Me and My Disability: The Day I had my breakdown over a stupid drama teacher

Written back in 2015

Hello all, I’ve decided a change in career is needed. For A level I was originally studying drama, music, English and welsh bac. I went to drama for two weeks and don’t get me wrong, the staff and other students were so lovely. When I first went there (it was in a different school where they made changes to make it accessible) I had two boys escorting me around with a portable ramp. (They were tres delicious! The numbers were soon in my phone.) and I met some girls and explained to the teacher about my condition and limitations. Then we got on with some acting, well, miming. At this point I realised I was a tiny fish in a big pond. I was quite shite compared to them due to physical ability and trouble with timing. But I thought it would be because I hadn’t done GCSE drama and that I’d get better in time. Next we had theory, (It didn’t help with the teacher being cute) which I total didn’t understand at all. I asked for help and I only got a too minute explanation and that was it. Still not getting it. The next lesson the teacher pulls me aside and says the exam board didn’t make exceptions for my condition and that if I did a play from the set text list I wouldn’t be able to access all the ‘movement’ marks. And there was no guarantee we’d be able to do glass menagerie which features a disabled main character. So that did make me anxious. More lessons and theory and I still couldn’t understand it. We did a musical theatre piece which they adapted for me but the way they adapted I still felt awkward and I felt bad for my partner who was made to do the same. Also I was either two beats behind or two beats forward. I found it difficult that I couldn’t do a character walk and became very frustrated. The teacher was also (and some of the kids) teaching me with kid gloves which I found very endearing. I put this down to the school not having a wheelchair user student before. It was stressing me out how I wasn’t at the same level of performance as the others plus the theory and the travelling as my taxi was always frickin late and I wouldn’t get home till four thirty. (The school day finished at half three) I made the decision to drop drama after speaking to my mum about it. I decided to focus my efforts on writing as I’m not bound by any physical ties, fatigue or low self esteem as drama made me feel like burnt crepes.. Just crap lol. The next thing was telling school. I’ve never felt so panicky the night before. I’d felt like I’d failed and given in to my disablity and it’s limitations. The school wouldn’t normally let you drop down to two A levels and Welsh bac. I went I like a bag of nerves. In all fairness they were good about it. Telling me that ‘you wouldn’t keep eating a sandwich if you didn’t like it would you?’ They let me drop it and encouraged me to go to creative writing classes (which gives me a level 2 Cymru Agorred qualifications which unfortunately isn’t UCAS points but is a good thing to put on your CV.) in the evenings (I went yesterday it was so cool.) I’ve also booked to go on a script writing course in January. My school also spoke to the school about their inclusion. I wouldn’t have gone to that school if they hadn’t of put me there as I’d opted to do a more performance BTEC course rather than theories but they thought ‘the other school would be better’ But anyway, I’m now focusing on writing. So that means more reading, creative writing classes, writing fanfic, blogging and gaining writing experience with my local paper. But it doesn’t mean I’m giving up on acting. I’m gonna still do school shows and maybe Am dram later on in life. I’m hoping to go to Lampeter uni to study creative writing BA honours. The good thing about this uni is they don’t just look at ucas points but a persons merit. So I’m doing all the write things ☺️ All I’m saying is you have to recognise your limitations. Struggling and being proud isn’t worth it. Sometimes you have to admit defeat for now on a project and come back to it later. You need to do what’s best for you. The best for you is being happy.

For reasons I won’t go into (because their personal) I had my first panic attack. I never want to feel like that again. I felt dizzy, disorientated, cold and I couldn’t breathe. If it wasn’t for my maths teacher who’s getting a massive praise KAREN YOU ROCK LOVELY! (Thanks for the cake!) I would never have realised that perfection isn’t everything and that things change and we’ll eventually adapt. She also said that being a size 9 isn’t all that big. Marylin Monroe (who is my body confidence booster) was a size 16 and a screen siren! I guess I’m just having to cope with lots of changes at the moment what with big sis off uni, me coping with sixth form (which has settled now, thank god!), the drama situation (see previous post!) and body changes. What I’m saying is I’m wading through some shit right now but there is a washing machine I’ll wash my waders in at the end of the tunnel. Love and hugs to all.

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