I guess I thought it was because I wasn’t wanted. More of an inconvenience. Something that had to be dealt with and just kept out of the way. I’m sure she never really wanted kids, thought they’d be an interruption to the career path.
I guess it started with playgroup. Useful place, local church hall. You could just be dropped off and forgotten about. I used to enjoy it, playing with the other kids, climbing frames, sandpits, water, noise, boys things. There were lots of mothers there, they had their own kids. Also of course they looked after others. I often wondered why, even at that point why my mother was never there. Only to collect me and always late, it was more like collecting a parcel dropped off at a neighbour rather than your own child.
Television, that was her saviour. Meant she had to have no interaction. Just plugged it in and disappeared. Hours and hours I spent in front of the likes of ‘Play school’ and ‘You and me’. I think I learnt the whole of my language skills from Duncan the dragon.
Where was my father all this time? Well he was out working. He liked children, but only out of the point of view that they were a kind of box that just needed to be ticked. I had a sister, I’m sure he preferred her to me. She was a natural talented girl, I was just a ‘strange boy’. We never really had much of a connection. I was ‘tolerated’, up to a point. I have very few recollections of my father, but probably the one that sticks in my mind the most is being thrown twenty foot across a room by my throat because I couldn’t find my school hymn book. I did gain one satisfaction from this, I reminded him of this incident some thirty years later, as he was dying of cancer in bed, he said, ‘I probably deserved it at the time’. I watched him die.
Auctions. That’s where I spent the first few years. Dragged from one sale room to the next. There was nothing at the age of five I didn’t know about woodworm or Chaise Lounges. ‘Sit down and shut up’. That was the rule. Just sit there for hours on end. I knew all the auctioneers, from Le Lons to Taverners, they used to be more interested in me than she ever was.
Then school came along. Another great saviour. I could safely be disposed of for seven hours. Only to return home to listen to how her day had been, there was never any interest in how mine was.
Then it started.
Days before the internet. We were still primitive back then. CB radio. That was the thing. That was where all the lowlifes of the day hung out, little did I know.
A bedsit, that was my first meeting. Nice man, name of Iain. I was, er, probably eleven or twelve at the time. He paid attention to me. Was interested in what I had to say. Said I looked attractive, started massaging my neck. Soon we were in a makeshift bed, he’d put Brylcreem on his penis and tried to shove it up my ass, wasn’t successful, I was never destined to be a bottom. I put my very thin penis in him though, I was too immature to ‘cum’ at the time, but he enjoyed it.
We had many outings together. Went to visit his brother in Wiltshire. Oddly, his brother thought nothing of him hanging around with a twelve year old. Neither did my parents. Off I was in a mini, cruising round. I’m not sure how that relationship ended, but it was soon to be replaced by another one.
Nick. Or ‘Nookie the bear’, as he was known, due to very staring eyes and an altercation with a crowbar. Was into ‘Crossroads’, that bloody awful soap opera with the wobbly set. Used to spend all his time yanking my foreskin and joking why it wouldn’t roll back. Again, he paid me attention. Gave me cigarettes, gave me ‘love’, something I never got at home.
I was probably thirteen at the time, first time I’d ever been to a high security prison, and thankfully still the last. Was introduced to another man, ginger beard, oddly this one I can’t actually remember his name. He was serving time for child molesting. Several weeks later I was in bed with him above a shop. Doing lollipop action. He never tried to rape me, no interest. Not sure what happened to him, other than he sold my parents a computer. ‘You fiddled with my son, can we get a discount?’.
I think there was a bit of break then, not sure what happened, probably laid off the CB radio and found some other interest. Maybe at that point I started going off girls. I’d always got on fine with them, but always treated them more as equals, as friends. Never had really any intention of being permanently with one, although years later that did actually happen. But it was more a relationship of convenience, we just ‘got on’.
Then there was Jim (James on Sundays), met again on CB radio, turned up outside my house, sat in his car where within minutes he was paying me compliments about my ‘hard-on’. Soon we ended up in a quiet location where he then rubbed up against me until he shot all over my stomach. Gave me a cigarette.
From that point on, Jim would take me away for weekends, I was thirteen, my parents didn’t even know his address. We spent many an evening doing CB radio ‘dx’ing’ or long distance contacts. He was into pissing. Loved to piss on you and loved to be pissed on. Used to force you to drink lots of water.
I stopped seeing Jim. Something inside me just said it was wrong. A couple of years later he turned up outside my house again, changed the company he worked for (he was a surveyor for a window firm, which was slightly ironic as my dad was a fitter for one). Asked if I wanted to see him again, I said a very firm, ‘no’. And that he had one opportunity to leave. He left, I never saw him again.
Some thirty years later I did trace Iain again, still lives fairly local. Still those same glaring eyes. I often wonder, should I dig up the past again? One interesting point, although these people were all clearly paedophiles, at no point did I ever feel threatened. I was never once forced to do anything against my will. I think I was just carefully manipulated. Even though I genuinely think that these people felt they were actually doing nothing wrong at the time.
Did it cause me any harm? Mentally yes. I never really had a deep relationship with my farther and this lasted ultimately to his dying breath. I held him when he had passed. It was an odd sensation, the head is actually very heavy when there are no muscles supporting it. His eyes were still open. I tried to close the eyelids, but they just popped back open. I looked into those eyes and just saw….nothing, absolutely nothing. There, was the person who was there at the beginning of my life, and I was there at the end of his, but it was empty, meaningless, I had more emotion when my first dog died. I’ve often visited the place where his ashes are buried in the attempt to make peace, but I don’t think it will ever happen, too much animosity, too much water under the bridge, and sometimes that bridge is just far too beyond reconstruction.
The relationship with my mother on the other hand has been slightly different. She is still alive, very frail, depends far more on me than I do on her now. Did I try and extract revenge? Yes. Over many, many years. I lived with her for probably twenty-two years, so now less than half my life. This is the woman who gave birth to me, why should I feel so bitter? I guess it’s just the case that I didn’t feel protected. On multiple occasions there was the opportunity to question what was going on, but all there was, was ambivalence. She doesn’t know now what went on, it’s not something now that I’m going to tell. It’s in the past, my past. I potentially, have some sort of future, she really doesn’t. I’m not sure how she would react anyway. Would there be guilt? Would there just be dismissal and yet more ambivalence? I think she will die now without any knowledge. Why riddle her last possible months with guilt?
Could I have prevented it? A question I’ve always thought about. The more important question being really, did I want to prevent it? It’s a difficult one. I was clearly taken advantage of, I was at a very venerable age, but what would have happened otherwise? Would I have developed deep anxiety and depression? Would I still be here? Did those interactions actually prevent a different more tragic outcome?
How has it shaped me now, some thirty-five years later? There is bitterness for sure, and that will never pass, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make peace with that. Do I feel I I should persecute the offenders? It’s a thought that often crosses my mind. But will it just drag history up again? There is the possibility that I could then prevent it happening to someone else, but it’s thirty years later, some of these people may well be dead by now.
I’ll guess I’ll just ponder forever.
Too many demons.