My School Days

By Natasha Paling

Aged 15


First day

Curiosity and nerves

Quickly becoming fear and despair.

ABC's and spelling tests

I cannot do...

What is wrong with me?


Begging my lovely Granny

"Tell Mummy not to make me go."

And after weeks and months

Confessing "I have lost my soul."


Mummy briskly says "it's the law"

And "why can't you remember spellings?"

She tries and fails to hide her frustration

I feel so lost and alone.


"You're on the dummy table"

Taunts in the playground.

What is wrong with me?

Extra lessons begin at five,

Kindly meant but I am sad


I feel like I am drowning

Like I can't get up for air

I feel empty, why should I carry on?


I have a friend who understands

We fight for survival together -

I will love her forever.


Years pass by and I try and try

A new school at 11

A brand new start.

Teachers are kind and try to help.

I learn to hide and trick people

They won't understand

I work and work.

Hours of revising to get a result


Why am I ill all the time?

I have to sleep and sleep.

Doctors come and go

Mum and Dad worry and worry -

What is wrong with me?


Exams start and I am found out...

"Multiple choices is so easy" everyone says

They lie.

I cannot cope.

The dots that roam

Across the page cannot be caught


I am mad,

I fail and fail,

I disappoint,

I break.


A kind teacher listens, does not judge,

Holds out a hand to help.

Says I am not mad or bad.


There is hope.

There is such a thing as

A light at the end of the tunnel.

People do care and don't just want high flyers.


My past was hell - but it is the past.

What matters is the future

And now I have help I can see a future.


I only now am starting to understand,

I have an explanation for my madness.

I am not mad -1 am different.


I can talk about what I see

And they won't laugh at me.


My teacher, my saviour, changed my life.

From dying to surviving,

From struggling to coping.

I cannot say "thank you" enough.


So thank you my Saviour

For changing my life.