|Apache - the heifer calf who really DID go and live on a farm, |
because even Dad couldn't bring himself to eat her!
My Dad was a self-employed builder, who was very good at his job and took pride in everything he did no matter whether it was an entirely new house or knocking up some cabinets for someone's elderly mother. To say Dad loved fishing, and loved his vege patch, are complete understatements. My Mum was a full-time Mum until I started Intermediate, and she was Supermum. She's an awesome cook, she did all our baking, sewed and knitted a lot of our clothes, was on the PTA, and was always, ALWAYS involved. She also introduced me to the world of the written word, the world of imagination. It was my best friend as a kid, along with Misty the cat, but I had no idea it would become an enemy later on in life. I also started playing the piano when I was about ten, which I really liked.
Dad working his vege patch, with little sis
and I supervising
|Howzaaaat! Backyard cricket. Dad, caught and bowled by myself, |
with sis in attendance as wicketkeeper.
|Cicada monument in my home town of Kihikihi, |
it's one big bug.
So apart from occasionally thumping boys, when did things start to really go wrong? For me, I guess puberty, that was when I started having trouble sleeping. Starting intermediate was a big change for me, the school was about 3 or 4 times the size of my primary school, and I had simply never been around that many kids my own age before. Most of the kids from my school were scattered here and there, and although I mostly pretended to dislike him, I was relieved that GT was put in the same class as me, the familiarity in this strange environment was something I appreciated. My teacher, Mrs T, was a bit crazy. She was like me, would randomly flip out, but she was an adult, and that made her somewhat intimidating, but also very frustrating. My class was a strange mixture of really brainy kids, kids that were good at sport, regular kids who were okay at everything, and ratbags. I honestly think Mrs T resented us brainy kids as much as she resented the ratbags. We weren't smart-arses (most of the time), but she was unpredictable and you just never knew what kind of day she was having until it was too late. Mostly things were pretty good, I made new friends and had fun and was still involved in all sorts of stuff. I started playing the clarinet along with the piano.
Nevertheless, around this time, I started to dislike school. I started to have trouble getting a full night's sleep. It wasn't a regular thing at that stage, but every couple of weeks I'd have a real shocker, and be exhausted at school the next day. I would either wake up repeatedly, or I would wake up for a protracted period of time. Either way, I'd be stuffed the next day, and I started to fear getting asked questions in front of the class on those days, in case I got them wrong, which would have been embarrassing. Yes, I'm aware that that same scenario would embarrass any regular 11 or 12 year old kid, but for me, there was something more invested in it. I was a closet perfectionist, if I didn't get 100% on something, it started to feel like the end of the world. So those days where I was tired, and not able to concentrate properly, started to cause me anxiety. And that, my friends, is where the world of social phobia for me begins...