Finding Our Way Home: Women’s Accounts of Being Sent to Boarding School shares the personal stories of sixteen women, all of whom were sent away to board at an early age. Their accounts delve into the depths of long suppressed emotions and feelings, and the lifelong impact that the early separation from their families has had.
Much has been written about the impact of ‘boarding school syndrome’ on male boarders, but less about their female counterparts. This book is the first to explore the experience from a purely female perspective, and offers an intriguing insight into the world of boarding schools and the upbringing of girls born in the mid-to-late 20th century.
Finding Our Way Home is a book for everyone who ever attended boarding school, as well as psychotherapists and counsellors working with boarding school survivors.
The stories in this volume contribute women’s voices to the more well known ones of men who suffered in boarding schools.
A compelling read; each individual history adds to the picture of the trauma inflicted on children by the separation from their families. These tales from different generations build a picture of the ubiquity of the enduring emotional damage of this tradition.
Professor Joy Schaverien Author of Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged’ Child.
‘Finding Our Way Home’ is a wonderful resource for those wanting to know more about how boarding school affects people when they are in an institution and what happens to them in life beyond. The evidence provided by these stories very much enriches our understanding of females who have boarded in the last 60 years and more recently. I would highly recommend it to anyone researching this field and who seeks authentic voices of those who have lived through this experience.
Allison Paech, Educationalist, Cambridge
Every child has the right to be small, dependent and living with their loved ones at home. In this collection of women’s stories each one evokes the voice of her young self as she writes about her boarding school experiences. This can help us gain some insight into the ‘madness’ and at times, unspeakable cruelty that boarding means to many. . .
By speaking out, these women will hopefully move and inspire others who seek to understand why their symptoms of being a boarding school survivor will not simply go away.
Nicola Miller, Psychotherapist & Boarding School Survivors Facilitation Team
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: On Becoming a Boarder
Chapter 2: Skinny Dipping in the Rhine
Frances Den Hollander
Chapter 3: My Story
Chapter 4: Being Sent, Then and Now
Chapter 5: Finding My Way Home
Chapter 6: Memories From My Formative Years
Chapter 7: Give and Take
Chapter 8: The Story of a Little Girl Lost
Chapter 9: Paradise Lost
Chapter 10: Sometimes
Chapter 11: Boarding School Musings
Chapter 12: Privileged Deprivation
Chapter 13: Coming in From the Cold
Chapter 14: Severe Housemistress
Chapter 15: The Trunk
Chapter 16: Whispering Walls
Afterword: A Psychotherapist’s Reflections
Help and Support/More Information
Editor’s Note and Acknowledgements