Time.

Something I wrote, a few words, stuck my mind last evening. These words were ‘…nearly four decades old’. It caused me to ponder over my life for a while, whilst I was sat in my chair nursing a glass of wine with an open notepad and pen in front of me. I decided to write a few notes about my life, trying to summarise what I had experienced in each decade, or at least starting from the 1980’s, the most arguably important decade I had experienced. My life is quite unique in many ways and again I would argue that compared to most of my peers I spent those adolescent years with, it contained more hardship, trials and tribulations than any of my old school friends.

You see, during the mid 1980’s I lost my Mother to a long illness. I believe somewhere on my wordpress blog I wrote about this, so there is no need to retrace old ground and besides it is too upsetting; my memories are sacred of those early years. However, three years later when I was at the tender young age of seventeen my family probably could not deal with my rebellious attitude caused as a symbol of discontent from the total rupture of my life due to my Mother passing, and so, probably for wrong reasons and because we were all pretty distraught, I ended up leaving home. I spent my most important formative years growing up in bedsit-land and it was only when I reached nineteen that I started to form proper friendships, work for a good company and experience a degree of happiness that I never have experienced again since the age of twenty one onwards. That is a long time, no? They say the brightest light burns brightest but goes out quickest, and this I can relate to because I never ever was happier in my whole forty years than when I was dating, fucking good Women, working and having friends that back then I believed I could trust in for those brief two bright years, years for me which were an awakening that I have never ever experienced since.

If I could turn back time, if I could have the opportunity to speak to myself when I was twenty years old, if I could listen to my old young thoughts and try and influence him, if I could make HG Wells’ Time Machine and turn the date back to 1992, then I would. I would probably then kidnap him.

A year in review.

I guess its that time to write a yearly review, an analyses of the preceding twelve months of our life’s, our ups and downs, the ins and outs of a year of our existence. Some of us may have a load of things to say, a lot of activity, a lot of good events that may have occurred since January 2010. This is a good thing, because we do not want to have to write a review of 2010 being centred about a slow demise, even worse than 2009, and especially preceding from the last several months of 2008. So, what I am trying to say, for my own reasons, is that I cannot really write about 2010 just as an subjective thing. I must also look at this past year from an objective viewpoint; I must take a step back and look at the past two years standing as a bystander, a person overlooking events that have occurred in my life since August 2008. I cannot take, for instance, one year, this year, and look at it without looking at 2009 and the latter months of 2008 without being able to fit them into place, to find the right pieces of my jigsaw, to allow the progression of the puzzle, the huge one-thousand piece one which is a puzzle of my destiny, my life; jigsaw pieces that are so small and challenging that to find the right piece to allow us to move ahead requires great skill and knowledge of putting puzzles together, working out what actually makes this jigsaw work.

So let this be a look back of my life since August 2008. I fail to see how else, rationally, I could write about my life in 2010 without analysing what has occurred since that time, the time I became homeless and I became separated from my wife of fifteen long years. This year has seen me move from temporary accommodation (as I was homeless) into a slightly more secure place, but not by a huge margin. I still immensely dislike where I live, considering that I lived in a really nice area, in a secure home, bringing up my children, working part time as website designer as well as an IT professional (building and fixing computers as well as being an IT consultant), and oh well, blah blah blah. Its a moan and I will not go into what I was before the marriage disintegration. I think this blog I set up in December 2008 describes enough of what I went through and how plain wrong I thought the whole situation. Its there for all to read. I have nothing to hide or lie about.

2010 – a decade since I was an IT student studying for a computing science degree, a degree I was flying through. In that decade I experienced getting married, having kids and sacrificing my career in raising my two sons. Fast forward to late summer 2008 and everything I worked for in the preceding fifteen years goes down the drain, down the pan, into the gutter, into a slow but very sure, demise, stemming from my experiences when I became homeless. I do not think I could ever literally describe the horrors of being homeless and the adverse effect it had on my psyche and wellbeing. It begins to make me wonder about things very deeply indeed. I can now fully appreciate the problems of being homeless, more so than ever before. I wish for those who made me homeless never to have to go through the hell I experienced, because I am not an vindictive creature, which I would like to argue, the ones who made me suffer are. C’est la vie – I suffer and cope, as I always have done as it is not new to me.

I have to start anew for the next year. I really have to do something instead of continuing along this self-destructive path that I am currently following, a path, that whilst may seem to offer brief respites during my evenings via alcohol, and is probably some form of protest against injustice, is slowly but very surely taking its toll on me. 2011 is the year that I reach the age of forty. A middle-aged man. A time that for most of us sees us planning towards retirement, seeing our children grow up, our careers blossom and flourish; the half way mark of living, of life, of our time on this Earth. I was headed towards this two and half years ago until my whole life, lifestyle, family and so on becomes ruptured from me, pulled from under my feet with such force that it left me reeling and unable to regain a balance, form another relationship, trust again, find a new job and a new home. I was totally unprepared for it, although in hindsight it was probably on the cards for sometime but I became blinded to its inevitability, as I always have been blinded to things and events surrounding me.

2011 occurs in two weeks from when I write this. Perhaps this post is a sort of new years resolution, a method of literally expressing a vain hope for a better year than the previous two, but fundamentally it will come down to what I do with it, how I will alter the way my life is turning out and the direction that I have let it become, the path I chose. I must put aside the wrongs that have been inflicted upon my mind, body and soul and try to start again, to let the past finish having its say (and it has had its say over two years), and from my inner depths I must find the strength to continue onwards, upwards, and try and halt the screaming path downwards, the one I have a one-way ticket for. If I can jump onto a path back up, if I can abandon this floundering ship being hammered by uncanny winds, then I might, just might, stand a chance of recovering. Thank you for reading.

‘Add a couple of years…’

It has been over one year since I blogged and wrote ‘A Brief Testament’. In that blog I described how I was mainly the sole child-rearer, almost from the day both my two sons were born, and my subsequent marriage disintegration and how I felt wrongly cheated. It was me who was the primary parent during the day; doing the main tasks (changing nappies, taking to nursery and school, doctors appointments and so on – all those little essential, important things) whilst my ex-partner was at work, progressing her career, which she did remarkably well. Not wanting to tread old ground here, but yes, later a feeling of being housebound was making itself present in my life, a form of frustration that I could be offering the world more, earning money and using my skills. It was not anger against her (I am the least aggressive man you could ever wish to meet, truth), but it left me feeling a dreaded sense of helplessness against the direction my life was leading. Why this was so is probably because I was a professional IT worker, studying nearly two years for a Computing Degree – I considered myself a really skilled worker within the IT sector – but I never gained full time employment from it. I do not know why and it certainly was not through want of trying. I think that is another search deep within myself to find those, more or less, elusive reasons which led to my predicament. And there are many, so many.

In the twenty months since I have been separated, I have gone through the most brutal time I have ever known in my whole thirty-eight years of life. To find the reasons why this is so is no easy task, and it goes back a long, long way. To live with a Woman for fifteen and half years, being married for seven of them and producing two of the most gorgeous, happiest children I could wish for and then ending up in, quite frankly, a hell that I never ever want to discuss, really began to make me question everything I was and had become – and that is no small task for someone who had never had an easy life. When you begin to reminisce about your youth, your happiest times and see from beyond those years, in your mind, a time of wasted opportunities, then I think we start to become ‘unhealthy’, both in our minds and in our soul. What you perceived yourself to have been in those early, formative, character-making times and what you became before your life took a direction that was forced off the beaten path, then it does not become easy to fit the right jigsaw piece into place. They become two different opposites, pieces from two different puzzles, two alternate directions; the one path screaming at you, the other enticing you into certain demise and ruin.

And I suppose we are all guided by our own instincts, or our own moral code, with our behaviour and personality being the main character formers. Looking back, it sometimes seems as if I was led down that wrong path with deliberate intentions to ruin, becoming misled and ending up being misguided. For me however, it is pure conjecture on the reasons why I ended up in such a messed up state. Again, as I mentioned above, it becomes unhealthy to dwell on these matters and alcohol addiction does not help things either. So, nearly two years since I split from my wife and I am left asking the question where does it go from here? I have had one failed relationship since then – it lasted all of about three months – and in view of that I have not really looked for anyone else. Perhaps I feel too hurt with what has occurred in my life since 2008, possibly I find it hard to trust anyone anymore? Maybe I don’t know how to form a relationship because I still am reeling from what happened to me? Whatever the reasons, whoever the culprits, I feel deep down that I am really, utterly hurt with what has gone on. I feel a wreck.

We have just had an election over here in the UK. Thirteen years of New Labour has now ended with a hung Parliament with the Liberal Democrats forming a new Government with the Conservative Party. If this was the correct thing for the Lib Dems to have done, I don’t know. In my opinion, I see rifts and divisions in the future – I think that is certain – but how they deal with the economy will, I think, be the key factor to their success. I may blog a bit more on this. Perhaps it may give me something to focus on.

‘Has the moon lost her memories?’

Memories have a habit of resurfacing on experiencing things, such as smells, sounds, pictures and so on, that we are subjected to on a daily basis. All these small little events that happen day by day for instance can send you back decades to when you remember it as but a mere child. Those hastily grasped recalls through the maze of your memory can cause you to shudder as they send their brief but shocking kick into your consciousness. It appears sometimes as if your memories are stored up within a vault, each contained within their own little safety deposit box with those small little daily remembrances being their own personal keys into the vault of your personal depths, the museum of your life.

And our memories are the most defining thing about us, being formed from our experiences throughout the path of a lifetime. A life’s journey forms you, makes you what you are, becomes you even. What type of personality you develop probably is made, formed, set into stone from your early years as a child, the love you receive from your parents being a very fundamental aspect, a character forming one. No one can really rupture these formative years however, even though some may try hard to belittle them, to plainly forget what you once were. Those early memories are timeless, never to be forgot, a most treasured possession.
As we travel through life, as the years pass by offering new experiences, we accumulate both knowledge and possessions, a material reminder of our lives. What I believe to be most sacred however, in the time I have lived, is memory. Material items and possessions come and go, but nothing can replace your childhood memories, nothing at all. This is not to say that possessions have no importance, on the contrary, they are most certainly fundamental too. But to me, my childhood recollections are like gold dust, something so valuable, so treasured, that their memory is invaluable, a priceless artefact buried deep within the sands of time – their archaeologist being relived incidents that occur throughout your life.

We all are subjected to life’s hard knocks at some stage in our lives, and I suppose how we deal with them really depends on how tough we are. It is easy to fall to pieces over harsh, unjust, wrongful treatment, and, I expect many people do. I believe it is a true test of Faith whether we succumb to these discriminatory occurrences, maybe dealt by an unlucky deck of the playing cards of life, or maybe something working deliberately against you, and that Faith could be either a belief in a higher authority, God if you like, or even a strong conviction of who and what you were prior to this treatment.

I write this now, at a stage in my life where I have been dealt a bad hand. I suppose I write to keep myself relatively intact, but I believe, or at least I sincerely hope, that we are all strong enough to overcome the difficulties presented to us in life. In my case, my difficulties arose I believe because I had a pretty traumatic childhood, loosing my Mother when I was just a young teenager. My Mother was everything to me, my whole world, the one parent who guided me, taught me, read books to me as a child, loved me unconditionally as her son. She showed me love and warmth; she made me feel that I was such a special, special child. Loosing her when I was just a mere thirteen year old boy had an effect upon me that really, when I search deep within myself and look back, totally ruptured my life – and still has an effect on me to this day that is so profound in its significance that there rarely is a moment that goes by that I do not think of her.

Again, these are memories, and to me they are relived through daily events, their safety deposit boxes searching for the key that sets them free. Sometimes these keys are old photos, pictures now faded through the passage of the years, images that expose a time of happiness and joy; faded, certainly, but never ever forgot, cemented into memory for all of eternity, or at least your time here on this Earth. Memories that I believe that are so vital to your soul, sanity and existence.

A poem about the early days…

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Such an indescribable feeling,
a warmth radiating outwards from the core,
expelling any vestiges of remaining chill;
like the sun at the dawn of spring
melting away the shimmering, icy, silky cobwebs of a past winter.

And it was during those years of youth,
(It seems like a different age now – how time can alter)
during the relentless march of those late spring days
– breaking through to summer
that I remember the teacher one Friday afternoon
as the sun blazed through the window,
acknowledging the feeling we had,
for I guess I was not singular in its effect,
praising its beauty, its charm,
– the sunlight
– the warmth
causing a blossoming of feelings
For her.

For her only,
that’s how it was back in the halcyon days
– of innocence
– of inexperience
days of long summer nights –
made all the more vivid,
colourful
through longing,
through euphoric thoughts of what might be,
of what might have been.

And it would leave me enchanted,
intoxicated with its desire
with a potency which would fill the soul
becoming enraptured
carried away,
through its beauty,
and its charm.

A brief Testament.

As I briefly pose a cursory glance over my last few years of life, I can deduce that in many ways it has been wasted, in the sense of not really having a career, or a stable method of employment. In other areas too it has been fraught with problems which I have had, or never had, any control over whatsoever. And I suppose, in hindsight, we can look back, blame others and see our own faults as not being of our own volition. But not all was wasted; in this instance I think that bringing up my children almost from day one, changing dirty nappies, feeding bottles, taking to school and all the other little rigmaroles of child-rearing were never ever in vain. I did it for several reasons; the main one was that my ex-wife had a better paid job than I did – I was not working so, in my liberal attitude towards life, with an ethos of understanding and a degree of compassion (if they are the correct words to use I don’t know at all now), did not find any problems in doing this; besides, they were my children after all! I thought I suppose that I was being the ‘new man’, whatever that term means today (post 80s interpretation), being some kind of feminist, but I did it mainly out of love, although there were instances that I nearly teared my hair out and thought I was going mad from the stress of it all, especially after my second son, Toby, was born. That was hard, dealing with both of them. Incredibly so on some occasions. But rewarding in others, seeing them grow up- for the best part of six of Harvey’s years and three of Toby’s.

So in many respects, even though I had no stable career (although my profession was in the IT field), I don’t think all was wasted during those seven years. And I did not waste myself totally however, I built the odd website, fixed a few PCs, taught as a tutor teaching people how to use computers (which I enjoyed considerably) and so on. I kept my skills up to date. But again, there were some problems in doing this. In many respects, I felt trapped; I did feel that I could be offering the world more than I was able to other than in bringing up my kids. And looking back, it was a form of entrapment. But for the love of my children, I persevered doing this task, and, as any parent can tell you, it is a task that goes without recognition in many areas, many, an unthankful task, but you try and bring your kids up to the best of your ability and teach them good manners and so on, how to be polite and caring towards others. And I brought them up in complete trust to the best of my ability, based around memories of my own upbringing and what my Mother taught me, and, at the age they are at now, they are caring, good, kids. This is one of my Testaments.

I always hoped however that one day, that delusional fictional moment in the future, things would change for me; a job would be offered in recognition of my talents (which were never inconsiderable – I can cook, write and am skilled in IT), or something might happen. The only thing that did happen was a marriage split up, a very acrimonious one at that, and that led to several months of hell. So once again, I am alone in temporary accommodation, living out a nightmare. This is like being back to 1988 when I left my family home, and in the words of Fish I am in ‘the playground of the broken, damaged, hearts’. And Psyche. Some reward. Eh?