I was born in Finland (yes I got one of them bad boy boxes BBC News was on about recently) and subsequently grew up in Sweden to a Swedish father and English mother. I have two passports which basically just makes it easier for me to lose passports.
After a rather traumatic divorce I was shipped off to Newcastle at the tender age of 15 to live with my mother. The culture shock between Gothenburg and Newcastle could not get any bigger. On top of which I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. This led to many confusions, for at least a month I thought people were saying "I can't be asked" instead of "I can't be arsed". To be fair, neither makes much sense.
I suppose I should have seen my parents divorce coming, I mean, they barely spoke to each other and when they did it was louder than other parents seemed to speak to each other. Yet as a child I was still blindsided by it all. My father immediately engaged in a whirlwind romance with his future wife which left us all a touch wounded. I desperately wanted my mother around but she was studying for her MA in London. At the time I didn't realise quite how much she was doing it for me, without it she wouldn't have been able to provide for me when I moved over to live with her. She always did most things for me, I didn't deserve it, I was a bloody nightmare (still am probably).
So back to the story, new beginning in Newcastle. This meant a new school and that was hella different from going to school in Sweden. Gone was the mutual respect between students and teachers, gone was wearing whatever I wanted to school, gone was being treated as an adult. Everything I knew or thought I knew was completely turned upside down and it was utterly terrifying. They assumed I couldn't speak English so I found myself in the bottom sets for everything. This was swiftly altered but I still had to stay in the lower set classrooms. I've never seen a group of young minds be treated which quite such contempt before. Then again, I'd never seen a teacher treated with such contempt before either. It was a chicken/egg thing I guess, still for me it was disheartening. I began my school journey by telling off the History teacher who's version of teaching World War II was more than a little skewed. I of course thought I knew everything at the time and gave him a piece of my mind, never have been good at keeping my mouth closed when others do. When he told me that he believed that history should be taught from a persons point of view I swiftly retorted with "I'm pretty sure that's against the law". I did not know whether it was or not but it felt like it ought to be, I still feel that history should be taught the way it happened not the way you personally believe it happened. This did seem to garner me some respect and I was never again asked to take my piercings out so that felt like a small personal victory for me.
In the end I learnt to understand what people were saying and slowly fit in to my surroundings. That was until I fucked it up by kissing a boy my friend liked. She eventually forgave me, I think, she won't let me add her on Facebook.