Tony has been telling me for 25 years that they're wrong and it's easy to say that I didn't believe it, but I think that on one level I did. After all these are the people who know you best and understand you. Only they don't, they don't know me at all.
I think that in a way, I've spent the last 3 years since I moved 300 miles away from them waiting for the people who have got to know me well to be sickened by me and tell me that they understand what my parents mean. But they haven't, Jenny actually told me the other week that I'm a thoughtful person - which meant a lot to me.
The main person that I've let down is me. I believed the script they wrote for me. I didn't study in school, because what was the point, they told me often enough that I wouldn't understand it. Comments like 'Aileen only passed for Grammar school because her birthday is at the end of August, so she got extra points'.
All that is behind me now. I realise that I won't fully know who I am until my life is over, but to be honest, I think I'm okay.