Year 6: a year of reds and ambers for me. I was only just noticing my supposed behaviour as being a problem that I could not handle. Each and every day of school was a barrage of unhappy teachers – well, what else is new?
Finally, year 7 and a new school. A new start (so I thought!) and time to show that I can put the work and effort in to achieve my potential. But the school cannot support a child who is unable to open up about their feelings and emotions. How are they expected to talk about their thoughts when they can hardly understand themselves? Well, why should they care? It’s not them.
I was excluded too many times to count. Sent to isolation with nobody to talk to or notice my pain. Doors were locked as if I were a criminal. A million thoughts ran through my head and impulses I couldn’t control. A world that seemed simple to everybody else, but painted in different colours for me. A language I couldn’t speak. Watching myself have panic attacks as if I were a robot observing an alien body. When they told me I was going to a PRU, it felt like a prison sentence. As if my life and future had been snuffed out.
But with support from great teachers who freed up time to help and understand me, and from a loving mother who would do anything for her offspring, I went from being the child who was just labelled ‘naughty’, to getting great exam results. From being a boy who was thrown out of mainstream education thanks to a lack of support, and being told he would “never amount to anything”, to now writing like Shakespeare!
I have now come to accept myself for who I am. Recently, I won an award for overcoming adversity and some of the teachers who wrote me off were there to see what I have become. Whenever I feel like giving up, I remember that I can achieve anything I want if I put my mind to it!