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Thursday, 2 August 2012

National statistics

Whilst lying un-well in my bed watching the BBC breakfast news, I was forced to analyse my life so far.  There were talks of generations of single and teen parents and how that attributed to the riots of 2011.  I then read in 'The Independant' an article about, blended families and over-heard a discussion about the Brady Bunch revolution.

I am and have been most of the negative stereotypes discussed in the 'news'.  
  • Child of a broken marriage... tick
  • Teen pregnancy... tick
  • Single parent... tick
  • On benefits... tick
  • Abused woman... tick
  • Blended family... tick
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick!  I do not have a crystal ball so cannot tell what the future will hold.  My parents divorced when I was 6, my mum had me when she was 23.  My grandparents were together from the ages of 15 and 16 until my grandfather passed away at 78.  My grandmother had my mum at 17.  I had my first son at 18 years old, I was un-married, unlike my mother and grandmother before me.
Can the fact that both my parents remained single throughout my up-bringing and my mother brought me up single handed be a factor in my teen pregnancy?  Was it easier to feel as though I could cope because my mother did?  
Although I was an A grade student for most of my schooling I left with nothing really to show for it.  I went to a strict Secondary school in Fulham and then on to College in Stanmore, Harrow.  Until I had my son I dropped out of education with no real intention of getting back into it, even with a tremendous start...  The spiral had begun.

My mother started up her own business, a private pre-school, and I was given the ultimatum of working there until I got my head straight.  It worked, educating others became infectious and whilst working full-time and raising my son alone, I trained, became educated and pushed myself further.  My focus became clear as I did not want my son to become one of those 'statistics'.  I do realise that alot of the way I brought up my son, who is now 18, had alot to do with the way I was brought up.  I have one brother who has beaten all the stereotypes to become a man that can be admired.  He works in animation and is trained as a biochemist, lives in Cambridge, speaks fluent Japanese amongst other languages, is black and comes from a poor part of London.  Was he a lottery kid...  Is it really that far and few between?  

Growing up with limited resources, from a broken home and parents on benefits doesn't mean that it can't 'be you'.  My mother re-married when we were teenagers but for  years I told myself I didn't want to get married because 
"All marriages end in divorce"
But here I am, married.  Could my attitude to marriage be attributed to what I grew up with?

We learn from what we experience in the past but as adults are instrumental in making changes to our future.  The how to is out there to be found and all cycles can be broken, it is the will to break it.  My son was not one of the rioters even though statistically he was prime fodder, he did in fact, state that it was total madness that he wanted nothing to do with.

What I feel it comes down to, is morals and will; not statistics in my opinion.  So all though I agree with some of the theories out there I believe that change will continue to happen mostly to the people who want change anyway.  I may not look so good on paper but I'm stunning at heart...

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