It took me a long time to post here... Recent conversations, fairly intense ones to boot, have caused a reappraisal of my childhood. I have for the first time systematically analysed it, rather than chipping at elements which took my fancy at the time. This is actually remarkably candid for a public forum, but I have long ceased caring about such matters. Primarily, I shall discuss the school here, other elements interwove into it. And what of my history hitherto. Difficult question, I have, it should be said someone sheltered parents living in a fantasy world, a self-abnegating one to boot. And they treat me as a fool, not entirely from their own desire, for I too have been somewhat negligent in my path for autonomy, but equally their utter convinction of their unimpeachable correctness fundamentally clashes with my inner convinctions. It's hard to say if they have socially retarded me, or I have done it myself, I think ultimately I have done it myself, but as a result of this I have allowed myself to become a victim of their psychological depredations more. I fear their and their attitude towards me, as I do with everyone else. I am cursedly over-sensistive to criticism, and by parity overly eager to seek praise. I cannot view myself except through the prism of other people, and their actions. An inferiority complex. And as for my future, I suspect, maybe it is grim. Many INTPs here do not 'fit in' in the labour market, I, who is bereft of many social skills am liable to fail more. But still, I love learning, and imparting knowledge. No choice but to educate, somewhere. And I need to travel, in time perhaps this will happen. The same self-doubts manifest them at every corner though. Eh, I have never worked out how I can be such an idiot for many things, but at the same time simultaneously be able to grasp other things at a lightning pace. It's almost as if my brain refuses to accept something till it has been registered against the whole structure, if it is not explained properly, or only half-explained, I seem incapable of remembering it. So it is that I can struggle with the simplest concepts but ascertain complex ones so long as the 'jibe' with the rest of my knowledge. Odd, very odd. Or, perhaps I am rationalising an inherent idiocy. I know not. I start from the beginning, 4 - my earliest memories, for the most part, are of school. I supposedly did well in the early stages, except my awful handwriting, which refused to improve despite all the castigation. My relations with my peers at this stage is blurry, though I can't imagine getting on too well with them. What mental progress I made has been lost in the mists of time, though I do remember that I learnt to read very quickly and was somewhat fascinated by the numerical system, and the patterns of numbers. Little can I say of this, earliest memories being berated by a teaching assistant for complaining too bitterly after falling over and being individually reprimanded for (this being a CoE school). Early patterns of integration and conflict with the outside world seem to be crystallising. Skip 3 years till I was 7. My progress at school has been slowed, oddly. I seemed unable to concentrate in class. Physical abuse from peers commonplace. I, of course, reacted and became accused of being in some manner violent or impulsive. ADD suspected. I saw an educational psychologist, who seemed to disregard the diagnosis there and class it as dyspraxia. Something that would be in many respects defining. My IQ was also measured at this time and it was ranked as 150. This, no doubt would have secured me in some sort of 'gifted' programme in the US, or so posts here have suggested but no such institution exists here. I took no further aptitude tests till secondary school, and those I did take them were not IQ tests. Now, my lack of concentration in the class was them presumed to be on account of the work set being too easy - only now, maybe in the last few days, has the very real possibility of ADD actually being there reoccurred. Indeed these labels show a great deal of congruence in respect to their symptomology - in reterospect it seems absurd that I was given absolutely no help with my concentration. I had very odd obsessions, single topics or matters in which I would learn with bizarre depth. Astronomy was one, certain fictional world were another, the entire system of road signs an example that my mother likes to instance. I moved from that school after it was clear the teacher there had an intense dislike of me and, more importantly such was my odium amongst my peers, visceral hatred at times, that staying there was not considered an option, especially after the teachers there had effectively given up on me. Of course despite the knowledge of 'dyspraxia', little was done to ameliorate the effects of it, in practical terms at least. Couple of years later (which then, seemed like an eon)... after a wasted 4th year, in which once again the teacher there seemed to have no idea how to teach me - and thus was I relegated to lower, easier work - I finally had the encounter, rather decisive, with two people, one a teacher, the other a tutor. The tutor was there to improve my work and get me to pass the 11-plus, a system still in operation in Kent, where the top 25% of students are educated separately. An exam my father did pass, but one my mother failed because she couldn't do the maths - she failed her O level in this, dramatically too, despite achieving an A in everything else, suggesting to my mind that she had rather convinced herself she could not do it. Regardless, the lessons were at times soul sucking. she was a very matronly figure, but one who did nevertheless install the importance of education and learning. The strenuous attempts at improving my handwriting especially hard. I did, but only for a little while. Only once I reached secondary school did the complaints regarding this cease, albeit flaring up with the occassional teacher. But equally I found that I was very good at maths. Indeed this teacher remarked I could be exceptional at it. My English though was the chief concern for this test. I was slow to master the grammtical forms, well reasonably so. And, on account of the limited vocabulary of my parents there was an attempt to improve my vocabulary. I remember being made to read a lot of nonsense poetry at this stage. I didn't care for it. Improving it later would become an obsession. The other teacher, in my fifth year was an extremely intelligent woman one who was I believe entitled to teach maths to undergraduate level, she did see 'potential' in me, and was one of the few in that early stage to do so, but became extremely frustrated with my 'laziness'. Once again I feel much of this could be laid on an ADD inability to concentrate. Other frustrations were being forced to engage in moronic 'special education' classes, with exercises and spelling lessons, often being dragged from the fast track maths group, much to my displeasure. The next year. Well, my relations with my peers had, in the first two years been poor. In that fifth year I developed a group of friends, played football, became socially somewhat normal, for the only year in my life. By the next year however this had reversed again. I can't remember why exactly. And, I remember well the one person I may have regarded as a friend 'siding with the enemy' as it were and tacitly mocking me. I'm not sure how this altered my perceptions, it certainly didn't reduce any naif attitudes on my part. The year was difficult. The teacher again berated me for abject indolence and lack of concentration. My dyspraxia meant that I was ranked 'H' instead of 'G' for the 11 plus, the headmistress of my school believing my inability to organise myself would mean I could not keep up with the demands of the grammar school. I also had to hand in all the work I was supposed to have done, which of course I had not. In scenes still visible today I rushed it all the weekend before. Somehow I was able to pass the 11 plus, presumably with the mark for passing being more stringent because of the headmistress's attitude to me. I passed, and there was no need for an appeal, that at least was a relief. After all that, relations were mollified a little. And that was the primary education over with. As odd as it sounds, I have little important reflections of the relationship with my parents, it did not at this time impinge upon my conscious self. For certain however, their somewhat ignorant and obtuse perspective of the world (not to mention rather narrow and blind to much of reality) was forcing itself on me. They did little to aid my struggles with motor co-ordination or even take seriously the diagnoses given, their attitude being that I should just manage. And perhaps they were right. Yet their utter blitheness to the psychological effects of what happened - this in spite of the obvious psychological damage done to my father by his troubled upbringing - I feel perhaps cost me. Moreover my interests were generally ignored or laughed off. By the age of 8-9 I had lost any sympathy from those 'in the street' where I lived and was largely alone, on what was then the 'megadrive'. Video games... which I spent inordinate hours playing till I was 17. I would play this all the time, and be left alone on it. My memories of the holidays from 8-11 certainly were almost entirely of video games - and reading the associated magazines. There was almost no push or encouragement to get me to say, read, or learn, things I would have enjoyed and which probably would have in the long run enhanced my self-confidence. Secondary school. Well, the last pillar of any sense of intelligence was removed as I struggled through the first couple of years. I was mistaught algebra in such a way that even today I am 'picking up the pieces' of a method that should by all rights be natural to me. The subject that I once based my self-image on being good at crumbled before me. Two years later, well, I felt as if I were in a trough. I remember well speaking to a certain guy and realising that I pretty much was either mediocre or poor at everything. This idea has haunted me since. My social life was even more hebetated, I was a pariah again. Little real work or intellectual development happened, something I was able to recover from in some subjects but not others. My 'dyspraxia' did become more systematically seen to. By a fairly insipid special needs teacher - a woman who was undoubtedly very intelligent, and slightly odd (who takes an A level in Maths and Art?) but one who seemed to promote little by way of help. I spent most of the time performing imbecile tests or learning how to touch type. By the second year I had a 'helper' who followed me around with the laptop. I broke the laptop (accidentally dropped it down a flight of stairs) and so infuriated the helper with my recalcitrance - I considered myself perfectly capable of performing these tasks that were required - that the plan was stopped. I had my indepedence. My social life was non-existent still, however the internet by this stage was just starting to claim my attention more.