Stripping away the ugliness.

i) I’m still there ii) Issues iii) Finale

I am still in those 501’s, those eight-hole DM’s, that Donkey Jacket adorned with badges pertaining to a libertarian cause, that black army-surplus canvas bag – slung over the shoulder containing the papers, reviews – the University revision work too – the essence of what my twenties were. Heck, my very soul is in that rucksack, the very ethos of my youthful endeavours (but one could quite easily argue misguided), stuck in a period of time like some indelible mark that is hard to wash away, difficult it seems now to ignore and forget. I do not know what I was aiming to achieve back twenty-five years ago. Hey, if you have read this blog you all know that I grew up from seventeen years old in a pokey little bedsit (slightly bigger than the size of a large cupboard), amongst alcoholics and some dodgy folk; I had issues from those experiences that, to be brutally honest, are still with me now at nearly forty-five years old, probably suppressed and dealt with in the interim period, but forced to re-surface at this period in my life (because I am in a similar situation, possibly). But I worked to achieve something worthwhile in my life; I studied intensely – mainly because I worked in some very low paid jobs when I was in my youth. And I knew I did not want to have a life stuck into a grind, stuck into dead-end jobs. I knew I was worth much more than that, even though I failed my secondary school exams and ‘went off the rails’, due to family issues, discussed elsewhere. But later on I went back to College and I ended up in University (an achievement). I wanted to be better than the rest because I knew I was not stupid in School. Heck, I had already read a ton of fiction and non-fiction, probably quadruple the amount of my peers had ever read (and will) before I had left School; I mean, the only main result from the secondary years I achieved was a pass in English Literature (that, combined with History were my favourite subjects – and still are), which I believe speaks volumes about my character and intelligence. To put it very bluntly, I was not thick, stupid or remedial; I hated sports with a passion, but remember being abused because I was not that ‘sporty’ and was perceived as being ‘different’ to the herd, during School and in some of those awful jobs I had by work colleagues too. But you adapt to your circumstances, and I have adapted to everything thrown at me since I was sixteen years old when I finished School. A bit of self-praise is in order here now – I am one tough cookie and no matter what you throw at me or have thrown at me, mentally or physically, I will always survive your hate, dislike and bigoted abuse because I am better than you as a being and much more soulful, deep and intelligent than you can ever hope to be. I hope you know who that is directed at. I hope it turns you to cinder when you read it, because you will turn me into star-dust from the abuse you wrongfully directed at a very poor and fucked-up man – and I hasten to add through no fault of my own. At all.

So, in my minds eye, I am still twenty-one years old. I am still in that bedsit, now with some student friends, still in a relationship (sexual) with a married older Woman – and what an experience! I am still working in the Market Research firm, I still have my old and very diverse group of friends, I am still going out to the pub on a regular basis – I have friends who I really respect, and that I believe respect me. I am educating myself, culturally, emotionally, sensitively and academically; I turned vegetarian and I am learning to cook so much better than when I worked as a trainee chef. I develop a whole new ethos around my character – a bit libertarian, a bit geeky – a great amount of individualism gathered up, which helped create the character I became in my early twenties. It is still there, in my mind, like it is still happening almost like it was yesterday. And I think why this is so, why I dare write this up now, after a failed marriage, being back down on the streets at middle-age – because I miss it, that is why, because I never felt so liked, so wanted, so HAPPY when I was twenty years old (but with issues, hey?)

Issues. I could never hope to explain myself as an individual, as a man, as perfect. I would be telling lies about myself if I ever could say that I was almost a ‘perfect man’, because a) I am not sporty b) I am not a fighter or one to throw his fists around (and never was) and c) I believe I respected my wife, being a Socialist and ‘all that’ to have the mental strength (actually as well as bravery in the face of adversity, belittlement, harmful allegations et al) to bring my two sons up. That included taking to school and what that entailed, whilst sacrificing my career in doing so. So, my ex-wife I allowed to progress her career whilst I was at home bringing up my sons – and guess what? I had no qualms about it, I felt almost quite liberated in doing so actually. I felt (and still feel) a good man in achieving this – my sons are very well educated for their age (and I would like to take the kudos for that) and I love them immensely. I know of many men who could never say the same, probably who would never want to do what I did because of peer pressure, because they would think it an ‘unmanly’ thing to do (and how sad is that?) Well, small minds have small lives, that is all. But it was not easy – challenging is a good word to use – and I totally respect Mothers who have to do this from ‘social norms’, whilst their husbands work. I believe I am more of a man from doing so, and that is my opinion – you do not have to like it (as I know you will not), but hey, I really do no longer care about ‘opinions’, what you think of me, how wrong you perceive me to be, and so on and on. Take a good look at your own personalities, your own fault-lines, your own mistakes, and then take a good look at mine and compare the difference. None of you had to grow up into an adult without any proper moral guidance in a bedsit full of spikes, alcoholics, ‘weirdos’. Think deeply on that if you are capable – without judging (hard isn’t it?)

I may or may not update wordpress again; sad I know, because it was at first a good outlet, a good way of intelligently ‘raging’ against what happened to me in 2008 and onwards, instead of using physical aggression or worse to get my revenge on persons that had set out to wrong me (and now, with times passage, looking like a deliberate attempt to destroy). It is times like these, here tonight, that I am grateful for my literacy, my ethos, and the ability of being able to still hold onto myself in the face of quite nasty adversity. I believe, now when I look back, that there was a conspiracy directed against myself; my family and my ex-wife included in that (and guess what, I am more rational than you will ever know – maybe to my detriment), and I do not say this lightly.

Thinking about this, I might well update again, but it will be infrequent. The whole internet ‘thing’ I adopted back in its infancy, right back in 1996 or so. I have seen it become a whole worldwide phenomena, so much more accessible to use now than it was during the 1990’s (but I really learnt how to use analogue modems, obscure Operating Systems and a heck of a lot of geeky stuff about computers), the rise of smartphones I believe being the biggest breakthrough. They are like mini-PCs, and guess what? I only use a really old one, very outdated. But for me it is not an issue. I think there is a big security issue around it today. We have become so vulnerable to digital manipulation, all our bank accounts are online, it has proven to be very easy for teenagers to hack into multinational corporations despite secure systems in place. We are breeding a whole generation on free pornography, hateful online abuse as well as the ability to track everyone anywhere, including their internet profiles, pictures, posts and so on, and that includes my children too, who are addicted to the thing. So where now can you draw the line? It seems almost impossible – just live with it and try and be responsible is the only way. But today I am not thinking it as progressive or positive as it once was, or could have been.

‘Tis all now, on wordpress. I feel no more need to carry on updating, because I have said what I needed to (and it seemed to make no slight bit of difference), and that is all.

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Scar Tissue.

I have an innate built in mechanism to deal with emotional upset and distress, stemming predominately from when my Mother passed away when I was thirteen years old. I was never given any proper counselling for it, and at that age, that important developmental period of my life, I had to swallow and hold in all the grief, confusion and loss that the experience involved. Looking back (and hindsight is a fantastic way of understanding where things started to go wrong, alas no use for the present), it was the most single transformative event of my life, the main thing I believe that caused my life to go so tragically wrong in my later years. To try to understand some reasons why I failed in my later secondary school years in terms of not passing my end of school exams (just achieving mediocre grades apart from English Literature – the only subject I passed with any distinction) and from going off the rails during those last several school years, I must begin to look back at the lack of support I experienced when my Mother died. I did go off the rails, I did become a rebellious teenager listening to Rock music, drinking and suchlike, I had an awkward relationship with my Father who probably never understood me (and myself not understanding or probably respecting the grief he was still going through), and so on. Fundamentally, I ended up not resitting my exams and went to work, ending up being ‘encouraged’ to leave home at seventeen and moving into a large town, away from the village and peers I grew up with, having to make new friends in the place I moved to; the beginning of the bedsit years had its inauguration in September 1988.

And so I struggled. For a highly sensitive teenager to have to learn how to do his washing, pay his own bills, cope with having so limited money (I was working on a Government Youth Training Scheme in Catering at that time – and that was low wages), plus suffering the pain of not having anyone in my Family to talk to when I finished work, then it was a very tough, very lonely time. I never finished my apprenticeship in Catering as I could not afford to live on the wages it paid, and the other reason was suffering from eczema. I started work in a Factory afterwards, and yet I still found it hard and tough going on my own even with a small increase in pay. The Samaritans were involved with me at one point between the ages of eighteen and nineteen years old because I had become so depressed living on my own in a pokey, sparsely furnished bedsit and having no meaningful existence apart from going to work and living off, for example, cheese on toast for the majority of the time. A very dreary existence. It was only in later years, towards my twentieth birthday that I changed employment to a much more positive office based job and became acquainted with some really interesting people – those dreary, single unshaded lightbulb days faded fast. Lady luck came a calling, and that I believe changed my fortunes back then. Or at least it started to form a much more individual identity to base my own personal liberty and ethos around; less Metal, more Grunge and correspondingly social issues, please. Identity Politics were the rule. A pure Generation X’er, coming from that screwed up past to want to try and change the world, and back then it was a true ‘rags-to-riches’ story – there was much that was good about me I personally and vehemently believe when I look back, albeit with scar tissue.

However, I still struggled. I still had issues within my makeup that had become so deep and hidden and swallowed into my soul, that on occasion would plague me, like some outbreak of fever whose illness would occasionally burst through the defense mechanisms that I had learnt to build around my hardened, but still sensitive heart, stemming from shutting out heartache, pain and rejection. Big huge, barbed wire defenses. As I grew older, this time living with my partner (later to be my wife), life turned slowly into normality; less the radical, freedom and rock-music loving youth – the one who wanted to change the world – more now into a responsible adult. Knowing about my adoption as my Mother never held that information from me (she told me when I was quite young), my late twenties seemed like a good time to uncover who my natural parents were. There are rules about making contact and when I found out various organisations that dealt with this, the law stated that a period of counselling is required before you make contact. I did all of this, I remained within the guidelines, but when the first letter came from my natural Mother, then all the emotions broke loose, ripping asunder the pandoras box where they had laid dormant for such a long time. It was not a quick process, it took me quite sometime to find her, but find her I eventually did. Terms that come into my mind as I write this tonight are: confusion (I still had the bond with my adopted Mother in my subconscious); love (hence confusion) and elation (hence love). Still, even over fifteen years after finding her, it is very difficult to write this up, to put this onto paper, to explain the most intense emotional ‘fuck up’ I ever had to experience. And all those stories about how good some reunions are, the ones that mess up are hardly discussed, or at least feeling the initial excitement of discovery, the bad tales just do not register. I digress. It screwed so much with my emotions – my mind, feelings and long forgotten things came rushing to the forefront of my life; I felt confused about my relationship with my adopted family, feelings about my Mother dying, age-old issues resurfaced with a staggering intensity that smashed through my old defenses, throwing them aside as a whirlwind would blow away a hastily constructed shelter. I felt emotionally ravaged, torn asunder in feelings of severe emotional intensity. I ended up having a serious breakdown from this crazy period of my life, and that really is all I can say about it, or at least all I wish to publish on wordpress at this time. Looking back (again hindsight is wonderful), my partner pulled me back together, and about a year or so afterwards, I married her and had children. Fin.

I believe that this existence, this life we lead whomever we may be, whatever our social circumstances, either makes us or breaks us, and there is the famous adage that ‘whatever does not kill you makes you stronger’. This so much is true. When I do look back at the things that went wrong with paths I chose, or were chosen for me (or highly encouraged), and the fact that I survived some incredibly rough treatment on occasion, then it made me a much more thoughtful, intense and mentally stronger person; the gift of being able to express some of these emotions on a literal level is something I am grateful for because I felt, with the intensity of living through such difficult situations, I needed to write to find closure, to come to terms with issues. Also, despite the initial feelings of joy and euphoria on finding my natural Mother, I do not think I am such a good advert for adoption organisations; it went wrong for me so I truthfully should not endorse the tracing and finding of your natural parents. If you have a stable relationship with your adopted parents, if you have a secure life, if you are emotionally strong, then go ahead and satisfy your curiosity. If on the other hand you are slightly worried in any way for whatever reasons, then give it a lot of thought. Who will it be affecting? Will it damage your relationship with the family that chose and loved you? And make sure you get the counselling beforehand. I am not sure if the law has changed since the late 1990’s, but that was a requirement before any information about your adoption details were handed over, and rightly so.

To conclude this rather confusing (it seems) post, then I think my character has been formed through struggle. Life has made me what I am today. The power and intensity of life-experiences gave me a hardened shell, and much more tougher skin than I ever believed I could have had when I was that sensitive kid from the South Wales Valleys. I most certainly have frayed edges, but I have an inner strength that has kept me together for all these years, an inner determination to prove the naysayers wrong about my character, to counteract deceit against my person. Even the shock of becoming homeless after my marriage ended never killed me, but it certainly has probably caused a more permanent and deeply emotional scar than anything else I have been through – and that truly is saying something.

Brief thoughts on ‘trust’ and a few on social media, too.

i) Social Media thoughts ii) on Trust.

I have not stopped updating this blog, although only producing one post for the whole of 2014 may seem like I have ceased blogging. I think deactivating my Twitter account in 2013 resulted in loosing some good contacts and writer friends, as well as my occasional forays into #writechat, #scifichat and various other writer related forums on Twitter. Being active on those forums made me want to blog – it gave me an incentive, much the same way as my Creative Writing class I was attending did. It was getting to stage however that I became more focused on using Twitter to say some questionable things whilst I had drunk too much alcohol in the evenings, such as the things that had gone wrong with my marriage and becoming homeless; I suppose any person who had lived so long with a partner, marriage, raising children and then having a sense of being rejected from all the good you did would feel the same. I mentioned this before here, so in a hasty decision I deactivated the account and hence lost all those good followers I had. I think shifting over to Facebook was probably a very unwise move – it is just not the same as Twitter for the reasons I had set up the account in the first place. I mean this in terms of using it in finding fledgling writers, all with the same agenda of getting our written work published; finding publishers; self publishing; using modern e-readers and the formatting issues et al were my main focus in using Twitter, i.e finding ‘contacts’. Facebook is a much more individual, personal experience without the link to ‘the many’ that I found on Twitter in the forums mentioned above. Old school friends, family, work friends etc are Facebook’s main focus, and sometimes I think that it is not such a good or healthy method of social networking – an electronic method of communication? Maybe if I had succeeded in achieving something great in my life, then perhaps less the critical stance on that particular social networking site I personally have. I suppose I would have no qualms about stating what a wonderful job and family I had, how good my life is and so on. With all the media focus on what people tweet or what they publish on Facebook et al, then I am wondering if social networking holds much that is positive – abusive trolling, quite vicious political arguments, sexism, racism and so on; I guess possibly though it is just a mirror to what actually people are reading, watching and thinking about in today’s world, but is this form of media and actual zeitgeist and catalyst influencing modern, 21st Century culture? For someone like myself who became an early adopter of the whole internet and IT ‘thing’, I sometimes wonder as if I have been left standing with the rapid progress and the more ‘social’ aspect that what it has become today, what it turned into has overtaken me and has thrown me from the road I was following, almost killing me. When I started using the internet back in the mid 1990s, then it was a much more tech focused thing, using analogue modems (anyone remember modem init strings?), needing to have a degree of technical capability to really understand how it worked and fix issues (hence I ended up very briefly working for an Internet firm and went on to study Computing at University level – another story for another time) – it was actually I believe much more ‘fun’ back then than it is today, being right on the cusp of progress? Am I being elitist here, or am I just such a geeky, introverted bloke that I preferred the tech challenge? Windows today is all ‘under the bonnet’, compared to how things were with DOS, Windows 3.1, Win95 and to a lesser extent XP (the beginning of the ‘end’). I digress (reminisce) here.

Trust is a very vital component of our emotional lives. Trust is whereby you can speak and relate to someone you consider close to you. Maybe that closeness involves a loving relationship, perhaps it is your partner, your wife or husband; someone emotionally tied up with your life, someone you consider a friend, a soul mate, someone who has experienced the same things you have been through in life. Someone on the same ‘wavelength’. Also, the concept of trust is also related to your family relationships – in a time of need who do you go to first? Perhaps if you end up unemployed and on the streets, away from the security you normally were used to, then asking a family member for guidance or help would just be second nature; perhaps they could offer you a place to stay in your time of need? I think, as a species, without that support network in place in society, without that feeling that you can love or trust someone (either a spouse or a family member), then we become depressed and disorientated; we loose what it is to be human, forgetting what it is to be kind, loving and compassionate when rejection is offered to you instead. It is worth pondering this for a moment – just how selfish, abusive and deceitful we can become in on a personal level, especially when there is financial and material gain from being so emotionally ugly. Almost soulless.

Thats it, ’tis all I have to say at this moment – more as a way of actually trying to keep wordpress active than anything else. I still need to write the experience of adoption and what it involved tracing my natural Mother all those years ago. It has proven to be very challenging to express the feelings on a literal level, feelings that overtook me over fifteen years ago.

On prophecies and living them.

A new post for the beginning of summer, having unfortunately missed spring (you can see how this blog has developed if you look back at the dates I posted updates; sometimes it was several times a month, slowly progressing into monthly posts and finally big chunks of not updating it at all. I guess it can be seen as a mirror of my continued struggling existence, stemming from the depression and other ailments I experience). Even now at the moment of writing this, I am beginning to question my motives whether it is wise or correct to continue making the occasional update to my blog. Its not so much an online journal or diary, rather I think it could be more like an expanded status update about my life and what I felt I needed to write, to make clear. I was toying with the idea of turning the blog into a daily journal, describing my emotions and daily activities, but when I decided to give that idea some thought, I quickly realised that I have no social life or any interesting daily activities, so I quickly threw that idea into the recycle bin, hoping that a better idea can be formed from the rubbish. I hope so.

I started reading again. Of an evening, I started to stare at my books piled high against my wall in an unruly fashion; the seven different towers of literature seemed to be imploring me to love them again, to take notice of their unloved state over the past twelve months, to find solace within the pages of history of a different epoch, or find a story about fictional people in fictional settings. So I tidied up my stacks, brushed the cobwebs off and showed my books some love, as well as add to the collection. I find the literature social networking site ‘Good Reads’ (now owned by Amazon) a good place to hang out and review the books I read as well as get recommendations for new books to buy. I have a few reviews over there as well.

The biggest emotional roller coaster ride and upset, apart from loosing my Mother as a teenager and being ditched by my wife, was finding my natural parents. I may have mentioned this to my readers on this blog, or even on twitter once or twice, but I was adopted when I was two years old. I managed to trace my natural Mother about sixteen years ago now, not an easy process and very time consuming too, but I eventually traced her. It was just incredibly emotionally upsetting, letting loose some very complex feelings and emotions. In many ways, what happened to me after I met her a year later was the equivalent of opening a pandoras box, a box that split me spiritually down the middle, a feeling of being torn asunder in an emotional storm that messed with my mind so much. The feelings of finding your natural mother are just too complex to coherently write about I believe; when I look back to the late 1990’s and what happened all those years ago, then it is with great regret that I ever wanted to find her, the Woman who gave birth to me forty two years ago. What happened subsequently was the equivalent of your life ending up in a hijacked and robbed train wreck, and that is a statement directed at everyone involved who messed with my emotional feelings. Do I suggest search for your natural parents if you are adopted? If you have a degree of stability in your life and if you have several months worth of professional counselling, that your relationship with your adopted parents will not suffer as a result, then by all means, satisfy your curiosity. But be warned of the ups and downs and the danger to your emotional feelings. If you are of a sensitive disposition, then I would truthfully not recommend it.

When I was studying Social History and Sociology in Swansea University, we studied a subject about ‘self fulfilling prophecies’. I fail to really remember what it was about (something to do with class and education and that poorer children just believed they wouldn’t succeed), but basically it dealt with the belief that a prediction will come true because you believe it will. For instance, the fear of failure is actually reinforced and will happen because the person who believes it makes it happen from the very fact of believing it in the first instance. This is one lecture and essay I wrote in Swansea that stuck in my mind all my life, because I believed my life would be a failure, I would never succeed in anything I attempted. My life became a travesty and a failure because I think outside people reinforced this belief, this attitude within me. Its hard to explain at times, maybe because I was incredibly sensitive all my life ( but rather less so since the homeless incident in 2008), but I thought it worth mentioning here.

Next week/month/whenever I will try and work on something here that I have been planning for a while, that is some sort of travel blog, or least a post about where I live, which, even though I do not do so much here, I still love the history behind where I live. We have a greatly preserved Norman-built Castle, an Abbey- its ruins lay in testament to the Reformation and great countryside. Thanks for reading!

*Edit – I just noticed that this is my 42nd post on WordPress, and just turned 42 years old three days ago! Happy coincidence.

Scraping off the mould.

Well, here we go for the first post of this year, and it is the penultimate day of February 2013. My last post was November 2012, and prior to that January the same year, so really my blog has gone slightly stale, a bit mouldy around the edges, the bulk of its ‘meaty’ content being during 2010 and 2011. Lets try this year to rectify the blank pages of the previous twelve months, although I think I need to try and take a different approach to blogging, that is to focus less on the life situation and personal soul-searching posts and try and broaden my blog out into less emotional subjects. I believe I have said enough about myself, and by that I mean that when I re-read previous posts I began to cringe at what I wrote and not only that, I also have doubts about just who has read it as well. That is another story for another time however. I enjoyed writing what I wrote however and it all begin really when I was on myspace (and that must have been around 2005) and started blogging on their groundbreaking social network site. I think also that the reason I studied the creative writing course was to learn how to write better and increase my literal ambitions which it did so to a large extent. I recommend studying creative writing classes for anyone with an ambition to write, either for themselves or even for the modest goal of getting written work published (and in these times, with the advent of e-readers such as Kindle, really is not such a major hurdle as it was prior to the internet becoming fashionable).

I believe I am what could be described as an eternal student; there is something in me that has an unquenchable thirst for studying and learning, whether that be still studying what I was taught in University or increasing my cookery skills that I was taught when I left school and so on. I love knowledge and developing myself intellectually and recently I am striving to try and develop myself spiritually as well, although maybe that is just an age thing, the fact that I am at the doorstep of those middle age years is constantly on my mind; I have never felt so mortal and vulnerable to the vagaries of age. Time has never looked, for me in my present state at least, so valuable and precious and yet still I think I waste it where I could be doing a lot more with the time I have remaining here. Perhaps it was because of my previous relationship, that I spent all those formative years with my ex-wife; maybe I did spend too long in college; possibly I did waste my twenties doing things, that when I look back, were a waste of time. However, whatever I did that maybe could be construed as being a waste of time and wrong, I still learnt lessons from the experience, and I would also wager and argue that I developed myself more than any of my peers mainly through the aspect of struggling without the support or guidance from parents. Again, these are issues that I might later write about on wordpress, produce a new post later on in the year. Avenues of thought.

Blogging as I have done since December 2008 was also a therapeutic experience, allowing me in my mind to deal and write about issues and events that had occurred in my life and were a cause of emotional upset, both from loosing my Mother and also spending the best, most healthiest and active years of my life living with a Woman who then estranged me to a great extent, not only from her, but also it has had repercussions amongst my own family as well. However, one thing I am glad about is that I still see my two sons almost every week which is a blessing, especially recently as my youngest son has been diagnosed as having special needs and he is probably the most sensitive of them both. I fear for his secondary school years so much. Again I want to cast a stone here, but I will drop it instead. But what am I writing? I started this blog with the intention of not writing so personal issues, but again its deteriorated into a self-obsessed post about ‘me’ again. Sigh. Maybe I need some counselling over this. They say your subconscious is the most telling aspect about you, that what you write, what you paint or draw – what you craft creatively really speaks volumes as who and what you are and have experienced in this life. I wonder if this is why so many artists have emotional issues/produce great works?

Right, wordpress and personal blog – I will try and update once a month, maybe more, but will try and get some more posts down this year about really anything. It was hard scraping off the mould, but once its removed, it looks a little more palatable. Even better if its toasted too.

‘All Apologies’ (Well, almost all)

Its been a while, yeah? I suppose after an eleven month absence from wordpress, I decided to try and brush away the cobwebs from a slowly decaying personal blog, a blog that for me is extremely personal, honest, open and soul searching about my life; its trials, tribulations, hardship, struggle and interspersed with a little romance too along with some quite personal poetry. I feel I had to say some of these things about me, just to make it clear to those who disliked me and let my life go down the drain that I was and still am (minus excessive alcohol consumption) underneath a good, caring, concerned, educated, intelligent soul. I may have personal problems, I may (almost certainly) have issues within me, I may not be very good in social situations, but I know I could not intentionally hurt folk either emotionally or most certainly physically. My Mothers influence stayed with me for most of my life, she really was a guiding light that did burn bright through some very difficult times I went through. I believe that your upbringing, your childhood, the love that you receive from your parents really are the most important things that have a great impact on how you turn out, how you develop, your morals, beliefs, attitudes and so on. Perhaps parenting skills should be on the national curriculum, become as important as Maths and English for both sexes. Just a thought.

I believe I have hit quite a serious problem with my alcohol consumption; I am now at a stage that I need a drink, not every day, but I do still feel the need to drink. It has become so bad that I have started to say some pretty questionable things on my twitter feed whilst I have, well lets be honest, been totally smashed out of my head. I wake up then the next day and totally regret what I typed in my alcoholic stupor the evening prior. I suffer that ‘cringe’ feeling, you know the one you get when you have been out the night before, drunk too much and did some awful thing. The feeling of ‘oh no, what I have I DONE!?’, and just want to pull the covers back over your head and hope that either the memory is distorted or that it never happened. I expect most of us have been there at some stage in our lives. It is like this for me and twice now I have temporarily deleted my twitter account in the vain hope that no one has read it, but I know they have, and so that makes it a worse guilt to bear. I will be honest – the outbursts stem from a few things:- 1) Having no social life or any meaningful friends where I live, and this I believe stems from my inability from not being that sociable , or finding it difficult to form friendships other than via the internet. Remember, I became addicted so much to the internet that, even though I became an IT professional person, I think it had an impact on my social life and maybe that stems from my late teenage years living on my own; 2) becoming so angry against my ex-wife and her family when she decided to make my life a living nightmare. I lived with this Woman for fifteen and half years and I actually married and had two children by her for seven of those years. Since I was twenty one years old we cohabited together and experienced a whole host of life events and so on. So this did screw with me emotionally to an extent that I found hard to forgive her after I ended up in an homeless hostel where I was assaulted, robbed and other things I do not wish to mention on here, and 3) being a total idiot, loosing my sense of rationality, décor, public politeness and so on. I hope, to those who I would have hurt (and I know I hurt a few who followed me), you can forgive me for being such an idiot. A drunk one.

I hope to blog a little bit more than what this year has not shown. It has been a rough year for me, stemming from a complete disintegration of my literacy, lack of reading books, a slow hold that alcohol has surely gained over me, trouble with my eyesight (my right eye has lost focus and I am not sure why this – I now need glasses), emotional feelings, a sense of being outcast and so on. Sorry for the hurtful comments on my twitter account (I fail to remember many, maybe thats good) although some comments that may even be just…be just slightly justified. x

End of the year blues…

My wordpress blog has now reached three years old, updated usually on a monthly basis, although there are gaps on occasion between updates, the longest being from August through to December this year. I guess I ran out of steam or willingness to update after my fortieth year; hitting the big 40 in June and the really lack of contact with my Family really made me start thinking quite deeply about my life and my relationship with my Family. Somewhere on here I wrote about this, the fact that I had to grow up from the age of seventeen in a poky little room that was a bedsit, so this is why I suppose I have become more retrospective, more insular and such a deep thinker regarding things that have gone on in my life.

I still have a relationship with my children – I see them most weekends, although money being much more tight than it ever has been makes it difficult to afford to be able to buy them things and treat them as I want to. Struggling is not such a new thing; I remember working forty hour weeks, first on a Youth Training Scheme when I left school for around thirty pounds a week (this was in catering, and I did gain a qualification from it) then working in factories for more money (I had to pack in the catering as I suffered very severe from eczema and still do) but still I never seemed to have much money from my late teens up until I started working for a Market Research firm thanks to some Art Students that took an interest in my life, a couple that I always will be indebted too, not only for helping me climb out of a rut I was in when I was nineteen years old, but also broadening my horizons, not only for the job I started doing (Market Researcher) but also culturally as well. A time in my life that was so influential for me that I never forgot the brief spell of happiness that I experienced during 1990 till ’93.

I was not stupid whilst I was in secondary education. I was in one of the higher classes when in comprehensive school, and my chosen elective subjects were History, English Lit, Geography and Geology. I studied Humanities, because I was good at English and History. I disliked the sciences, although I did attend computing dinnertime classes (in the spare time), because I liked my Sinclair Spectrum back in the mid 1980’s. But my favourite subjects, if I had to look back and choose (which I guess is what I am doing here now) would have been History and English. Its worth noting as this juncture that I failed my ‘O’ levels, all except English Literature and had ‘CSE’ grades in Geography and I believe Maths. I never re-sat my exams, and looking back was a grave mistake, but my family life was not perfect so, thanks to advice of a Careers officer I ended up on a Government Youth Training Scheme in Catering for a small amount of cash whilst we worked and studied. Even though I dropped this scheme and ended up in a factory (for more money) I never lost what I had learnt from the chefs that taught me; I still retained the culinary skills and I still like to cook.

What I am trying to say is that it was only through luck that I met this student couple who moved into the same house I was living in; liking their music, they befriended me and it was only from them and their friends that I started broadening my horizons, listening to different music (I was a rocker prior to this), watching more interesting films, reading more than I had done since I had left school and so on. In fact I then went on to study at University as a mature student– and this is coming from a pretty fucked up youth who had nothing and then went to Swansea University to study Social History and Sociology. Not bad going no? One reason why I feel so much indebted so much to people who took an interest in me.

These blogs of mine…well….I suppose, as I think I blogged somewhile ago, were an attempt to just try and explain my life, my life of hardship and the fact that I, on my own, pulled myself from a rut of ‘no hope’ and certainly ‘no future’ whilst I was living in that bedsit, into a well educated, intelligent, cultured, creative, caring person. It was not easy to do so either, and probably for reasons that are only my own, I, along with the Woman I was living with from the age of twenty-one onwards, still suffered from hardship and distinct lack of money because I was studying and had no money. This blog I produced – I started writing this in temporary accommodation a few months after the council rehomed me from being homeless – was quite seriously an attempt, not only to open my feelings up to the internet and, at a base level the whole of the online community, but to try and write about what I felt and the injustices that happened to me from mid-summer 2008, but also now I believe a lot longer. It is getting to a stage now, for my blog, that I do not know what else really to produce here. I think I have explained what suffering I went through, the total horrors of living, briefly, in a homeless hostel, a hostel in Newport South Wales, that had seen a girl hang herself only, as far as I can remember, a few weeks before I ended up there. It really was an horrific place to have ended up, especially for a Father of two boys whom was prior to this living in Usk, Monmouthshire, living with his Wife, taking his children to school and collecting them every day, producing websites in his part time (I am so out of touch with that skill now, I never kept up to date with the scene) and so on. At this stage now, I am not so much totally blaming my wife, but my family also must and should take a degree of the blame for what happened to me whilst I was homeless in Newport. If my sons, if any of my sons had ended up without nowhere to go, then I would never, ever have allowed them to become homeless.

And the red colour fades…