Title
Interview with Teresa, 17, Caribbean, working class, no religion. Women, Risk & AIDS Project, London, 1989. Anonymised version. (Ref: LJH5)
Description
Anonymised transcript of interview with Teresa, who is training as a carpenter at the moment, but would like to pursue a career in social work or youth work. She is living in a children's home at the moment, but hopes to get her own flat soon. She notes a difference between the sex education she received at an all girls' school and a mixed sex school. Her AIDS education first came from newspapers, and then through the media and conversations with peers. Teresa seems to have quite a headstrong attitude towards dating and entering sexual relationships, but is worried about getting hurt - she has difficulty trusting others intentions and has been subjected to domestic violence in her relationships. She is very aware of the gendered double standards present in society surrounding permissive sexualities and control within relationships.
Identifier
LJH5/O
Date
1989-03-30 00:00:00
Creator
Janet Holland
Publisher
Reanimating Data Project
Subject
Type
Text
Temporal Coverage
1989.0
Spatial Coverage
London
Rights
CC BY-NC 4.0
extracted text
1

LJH5 30/3/89
Teresa
Q. I noticed it looked from the questionnaire as you were filling it in, just peering over your
shoulder so to speak, as if you had quite a lot of sex education at school? Is that right?
A. Yeah, because I was in a girl's school from third to fifth year, so that comes up quite a lot - in
home economics, partly English and when I did Social Studies that came into it a bit because of
when they were talking about the population and all that. But I did Social Studies in the first and
second year when I was in a mixed school, but it came up a lot in the girls' school.
Q. Did you find it satisfactory, this information that you were getting?
A. Yeah, cos we had a lot of videos and all that, and questionnaires and things.
Q. That's quite good. There weren't other things you felt they could have been covering that
weren't ...
A. No, I mean even up until AIDS, I was still at school when AIDS was really brought to the light,
but it was also, like, I had lots of leaflets and things. You know when you get leaflets, you just pick
them up and look at them and you talk about them with your friends and other adults. That's
meaning, in my children's home I'll talk to the staff about things more than I do with my parents.
Q. Are they helpful there?
A. Yeah. Yeah.
Q. Do you see your parents often?
A. I don't see my mum, I see my dad.
Q. Yeah. Quite frequently?
A. Yeah.
Q. How many people live in the children's home, I mean, how many of you are there?
A. Um... oh... nine.
Q. So that's a like a kind of family itself really?
A. Yeah.
Q. Do you get on OK with them?
A. Yeah.
Q. When you were saying about AIDS, where do you think you first heard about it?
A. To be honest, I think, the papers. The papers, then the news and then it was a bit by talking
about it with friends and all that, and then school.
Q. So you were getting lots of different bits of information about it? How did you feel about it when
you first heard about it?
A. Well, cos at the beginning they tried to say it comes from African countries and all that, and I
didn't believe it cos I thought, well, if it's supposed to be caused from drugs and sleeping around
it's not Africans, I mean, Africans can't really afford drugs, right? And they can't just say it comes
from them.
Q. Mm, yeah. So, that concerns you more. I mean they also were saying that it was mainly gays
who had it, weren't they?
A. Yeah.
Q. But it got to you about the fact that they were saying it was Africans?
A. Yeah.
Q. Where had you ...? That was coming from ...?
A. That was on the news and in the papers. Yeah, that's where I heard that from.
Q. And what did your friends think about that?
A. They just thought the same as me, it's not, they can't just put it down to one set of people, it's a
whole load of people, really. I mean we've got a lot of people sleeping around, a lot of people
taking drugs and some people just have the virus without even knowing it, don't they? And they
could pass it on to someone and that person could die, and this person could still live. It don't
make sense really.
Q. Mm. Is that the way you feel about the disease in general?
A. Yeah.
Q. It doesn't make any sense?

2
A. Mm.
Q. But does it worry you and does it worry your friends?
A. Yeah.
Q. Have you changed your behaviour in any way since you heard about it?
A. Well, cos, a lot of guys I start seeing and I find out they're after one thing and that's it - I just get
rid of them. I ain't going to be led into something that I don't want, and if they're the type that just
want it, they're most probably the type that have slept around and you don't know what you're
going to get, do you?
Q. Mm. So, was that, that was after AIDS or did you think that before?
A. I used to think that before, but I didn't, I mean not with AIDS, but all the other things. And I
thought, well, I'm not just going to go out with someone who wants me for one thing. You know,
that's not right - you're not having me.
Q. Yeah.
A. And I'll just get rid of him. It causes arguments and everything, but I'd rather have an argument
than go into a relationship that's not really proper, you know.
Q. Yeah.
A. They're in it for one thing and if you get attached to them it's hard, ain't it? So, I don't let myself
get attached too quick. So then I can get out when I can.
Q. Yeah. What makes you decide that you want a relationship then?
A. Um, usually it’s amongst people I know, like, say I've known someone for a long time and I
might meet someone who knows them and they'll get to know me and I prefer it if I get to know the
person first, cos I find if I go into a relationship with someone I don't really know I find out a lot of
things that I don't like. I'd rather know them and that's how I decide my relationships, knowing
them first for a little while so I can get to know their tempers and all those things.
Q. Yeah. And then are you the one who decides that it becomes sexual then?
A. Yeah, I decide really, cos one thing I make clear to them at the beginning of the relationship is
that, you know, I don't just sleep around with anybody. I have to know them and I have to like
them. I dunno, it's a thing with me, I just make it quite clear to them, just so they can't even try to
use the excuse that they were only testing me out, cos some of them say that. They try it on and
you say, "I don't wanna know. I don't want it" or something and they say, "What's wrong, I was only
testing you out?" A lot of them go down to that excuse but it's not that they're testing you out, they
just want to see how far they can get with you.
Q. Mm, mm.
A. And I don't like that.
Q. What do they mean, "testing you out"? Just to see whether you will or won't?
A. To see if you're a willing party, so to speak, right, and then they'll use the excuse, "Oh, I was
testing you out. I wouldn't have done anything anyway". Like, that's where they make their mistake
cos if they try it on me once, I keep thinking they'll keep trying it on me. Cos if you just start going
out with someone you can't expect them to be all over you. I don't like that. I don't want them to be
all over me. It takes time.
Q. Yeah, you need a bit of space yourself to see how you feel about it.
A. Yeah.
Q. Do you feel that a lot of the people that you've been out with or have been involved with have
been putting pressure on you like that?
A. Yeah, um, I'd say there's only been a couple of decent guys I've been out with ... and cos
they've been ... I think that's where I make a mistake because I'm so used to people who are
expecting everything of me, when I do find someone who's good it doesn't last long cos I end up
thinking there's something wrong in this relationship but there isn't - it's a perfect relationship. It's
just that cos they're so good to me or whatever, and there's only been a couple of guys that have
taken me out every now and again, I think what's wrong with this relationship? I've got to get out of
it, you know. I can't stand someone saying to me they care about me. I can't stand someone
saying to me they're in love or anything cos I don't like believing it. I can't handle it.
Q. Have you ever felt like that yourself, that you've been in love with somebody?
A. Yeah. Yeah, one guy who I can say I really loved. I met him when I was about fourteen and
within a week of me knowing him I fell for him. And a lot of people were saying to me it was a

3
crush, it was a crush and me being seventeen and a half now, I can still say I've got feelings for
him. But I don't talk to him anymore. I hate him. I say I hate him, but I don't. I could say he's the
one I've got feelings for and he's the only one I've had feelings for.
Q. Yeah, yeah.
A. But I never actually went out with him. I was seeing him for about two weeks, then I got to know
what he was really like. That just made me end it, as much as it hurt me. I mean, I'd just hurt
myself by staying with him cos he was a bit of a ... like, have a group of girls at once and I didn't
want that.
Q. So you didn't have a sexual relationship with him?
A. No. No.
Q. It sounds as if you were very careful about that.
A. Mm.
Q. And you still know him now, he's still in your circle of friends?
A. Yeah. I don't know what it is but I find a lot of the times, say I go out with someone, and end a
relationship, they always seem to come back to me like they come back to see if they can get a
second chance. And I feel to myself it's no use going in for a second chance. I've done it a couple
of times, but it doesn't work.
Q. Yeah?
A. Cos you just look back on the reason why you finished before. I can't really cope with it.
Q. So you've tried it a couple of times for a second time and it still hasn't worked?
A. No. If anything, it hasn't lasted as long as it did the first time.
Q. It sounds quite complicated now that you talk about it, doesn't it, because on the one hand if
the guys only want one thing you can't handle it and don't want to know and on the other hand you
say if they care for you, if they're affectionate you can't handle it? I mean, how are you going to
work it out?
A. I don't know, really. I suppose I haven't found someone who I could really say, "Yeah, this is the
guy I wanna stay with". You know, like, through this person, I mean I don't go for looks. I go for
personality first, right?
Q. Mm.
A. And if they can make me laugh, you know, if I feel happy with them, that's when I know that I
like them. You know?
Q. Yeah.
A. And there is one guy who I feel happy with, I like him and everything but he doesn't know that,
he don't know. I wouldn't tell him.
Q. Yeah.
A. And I just feel that he's the kind of person I'd like to, you know, start seeing. He seems like he'd
treat a girl nice and I'm just saying that from my point of view, but I'd probably find out different. I
don't know. It's just the way he comes over to me. I like him. But with a lot of guys I've been out
with, there's a few mistakes I made in my life and I'd never make them again.
Q. Yeah.
A. And that's why I'm much more stronger towards relationships now. Like I pick out the bad
points. I know they'll pick out bad points in me, but I don't get over-protective or possessive or
anything and I don't like them being like that to me either. I like to have a free path where I can
breathe, you know? I don't like being smothered.
Q. Yeah. When you say you made a few mistakes, what kind of things? Being with people that
turned out to be not what you expected?
A. Yeah.
Q. Did they, those relationships include a sexual ...?
A. Well, there was one guy. I started going out with him and I had known him for about three
years. And we'd never fancied each other or anything, but then he started coming round to see me
and it got to the point where he wanted to go out with me. So, on the second day of me going out
with him, I got drunk and he had sex with me and I really regretted it. Like the next day I hated it
and I didn't like him. And it seemed that after that, after he'd actually got his sex, it seemed like he
thought he could treat me like dirt. He just started speaking to me rudely, just being stupid, you
know? So on the fourth day I just told him, I don't wanna know. Cos he thought cos he got it once,

4
he thought he was going to get it every day and I said to him it was a big mistake I made. I really
regretted it. I think it was from that point that it made me realise I'm not going to do that again, no
way. I mean, OK, I knew him for three years, but I didn't know what he was like. Because in those
three years there was about a year and a half when I didn't see him, you know? I didn't know what
he was like, but I soon discovered.
Q. Yeah.
A. And then there was another guy. He seemed really nice. It was like he talked to me about my
problems and everything and he seemed like a really good friend. And then it got to the point
when he said, how would I like to have a relationship with him, and I said to him well I don't know.
He said, "I'll give you ‘til the end of the evening to think about it". He was being really good. I
started going out with him and I was really ill at the time, like, cos I'd not that long started on the
pill, and it had affected so that I was pouring with blood for about 19 days. And at the beginning he
was really helpful towards me and like he came to hospital with me and everything. Then, after a
while, he
started thinking I was a liar, he thought that I was making it all up that I was sick because he
wanted to go to bed with me and I was saying, "Even if I wasn't ill I wouldn't end up in bed with
you". And he was going to me "When are you going to get better? When are you going to get
better? I want to have sex." You know, and he started calling me a liar, saying that I was making
up the whole story that I was ill. So I said, "Oh yeah, I went to the hospital all for nothing", you
know. And I couldn't really go into detail about it with him cos, you know, I didn't want to talk about
it. And, um, it got to a point where he grips, like he grabbed hold of me up against the wall in my
house. And he was threatening to beat me up cos I wouldn't go to bed with him. And that really
scared me cos, like, he had a stick ready to hit me and he said, "If I saw you on the street I'd
probably hit you" or something, like making all these threats. And he was working on this scheme
and he joined the scheme after me so I even had to go to the senior and say to them, look, I've
been threatened by WESLEY and if he does see me here he might do something to me. And they
said, well, he's been harassing other people here, so if he does make one false move with you,
then, we'll watch from a
distance so that he doesn't know, and he'll be sacked cos we're not going to take that. Cos I was
really scared.
Q. Well, it's frightening, isn't it?
A. Mm. And then I found out shortly after me and him had finished that he was up in court for rape
and that, really like, that like made me really disgusted that I could have even gone out with
someone like that. And he doesn't mind talking about it. I saw him last week and he say to me, "I
was in the Old Bailey for rape". And I said, "What happened?" and he goes, "Got away with it", you
know, as though it was nothing.
Q. Yeah. Quite a shame really, isn't it? Do you think, I mean, a lot of people that you're saying
about the way that men behave sounds as if you think there's a kind of, like a double standards
and different expectations for men and women? Do you think ...?
A. Mm. It's always ... Yeah. Cos, like, in a relationship, the man always, well, it just seems that the
man always thinks he's the highest - he'll get what he wants and you don't get any say in it. But
when a woman stands up to a man, they can't handle it. They can't.
Q. So, do you think you've had any relationships that you felt OK with? I mean, cos the two that
you thought were OK you decided there was something wrong?
A. Yeah. Well, um, the longest relationship I had was about a year and a half. There was a few
breaks of a couple of weeks in that. While I was with him I thought, you know, he was the best
thing for me, but in the end I finished with him cos this was a white boy and his mum got on great
with me but his dad was really racist.
Q. Mm.
A. And his brother was also going out with a mixed race girl and I thought about the pressure she
was having on it, cos she was carrying his kid. She lost her baby at seven months and in the end
we started arguing a lot because he moved home with his dad, right, cos his mum and dad were
separated. He moved home with his dad and his dad was giving him a lot of pressure about me...
Q. Yeah.

5
A. But he couldn't bring himself to sit down and talk to me about it. So I said to him, "Look, you've
got to sit down and talk to me about it. I've got to know what's going on and what's going on
through your mind, just as much as you've got to know how I feel with your dad hating me". Cos
my family, like, well, my mum and dad, at that time I was seeing my mum, my mum liked him, my
dad liked him. You know, and I thought my dad would be really angry cos he doesn't really like me
having boyfriends even at my age now, and it just created a lot of pressure so in the end I ended it
for the best. I was really upset at first. When I look back on it, I thought to myself, what was I doing
with him? Because he started getting into drugs and he was drinking a lot. One time he hit me and
I let him get away with it, you know. I thought to myself never again, after WESLEY threatened
me, never again was a man going to touch a hand on me cos if he does that's it - the end. Cos
WESLEY had the nerve to ask me to go back with him after strangling me, threatening to kill me
and I said no. And he goes, "What's your reason?" I said, "I think it's a good enough reason you
put threats on me, you got me scared", right? And he goes "I don't think that's a good enough
reason". So I said "Oh, you expect to stay with a girl and beat her about the place because she
doesn't do what you want?" He goes "Yeah". And that's when I thought never again was a man
going to hit me. No way.
Q. Some of the things that have happened to you sound pretty risky and dangerous. I mean, the
boyfriend who was on drugs. What kind of drugs was he on?
A. Well, when I was seeing him, he used to have the occasional smoke. And he used to have the
occasional drink. But then he started getting into drinking a lot, like he'd drink spirits, take a smoke,
sulphate and like a bit of coke and I thought to myself, soon he's going to be injecting himself. You
know, he was get ... you'd see him and he was on a complete buzz. He didn't know what he was
doing. That's when I realised, you know, I had to get out because maybe pressure was bringing it
onto him, I don't know, but we never actually got to air what was wrong with us, like, as a couple.
And then I got to realise that, you know, we weren't right for each other cos he seemed to go by
his dad more. It was as though his dad was turning him against me.
Q. Mm. Do you think there are any other areas of your life in which you would engage in risky
behaviour? I mean, these risks were put on you from the outside. I mean, you wouldn't have
known that the guys would turn out to be like that, but do you think that you'd do anything that
maybe slightly risky?
A. No.
Q. Drinking, smoking ...?
A. No, I mean, I have the occasional drink. I mean, there was one stage where I used to drink a lot
but, like, I get gratitude now from the staff and from my dad that I've cut down. I drink, say, once a
month and not drink to get drunk, just have a drink. Or sometimes my day might ring me up and
say meet me down the so-and-so pub and get me, say, one or two drinks but most of the time
when I meet him in the pub I'll have a coke. You know, cos my dad, he can be a heavy drinker. He
has his bouts, but he's not drinking every day. But he's working and then straight from the work
he'll go in the pub until late and then go home and cos he's been drinking over the years he gets
drunk quite quick.
Q. Mm.
A. He can just drink a pint of cider and he'll be drunk. But, um, where I've seen my dad's gone
wrong, I suppose that cut me down on my drink and like, through me drinking on two occasions,
no, three occasions, it got me into trouble. So that's made me realise if I'm gonna drink it's gonna
be to drink to know what I'm doing. You know ... Anyway, I don't like the after-effects in the
morning if I get drunk. I can't handle that.
Q. You're taking control over quite a lot of the areas of your life really, aren't you?
A. Yeah.
Q. What about the work area? You said before that you'd thought you'd wanted to work with
children but didn't find it ...
A. No, I couldn't. No. Cos I've always wanted to be a social worker and I suppose I'd like to be a
social worker or working in a youth club or work with drug addicts, like helping drug addicts. In one
of those three areas, and that doesn't come up with under-fives.
Q. What made you go into ... why did you do the Child Care study first then?

6
A. No, cos I was doing community work and that was to work with elderly, handicapped and
children.
Q. Yeah.
A. And I was put to work with children first.
Q. Yeah.
A. And I got to realise I didn't like it.
Q. That it wasn't you at all. So why the carpentry? Is that an option?
A. Yeah. Well, when I was in first and second year, like in second year, because it was mixed, we
did metalwork and woodwork and I did like the skill and when I moved to the girls' school they
didn't have anything like that, so I thought, well, let me try something with my hands. You know,
something where I can learn a skill with my hands, you know, it might help me in the end or it
might be just something to pass the time away to get a little bit of training. It depends, if I can pick
up on it, I can get a good career out of it. I mean, you can get a lot of money doing carpentry. But
then again, if I can't pick it up, I won't get anywhere, will I?
Q. How do you like doing it? Do you enjoy it?
A. Yeah. It's alright.
Q. Yeah. But then, what? You'll have to make a decision at a certain point whether you should
pursue the training towards your other aim?
A. Yeah, cos what I wanna do is maybe ... cos my home, they're going to be moving me soon, like
close to my eighteenth or just after, and there's no way I want to move into my flat on £30 a week
cos I won't be able to cope. I'm never going to get my house anywhere. So what I wanna do for,
say a year or two, is get a job, any kind of job, like, with a reasonable wage each week so that I
can build my house up to have something to come home to. Then maybe pick and go to college to
take on the course to do with youth work.
Q. Yeah. Yeah. You must have to be a bit older, as you were saying, to be in youth training,
anyway.
A. Twenty-one.
Q. Yeah. So you can build experience before that. Where are they are going to move you to when
they move you out of the children's home?
A. Into my own flat. I'm not going straight into a hostel. I could've gone into a semi-independent
where you sort of, like, share one flat with another person but you've got your own lock on your
room and shared bathroom and kitchen. But I said I would rather... and you stay there for up to a
year, then move to your own place, but I said I'd rather just move into my own place. And in my
home where I am, there's a flat there and I'm sharing the flat with a girl and then I'll be moving
soon. And there's no way I wanna be on YTS money cos I wouldn't be able to pay for it.
Q. So you're finishing YTS ... When does that finish?
A. It finishes, well, it's two years, but I wouldn't be able to, like, stay on for the two years. I'm
looking for a job now anyway.
Q. Has anything come up which seems feasible?
A. Well, I went to the Job Centre yesterday and I filled in two slips but one of them had already
gone, the other one I had to ring up when I got home so I rang them. That job had already gone
but they offered me another one which they've got going, so I'll probably go. They wanted me to
come this morning but there was no way I could let PAULA know, so I said, "Can you make it for
the afternoon?" and they said "No", so I'll probably go on Monday.
Q. Yeah. Yeah.
A. But the job that was going was a phone canvasser and it was £4.50 an hour and it was only
four hours a day so I was thinking maybe of getting an evening job as well, so Monday to
Friday with £4.50 an hour wouldn't be too bad. Just work from 9 ‘til 1, then get an evening job.
Q. Yeah. And it would give you a bit of time to look for a job as well. In the afternoons.
A. Yeah. Just to keep me going.
Q. Yeah. So How are you feeling about it all?
A. All right.
Q. Yeah? Quite positive?
A. Yeah. I prefer to look at it in a positive way, then I don't get any setbacks. Cos if you start
thinking, oh God, this isn't going to go right, that isn't going to go right, then you just look at

7
everything as a mess. If you look at it positive, positively, then it gives you more ego to go out and
do things.
Q. How about your friends? Have you got many friends?
A. Yeah. I've got, I mean, I've got loads of friends that I had at school, but I don't really keep close
contact with them. I might see them at a party or something, you know, but then I've got a few
friends round the area where I live that I really have close contact with.
Q. Do you sort of support each other?
A. Yeah.
Q. What sorts of things do you do?
A. Well, like, there's the shopping, um, loafing around other friends' houses, going to watch videos
at people's houses, the pictures, discos, parties, clubs. There's all, like, all sorts. A bit of sport
every now and again.
Q. Which sport do you prefer?
A. Ice-skating.
Q. Yeah?
A. Ice-skating and sometimes we go to Keep Fit classes, if we've got the energy, that is ... to stand
there a whole hour long.
Q. Yeah. Where do you go ice-skating?
A. I used to go …, I used to go Lee Valley but now I go up to HERTFORDSHIRE - they've got a
new rink there. Cos I used to live in HERTFORDSHIRE. And it's nice to get out and go
somewhere. It's alright.
Q. Yeah. I haven't done that for ages. I used to do a lot of ...
A. Yeah. I haven't got my own boots, as much as I'd like them.
Q. Let me ask you another question. It's just going back around to the AIDS thing really. Just one
more thing. When they talk about the difficulties and problems with AIDS, um, and its spread, I
mean, what do you ... how do you think it's spread? What do you think? How can you catch it?
A. Sex, drugs, um, blood transfusions - it can happen, can't it?
Q. Mm. I think they've got that one now though, but it happened in the beginning didn't it?
A. I don't know what else.
Q. Yeah. When they talk about safe sex, what do you think about that?
A. With a sheath?
Q. Mm.
A. Yeah. I don't really like the idea of sheaths. I've never used one.
Q. Yeah.
A. But I suppose, um, if I did meet someone who respected me, right, but they had a sort of dodgy
past, like sleeping around, but they'd sort of cleared themself up, and you know, put themself one
to one, I suppose I'd either ask them to use a sheath or, if I could have the courage, tell them to
come down to the clinic with me. You know, we could both be checked. Not just to insult them, but
we could both be checked. Cos there is people who have dodgy pasts and then they come to the
light and start settling down one to one but that could still mean they're carrying, couldn't it?
Q. Mm. Do you think you might have the courage to get somebody to have a test?
A. I don't know. It would take a lot of bottle, wouldn't it?
Q. Yeah. It is a lot to ask isn't it?
A. Yeah, cos they could think you're insulting them. "Oh, you think I'm carrying some kind of
disease. What kind of love is that?" And then they'd start coming up with all excuses. But that's the
best way - to say, "Well, I'm going to go as well, we'll both go together".
Q. One of the things I've been asking you about is like when you think of safe sex, people do just
seem to think of the condom or sheath or something like that, but I mean, there are other sorts of
things that you can do which are sexual but which don't include penetration. Do you think? Or do
you think not? Does sex mean for you penetration?
A. Well, there's petting, isn't there?
Q. Yeah.
A. And there's oral.
Q. You don't fancy that?
A. No. That's all that I really look at ...

8
Q. Mm.
A. Like as close as sex really.
Q. Do you think that the kind of men that you've been having relationships with just think that ...
you say that they only want one thing. Do you think that the one thing that they want is sexual
intercourse?
A. Yeah.
Q. That they wouldn't be interested in other things?
A. Well if they were, they wouldn't say it. If they were, they'd be out the door. If they tried to push
me into oral sex or anything ...
Q. You wouldn't be interested?
A. No.
Q. Yeah. What about your friends? Do you think many of your friends are worried about AIDS?
A. Yeah. But like, I find a lot of my friends are like me. They take the pill. I mean, I went on the pill,
not for sex, I went on the pill for bad periods.
Q. Yeah.
A. Right? But they're on the pill and they don't like the idea of a sheath being used, you know. It's
just the thought of something trapping ... I suppose some people look at it as, you know, you're
being trapped from the real thing, like there's a barrier ...
Q. There's a barrier between you? Yeah. I think a lot of people think like that, especially when
they've been on the pill because it seems like pointless somehow, if you're already protected. But
what about other sorts of ... I mean, it's not just AIDS is it? It's other sorts of sexually transmitted
diseases ...
A. Yeah.
Q. That you can get even when you're using the pill. The pill is saving you from pregnancy pretty
securely really and yet ... Is there anything that you'd like to ask about? I've got a little pamphlet
here. Did I give you one of these before? That's the project that you are taking part in. There's one
other question that I wanted to ask you which is a bit difficult ... What is your image of yourself?
What do you think you're like?
A. I'm stubborn, err, good humoured, I like to be in crowds, um, I hate being alone, erm, I've got, I
think I've got an open personality but then again I can be shy. Loud. I think I can take control of
bad situations.
Q. What do you think other people think of you?
A. A lot of my friends look at me as a laugh to be with and, err, they know I'm stubborn and I can,
you know, my temper, if I get into my temper I can be quite mad, you know. I can get in a bad
temper over silly little things, but they build up. Like I tend to bottle things up and then just blow up.
But they look at me as a good humoured laugh.
Q. So you think that they think of you as a lively kind of person? But you think sometimes you're a
bit shy?
A. Yeah, I can be. I get shy at the wrong moments. I can get embarrassed quite easily.
Q. What sort of things embarrass you?
A. I don't know. I tend to find, like, if I, a lot of the time if I go to get a bus, like, and because I
smoke I'll go upstairs, if I'm by myself getting on this bus and I see this really nice guy sitting on
the bus, I feel like I'm really nervous and everyone can see I'm nervous, that's what I feel like.
Q. Yeah.
A. Things like that. I hate going shopping by myself. I don't like the idea of going shopping by
myself. Queuing up and then having all the trouble of packing ... I just get paranoia about that.
Q. Yeah. It's interesting what you say about, you know, seeing a guy who's attractive, I mean, do
you have that sort of response as soon as you see ...?
A. If I see a nice guy, yeah. And if I'm by myself and I've got no-one to, like, back me up, like, in
my decision or no-one I can sit down and talk to to stop thinking about this guy but if, say you're
walking along the deck of the bus and you look right in his face, and you think, cor, you know, and
you get all het up and I feel that everyone can see I'm nervous.
Q. Can see that it's ... Yeah. But they can't really, can they?
A. No, they can't, but you feel that they can.

9
Q. Yeah. Strange actually the way that you feel about things like that isn't it? And different
situations can make you embarrassed ...
A. Yeah.
Q. Was there anything else that you wanted to tell me about?
A. No.
Q. I suppose ... What we were thinking in this research was that some people might be interested
in keeping a diary for us, just for short periods of time. Maybe a little diary about their relationships,
what they're thinking, what they're feeling and what they're doing.
A. Yeah.
Q. Would you be interested in that?
A. Yeah.
Q. Cos what I could do is send you one with a letter explaining. I've got your address at the
children's home, but they would forward it on, they know where you would be?
A. Yeah. Cos the flat's in my house, yeah and they can forward it.
Q. So, you'll be, for a while you'll be there?
A. I'll be there for six months, approximately.
Q. OK, well thank you very much. It's really interesting talking to you.
A. Alright. There's your pen.
Q. Thanks a lot.
A. OK.
Q. Yeah. And I'll see you.
A. Alright. Bye.
Q. Bye.