When I was a child, a small child, my Mum used to hit me-a lot; every day in fact, morning noon and night; my Dad would sometimes join in to back her up and punish the 'terrible' 4 yr old! He would be more direct with his input, he would take his belt off and belt me until I had no breath to scream or cry. My mum, would be far more sinister with her distribution of 'torture'. I was often beaten, fat lips and bloody nose etc and then made to stand outside naked in the cold while she calmed down; she would threaten me with kitchen knives and hot pans and drowning in the bath and suffocation and with my 'Father' coming home and then just before he got in, kick me upstairs to bed and tell him I'd been naughty and to leave me up there... usually alone and usually sobbing and definitely cold and unloved; hatching plans of revenge and all the while trying to deal with the mental torture she inflicted upon me and also trying to work out if it was me that was the problem? A shy but happy little kid with a recognised high IQ and able to read, write and count before my primary school years...My mum would often say "it's not your fault, it's me!"
By senior school, when most kids were out playing and wearing the latest clothes and getting girlfriends and hobbies and studying for a future... I was made to sit like a soldier standing to attention next to my younger sister and brother without uttering a word as that incurred a punishment; I was not allowed to pursue my chances of playing football as it was a distraction to my mum and dads humdrum drug taking lives and not a policeman either as my dad wanted me to get a 'proper' job! I was sent to school in sky blue acrylic flares and jacket when my school was the biggest school in essex and full of mods! I had a fight pretty much every day for the first three years until finally people realised I was game and dangerous and carried a stanley blade and the fighting stopped... I got myself a job on the market, a girlfriend three years older than me and a reputation that meant when 300 boys walked into our nearest school for a fight... I was at the front of the queue... I learnt to gamble, drink, fight and shoplift!! When it came to a 'head in the 5th year and i was threatened with a YOI... I 'fessed up and the teachers and social services were aware of my bruising and poor attendance and they said... "it's not your fault, it's others"
I was banned from the Town after 6pm every day and not allowed in at weekends! I worked on the market for fucks sake... I remember smashing a boys head into a desk in front of his tutor for tipping my bag upside down in the playground and calling me a tramp... I was 13... still had a mophead/basin and selotape secured the soles of my shoes to the upper... whilst on supervised detention... a 5th year tried to get me in a headlock and take my shoes, so i stabbed him more than a few times with a compass; I broke a boys nose for trying to take my birthday present ring from me... i stamped on his face and tried to jam his head into a turning lathe while i was burring some pointless piece of metal... Mr. Steward the headmaster said... "it's okay Mark, we know it's not your fault, it's the circumstances that surround you!"
I remember sitting in brixton 'nick' on remand for drugs offences and preparing to take the rap for being caught in the middle of a deal high on about 6 'e' and with puff and 'lively' in the car and thinking... why did i use the car? I always used public transport?! I remember thinking... 'it's not my fault, it's someone else's'
I went to work at Fords and played football... I was a structural maintenance supervisor... 22yrs old and earning £900 a week! I saved almost £30,000 in a matter of months... I was about to go on holiday to Thailand with 4 guys who went every year; my first trip abroad... I was approached by CME (the engineering company i worked for) and asked if i would like to invest in the business as 'I was the future'... solicitors drew up a legal 'looking' document and i withdrew £27,500 from the Abbey on the following Friday in return for 10% profit of all future contracts within Fords at dagenham... I handed over the cash and went about my weekend feeling on top of the world... Monday morning came, I went to work as usual, only this time, my swipe card would not allow me into the gates? Security reliably informed me that CME had finished up Friday evening as their contract had ended and Fords were going in house!! I was not even allowed in to collect my belongings or my tools!
I went straight from there and did £2,000 in Hand K bookmakers; I bought 500 pills and got off my face for at least a month before I was back in the snooker hall,dealing and shoplifting... 3 months later I was stopped on a train in romford with almost a thousand of someone else's pills and more than a grand in cash...I smashed that copper so hard he was 'out' before he hit the platform... I ran and ran and ran until i had lost all my pursuers... I went straight to the Market and robbed four gold chains from the jewellery stall outside of ditchburns... I remember thinking... 'none of this is my fault!'
My auntie used to sit me on her lap when I was a little boy and sing to me, a surrogate mum as it were along with my grandparents... she would cradle me and say... "don't let the buggers get you down Mark, it's not your fault, none of this would happen to you if you were here with us, safe!"
But it did, it always happened... my dad tried to hang himself when he found out he was ill... he was sectioned under the mental health act and detained in Brentwood. I visited him every day and cared for my mum during his absence and rehab and helped with the bills and the running of the house... upon his release, he asked who I was? why was i in his house? he then told me at the age of 28; that he was not my real 'Father'... I remember the staff at Brentwood taking me to one side when I had got upset to see this big burly brut of a man reduced to a sedated dribbling wreck and saying..."don't worry mate, things will change, he will get better and none of this is your fault!"
I did one last robbery before I left essex, earned enough to get away... I paid a visit to a bloke that I needed to get even with and 'bottled' him in the throat twice... I actually leant over him while he was screaming for an ambulance and said..."don't worry, it's not your fault, it's your brothers!" He lived, as I recall, someone told me he was never quite the same and he had never told anyone who did it, on account of me threatening to go back and carve him into little pieces...
I came to swindon, had a fling with a girl that got pregnant and all the while i was in love with a girl across the road... i got myself a job and things were going well until I had an accident and karma came to visit, severing my right leg( held on by skin) and changing my life forever... again. I pursued my interest in the beautiful 22yr old down my street... our friendship blossomed beyond my dreams and we decided to leave our boring existences behind and become lovers... we did... the most amazingly intense and passionate affair that would last... I was due compensation from my accident, reduced from six figures to 5 because someone sent an anonymous letter to Brake Brothers solicitor saying i was on drugs at the time of the incident! reduced further when my solicitor pulled out a week before the hearing and finally reduced to £500 for three years of pain and heartache and suffering, it smashed our dreams. I remember Bishop; of Bishop Longbotham and Bagnall saying... "we are sorry, but none of this is your fault!"
We ended up in a derelict council house in parks with nothing... a sofa bed, a cable drum table and a portable tv... we rebuilt, we got jobs, we got shitty little cars, we dreamed again... all the while swearing our undying love and devotion to each other... making love like it was going out of fashion, heaping praise and compliments upon each other... only for me to discover today that my girl, my most precious saviour and the one person I trusted beyond life itself, has been seeing someone else for months, sleeping with them, secret getaways and meetings and swearing her undying love for them... no need for me to worry though as she has told me... "Mark, none of this is your fault!"
But it is... It's my fault for being alive and persisting in my pursuit of happiness... it's my fault for loving and wanting and respecting her so much she feels suffocated and feels the need to escape into the arms of someone else...
My life, or the life I knew is over... i will choose to end my life as and when I want to and in a manner I choose... and do you know what?
IT WILL NOT BE MY FAULT.