Our Little Blue Room

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Dear Reader, 

Today I'm going to be honest with you. 

Today Reader, I'll tell you a story, one that's untold. 

I'd like to say that this is all my own version of events and other people may see it differently or heard differently. This is all in my own words. 

I am the eldest and with that comes responsibility. Don't worry this isn't going to be a Spiderman quote. This responsibility is not one that I have to take on or one that other people take but one I choose to take. 

It started from an early age when my brother was diagnosed with autism at an early age and others came to realise that he was 'different' I swore that I would always have his back and this still rings true to this day . . . except now I have eight siblings to watch and have their backs! 

Being a sibling in a large family hasn't always been easy and you're judged a lot of the time. Comments like 'People A and B need a new hobby' (grosssss!!! Please I don't want to know, I like to think a stork delivered us all!)  or 'don't you think people A and B need to by a tv?' ( This is something we weren't allowed because it was said to be 'evil' and there were a lot of things on there that wasn't good for us . . .  apparently!)

  Being in a large family also meant that I had to give up a lot of things such as friends or sleepovers because I had to help out. There were times when I was annoyed and I lost friends over it but it's something I've always said and I'll continue to say . . . they come first. Girls I hung out with didn't really understand and if I'm honest, I didn't really understand. 

Four out of nine siblings where home-schooled, mainly because A thought teachers didn't have a clue about education and they could do a better job at it. Apparently teachers that I had in school where useless and weren't as clever as A. This is how it all began. As some of the children reached school age, they were given a choice between school or home education. The choice of school was already poisoned and of course they chose home education. School was something that was used as a threat and they would always be told that if they didn't do what people A and B wanted, this threat would be used. Their version of Home-Schooling was for three hours a day and for four days a week, as soon as it was 11am/11:30am home-schooling stopped. I tried helping sometimes but it was a wrong move and was accused of trying to take over. So I soon learnt not to be helpful. After 11:30am the kids could do what ever they wanted, B would usually have an afternoon nap and A would go shopping. When this happened, everyone would hide in our little blue room. Days when A stayed at home where the worst because it always felt like you were walking on egg shells. 

Our little blue room was tiny. We had two sets of bunk beds which meant there was less floor space. In the early days four of us slept in the blue room but as years went on, there were more of us in one room. It came to the point where A had the biggest bedroom to themselves and everyone else either slept in the smallest room, downstairs or in the little blue room. This room had always been my room ever since I can remember and was where I played most of the time.  I became our space and somewhere we'd all be. It became somewhere that we found safe and somewhere we could hide from it all. We tried to hide the sound of raised voices but somehow no matter what we did, you could always hear them. We invested in speakers to try and drown out the noise, trying to make sure the younger ones couldn't hear the swearing, abuse or the sound of crashing, as something was thrown again. But no matter how much we tried to drown the sound out, you could always hear it. Some days where worse than others. On these days you where trapped in our little blue room. This meant we couldn't use the bathroom or the kitchen as we were too scared to face it. There were times we braved it down the stairs and into the kitchen to fetch some snacks or even make a few sandwiches.
On several occasions, we got told we were interfering or got just for being in the way. There were times we'd stay downstairs but this was very rare. We felt safer upstairs, hiding away from the brunt of it. You could feel like nothing in seconds and feel like everything is  your fault. The only thing you could do was apologise even if it wasn't your fault, in the wrong and even for being right about something. It came to the point where sometimes even an apology wasn't good enough and you ended up buying them something to ask to be forgiven. The guilt that you carried was heavy and you could carry that for days. You'd be the one to make the apology. This happened often and it was easier to apologise than make a stand, you'd never hear the end of it and you'd never win. 

We just wanted an easy life and for this we kept out of the way. 

We had no one to save us and when we prayed, no one ever came. 

When people or family friends came around, how we longed to tell them what our lives where really like instead of having to paint a false picture. 

We fed them a lie, that's what we were taught to do. Pretend.  

When everyone left, we only had each other and so we hid. 

Our little blue room, kept us safe.