Well, this week’s blog topic is unexpected, to say the least.
I planned to continue the story of my school days so far.
I had found Francesca and saw what she was doing and that she was doing very well.
The detective in me told me to keep looking and for me to do a more detailed search on social media.
I think the issue at first is the fact I’m in Vietnam and I’m looking for someone in the UK with no mutual friends.
Smartphones are only as smart as we make them and like Skynet, they start to learn from us, and next thing you’re hooked but that’s another story for another day.
So with a little bit of digging, I found Francesca on Facebook.
Now I was in a difficult position as it was now real and I was at the point of no return.
When I was a child I had many sleepless nights over this woman’s bullying and she seemed to enjoy it which makes this even more disturbing.
Now for every action, there is a reaction but something which has served me so well in my later years is one question Why?
If I’m angry at something I think why?
If someone is angry with me or shouting at me I think why?
You can apply why to most situations and granted you won’t always feel the same way as the person you have a conflict with but most of the time if you can see the why then you will be able to find common ground.
I was struggling to find any good with this woman but then that can be more rewarding when you both find common ground.
It’s also a lot easier as an adult with my background to confront people like this as I never let what happened in my childhood stop me from moving forward.
I’m not going to lie I’ve made some horrible decisions due to bad programming and bad choices which for the most part came down to drugs and alcohol.
It’s when you get clean and you can reflect on yourself and how sick you were in the past.
When you’re in the grip of addiction and mostly leading up to that all you do is take take take and wonder why your life has become so unmanageable.
Please look at the 12 steps picture below and ill explain why I have added this in regards to the blog.
When we get clean step 8 is the most important of all and it’s surprising how many people will forgive you when you put yourself out there.
I was involved heavily with the madness of drugs for years and my amends list was long.
My hardest one turned out to be my easiest in the end.
I’m not going to name who it was because it’s personal but it was a huge weight lifted and she was very sympathetic considering how I had treated her in the past.
Now I have made my amends I work on steps 9, 10, and 11 daily and this helps me to stay on the right path.
I don’t always get it right and I still make mistakes but I do my best to be a good person and try to give something back.
This can also be a double-edged sword as I find myself in predicaments like in today’s blog where I have to face my past.
This situation was a bit easier because I was a child when this happened and no matter what way you look at this you should never be violent towards children.
I don’t care if it was the 80s this is unacceptable.
Many people I had fallen out with in the past like my friend Chris I can see that I have played a part in the destruction of the friendship and because I can admit this can get the other person to the table ready to listen.
This does not always work and many people do not want to face the past or question the story that has been made in their minds to justify things to themselves.
I will talk about this in later blogs but today the focus is on Francesca and the aftermath of last week’s blog.
So I decided to write her a message and see where this took us.
I can promise you I was not looking for a fight or to open up old wounds but one of the things about getting clean from drugs is I am quick to call out other people when I feel they have wronged me.
Nobody is perfect especially me and I thought this needed addressing and I was hoping that was could talk.
I told my mum about this and she warned me that I could be walking into a potential minefield.
I do not see it that way though I see it as I’m playing blackjack and I can’t lose.
there are two possible outcomes and the first one would be we talk we find some common ground and put the past behind us and maybe even become friends.
The second is that the other person will not converse with you and you know you have tried but it tells you exactly what type of person they are.
So I sent a message and then I waited.
Sure enough, twenty minutes later she had read it and as soon as so read it she blocked me on Facebook and Messenger.
Then the journalist in her came out and she was all over the internet searching for information about me.
Luckily I’m an open book and I’ve even spoken publicly about my struggles in the past with cocaine. When something is made public then it cant be used against you.
Luckily I don’t have a criminal record from those days of madness but I have kept my drug use in the dark it would likely come back to haunt me exactly like what is happening to Francesca right now.
So in this twenty minutes, she had read about herself and then read the blog and proceeded to block me.
She then viewed my profile on linked in but went through the BBC server so it would not show up as her only the BBC
This part I really don’t understand does she not think I wouldn’t make the connection to her as she is a journalist?
Also, it’s a lot more obvious when the BBC has never viewed me on Linked in before but has suddenly an interest in me?
It’s a little like when we were at school after I stood up to her in my own way when she started putting a tick next to my work like I wouldn’t know she hasn’t even bothered to mark it.
Now the old me at a point like this would go straight for the jugular and go on attack mode guns blazing.
However, I didn’t message Francesca looking for a fight and what good would it do?
Granted she has wronged me and many others considerably but I started thinking about why she acted in this way and what drove her to act like this.
I have seen violence in many capacities from working in nightclubs to both being a soldier and a private contractor in Iraq.
When people commit acts of violence to them it seems normal and they don’t care about the effect it has on those around them and the devastation it can have.
Many people can brush themselves off and carry on but for many people, it goes onto affect everything from personal relationships and can destroy their confidence.
You hear of stories all the time of children and even adults taking their own lives because of this.
I’ve said this to many people and some have said well not everyone is a fighter. That’s beside the point I answer why should a child even have to think about fighting with an adult that option should never be on the table.
When I say that people usually stop talking as they know I’m right.
When I think of the why here I get really sad because I think why does Francesca think this is the way to behave and what must be going on in her life to justify this disgusting behaviour.
I also think she must have been very deeply insecure to act in such a way to a group of children
If you remember the very first meeting she was scanning the room looking for threats.
She then hits me as hard as I can from the back and then tells the class that they really don’t want to mess with her.
Its bad enough to hit anyone but to hit someone as hard as you can from behind is the most cowardly thing you can ever do.
Throughout the years I’ve worked in some extremely hostile environments and also practiced martial arts of some description my whole life I’ve come across genuinely tough people.
In my personal experience, all of the hard people never had to tell anyone this as everyone already knew what they were about.
Anyone who has to keep telling you about how many people they have knocked out or how they were such a gangster back in there home town is usually full of shit.
Now let’s put that into a different context Francesca comes to the school in her leather jacket like she one of the T birds.
She sits with her feet on the desk and rips kids apart who dare to question her as it’s her way or the highway.
She frequently has children in tears and finds new ways to start an argument and accuse people of the most trivial thing but make a huge deal out of it.
She has no issues rising her hands either like I said it’s a special kind of tough to hit kids.
This tells me that this is a person who is scared of their own shadow.
Whatever the circumstances I don’t know but I believe we are all born good.
She has not become this person overnight this is a series of events in her life that has become the driving force of the personality she projects.
Everything that happens to us has a huge bearing on who we become and what happens to us in the future.
It’s not many people that beat the odds and that’s why I try to do good every day as I know I’m so lucky to have got out of the toxic world I had created for myself.
Many people will judge you by their own poor standards and they implode when they see you’re still winning.
It would be a lot easier for Francesca to lord it over me when she was doing her research online.
If she found I had been in and out of prison or I was still in the middle of the madness that addiction causes then I’m sure she would quite happily have messaged me back.
It’s so easy to look down on other people especially when you think your own shit doesn’t stink.
It also blows her theory out of the water that I will never amount to anything which she used to say to me with the biggest smile on her face.
I posted on Facebook about what had happened between me and Francesca.
One hundred and twenty people commented about this and many from our old class.
Glynn Roberts who was thrown repeatedly against the blackboard messaged me and we ended up having a good chat about it and how it’s unbelievable that that went on in full view of Mr. Owen the headmaster.
It was good to have so much support from friends who I haven’t seen for over 20 years and the fact that most of them had remembered what I said or even had other things to add none of it positive.
My mum told me to be very careful as I could end up in court and I told her I’m ok with it.
I don’t want a fight and that’s not what I came for but if that’s the route she wants to take then so be it.
I’m pretty sure that Francesca does not want this read out in court nor wants to have to explain to a judge why her violent behaviour towards children was OK in her eyes.
I am pretty sure this will be the end of it as if she cant apologise to me or even try to make it right it’s going to be a lot harder to convince a judge otherwise even with the best lawyers from the BBC backing her.
The BBC doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to the care of children which reminds me of .a very appropriate joke
How many BBC employees does it take to change a light bulb?
None they prefer that things are kept in the dark
For anyone who does not know the scandal of the BBC please see the two links below
What scares me the most about this is I had moved from Toxteth which at the time was an area full of poverty with a high crime rate to Woolton which was classed as middle class and in parts incredibly affluent.
So if these incidents were normal in this area it must have been a lot worse in the poorer areas.
It scares me that children didn’t have a voice for so long and how many people are willing to pass the book just so they don’t have to get involved.
Now I cant put all this on Francesca even though she played a huge part.
Mr. Owen the headmaster used to hit kids all the time as did the deputy head a man ill call Phil I will mention them more in later blogs as their story needs to be told.
It’s just a shame Mr. Owen is now dead as I would love to call him out all these years later but life does not work like that, unfortunately.
I know I’m thinking about this in the wrong way but if I was Francesca and a former pupil got in touch I would want to address it right away.
Having said that she has a lot to lose. She could potentially lose her BBC gig which pays well and keeps her relevant.
I also found out that Francesca is a yoga teacher in West Kirby which is a very affluent part of the Wirrall.
If she’s teaching people there it’s going to a mixture of Doctors and Barristers’ wives probably for the most part driving Range Rovers and Audis.
It’s so messed up that someone like this is being paid a lot of money to promote peace and love and general well being.
I would be ok with this if she was willing to put her cards on the table with me.
Since it’s clear she doesn’t want that then I feel that by promoted peace, love, and harmony she’s a huge fraud.
Unfortunately, nobody wins in this story as if she isn’t willing to talk she hasn’t properly faced the trauma of her past which has caused her to act in that way.
She also hasn’t acknowledged the damage she has done and the effect she had on me and many other children.
I think in her most solitary moments she knows all this but that remains to be seen.
One thing which needs to be said even if you don’t have the guts to talk to me Francesca is I forgive you.
I don’t need anything from you and it’s sad you have to carry this around inside you and won’t admit the nature of your wrongs.
All of the bad feelings inside now is self-hatred and that’s on you. I hope in time you can face your demons.
It’s also an open offer if you do get in touch I’m willing to listen and willing to talk in detail.
At the risk of sounding cynical though I don’t work for a TV network so there wouldn’t be anything in it for you financially only spiritually.
Lets this one day gets resolved as I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way and there are plenty of other children in other schools with similar stories to tell.