Leaving School

Micheline Mason: Painfully Shy

Micheline Mason was born in 1950 in Kingston, Surrey. Micheline lived with her family in Croydon, Surrey, having home tuition until the age of thirteen when she left home to attend a residential special school in Hampshire. She then went on to Art college.

Here Micheline describes her struggle to join the world outside of school.

  • Micheline Mason
  • Micheline Mason
  • Micheline Mason


I was painfully shy. Really, extraordinarily. And I remember feeling I’ve got nothing to talk about, ‘cause I don’t have any opinions about anything, ‘cause I haven’t been part of this world people have opinions about. And that nobody would be remotely interested in the world I’d been in. And I really wanted to forget about that world anyway as quickly as possible, leave it behind me. So I do remember the first year really I was just learning how to talk to people and it was really hard. And I had to force myself every day to not just be quiet. And nobody ever really talked about the injustice of what we’re likely to face or what tools you would need as a human being to try and deal with them.

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