We were raised between two languages. We accessed two cultures. Our parents inhabited an in-between world...they moved from a phrase in one language to a sentence in another. As a child I never knew which language was which.
My brother and I picked out words and strung them together, sometimes we picked out words that sounded funny, made us laugh and turned them into nonsense language, a code between the two of us.
Send me a parcel with a hundred lovely things
In CAMHS I saw teenagers; working against time, pulling them back from the edge, running away from home, truanting from school, theft, assault, drugs...the children who saw adults as creatures from another planet.
I tried to sit still; this woman was sat opposite me.
I couldn’t understand what she was saying, too many words,
Just a jumble of words.
They floated past.
I just sat there letting them come.
My Dad’s words are different. They sort of hit me over the head;
A sharp pain running from my head to my heart,
my Dad’s words, when they hit me.
Words happen to me. I don’t understand them.
Sometimes I think if everyone talked slow, I’d get it.
I’d get what everyone goes on about.
It would all make sense.
School, it does my head in - the words are bad there. They come thick and fast,
Sometimes I put my head down on the desk ‘cos it hurts.
Sometimes I just run out of class, or even school, too many words jumping at me,
Too many sounds, they might catch me out.
They might find out I don’t know jackshit, Nothing, nada in my brain.
Rotten like my Dad says, a bad 'un – I got those words all right.
Words are enemies
I’m an alien.