In Partnership With


FIRST RUNNER-UP
Olivia Payne

Angie’s Diary

My name is Angie, I am 15 years old, I recently became homeless after my mam had an accident and had to quit work. I am currently living in a hotel room, I share it with my two younger brothers George and Thomas, they’re 5 so they don’t really understand our situation. They think we’re on a ‘Big holiday’ in the hotel.

I’m in 3rd year which means I’ll be sitting my junior cert in a few months. Everyone says I shouldn’t be worried about it but I am! I barley have time to do my homework or study as I have to help my mum with the twins. I really hope I do well because I have big dreams for my future! My dream is to become a doctor or a nurse as I’ve always enjoyed helping people. I just wish they would return the favour.

Sometimes I worry I’ll have to quit school when I turn 16 as the money we get from the government isn’t enough for us to get by. I might have to give up my dreams and aspirations to help support my family.

I don’t have many friends as I’m really quiet and shy. I stay quiet because I’m scared I’m going to embarrass myself or that people will find out about my situation and make fun of me.

20/5/18
It’s been a while since I wrote in you last. Things have gotten better but also worse. My Mam had to go for an operation on her leg, so I’ve had to stay home to help her. Looking after my brothers is hard work and it doesn’t help that I’m really stressed about school.

Anyway, we finally got some good news! Last week the Council called and told us they might have a house for us! I’m trying not to get my hopes up as it might not happen, but I’m still excited!

I think my brothers are starting to wonder why we haven’t gone home yet. They keep asking questions like ‘Mam, when are we going home?’ and ‘When is the big holiday over?’ My mam gets upset when they ask questions like that. She just wants what’s best for us and I can tell it hurts her that she can’t give us that right now.

Some of the kids at school saw me walking back to the hotel after school and started asking me questions. I didn’t know how to answer so I panicked and started crying. I was so embarrassed and ended up running out of class. I felt awful.

I’ve been trying to avoid being at the hotel as much as I can do because I don’t have any money so I go to the library and read for hours. Reading helps me escape reality. It takes me to a place where I don’t need to worry or feel sad. Reading makes me feel better.

On days when the library is closed I try to exercise. Exercise helps me work out my anger so I don’t take it out on my mam and brothers. I used to shout at them a lot because I was frustrated and angry about my situation. It wasn’t fair on them. But when I started to exercise it helped me control my anger, so instead of lashing out I work it off by running.

Anyway, I’ve got to go my mam needs help with the twins. Writing in this thing really helped me understand my thoughts. Until next time.

Angie.

Author: Olivia Payne.
Award: First Runner-Up.
School: Cork Learning Support Services.
Teacher: Derek O’Gorman.

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