Chapter One

Sixteen. Child, adolescent, teenager. How can a person fit into three distinct categories? When it suits them, teachers regard us as adults – we can make our own decisions about our future, we control our grades, we have to remember to do our homework and revise ourselves. But then also when it suits them, we’re children – telling us to better our grades, telling us how to use our holiday time, telling us not to eat in certain areas, forcing us to do lessons we don’t want to do and telling us what to wear. As for adolescent, we are legally adolescents at this age. I’m confused by how I can sign dental forms, operations (for the most part), go to jail, have sex but still can’t decide whether I want to do PE or not. Not that I hate PE, I just don’t like the fact I’m forced to do something that only benefits me in the short run.

Psychiatrists also say I’m too young. They believe I’m too young for a mental illness. I’d love to see their chart of when a person can develop a mental illness and it stops being hormones. For the record, psychiatrists believe I can’t have bipolar disorder, manic depression – whatever you want to call it. I find it highly insulting how things are put down to hormones especially in women. My brother who is now thirteen used to have anger issues, well two years ago he used to and he just had rages and was violent for about six months and now he’s calmed down and is not at all violent anymore. That was not put down to hormones it was put down to “male behaviour” which means hormones are probably another name for “women behaviour”.

Since he is in year nine, he has the same problem. We are called “young adults” but yet we can’t do much, no wonder teenagers become frustrated. I am frustrated. Living my life in a constant purgatory is nothing but dull. I get relieved of this frustration by having something worse put in place. A mental illness. As to which one, we’re not sure yet. Bipolar seems to be the likely diagnosis but due to age they all find it difficult. Well, I’m taking adult dosage of adult type sleeping pills and they don’t make me sleep so you explain to me how they can’t diagnose when I’m only two years shy of being legally an adult is fair. I kid. I know that makes no difference, I’m just trying to express my outrage here.

But I’ve probably intrigued you with the notion of bipolar disorder, given the world’s history with mental illness and this collected club, a community of sorts that mental illness has; you probably want to know more.

In 2011, December I started having nightmares. Awful things they were. Some were flashbacks of an event from my past, some were subconscious scary dreams of a person and the other were school nightmares which I’m not trying to downplay for anyone else but they were the least scary of the lot for me. Want me to go into these nightmares?

Well, you know how people tend to say (or at least which has been said to me a lot) “nightmares happen because of the last thing you think of at night” which is true – in sorts. When I was falling asleep I used to think through problems I was having which were usually school or friends at the time as I truly believed (and still do) everything is easier to figure out with a good night’s sleep. So I used to think them through and more often than not I’d come up with a solution for said problem which is why I see the validity in the statement “nightmares happen because of the last thing you think of at night”. That would explain the school nightmares but how to explain the other two… that’s a whole other subject. But ties in nicely with the title (even though I’m not giving my chapters titles) – “Why I ended up living with my dad”.

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