My Boarding School Experience (Part 1)

Someone told me they’d be interested in reading about my experience of boarding school, so I was going to write a blog post about it. I say ‘going to’ like I didn’t write it. I did write it, but didn’t share it. I’m curious about that.

Boarding school is one of those things that is both easy, but also far from easy, to write about, talk about, think about, share with others. My memories are fragmented, they lack chronology, they lack feeling but also ooze feelings.
Maybe I’ll post it another day. Who knows?

Me aged 11, about to leave for Boarding School

The picture at the top is of the main school building that I found on a note written 46 years ago by one of my dorm mates. It’s not been read it since I received it and I’d had forgotten I ever had it. I received it from a dorm mate after I left the school, but don’t remember if I replied to it or not. I forgot about them all, or put them to the back of my mind for years. My dorm mates remaining forever children in my memories, even though we are all now at least 60 years old!

Recently I attended some training about Boarding School Syndrome- the package of mal-adaptive behaviours that can develop due to the separation from home and family, the broken attachments, the experience of privilege versus the pain of being away from everything familiar thing a child knows. They talked about casualties and survivors of boarding school. I would place myself in the survivors camp, though I don’t like the term survivors especially. But I have learnt to recognise the psychological defences honed at boarding school and have, for the most part, learnt other ways to be in the world.

Sometimes though I still get poked. Like writing a story of some of my experiences and then not posting it.

(An earlier version of this Blog appeared on my Facebook page:  The Burrow Counselling and Psychotherapy | Facebook)

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About Sue Wong