Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Looking back - my childhood & school reports

In this post I'm going to replicate a post I wrote over three years ago now where I considered the personality traits I exhibited as a child, discovered by trundling through school reports from nursery/reception age. As that post is private now I'd like to address the topic again.
I found these school reports over three years ago and found that the comments I received regarding my appraisal as a young child did not differ much from the lack of progression of confidence and the insecurity I've carried with me into my adult life. I took some specific quotations from teachers I had at that age that I feel relate to my current situation. For example:

Nursery – In this instance I would have been between the ages of 4 and 5 years old.
  •  “Amy-Louise found it very difficult to express herself at first. She would hover and wait to be asked. Her confidence has developed but Amy-Louise can be withdrawn if asked something”
  • “She is still sometimes reluctant to speak up and express herself as clearly as she is obviously able to do”
Reception – Here, I would have been between the ages of 5 and 6 years old.
  • “Although a little shy to blow her own trumpet as it were infront of the class, she is nevertheless been proud of her reading ability”
  • “She is more comfortable dealing with subjects which have one correct answer, rather then more ambiguous ideas, and therefore quickly memorised the facts portrayed in this years topics”
  • “Indeed she works better on independent rather then collaborative tasks”
  • “Amy-Louise is often very insecure. She can be extremely confident in areas she knows she excels in, but if she feels she is being put on the spot, or if she thinks she may get an answer wrong, she may clam up, and refuse to do something, needing gentle coaxing and reassurance to get her back on task. She is very much a facts girl, and prefers to share these rather then opinions. Although she is sociable when she needs to be, she tends to work alone, and even in the playground seems content in her own company. She is friendly with many children but does not seem to have a particular favourite friend”
  • “She responds to instructions looking for praise for her efforts, which is more important to her then quality”
  • “Is worried about failure”
Here it has become extremely apparent that my insecurities, intense fears of failure, lack of confidence and inability to retain friendships that I carry as a 21 year old have been apparent in my nature way before that, way before I could even remember what it was like to be insecure or have low self-esteem. I remember next to nothing of my childhood, I push it to the very back of my mind and view it, retrospectively as a negative period of my life, and when I read extracts of school reports such as these I feel that my points are being continuously reinstated. How it is possible that I exhibited these traits at the age of four years old, and why?

Although reluctant to place blame on anything other than myself regarding my depression, if previous counsellors and therapists have forced me to 'blame' anything it would be the bullying I received as a youngster, or the circumstances regarding not growing up with my biological father. But, as far as I can recall, serious bullying for me began in the later stages of primary school, perhaps the age of years one and two, not possibly before that. Likewise, the issue regarding my father has to me, in my adult life, never been much of an issue (even if I have serious issues with my step-father now) So what, if anything, could ever be the root cause of my illnesses?

I don't think I'll ever know, truthfully. Yet I'll always wonder. It's something that I could be always continuously reaching to discover, yet it would be no use. There never is a way of turning back the clock. Which in a weird sort of way, I'm slightly grateful for. But alternatively, I'd love to rewind back to a time where I could see myself as a four year old and tell her not to hate herself, not to be insecure, and to warn her against all the dangers of the world. Now, as a 21 year old, I'm tormented with anxiety every single day and realistically, it seems, not much has changed from the life I led seventeen years ago. It saddens me and it dampens my hopes of recovery for the foreseeable future. Which I'm aware, sounds incredibly heightened with pessimism, but embedded thoughts can be so difficult to alter. Seventeen years, possibly longer of negativity will most definitely not begin to change any time soon, and I do not currently possess the strength to make that change.

I'd like to thank all of you for your support throughout my blogging journey - you motivate me to continue blogging honestly and openly through this continuous fight.   

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