Why couldn't we / wouldn't we talk when we left StV/J ?

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:29 pm
Location: UK

Why couldn't we / wouldn't we talk when we left StV/J ?

Postby daska » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:20 pm

This is the question that's currently bugging me. It was prompted by a conversation with my sister last night when we had to acknowlege that we had never had a serious conversation about our school experiences and the following quote.

grimep wrote: Funny how none of us ever talked about school afterwards... seemed like an unwritten rule. Good that its all coming out here.

I have no answer to this question at present

Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:25 pm

Postby Coralie » Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:52 pm

Dear Daska,

I am also pondering the question, but have not come up with an answer yet.

My mother-in-law asked a similar question about timing: how come it has taken so long for the issues to surface? My answer to the last question ,for me, is that now I have children who are of the same age I was in the early days of St James. I can see the marked difference in their Schools with their attitudes to the children under their care. Family and School life are both valued and balanced. There is a philosophy of togetherness with children, School and parents. Openess and equality are key factors and our children go off happily everyday to School. I am finding this very difficult to put down.

It has really brought home to me what we were missing at St James and St Vedast and SES.

I guess those who left just wanted to run away and not be reminded of their own hell. We didn't talk much at School through no playtime and no talking rules, so no proper friendships were allowed to be fostered. We were spread out through London, so geography played a part in lack of socialising after School. Add to that the amount of homework we were expected to do and what I guess could be termed a normal and healthy childhood was nigh on impossible.

I believed in talking about things and confronting the hypocrasy, others didn't. They wanted to keep their heads down and stay out of the firing line, which is fair enough. The system at School was one of divide and rule. Does anyone recognise the dynamic in a Family, where one child has taken one line of action and a following child has taken another, with the end result that the siblings do not talk to each other about the same problems they were encountering at the School?

Maybe the answer is that there are a number of people like me, who can now make a valid comparison between their children's School life and their own. Also, I would say this website has been a great medium for people to finally realise that they were not alone, really. There is a chance to heal and find ourselves and make those friendships we were deprived of then. For this I would like to pass on my thanks to those who are involved with setting up these sites (WATD and Yahoo).

Please excuse me if this has come out completely jumbled and difficult to follow. :fadein:

Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:58 am

Postby T.S » Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:49 pm

Thats an excelllent question and a spot on and beautiful reply I thought, Coralie. Whether intentional or not there was so much to stop frienships forming but i do believe the divide and rule was so active there.
I also believe there is a fear of not being believed that stops people from speaking. The fear of going through- yet again your reality being denied

Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:29 pm
Location: UK

Postby daska » Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:10 pm

I agree all these are contributory factors - especially for 'only' children. In addition the group and duty nights meant that homework piled up, and the long days and saturday school didn't help. And of course, for those of us whose parents scrimped and saved and remortgaged to pay the school fees there weren't that many outings - probably a good thing though cos we'd never have got through the homework. And voluntary pe before school, exactly which mean spirited person thought up that extra turn of the screw, let them be put in a pit with biting ants.

But back to 'why siblings'? Sat here at the computer it occurs to me that additional factors might be guilt and/or jealousy.

Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:29 pm
Location: UK

Postby daska » Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:18 pm

Thank you TS. Not sure about excellent, certainly frustrating!!!! But again why siblings? Surely the ideal person to believe you is the person who has also experienced it. My sister is the one who told our parents about my being bullied. But she and I never spoke about it. (though, yes Coralie, you're right, we have different personalities and our experiences were very different)

Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:58 am

Postby T.S » Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:42 pm

Hi Daska,
RE: Families- with parents guilt- they are devasted that they sent me there and didnt believe my stories.
Siblings- I dont understand- i guess, personally speaking I dont want to relive the humiliation with people so close.
its wierd...
I find it easier to talk to strangers.

User avatar
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:04 am
Location: London

Postby Keir » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:53 pm

Perhaps its like the soldiers that came back from WW2. They didn't feel that the brutality they had experienced could be understood by the folks back home. Society wanted to have heroes not whingers returning from a victory. After all why rock the boat when you have developed a coping mechanism.

I think there are also issues of self esteem in there somewhere. They seemingly built up your self esteem by saying that we were the future leaders of the country/world at the same time as beating out of us any spark of originality. Confusing for a child wouldn't you say! Having to relearn that you were ok in all your individual glory even if you didnt achieve greatness in their eyes (anyone remember the university board at Ecclestone that only mentioned boys at oxbridge uni's or in the services?) takes a while in the company of sane people. Given that there are plenty of insane (emotionally fucked up) bullies in positions of corporate and public responsibility it can be a long trip to find people who wont abuse trust - especially as it is also hard to trust anyone enough to open up to them once you do meet them. Once bitten....

Anyway it was so outrageous at times that people that hadnt gone there thought it was made up, and people that had gone there already knew and were working out how to get by from this alternative start point in a world they felt divorced from.

Well, thats how it was for me anyway :o)


Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:39 pm

Why couldn't we / wouldn't we talk when we left StV/J ?

Postby dan » Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:56 pm

This is a really interesting question that Daska has posed.

In attempting to answer it; I think I just really wanted to move on and get away from the crazy unnaturalness of all things SES. While I have always known that our violent and mentally abusive treatment at St Vedast-St James was very wrong, I put it down to what happens when a bunch of cult-induced amateurs think they can run a school, I almost forgave them for their stupidity.

However I did talk to people, ex pupils and family who knew what we'd been through and mostly people wanted to put the abuse behind them. It's abit like buying something dodgy and feeling ripped off, one doesn't really want to advertise the fact.

However the most irritating events afterwards for me was watching Debenham on TV pontificating 'knowledgeably' about the benefits of corporal punishment, as if under that umbrella, all the abuse and suffering he's caused can be comfortably categorised.

I think the main reason we didn't talk when they left St V/J' was that we thought no one wanted to listen. Now that the true legacy of the SES childrens schools is emerging (through this forum) and ex pupils feel believed and communicative, the floodgates of talkativeness have opened. The anger/outrage of many contributors is apparent, never mind how long ago events happened. Now maybe we can do something positive about it.

Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:47 pm

Postby grimep » Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:43 pm

interesting reading all the replies here. One of the reasons I originally posed the question was because I would be interested to hear of people's experiences when discussing the issues with someone who knows absolutely nothing about the schools or the SES- either friends, aquaintances or partners. On the very rare occasions I've explained the experience to someone who knows nothing about it, the reaction has surprised me. Turning it around, if someone was telling me about the crazy school they used to go to that was run by a barmy cult, would I then project my preconceived ideas and fears onto that person, as if they were guilty by association? Possibly. Probably. That's why I never would discuss it with a stranger, unless I was doing it to shock them or didn't care about them adopting odd ideas about me.

Daniel Gregory
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:12 pm

Postby Daniel Gregory » Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:10 pm

I wen't to St.V with two of my brothers and to date one of them said he didn't think the school was too bad and the other, nothing. We just don't talk about it.

When I left St.V I just wanted to live a normal life. We were all fully aware at school how wierd it was and how life outside school was normal, so it came as a huge relief on my brain when I left. It took me years to feel like I was a normal person and that I 'fitted in'.

It's good to talk now and nice to see, all these years later reading everone's posts that we all seemed to turn out well-adjusted and mostly strong and assertive people.

I'll keep talking and reading but I am so over it all I can take the memories or leave them.

Dan Gregory

Return to “St James and St Vedast”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests