Alley Kid Thirteen

Joanne doesn’t know that I am awake. I lie here next to her unmoving. My eyes watch the door, searching for shadows; listening in a childish way for fears from long ago. I know they aren’t real. I know what I saw was nothing more than my over-used, over–drugged mind, but I can’t shake the possibility from my thoughts.

She’s oblivious to my thoughts, not that it matters, and not that she would care if she knew.

I listen to the sound of her breathing. Each breath gets longer and slower as she falls asleep. I try to keep my mind focused. It’s been a week since I last saw my father. He wrote to me. Strange, really. Why didn’t he call or just come around again? The letter doesn’t sound like him. I wonder if he wrote it or it was his bimbo wife. The letter is long and full of caring words; the mirage of a father I long for, but not the one I have.Car-and-street-at-night (1)

I roll over onto my side with a sigh. Perhaps, it was written by him. A cruel trick. A way for him to lure me into some kind of false security. I’ve read his words a dozen times at least, but each time, it makes me feel worse than the last. His words from his last visit resonate around my head. His presence and his letter argue with one another.

I’m nothing to him, he had said. Nothing. A useless waste of space.

My mind tries to piece together the lost hours from that night, but they are nothing more than blank memories of darkness. Its hard to keep my thoughts straight when they want to spin over everything, even the blood. For that, I have no explanation. Even now a week later, my body has not healed from whatever trauma it endured.

I don’t understand what happened. I don’t remember. As soon as my mind tries to answer my questions, I silence it.

Not my father.

He wouldn’t.

Not again.

Not after the last time. The last time, he had almost killed me. In some ways, I wish he had succeeded, but then I remember Will and he would be alone if I had died. But I can’t help wishing the doctors didn’t put me back together. They should have just left me.

I feel my own frustration raging at myself as I desperately keep my mind from putting pieces together the way it wants. It’s not possible.

Joanne is asleep now. Finally. I tuck my hand under my pillow and watch her. She seems content and oblivious to the way I feel inside. I hope her dreams are better than mine. I wish she understood how lucky she is.

I’m not tired. Joanne doesn’t know that I swallowed a phet bomb before I came to bed. She won’t understand I need it to take away the black thoughts, the darkness that awaits me on the side lines, reaching out to catch me.

I feel the adrenaline crawl its way up my spine. Its tiny fingers pushing in, covering and taking away my pain as it moves, and leaving a thick layer of numbness, so that I can breathe.

I clamp my jaw down to save from giving myself away. The phet is bigger than my darkness. It slips through, filling every empty cavity that I posses. My heart pounds in my chest. I wonder if it can be heard. A celebration as the phet begins to win the fight.

Every part of my body comes alive. I have to move and do something other than just lying still. I feel restless inside, but I force myself to stay there. Just for another minute, to be sure Joanne is asleep.

Her breathing is slow, and rattles in her chest. I force myself to be calm and slow, in my movements, as I try to slip from the bed without her waking. I don’t want the sudden weight shift to disturb her.

As I get free, I stand and watch for a moment at the need of the bed before pulling on my jeans and a t-shirt. I need my keys. They are on the bedside table next to Joanne. I curse at myself. Why didn’t I think to put them in my jeans pocket beforehand? Such an idiot. I step cautiously towards them, and clasp both my hands over them to shield the sound when they clang together.

I have no feelings of guilt or remorse as I stare at her from the doorway. Only anticipation of what I’m about to do. I wonder why I’m here; why I’m with her. I feel nothing for her. No emotions. Just like I am nothing to her. Just a toy for her to play with. Someone to use in her sick pleasures. I had feelings for her once, of course, but they ended long ago when she had cheated on me.

I feel only relief that she hasn’t woken as I was getting out of bed and leaving. Angela is asleep on the sofa. Colin is asleep in his bed in Will’s room, and Will is at his mother’s; away from my useless parental skills and me. I wish he had more than me. I sigh as I leave and let myself out of the flat. Locking the back door behind me, I stand for just a moment at the top of the steps that lead into the dark alley.

I put my cigarette in my mouth, light it, and inhale deeply. The smoke travels down into my chest, setting off the amphetamine even more, and I feel the rush of excitement wash over me.

Suddenly, I am alive. The darkness inside is gone. Dead and defeated in a drug haze. Nothing can hurt me. Nothing. Who cares what my dad might have done to me? It’s what I was made for. It’s why I am here.

I race down the steps and into the darkness of the alley; I don’t stop, until I reach the main street. I can see the dim lights of the fast food store Karla works at. They have begun to close down for the night. Crowds of drunken tourists walk past me, devouring kebabs and burgers, and laughing at each other as they sway and trip and share jokes about the night’s events. Tomorrow, it’ll all be some drunken memory for them, clouded by their hangovers.

They walk past me and don’t notice I am there. I stand outside the shop waiting for Karla. She sees me as she runs the mop over the floor. She smiles at me; a smile that lights up her entire face. I smile back; a smile that no doubt convinces her that I am as equally happy to see her.

In reality, she is like Joanne. She doesn’t matter to me. She is just some girl I met on my way home from working at the nightclub when I stopped to get something to eat. I’m pretty sure I mean nothing to her either.

I watch as she finishes her work and says goodnight to her co-workers before coming out to greet me. She instantly throws her arms around my neck. “I missed you,” she says to me, but I doubt that. I haven’t missed her. I hardly thought about her through my days except for the anticipation of this meeting, but its more that I am out.

“I love you,” she whispers into my ears. Her words are as empty as I feel.

“I love you too,” I say back casually repeating the words back to her. She doesn’t notice the flatness in my voice. Not that she would. People only hear what they want how they want.

People are fake. I am not someone that can be loved, nor am I capable of returning it. If I was, then Joanne and I would be happy and Will would have the perfect life. Not that I don’t love him, of course, I do. I just wish that he had better than me in his life.

I take Karla’s hand and lead her along the street. I know what I am looking for. A car, nothing spectacular, or sporty. I don’t care. I just want something to drive, to get away from everywhere for a couple of hours, and not be noticed.

“I’m not sure about this,” Karla says to me as I fight with the lock on a plain car, until it gives way and opens.

I shrug.

“You can go home if you want to,” I say.

I don’t really care about that either. She can come with me if she wants. It’s her choice. She stares at me for a moment as she makes her decision.

“If I go home will you come with me?”

The car door is open, my foot is inside already and I am about to sit down. I look at her and shake my head. I don’t want to go to her house and play happy families. I want to be in the car. I want to be on the road. I want to feel the speed of it.

I get into the car properly, crack the barrel on the ignition, and glance at Karla through the mirror, waiting for her decision. I’m not going to wait long. If she doesn’t decide, I’m going to drive away. I won’t force her to come with me, but if she wants me to get out of the car and beg her, she’ll be waiting a long time.

After a moment, she slips into the passenger seat beside me. I start the engine and smile at her, but she doesn’t smile back.

 

Alley Kid Twelve.

I don’t normally post warnings on my posts. Especially not Alley Kid, but I think the contents of this I should. If you have read my books, you’ll know what to expect, except. this isn’t so graphic, but there are details of abuse.

 

I don’t know how much time has passed. It feels like hours. My head is heavy inside, and it’s still daylight. I’m laid on a makeshift bed on the floor with my mattress from my room. Maz is laid with me. She is asleep. I don’t know what woke me. I look around and try not to wake her too. The place seems quiet. It takes me a moment to realise he is still here.

I can see the door. He’s waiting. Hiding.  I see shadows and darkness; it’s where he likes to hide. I see his eyes in my mind. The wide open discoloured whites of them. The way his skin wrinkles underneath. The dark spots on his cheeks. I can see them like he is right in front of me.

Something touches my foot. It’s soft, like a feather.  I don’t know what it is, I have a cover on me. I lift it and look down, but there is nothing there. I put my foot back down, but it’s there again and I move my foot, reach down and brush off whatever invisible thing it is. I close my eyes and then open them again. I can’t keep them closed. He’s going to come at any moment. Maz is asleep, she won’t know and no one will hear me, no one will help, just like always.

Maybe it’s his hand on my foot. Maybe he’s about to grab me. I can feel it. Next will be his nails in my legs like when I was little and he would drag me down and claw at me. I try to move and get away. I can’t. Inside I feel dead and heavy. My mouth is dry and I can’t take in enough air. My throat feels constricted; my lungs won’t go deep enough. I start to gasp and Maz wakes and sits.

“What’s wrong?” she asks me.

I try to talk. I say the words. I hear them perfectly, but Maz doesn’t understand. She asks me to repeat them and I do, but still she doesn’t know what I am saying.

“You’re slurring,” she tells me.

I try to speak clear. I try and tell her that he’s there. I try and move back and get away. I’m shaking and crying because I can’t tell her, all I can do is make sounds that aren’t even words. I try and push myself back, but just hit the front of the sofa. I am trapped.

“There’s nothing there,” she says to me. “It’s just the phet, you took too much.”

Joanne comes into the room. She must have heard me. She has a bag and Froggy is with her.

“Is he okay?” She asks Maz.

Maz nods. “He needs to sleep it off, but he won’t.”

Joanne has cans in her bag. She pulls one out and passes it to Maz, Maz offers it to me, but I don’t want it. Maz tries to put it to my mouth and I try and push it away.

“You need to drink,” says Joanne. “It’s been days you haven’t eaten or drunk at all.”

“If you don’t drink something your body is going to shut down,” says Maz.

I take the can from Maz, but she holds it with me. My hands are unsteady. I put it to my mouth and as the drink hits my mouth I realise how thirsty I am. I don’t waste time. I don’t sip it. One gulp becomes another and another, each one is not enough. I can’t take enough to make the thirst go away and within seconds, the can is empty. I need more. I hold my hand out and try and say the words, but I can’t. Joanne knows what I want though and she reaches in her bag for another. She passes it to Maz and Maz opens it, but my stomach flips over. I feel the heat of it inside as it sloshes the juice I have just ingested. I retch but nothing comes out.  Maz gets off the mattress fast and I try to move.

She tries to help me get up, but in her position she can’t. Joanne tries to help, but its Froggy that gets me to my feet and I know that any moment the drink is going to come right out. I can hardly move. I try and steady myself on all of them and in a rush, they manage to get me to the bathroom. I vomit in the sink and collapse on the floor. My body hasn’t finished though, but I don’t have the energy to get up and vomit in the sink or the toilet. It’s down my clothes. I can smell it.

Joanne runs out of the bathroom and comes back seconds later with a bowl. I ask her for a cigarette, only managing to get the word smoke out. She reaches in her pocket for her pack and gives me one, but I can’t even light it. Maybe this is death.

My mind wants to sleep. It wants to shut down. I feel it pressing on the inside making my skull ache. My eyes try to close but I fight them. I smoke my cigarette and sit forwards to wake myself up, but then he is there. I see his shadow out in the hallway. I lean back and he moves too. I lean forward and so does his shadow. I do it over and over.

“What are you doing?” asks Maz.

I try to talk but say nothing.

“You’re rocking.”

I still don’t say anything. I stop rocking, but I don’t take my eyes off the shadow. Maz has the shower running. For me I guess. I just keep my eyes focused on him, but they keep closing. They close for minutes at a time and I don’t realise. I don’t want to sleep. Maz and Joanne are there. They take my top off and I don’t stop them. Joanne tells me to stand and I have to lean on them and she tries to unfasten my jeans, but I don’t want her to, not with him out there.drug

Somehow I am in the shower and I don’t know how I got there. I’m leaning against the wall and sat in the base. Time slips in and out and I don’t see it. I try to ask, but they don’t understand and my words won’t come out. I keep still as they clean me up, get me out of the shower and put me back in bed.

I try to protest at being in just my underwear. I am cold. But Maz gets in with me again. They throw more covers over me and I can’t fight it. Sleep takes me away and I am gone.

I see flashes of moments. I open my eyes and people are in different places. Joanne on the chair watching the television. Maz on the chair. Froggy sat playing my games console. I don’t speak, just reach for a drink each time. The bowl is next to me just in case, but I don’t drink so much.

Someone is shaking me. I feel them and tell them to stop it.

“Wake up,” he says and I realise it’s my father. I didn’t know he is here, I didn’t remember. Did I let him in? I don’t know. No one else is there.

“Do you have the money you owe me?” he asks.

“In my wallet,” I try and say, but my words don’t come out.

“What?” he asks me to repeat and I try. “I can’t understand what you’re saying,” he tells me.

He kneels down to me and I try and tell him again. He grabs my hair in his fist, pulls my head up to him, I can’t move. I try and get out of his grip but I can’t.

“You’re such a waste of space,” he tells me. He clutches tighter, pulling my hair and I can’t fight him off. “You’re nothing to me.”

There isn’t anything I can do. It all goes dark and I fall asleep again. I forget my father is there and when I open my eyes he is gone. It is dark again and Joanne is watching the television with Angela and Colin.

I need the bathroom. Something feels wrong. It feels like I got turned off for a few hours as though I were a machine. I didn’t dream. Just darkness. I ask Joanne what time it is, she tells me. It’s been hours and I don’t remember them.

I try to stand, but my legs are shaky. They haven’t stood for I don’t know how long. My underwear feels wet. I look at Joanne and Angela and Colin, but they aren’t looking at me. They have a film on and I wonder if somehow I managed to wet myself. I don’t want them to know I slept so much I wet the bed.

I pick up a towel that’s laid on the arm of the sofa and wrap it around my waist so I can go to the bathroom.

In the bathroom I take the towel off and then my underwear. I just stare at it. My mind expected just to see wet clothes, but the red glares at me and I stare at it as though I have never seen blood before.

I feel nothing. No pain, no bruises. I don’t know why it’s there. I don’t feel ill. I feel panic inside. Fear. I don’t want Joanne to see. I don’t want to know where it came from.  I get in the shower instead. I don’t care that it isn’t heated yet. I want to hide from my blood soaked shorts. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe they aren’t there. Maybe it’s from the phet. I shower, but I can see them through the door. I have to get rid of them.

They are still there when I finish showering. Part of me wonders why. Why didn’t they just vanish? I can’t sneak them out. I’m sure that Joanne will see them. She’ll come out of the lounge the moment I come out of the bathroom with them in my hand. I get the envelope that holds my needles instead. I tip those into Joanne’s makeup bag and then I put my shorts in the envelope.

The blood is wet, it marks my hands and I just stare at it. I don’t know where it’s from. I don’t understand why I am bleeding.

 

Blame Take Two

Blame: Take Two

I guess, like anyone, blame and shame are my biggest issues. In reality, I would never blame a child for the atrocities of its parents; I would see him or her as innocent, and a victim of their parent’s wrong doings. Yet, when it comes to me, I cannot. I blame myself and no matter how much the evidence is stacked up against my parents, I cannot change it. If I even try, it feels like lies.

One of the factors of blame, is understanding the’ why’ question, and because that is almost impossible to answer, the only conclusion a child can draw on, is that it must be their fault.

For those who read this blog and don’t know, I study Psychology and during a recent lesson, we studied a Psychologist named, Stanley Milgram.blame_700

He investigated why Nuremberg war criminals in WWII, carried out acts of genocide. Was it simply because Germans were made different and, therefore, cruel?

He believed they were, and tested his theory with an experiment. He asked ordinary people to volunteer as teachers and had actors as the learner. The teachers thought they were simply there for a memory test, but that was not the case.

Milgram set up the teacher and the learner in different rooms. The learner was strapped to a chair and attached to a buzzer that gave them an electric shock. The teacher was in another room and asked the learner a question. For each question they got wrong, the teacher would administer an electric shock. These shocks went along a scale, starting at nothing more than a quick nip of volts, to 450 volts, which was fatal.

In the room with the teacher, was an experimenter, (an actor) who appeared to be taking notes and watching. The teacher could not see the learner, only hear them.

However, what they really heard, was a recorded voice. They weren’t really electrocuting people, they just believed they were. Eventually, as the voltage got higher, the voice would plead, asking for no more, and eventually it went silent, leaving the teacher not knowing if the learner was unconscious or simply not responding.

Of course, as the cries or the silence got worse, the teacher often became stressed, but the experimenter in the room would simply state that it was vital to the experiment and to please continue (they did have the right to leave at any time).

Milgram found that over 60% of people went to the fatal 450volts and, when asked later, he concluded that like the Nazi, it was not down to ethnicity, but rather obedience. If people did not hold the blame, they could continue.

My father, like many the same, told me, it was my fault. I wanted it. I asked for it. I liked it and his personal favourite that I gained everything in my life through sex. It would seem the case, even using it to gain my father’s love and attention. The way he worded thing caused me to  take the blame because what he said was logical.

What if Milgram’s theory applies here? My father convinced himself that it was what I wanted. He believed his own lies, removed blame, and gave it to me. He believed he was doing what I wanted, what I liked and what I offered.  He was being obedient.

Making it my fault and not his, made it okay for him to do what he did.

Birthday Wishes

I find that the people that touch us the most are the ones we don’t expect to come along. They pop up like surprise and leave you feeling great inside. Maybe that’s their purpose, maybe it’s our purpose to pop into each other’s lives and make them better. If we stay or go, I don’t think it matters, but as long as the footprint that gets left behind is one of love and kindness, that is what is important.

Last month I received an email that touched me in such a way, from a wonderful young girl who had read my books and taken to them so much that she wrote a fan fiction. It felt so amazing to mean that much to a reader, that she would spend time on something and message me about it.

Today is her birthday. I wanted to make sure that she knew how much I appreciated what she had done and loved what she had written. She truly is an amazing writer.

Happy Birthday Nafisa!!! 

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I hope that your day is as wonderful as you are and that you enjoy it to the fullest. It’s your day, this one and everyone after it. Make them your own and thank you for taking the time to write and to message me. I hope that you keep writing, you work was so great to read.

Happy Birthday once again,

Much love and care.

JD

Some Days

Some days, everyday feels like a fight. Usually, I have had a trigger when it gets this way that goes like a snowball. One thought and my mind is off for days until it gets to a place where it can rest, or perhaps, I simply have too much and it gets too big and I can’t carry it on.

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A couple of weeks ago, I got stuck in the snow on the way to University. Every day, I have to drive through the area I grew up in; so many places, so many memories. Some good and some bad.

While driving a road that normally takes less than five minutes, and took me almost forty-five through the snow, my mind wandered. I spotted the fish and chip shop my Nan would take me to when my parents had left me. I saw the shop owned by my Nan’s friends. She would drive me insane as she chatted about all the boring things adults say, while I, a seven year old, just wished she’d say goodbye. I got to the main part of the road where my Nan used to walk along each day, and that was when my mind got stuck.

She’s been gone almost thirteen years now, but I remember her face, the way she walked, her voice. I can hear it perfectly in my mind, and on that day, it was almost like being able to see her walk along that same road as she had done when she was alive.

I reminded myself that she was gone, but of course, that led me on to remembering when she died. I was twenty-four.

She had collapsed in her house, but luckily, she was by the telephone and called for help. She had a blood clot in her lungs and was taken to hospital. My dad called me up to tell me and inform me that she was probably going to die. Of course, I didn’t waste time in going to see her.

Every day, he would call me to say, your Nan is sick, maybe she will die today and she will be by herself, and each time, I would panic and get there as fast as I could. By Friday, she had been there for five days. I went to the hospital and my father was there with my brother.  I didn’t want to stay with him and have to listen to what he would say after, about her. I don’t know why I gave her a hug and a kiss. I hadn’t done that in a very long time, but I had just wanted to.

The next morning, was the same scenario. A call from my dad to tell me my Nan was going to die alone.  I was going to see her anyway. I was going early because my partner and I had a young baby and we were house hunting.

I knew the moment I walked onto the ward that she was gone. I felt it; like emptiness. The nurse caught me before I got to her bed and ushered me into a side room. I didn’t want to hear the words. My dad sat there with his fake tears and fake grief, getting all the attention and pretending that she had been like a mother to him. He had loved her and  spoke whatever lies he could think of. The kind nurse asked him if he would like to see her and say goodbye. He said yes please, through his sobs and asked me if I was coming. He sent my brother out for a walk, so he didn’t have to deal with it.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see her. My last memory had been me saying goodbye and that was enough, right? He stood at the door to her room. I stood to the side and couldn’t see her. He started to cry again at the sight of her and told me she looked like she was sleeping and smiling.

I agreed to go in, but she didn’t look like he said. She looked dead. Her cheeks had sunk, she was pale, and cruelly, she was still warm as my father carried on his performance of the grieving son in law.

He took her personal possessions from the nursing staff, including her purse, which he emptied and spent the money on my brother. I went home and kept my grief inside because he stole it from me.

The biggest part of this memory is that I remember thinking, what if now she can see the truth. What if she knows what I had done with my father all these years? Now, she would hate me. Now, she would know I am a monster. She would know that everything about me was a lie and that I was some sick human that engaged in sexual contact with my parents.

I realised that this is when I buried everything and I became sick within my mind. This is when my OCD really began to peak because it needed an outlet.

This week has been like opening something I didn’t know I had sealed, and feeling it.

Legacy

Legacy

An odd word really, it conjures up a happy image perhaps when someone says they were left a legacy. The word legacy itself means a gift, or to have something passed down.stethoscope

Yet, for an adult who suffered a form of child abuse, the legacy is far from happy. Often, at least I have found, the legacy I am left with is far worse than the experience itself.

Legacy, like a shadow I cannot lose.

I am sure I am not alone in this, that the gift that was passed to me, haunts me in my every days. Whether it is something as simple as smelling something, or seeing a story on the news that is triggering or a child walking past me that still has his innocent smile. There is always something.

I find because of this I pretty much alienate myself from everyone in every way possible. My family does not know the real me, they see smiles. I do everything; I function as I am meant to. As I said before, I have perfected the happy external image.

I don’t keep friends in my real life because I can’t talk and if I could, they would not understand. Maybe a day I am hugely triggered and I cannot do something that was planned, I have to cancel. I lost my high school friend this way, he got tired of me cancelling plans and perhaps the other way around I would have too. I am at university, but I do not make friends because I don’t fit. People talk to me of course, but I am more comfortable sitting with my head in a book and being lost in a fantasy world, than talking to real people. Yet sometimes I watch them from over my book, the way they are so free to laugh or be sad, to talk or cry. To do whatever it is that friends do. I wish in many ways I had that.

I think I do a good job of driving my online friends away too. I get quiet when I am not feeling good in my mind. Something’s I will say, but too often I feel like a burden, because these things in my head are stuck, but I don’t want to be that friend that people dread, because I never seem to be happy. Who really wants a friend that every time you speak to them, they make you feel depressed with their issues?

I had to go to the doctors this week, for a cough that I have had since October or November time, it got to the point that I can’t sleep, so I gave in and called. Doing that was hard in itself; I don’t like to go to the doctors. Not because I am afraid, but because it is so triggering, weekly my mother would drag me there with various ailments I was meant to have, all because she wanted to see the doctor herself.

According to her, I was ill so much because she was meant to be with the doctor as his wife and so fate, made me ill so that she might see him often and work on being in a relationship with him. She taught me that he was never interested in making me better, but more in entering into sexual relations with her.

This is what I think about when I need to go. When I am sat in the waiting room like, I did as a child and being made to tell her for the umpteenth time, that she looks good, and after, the grilling, I would receive. Did he look at her nicely, did he smile. Do I think he was happy to see her? And my answers dictated how the rest of my day would go. If I made her happy, I was fed, I could watch the television.  My father wouldn’t beat me. So I sat in the doctors waiting room on Monday, probably looking like I was afraid to move.

Then there is the going into the doctor’s office itself, I hate to say how I feel, but I have to, and I have to remove my top so that he can listen to my chest. He put his hand on my shoulder, while he stood behind me and like any doctor, he listened to my breathing. My mind was going haywire because he had hold of shoulder and he was behind me, I wanted to get out of there as fast as possible, he said he wanted to try some antibiotics for a week, but perhaps they will have to x-ray. I sheepishly asked for the medication in solution form, because even more thanks to my mother, I cannot get myself to swallow tablets.

The doctor sighed and I know he wasn’t happy, he had that ‘tone’ like I’m being a pain and I couldn’t explain to him why I can’t take tablets, I just had to sit there and receive that look as if I was being difficult on purpose. He did what all doctors seem to do, he tells me, he’ll give me a solution, but because I won’t take tablets, I have to have this specific one that will probably make me vomit.

And there it is, a giant trigger for me, if anyone has read my books, medication that is likely to make me vomit is so huge for me. I took the prescription from him, thanked him for his time, but the prescription was in the trash can on my way out the door and I wondered why I just endured all that trauma.

I get home, and my children ask me what the doctor said, I just told them I have a cough and got medication and then I went to cook them dinner, they are content with my answer. Inside I am shattered from a simple trip to the doctors, that felt like retracing my steps through hell and there’s no one to tell.

The legacy of childhood.

Last Day Free

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Mr. Ted holds the hand of his six-year-old friend as they share more of his deepest secrets. Poignant and bold, the boy’s courageous words are detailed and real. He takes you farther into his abusive life and broken mind as he survives the tangled deceit and lies of his everydays. Sit alongside him. Hear his voice and listen with your heart as he opens it up once more.

 

His story continues…

Alley Kid Eleven

I can feel the phet beginning to clear away as the light of a new day comes in. It washes away the dark and takes it from the outside and puts it on the inside, like a dirty puddle in my mind.silhouette of man/male on wall, cast by orange light /sunset.

The lightness from the phet inside my head gets replaced by darkness. I can feel it; a weight behind my eyes. Suffocating me. Dying on the inside once more. Often, I wish I could close my eyes and never open them again. I don’t want to die; I just want to make it all stop. Something to fill the gaping hole inside.

Karla is in the bathroom while I get dressed in the bedroom. I wonder what I’m doing. Why I’m doing it. I have no desire to be with Karla, but then I have no desire to be with anyone.

I have to leave before someone in her house wakes. She lives with her parents. I don’t want them to catch me. I don’t want them to know my face; to familiarise themselves with who is sleeping with their daughter.

Part of me wishes she would leave me alone. She wants more than I can give. More than I am capable of. She wants the world and I am nothing more than a waste of her time. Yet I cant end it. Part of me craves the fact that she wants me. What if I was to leave fully and it was a mistake?

Karla comes back out of the bathroom and I tell her I have to go.

“Can I see you tomorrow?” She asks. I don’t really know. I give a non-committal nod. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I just want to go home.

I say my goodbyes, but I don’t end it with a kiss. She waits for one. I feel it. But she’s just like everyone else, waiting for what she wants and not seeing what it is I want. Not that I know. Everything feels pointless.

I get back to our flat and Joanne says nothing as I get in and it’s after 6am. She doesn’t care either. A quick stop off at the fuelling station on my way home for cigarettes and she’s happy. Of course when I walk through the door it’s as though she didn’t notice I was gone. The place is spotless. She and Angela are sat smoking and chatting. The overflowing ash tray sits on the table. I throw her a new pack as I pop my head around the door before going to my own bedroom to gain my happiness again.

Its almost an instant lift as I take the phet. Like pressing a button inside my mind and everything feels great again. The adrenaline up along my spine clears away the darkness and I feel normal once more. Normal enough that I go and join Joanne and Angela. Normal enough that I can sit and talk and I don’t really care what we talk about. Usually men with Joanne. She laughs and jokes.

Between the chaos, the days just go passed. It feels as though we have sat there the entire time. I haven’t seen Maz, but that is not unusual either. She takes days of rest, days away from this life where she sleeps. I don’t blame her. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. To close my eyes and sleep the days away.

Five days I have been going on the phet. I can smell it on my skin. My body sweats it out. We just have a little left now. The money is all gone. Woody came around and gave us what we needed. He went away pleased with almost three hundred pounds in his pocket. I have cigarettes and phet, I don’t need anything else. Will is still at his mother’s. Colin is with us and he doesn’t seem to mind that we have been awake the entire time. Mark has been a few times to take his brother out. Part of me gets on edge when I see him. Maybe today will be the day the police catch him here. I haven’t seen Phil or Becci. I wonder what he thinks of his car.

Joanne and I sit in the lounge. It’s morning. That itself always feel strange to me. When I have been awake all night and we watch the new day come in, it feels as though I’m outside of the world. Like I am watching people on the inside get up and do normal everyday things. They missed the new day come in. How strange for them. They went to bed and when they wake, it’s all different.

“We have a bit of money left,” Joanne says. “Shall we get some more phet?”

My mind screams yes, I want to. I don’t want to feel the darkness. But I know I need to rest. Five days, my jeans are loose. I can feel my bones. Maybe another day and it could fix everything. Fight away the dark. Not listen to my father tell me I am fat.

I sit on the sofa and turn on the television. The week’s daytime television is just beginning. I can hear my cat, Sooty. I haven’t seen him for a few days. He’s crying in the hallway. Joanne is on the sofa opposite putting on her shoes. l go to get the cat while she goes out for more phet. But I turn to stand and he is there. Behind her.

I lose control in that moment. He’s right there. I see his face. Just as I did when I was a child. The bad man. The man of my nightmares. The one who came to my room every night. I scream and back myself away as fast as I can. Joanne stands up. She is screaming at me, but I’m not looking at her. I’m looking at him. His eyes, his smiles. The darkness that is there, it holds his intent. No one can help me. He’s blocking the door and I can’t get away.

I can’t breathe. I clutch my chest. It is tight. Joanne grabs my arms. She shakes me. Asks me what’s wrong. I pull away from her. I have to get away. I look at the door he has gone. I can’t hear sooty. Maybe he killed him. I remember the cat. The one in the woods. Just the same. Its black and it can’t get away and the man killed him.

I move back from Joanne. I can’t get the air in. I’m going to pass out. I know it. I can’t breathe. “I’m calling an ambulance,” she says as I clutch my throat to try and get air. I shake my head and tell her no. They can’t come. They’ll know about the phet.

“What’s wrong?” She yells at me.

I’m shouting. She can’t understand. I can’t get the words out enough for her to get them. I gasp for breath. I shout. “He’s there, and point at the hallway. No one is there.

I get to the window and open it. Joanne yells at me again. “What are you doing?”

“He’s here,” I shout. I can’t shout hard enough to make him go away. I can’t make Joanne understand that he is there. I can see him. In the shadows out in the hallway.

“I’m going to call the ambulance,” she says to me again as I try and hold myself up. The room is spinning. I need air, but I can’t get it. My throat is closing. I can’t breathe deeply enough. Joanne gets the phone and I take it off her.

“No,” I say. I smash it down onto the table so she can’t call. She can’t call anyone. I watch for him at the door. The bad man. I can see him.

“I’m going to get Maz,” she yells at me. She is crying. “Stay here.”

Joanne leaves, but I can see him there. His eyes in the darkness. The silhouette of him. Like in the dark when I was little. The way he stood at the end of my bed before he got me. When I was little and couldn’t fight him off. When he did what he wanted and no one came.

I’m crying and screaming and yelling at him to leave. He doesn’t move. I open the window more and get my foot out of it. I don’t care that it’s the top floor. I need to get out, I won’t fall. It’s a big ledge. I’m half out the window. I can hear him. He’s making sounds like before. Like a growl.

I hear all the noises in the kitchen. I don’t know what it is. I get more out of the window ready to jump. No one can get me if I jump. It’s better than him. Better than his nails and his teeth and the things he’ll do to me.

Maz runs into the room. She doesn’t come very close. She shouts my name, but I can’t come in. But he’s gone. I can’t see him now. Maybe he is hiding. Maz walks slow to me. She puts her hands out. She is crying too. “Please don’t move,” she says to me. Joanne is with her. She stays behind.

Maz moves forwards. She grabs my hand and pulls me in. She wraps her arms around me. I can’t breathe still. She sits me down, she doesn’t let go. She lies down with me and wraps herself around me.

“He was there,” I try and tell her, but my words don’t come out.

“Don’t try to talk,” she tells me. She runs her fingers through my hair. I close my eyes and let go. “You’ve overdosed.”

Release

I want to thank all who purchased my new book, “Stupid Boy”, or helped to promote it by sharing links to it, for me. Release day is always an emotional rollercoaster for me. Not because I am thrilled or overjoyed, but because I am afraid. Not only am I putting myself out there to the world; a world that is often judgemental and not always for the better, but because I am telling.

I am telling the real secrets I have held onto for 20 years or more. I am putting out into the world, a view of my parents that I do not actually hold, but one that those who read it, will form.

My father is still in my life, when I see him it makes the guilt more when I know what I have said about him. I feel like a child in these moments; of perhaps, facing my father and thinking who is going to believe me.

He is well respected. He has friends; he is liked. People seek him out for help and advice. He cares. His own daughter idolises him yet, here I am making him out to be some kind of sick monster with my words. Knowing how the world sees him and knowing what I know, I always feel like a liar. Even though my words are the truth, in my father’s world, I would be the liar and he would never do such things.sb cover final

It makes me question. I ask myself if things are real. Did I make them up? Did they really happen? I question my sanity. Perhaps, I am insane and these are just the visions from a psychotic episode. I detach and the events seem like a dream.

The guilt I feel is tremendous, yet each time, I sit to write. Each time, I let that little boy inside, have a voice. I feel better.

People often ask me how I can bring it all back up again. How I can relive it. They assume writing it is painful for me, but it is not.

Not writing it, is what hurts. Denying that boy his voice and his right to tell, leaves me lost. He thrashes around inside with all these things he wants to say and when I don’t let him, my dark days come.

It does not make a person sick when they take the poison out, it is when you try to hold it in that it devours you.

 

Stupid Boy

Finally, I am pleased to announce that Stupid Boy, will be released tomorrow. The third book in the Dear Teddy series.
” I am a stupid boy, with stupid hair and stupid clothes. I am always stupid, forever. My badness comes out and makes it all stupid. I don’t tell Mr. Ted though. He is my friend. We go outside and we get to play. We chop up all the bad people with our swords. We play with Andrew too. He is magic, he is invisible. He doesn’t know that I am Stupid Boy. Nobody ever wants Stupid Boy.”sb cover final

Stupid Boy is the third instalment of Dear Teddy, and continues the pain-filled journey of a seven-year old boy through his horrific childhood of abuse. In his own words, he shows you his scars and tells you the lies that he believes; every page an accounting of the deliberate destruction of a child by those he loves and the strangers he is forced to please.

His gentle spirit will reach out and amaze you with its strength. Wrap your arms around him as he opens his heart once more and shares his life with you.

His story continues…

A review from a dear friend, Cyn, who beta read Stupid Boy for me 🙂

Have you ever felt such deep anger and hatred for two total strangers that you would happily hunt them down and cause them great physical harm? Well, this is how you will feel when you read JD Stockholm’s third book of the Teddy series. Any parent who can subject their child to the horrors that these people did should be made to undergo the same kind of torture. And worse. Because they deserve it. Their innocent child did not.

After reading the first two books, Dear Teddy and Telling Teddy, I remember walking around in a haze for days after. The books had shocked me and affected me so profoundly that it seemed I could think of nothing else. At home, at work, in the car. My own problems suddenly seemed dreadfully small and insignificant in comparison. The thing is, I knew about child abuse…but I didn’t actually “know”. These books open your eyes to a nightmarishly harsh reality that you wish did not exist and make you realise that, as a society, we are not doing nearly enough to help these innocent, helpless children.

I thought I had read the worst of it and that things could not possibly get any worse for our little hero in Stupid Boy. Unfortunately, I was so very wrong. This third book serves to illustrate just how deep his parents’ depravity runs. It will leave you frozen in horror and rage. Despite having realised from the first two books what kind of monsters we are dealing with, these people’s actions still succeed in shocking you into speechlessness.

The seven-year-old little boy still longs for his parents’ love and acceptance. He still desperately wants to be able to live with them because he needs them in his life. It is heartwrenching to see his sadness and despair for these undeserving people. He is like every other child who adores and even idolises his parents and craves their love and approval in return. But these are not normal people or parents worthy of his love. They do not even deserve the titles “Mum” and “Dad”. However, this is not something an innocent little boy’s mind can grasp or understand. He still believes that everything bad that happens to him is his fault and that it is because of “the evil” inside of him.

The role his mother plays in his sexual abuse, which is made much clearer in this book, is deplorable. You are appalled by her abominable behaviour and outraged that she could reject and maltreat her young son in that way. His father’s neglect and barbarity continues to be just as contemptible as it was. However, what shocks you most is how far these people’s mistreatment of their son eventually goes. The actions of his parents in this book are shockingly heinous. They are perverse throughout the book but I literally felt as if my heart had been ripped out at what they allowed him to be subjected to in the end. It is impossible to relate to their inhumanity and their complete lack of compassion or parental instinct.

It is ironic how this young boy tries to protect his mother in one instance in the book, when it should be the other way around. She should be trying to protect her child but she has done nothing remotely close to that. In fact, she has allowed the exact opposite to occur. Even here she pushes him away, rejecting his help and him once again. It tears you up inside and makes you hate her even more. As for his father, you seriously question whether he has any humaneness or any sense of decency in him at all. Whether he is even human.

The story is made even more effective by the way the writer has us see it from a little boy’s perspective. His childlike mind and speech make him totally loveable and his innocence is utterly endearing and heartrending. At one point, his benevolence and kind-heartedness even has him worrying whether he may have caused hurt or discomfort to the very people abusing him. This is one of the things that makes this entire tragedy even more saddening.

Another thing that breaks your heart is how he believes he is so bad that not even God wants him in heaven. All this, after he has just survived another case of brutal abuse. He wonders why he did not die and comes to the conclusion that he is not good enough for heaven. Also upsetting is the fact that he says and thinks this with such acceptance. He believes he is responsible for and deserves all this atrocity. Atrocities that will make you shudder and cry.

Stupid Boy also broaches a much debated and predominant issue in today’s society. How and why a child can turn to self-harm, imaginary friendships or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. How it can engender a false sense of alleviation or relief for a child.

JD Stockholm is an extremely talented writer and has again done an amazing job in making you experience the boy’s anguish, terror and despondency as if you were there with him. You feel it so deeply that you wish you could climb into the pages of the book and pull him out of all the dreadfulness. The author should be applauded for his courage to write these books that talk about such painfully horrendous experiences. They have served to open our blind eyes and urge us to act. They urge us to stop looking the other way and acknowledge a grisly truth that we would rather deny.

I highly recommend read this book, as well as the first two if anyone has not already read them. A definite five-star rating.