Thank you everyone who is still here reading the story so far.
I had originally planned to post twice a week. If I posted this much religiously up to this moment in my life right now I could easily have two years’ worth of blog material.
Two things which I hadn’t factored in the time it takes to write and make it sound entertaining for the reader. Secondly is all of the old doors that it’s opening.
Its probably going to save me a fortune on therapy but it is proving very tiring especially now that this is all out in the open. I know when I get past this difficult stage of my story then it will become more free-flowing and more material will be released.
On a positive note, the messages and support I have had since I’ve started writing are overwhelming. Also, many people who have had similar difficulties have shown their support.
I’ve also heard from people I have not spoken to in over 30 years who somehow have started reading it. It can only grow and this makes me very happy.
It’s only fair that now after the last post I mention mum’s side of the family. Very similar to Dad’s side they play a very little part of the story later so its only fair to introduce them now or their story will be lost forever.
Helen my grandmother I touched on in an earlier blog. She was given electric shock treatment as a child and by today’s standards what she endured at the hands of her mother would be considered child abuse.
I have no bad feelings towards my grandma and there were some happy memories but they were few and far between.
I think in hindsight she did not have any idea how to show or express love and that’s what fucked my mother up so much. The horrible treatment by my grandmother set off a chain reaction in the family home.
Firstly Marion my múms older sister left home when she was 18 and got as far away as possible. She ran away with her boyfriend Reg and they later married and had four kids.
They got all the way up to Wigan and Helen wouldn’t talk to her for years as she dared to defy her.
Then my mum in a desperate attempt to leave home married way too young to a guy called Gary.
Gary was cool but they were both ways too young then afterward my mum Carol met John Bailey. As charming, as he could be I don’t think she would have stayed with him.
Unfortunately for Carol a lot of the toxic behavior she had grown up with she began to see this as normal which led her down her path.
I think the only difference between her and my dad is my dad was exposed to extreme violence from such an early age.
The abuse Carol suffered was all mental abuse which in my opinion is ten times worse. I personally have suffered physical abuse from older kids and from teachers but you can deal with that.
You can use and channel the hatred inside you and you can physically hit back. This really isn’t good for your mental health but what is the alternative to stand there and cry while someone tries to make a name for themselves?
Some people never break away from that and they spend their whole lives being victims. This then follows them into the world of work and they never ever release their true potential.
I remember being in school and I was always a target because I was one of the bigger kids so I was always having to fight with older kids and at first I was terrified.
I hated going to school and you could not tell the teacher or you would then have to fight every day.
I quickly discovered boxing and learned how to fight and then anyone who wanted to fight they got hit so bad they never bothered me again.
This provided an outlet for my shitty situation and short term it helped but I was always looking for an excuse to fight.
Out of all the fights I had probably half of them could have been avoided.
I felt a lot of fear firstly that if I didn’t fight that I would become a bully victim and secondly because I had no positive male role model so I knew I pretty much had to teach myself a lot of stuff.
My mum is great but she hasn’t got the first idea of being a young lad. She is not stupid she knew telling the teacher would not help and she knew I would never tell her the full story but what could she do?
On top of that, she was busy enough spinning multiple plates to put food on the table and to pay the bills.
Back to Helen my Grandma she was also a complete fantasist. She would make up memories that didn’t happen which I will touch on in later blogs. She grew up on a farm but told everyone she used to be a teacher.
She did work as a teaching assistant very briefly in a nursery but if anyone asked that was her career.
Considering she came from a very humble beginning she was also a terrible snob. Ok, the men she married had had good jobs but it’s not like she married Bill gates or anything like that.
I think she hated were she came from so much and the abuse she endured that it was easier to claim it didn’t happen. This was also the time when people didn’t talk openly about there feelings. so she and many other women didn’t have a voice.
What was tragic to see and even I noticed this when I was very young is her attitude. If someone knocked on the door wearing a suit or she met someone who sounded important her whole demeanor would change.
Suddenly her voice would be more well-spoken and the stories would come thick and fast about things which had never happened. All to make herself sound a lot better.
She could be very charming and she married to a man named Tom who was my grandad.
Everyone who knew Tom told me he was an amazing man and such a lovely guy. I unfortunately never got to meet him.
He fought in world war 2 and was part of the veterinary core. He worked with dogs and this at the time was quite a new concept as horses were used a lot more on the battlefield before WW2.
This new system of using dogs was brought into service in 1942 with incredible results.
Please check the link below for a brief history of his regiment and what he did in the war.
Like many soldiers coming back from that period of history, he would never talk about what he did. I personally through my own struggles know that does more harm than good.
I think the only saving grace for these men is that everyone was going through the same thing so there was some comfort amongst old soldiers.
Funnily enough, there had been a big family feud and Helen my grandma had refused to speak to my mum for well over a year.
As a result of this Tom, my grandad was forbidden to talk to Carol as well nor was Carol allowed in the family home.
A lot of this usually came from Helen’s mental health problems. She had serious delusions of grandeur.
If anyone dared to question her or correct her then she would fly off the handle. I feel so sorry for her in hindsight as for her to behave this way tells me she must have had some serious pain.
She was not interested in letting that pain go as it was a huge part of her and I honestly don’t think she knew how to be happy.
Helen had decided she was going to forgive my mother for whatever she had done and now it was time for my grandad Tom to meet me.
On the way down the motorway to meet me, Tom was suddenly feeling sick and pulled over onto the hard shoulder. He was feeling sick because he was having a heart attack.
He died almost instantly and with no access to a phone for miles, there was nothing that could be done. He was 75 years old at his time of passing.
Now that’s actually what happened but the story Helen told everyone was that he died at the wheel at high speed and she had to figure out how to stop the car and pull it over to the side of the road. Well as they say there is no such thing as bad publicity.
A few years later Helen married a man called Alf. Alf was a lovely man. Even though I called him Alf he was my grandad. He worked in the post office with Tom and they had been best mates for many years. He had also seen action in world war 2.
He was a regimental sergeant major in the royal core of signals. This was a very interesting time to be a part of the unit as they evolved from working with carrier pigeons to developing phone lines in the heat of battle.
Modern-day signalers don’t have to spend a lot of time on the front line but during the WW2, things were very different. There were also units set up whose sole mission was to break the German coded messages.
Alf lived until he was about 85. He later developed Alzheimer’s disease.
It started off with him forgetting simple stuff and then it progressed very rapidly.
He was a very fit man and every day we would walk a mile to the pub, have a pint of bitter then walk back. He would also later walk a mile to the shop and back. Now for a man in his eighties, that’s pretty good.
He started to forget his way home and would go out leaving the front door open.
It got to the stage where he could not remember to go to the toilet nor did he know who anyone was.
Two years before his death I had to stop going to see him in the home. It broke my heart to see such a fine man in such pain.
If his brain was ok I would have forced myself to keep seeing him but I justified it because he honestly had no idea who I was anymore.To this day I feel I made the right decision and I have some great memories of us both together. A very funny and charismatic man who is still fondly remembered and missed.
Marion went to Wigan and had 4 children who are Jeff, Debbie, Janice, and Tony. Reg who she married was a huge control freak. He used to have the kids in bed for 6 pm.
Anything Marion left the room for more than a minute he would shout her or follow her into the next room.
He was always sick in my memories of him and always had to take many tablets.
He did absolutely nothing to look after his heath and his diet was awful.
A memory I have of him was when he went into hospital to have twelve inches of bowel removed. On the way back from the hospital they stopped to buy cream cakes and pork pies.
He was sat there talking with his mouthful of cake telling me that he was a medical mystery. People were a lot more ignorant when it came to health back then but even Stevie Wonder could see he was heading for a heart attack.
He died in 1999 of guess what? yeah, a heart attack. Marion never remarried and still holds a torch for him.
Jeff is married to a girl called Lorraine who I have on Facebook. They have three kids together who I’ve never met but they look like they are happy enough.
Jeff is a good guy and all of my memories with him are good. He was always nice to me when we went to their house at Christmas. I’m not sure what he’s doing now but he’s always had factory jobs and I don’t see that changing.
Debbie and Janice left home really early and got married. Is anyone seeing the pattern here?
Debbie owns a coach company with her husband. She recently looked at my profile on linked in so I messaged her to reach out but she ignored it.
I’m not too sure what Janice is up to. She was always very happy and positive. I had her on Facebook for a while and suddenly she deleted me. I asked her why she didn’t answer.
As sad as it is they are not interested in talking to me I’ve got to this age without needing them so I think I’m going to be ok.
Tony who is Marion’s youngest son is about 45 now. He has learning difficulties which have held him back his entire life. They made a huge mistake instead of sending him to school they took him to work with them.
They had the cleaning contract for at the time the biggest nightclub in Wigan called Maxims. They took him to work every day and then all went home.
As a result, he did not learn how to interact with other kids or socialize with others.
To be fair to Marion and Reg it must have been a tough decision as there were no special schools in wigan so potentially he could be walking into a world of shit. So they had to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.
I remember Tony would always have a new friend he had made but it would come out that the friend would be using him and borrowing money which he would never payback.
It would be that or coming over to play computer games than not bothering with him until he wanted to play again.
The more this happened the more withdrawn Tony become. He still lives in Wigan at home with Marion and very seldomly leaves the house.
I hear from Lorraine on Facebook on my birthday but that’s about it. like my dad’s side of the family, I literally have no relationship with any of them.
Jeff had a daughter called Lisa who I met during Regs funeral. She said she would write to me in the army but never did.
To be fair to Lisa nobody really wrote letters back then and if you moved to a foreign country then you were never heard of again. She reached out to me on Facebook while I’ve been in Vietnam and it’s nice to be in touch.
I also learned that Jeff and Tony have not spoken for years over god knows what but I don’t pry as I’ve got my own problems.I have no time for feuds or bad blood.
That to this day seems to run rampant on both sides of my family and as a result its all so very toxic.
I could probably reconnect with them all but the only way this is possible is if I made all the effort, arranged it all, and went to Wigan when it was convenient for everyone else.
I’m sorry but it’s a two-way thing so I’m not grinding an axe but I’m not in any hurry for any tearful reunion selfies from Wigan
To be fair I would make the effort with Lisa as she has taken the time out for me so it goes both ways.
The reason why the family is so estranged is because of Reg and Marion. When I was younger my mum Carol was always trying to get me to stay with them. Marion always had an excuse no its impossible or Reg won’t allow it. It’s understandable as it’s not like I’m part of the family is it?
I could count on one hand how many times I’ve stayed there. Marion seemed ok with this and had an answer for every time mum asked so I basically got fucked off at every opportunity.
Later on, she and my mum fell out and they haven’t spoken in twenty years. It should be made clear the bad blood is coming from Marion.
She has a very jaded view on things and she can’t be told anything nor can she see reason.
I will talk about this later on but to summarise for twenty years Carol my mum had to take care of my grandma.Now included in that package was the emotional blackmail, resentment, making mum worthless at every opportunity.
As awful as it sounds it’s like she took pleasure in this because nobody could possibly understand how hard it was for Helen.
Quite frequently mum would come home in tears and it affected her deeply. How can someone who supposedly loves you show you such cruelty and hatred all to make herself feel better?
Marion could never help out with the care as Reg wouldn’t allow it so Helen could fuck right off. After twenty years my mum was broken by it and walked out she could not take anymore.
Reg had since died so then it fell on Marion to take care of Helen. It should be noted when Reg died him and Marion were mortgage-free. Reg had also worked in insurance his whole life so his wife was well looked after when he expired.
As well as all this she continued to clean full time. So Marion swoops in for the last five years and Helen leaves the house to Marion. This is ten times worse and my mum Carol has got fuck all.
She has struggled her whole life and this was a final fuck you from her mum and she wanted the rift as she loved the drama.
The week before she died my grandma rang up my mum and gave her the terms and conditions telling her she loved her the most and if she would start taking care of her again she could have the house.
Helen got another win as she managed to have Carol in tears one last time before she died so everyone wins right? So Marion sold the house and put the money with the rest. She showed how benevolent she was a year later when she sent mum a cheque for 5 grand.
At the time I was doing ok for money for a few years later when I had to move home it would have been quite handy if there was a house I could have used but never mind its much more fitting to have this shit storm in play.
I’ve seen Marion a couple of times since then and its always the same speech your always welcome in Wigan but your mum isn’t and then exactly how much of a cunt she is.
Obviously, I would be loyal to my mum but shes really wrong here and it’s not like Marion was flying the Arlo flag when I was younger.
Unfortunately, this taught me to detach at a very young age. This has both positives and negatives mainly its negative and a kid should not have to do this at such a young age.
If your blood clearly doesn’t give a shit about you then why show any emotion in return its a waste of energy. They can sit there with their feuds, resentment, and hatred while I’m busy making something of myself.
It feels great to get all this out in the open and you never know maybe there will be some tearful Wigan reunion selfies down the road.
I doubt it the last time I saw everyone was 2006 and even then I’m surprised the whole family didn’t gang up on Carol.
Well, credit is given where credits due at least they have respect for the dead.