Following the success of the first part of Gee’s Story, I feel honoured to share her next chapter with you. It’s almost impossible to sum up in a relatively short blog post, the trials and triumphs of Gee and many others like her but i’ll give it a try.
Please also look out for another inspiring story coming soon – Chantelle’s Story
Year 11 for Gee started out in much the same vain as she had ended Year 10. She was sulky and complained about her awful summer break. She was glad to be back at school.
There were still problems for Gee in school and she was dodging lessons and shouting at teachers who were trying to get her back into them. Patience for Gee was wearing thin and, with GCSE’s looming, I knew that her chances of exclusion were high.
I decided to work through a timeline with Gee. This is a method I use often with young people as it can help them in many ways to make sense of events in their lives and can also help with less talkative students. For more information see my article on timelines.
Gee’s timeline revealed that she had lived in Basingstoke and Devon for her early years and moved to the Midlands around the age of 8. Her early childhood had, it seemed, been largely uneventful.
The last two years, however, had been too traumatically eventful. The extend of which I would not discover for another two years. As it was, what she revealed explained a lot.
At age 13, Gee’s parents had started to have a lot of problems and they had to move to a new house. At the same time, Gee was visiting her Nan in a care home regularly and her granddad collapsed and was ill in hospital.
Just before Gee’s 14th birthday, she was told that her Dad was, in fact, not her Dad and that she had a different Dad to her two younger brothers with whom she was living.
From her 14th birthday onward, things seemed to spiral. Gee’s Nan died and Gee wrote and read a poem at her funeral, a big step for any 14 year old.
Her Mother and Step-father split which resulted in a court case for custody of her two younger brothers.
Finally, the icing on the cake, Gee was being bullied at her previous school and moved to this school; her last chance.
In the space of 10 minutes working through the timeline, it was easy to see why Gee was a mess.
There had to be something inside of her, something that had grown within her in those early happy years that was inside waiting to fight back and break through the blackness that now resided in her mind.
I felt Gee’s sense of hopelessness as she told me that she had discovered that her biological father had been abusive towards her Mother, due to his own awful childhood. “That’s my Dad…am I like him?” she asked.
Her Mother had told her during an argument in a crazy moment of anger that she was indeed just like him.
I had a vision of a desperate child, helpless and suffocating as giant shovels of dirt were falling over her head. With each shovel, she was disappearing, and I knew it wouldn’t take many more to lose her altogether.
Then something happened…
Gee told me that her Mother had left the area and had told her and her brothers that she didn’t want any contact for a while. Surprisingly, rather than the final shovel for Gee, this was to prove to be the hand that she needed at the time to pull her up.
As sad as it was for Gee to have lost contact with her Mother, it took away a lot of the emotional angst that she felt, and she had to help her Step-father who was struggling to work and provide for them all. I felt this gave her some focus when she needed it.
Within a couple of weeks, I saw what I always knew was inside of Gee. She was a strong, kind girl; committed to making things right for her family, whatever form that took. A light had been ignited inside of her and she shocked everyone with her determination.
Gee announced that she was going to pass her GCSE’s! A naturally clever girl, she had missed so much work that this was a tall order. She had been predicted D’s in most subjects. Gee also announced that she wanted to stay on in 6th Form as school was the only place she felt safe and happy.
We looked on, helpless spectators, willing her through it. Teachers stepped up and gave her extra help, even those she had told to “Fuck off” seemed to have been placed under her spell.
The time came for Gee’s GCSE’s, she got through every single one. She continued to see me until the school broke up in July. Then came the anxious wait…
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