Saturday, 15 November 2014

Change in the Atmosphere

Throughout this week, the sky has reflected exactly how I've felt. Sunshine for the tiny spark of hope rising within me; colourless clouds representing the drained feeling that I've gotten used to; and heavy, seemingly endless rainfall which express the sadness of a thousand tears pouring down my face. Although it might seem to be a so-called coincidence, I perceive it as something much bigger than that: whenever I look up at the clouds caging me in my village, I needn't consider what my mood is. Even today's heavy fog accurately describes the emotionless, exhausted feelings that I refer to as my own. 

Besides, I sense a slight hint of something major hanging in the atmosphere which is in no way related to the weather or, indeed, my feelings: an important moment will soon be upon me. For ages, part of me realized that it would be approaching in the near future - because there was little chance that it would not arise - yet recent events have pushed its due date forward, influencing the atmosphere more than ever. 

For too long, I've spoken about a change needing to occur in my life. Fuelled by heartbreak and devastation from a source that I once welcomed as a fresh change, a moment dedicated to making a decision - that, regardless of its outcome, will have an impact - is no longer in distant shores. In fact, it has nearly reached the shore: days, weeks and months of waiting its arrival will eventually be over, which then transitions into a new phase. A phase of which will determine the course of my future - perhaps heralded as the most difficult decision that I will have ever faced. 

Decisions are never easy to make. Even the simplest ones can cause plenty of bother if you are not equipped with the tools to make them. However, the thought of making such a life-changing one can cripple you before you even get started. At the moment, I'm fighting fear in favour of reaching the courage which will keep my nerves at ease, yet I'm running out of strength; too much of it has been wasted on the subject of this decision. But a change needs to happen, unless I want to repeat another endless cycle of misery. You can guess which one I'll go for. 

And the cause of this agony? My school. Yes, that hellish prison to which I'm bound to attend five days a week has agonized me to the extent that I can no longer endure another second in a so-called 'educational' environment. After one too many incidents, a decision has to be made this weekend - will I return on Monday or was yesterday my final day there?

Having endured five months of ceaseless aggravation, bullying and plentiful quantities of maliciousness, I've had enough. Unlike many times before, I truly mean it. My whole family are more exhausted than I can begin to imagine because of what both my brother and I have faced at the school, a word which now sends shivers down my spine. 

Everybody and everything - apart from my grades - has suffered as result of attending that spiteful place over the course of less than six months. I'm lonely. I'm sad. And, perhaps the most significant of all, I feel cheated. When being guided on a tour around the school in May, the Deputy Head assured my family that not only would I receive a great education, but I would be in safe hands. After being pelted with inappropriate words in and out of school from fellow pupils and intimidated on various occasions, my safety hasn't exactly been a main priority. Plus, I can count the number of decent teachers on one hand - the rest either allow their class to run riot or they repeatedly disappear for no apparent reason (as if the pupils would be the first to find out why). 

As I'm recommencing work on my GCSEs, I cannot stick it out for another few months to see whether things will improve. The damage has already been done. A meeting with the Deputy Head on Wednesday didn't address the issues that we had with one particular pupil - who has not been disciplined for his actions - who then upped his hate campaign against us. Even a Head of House has declared that this situation is beyond him - where else can we turn? 

In the meantime, both my family and I are torn about what to do next. For reasons which I neither wish nor can explain, more trouble happened in the days following the meeting earlier this week. As a result, it would be too dangerous if I went to school on Monday - after what has happened, I would definitely not put it past this bully if he decided to resort to physical tactics, instead of the vicious verbal ones that he has used for months. 

However, I don't have the strength to ever go back to that school. For one thing, all this fear and worry has taken its toll on me, and I really don't want to push myself further - that should only apply to my studying ethic which, as I focus my attention elsewhere, is being pushed to the bottom of the pile of priorities. And, unsurprisingly, I have no desire of returning to school until I transfer to another one - why would I want to add more unpleasant moments as I'm struggling to forget the previous ones? At home, not only am I safe, nothing - from the presence of bullies, disruptive pupils or constant worries - distracts me from studying. As long as the work is supplied, I don't care where I study - my only request is that I'm not doing it at that hellhole. 

A risk that I constantly take is the possibility of losing my love for learning because I'm trapped in such a negative environment. When I wave goodbye to my mum as I set off to the bus stop each morning, I have no idea what will be spilling out of my lips when I return seven hours later. Will I have travelled through hell or, if luck allows it, had a relatively rare 'okay' day? Uncertainty is horrendous at the worst of times, yet even more hellish when it grips you on a daily basis. Two days off at the end of the week doesn't allow me enough time to recharge my batteries and mentally prepare myself for school. Even talking about it now, one foot still remains in the grounds, classrooms and bus; it is no way to live. 

Right now, I really have no idea which way to turn. I'm at crossroads - I either turn one way or the other. Such a crippling weight is being carried on my shoulders that I have to relieve myself from it soon. What should I do? Return to school next week, acting as though everything is normal? Literally from my first day, anything relating to school has not been normal. I'm hardly a Soap Awards-winning actress at the best of times, so why plaster a Hollywood smile on my face? If I do leave, I will be faced with an agonizing wait until I find out whether any schools have any places. Even then, would I have to stay at my current school if other ones in the local area were in no position to offer my brother and I two precious places? I wish that I could look into a crystal ball and discover the wisest path to follow because I can't pick one, yet this might be a case where I can only rely on my gut instinct. If only I had more faith - and experience - in following its lead. 

By the end of the weekend, I really hope that I will have made my mind up and, if anything, my future is looking a bit clearer than it currently does. Trying to see beyond mist and fog is never the easiest of all tasks, let alone the outcome of your near future. As much as I need clarity, insight and wisdom would be greatly appreciated; changes are not exactly the easiest things to get your head around, yet reassurance eases the shock that has the power to transform your world into a holy shambles. 
At least one definite change in the atmosphere will be a perspective on these matters - and hopefully the reignition of hope, providing me a solid foundation for achieving my dreams. Hopefully, my nightmare at that dreadful place is nearing an end - the beginning has only just started.

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