I’ve been listening to a load of old rave tunes from my early teenage years this morning. The likes of SL2, Altern8, Urban Hype and some vintage rave-era Prodigy have all had an airing while I whizzed around the house doing my daily chores.
I’m not sure why I felt like revisiting my teenage, (and younger) years today. It’s not like I have particularly fond memories of them like most people do. My years spent growing up in Surrey were mediocre at best. I was physically and mentally bullied for pretty much the entire amount of time I spent in education, which lead to self-loathing, lonliness and the early onset of depression. I’m still frankly baffled as to how the suffering that I was forced to endure on an almost daily basis wasn’t actully picked up on and addressed. After all, it’s not like I went out of my way to hide the plethora of cuts and bruises that peppered my skin. But nobody noticed. That or nobody was actually that bothered that I was hurting both inside and out.
Having said that, there was one occassion where it could and should have been picked up on.
Recently, I acquired a copy of my medical record from my GP that made for interesting reading. In particular, an entry dated 14th May 1993 which would have made me 13 at the time. It said;
“Been sent home from school on frequent occasions because he has reported feeling sick and faint. He hasn’t actually fainted or vomited on any occasion but he appears to be very anxious and tense. He did admit that he was feeling frightened when he goes away from home.”
I remember that particular episode very clearly. I did feel sick and faint pretty much all the time. Primarily because the level of intimidation and abuse became so bad that my anxiety went through the roof. The fact that most days I was being belittled by both the other pupils and a number of teachers, as well as being constantly physically abused and mentally tortured led me to develop this intense fear of having to leave the safety of home to attend a school that I never particularly wanted to go to in the first place. It was at this point in my life that I first began to experiment with self-harm. There was many a morning where I would try and physically smash my head against my bedroom wall in order to inure myself. The theory being that if I hurt myself badly enough I wouldn’t have to attend school. It didn’t work of course, despite my best efforts. Honestly, I could have held up an enormous flashing neon sign that said something like “I’m the victim of severe mental and physical abuse and I want to cave my own skull in as a result of it. Please don’t make me go to school today.” and I still would have had to go in.
Nobody noticed, you see. Nobody noticed and nobody cared.
The end result being of course, that that intense fear and anxiety of being hurt has been carried through to my adult life.
It makes me angry. Angry that I had to endure such abuse for so long, but even more angry that nothing was ever done about it.
I’m due to get the results of my GCSE re-sits next week you see. Combine that with my choice of listening material this morning and it’s stirred up a toxic cocktail of difficult thoughts and memories about a past life. An era of my existence that I wish I could delete from my permanant memory bank and never have to confront again. But it’s always there. It never, ever goes away.