I have spoken about the rest of the family so it’s only fair I mention my mum Carol Power and her history.
She took back her maiden name after she and John had divorced or maybe that’s all a lie and I’m secretly adopted haha.
We know all about her parents Helen and Tom from previous blogs but mum was born and grew up around Gateacre village and Lee park which is practically next to the village.
Now it became apparent from a young age that Carol was a very talented dancer.
So much so my grandma Helen put carol into dance classes.
She studied many different forms from ballet to street dance.
There would always be something she was training for and she was constantly pushing herself to the limit.
Now, this was good because she kept pushing herself and she was well known in the stage community. Obviously, that is a very big community but for the performers, it can be a very small world as well.
She did competitions abroad and went on cruises as a result of this and had even danced on the BBC numerous times.
To be on television in the early sixties was a very big deal. Don’t forget there were only a couple of channels back then so air time was extremely limited.
People didn’t have anywhere near the amount of entertainment of today’s standards so every night most of the country would be sat in front of the TV waiting for the next show.
This also made things incredibly hard at home because Helen my grandma was extremely jealous and resentful towards her.
Any chance she had there would be little put-downs or comments about mum’s weight or skill set.
This at the time would be destroying Carol’s confidence and she was always questioning her self-worth as she would put all she had into every performance.
Everyone could see this and she was on the cusp of becoming famous especially my Grandmother.
Now for Helen, this was the gift that kept on giving not only could she constantly get into Carol’s head and score little victories for herself she could also play the emotional blackmail card to the max.
Anytime Helen wanted her own way she would into a huge monologue of how much the family had to sacrifice so she could go to dancing lessons.
According to Helen, they were all close to eating gruel for every meal but we do everything for you.
Helen always got her way and also had found more ways to control Carol and that to her was like winning the lottery.
Its mentioned in earlier blogs about my grandma Helen being a total fantasist and telling lies about her origins.
A lot of this was due to her being ashamed of her past.
Now with a daughter whos about to hit the big time she was in her element and I think my mum’s fame was more important to Helen than it was to my Carol
There were numerous things Helen did to my mum which today would be classed as child abuse.
Taking away her food, wrapping her stomach with bandaged to make it look flatter and in her mind trying to change her natural shape.
The list went on and on but Helen justified it all to herself.
It’s not like my grandma had a background in professional dance it was all made up as she went along.
Because starving a teenage girl is really the way to do things right?
This went on for years and then when Mum was 17 disaster struck. She was thrown from a horse that injured her badly.
She broke her coccyx which in normal language is her bum bone and she was never the same again.
Her professional dancing career was over and for years she suffered horribly with her back.
For many years she has been unable to work and it’s heartbreaking that everything she had worked so hard for was gone and that had to be one hell of a rude awakening.
The only positive outcome from all this is she didn’t end up like the actor Christopher Reeve.
Christopher Reeve who played Superman in the 1980s movie series was a keen showjumper. He was thrown from his horse and was paralyzed from the neck down.
He was making a lot of progress and was determined to walk again but sadly died in 2004 from heart failure.
The recovery must have been worse than the accident as Helen had no empathy nor could she ever show any sympathy unless the same thing was happening to her.
I can also imagine as well as the constant pain that Helen would be giving mum a dog’s life. All of Helen’s big ideas were gone and she was back to being normal.
Marion her sister knew the Helen dance all to well and had already left home many years ago.
Marion didn’t have it nearly as bad as Carol as there was no pressure for Marion to become famous, make millions, and change everyone’s lives.
Granted Helen my grandma was extremely damaged and suffered seriously with her mental health but she isn’t a patch on some Hollywood parents.
A prime example of this is Gary Coleman from the popular 80s TV show different strokes. He sued his parents and won and after his 18th birthday had nothing to do with them.
They were stealing from him for years there was physical and mental abuse and his parents played a key part in him losing his entire fortune.
He led a very interesting life before his sudden death and an entire generation myself included will miss him. I’ve enclosed an interesting article about him and his parents legal battle below.
Many say the TV was cursed and they are probably not wrong. If you remember the show from back in the day check out the link below as a lot of bad stuff happened to all of the actors.
Many would say that my mum had a lucky escape not making it big in showbusiness. This was the era of Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter, Jonathan King.
Not only that let’s just say she was lucky enough to dodge all of that I cannot being to imagine how Helen would turn with money, power, and status.
Its no surprise at the earliest opportunity mum moved out of Helens and got a job in an office.
This is where she first met, Nicky Jones. I mentioned Nicky in my last blog who was absolutely stunning but battered the booze.
When Nicky was downing the shots of vodka in the Parkfield she was ranting about everyone including mum. I spoke to my mum about this the next day and Carol was truly upset.
It was all something and nothing and she was sad that her former best friend had all this inner pain.
Nicky went over to the jukebox and put on Zombie by The Cranberries. See the video below.
She was screaming at the top of her voice singing along to it alone with about 6 old fellas watching her shaking there heads.
I sent a video to mum of her singing as I wanted her to see what state she was in. I love Nicky she was always really good to me and I’m gutted that she is in such a bad place with the booze.
Having Nicky as a best friend meant that she and Carol were always going out a lot. When you’re young you can get away with this and luckily mum knows when to say no and have a night in.
My mum met Gary her first husband and was with him a couple of years before she met my dad.
Mum, Gary had some good times but they married too young.
A lot of her marrying at such a young age was to get away from Helen and all of the negative fucked up shit which she laid on daily.
They ended up good friends years later and Gary for years had his own successful printing business which then went on to make the tide time tables and supplied most of the country with this.
Gary inherited the printing business from his dad which he continued to maintain for many years which made him a very good living.
As the technology evolved and the computer age was born people were using printing companies less and less. Gary kept downsizing for many years until he became a one-man-band.
He still made a very comfortable living working out of his garage. This suited him well he was his own boss and he had done this for years and he could do it with his eyes closed.
Many of his clients he had done business with for years so he very seldomly had any issues with them it was money for old rope.
As easy as it was he had less work to every year due to the internet taking away a lot of his business.
Gary was a really good friend to me for many years. Not just as a kid but as an adult as well. He was there for me through some serious highs and lows.
He was big into the party and alternative scene and even when I had my multiple rock bottoms and stopped drinking as well as taking cocaine we still had the same relationship.
To be fair he was more like my dad than my real dad and if he and Carol would have stayed together then it could have been possible.
When my mum and Gary split up a few years later he married a woman called Pam.
Pam was always nice to me through the years but me and Gary were much closer.
They split up after many years but still shared the same house.
This is what brought Gary more into the fetish scene. He always had his hand in this and always was the life and soul of the party. The difference between me and him is he knew when to stop and when to say no.
Gary had a son with Pam called Charles who is the closet thing I have to a brother. We don’t speak as much as id like but at the same time, we both have very busy lives and are doing our own thing.
Charlie practiced martial arts for many years and got his black belt in ninjutsu. He had a falling out with his Sensi and this led to the school closing.
He still trains hard but now is into his powerlifting. He became a firefighter last year and he continues to run his dad’s old business.
I have a lot of time for Charlie even though we hardly don’t talk to each other a lot.
Gary contracted Hepatitis C in the 1980s and he suffered from this his entire life. He had some bad days but was usually smiling.
Having said that I was never married to him so I’ve not spent 24 hours a day in his company.
He managed to beat the disease with a new alternative treatment and then a few months later he was diagnosed with Cancer.
He was doing well with his Chemotherapy and was making a huge recovery and suddenly he took a dive. He was not responding to treatment and he was moved into hospice.
I went in to see him and sat there trying to look like I wasn’t arsed but inside I was heartbroken. He was skin and bones and he could hardly talk.
He could sit up and we could communicate but it hurt him a lot. I stayed for about 40 minutes which seemed like three hours when we could not speak.
I walked out of the hospice and smiled at him and said ill see you tomorrow mate and he said goodbye. I hated this because he wasn’t stupid we both knew that was the last time we would ever see each other.
I cant explain how but I just knew I left and I knew he was watching me so I had to act as normal as possible and got back to my car and sat with my head in my hands for about ten minutes.
I’ve suffered a lot more loss and seen way more death than most people due to my background which ill speak about in later blogs but Gary’s death really hit me hard.
Like most men, I put on a brave face but even know writing this has upset me.
The flip side to the coin is I got to be his close friend and confidant for many years and I will never forget him. He left a huge impact on the world from his music and his work with record labels in the 80s.
One of my fondest memories is going to his flat to watch his music video in the early 80s. Please remember this was the early 80s so to have a music video was a big deal.
Unfortunately I can’t find any stuff from the band online but it lives on in my memory.
When Gary and my mum Carol got together My mum soon quit her job and started to use her entrepreneurial skills. She had set up a business selling cruelty-free beauty products.
She was doing these years before any of the department stores.
She made nice money from the store for a long time. This was a new concept and it really could have gone either way back in those days.
Typically Carol got no support from her mother Helen and was constantly ridiculed for her stupid idea and concept.
Helen was not so secretly jealous and couldn’t fathom why Carol would not want to spend time with her.
It was mind-blowing because Helen knew what she was doing was cruel, was doing it to score points and make herself feel better, had already lost one daughter but continued down this path.
Then would be on the phone in tears with more emotional blackmail because Carol would hardly see her.
Let’s not forget it all fell on Carol as Marion’s husband Reg wouldn’t allow her to visit Helen.
A few years later when Mum and Gary split up things got ugly between them.
There is a very fine line between love and hate. As a result of the fallout, my mum ended up giving up the store.
She missed the boat on this as a year later many of the department stores started selling these specialist products.
She tells me to this day she’s so pissed off about that but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
A few years later my mum met my dad John Bailey.
At the time he was very charming and was making money and like Gary the life and soul of the party.
Its very fitting that she ended up in such a toxic relationship with him which has been spoken about in my previous blogs already.
You the reader is now up to date where Carol fits into the story and she will feature a lot more later in the story.
I’ve been blogging now for three months if you’re still with me from day one then thank you it means a lot.
I will keep writing if you all keep reading goodnight everyone.