Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A State of Euphoria

My school suspension was lifted exactly one week later and things carried on much the same as usual. I continued to be the mixed up problem child who no one had any time for (except for the love that my family continued to offer), swearing and cursing my way through life. When my form tutor told me the lunchtime music practice had been revoked, I saw a green light for truancy.

Accompanied by the drummer of my band, Sean Watson, most of our days were spent reeking havoc on the infamous Ferrier estate in Kidbrooke. When we tired of throwing stones at people’s windows, we’d steal large quantities of milk off the milkman and hide ourselves high up on the balconies, pouring it on unsuspecting passers-by as they walked through the many rabbit warren type pathways. We would often collapse in uncontrollable fits of hysteria as our victims tried in vain to apprehend us.

 One particular afternoon saw us both have a crack at shoplifting, our target being a local hardware store, hoping if nothing else, we’d get chased by the manager.

Sean created a distraction by talking to the man about a Saturday job, while I committed the actual theft.

I grabbed the first thing that my trembling hand rested on and slipped the object into my blazer before silently walking out of the shop to the freedom that eagerly awaited me. I was about to cross the road when the sound of heavy footfalls boomed behind me. Spinning on my heels, I expected to come face to face with an irate shop manager, but to my relief it was Sean, “What is it? What did ya nick?”
“Fuck knows.” I put my hand into my pocket and pulled the mystery object out; it was a large tube of Evostick.

A short time later, we were crawling through the tiniest of gaps behind a low-level car park, and very oblivious to the world that surrounded us; we introduced ourselves to the fine art of glue sniffing.

I cannot speak for Sean, but for me it was the most awesome thing I’d ever done. It completely transformed the way I thought; there was no pain or fear, and I felt no sadness whatsoever. The make-believe world I had so often dreamt about began to flourish, enfolding me within all its glory.

Crisp blue skies,
A sun so bright,
Sweet smelling flowers,
Birds taking flight.
An ocean of colour,
The horizon so bright,
A feeling of hope,
And nothing to fear.
Beautiful hills,
And fields full of corn
Chairs in the garden,
Swings on the lawn.

The howling of wolves,
Death and decay,
A dread in the heart,
At the start of the day.
Scared of the shadows,
And what they contain,
Contorted illusions,
Of a brain that’s insane.

I began to sniff glue on a regular basis; enthralled by the way it made me feel. Every opportunity I got was spent with a carrier bag at my mouth, escaping the hell that had become my world.

During the periods when I wasn’t high, and the way the come down left me feeling, a new kind of anger started to emerge, giving me a compulsion to inflict harm on myself, as well as becoming more physically violent towards others.

I soon started picking on the local kids, demanding that they give me their pocket money, threatening to beat them up if they told their parents, (and sometimes beating them up anyway). Every time a cat or dog came near me, I would lash out as hard as my strength would allow.

At times they appeared to have his grotesque smile, and this could send me over the edge.  Sometimes I’d sit for hours within the confines of my room, stabbing my arm with a sewing needle. I’d stab harder and harder, enjoying the burning pain. It took my mind off the memories, images that now tormented my brain on a daily basis, except for the occasions when the glue took me away.

UK & US amazon links



Saturday, 14 July 2012

Dreaming (Wishing)

 How great it would be to fly. To soar up into the sky, higher and higher, not stopping until I reached a new world. A place where no one cried and where smiling was compulsory. Fields so full of bright and vibrant colours, it would be impossible to walk around without feeling joy in your heart. A land where even the slightest of pain is nonexistent and vast rivers flow with crystal clear waters. Where a gentle breeze would weave its way through the branches of trees, making them sing so loud it was almost deafening, but pleasing at the same time.

 Such a place might be called Heaven.

Of a love so great it was almost visible. A feeling of such intensity I felt a compulsion to reach out and grab hold of it, to savour it and keep it as mine forever. Perhaps it would be possible for every soul inhabiting this special place to be linked together for all eternity, joined by  this wondrous power, smiling and laughing, and just being happy. 

Suddenly, reality returned me to the park bench I was sitting on, just outside the school gates. A tear trickled down my cheek, would I ever be free of Ropeman? Was it my destiny to be stalked and tormented by him forever? My mind could not comprehend what he was doing at my new school, and I felt overwhelmed with paranoia, convinced he was only there because he knew I was. It felt as though he was telling me that things were not yet finished, and I felt so alone.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Battle Scars

 This is by no means an attempt to explain the dynamics of self-harming.  I don't understand it myself, but I'll share how I experienced it.

There have been many times in my life when the sensation of angry ants crawling just below the surface of my skin threatened to drive me mad. It felt as though they were gnawing at my skin, ready to devour my flesh. The feeling that I was being eaten from the inside out is the best way I can describe it.  There seemed to be no relief . . . just an endless assault by invisible enemies declaring war from within my own body. 

As these horrible feelings intensified, the stronger the urge to hurt myself became. It was as if the wounds I inflicted on my body were actually enabling the creatures dwelling beneath my skin to escape, leaving me temporarily relieved.

I have taken razorblades, broken beer bottles, and even lighters to my arms, desperately trying to rid myself of the sensation.  In hindsight, I believe these were feelings, emotions which I chose to suppress, memories that can only be pushed so far back into one’s mind, before they push back, with a vengeance. 

  My self-harming has never been an attempt at suicide, and it wasn't attention seeking.  It was just a means of relieving the constant emotional torment.

These actions were at their height during my time at Kingfisher, but there was an occasion when I literally hacked at myself with a razorblade whilst aimlessly wandering through a busy shopping centre in South London. The result was over 200 hundred stitches, ironically these actions only served to fuel my self-hatred, which in turn, made me want to do something similar in order to ease the new pain.

It was a vicious cycle, which at the time seemed impossible to break.

Whenever the blood flowed from inside me, I felt a great sense of relief, and there were many times when watching it actually made me feel content, like I had accomplished something.

There was never any great battle within me to stop doing it, in fact, I often looked forward to the feeling of “self gratification” in hurting myself; it was the only thing that appeared to ease my pain.

As I grew older, the need to do these things was alleviated, until finally, thankfully, it became nothing more than another bad instalment of my complex past.

I’ve often heard people expressing anger at those who “self harm”. I personally think these views aren’t altogether justified. Very few things are black and white, and when it comes to admonishing someone for these actions, in my experience, it only serves to escalate the problem.  It's very much like scratching an unbearable itch.

In the present, I try to hide my many scars by wearing long sleeves whenever possible, and I have numerous tattoos to cover the more drastic damage. Having said that, on the many occasions that I’ve been asked how they came to be, I have always been honest, and I feel no shame in telling others that the scars were self-inflicted.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Teenage Zombie

With bleached blond hair, and an abundance of safety-pins, I honestly thought I looked mean and scary and tough.
I swaggered around the estate drinking beer and smoking both cigarettes as well as dope, and I felt like someone important, someone to be feared . . .
. . . but I was nothing more than a kid with the wieght of the world on his shoulders.

I wanted to be different, to stand out from the crowd, but most of all, I wanted to mask how I felt inside.

During my teens mum wasn't always in the best of health, (I often wonder if my behaviour played a part in that), and she was often in hospital.

During these times, dad would run the home; cooking us all dinner, shopping, and doing the other mundane tasks that helped to keep a home in order.

he asked me if I intended on visiting mum on an occassion when she had to have major surgery, "No" was my rude but simple reply.

I had to go to Stuart and karen's, and I didn't want to make Stuart angry by not turning up.

Stuart was a middle-aged man who, along with his wife, forced me to have sex with them - night after night.

I couldn't tell my dad this, and so I pretended to be an uncaring yob - when truthfully - all I wanted to do was visit my mum.

At fourteen, I should have been laughing and joking and having fun - but instead I was merely wandering around like a teenage zombie - lying to the world about how I really felt.

The abuse I was being subjected to by Stuart and Karen, (along with the teacher at school), were not just abusing me, but my entire family.

Eerytime I was toched by these people, they were not just interfereing with me, but my mum and dad too.

Child Abuse Destroys Entire Families - Do't Let It Ruin Yours!



Monday, 2 July 2012

Misplaced Anger

I remember an argument I was having with my father. I think I was about 14 yrs old, and following an accident at work, he was confined to the house with a plaster-cast on his leg.
I don't remember what we were arguing about, just my reaction, which as always back then, was way over the top.

I'd been swearing at both him and my mother for some reason, and this resulted in him chasing me through the house on crutches.

I goaded him with threats and general verbal abuse.
the situation got so that he was hobbling up the stairs, and I was standing at the top, and with no warning, I spat directly into his face. He closed his eyes and stood there, balancing on his crutches. after a few minutes, he somehow turned round and went struggling back down the stairs.

I'd won . . . or so i thought at the time, but I was very wrong.

The school teacher who groomed and led me into the sordid world of child ponography - the middle-aged couple who inflicted their own perverse abuse on me - they were the ones who were winning - winning by my slience alone.

I was angry with everyone and everything around me - I didn't know what to do, or who to turn to - and I was hurting. And because I was hurting, my family was hurting as well.

Child abuse doesn't just tear the victim's soul apart - it destroys whole families. It bores itself into the very heart, and rips it from the ribcage with a vengence.

I kept the secret for almost thirty years. I used drugs, alcohol, and violence to try and mask how I was feeling inside, when all I should have done, was tell my parents.

Child Abuse Destroys Entire Lives - Don't Let It Ruin Yours!