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Haut De La Garenne at 9 years old I was already in a vulnerable state, often moody, not able to connect with my peers, withdrawn, no pride in myself, all these things lead me now to believe I was suffering depression.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!