i can't believe i have never searched the schools i grew up in before on the internet!
i started bawling crying when i went to the web page of the prep school, Witham Hall, that i attended right before i moved to the U.S.
this is extremely overwhelming finally understanding the pains, joys, and every range of emotions and their sources from when i was a child. its like i am suddenly going through crazy therapy all on my own.
i finally understand one of the main sources of why my move to America was so traumatic. i finally understand why it has all haunted me to this day.
here is the beautiful village i grew up in. Helpston, England. some of the houses date back to 1200 A.D. The original church in the village was built in 1013 by King Swane, and then rebuilt around 1200.
i went to Witham Hall prep school for one year. i loved it SO much. i loved my classmates. i loved my teachers. i loved the atmosphere of the school. i loved the games. i loved the work. i loved it all.
i was a shy little scrawny girl with long flowing wispy hair. i had a rocky relationship with my mom as a little girl, and so being at school was so wonderful.
i finished my last year in pre-prep, and was headed for the big prep school!!!! you had to be 8 to be in prep school. you had to be 8 to be a boarding student. and i wanted to be one SO badly. i was SO excited to start living the life of a prep student!
i was so excited to become closer with my friends. i was so excited to spend the nights during the week in the dorms. i fantasized about brushing my teeth with the other kids, having pajama parties and sleepovers. i was so ready for what i thought was my big break! i was going to get to have the new life that i wanted! i could find leadership and mentorship in my teachers. i could study study art more, i could do ballet, i could study french. all at such a young age! i was so ready!
but it was cut off.
all of a sudden, in the summer between pre-prep and prep school, i was told i was moving to America.
America? I am not an American, i thought. Americans are uncivilized and crude. they don't value the things i hold dear. they don't know what it is like living in a place with such intensive history. they don't know what it is like waking up and walking out into the wheat fields. they don't know what its like picking ancient pottery out of the soil. they don't have hedgehogs crawling through their beautiful big gardens. the boys in American don't hold doors open for girls. They dont wear uniforms at school with a grey pinafore, white collard shirt, blue tie, light blue blazer, knee high socks and black mary janes. they dont have mysterious trees and crickets in the grass like i do. they do not serenity and joy like we have it here. they dont understand.
i was ready to go to prep school. i was ready to start the life track i felt was meant for me. i was going to go from pauper to princess. i was going to fulfill my childhood dreams. i was going to go to balls in big pretty dresses. i was going to make art and sing my little heart out. i was going to focus hard on my studies. i was going to be happy.
but they said, "we are moving to America." what?
"you must sell all your toys." what?
"you will set up a shop in your play room, and all of the kids from the village will come buy your toys from you. you can only take you little doll house, and the little things you can fit inside of it." what?!?
"you will sell your new barbie car that you found at the dump. you will sell your new roller skating dolly."
my roller skating doll? but its brand new! and i wanted it for so long! and i finally got it! and i have to sell it? these other kids are buying my childhood from me? they get to take everything that i identify myself with? what else do i have?
"you will say goodbye to all your friends for good."
"you will say goodbye to your school."
"you will say goodbye to all your toys."
"you will say goodbye to your bed, your room, your play room, your dinning table, your kitchen, your closet, your secret hiding places, your garden, your fields, your street, your land. your home."
i will say goodbye to everything that is me. i will say goodbye to everything i love. i will say goodbye to my identity. i will say goodbye to me.
you know what i just realized?
i never got the fulfillment that i expected. i let the pain settle deep in me and to cause constant unrest and instability in every place i was, in every person i loved, in everything these past 14 years. 14 years.
i went from almost reaching the point i thought was my destiny, the point that would branch off into the bright path set for my life, to a place i hated more than anything.
i went to Deer Creek public school first.
harsh awakening. aggressive obnoxious kids. oversized classrooms. jr high kids smoking pot in the bathrooms. jr high girls who were pregnant. reading stories about American life out on the prairies and things i never wanted to be associated with. this was not my history. these were not my people.
i am exhausted reliving all of this.
i cant write anymore.
those of you who actually read all this, know that i am just fine. i am not having a mental break down or freak out. i am just finally understanding the pains of my childhood. the things that have haunted me. i thought that i had moved on from it all, but i haven't. and it is good for me to finally come to this conclusion. it is healthy for me to fix and rework the things that got confused.
i can't explain who i am to anyone else, i cannot fully give myself to anyone else until i truly understand who i am, where i came from, what has shaped me. i have to find the secrets and the memories that have lodged themselves too deep in my brain. i've got to recover what i let myself lose.
i changed my name after my first year in America.
the sweet little down syndrome girl from Helpston died 8 days after we arrived in America. the girl who sat next to me in class my first year in America drowned in a hot tub that summer. my pseudo uncle Seal in England died that fall. my new best friend in America's older sister was hit by a car and died right after uncle Seal died. i didn't go to her funeral because i couldn't take anymore deaths. i still wish i could have gone. my adopted grandmother died the next year.
i think there are reasons i changed my name beyond what i remember. i think that my confusion with my identity was more serious than i recall. and i think the loss of people around me hit me harder than i understand.
i had too much loss from age 8-10. i grew up too fast. i lost too much. what was my original identity?
my home, friends, family, material objects, country, even my name changed. what was left of "me?"
has my true identity always been in God? was i able to trust in him completely as a child? Did i know i was still "me" because of God, and no one/nothing else?
i am at the healthiest most powerful overwhelming joyful breaking point i have ever been at. it may seem sad or scary from the outside. but i am finally coming to greater realizations. God is slowly giving me what i never was able to understand.
i won't sleep much tonight.