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This poem, written by Abbey (21), won first prize in our ‘Write Speak Share’ writing competition. The theme for the competition was ‘Your Biggest Achievement’. 

I have done many things in my life, I’ve danced and I have sang, but it’s pointless reading about those things without knowing how it began…

As a child my attachments were strained, my mother and I grew apart, my childhood was very vague and yet I still gave all my heart.

My father was never there, I’ve spent my life with strangers, I am learning the reality of some of life’s true dangers.

My life turned sour from six years old, the world was mine to roam and despite the struggles that I faced, I’ve learned what makes a home. I had to build on what I had, two black bags that were barely full, two t-shirts, a teddy and a broken toy, for a child, a life so dull.

I’ve grown up way too fast. In school I stood so tall, absorbing everything around me but still knowing nothing at all.

I lived in 10 houses with my mother, some were broken and some great, each and every one of them have added to my fate. It’s been a confusing life so far, everything I knew has now changed, I spent the majority of my childhood feeling cut off and estranged.

I have stayed with 11 foster families, all so different. Many places.

I have been assigned 14 social workers, all too busy. Many faces.

I have put my trust in dangerous places, I’ve made mistakes and I fell, I’ve climbed back up to the top of the ladder, now I thrive to do so well.

It may not be your typical achievement, but it comes straight from the heart. All of the things I have overcome have helped me make a start. Now I think before I act, I take care with what I say and I pull myself up off the ground no matter the kind of day.

I have lost everything in my life so far, both of my parents are dead. My biggest achievement so far is that I get out of bed, I wake up to earn money just so that I can have breath, I work 37 hours a week whilst being suffocated by death.

I’m learning to drive, I’m helping young people in care, I’m working full time, I like styling my hair, I skateboard to work, I write poetry all the time, I’ve met Dr Who and I’ll continue to climb.

I work for the council, I love learning about the mind, I’m a part of therapy group but that’s not how I am defined! I help others with their struggles, even though mine are too much. I show warmth and love but still flinch from a touch.

I now have a partner, two cats and a flat, how absurd is that? From a lost lonely little girl, I am now full grown, still figuring things out but no longer made of stone. I’ve been twisted by life, way too much to bear, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that life isn’t fair.

The hurdles I have reached are what push me to succeed, there are people out in the world that can’t write or read! I’ll never forget where I’ve come from, it’s my tragedy but my story, a life that once was a burden is now a new found glory.

The struggles we face daily are what make us all strive, we’re beautiful walking statements of ‘I’M HURT BUT STILL ALIVE’.

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