Posts: 130787 Topics: 9284 LOGIN

Home >> Stories >> Memoirs of a Failure!

29.11.2008, 21:57 quote


Memoirs of a Failure!

On 01/01/08 I looked at some old postcards my mum gave me.
Found one from cousin Sarah to my sister Helen saying “Congratulations on the fantastic results of your exams, still have our fingers crossed for Alice!” ???!!!???
My sister Helen took her A’levels at the same time that I took my O’levels. We both got our results the same day.
The postman arrived about 6.30am and mum came into my room, put my letter on my bedside table and rushing to Helen’s bedroom she said,”Come on, we’ve all got to be together when she opens it.”
I was genuinely excited for Helen, her results meant to which university she would go.
We were all so happy for her, but no one ever did ask me about my results.
I opened my letter that night, alone in bed.
No wonder Sarah thought I’d not heard yet!
Before our exams, dad sent Helen a big “Good luck” card – and me a note saying, “No one will mind if you don’t get any O’levels, Helen is going to university so it won’t matter.”
Then afterwards, dad sent Helen a big congratulations card and a cheque for £100 – he never did mention, or ask about, my exams...until about 3 weeks after I found Sarah’s old postcard (around early Feb. this year) on the phone talking with dad about something or other, and he said, “It doesn’t matter if a person leaves school with no qualifications – you Alice did ok with bugger all.”
Then later on the phone I mentioned to him that East was doing some homework and he said, “He’ll be the first grandchild to make any effort then.”
I wanted to scream at him, “Since when did you know or ask about how hard Steve tried and how well he did in school and college??!!”
When I took my History O’level, about 5 minutes into the exam my friend Jane, who was using an old fashioned ink pen, she squirted herself with ink in her face and I started to laugh. The adjudicating teacher said to me, “Silence, or you will be failed.”
I thought “WTF am I doing here???? No one will know or give a damn if I pass or fail.”
So I walked out, never to return.
I was still only 15 years old.
I burnt every scrap of paper and books.
Before I took my O’levels I was expected to pass all 8 – I got 4, on account that I never sat History or Geography and I made no real effort in the others. I simply couldn’t see the point.
No one ever asked me what I was going to do afterwards. There was none of this ‘careers advice’ at school, and no one at home cared less.
I would have liked to have stayed on and taken A’levels and gone to university – I knew I was clever enough – but my dad had made it clear to me that as he was paying the school fees once Helen took her A’levels (at the same time as I took my O’s) he was finished paying for our education and he expected me to ‘get a job and look after your old ma.’
Funnily enough, the only person who showed any interest in my education was my mum’s then partner Alan. He pushed me to go to college, when I went to the college I wanted to choose the course that offered a qualification restoring church windows but there were not enough people interested so the course was cancelled and I simply signed up for the first one offered instead, a secretarial course.
I hated it and left before the end.
My dad didn’t even know I was at college, let alone left early, as he never once asked me what I was doing. Or my sisters, or any other family.
Alan and my mum were so angry with me, my mum accused me of thinking I could sit on my bum and sponge off her the rest of my life, Alan was upset that I was throwing away a chance to make something of myself...I remember crying and saying “But I don’t want to be a secretary the rest of my life. What about what I want? Why doesn’t anybody care about me?”
Years later, my mum was retelling this story in her own words, her own fabricated memory, and she misquoted me saying in a feeble little voice,”I gotta be meeeee!!!” and laughing at me for being so pathetic.
I wish I could turn the clock back 27 years and work harder and pass all my O’levels and go to university.
Stuff ‘em all, I’d be a brain surgeon now just to spite the lot of ‘em!!!!


30.11.2008, 14:16 quote


Some hurts never seem to go away, they just stay dormant til a trigger comes along, dunno why I wrote this, I think just trying to lay some ghosts to rest.
I just had a recent reminder which opened up some old wounds and made them a bit raw again, t'is all.
Yeah, I have gone on from there academically doing other things and getting other kinds of qualifications and becoming proficient at non-academic stuff, but of course my family are not aware of that, since I left school I learned not to bother mentioning anything, else it just gets ignored or trivialised anyways.
I know qualifications are not the be all and end all, and to be honest I know I've done okay career-wise and though I dont work anymore due to disability I am still intending to take some GCSEs next year, just to prove to myself that I can do them.
My youngest lad is taking his right now, so we agreed not to compete in the same year!
I know intelligence isnt the be all and end all, but a few years ago I joined mensa which boosted my self confidence but soon left as I realised it was a pathetic thing to do!
I suppose I must seem like some saddo that it's taken me nearly 43 yrs to realise that the person my parents taught me to believe I was ("you're stupid", "no one's interested in what you think", "no one cares how you feel", "you're fat" etc.) simply is not true.
I kind of had a eureka moment recently when I realised that I dont have to jump through everyone else's hoops just because they say so. Which is not totally the same issue, but something that is very closely tied to the above.
I feel Sssssoooooo much better having written it down, and though I am not able to say it to the appropriate people, I just wanted it acknowledged by someone other than me, if that makes any sense?
So thanks people, and it's good to hear your own stories too! xx

Jump to:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum