Certain experiences trigger certain issues for me. My writing, together with my memories have shaped who I have become, so it’s not all bad.
There is no doubt in my mind that my father was a perfectionist. He had high expectations, his demeanour was testament to that. As children we learn and come to know many things about our parents. My father also had a strong character, he certainly ‘didn’t suffer fools gladly.’
The day I received my exam results at the age of 16, will always firmly be etched in my mind, because I remember the phone call I made to my father to tell him about my grades and although he was okay about it, it was obvious from his response he wasn’t expecting much from me.
He never anticipated or expected me to do any better, but my whole schooling was like that. The truth was that through Cerebral Palsy and my particular brain injury, I was struggling to grasp even the basics in school. And although it still bothers me, I know that with the help I may have adjusted better, instead of being left to hang out to dry.
Each day I showed up for school was another day of mental and emotional struggle. What makes me angry is that my father put the onus on me and I lapped up the guilt because it had no where to go. We’re not all academic, but through determination and hard work and putting in the hours, I believe we can all achieve good exam results.
All external exams came out on a Thursday, so by Friday my father was already on the phone to my school to discuss my options. Being told that I hadn’t achieved the required grades to stay on at school, by the following Monday my father had already enrolled me in college.
There was no discussion, but there never was. I simply conformed as I always did. But it was to be another part of my education that brought with it yet more frustration for me.