With the new School year approaching for many, I figured it was time to share some history...
How many of you had an easy school life? Where you were popular and socially equal to others with exceptional grades and weren't bullied? Well, you obviously weren't me! You see my school life was the toughest 5 years of my life and have shaped me into the being I am (maybe not entirely). This is my similar play on "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid" but through the eyes of a boy with Aspergers and Crohns in an all boys school. Here's my life at The Forest School.
How does a boy go from one school to the next? He ends up crying on the first day and feeling so uncomfortable to such an extreme level that he makes a scene in the class all morning. But after a few weeks, things started to settle in for me to learn these new rules, routine, lifestyle as well as understand all these new faces in a much bigger school than the last. It took me a while to feel safe and understand all this change because back then I had no sense of coping with change so easily as I do now. I wasn't afraid to get really emotional (it was sorta un-controllable) and I had already made a bad impression and showed a weakness already.
I can't recall absolutely everything but I can recall some memories per year and I won't talk about every subject because that'll drag this out forever. But I'll mention a few as we go along.
In my first year (Year 7), I was a short 12 year old who just followed the rules and tried my best in all my lessons. One distinct memory I have from year 7 is being told off my the headmaster at the time, Mr Fadden. This old man looked like a retired Colonel or something with a strict personality. He called me over to the side after seeing my hair (which was thick at the time *giggidy*). He asked for my name and year I'm in and after I responded kindly he said with no fear "Well Josh, you won't be getting good grades in life with hair like that!" So going home that day feeling hurt, I tell Dad and we get my haircut sorted. The following day, he notices again and calls me over (this time it's much shorted). He questions "Why have you cut it this short, it's unacceptable!" After telling Dad that afternoon, he lost his temper and said he'd sort it out. Since then, I never ever had any more complaints or criticism about my hair ever again from him, the next headmistress or any other teacher... Way to go, Dad
Mrs Masella was my tutor and Geography teacher in my first year, she was a kind woman who I seemed to get a long with all the way up to my final year. Everyone adored her throughout our time haha. And I had her for Geography throughout our school life. She was so kind, reliable and a good listener too.
My best subject at School was Art and it stayed that way till the final year. I really liked the teacher Mrs Fox who ended up becoming my Mentor in the last year. I showed such determination and dedication to the subject along with endless questions (some to a point of being too much for her). Unfortunately the classes were always loud and she'd have to raise her voice in order to get the boys to shut up so that she could teach and I could continue. I'm uploading all my work over the years since it was the best thing I was good at and I want to show off my stuff haha.
Oh and I did have a nasty incident where I accidentally sanded off the skin off the side of my left pinkie when Mr Boldenson-Smith was speaking to me when I was using the Electric Sander in Design Technology. God, that was painful and stung like a b*tch for days.
We only had like one Field Trip in the School Life besides those who chose to go on "Foreign Exchange Trips" and stuff. We went to some place for a physical exercise fun weekend thing like trying out a obstacles and sketching sceneries if I remember. Well it looks like I don't ha.
But I do remember that near Christmas, we were all shown each Year till Year 10, a film per year to celebrate the holidays. We saw Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in Year 7, War Of The Worlds in Year 8 and then Tokyo Drift in Year 9. The it was Exams in Year 10 and 11, boy was that disheartening before the holidays ha.
In (Year 8), I had properly adjusted to the school and it's system along with no teenage woman in sight. There isn't really much to recall in that year compared to the following years.
I was still trying to get used to the rule of having to call the teachers "Sir" and "Ma'am" (as in palm) if we couldn't be arsed to say their surnames. Sometimes it felt embarrassing to say Ma'am
Over the years, all I had was memories and quotes inside my head which make up the psychological behaviour that I have lived ever since. All I could do was recap and remember films, tv episodes, quotations and particular scenes from absolutely anything that I could suddenly recall. It was my comforting lifestyle, to watch anything or play anything that sheltered me from the uncomfortable atmosphere that I lived at school. I would come home and do my homework (after being reminded to or I would sometimes do it after school in Learning Support or even save it for the Sunday like an idiot). Then I would go and watch VHS tapes with loads and loads of Disney films and cartoons from 10 years prior or more. I didn't care that it was childish or not the norm, it was my lifestyle since I couldn't communicate with anyone to form friends because all I could exert from my mouth was utter nonsense which was precious and important to me and nobody else recognised the words from the stuff I watched.
This lasted throughout my school life and is the main reason behind my social awkwardness and lack of confidence along with my self-esteem. I just had no idea that others were talking about things that I had no clue about or was even interested in.
However I did make friends with George since I was round his house with my sister on most weekdays after school and some weekends when Mum and Dad were working longer. We really enjoyed watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and playing Pokemon Colosseum when we'd take it in turns for the battles.
I would also sometimes go to James and Jess's house because their mum Kat was friends with Mum and Dad. Same thing really, we'd stay over and be looked after by them when Mum and Dad couldn't. James got me into the Jak and Daxter games and Jess and Becca would join us on playing in the garden and stuff. Good times.
And most unfortunately, it was when my Crohns Disease broke out. If I haven't explained yet then brace yourselves as this is graphical and explicit. Crohns Disease is a type of bowel disease where you become sensitive to food, stress and exercise and can cause painful and repetitive trips to the toilet. I also developed an abnormal passage from my stomach to my rectum which is called a "fistula" and after popping, it became an 8 year long embarrassing and painful experience of my life. It has affected me beyond compare along with my self-esteem, confidence and happiness. I have been on medication since that day and have gone from 24 pills a day to now only 4 a day. I even had to have a Colonoscopy (up and down body) to examine my inflamed areas and then the medication began from then on. Sorry to be so disgusting and honest but you see it's what affected me and is another condition that I've been blessed with. I wonder what's next on the symptoms list for my future?
I was in the Maths area for my Tutor block with Dr "Roc" Rochester (the science teacher below the room). During my years at Forest, I had to suffer in silence as we sat in alphabetical order and the person I was next to actually reeked of BO during all that time. Poor Henry and I never had the heart to tell him that it was the reason that I kept quiet and walked away from him, but then again his background was a joke to many and I won't disclose it on here since that would be rude.
But I too was a victim of exclusion just as much as him... I had no social skills whatsoever. All that ever came out of my mouth was asking the teacher for help or better yet, randomly quoting from a Film/ TV series that no one was able to recognise. I explained more in my Chesworth post, but the tough atmosphere never helped or allowed me to learn how to improve. Instead people slowly walked away or kept me out of their conversations unless I was the target there and then for verbal abuse or mockery.
Oh yeah, one of the funniest things to have happened in Year 9 was when Mr Lopez lost his temper when one of the guys placed a Mens Magazine inside his draw. We were all giggling and I even held my tongue as we waited for him to find it. He shouted "Who put this sh*t in my draw?" Even after laughing, one of the lads questioned why he thought it was sh*t?
I don't remember why it broke out like this, but one mid-morning when I was going to Learning Support to calm down from some stress which was affecting my Crohns, I ended up getting threatened against the wall by a random Year 10/ 11. I was passing through the Humanities Hallway and the Year 10s/ 11s were trying to trip me up to which I landed on this boy. I apologised immediately but his reaction was to get me in a headlock. I was being choked badly whilst he was taunting me on trying to speak (he obviously had issues and was enjoying the violence). After letting go, I said something like "Get off me", to which he grabbed me and held me up against the wall by my neck. Threatening me again to never talk back to him. After letting go, I cheesed it up the stairs to avoid any more bullying whilst shouting "I hope you f***ing die" (good thing LS was right upstairs). I collapsed in fear and tears from such a surprising high level of abuse and slowly started to calm down after getting some anger out by talking. But one thing that I am thankful or is that I met another Aspergers man studying in the room called Cameron. We ended up talking about games for an hour and then I saw him again later in the year when I was introduced to an Aspergers Group one evening in Horsham Park Barn.
This group consisted of 2 girls and about 4 other boys (all with the same Autistic condition and a few other traits of the Spectrum). I made friends with them including Cameron, George as well as meeting an old teenager called Darius who had a much higher level than me. The first month of sessions of just talking and trying out drama acting was painful because of how sensitive my bowels were. But I grew to become friends with the group (especially George since I found out that his Mum was once a Learning Support helper who looked after me in Year 7). We went on several group Saturdays out but they soon came to an end when the funding was lacking and the sessions were ending.
I will take this opportunity to explain that with the 2 girls, I made a grave mistake through misguided advice and misunderstood sexual advice. The boys at school were buzzing about Sex Education in Year 9 and soon thought it'd be funny to poison my mind with what to say to a woman in order to get a girlfriend and more. So with those 2 girls separately, I ended up saying some demanding and sexual questions and ideas to which they ran away in fear. I had "the talk" with Mum and Dad as they explained for a couple hours on where I went wrong and how I could fix it. A heavy letter of apology was written to them both and of course, they both forgave me and I learned a crucial lesson about what not to say to a woman (it could have gone a lot worse!)
Mum and Dad were always there for me during my Forest Years and I'm blessed to have supportive and comforting parents who love me for the way I am and never wish I was different!
(Year 10) is when the BEC (Business & Enterprise Centre) was finished and constructed on the premises after a year or so. That IT room was cool during the last 2 years and I loved it that the Computers flipped up from under the desks after pulling the switch. It was a unique and new way to start IT haha.
I tried to go to a Terracotta Art Exhibition at the O2 with Dad near the beginning of the year when I learned we were studying Oriental Art in Art. But THANKS to my Crohns, I couldn't go to school in the first 3 weeks because I was in agonising pain and recuperating from the operations. But I'm still happy with the work I produced and I hope to go to the next one someday.
It was also during this year that Zac and Nick opened up a small sweet business inside a shed that they used on the school. It was the coolest thing in the school and was open for business at 3.00pm. Not bad for a young Entrepreneur like Nick!
BUT I don't blame or think bad of them at all, if anything its sorta nice that 2 of them are still Facebook friends and we share a like here and then to keep up with our lives, ya know?
I also had one moment when I was heading home past Millais School, when suddenly a girl called out my name and ran towards me as if she knew me (she'd come from a circle group of boys I knew). She embraced me and I suddenly froze up like a stick and blushed like mad. Emma thought this was a funny prank that her brother Peter had instigated (oh well, jokes on her since I got a hug in the end). It's weird how much I've changed when it comes to contact and sometimes confidence talking to women compared to back then...
I thought being a good student would reflect on my future, it sorta did but if anything it didn't help me develop a back bone. I never even received a single detention during my school life (I'm proud).
If that didn't give a reason for people to envy or despise me for being too good, one of the only times that I was considered cool was when I bought in Beauty And The Beast in French and then The Prince Of Egypt in RE as an excuse for us lot and the teacher to just enjoy the films.
One memorable thing that I'm grateful for is the fact that I was introduced to Family Guy and Shaman King by Rob "Stingray". We were both on and off but he endured my quoting or updates on watching the series back then and he told me about Shaman King after I'd mentioned I was up-to-date on the other animes: Pokemon, the 3 Digimon series, the entire 5 seasons of Yugioh, Sonic X (another Sonic series left on a cliffhanger...) but I loved that the series was based off the games and had its own story, the American Intro is better than the European one for sure. Oh and we talked about Spider Riders along with Power Rangers back then (think we gave up after PR Mystic Force ended).
And to be fair, the legendary Mr McDermott took all the Year 10s to Thorpe Park at the end of the year after we completed our Mock Exams. Still one of the coolest teachers ever along with Mr Booker and Mr Loughran (he gave every kid a nickname based off a celebrity through our nicknames or closely related).
Luckily Year 10 & 11 were the years in which people didn't come to our school in the last week to throw eggs at us whilst dressed as Halloween characters... random, right? The teachers had to go out on a stand off to send the 3 hooligans away year after year, the whole school were sent back to their forms and wait for their teachers return (they never came back egged... at least not the one that I saw).
Year 10 was also the last year in which I didn't have to go to Playscheme any longer in the school holidays or summer. It was a youth daycare like thing set in the Sports Hall at Forest where volunteers would look after about 30 children ranging from 5-15. There were colouring equipment and stencil pages of animals and sometimes Pokemon too. We also got access to the Youth Wing most middays and we could play snooker, watch the repetitive censored music videos on KISS or MTV. And most importantly play the N64 and play Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye and Pokemon Stadium.
I liked it there sometimes but still acted quiet around many and didn't form long enough friendships. I did enjoy getting the Basketball out to just enjoy myself with. I wasn't under the pressure of doing sports that I liked such as Badminton and Basketball around the other teenagers in the school periods, plus I could go to the toilet when I needed to.
And as I recall, I did make friends with Neirin since we would bring our Gameboy Advances in to swap Pokemon. I'm still friends with him today.
My final year, (Year 11) is where everything really started to mount up to a lifestyle and persona that I became and have taken with me since then. Thanks to having let my hair grow out as I was tired of the frequent cutting as it was thicker than some, it eventually grew into a "Mullet" which I did mind once the harassment began. My hair grew that long after 2 months and I had trouble getting haircut appointments and they were painful every time. People pulled my hair in class or in assemblies and I'd get lovely comments of "Mullet" and other words on a daily basis and it was like my significant trait compared to any student in the year. It stuck with me till the end and then I changed my hairstyle when I got to College for a new beginning.
I was doing amazing in Art as you can see from my Final Piece based on Picasso (Got me my A). And I was also doing my best in Graphic Products with Mr Steele. He was like my other Mentor since I stayed behind to work with him when I wasn't with Mrs Fox doing Art. I tried my best to do my work based on The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (the best game I was playing on GameCube at the time) and it was my Point Of Sales Display idea. I failed in the Exam in the end and came out with an E but despite that, Mr Steele was proud of me and understood my conditions. He said despite my grade, he enjoyed teaching me and I am both happy and sad with my results but glad that I didn't disappoint a friend.
And lets not forget how many times that Jack, Matt and Tim tried to get Mrs Davies (our German Science teacher) attention by fidgeting and hitting each other just so they could get her to respond with "Aww, my heart bleeds for you!" sarcastically. I never knew until 2 years ago when I learned sarcasm of why that was funny and good banter (took me long enough) lol.
By this year, nothing had really changed for my isolation and abused school life.
I had spent all this time at break times and lunch times approaching circle pits of boys and listen in to what they were talking about, I was like an insect hovering around areas. In the end, I gave up and began using the time to either knuckle down on some homework or just patrol the school and hallways like a warden and just keep to myself and just walk once I'd finished eating. This was my chance to avoid many people and just pop my head into classrooms to say Hi to teachers or see who was where. I wish I could show a photo of me back then walking past people with everyone blurry except for me to show off a symbolic example.
I was a victim of Bullying throughout my school life, it's the crater in my soul that I believe has shaped me into the person I am now like a Catalyst in a way.
People say to tell the teacher because it settles the problem there and then, right? Boy, could you be any more wrong. It never ended there, if anything it increased it and sometimes encouraged others to join in. It increased in duration and strength like the teachers had kicked the hornets nest.
There were lots of loud mouth people who were always in my face and laugh up close such as Zac and some others (I'd better not mention names). I don't know why they chose me.
I even had scissors thrown at the back of my head (luckily it was the handles that hit me).
I even had a moment outside of school at Bennetts Field, where Charlie and Matt turned up when me, my sister and her friend were enjoying ourselves. I encouraged them to leave with me immediately. But the boys came over to her bike and picked it up and dropped it harshly to the floor, I picked it up and we started walking away. They followed us and heard me mutter under my breath "Leave us alone" to which Matt put his arm around me and asked kindly what I had said. After I repeated it, he used his arm around my head to pull me to the ground and into a mud pile. With teary eyes, I got up and ran away with the girls screaming "I'd wish you'd die" to which they luckily didn't give chase.
I felt like a failure to my Sister for having not protected her bike and for not standing up for myself back then, I would now...
I do remember becoming friends with a few guys in particular during that last year. Jack Mac was like the most talented kid in the school and was gifted with the Saxophone and Piano and with top grades. I was sat next to him in Geography and started to get to know him and admire his confidence and chill behaviour. I was invited to his house one day where he introduced me to Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X and Assassin's Creed (all major gaming series that I have been hooked on, but FF is still taking a while to begin). I admired but also envied how his Aspergers was the opposite to mine, he was everything that I wasn't. Sometimes I've been jealous of him but deep down, I never hated him. I think I just failed to understand how this condition can be truly opposite and unpredictable. Plus he was so nice and I am glad that we are friends (even if we haven't spoken or seen each other in a couple years).
Matt was also in my Geography class and also had the same condition. He shared a few similar traits to me and has become a huge Xbox friend ever since. He was someone I could always talk to and we'd get distracted in class and forget to actually focus ha.
Jack Cox was such a positive lad that I think I met when I bumped into him by accident and pretty soon we were friends. He was passionate about everything and loved talking about music and films with me, I'm glad that us and a few others went to Prom together in the end.
And James is my oldest Star Wars friend. We talked forever since becoming friends in Graphics Products. We know so so much and have that undying love for it since becoming friends in Year 10 till now.
Most importantly, in the last month I met someone who would become my best friend then onwards and during college. I saw in the Technology area after school on the computer that he was looking at an Anime. I asked him if he liked Anime and if he knew of the ones that I'd been watching? It was like meeting a friend for life now that I think about it and honestly through our ups, downs and distance over the last couple years, he has. Lewis was the friend that I never had until the end of the school year. We were chatting so quickly in that after school lesson and we planned to find each other in College since we were going to be busy over the summer to hang out. Then onwards at college, he has become my equal in sharing views, thoughts and music, he is my bestest and longest friend that I found near the end of my school life.
I was also proud and also annoyed as I made Prefect in the last year but I was heavily outraged that I wasn't made a Senior Prefect after all the dedication, kindness and commitment I gave to the school. Yet even some bullies were made Seniors and allowed to give me orders... Karma, ay?
I can't forget to mention Tom since Chesworth. I didn't really get to see him much besides every now and then during Forest. I remember one day that he invited me back his house and he told me something so personal. It was thanks to him and his coming out that I learned from him and my parents what "Gay" and "Homosexual" meant. I was surprised at first since it was "change" and I wasn't able to understand there and then. But during college when more people told me that they were, I began to understand and realise that it wasn't a label since I don't want a label for myself either. Everyone deserves to be happy and I support LGBT (I'm glad that schools nowadays are beginning to support it and help teenagers instead of them being isolate and pushed to the edge... or worse). And I'm happy for him and don't think any different of him even if we haven't seen each other much since Forest.
Plus way back in Year 10, he performed in Battle Of The Bands. Much to the teachers shock and the boys mashing out, he did an incredible take on Grunge Metal (which takes a lot of vocal effort and talent). Back then, I was there and a little freaked out but nowadays, I love Metal and the lyrics haha. I can't remember the track but it'd probs sound a bit like BMTH - Suicide Season. I heard him once do a shoutout on BBC Radio 1 through a call near midnight on the drive home, he still got it haha.
When the end of year exams came, I was anxious as f***k. I did my best to study and try to discipline myself to not get distracted at home with gaming or the TV and to somehow cram this important information into my mind for the better. It was so difficult like my mind was fighting against it and it's all because this information just wasn't appealing or important to me. It's stupid of me to say that since it's essential and will affect my future, my Aspergers just couldn't find an easy and simple way to succumb to this knowledge.
I was allowed to take my tests in Year 9, 10 and 11 in another room with Learning Support and a group of others with learning difficulties or people that needed space or scribes. Its where I'd see Jack Mac most times writing his answers on his computer.
I remember once snapping in my English Literature exam because I couldn't seem to understand the question to explain what happened in a certain act in Richard The Third. I was crying and showing aggressive behaviour which luckily died down after one of the ladies managed to calm me down and soon the answers became a little clearer, so I managed to write down a couple big paragraphs and come out of there with a D or something.
I was lucky in the end to get descent or acceptable grades, least I got into college which is what matters in the end.
|Property of AsperJosh|
Created by Joshua Grahame
We even had a short presentation along with our Year 7 pictures on screen with a small criticism sentence as one by one we step up to receive our yearbook (my picture said "nicest boy in the school"... boy did I feel it and know I was being embarrassed).
Many boys including myself were sad to say goodbye to each other especially all the teachers that we fancied like Mrs Mazni, Mrs Arduino, Miss Attwell, Miss Chevalier, Mrs Masella and Mrs Saunders (I remember when she fast forward through Titanic's sex scene in History and all of us were gutted that we weren't allowed to see it in Year 9 haha).
Turning up to Prom felt cool and was good to show off like it was nothing. The whole evening was okay, but I didn't really enjoy myself as I had no date, didn't know any girls and just kept to myself.
However, I did end up meeting a friend I hadn't seen since Chesworth, Aimy. She looked great and was ecstatic to see me as I was with her too (funny that were now friends like the old days, now).
The guys were all talking to friends and I tried to dance a little but I felt like I'd been thrown in the deep end having been surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces and dates everywhere. So regrettably, I didn't really enjoy Prom and it's a shame that I didn't get to go to the College one either since it didn't happen in the end. Oh well, I've had better formal parties since then and I look good in a suit #imakethislookgood lol.
Even looking at my YearBook yesterday since leaving that day, floods my head with memories and everything that I've been talking about. Plus all the names and faces make me smirk with nostalgia at old faces and names reappearing again and looking at how much a lot of them have changed to this day. Its truly weird and somehow nice to look back on the differences in everyone and see how we've all grown up and become more sensible (debatable) but also more cool with one another.
Honestly, I actually went back over a year and half during College to say Hi to Mr Steele, Mrs Fox and Mrs Masella here and then since they were friends to me. I saw Mrs Slattery too if I had the chance. I haven't been back in 3 years and I wonder now what a lot of them are up to now since I've bumped into a few like Mrs Stack in Crawley to learn of all the changes and people that have left since. Plus it's a it unfair at how things have gotten better or new things have arrived since we left the school and how the school life looks a bit more better or so I might think, ya know?
I don't know why but to this day, I can't seem to let go of the actions and verbal abuse I received all those years ago (I've mentioned before in my Chronicle review). It's wrong and stupid of me to develop such hatred and rage against memories and not yet moving on. It was the reason behind my impatience to get home to pass the time in my room alone.
But I think its because I just let it happen, never stood up for myself or even took action, I just let them walk over me and even when I told the teacher, it never ended, it just came back with a vengeance. It's weird how nowadays how I have developed a backbone thanks to how I have grown up, matured, gotten stronger and more confident (all these things I never felt or even had during school) and how I wish I was in this form all that time ago.
For more examples, check out my Anxiety and Metalcore Post.
If I was in school now with this body, I wouldn't be afraid to defend myself (verbally and physically).
I would shout out that of course I am different, my Aspergers is good and bad, I'm Blessed With A Curse and guess what? Every second, ever minute, ever hour, every day. It Never Ends, It Never Ends! You don't know a goddamn thing about me. You're gonna kick kick Kick Me when I'm down!"
I would shout whilst fighting at those boys who Victimized me, made me Bite My Tongue all this time whilst saying how You Make Me Sick. And rocking out to my Happy Song (which we all should do too). And you and I should remember to Never Lose Your Flames!
I hope you listen to the links as they are important songs with powerful lyrics (even if you turn the volume down to endure the shouting/ screaming)!
My advice and words of wisdom to anyone else in school is:
"Don't hold on to the bad memories like I've ended up doing. Try to move on like I am, move forward and plan your glorious future so that you will have a better rest of your life even if you came from a bad beginning. It's up to you if you want to stand up or even fight those that hurt you (I can't encourage you or say if it's right) but it's what I believe in and regret that I never did back then. We all forgive but never forget the bad days as much as it's hard for me to remember the good times in life over reminiscing the tough times. But don't doubt your potential, you can do whatever you want if you set your heart and mind to it (just be aware that not everyone's dream's come true) so just believe but also think up other ideas dreams because life is unpredictable... and wonderful!"BUT, the weird and humerous thing about everything after all that time is that I have turned out better than a handful since one or two are overweight and now have kids (not that I'm one to judge). I've seen one in a complete tracksuit, smoking outside of a crap shop (looks like I've got the better quality of life than him) and it's called Karma!
I wondered this year if some of them were bullying me to cope or take out their own fear or rage from coming from poor or abusive backgrounds? It does make you wonder, ya know?
And the best things is that when I came to College, I ended up getting an apology (sorta) or just forgot about the pain with a couple enemies since we ended up becoming okay and no longer a problem.
I even met someone who I didn't get along with in Art (final year) thanks to us both being victims of verbal abuse. I met him at the Gym and he apologised for everything he'd ever said because he wanted to make himself feel better. My heart warmed up and I honoured his apology and ever since, we've been cool as I see him working there and helping others get stronger with me.
To quote Tom Hanks during his performance as Walt Disney whilst talking to Emma Thompson as Pamella Traverse in Saving Mr Banks, "I don't tell you this to make you sad, Mrs. Travers. I don't. I love my life, I think it's a miracle." And in the end, it actually is in it's own small unique and fulfilling way.
In conclusion, everything sounds bad, but I have improved myself and levelled up you see in many qualities that I lacked back then. I also improved with many of the people that I barely knew or were on misunderstood terms with. One of the Toms is now a Personal Trainer and friend at Pavilions In The Park. Alex taught me some core and ab work a week ago in the gym after a while since we last hung out. And right now, I'm friends with over 10 Forest Boys that I hardly spoke to and now I'm great friends with them and see them at almost every house party!
And here and then on nights out, I have met people and caught up in a respectful way compared to the behaviour that we showed back then. Its really something to see that people do change and sometimes for the better like myself and you can communicate much better too.
Maybe I was meant to endure all of this so that my life could become better. Some stories start off with sad beginnings, ya know.
It also sounds quite encouraging to make your life more Awesome after years of unfair pain and never knowing why it happened that way. It takes a real man to learn someday to "accept an apology that you never get given"!
I may have my issues, anxiety and up n' down days thanks to life's everyday challenges and struggles plus these 5 years of trouble return to my head when I'm down and open the door to the misery that I can remember from everything and its hard to get out of there. BUT eventually I will come to terms with it and understand that I must put the past behind me and keep moving forward. Challenge myself to break barriers and live my life to the full (whether its extreme or not). I mean I've done a Skydive for the National Autistic Society and have my 2nd Tough Mudder coming up a week later after I return from Africa. Years ago, I would have never considered doing these challenges!
By the way, thank you so much Naomi for helping me take those pictures last week with my new camera. Great Photoshop skills, heres a link to her website if your interested!
The same goes to the people reading this who might be in my similar shoes (whether you have Special Needs or Mental Health or not). Trust me, your life will get better! It can only become as fun as you try to make it and never turn back from challenges, promises or have 2nd thoughts about certain things. I have done a lot in 3 years already as you can see up on here. I even intend to get a Tattoo next year and maybe go to New Zealand (Middle Earth) and who knows what else?! I wish you all the best as well in your lives getting better like how mine is!
"We define ourselves by the best that is in us, not the worst that has been done to us!" - Edward Lewis