*I originally wrote this last year for the start of GCSE’s. ..but as exam timetables and revision plans all make a reappearance as preparation for AS exams I thought I’d dig it out again!*
So here we are.
GCSEs have begun.
I wanted to write this before the exams because though of course results matter, I wanted to focus more on our journey here.
I’m feeling really emotional that exam season has arrived. I keep thinking back to that tiny, just turned four year old starting school.
My August baby.
Me being pushy mum extraordinaire was panicky about him being the youngest in his class. Reading boot camp commenced to ensure he could read before he started (I know, I know I just can’t help myself and as he’s become a 15 yr old bookworm I console myself that I didn’t inflict any lasting trauma)
It all just feels a bit much and I’m a bit weepy at the thought of the end of school. Aside from my recent ‘getting in touch with my emotions’ of late I think there’s a huge sense of relief.
The thing is I do and likely always will carry a guilt around with me about the abusive relationship, particularly when it involves my eldest.
His early life was spent in that environment and as much as I tried to shield and hide him from what was happening, I’m not so naive as to think he wasn’t affected.
He was affected, and there’s guilt I’ll always carry about that. Guilt he was ever exposed to that, guilt I was unable to leave sooner.
I no longer blame myself and the guilt has lessened and been made more sense of particularly after doing The Freedom Programme as I’ve spoken about before. I wrote about that here. A haunting of guilt remains though.
For a while after I left I questioned my decision. I know though, and have for a very long while now, I absolutely did the right thing and now here we are.
I can look my 15 year old, who was just 8 when we ran here, in the eye now. His life (and his siblings) has been transformed by that decision. There are no doubts possible that it was for the better.
I talk often about how eldest boy was the boy who taught me to be mum. The boy who has been my parenting guinea pig.
We got here.
We got to end of school.
We got from anxious little boy to laid back, calm teenager.
It’s a relief. It’s a comfort that I did the right thing that day.
We got here – my amazing, talented first born has gotten to GCSE time without my haphazard parenting causing him any long lasting damage.
We got here – despite me being the sole parental influence… and he’s fine, better than fine, he’s a delight.
We got here – despite me spending the last 15 years looking over my shoulder waiting for someone to realise that I am totally winging this parenting lark. That I’ve not a clue what I am doing.
We got here – together, him and I and his future looks so bright.
Not bad for a couple of amateurs.
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