Throughout the whole drama, I became very close with one particular girl; let’s call her Lucy, who happened to be on the receiving end of most of the drama from the others.
My PA/carers relationship became ever more strained, she continued to refuse to let me out claiming, “the distance was too far to go at night,” when really it was only the other side of town.
Another excuse for not letting me go out was that “You have too much work to do,” which wasn’t always true as I always made sure I had caught up with everything before thinking of going out.
When friends came to ask if I could go out she told them I was busy when I wasn’t, she then would tell me that they had come but she had said no.
In doing this I felt by talking to her about it would be a waste of time as she had already thought she knew what was best for me and continuously talked for me, this was crossing a boundary line of care.
Already feeling low and isolated, I began to see my PA/carer being quite friendly with my flat mates; she was spending a lot of time with them. This was making me feel increasingly uncomfortable as their relationship and friendship was becoming stronger than my own with them.
While I was in my room feeling alone (as my friends and my PA/carer hadn’t come to see me or hang out with me), they were in fact together in my PA/carers room without me.
Matters were made worse when two of the girls told me I was being antisocial; my PA/carer didn’t seem to stick up for me. I was feeling both angry and upset at this I had been trying to be sociable with them since September.
The way I see it is a two way street, I had tried my best – but they could have sat in my room with me rather than in my PA/carers room excluding me.
I felt further ridiculed as I was being treated as a child, not being allowed out and being put to bed early when I should have been out and enjoying myself. The time I was put to bed suited my PA/carer but I could still hear my friends and flat mates having fun, laughing and going out.
I was told if I went to bed early we could watch a film together like I was five years old, she claimed putting me to bed early was so she could go to sleep herself however, I believe she was actually socialising with what should have been my friends. In her doing this, hanging around with my friends more over me, I felt she was reliving her university experience, rather than letting me enjoy mine.
Another crossed boundary line was being talked about by my PA/carer to my friends, my private business was being discussed as well as claiming I was being “difficult” after saying I didn’t want to go to bed so early and wanting to go out with my friends.
When I confronted her about all this, she became very emotional about the slightest thing, it came across her being upset was all my fault and this made me dread being on my own with her – and not be able to talk to her about my feelings to situations.
These were all boundary lines that shouldn’t have been crossed!
We often escaped into each other’s rooms to avoid confrontation. One night in early January I became very distressed after a particular awkward exchange of ideas and comments.
I went into Lucy’s room and burst into tears revealing everything that had been going on and how I felt useless and a five year old. In an attempt to help, Lucy tried to get my PA/carer and I to talk everything through and clear the air.
Getting frustrated, I vented to my carer how I wasn’t a child and shouldn’t be kept in my room or be put to bed at 10pm, that I’m an adult and how I should be going out with any other student.
I had hoped that such a discussion would help, but I was wrong. It just made things much worse. Over hearing our heated debate, everyone around Lucy, my PA/carer and myself came to find out what was going on.
They tried to appear concerned but I wasn’t convinced. Deep down I knew they just wanted a bit of gossip. I had all sorts of feelings going round in my head; I mostly felt it was none of their business, so I decided not to tell them.
I had expected my PA/carer to keep my business confidential after everything, but sadly she did tell them what was going on. This caused another argument between the group and I felt so betrayed by her. I suppose it was all a learning curve.
I hadn’t known my PA/carer long and I was naive to think she would protect me. Having kept so many emotions bottled up for so long, I finally bit back. I said to them all it was none of their business. It was so hard; they didn’t seem to see my side of the story.
Shortly after the girls stormed out, my PA/carer came to see Lucy and me and to my absolute horror she announced she was leaving and that she “couldn’t do it anymore.”
I was taken completely off guard by this statement, many thought it was her being homesick or the fact that she underestimated the job role or possibly the atmosphere and drama got too much. Whatever the reason was, she finally cracked and decided to leave.
Shocked and confused I had to do quick thinking; shutting myself in Lucy’s room I started making phone calls to my parents, Ask Jules and my morning carer to let them know what was happening. Ask Jules talked to my PA/carer; trying to convince her to stay, but she refused and wanted to leave right that minute.
Luckily my morning carer was there and agreed to come and help out for a few days while we found someone else; saving the day again.
All I could think was: what a drama! All that hard work in choosing my PA and it had all fallen apart.
What was going to happen, was I going to be able to stay at University?
What on earth would happen next?