A life of destruction, deceit and dishonesty. My rose tinted spectacles were smashed on my trip home from hospital after my birth. This is real life, happening now. Imagine that was you, your mother or even worse, your daughter.
Imagine being the baby born to a mother so indulged in self destruction and over taken by the disease of addiction, that when you entered the world the first thing on her mind was her next fix. When other new mums were so concerned with the health and welfare of their new born baby and this new mum is looking for the fastest exit route to be able to strap up and slowly kill her self with everyone who loves her spectating. Imagine being the baby whose father wasn’t at your birth because he was out scoring smack as you took you first breath.
Imagine the only memories in your early years are of a house full of associates, drinking, injecting, smoking, crying, screaming and battling through life. Where the only sense of happiness ever witnessed was giro day.
Imagine 3.20pm and it’s the end of the school day. In the playground are the mums and dads coming to collect their children from school, then you see the police, chasing a man over the roof of the school. Imagine that was your mums new drug dealing, drug addicted, boyfriend.
Imagine your dad thinking he hit the jackpot when he brought a shit load of counterfeit currency. Imagine you, at 6 years old being the bait to spend the notes on packs of sweets on different streets, to get the change. Or, knowing where the money is kept, on the day the house gets raided, and even though you know it’s wrong, you say to the police you are going out to play but really you go and get the money and hide it because no matter what is going on, you don’t want your family to get into trouble.
Imagine going out to see your friends on a Saturday as a 13yr old girl, in the days where no-one had mobile phones. Arriving back around 6pm after being out all day and nobody knowing where you have been. The house is empty, the door is locked and its winter, it’s getting dark and cold. You wait for a while to see if anyone comes home and inspect the windows to see if you can climb in any of them. All locked and a hour has passed. You are freezing, tired, cold and hungry. The only thing offering some kind of protection for you is an old car rotting in your garden, full of syringes, rubbish and mould. Ok, you get in and fall asleep. Hours pass and you wake up even more freezing, even more tired and now quite scared. You really don’t want to kick the glass in the front door but the house is still locked up, nobody is home and you don’t know where they are and if or when they will be home. Imagine having to kick the door in, smash the glass panel and then climb in through the hole. Imagine being the 13yr old girl, home alone, sleeping with a kicked in front door.
Imagine throughout your childhood, getting used to being awoken by the sound of the garden gate slamming shut. Shouting out for your mum or dad and not getting a response, just diving deeper into your pillow and praying you fall back to sleep quickly and when you wake up again someone is home.
Imagine being less than ten years old and visiting your mum’s best friends drug dealing, drug addicted boyfriend in prison. This friend and the prisoner have two daughters aged 4 – 6 years old, they are also accompanying you on the visit. It is noticed by the prison officers that the younger of the girls has no knickers on under her dress so they inform the mother that the younger girl cannot enter the visits hall unless she has some underwear in the car that she can put on. The mother insists that in the car is a pair of kickers for the younger girl, so off they went to the car. Imagine the story about knickers being in the car wasn’t true, imagine if when you get to the car you are told to take of your own knickers from underneath your dress and give them to the younger girl. Imagine then being coached on how to enter the prison visits hall, as a child, with no knickers on to make sure ‘we’ don’t get caught.
Imagine that was you…