Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Reflections part two


At the beginning of 1992 I found myself back in London after spending 8 months in rehab. I was in a hostel in new cross which is in south London. The trouble was I was back on my old stomping ground .I had already started to drink again and realized that I was still moving in the same circles as before.

 I decided to leave London to give myself a better chance of not returning to my addiction. I packed a bag and headed off to Southampton where I had lived in the past. After 4 months however, I was bored out of my mind so I decided to return to London. The hostel I had been living at before usually had a policy of not readmitting after you have left, however, the hostel manager was an old biker and after I had been to see him he had agreed to let me have another chance.

My first day back in the hostel I made my way to the dining room for dinner. I was sat at a large round table suitable for 8 people on my own when a young girl walked up and said in a sweet voice “is any one sitting here”. I laughed and said “does it look like it, of course you can sit there”. I have to admit now that the first thing I noticed about her was the size of her breasts (chuckle).I started to chat with her and I found out her name was Samantha and she was 19.she was very smartly dressed and in my eyes stunningly pretty. To be honest I didn’t think I had a chance in hell as I was still in my biking days, dressed in my usual ripped smelly old jeans etc... Plus I was infact 12 years older than her.

I had a friend visiting me at the hostel, tony was waiting for me in my room whilst I was having dinner. When I returned I had a big smile on my face and I told him “I have just met the girl that I am going to marry!” She didn’t make it easy but finally, much to my surprise and delight, she agreed to be my girl.

Almost immediately she fell pregnant, I was delighted.one morning after being together for about 6 weeks we were sitting with friends in new cross market café ,when I jumped up got on my knees and asked her to marry me!. After the shock and embarrassment died away she said yes! We were married at the begging of December 1992, it was up to that point the happiest day of my life. Not only did she make me the happiest man alive but looking back (and I have never told her this but maybe she will read this blog) that day she saved my life.

It was never an ‘easy’ marriage, to be honest I really don’t know how she put up with me, for 13 years she put up with my mood swings, the fact that I would wonder off at any time without her knowing where I was, I don’t think she ever really knew how ‘damaged’ I was inside.

We had three wonderful children together, I love them dearly however they were the most difficult thing for me to deal with. Simple things that most fathers would just take for granted like changing them or bathing them were a nightmare, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, I just felt so uncomfortable with it and I couldn’t explain why. Now I know that it was a fear left in me by my abusers.

I had spent years desperately searching for somebody to love me, now I had Sam and the kids but my inability to show them love after years of hiding behind my protective wall eventually cost me my marriage. Something else I can thank my abusers for.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Reflections part one


You would think that after 51 years I would have life sussed, but I haven’t!

My life was never going to be an easy one, from birth it just went downhill. I was, in the first nine years, passed around from one place to another, never really having the chance to settle in one place long enough before being moved again. Even at this stage the Jersey Children’s Service failed me dramatically.

By the time I arrived at Haut De La Garenne at 9 years old I was already in a vulnerable state, often moody, not able to connect with my peers, withdrawn, no pride in myself, all these things lead me now to believe I was suffering depression. A prime target for the bully’s and abusers.

Six years on and finally free from the tyranny, fear and abuse I headed for England, I won’t go into details but it was not a good start and soon I found myself cold and alone on the streets of London. I quickly became involved in the street ‘scene’, nights spent roughing it at Embankment station waiting patiently for the arrival of the ‘soup run’ bus, ah the joy that can be had from a hot cup of soup on a cold night, bliss. If I was really lucky I would get a bed in the Centrepoint hostel on Shaftsbury Avenue, a haven of momentous proportions to a young kid on the street. If I was desperate I would go to the ‘Spike’ or DHSS Resettlement Centre in Dean Street, if anywhere deserved the label ‘last resort’ then it did!

I also started to drink and dabble with drugs soon becoming an alcoholic and barbiturate addict, eventually moving on to harder drugs.

Without realising I had also built this complete this new persona, no longer was I the shy quiet boy who was easily bullied, instead, I had become Ozzy, biker and nutter and definitely not to be messed with, the wall was complete and no-one was ever going to get through it and be able to hurt me again.

For twelve years that was my life, bikes birds and booze/drugs, I can admit now that I did some things during this time that I am not proud of, I was on a course of self-destruction, it was a hell of a ride but I couldn’t get off!          

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Compensation, Payoffs & 2009 Re-visited

So, we now have the 'compensation scheme' in place, another minefield for survivors to crawl through, hoops to jump through!
It makes me laugh, really it does, look at the revelations about golden handshakes and payoffs recently, £546,337 for leaving your job, not fired, not made redundant, leaving your job of your own accord before you complete your contract.
Now look at the compensation being offered to survivors of abuse, max payout £66,000, now, in reality, we all know that very few people, if any, will get anywhere near that. The States are gonna try to settle for the least amount possible, I fear a lot of survivors will actually receive less than £10,000.A lot less!
Would you call this justice?
No amount of money can undo what was done, and for a lot of survivors its about recognition more than anything.
CHILD ABUSE IS A LIFE SENTENCE FOR THE VICTIM!

I'd like to finish by reposting a blog entry I made in 2009, the only thing that has changed is that I reached the grand age of 50, still searching.

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Search For 'Belonging'

I've had enough! enough of the bullshit, enough of the political posturing, enough of the denial, enough of it all already.
Somewhere along the line during the historical abuse enquiry alot of people seem to have forgotten that more than anything its about people, real people who were once children, children who should have been nurtured, loved, cared for, inspired by and guided into adulthood by those who were employed and trusted to do so. The system that should have protected those children failed miserably.
I'm gonna share with you some of my reality!
As I entered HDLG aged 9 my feelings of rejection overwhelmed me, rejected my my natural mother twice and then by my adoptive parents it didnt take long before I started to believe the adults around me when they said 'you're no good, nobody wants you, you'll never amount to anything'
I never really fit in during my time at hdlg, I didnt have many friends, I was what you would term as a 'loner' moody and withdrawn.
I was the perfect target for those who would abuse me.
I wanted to 'belong', oh god I so craved acceptance from my peers but, apart from a very few, it never happened.
School was the same, especially secondry where the stigma of being from hdlg coupled with my quiet nature made me a target for bullies and off the cuff remarks that really hurt.
Over the years I have craved for that sense of belonging, I have lived on the streets in London, become part of the drug scene, stumbled from one failed relationship to another, been a punk, been a biker, joined an outlaw bike club and been to prison, I even spent a year in a hari krishna temple but through it all I just wanted to be accepted and belong.
Even now, aged 47, I still crave that acceptance, but those words still haunt me,
'you're no good, nobody wants you, you'll never amount to anything'

Friday, 9 March 2012

4 Years on the fight continues

4 years on and still we fight for justice, be brave my friends, we will get there in the end, we are 'survivors'

Friday, 24 February 2012

Dear States of Jersey,

Whilst I appreciate that you are all so busy these days what with having to read so many blogs just so you know what is going on, making up excuses for the delay in the Committee of Inquiry, playing cat and mouse with survivors over compensation for all that abuse that you would like us all to believe never really happened and of course trying to avoid any awkward questions regarding a certain sacking I would appreciate an answer to the following....

WHERE ARE MY CARE RECORDS?

I know you have them as 2 years ago when I was interviewed by sojp they had a school photo which they said was in my records so where have they gone in the meantime?

You could say 'we never had them' but that wouldnt wash would it because that would mean the nice man from sojp was lying, oh, but wait, that would suit you wouldnt it.

You could say 'there has been an administrive error and we seem to have misplaced them' now that would be believable with the state of the current administration but improbable I think.

More likely, and I'm sure you would never admit this, you are busy scouring them and removing anything that could possibly hurt you, or, perhaps you just buried them under a very big pile of crap in the hope that I will forget about them but I wont.

I'm really wondering now what it is that you dont want me or my lawyer to see, what lies are in there?

Come on now, no more delays, just grow some balls and lets be having the records, 

Thanks. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Jersey abuse victims to receive compensation details in March

Haut de la Garenne  
People who were abused while in care in Jersey will find out how much they can claim in compensation from March, according to the chief minister.
States officials are still working on details about the scheme offering payments to abuse victims.
Senator Ian Gorst said no restrictions would be placed on people speaking about their cases.
He said he hoped to be able to outline a Committee of Inquiry into historical abuse in the island in March.
The compensation claims follow an inquiry, between 2007 and 2010, into historical abuse at the island's children's homes.
Police took 1,776 statements from 192 alleged victims during the inquiry, which led to seven convictions, four of which were linked to Haut de la Garenne.
Senator Gorst said it would be difficult to get the terms that the inquiry would operate under right.

Monday, 9 January 2012

JCLA Press Statement

PRESS STATEMENT


Further to the Home Affairs Ministers statement on the Historic Abuse Police Enquiry and the role of the accredited media, the JCLA would like to offer the following response.

Whilst it is some small comfort, to at last have Senator Le Marquand’s recognition of the fact that matters were grossly exaggerated many times by the press, it could also be said to be too little, too late, as indeed Mr Harper has stated.

Had the BDO Alto Review not been held, it is doubtful that this statement would have ever been made. We must also, not lose sight of the fact that this review was held due to the hard work of a local blogger and the determination of the Scrutiny Panel headed by Deputy Trevor Pitman.

Notwithstanding the above, the reputations of two honourable police officers, and abuse survivors have also been brought into question, and the three conclusions mentioned by Senator Le Marquand from the Wiltshire Reports clearly show that the media frenzy that surrounded this whole sorry affair was very misjudged.

Indeed, Senator Le Marquand himself allowed this misinformation to be published, and indeed at times fanned the fire by his defensive answers to questions in the States Chamber. It was not helped at all by calling Mr Harper ‘an incompetent maverick’, amongst other derogatory statements which are well documented.

Part of an editorial comment in the JEP dated Monday 24th August 2009 says: ‘In addition, on the strength of what was clearly a flawed investigation from its very outset and the hype which surrounded it, the Island has paid a terrible price through the enormous cost of misdirected police work and, more importantly, in terms of its reputation’. Quite clearly Wiltshire did not think this the case.

There will always be a case of ‘we beg to differ’ over the question of the child’s skull/coconut, but it cannot be dismissed that 65 children’s teeth were found under the floorboards, fresh, fleshed and burnt bones were found, the matter of the lime pits and many other questions left unanswered. There are the abused whose cases were never brought before the Courts despite ample evidence, who will never feel that the Police investigations were full and properly concluded, and questions relating to the behaviour of Mr Gradwell.

Only when a full, transparent and thorough Committee of Inquiry is approved and finalised will it be possible to say that there is a conclusion to this affair. (END)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Minister's statement on historic child abuse

Jersey's Home Affairs Minister says he is satisfied that the police enquiry into historic cases of child abuse was fully and properly concluded. Senator Ian Le Marquand also says some reporting of the issue was exaggerated.

He has this morning made the following statement to States members:

"During the Review that was recently conducted in relation to the BDO Alto report into financial management of the part of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry which related to Haut De La Garenne, I was reminded of the exaggerated nature of some of the reporting in this area and agreed, in fairness to Mr Power and Mr Harper, to make a press statement to seek to correct the worst exaggerations.

"These exaggerations included allegations that most of the cost of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was wasted and that digging should never have started at Haut De La Garenne. Some of the reported criticism of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry has wrongly led some people to the conclusion that, in some way, the whole enquiry had been discredited.

"The definitive reports in this area are the two reports of the Wiltshire Police. Those reports conclude amongst other things:

1) That the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was appropriately managed in its early stages.
2) That issues of serious concern did arise in relation to the financial management and other aspects of the investigation in relation to Haut De La Garenne.
3) That the decision to start digging at Haut De La Garenne was not so clearly wrong as to give rise to a disciplinary issue.

"In my press conference in July 2010, I indicated my view that, once a piece of material had been wrongly identified by an anthropologist as being part of a child's skull, it was reasonable that the digging at and around Haut De La Garenne should continue, but that once the forensic experts indicated that the item was not human skull, the reason for continued digging ceased.

"I also now wish to affirm and confirm that the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry was much wider than the Haut De La Garenne investigation, and that this enquiry led to a significant number of successful prosecutions as well as to the discovery of significant other allegations of physical and sexual abuse which did not, for a variety of reasons, lead to successful prosecutions.

"The Enquiry continued until 2010 and I am satisfied that the Police investigations were fully and properly concluded in relation to the various allegations of abuse which were made".

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