillers, depending on which I wanted to go at the time. I thought very carefully about the best way to go because I didn't want anyone to have to clear up mess, I wanted to look normal so as not to upset anyone in case I was maimed or anything, and I wanted quick, quiet and painless.
I then felt bad because whilst for me it was a means of minimal fuss escape, I was accused of just wanting to draw attention to myself. This was quite the opposite; I was quite happy to go to sleep and never wake up, and that was basically my ultimate goal.
One day I "woke up"; I took myself off the medications, which, for the three years, had me hallucinating, zoning out and pretty much turning into a cabbage so that I wouldn't think about anything. Shortly after I "woke up" I split up with this person and decided to get my music degree at university. I still couldn't afford music college and was living in a very big house on my own, earning next to nothing and trying to overcome depression on my own. My family were unable to support me mentally; they didn't know how to deal with me and perhaps just felt to uncomfortable being around me. As a result, I rarely saw my siblings even though they lived very locally and my mother, I guess, had her own problems to deal with.
With no money and student loans and rent to pay fast building up over my head, I became a lap dancer to pay my way through the first year and a half of uni. Ironically I met the one person who would actually treat me with some respect. I am now married to him and we have two ridiculously gorgeous children.
I have written all this because...I don't know. I wanted to remind myself where I have come from. I want reasons for my actions. I want to know where the hell I went wrong. There is so, SO much more, which I can't fit in here, because I don't know whether to include it, whether it's relevant, whether anyone wants to read it...but I am well aware that the missing bits are as important, if not more important than what I've already typed..
I don't regret any of my decisions, but I do regret, in some ways, the person who I have become. We learn from our mistakes and we grow stronger, but lately I don't feel that way at all. I sat watching Noah eating his dinner tonight, and wondered, what colossal mistakes will I make with him as he grows up, and will he end up with a life as fucked up as mine. Do I treat him as he should be treated. Do I respect him as he should be respected. I hate that sometimes I let other people be disrespectful to him, especially when the boy has manners like I have never seen in any other child.
I am currently fighting to sort out the speech thing because I want him to know that I will fight for him, in the ways that no one fought for me. I give a shit about my children, and that's why I get so pissed off when people tell me not to worry about whatever. There are many other things I worry about, and I think some of the above is good explanation for my actions. I blame myself for so many things. SO. MANY. THINGS. I WILL worry about it. Because SOMEONE should care.
I am teetering on the edge of I don't know what. Someone once said to me something along the lines of "if you're in a state to think you're depressed, then you probably aren't depressed, because you're still fighting it" or something like that. That's not right, but I know what she meant, and I understand what she meant.
I try to hold on to that. But what I can't afford to do is go into a state of denial. I question myself, I question my abilities every fucking day. And most times, I feel like I've already failed. I hate that about myself, and yet, somehow, I can't seem to figure out how the fuck to deal with it. I hate, so very much who I've become and I wish I could change. I need someone to hear me. Not just listen and nod and whatever, but actually HEAR me. Hear what I'm saying.
I'm so fucking tired. I can't fight anymore. Not just at the moment.
PS I was going to close comments, but I've changed my mind. I'm not sure why. Fatal curiosity I expect. If you want to contact me but don't want to leave a comment, then please drop me an email cosmicgirlie AT gmail DOT com