I am that child. The child BraveHeart Education help, who we talk about, who we help teachers and parents understand.
My story isn’t really that bad, I’m not adopted, never been hit or touched inappropriately, but what did happen still affects me everyday, and I was let down by my schools.
Hello, I’m Fauve and I joined BraveHeart Education on the 7th September 2015 as a marketing and admininstration apprentice. I’m 20 years old, am engaged and live with my partner. I am the lucky one. I am where I am today thanks to my partner, select friends and select family.
From what I can remember, my childhood was pretty standard and happy, apart from school. I was bullied the entirety of primary school, and not by only students. I still don’t know why. It resulted in low self esteem and trust issues that are still around today. I even wet the bed for years after it was supposed to stop. I would fake illness, anything not to go in. So I ran away to a secondary school I knew hardly anyone would go to. Yes I had friends, good memories and came out with amazing results. That was purely due to my own attitudes towards life and education and 3 teachers. In the whole school, and it was a big one, roughly 26 to a class, only 3 teachers appeared to be good at their job, had any passion or cared. I learnt more outside of school. But even my positive can-do attitude would waver, as I was sucked into the negativity of the school. It felt like I was surrounded by negligence and incompetence. And then there were private family issues that prevailed the entire time. But I came out with 7 A* to C GCSE’s, even a few awards.
This combination meant I still struggle with fundamental things, such as very basic Maths and even basic English skills, and I’m a writer. I sometimes wonder if I should get tested but there is nothing like this in either side my family and I honestly believe it was my lack of a primary education. Not to mention the emotional damage. My low self esteem, my lack of trust. My constant need to escape.
I reached College before I had any help, any support and any inspiration. It took untill college for someone to seem to give a damn about me and my education. For someone to notice when I was quiet, when I was upset or even absent. I would often come late to class or even skip just to test if anyone would notice, anyone at all. Until college I was apparently forgettable. College was by far the hardest for me, and to be blunt, I would not have gotten through it without those few teachers and select family members. I think teachers forget how much of an impact they have on us. I had more family issues and lived on the poverty line fearing eviction. I felt I had no real friends, my relationship almost ended and the courses themselves were tough. The end result was depression and anxiety, which I still have years later. I was almost kicked out due to my poor attendance, my work went downhill and my insomnia returned. It was hell.
But against all odds I came out alive and with B,B,C at A Level. But I also came out broken.
My life has only just began to pick back up, in the last few months. I have more of a family and friends now. My life has purpose again. I have a home to run, a family to care for and a cat and wedding to save for. This only brings new demons to face though. The world of work, being an adult and running a home. It’s me against the big bad world now. I still feel crazy and overwhelmed but at least I can feel some self worth most of the time.
My point is that I’m only just getting through life, I’m only just winning this fight and that is because of the people around me. I was lucky enough to encounter teachers who cared, who helped, who inspired. I was lucky enough to have that one person I could always rely on. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to build myself a support network. And I was lucky enough to not have suffered severe trauma. But it was still hell. I can’t even begin to image what it’s like for children who have been abused and who aren’t being noticed or given positive attention. How do they survive? Do they survive?
My intention isn’t to depress you or make you lose hope, I’m merely providing a brief insight. I mean it to be a guide to our emotions, how things are connected and how long lasting it is. I meant to point out the importance and huge impact teachers actually have on us. Please be the teacher I look fondly back on. Be that teacher who helped me. Be that teacher who cared.