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The Beginning

By Chris Wood, 02 November 2017 – 0 comment

 

 

Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When you read you begin with A,B,C…..

If by now you’re not in full Julie Andrews on a hill mode then we can’t be friends and you may as well stop reading now.
So, on the 5th May 94 I graced the world with my presence, late as per but I arrived. My mam was only a kid herself so to begin with I was brought up in the Thompson household. Grandma and Granda to oversee the upbringing. My Granda loves telling people how I had a mint moses basket with a hood on and he wouldn’t allow the hood to be up as then nobody could see my face. He’s still as proud of me to this day.


Not long after this my Mam and Dad began the rollercoaster of their relationship adding a son and a wedding to the list.
To the outside world we were now a “normal” family. A Mam, Dad, a girl and a boy, the house, a dog and even a little cat. Both parents worked full time. The children were never in trouble or causing havoc. Never allowed to play past the back yard and when they dared to they would only go where they could be seen. Nothing out of the ordinary here right?
Wrong!


As I write this I’m sat in a cafe on my lunch break and they’re playing Pink – Family portrait. I remember getting this cd when I was around 7. I’d won a Walkman.. yes a Walkman of all things, by colouring a picture in Safeway. My grandma did work there mind and was the judge but I totally won fair and square. .
Over and over I would play this song and although I haven’t heard it in 15 years or so it feels like a sign as I’m writing this.
“It ain’t easy growing up in world war three”It wasn’t easy. The minute the door would close on our “perfect” family home reality would kick in.


I had bruises, bones broken as I didn’t clear my polly pockets away in time. Watching my younger brother cry as his xbox has been thrown out of the window onto the concrete. My mam, she seemed bubbly and full of life. She was cuddly and loved me and strong. Yet inside she was breaking. Physical and mental abuse and torture for 16 years took it’s toll on her big brown owl like eyes. She’s lost her sparkle.
This would go on day in day out. Me trying to pack the toothbrushes in the night and tigger so my brother wouldn’t cry. But we couldn’t leave. Ever.


The sun would come up, uniforms on, a bowl of ready brek (does that even still exist?!) off to school, work on with daily lives. Back to looking normal. Nothing for anyone to expect.
We were always presentable, on time, parents always came to school when needed, no shouting or trouble. Why would anyone think we were living in a nightmare?


The reason I’m writing this is to show. You never know what’s going on behind a closed door. Whether it’s abuse, stress, mental illness. Us as humans are amazing at painting on a smile and convincing the world were ok. So good in fact we often convince ourselves.


As you’re going about your normal daily tasks just think that person who you make a remark to might be suffering so much and may need someone. We need to stick together and open up.

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