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Tears Roll Down
Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:06 pm
Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:44 pm
Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:37 pm
Shout wrote:Sorry - I should'nt have put this on a new thread.
Mike - feel free to transfer this post somewhere else.
No it is fine, otherwise it could get lost.
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:43 pm
What fitting lines! when I first read all these pages I too found it hard to concentrate for days and had to take a day off work through lack of sleep as so many memories came flooding back!!
Please guys, why the anonymity?? nobody can get you now, you are only telling the real truth, the whole truth and not THEIR truth. So many of you remain anonymous surely it only adds to their control ?
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:47 pm
Anonymity, well I imagine that a lot of people prefer to remain anonymous is down to a) convention on the internet, its best to hide your identity by default, b) perhaps many still have family and friends involved in the SES and publishing their views could cause relationship friction and c) maybe people are still a bit frightened, deep down.
Anyway, glad to see you aren't bothered Harriet! Well, my name's Graham- that's my cover blown! - I met you a few years back, mustve been 97-8ish, bit of a hazy memory, was a year below your oldest brother in school and got to know him quite well after we left, and I'm still in touch with your younger brother, hopefully see him for a pint in the not too distant future. Hope you are well! Funny how none of us ever talked about school afterwards... seemed like an unwritten rule. Good that its all coming out here.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:01 pm
grimep wrote:...b) perhaps many still have family and friends involved in the SES and publishing their views could cause relationship friction...
For what it's worth (and I know everyone is different), but I thought about it for a while and then thought that actually I need to get this out in he open and that includes family, no matter how much friction it causes. My thinking was that if you are living a lie with your folks then your relationship is no better than if you were at odds with them. If it comes out in the open, then at least there's a chance for the relationship to heal.
grimep wrote:... and c) maybe people are still a bit frightened, deep down.
Yes, even after all these years there is still fear...illogical I know, but it is still there. It takes a lot to jump that fence, and people can only do it in their own time.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:05 pm
My own reason for wanting anonymity has nothing to do with fear or shame. It's because I want to be judged as the person I am today - father, husband, working professional - not as a product of what I went through as a child.
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:36 pm
Alban I think you've hit the nail on the head here, it's fear that keeps us anonymous, especially when you talk to some of the people who went to school with you and their response is (I paraphrase) 'ok so it was a bit wierd but it wasn't nasty in any way, I certainly don't remember anything that could constitute being called abuse'.
At that point you start to doubt yourself and your memories. Then hopefully you remember specific things that point to there having genuinely been something very wrong indeed. In my case I just remind myself that I first tried to kill myself when I was 11, I think that pretty much supports my remembering it as a shitty time. And then all the things that should have got me expelled - I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to absolutely everyone and if I find any names on here who I know I owe a specific apology to then you'll find one winging it's way to you...
There is a big difference though between attitudes of the people who came from SES families and those that had a more balanced home life. While I was thinking about this point I realised that the only schoolfriends I have maintained a relationship with come from non-SES families. Probably because it more effectively balanced the totality of the SES influence on every other aspect of my life. Because while the comment above is reflective of the non-SES ex pupils it is not the reaction from the others. I was speaking about the inquiry with my sister earlier today and telling her some of the stories published here (specifically Clara's) and her reaction was that the most telling part for her that supported the truth of the stories was that the behaviour of the teachers was so unbelievable in any school context other than St J/V. What an inditement!
But yes, fear, for me at least there's the fear of being judged for who I was rather than who I am now. And the fear of causing further rifts in family relationships which have some old scars. How would my parents cope with knowing I was suicidal? They only found out I was bullied a couple of years ago when my sister told them and they were exceedingly upset then. What they did was always what they thought was for the best and for that love (even if it was misguided and had some awful consequences) surely it is better not to rub their noses in it as this can achieve nothing other than to make them miserable.
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:33 pm
Daska, just a thought... your parents are adults now, they were adults when they allowed you to be abused at St James (and make no mistake, it was many forms of abuse, eg. emotional and intellectual neglect, humiliation, repression, sarcasm, condemnation, isolation, fear), and thay must be allowed to take responsibility for their mistakes. You were the child, the powerless, voiceless one who had no control over where or in whose care to spend the weekdays.
Your post rings a lot of bells for me. I used to minimise the experiences that I did remember, and despite greatly increased honesty with my parents I still find myself trying to protect them from feeling their own, appropriate guilt. However, I have also found that this repression of important communication prevents me from experiencing full relationships with my parents. It makes me feel 13 again, like when I had to lie to Mum in order to do the things that a functional teenager wants to do, like going to the cinema with boys and going to sleepovers parties (with girls!). I know that the gulf will be there until a resolution is reached.
I hope your parents will find the strength to take responsibility for their own actions soon.
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:11 am
thanks emmalu, I know what you say is right but in common with a lot of other SES people they still have an element of the the 'I cannot remember this and the school would have told us if there were a problem therefore it cannot be true' attitude. When I asked whether anyone in SES had mentioned that there was to be an inquiry my dad had difficulty understanding that yes, I meant an inquiry into the school he forced me to attend even when my mum wanted to move me out of it because academically I was failing so badly. And the number of times she's expressed surprise that I underestimate how bright I am... (scream!!!!! the school kept punishing me for not achieving!!!! I actually had to take an IQ test before I could accept that I am bright and my education was at fault for my underachieving!!!!)
Ultimately I know my mother is incapable of hearing anything I say on this subject because it doesn't fit with what she wants to believe. To get through to her I would probably have to bind and gag her and use a megafone - literally, I've had to talk to her about other problems and she does not listen unless she is physically forced to. And I have to ask whether the energy I would use achieving this wouldn't be better focused on finding solutions to other problems I have outside my family - like my total inability to maintain a relationship with a man who treats me well instead of always choosing the 'familiar unhappiness' that I learnt to expect.
Like many others that have posted I have spent many hours reading here with tears streaming down my face as memories have come flooding back. They aren't all bad by any means, in fact some are even quite funny and/or affectionate, but they are all moving. My sleep has been severely disrupted and today I've had to explain to my boss exactly why I'm somewhat overemotional and am carrying several carts of luggage under each eye.
Well, better out than in! Crying is supposed to be beneficial isn't it, both in removing toxins and grieving. Cos I guess that's what a lot of us are doing finally, grieving for our lost childhoods and broken relationships.
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:06 am
I share some of your "results" of SES experience, particularly in terms of relationships outside of the family, even though I never attended an SES/SPP school. I never ever stood up for myself, talked about my emotions, was able to have fights or arguments (I'd immediately withdraw and accept that I was wrong) and it took my mother leaving the school before she'd accept that my criticisms and accusations were real. I wish you all the best in getting rid of all the baggage the SES has given you and hope that one day your parents will accept what they know in their hearts is true.
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:24 pm
I can empathise with you all to an extent (sorry, i'm being vague as to who). I have just read the whole page above and yes, I know what you mean about the sleepless nights after my St Vedast experience.
Lucky (!?!) for me though I am only hung up about what happened to me on the domestic front when I was fourteen. It was tramatic enough for me to feel that St.V doesn't bother me any more. In the same way as you ex-pupils need to face and find closure with SES and St.V/J, I will need to do the same with my mother.
I would highly recommend getting professional therapy as well as thrashing out your memories and opinions on this web site. I had one to one therapy five years ago relating to my whole state of mind as well as specific episodes in past and it did me the world of good.
Those who said they were still frightened and felt like a child again whilst reflecting on the bad old days with the SES, well I can't identify with this. Maybe, again this is because I have moved on. I was a child then and am an adult now so anybody from the SES who might wan't to 'come after me' for what I write on this site can kiss my ****. We have to remind ourselves that we are no longer those frighted children, emotionaly and physically intimidated and harmed by those twisted over-bearing teachers.
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:42 pm
'been there, done that, got the t-shirt'
ok, that's flip, but I've had several periods of counselling and spent time working with a clinical psychologist for various reasons. unfortunately whenever these memories did begin to surface the reaction was to an extent dismissive, and so I just buried them deeper - it goes back to the doubting your own memories because no one you know will validate them, SES did the divide and conquer thing very effectively.
But I turned a corner yesterday, I booked a 1 to 1 with my boss and explained in the calmest way I could why I am not currently functioning as effectively as usual. I thought long and hard and decided that instead of saying I went to an unusual school and trying to describe some of the experiences that I would simply say that had been brought up in a cult like environment and that I was currently having to deal with a lot of memories that I had suppressed very effectively for 20+ years. I explained that there were overtones to the word cult which were very emotive and which didn't apply (e.g. mass organised weddings and suicides such as the moonies and branch davidians?) but that I couldn't find a better word to explain the experience succinctly. I had the same conversation with colleague who I work most closely with and with my delivery line manager.
Today I refused to voluntarily take the blame for something which I wasn't responsible for!
I am allowed to tell the truth
What a revelation
p.s. Daniel, the fear isn't that I'm going to open the door and be confronted by long skirts, holy is govinda in four parts and be manacled to a tea pot. SES people can no longer control me in that way - just let them try!
Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:53 pm
Good on yer daska! Don't let the b******s drag ya down.
I don't have the answers but it's good to talk!!!!
Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:02 pm