The Big Bad World

This is my story. Or, sort of my story, at least. Told through the eyes of Rachel Bennet, this is the account of one girl's experience of life, and how sometimes life can start just when you think it's all about to end. I've adapted events of my life and woven them into this, starting at the age of 12 and continuing to the age of about 17, and follows the various struggles that growing up brings, and how invaluable having a simple thing such as a diary can help provide a small place of solace from the big bad world. All names have been changed.


1. 14th August 2010

 Dear Diary,

 This feels so weird- I've never written a diary before in my life!! Well, to be completely honest I've written bits and pieces here and there over the years, but my dedication to things that are not Harry Potter is a bit lacking, so this time I'm determined to stick at it. Truthfully, the only reason I'm writing this is because my counsellor recommended it. Something about “letting it all out safely and securely”, following my admission of wanting to throw all our china at a wall (or better yet my stepdad's big fat head). So far, I'm one paragraph in and while I can't say the desire to hurl pottery at Sam has dampened at all, it's at least more productive than sitting staring at the wall.

I've only just gotten back with my brother and sister, Ben and Maggie, from visiting my dad's side of the family in Devon (a seven hour journey in blazing heat and mile long tail-backs- not my idea of a great day) and already the drama's kicked up again; I sometimes think I live in a soap opera. Dad dropped us off and we'd barely taken a step inside the door when mum had a go at us for being noisy and waking Sam up- oh wow, I'm so sorry that we can't be as quiet as mice after an exhausting trip and wanting nothing more than to just collapse on our beds and not have to drag heavy cases up the front steps! I mean, how were we supposed to know he was asleep?! Fair enough it was 7:30pm, but what 35 year old goes to sleep at that sort of time? Oh right, I forgot- he's not a normal 35 year old. He happens to be a bipolar alcoholic 35 year old. Great choice of partner there, mum.

Urgh, I'm not being fair to him I know. It's just that we didn't get a choice in whether he stayed with us- well, technically we did, but how are we meant to reject him and mum's happiness at the same time?- and it just feels like sometimes she loves him more than us. Of course she says she doesn't, and I know she loves us... but she sometimes doesn't act like we're her priority. I mean, to be fair he's not all bad, when he's not in a bad mood he's great. In the two years since he's been with mum he's brought her out of her shell and we've all had some really fun times together, going to the beach in summer, visiting Dover castle, that whipped cream fight in the garden... but then he flips like a switch and all of a sudden he isn't that fun guy anymore, and he doesn't love us anymore, we're in the wrong and he can't stand to stay anymore. I can't really say I understand it all to be honest; all I know is that when he's good he's a really nice guy, but when he's not it's scary. Mum says it isn't his fault, and as she keeps taking him back, I guess I've just got to trust her on that.

Doesn't stop me from being annoyed at it all though.

Thank the Nordic gods it's the summer holidays still, I can't imagine having to go into school feeling this tired at the moment. Last month I completed my first year of secondary school at Sacred Heart (or Sacred Fart, as some people have not-so-lovingly nicknamed it), and it was far tougher than I'd thought it would be. Ben also goes there and has just finished year 11, and even he warned me about the homework in secondary school, but three pieces a night?! That is just cruel. Apparently they like to go hard on first years to weed out the weak and leave only the holy and worthy... this I can believe. I don't know how I got through the year. Oh yeah- multiple panic attacks and days off, I remember now. Silly me.

I've made some good friends there, though. One girl, Adele, is in every lesson with me, so we got to know each other quite well. I hang out with her and another girl from her primary school called Grace, and my friend Jo who I know from my primary school. Grace is very boy-crazy and I swear we spent half our lunchtimes following this Czech guy Viktor around, to no end obviously. Well... he has just moved in across the road from me, but that's not because we stalked him endlessly. I think anyway: Grace would like to believe otherwise.

I'm going round Grace's tomorrow for a sleepover, which I'm looking forward to. She's got an amazing sense of humour and loves to laugh, which I think would help considering the mood I'm in at the moment. As long as we don't visit the corner shop every ten minutes to get a glimpse of the “fit” shopkeeper there again...

Anyway, it's getting pretty late, and I'll need all my energy to try and stay up as late as Grace tomorrow (it ended up being 3am last time I stayed over there- I am just not built for that!), so I'll write more when I can. Hmm, I actually do feel my violent feelings fading a bit! Maybe I should write more entries.... when I actually remember to, that is.

~R x

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