You think you know me - winner

So you think you know me? Close your eyes and try to imagine me, do you really know me or just some of my story?

A kid in care, a looked after child; you need to take in this fact or nothing I tell you will be pleasing.

I’m a 15 year old girl, and my story is now yours.

I've been in care for 3 years and 7 months. To some that isn't a long time and to be honest it isn't, not to others, not to you. It hasn't felt like a long time but in those 43 months I have had my roller coaster ride. The wicked, nasty and proper highs and lows, the kind that make you feel sick afterwards. I've danced with the devil, I've laughed and hugged those who smoke screen themselves as "angels" but they are really just happily exploiting that imposter that goes by the name "love".

The highs of this roller coaster took time, a lot of time to get there.It's like the cart of the coaster was going so slow trying to claw its way up and along the way the breaks would loosen and it would fall backwards creating my lows.

Being in care has changed the way I view not just people but their homes, relationships and friendships. Being in care has brought me sadness then happiness, then more sadness but now... excitement and curiosity for the future, I've been given this second chance to do things I couldn't do before.

Every story has some kind of sadness whether it be the breakup, the death, the horrible people or just something else that makes you sad. But remember:

1: Romeo and Juliet were the exception not the rule,

2: That love you lost is still in your heart - no one can take the memories away

3: People who are horrible try to bring you down but they exist below you

4. Anything in life can be overcome if you have the right people by your side! And that's something I have realised about care, there are always people around to help and speak to.

I cared so much for a special man, my grandad. In hospital I would read him a book whilst holding his hand, like he had done for me for the past 11 years. How lucky was I to have something that made saying goodbye so hard?

He was kind, caring and happy. He’d walk into an unhappy room and change your mood in nano seconds! His hugs were the warmth my cold body needed. His stubbly beard tickled when he kissed my cheek. His laugh was the thing that made me smile and realise why he was the one person who could make my grey day white.

He was everything and I lost him.

My heart shattered.

Through all of the chaos he stood by me and was my rock - but he died March 3rd 2017 - and now he's gone.

I never thought I would be standing next to his coffin telling people jokes about him to lighten up the glum and dark crematorium.

In the end everyone leaves you right?

I was the girl whose mother abused her. You don't need to know everything just the fact she abused me not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

I became her child slave whilst she did what she did. In return she let the man who sexually abused her children do what he did. She took the joy in creating her own Cinderella. I had to do so many laborious jobs before I could scramble into bed.

It's scary to think how a mother can hurt one out of four children, weird to think it was just me and not the others. You feel trapped; the anger becomes this weight on your shoulders.

The mountains you have to climb to look normal in your school crowd; to try to keep as many secrets as possible.

The person you are today is YOUR doing; you got yourself here by pushing for your goals and being you! Overcoming your past and present problems just makes you stronger.

Being a foster child isn't forever depressing, you get things you might not have got before and you do things you might not have been able to do before.

If you are like me you absolutely HATE losing people! Whether it be friends, relationships or family members. Whenever I lose someone I find myself in a bit of a dark patch. I get really low for a while, when my grandad died I found a way to deal with it but unfortunately it was the wrong way. You learn.

I'm telling you this because I am happy now. I'm on a journey just like you! We all need a mother but I have something better! I have two amazing people. If they hadn't accepted me, helped me, supported me, I wouldn't have got the help I needed to become the true me! No smoke screen, no pretending, all me!

So despite all of the negatives, the abuse, the bad people, you and I share so much, challenges, feelings, loss, laughter, expectations, sadness and - hope!

So you think you know me? Close your eyes and try to imagine me, do you really know me or just some of my story?

I am a 15 year old girl, and my story is now yours.

You and I exist.


My final choice for the winner is YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME. This story had so much raw emotion, beautifully expressed. The writer has put a lot of herself into the story, and that's a brave and wonderful thing to do... it helps the story to shine, makes it believable and powerful and very real. The story is full of hope and I loved every bit of it... huge respect to the writer, who I believe has lots of talent and potential. 

Cathy Cassidy