I think if you ask most people if they wanted to live there early teenaged years again , I think most people would say hell no. I guess it’s because despite it being a time of firsts for most people it was tough. Being a teenager is so much more than your body changing yet that is still what we focus on. I realised as I got older that nearly all teenagers make one massive misconception about adults. When your a teenager you believe that the adults around you could never possibly understand what it’s like to be you a poor teenager trying to find yourself but in truth that is all wrong. I just wish that when I was growing up I could have spent a day as adult me but the problem with that is I would not be me. The struggle is part of what makes me who I am even if I wished some of things I did and went through did not happen. I realise in the grand scheme of things my teenage problems may pale in to comparison. However there mine and they are part of my story so I’m going to share some of my early teenage years with you. The title of this blog is for two reason the first is that it is a song that instantly can transport me back to that time and secondly because it an awesome song from a very prominent album in my life at that time I still get goosebumps when I hear it now.
I’m not really sure when you go from being a care free child to a teenager but for me I think it started during the transition from primary to secondary school everything just seemed to change. I went to the opposite school from most of my friends I told my parents that I did not want to go to the same school as my sister who was also there but that was a lie. In truth although I never had my head flushed down the toilet I had like most people experienced bullying. I was really tall and pretty strong but I was a total nerd and very non confrontational. I was intimated by a couple of girls in my class but they where not the bullies. The bullies had been three girls in the year above me one of them I had at one point been friends with which made it worse because she used the things she knew about me against me. They where never really physical they shoved me now and again or throw things at me but they mostly would just say really nasty things about me. I never told anyone about it I struggled enough to open up and I just kept it all locked inside me. I was all set to go to the same high school as my friends, it had been nearly a whole years since the bullies had left and they where at the back of my mind. We only had a few days till we had to put in our final choice of high school and then everything changed. To help us to make a decision the school brought back some pupils who had went to both high schools and you guessed it the three bullies where some of the pupils that came back. Just like that I realised they would be there waiting for me to start. That night as I lay in my bed I could not get to sleep I must have been crying out loud because my Mum came in the room she asked me what was wrong , and with all my heart I wanted to tell her. I just thought it was easier if I just accepted it and went to the other high school so I lied I told her I was just had a bad dream and that I would be okay. I closed my eyes as she sat on the bed stroking my hair. I wished so much now that I had told her that night what was going on but I did not and that was that.
The small handful of good friends I had all three of them went off to the opposite high school from me and I was left alone. I was hopeful I would make new friends. I tried to stay positive and see it as a fresh start a time to reset. I quickly realised that if I struggled to make friends when I was five I had little hope at twelve, don’t get me wrong there where people I spoke to even sometimes hung out with but they where never my friends. The truth was most of the time it did not really bother me I liked being by myself but sometimes I just wished I had someone around that got me. Although I had stayed in contact with Nic(friend from primary) I had lost touch with my other friends eventually I lost touch with Nic too. I had a couple of girls that I started to get close too one left to go to another school and the other just drifted away. By the time I was thirteen I was spending most of the days at school alone and I was spending almost every night sitting in my room. I would be watching the TV or listening to music. Finally my parents stepped in they where getting really worried about me they just wanted me to get out the house and do something. My mum had a friend who’s daughter went to a youth club. I really did not want to go but she practically begged me to try it once because she was so worried about how isolated I was so for her I did.
When I got to the club what I found was a bunch of teenagers ageing from thirteen to nineteen with a few adult volunteers. The youth club changed my life. None of the people there knew anything about me and I got that fresh start I had wanted when I started school. They where all kinda geeky like me and I really started feel like I belonged somewhere within this group. None of them where at my school so that did not really change but for two nights a week I really felt part of something. We went away on trips we had nights out and on the whole things where good but it was short lived. By the time I had turned fourteen my Mum’s health had got worse and she died. I tried really hard to keep hold of everything but in truth I was spiralling. Everyone wanted to talked ask me how I felt. I had to see a school psychologist so I did , I went five times then she discharged me I told her exactly what she wanted to hear. I stopped going to the youth club and I stopped hanging around with my friends. I started to self harm and had started to think of ways to end my life. No one around me seen what was going on my family where dealing with there own grief and I was a master at hiding what was really going on. My family where all used to me being closed off with my feelings and just thought I was dealing with it in my own way but I wasn’t. If I could have visited myself then I would have told myself to tell someone how I felt.
A few months had passed and not much had changed. I sat in school I paid attention handed my homework in on time and even sometimes hung out with people but it was all an act inside I was falling apart . I would sometimes go to the bathroom at lunchtime and self harm for me the pain was a realise like a drug it took the edge off and stopped me from losing it completely. I had started to self destruct outside of school I had started to hang about with a girl who I knew was a bad influence I was smoking and even drinking a little but I just did not care. It has been weeks since I had listened to music or read a book I would have the TV on but not really watching it. One night I ended up having a big argument with my dad and I ran off to my bad influence friends house and we started drinking after she had fell asleep I went to my bag and pulled out some sleeping pills that I had hidden away I lay them out in rows. I think there might have been twenty of them I took about four of them then I stopped. I have no idea why I did not take them all that night. Maybe it was fear maybe it was the thought of leaving my family behind maybe it was all those things. I picked up the rest of the pills a flushed them down the toilet then I went to bed I woke up tired and a bit groggy but I woke up. I left my friends house and I went home went straight up the stairs and put on my cassette player, I put the headphones over my ears and the song that was playing was I Alone then Lightning Clashes by the band Live. I felt like the words in the songs where speaking to me. I felt like someone was listening I turned up the volume and I listened and I cried and when the tape was finished I turned it over and listened and cried some more.
Since that night things had got better they where by no means perfect and I was still self harming but doing it a lot less most of the time just putting on my headphones and zoning out to music would be enough and I would not need to do it. I still was not talking to anyone but I was writing down how I felt I was given a small word processor a few Christmas before and was using it to write how I was feeling but also writing some fiction to keep my mind off things. I never went back to the youth group I visited once but got as far as the gates when I seen everyone outside I just knew I could not go in. I was to vulnerable with them and I was scared they would see through me. I had started to hang out with a boy that lived just up the road he liked me a lot and I think he really cared for me. I just was not in a place to feel like that about anyone, but It was nice having him around. He became my first official boyfriend but in truth I did not really fancy him and I knew I was never going to love him but he was a nice guy and he treated me really well. We split up before I went on holiday I realised it was wrong to string him along. I went out with a few boys after that but I would always shut down stop it from going anywhere. I continued to write and listen to music and slowly it started to put me back together again , but I had changed and I never feel truly whole again.