Saturday, 27 January 2007

August 1988

Dear Me (August 1988)

I shake my head at what just took place; of all the shit things to do to a young person... I am truly sorry you were put through that today.

Who am I, you ask. Well, I am you, almost 19 years on. It is true. I have chosen this pivotal moment to stand up for us, for once in our lives, albeit 19 year later. I simply can not take this bull shit any longer. You are worth so much more than this misguided synopsis foretells.

I have wisdom that comes through experience, which I am willing to share. So listen very carefully.

The reason The Parents sent you to a vocational psychologist at age 14, was not because they “fear you will spend your future in a dole queue” – that is a load of bollocks. They have their own issues, and unfortunately you are being used to explore these issues for them.

The pressure for you to commit to any vocation, at this age, is ridiculous and overwhelming, I know. Whatever you do, do not rush into anything just to appease others; it is you who has to live with it, not them.

I know the psychologist’s report was not exactly glowing; in fact it reinforced much of what the teachers have been regurgitating your entire schooling career – basically, that you have the intelligence of a dung beetle. I know it hurts, and I know it is confusing, when deep down, you know this just isn’t so.

Even with the passage of time, I can not understand why you presented or were misrepresented that way. For you certainly DO pass year 11 and you DO pass year 12, although when the expectation is that you are intellectually incapable, there seemed little sense in doing anything other than the bare minimum, to pass.

Should you take this letter to heart and actually put in some effort on the school front, please chose the subjects you would enjoy, rather than those you think you SHOULD do. It sure would make the time pass in a less excruciating fashion. You might even enjoy it a little.

But you know something – for all the pain, and anxiety the school experience has given you, the grades you achieve in year 12 will have absolutely no bearing on your future.

To this day, I still carry around a lot of anger about those years, so please do us both a favour and let it go. Aside from a handful of “lifer” friends -you know who they are- this school thing sucks, and in the future, the treatment you received through your school years should be given as little reflective thought as possible - because this is not who you really are.

Having said that, work is a very enticing option and your confidence will begin to grow when you find employment, but for the time being, stay in school. You will connect with someone very special in your Year 12. I won’t say who. He attends the school there with you, but amazingly, your paths have just never crossed before.

By the way, you may be interested to know that Mr Psychologist over there, wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow regarding the university thing. When the time is right, and I stress, when the time is right, you WILL go to university, and you will shine GIRL!

You believe you have to work harder than everyone else to pass, but you more than pass. You even write a thesis that you will be proud of, for many years to come. The topic? I can’t tell you that. You need to discover your passion for learning, and you will, but only when you have the freedom to do so.

I know you are not really your self right now. A certain bloke has turned your head in a big way, but seriously- he is a first-class prick. He doesn’t respect you, and the mixed feelings he is sending out are doing nothing for your confidence. Enough is enough. Please don’t waste another minute on this guy – you should have put an end to this cycle of misery at the start of the school year. Seriously, this experience with him is destroying your soul, and you know it.

What other wonderful assumptions did the good Mr Psychologist have to say?
Oh yes….Apparently you will be unable to look after yourself, so you need to live close by The Parents.

Yeah, good one Dr. Chuckles.

Rest assured, you never allowed yourself to even entertain such a possibility. You will be more than fine on your own two feet. You even have the opportunity to travel, with your beloved – it’ll be fun. In fact, it’ll blow your mind.

And one more thing before I go. In many years to come, you will meet a woman and you will become great friends with her. She will eventually have a baby, and all you will want to do is head for the hills screaming. I understand, motherhood goes against the embedded career pressure thing, but please don’t shun her. Be a good friend and help her. You will actually learn much from her, and these skills will settle your own fears and anxieties when it becomes your time – and that day will come, or has it come already hmmmm I don’t know…you’ll just have to wait and see.

You are blessed beyond your wildest dreams. You are a good person, and you are most definitely worthy. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any different.

Hugs and love
Me (January 2007)


shishyboo said...

powerful stuff!

you are one of the best writers I know!

strauss said...

Thanks so much Shishyboo, so lovely of you to say. It has been great reading all the Dear Me posts thus far. I hope mroe come in.
I finally got the darn page formatted correctly.

Tracey said...

Oh my, that was amazing .. once I picked my jaw up off the floor after reading the bit about being 'not intelligent'. The jaw dropped, the eyes boggled.. and then, the rest... so wonderfully written. You have a real gift.

Heather said...

I know what it took for you to write this, so you live up to the name of this blog. You grow 'braver still' with each blog entry. This is a gift to your readers. I hope this helped in your journey. Thank you for sharing something so personal. Can you see that in itself shows you are healing.

I feel priveleged to experience much of this journey with you.

LY... H

Catherine said...

Bravo!! This brought me to tears, Strauss, and made me want to sit down and write myself a letter as well. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal and moving.

Kathleen said...

What a powerful blog! You are amazing. I am stunned to think that you would ever have experienced anything like that. I know that writing that went a long way towards feeling better, and I think I might check out that site. When I think about writing something, I can think of lots of things I'd like to say to the "old" me....maybe it would help. I know I carry around a lot of garbage that isn't always as buried as I'd like. Thank you for sharing with us.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I reiterate what I said in my email - so called 'experts' often do more damage than good, in my opinion

strauss said...

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I don't know what to say...but thanks, such thoughtful, surprising and much appreciated feedback.
Shishyboo and Tracey: Would you believe that I was even accused of plagerising a poem I wrote when I was 15 - it was called The Death Chant - yes it was THAT cheery - the teacher said that I was "simply not capable" of writing such a piece.
I was required to have my mum write a letter to the teacher stating that she believed I was indeed the poet.
It was quite frustrating - and after all that, I only got a B grade for it. It obviously wasn't THAT great!
I agree misc mum, some so-called experts, AND people in authority, can cause more damage than good.

shishyboo said...

I would have thought anyone wanting to accuse someone else of plagerism would have to come up with proof of the original piece before saying anything. That just proves what a twit this teacher was.

I'm so sorry that sort of crap happened to you and has left you doubting your talents.

And I stand by my previous comment, you ARE one of the best writers I know AND if you ever write a novel etc can I put my hand up for being your first customer.

Barbara H. said...

I just discovered the Dear Me project a few days ago and am making my way through the entries. I am so glad you didn't let the "experts" opinions keep you down.