I was born in the back end of 86. I was born in a coastal town, a nice little town in England. There was me, Ma and Daddy. And that’s how it began. We lived in this town and everything was ok, until I was 11months old. Then Daddy came to the idea that in order to make Ma’s life easier with having had me and all, why didn’t we move to where her family where, so we did. Or at least that’s the official story.
One day, in early 87 the police came to the house where we were all living (me, Ma, Daddy, cousins, aunt, uncle & grandparents). They were looking for Daddy, he was out, when he came in that night, the family asked what was going on. He told them nothing. Later that night Daddy came clean to Ma, the reason he’d wanted to move was because he was ‘on the run’. The police were looking for him because he was wanted for fraud.
When the family found out they went mad. All except my grandfather. He took Ma to one side and said he would give Daddy some money if he left mum & me. Ma said no, she had me to think about and it wouldn’t be fair. Nothing more was said. The next day the police came back and arrested Daddy. They held him on remand for 6 weeks, he just wound up with a suspended sentance. Ma had stayed with the family in order to cope with everything that was going on. Then Daddy came back and we carried on playing happy families. They went to work all day every day whilst my gradparents looked after me. They cared for me, they actually cared.
My first memory is of when I had just turned 3. We were putting up the christmas tree, it went in the window, for space’s sake, by this time we were living in house number 3. It was the probably the longest we stayed in any house together. We were there until I was nearly 5, then one day, Ma sat me down in the kitchen and told me we were going to move to this nice big house. So we did, we moved to house number 4 but we weren’t there long before we moved to house number 5 and then 6…house number 6 was lovely, it was my favourite. Then when I was 7 my grandfather died, he had a heart attack, it broke my heart and my childhood in two. The day before the funeral my cousin & I (my grandparents had raised us both from such an early age, we were 2 years apart in age and did everything together. Well nearly) were asked if we wanted to say Goodbye. We looked at each other and carried on colouring, then out of the blue Stewart turned to me and said. “You’ve got to go say goodbye to grandad, he’s going away tomorrow.” I was so scared. I didn’t want to lose my grandfather. I didn’t want him to go. I needed him, then Stewart said it again “you’ve got to go say goodbye”…he took my hand and led me to the bedroom door where Daddy was, he took me in, Ma was on the bed crying with my nan who was silent,she was numb with grief. Daddy (he’s 6′ 5”) picked me up to the level of the coffin, inside I saw my grandad, he was smiling, like he always was, but the only difference was you couldn’t see the cheeky glint in his eye, all I said was “goodbye grandad, I love you” and gave him a peck on the cheek. Daddy put me down then and took me back to the living room. About 20 minutes later my uncle came in and told Stewart it was his turn. Stewart was even more terrified than I was a he screamed and cried, he thought if he didn’t go then they wouldn’t take Grandad away, but they did even though he didn’t, he lived to regret it until the day he died.
Fast forward a couple of years and we’re in house number 8. I’m 8 years old. I come home to find my Ma, my aunt & uncle all in the living room. House number 8 was a bit skanky really but anyways, I’d been at a friends house that night. I walked in and got told I was going to go stay up at my aunt & uncles new house for a couple of days. The next day I was told that my parents were getting divorced, FINALLY. They’d spent years having screaming matches, Ma throwing shit and storming off for hours at a time. It turned out that Daddy hadn’t being paying rent or bills or anything and we just kept getting evicted time and time again. He’d been told to leave town by my uncle, he’d done it too, he’d left his wife and child on the streets. Ma got put into some scraggy old B&B down by the seafront that the council paid for and I got to go visit on weekends. I would race throguh the weeks to go and see Ma, completely unaware that she was paying off Daddy’s debts. New ones were being found on a daily basis, it wound up to a total of around £20000 if not more. I turned 9 soon after but I didn’t get to Daddy. After about 4 months Ma got moved, she went into the homeless hostel, which new built, this meant I got to stay with my mum over the weekends still but also a couple of nights in the week. I was so glad to be able to see Ma again, after 10 months of the homeless hostel the council gave Ma a temporary flat, it was vile. It was in the wrong end of town but it had 2 bedrooms which meant that I could back to Ma but after the first 3 weeks I had to go back to my aunt & uncle, nobody was happy about me being in that flat. Fast forward 7 months and the council finally found Ma a flat, in the wrong end of town but at least it would be a home for us both. I went back to my Ma again and was living in house number 13, unlucky for some and boy were we unlucky to get this one but Ma cleaned and decorated it and made it home, and there she stayed, she’s still there today.
After 3 months of being in house number 13 my behaviour changed. Daddy was finally allowed back in touch but I resented him. I resented my Ma too. I felt like I’d been completely abandoned. I’d been bullied all the way through school but now the bullying was starting to happen in our neighbourhood, just this one girl, she used to call me names, that was just to start with. When she found out about where we’d lived before she got worse, she used to spit on me, knock into me and all sorts else..then one day she attacked me…she ripped chuncks out of my hair, she broke my nose, she gave me two black eyes and left me covered in cuts, bruises and scratches, as I lay on the floor, too scared to get up she told me to get up. I didn’t I stayed stock still, played deaf, dumb and dead. So she picked me up and pinned me against some railings, suddenly I felt something digging into my chest…”give me one good reason why I shouldn’t stab you…” she growled at me. I frantically racked my brains for something, anything and found nothing so I told her I couldn’t. The digging got deeper and deeper, I started to cry, she started laughing, punched me in the stomach and then threw me to the floor, “it’s only my key…” she laughed as she walked off. I was 10.
Fast Forward 12 months, still in house number 13. I started secondary school, it was hell. I was to go to the same one as my cousins, rather than the one where everyone else from my old school went. I got there and knew no-one, when they found out what primary school I’d gone to I became isolated from everyone else, my primary school was the best in the town and this secondary school was the worst in town. The mild bullying I’d suffered through primary became piss in the ocean in comparison to what I was about to go through. The bullies did all sorts to me; they’d knock me into walls, push me down the stairs, mock my clothes, spit on me, throw hot drinks at me, kick my shoes (whilst they were on my feet), steal & destroy my belongings, and much more. I told teachers, I told senior teachers and nothing was done. I eventually told my parents after it was discovered that I’d skipped a solid 3 weeks school, they went to the school and made complaint after complaint. My behaviour was terrible. I was rebelling in every way possible. 3 days before my 12th birthday I met a boy and started smoking, we went to the dance together, it was wonderful, for the first time in my measley life I felt special, after the dance the feamle (yes boys bullied me too) bullies made my life hell. One of them had wanted him to take her to the dance but he’d taken me instead. My life was made a living hell. 2 weeks after my birthday I made my first attempt at suicide, it’s not spoken about to this day.
For the next 18months my life was hell in school and not much better at home. I was getting out of control; fighting, smoking, drinking, swearing, skipping school. 3 months after my 13th birthday things at home kicked of spectacularly. I came home with a lovebite on my neck *classy* and Ma went beserk. We had a complete slanging match in the kitchen where she called me all the names under the sun and I called her them back, she sent me to my room, I ignored her and stormed off out of the house. Just as she’d always done. I went to Dougs and he just held me as I cried, by this stage we’d been together just over a year. I fell asleep in his arms and when I woke up I was still there. I’d been there 3 hours. When I went home Ma phoned Daddy, so I got both barrels off him, then I was told I was going to go live with my dad, that Ma couldn’t stand me anymore. Daddy promised me it would be better with him, that I would have freedom, and things would be easier with him and his wife (he’d re-married about 6 months earlier), so come the May I left school and got sent to live with Daddy.
When I got there I was treated like an unwanted guest. I couldn’t go to school until the October because my head was fucked and no-one thought sending a traumatised kid back into a school environment was a good idea, so they got the September starters in and sorted and then they would deal with me. So for five months I stayed at home, except for when I went to counselling. I had been diagnosed with PTSD, and no fucking wonder. I had bi-weekly, 2 hour counselling sessions up until I started school.
When I started school there was no bullying. There was no nastiness. Just kids who wanted to get to know me, that wanted to be my friend. It was a nice change. The feelings within didn’t change though. I tried to kill myself several more times, all were overdoses, and none of them worked. My stepmother was still making my life hell, making lies up about me left, right and centre. Everytime my dad took her side and agreed. I was still going to mums, but a lot less. My stepfather seemed to hate me yet when mum was out he would try to get close to me, i thought i must be imagining it but then one day when I’d had a bath, I was lying on my front on my bed, I had my knickers on but that was all, then he came in. I should have known better, I should have moved, but again I played dead, hoping he’d go away. His hands crept up towards my boobs and I thought I was imagining it until he squeezed them. I tried to wriggle free but he was on top of me his hands running over me making me feel sick, then he touched me, not just touched me, he grabbed me. I don’t think you need the details. By this time I was living in house number 15, and when mum found out she didn’t believe me.
Fast forward 2 years and I’d passed my exams at school and left home so I was living in house number 16, by myself away from all the hurt and pain, or so I thought. I was still hurting and I was all by myself. I started to go out every night in order to get away from it all, to escape from myself, but all I was really doing was going out and drinking to forget. I tried to OD a couple of more times after that, but I couldn’t even do that right. I was at an all time low, or so I thought. I’d been seeing a guy for a while when he’d started knocking me about, at first it was just a slap here or black eye there but it soon turned nasty and I wound up hospitalised on multiple occasions. My housemate didn’t care as long as it didn’t kick off when he was there.
One day I came to the realisation that my flatmate was conning the living daylights out of me. I decided it was time to break away and finally make it on my own. It was time to find house number 17. I hunted for months and months, locked away in my room scouring the classifieds for a house, eventually I found one but a week before I moved in I was taken into hospital, I nearly died, and I hadn’t even done anything to myself. I’d had tonsillitis for weeks and hadn’t noticed that my airway was getting narrower and narrower. I woke up in hospital and Daddy was there. Ma wasn’t, she wouldn’t take the time off work. I had been 4 hours from death and Ma couldn’t be bothered to take time off from work, she worked on a deli counter of a supermarket, it clearly needed her more than I did.
I moved into house number 17 a week later than expected, it was wonderful, I was on my own free to do as I pleased, I could cut without having to hide it, if I wanted to cry I could. I was free, and it was wonderful while it lasted. 6 months down the line I was booked in for a tonsillectomy and I got a phonecall, Stewart had hung himself. The funeral was on the same day as my operation, I tried to cancel it but my family insisted that I have it, they didn’t want to lose me too, so they said. Truth be known, I doubt they’d have noticed if I’d died.
Fast forward to the present day, now I’m sat in my living room after having a row with Elle crying my eyes out wishing that I would die, yet somehow trying to forget, trying to move on. I guess I’ll have to make do with the deal I’ve got for now because I just don’t have the energy to do anything else with my life.