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Spencer Davies-Monk tells us about his TEENfest experience and how it has given him back the confidence to be himself.

Spencer Davies-Monk tells us about his TEENfest experience and how it has given him back the confidence to be himself.

Posted Thu 31st Oct 2019 at 13:27
by Spencer Davies-Monk

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I have not truly been myself for a very, very long time.

This is due to past experiences with people, students and teachers. Many comments have been said and some are still said about me. Some of these include, “just calm down”, “Stop doing that”, “You’re so annoying”, “Your faking your Tourette’s”, “You’re a spastic”, “HA! you have Tourette’s nobody cares about you”. 

I run an account on Instagram where I am open to talk about Tourette syndrome and educate people and even share experiences. Even some people on there go out of their way to send me nasty and uncalled for messages about my Tourette’s and about Tourette’s in general.

So with my past experiences with school - being told to get up in front of the class and apologise and having teachers and students tell me off and rip me apart for ticcing - I started to learn to suppress. I have been doing my best to be someone I am not for such a long time now because of these experiences and wishing people would just accept me for me. I felt alone and that I was the only person who felt that I couldn’t be myself because of a condition that I cannot help. I hated every single second of my life, and so I believed it was easier to suppress and have less concentration on everything else but this made me so tired throughout every single day. I still felt this was better than being bullied. So, from year seven I was suppressing nearly all the time and I was not in a good place.

Fast forward to now - in year eleven. I had a friend who told me about TEENFest and I thought I would love to go and just meet more people the same age as me, facing the same issues in school and in public. As upsetting as it may seem, most of us do our best not to tic because the world isn’t ready and society will not accept us and it makes me upset that many people feel the same way as me and it isn’t just in my school that the language and the discrimination happens. Not just about Tourette syndrome but about many other disabilities too.

When I was on my way to TEENfest and for the first few hours I was there, I was supressing and trying not to tic because this is what I’ve done for so long but then, I felt so accepted and not judged for the tics that I couldn’t suppress that I started to be myself and that’s the first time it’s happened in years. I felt the happiest I have felt in years. I was being myself and actually loving it and the staff, the other people there and all my friends were so accepting and made me feel truly safe. The weekend was amazing! We had awesome activities and I for sure was not ever bored! I have made so many friends on this weekender and I do not feel so alone anymore. Thank you so much TEENFest for giving me the experience of feeling happy and being myself. I just wish I felt that way all the time.

Thank you to Emma, Pip and Tourettes Action for an amazing time. What you guys are doing is amazing and changing lives for the better. TEENfest will stay with me forever, just as much as the bad things that happened in school will stay with me for life. The huge difference is this will stay with me in such a positive way.

Many thanks and lots of love, Spencer DM


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Spencer Davies-Monk tells us about his TEENfest experience and how it has given him back the confidence to be himself.

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