I’ve found myself staring at my boy who’s approaching his 10th birthday. I watch his mannerisms and behaviour with awe. Why am I paying him so much attention? (unknown to him), It’s because he’s the same age I was when I was sent to see a shrink in school. In fact he’s slight older by a few months. As I stare and cherish at what he’s becoming I involuntary stir up feelings of hatred and contempt. These feeling have been increasing in strength for the past year or so. I knew this special time would arrive one day because I’d been through the same with my two older children. Not as intense as this time but the feelings were there when they were younger too. But, he is the third child as I was, he is a proper stereotypical lad as I was and he is a very clever lad, as I was. The cheeky smile, the fun loving outlook on life and not a real care in the world, that was me. But unlike him, I had no idea what was going on behind my back.
After my father left the area my mother began another relationship with a man who I grew to hate. A hate which still exists today, albeit diluted. They had two more children to add to me and my two sisters, both boys so the family grew to seven. I didn’t have any idea about the nature of mankind and the associated selfishness that grows as we develop into adults but with hindsight(many years ago now) I arrived at the conclusion and excepted the reality that my step father wanted rid of me. I wasn’t his and there can be no mistaking the fact that he wanted me out of the way. Pack attitude for sure. Either that or the heartless bastard just didn’t want me to be around because it interfered with his way of life. About this time my offending was on the increase. I was wanting a father like father and was lumbered with a jealous man who’d made plans for the future and that future didn’t include “the little chink”……me. Apparently and believe me when I tell you I was mentally and physically punished for looking like my father. Sometimes when there should have been two slaps there was four, two were for my father. He’d left the family home in a fit of violence and caused much trauma for many. I carried his burden as long as I lived there.
Around the age of nine things were definitely coming to a head. I was always being battered for the slightest misdemeanour. I remember being beaten for putting too much sugar in my cup of tea. I wasn’t even invited to their wedding. I was constantly being threatened with punishments such as; being sent to live in Newcastle with my blood father. An attempt was made and it lasted two weeks until my mother was on the phone demanding that my father send her son back to her family home. He did so, albeit reluctantly. He’d started his own family in Newcastle.
I often wonder what kind of life I would’ve had if I’d gone to live up North. Probably not much. My father was a alcoholic, his wife was a managing alcoholic and things were pretty tough. That said, I’ve got two sisters who’ve done very well for themselves and yes, they’re actually Geordie’s and they’ve got big happy families. On this point, my sis-in-law also lives up there and runs a drug counselling organisation and she’s got a family of eight thus far. Anyway getting back to the point. It’s my belief and there’s plenty of supporting evidence for these beliefs, that I was being shoved out of the family home. My eldest sister was dating and became pregnant at sixteen(as did my mother with her), my other sister was fifteen and mothers pet and my two younger half brothers couldn’t do wrong. Granted one was only a baby. I was the black sheep.
The report the psychiatrist produced concluded; “We need to see this boy as cheeky and lively, but also a pleasant and clever young lad. There’s nothing to worry about here”. Obviously my step father wasn’t too impressed. It wasn’t long afterwards that I was taken into care for what was described as “beyond parental control”, beyond step-parental requirements more like. My mother must have been easily lead by him because she didn’t fight enough to keep me at home. She gave up trying to argue my corner and he got his way in the end. As many step fathers do. I digress again.
My point? To offer the reader a morsel of an insight as to the rationale behind certain behaviour on certain occasions, that ex-care residents or survivors of the care system might appear to be offer, i.e. overly protective of our achievements more than your average Kevin and Louise from down the road. When and if anyone ever decides to treat our achievements or efforts with contempt we tend to respond with a slightly more gladiatorial approach than our neighbours. For instance: Would any readers physically confront a mob of six nutters on your own to prevent them from disturbing your babies sleep? Think on.
Of course we’ll always strive to remain within the legal constraints and set boundaries placed upon members of the public by the law of the land. But as any victim of any personal attack will know; anger, ergo temper, has a way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it. The fuses that may ignite your anger might not be as short as someone who’s fuse has previously been burned a tad few times, i.e. spending years being treated as worthless and deprived of any type of stable environment in which to develop ones own inner self. Its all fuse wire at the end of the day.
Some thoughts to bring us to a conclusion maybe? Imagine someone attacks your whole existence or everything you’ve grafted for to build a life. The actions they’re intent on are to hurt and damage your family and your reputation. The same reputation you spent 25 years to build. Your kids are fair game your lover will do but its you they want to hurt and they’ll go through anyone to do so. The gloves are off. What do you do? Will the law of the land help? Who decides your level of protective measures? The saying-I’d die for my kids-becomes a reality, that’s what happens. Because it’s what any decent parent should decide to do. Given you’re prepared to die to protect your achievements; what do you think any possible attacker would conclude? They’d have to have lost any of the intelligence they may have been born with should the decide to proceed toward you. Shouldn’t they? Of course.