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This is a question Thrown away: The stuff you loved and lost.

Smash Wogan writes, "we all love our Mums, but we all know that Mums can be cunts, throwing out our carefully hoarded crap that we know is going to be worth millions some day."

What priceless junk have you lost because someone just threw it out?

Zero points for "all my porn". Unless it was particularly good porn...

(, Thu 14 Aug 2008, 16:32)
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My early childhood
While my parents have respected my material property, when I was but a we’an, they accidentally threw out something of mine without realising it - my childhood.

I am the oldest of two. This means that I was at the receiving end of the raw un-practiced parenting skills, whereas my sister had the benefit of the parenting skills that came from refined experience. Sometimes, I think I was a prototype for my sister.

Anyway, when I was little, our family moved abroad. This meant that all of a sudden, I was in a country where none of us could speak the native language. My parents, in their infinite wisdom sent me to a local school. This meant that I ended up speaking a different language at home than I did at school. Unsurprisingly, I had trouble communicating with my peers.

They say that kindergarten is where you learn your basic person-to-person interaction skills. Because I spoke a different language to everyone else, I did not fit in. This meant I became isolated form the rest of class and missed out on acquiring these skills. I hated kindergarten! I even remember I sort of gave up playing with the other kids and ended up hiding in a laundry basket. According to my mum, I would often say “Go away!” in the local language while I was asleep. This is not a way to spend your early childhood. This continued in infant-school. By then, I was developing the ability to differentiate between the two languages and speak both of them, but couldn't speak either of them as well as someone from my age (previously, I may not have been aware of the differences between the two languages and just adapted to whatever way the others around me spoke without being aware of the concept of different languages).

Apparently, I hardly communicated verbally until the last few months of infant school. By then, people were beginning to be concerned. I was taken to a hospital to have a go on an EEG machine to see if my brain was wired up properly. At first, the experience was a bit scary, but when I realised I was wired up to some complicated looking piece of equipment, I felt excited about being connected to a machine. The readings indicated that my brain was all wired up as it should be and completely normal. The doctors came to the conclusion that speaking different languages at home and at school was preventing my social growth. No shit Einstein! Even so, I was sent to a child-psychiatrist type person for some time for further evaluation.

By now, it was time for me to start primary school. My parents had finally seen the light and had sent me to a (more expensive) English-speaking school (my sister was starting kindergarten then, so she went to an English school right from the start). At first, speaking English at school felt a bit odd because I had always associated school with a foreign language, but I quickly got used to it. However, by then, it was too late - the damage had been done. I wasn't very good at making friends. I did manage to make a few friends, but because it was mainly a school for expatriates, there was a high turnover of pupils. I was unlucky enough to pick friends who would leave shortly after. It was as if everything I tried to build up in life kept toppling over (see future QOTW answer for how this plays out).

Throughout my life, I have been a shy person. Even today, I'm still a bit shy, but nowhere near as shy as when I was younger. It is still an unanswered question if I would have still been shy even if I had gone to an English-speaking school right from the start, or if it was the isolation at an early age that did it.

Throughout my early childhood, I have felt isolated - partially because I couldn't communicate and partially because I didn't know how to communicate. Generally, I have memories from the time in which I was feeling very bored and understimulated. But on the plus side, I cultivated my imagination and along with my intelligence, used that to fill in the gaps in my worldview that resulted from not having participated in enough conversations. I've become fond of my weird imagination and like being an oddball, but given the choice, if I were to do my childhood all over again, I would want my parents to have remained in England where I could have played with kids who spoke the same language as me.

On the plus side, my parents are ace! They never threw away any of my stuff, and since I left home for the first time, they have always been there for me. They're well meaning but just didn't get it right the first time round.

To be continued in a future QOTW...
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 11:54, 4 replies)
always thought provoking spakka
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 11:58, closed)
*click* for good yarn
I connected with you there at the beginning in an opposites kind of way as my parents learned nothing from fucking up their eldest. My younger brothers all have more or less the same issues. Some folk shouldnt be allowed have kids is all.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 11:59, closed)
I have always envied people that grew up in other countries
as they were either bi-lingual or very good at that language. I see now that it's not always that simple.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 12:04, closed)
As a friend of mine once said: "Parents fuck you up. And the worst of it is, they often do it with the best of intentions."
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 12:20, closed)

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