Leaver’s book…

I just found my leaver’s book from when I was 18… full of letters and memories written in by my friends at the time, unbeknown to my family. I just read through them all, laughing and smiling…but crying my eyes out! Why was I crying? Because I had the sudden realisation that this recovery process has made me focus almost entirely on everything that was wrong in my childhood and teenage years…

These messages from the past showed me glimpses into what was right. I’m going to write a few of them out, partly for my benefit (can look back if I’m ever lost) but also to try and show people that even in 20 years of constant extreme abuse…it’s possible to have laughter and light, as these people have shown in their words… I urge people to try and find something that can show them some light in their past…it’s really quite a cathartic and wonderful experience…

So… here’s some glimpses into the lighter areas of my past šŸ™‚ word for word…

“Jadeey! I can’t tell you how much I will miss you when you leave! There will be noone to help me make decisions or noone to make me feel better if I’ve had a bad day. I’m going to miss your craziness so much! All of your kissing of walls and singing “baa baa rainbow sheep!” Your earring getting stuck on M’s top…

I will really miss steel band with you there. You and A and your random dances to the songs. However Italy is going to be AMAZING! I’m going to miss us going to the common room and getting hot chocolates! And when I got like 3 drinks ahahahaaa!

The biggest thing I will miss is just you! You and your amazing, caring personality and all your madness. You’re like my big sister and I will miss talking to you about everything. Also I want you to know that whatever happens at university I will be here to talk to you. I really hope you have an amazing time at uni and you don’t miss me too much! Only joking! lots and lots and lots of love xxxx”

“Well missy what can I say! Ever since I joined in year 7 you adopted me and took me under your wing and was/is always there for me! I appreciate it hun, it means a hell of alot! I’m so happy to have you as my big/little sister! Memories – there’s a million!! šŸ™‚ We’ve had loads of laughs! My most funniest memory was the water fight at the BBQ where you ran off to find a bucket, and next minute you’re on the floor screaming and laughing! You’d fallen on your wrist! LOL! How did you do it?? You are funny, sad, loving, CRAZY (all the time) but whatever has happened you’ve always been there. Jade, you have had some rough times and you know what..you’ve fought through it all and never moaned or whined, yeah maybe a few tears but everyone does! I’m always here for you missy..don’t you forget it! You best keep in touch and thank you, love you lots xx”

“Where to begin! Not gonna lie, I have no idea when we first met! However, I’m glad we have. Together we’ve managed to get through AS and A2 music which is something to be proud of in itself, HAHA! From surprise gigs at award nights :l to secret bodily drawings šŸ˜‰ I’ve had a brilliant time at 6th form and I’m glad to have shared it with you! Bring on newquay!! Lots of love and luck…xx” (NB – she was referring to tattoos!!!)

“Well…writing this as you talk of your recent book achievements. This pretty much sums up the sheer success you have and will continue to have in your life. I do have, to sum degree take some credit as you have been in a few of my lessons. My pure intelligence musth ave had an influence. I’m sure we will keep in touch over the next few years as you embark on your next journey. Whether that be Africa, or the top of the booksellers chart or something else amazing. I really do wish you the best. P.S If you ever become a millionaire I’m sure I deserve a cut of it šŸ™‚ x” – LOL.

“Jade…If I started to write everything I wanted to say, I’d use up the whole book! So, you’ll excuse me if I use someone else’s wods instead….
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on; on: on: and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun.
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away…O but every one
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. (Siegfried Sassoon).

PS – In case you thought I’d lost my touch, please turn to the back…
They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself. (Philip Larkin)

One of my favourite poems! Says it all, don’t you think! šŸ™‚ Thank you for all your help with music Jade, and for all your hard effort and determination with singing. You have shown such courage through adversity (even if you don’t believe it!) and I hope university gives you the chance to relax, unwind, and live your own life!! Don’t stop the music!! Good luck…and remember, always be yourself! Love always xx”

This last one particularly moved me, because the two poems really show the two different sides to my life…and the first one especially is beautiful. The latter one, I only truly understand now….two years later. Mad, huh?

Our past is not all black. Even when it feels it. These people had no idea what safety nets and faith they were giving the future me when they wrote these words. As difficult as I find it to read page after page of compliments (rhgwkjwrkgbrw)…I’m touched, and so massively grateful for having their friendship which helped me escape and believe in myself…



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