I always wanted to travel and explore. I did not want to stay in the Czech Republic, as I couldn’t identify myself with the little minds of my fellow citizens. I do love my family and friends there, however I thought I was amazingly clever and I could achieve big things in the world and that I will get a better chance abroad.
I went through school easily. Straight A’s, all along. I was a fucker who would read under the table in classes, leave textbooks in school and still be the best student in all my classes. It was funny. Especially when my brother was barely scraping through. The teachers treated me as his mother, who was AWOL, and forced me to give him lessons. So we spent days in our shared bedroom playing “teacher and student”. It was the point I realised I could never be a teacher. But I enjoyed it.
See, my mum is an alcoholic and I didn’t want to be dependant on her. In fact, my father is an alcoholic too. I suspect so is my brother. Perhaps even I am. But she was also violent and kept breaking things over me when she was beating me. She was spending all her money on cigarettes and alcohol and we often went hungry.
The breaking point came when I was fifteen and found my first boyfriend. Well, found. He was an ex of my then best friend. I just moved to Prague and lost touch with this best friend. But the guy came to visit and things happened. I am still unclear about how. This relationship did not last long, just like most other teenager shenanigans. But I had a very emotional diary where I wrote everything. Including how much I hated my mother.
She found it
She read it
She beat me.
And gave it to everyone to read.
Now, our relationship was always strained due to her mental issues and her alcoholism, but this breach of my privacy pushed my over the limits of tolerance for anything she said or did. Soon after I found a job in McDonalds and we basically stopped communicating. I wanted to move out ASAP.
However, I knew I had to finish my education (unlike her). And trust me when I say that it was struggle to be attending one of the top grammar schools/colleges and then working in the evenings, while other students were preparing for tests and exams. At this point I could no longer not study, I had to work hard just to keep up.
I was about to fail at physics once, which would mean that they would kick me out of the school. Exactly half way through programme, it would not be fun. I was given the summer to prepare for a test that would determine whether I can scrape through or not. Instead, I continued working crazy hours. One night I was going home after my shift, listening to music and staring at my phone while crossing the road.
I got run over.
My skull got broken. Bones flew through my brain. Not ideal.
I walked away almost unscratched considering what could have happened.
But this injury meant that I had to stay in hospital for a couple of weeks and then slept 20+ hours a day. Which is really not fun when you need to study material for the entire school year to pass a test in front of a board of teachers, who would determine whether you can stay in the school.
Somehow, I passed. Even the subsequent year I passed with flying colours in physics. Who would have thought that instead of becoming invalidated I would become a physics genius? Ok, not a genius 😉
But I still struggled with other subjects – like maths (which is kind of ironical if I tell you that I work in finance). My English teacher saw me once working and threatened me to let me fail the year if I don’t give the job up. But by that time there was no turning back on my self-sufficiency; my mother not only did not give me any money, stopped providing me and my brother with food, but she also started asking me to pay rent.
Finally, I graduated. Even my English teacher let me pass, even if with unfairly low mark. So I got annoyed and with £400 in my pocket, took off for London.
That is the beginning of the story, but certainly not the end.