As I feel I don't have very many memories from my life so far, I value some of the ones I do have. Lately I've had a few sudden 'rememberings' of things from my childhood. Most of the time they are really small and insignificant things but for me they can seem like a link between who I am (or we are) now and who I was then. On this page I hope to record some of those little links as and when they come to me, mainly for my own benefit and also mainly because I fear they may disappear again. Maybe if I get enough bits together I might feel like I have a formulated structure of memories for my life.

My first day of school, aged five and a half

I still don't know why I started school a year later than everyone else. Did my parents just forget to send me? I remember meeting my teacher and her taking me over to the coat pegs which had name stickers under each one. She asked me if I could find the one that had my name on it. I didn't know how to read (my parents obviously forgot about teaching me anything useful as well) and was scared to tell her because I thought she'd shout at me so I stood for what seemed like minutes looking at these pegs with funny letters on them. I was surprised when she kindly showed me which one had my name on it, that she didn't shout or hit me or tell everyone I was stupid. I remember her asking other children in the class (who apparently had been in school for a while already given that I seemed to be starting mid year) to look after me. 

Being in the 'Special Class'
I struggled to learn to read. I had to go in the 'special class' which involved more moments of looking at cards which funny looking letters in different sequences and being told that this particular set of shapes mean 'cat' etc. I came to realise that I was just stupid. I wanted to be able to read so much but I just didn't seem to have the ability. I may have never learnt except that a lady from my church who was a teacher started giving me tutoring lessons and after that I seemed to pick it up. Maybe it was just that I had missed a year of school and needed the help catching up. She gave me a book called 'My First Picture Dictionary'. I didn't have much stuff and was not used to being given 'gifts'. I remember looking at the book and I thought it was amazing. I still have that book. It reminds me that I did have a childhood. Sometimes even memories feel unreal. Sometimes it's hard to believe I am even real right now, today. So it's not really surprising that I doubt whether my past really existed. 

Dead hamster

I remember my sister digging up her dead hamster a year after it died and showing it to me. She was always a bit morbidly curious.

Face eating slug
Seeing the biggest slug in the world and running like Scooby Doo to get into the house. I don't know what I thought was going to happen to me. Maybe that it would leap off the shed onto my face and eat me like the alien in Aliens (maybe my parents shouldn't have let me watch films I wouldn't even watch now!)

Dissociating even back then
'Coming to' in the middle of class at school and realising I had disappeared and the class had moved onto a new subject. This used to happen quite a lot but I only recently realised that maybe that wasn't normal. This happened from as young as I can remember right through to university. It used to happen during exams too, where I would just lose 15-20 minutes of the time. Very frustrating!

Being told I was a mistake
The moment when my parents first told me I was 'a mistake'. I must have been about four because it was in my first house. They were talking about how one of us (me and my sisters) was a mistake. I felt sure it couldn't have been me because I felt loved. I can remember the feeling in my heart at that moment, when I realised my parents hadn't wanted to have me. It got worse when they then expanded to tell me that they had hoped I would be a boy. Mistakes happen, I get it now; I know that doesn't necessarily mean you wouldn't love the child anyway, but why tell a four year old that? How can they expect a four year old to understand that this doesn't mean they are still unwanted? There was no attempt to clarify that to me, so maybe it was that I was unwanted.

Getting dressed for school competition
Racing my sister to see who could get dressed for school the fastest in the morning. We were so competetive about it. As soon as my mum called us, we'd leap out of bed and furiously throw on our dresses and it would usually end in an argument about who had been fastest. My sister took her ambitions for triumph to the next level and started going to sleep at night fully dressed for school so that when mum called us she would just leap out of bed and proclaim: "I win!"