I connected with her through Twitter and she is in my eyes a Twitter superstar.
THEN AND NOW
I come from a very much dysfunctional, mixed-race, abusive and violent 'family' background/environment, eldest of five. Up untill the age of approximately 13/14yrs, I used to mix with the other siblings,then circumstances within 'home', changed for the worse, it went from sexual abuse to incest,when my 'male parent', moved back into the 'family' home, and I was forced to share my bed with him. I became the 'female parent' to the household. My 'female parent', had full nervous mental breakdown, so he refused to share bed/room with her.
I have never had the luxury of emotional/loveable/guidance and support from a parent, that most, but not all, children growing up are supposed to have. This resulted in me becoming very withdrawn, so when teenagehood kicked in, and most youngsters can rely on some parental guidance for learning about hormone's, etc, I reluctantly turned to my 'male parent', because the option of 'female parent', was not available, for this, the abusive one, I was forced to deal with. I had no-one else around for me,and at secondary school, I was bullied, throughout the 4 of 5 yrs I was there. Ironically, school was my sanctuary, no matter what I was going through at 'home', I had school, alongside music by way of radio at 'home', when the coast was 'clear', would listen to radio and dance/sing, it was small part of happiness.
I learnt from secondary school, my second one,(I was transfered from first one,due to 'scandal', coming out about me and certain situation at home, it was all-girls school, and they thought best to transfer to another one, again, with no emotional support from anyone, especially 'female parent', I was in wrong/blame for anything that happened,case closed), that the legal age to leave home, without being forced back/with 'parental/guardian permission, was 18yrs, so I tried as long as possible to stay up untill that age, alongside occassional suicidal attempts/thoughts.
When I did run away from home at nearly 18yrs, it was alongside an alarming/frightful conversation, with 'male parent', it became life/death situation. I had barely any eduactional qualifications,as I did'nt sit all my exams,due to domestic's at 'home', I felt I had to be around, for support/witness, which no-one even noticed or thanked me for. I was non-existent. For many years after that, going through traumatic court case, and fear of my life, with no 'family' support, it was never discussed,the only person there for me, was landlord of bedsit housing, for vunerable young people, where I was then living. Thankfully, I won the court case, but, I paid high price for my freedom, but it was worth it.
I spent many years throughout my late teens into early adulthood,surrounded by people talking,calling me horrible names and passing judgement, it didn't matter I was the victim, for people, environment I lived/grew up in, I was disgusting. I had absolutely no self-confidence, I learnt about meaning of self-confidence from doing a group course at 'female parent' and baby group club, when I had my daughter, called:Assertiveness, which enlightened me alot. From doing this course,meeting other parent's, it spurned me on to catch up on my education, which I had lost out on.
When my daughter was still young, I enrolled for a Business Admin course,and she attended a childminder, the course was really good,and I made conscious effort to make very little friends, I've always been cautious/non-trustworthy around people, still am today.
My 'male parent', was a music lover and DJ'd whenever he could, alongside working, at one point even released a cover single:KungFu Fighting', didn't get anywhere, that's where my love/passion of music came from. Lyric writing/recording,my escapism, from all things negative. He would take me with him,on most occassions, and DJ'd at end of term discos at my second seconday school. Again,I loved the music, but was cautious about enjoying myself (for fear of trouble later). Over the years, right up untill now, I have had an obsession with learning, and have done various courses, from office related(NVQ2) and music, with accreditation, something I am very proud of. I was originally going to be Nursery Nurse, and applied college, babsitting, etc, but could'nt handle dealing with any cases of childabuse that may come up, to close to 'home'. When in employment, from young adult till now, I have mainly worked in the housekeeping field, basically because you did't need qualiifications for that, easy money at time, but I always wanted more for myself, just could'nt figure out what or direction, aside from knowing it had to do with music.
I moved out of London for nearly five yrs as I needed change of scene, living in area, I grew up in, too many negative familiar faces' and places. When I moved back to London, my daughter now being older and left school, I tried looking for work again, but found it really hard, and by 2yrs of looking the JC was putting pressure on me and January 2010 whilst doing JC there were people handing out leaflets about Personal Best, at the time, I thought,'not another wasteful course, not caring about me, just 'numbers'. After couple of days, I contacted the number given regarding it, and after some conversations, and JC pressuring about provider options, which meant, nothing to me as person, I decided to go for it.
When I turned up in February 2010 at WMC(Working Mens College,Camden)at first,I was extremely sceptical, and thought, 'what have I got myself into',t ry for 2 days, and quit, but I stayed. By the end of the week, I felt, 'hold on', there's some really interesting people here, different stories'/backgrounds, respectful of each other, listening to each other/opinions, and started to 'gel', with some, I thought, 'hello', they're actully interested in ME!!, what I have to say/think, and the tutors aren't 'patronising', or underming, they actually want to know about ME and what I've done want to achieve, where I see myself, my ambitions, my weaknesses/strengths, they really do want to hear about ME.
Words left me, feelings left me, I was dumbstruck!!
It was not like 'school', not kids, we are adults, treated with respect, and most importantly, it was near to home, so no travelling, and some of the people lived near me, so I made some really nice friends, I really enjoyed getting up in morning and going in, my motivation was really kicking in, and the odd outing, as part of course:Volunteering Olympics 2012, was really nice.
For the first time in my life, I actually EXISTED, I was beginning to feel I mattered, I was someone.
By the end of course, I can't describe my feelings exactly, but I know I wanted MORE, I wanted to do more learning, so I inquired about some courses that would help me towards employment, and not housekeeping, I felt I deserved better than that now, something I could personally achieve and feel good/proud about. At the end of the Personal Best course, we did a charity event as a group, in aid of:NSPCC/CHILDLINE, a charity I feel extremely strong about, and the group kindly agreed on this, which I am forever grateful.
It was down to me, for research, etc, no problem, as the charity was launched by Patron:Ezther Rantzen, exactly 2yrs after I had left 'home', if it had been around sooner, I might have left sooner, with their support/guidance. It felt really good to work as team, with people, kind enough, respectful and likeing me to do it. I was nearly in tears when the course finished, I wanted this time to last longer, forever,didn't want to lose what I had now become to enjoy.
I ended up doing in total 2 Computer courses over time:PC STAGE2 and ITQ NEW CLAIT to brush up my computing skills, as it had been a while:Word,Excell and Powerpoint, with Gillian Burton, I enjoyed the course alot, and again, met some nice people, but the joy was doing homework on pc at home ,I loved the fact, I was learning and working towards a certificate, another achievement.
From doing courses, at WMC, I feel my life has transformed. I have my certificates, that no-one can take away from me, they're mine. My self-confidence has improved 50%,I am currently on verge of finishing a music vid, for one on my tracks:I'M IN CONTROL!!, with another former student, Danny, who I really clicked with on mutual enterest in music/media.
Alongside my daughter,(who's a wonderful, 22 yrs old this year) and disabled boyfriend,(they're not related). I would not be doing ANY of this if I hadn't done the Personal Best course, because before I felt again totally lost, and didn't know what direction, process to do with myself, I felt completely defeated, something I have had almost all my life. It helped me take away/forget all previous suicidal thoughts from my childhood and lifetime struggles. I still stuggle at times,but least now, I have BETTER insight, confidence, motivation, drive to achieve it, given me back, what I never had, A PERSONAL SENSE OF PURPOSE.
I cut off all 'family'/negative contacts, years ago. My 'femal parent' died some yrs back,(no I did'nt attend funeral), my 'male parent' still alive from what I last heard,(yrs ago)dead to me. I banned 'M' or 'D' parent word,around/close to me. I vowed to myself that when I became a parent I would be/do everything that a parent is SUPPOSED to be:LOVING(unconditional),SUPPORTIVE and ENCOURAGING.
I was all of these before,but now I am even BETTER.
I speak on behalf of all victims/survivors in uk: NAPAC, SurvivorsTrust and NSPCC/CHILDLINE there is LIFE after Sexual Abuse/Incest you can get your life back be in CONTROL and be SURVIVOR.
Music is the place to be
Survivor, yes, that's me
WARNING - THIS VIDEO CONTAINS FLASHING IMAGES.