Friday, 6 May 2016

Biography from Hull to Oxford

Welcome to my blog. Previously I used this blog to talk about anything and everything as a grieving process after my Dad died in 2007, That was then and this is now. A new start, before I do introduce to you what I intend to use this blog for then let me introduce myself.

I was born in a town called Beverley, which is in Yorkshire, close to the city of Hull back on 21 April 1972, I wasn't the most text book of births, having presented myself to the world feet first at 10.30am and the rest of me arrived by 2.10pm. In modern day technology I would have been a C-section but back then there wasn't the regular scans like they do now. So much has changed in my life time and it is hard to keep up with the changes.

I was born to a Catholic family, who enjoyed the church very much. It wasn't a case of just mass on Sunday but mass every day and I was brought up with high moral standards.

Having high moral standards was a blessing and a curse. The curse being the tough love approach, that my father dictated to his family.  It was blessing as it has kept me outside of a prison cell. So in a sense I should be grateful that the tough love approach has kept me on the right side of the law, but I can't fully appreciate it as it has had a serious effect on my self esteem.

The childhood memories that I do have were mixed. I know that I was loved, but being the maverick that I am,, a lot of the time I was in trouble with my Dad and there was a lot of walking on metaphorical egg shells to do as after every incident there was an uneasy peace.

My Dad did do the best that he could in providing for us, I wasn't kitted out in the latest designer wear, mainly because I would grow out of it very quickly and designer wear wasn't cost effective enough to keep up with my rate of growth. At home he ruled the roost, as did his father, so I can't really blame him for how he controlled me as a kid. My father didn't have much of a roll model himself and neither did his father going up ad nausium, mainly because he came from a long line of seaman who spent most of their time at sea and didn't have much time at home which was mainly spent sorting out the problems that were left for them to look after whilst they were at sea trawling for the fish to put on our plates.

So now to my Mum, she was the calm in the storm and she put things into prospective. The good cop in the partnership. She throughout my childhood received a lot of my anger. It should have been directed at my Dad but as she was part of the duo and the weakest one of the two she got both barrels. It's something that I copied from my Dad as he didn't direct his anger to his Dad but mainly to his Mum who wouldn't intentionally hurt a fly and was so nice to all. This being nice to all attitude my Granny had was more of a curse for her, as when looking back throughout the years, she was a slave to all and I am quite certain she would have loved to have said "leave me alone" but didn't as she also was the binder of the family. When she died in 1997 and my Grandpa in 1999 that side of the family didn't have much to do with us until 2003 which was the year that my Dad become terminally ill with dementia at a young age.

They say that your school years are the best years of your life. Whoever said that originally, needs to have a lie down in a dark room in order to think about what they have said. if they still think that they are right then I suggest they repeat the process who they re-think their feelings about school years. The reason why I say this my school years were Hell on earth. When I was at school, I had a speech problem and didn't fit into the gang as I didn't have the latest gear. Another reason why I didn't fit in was because I had a faith in God and the Catholic ethos, even though I went to the Catholic schools I was bullied for being a little more active in the church than others. When you come from a family with 2 priests in the family you had no choice it was a way of life as nobody in our family knew any different.

My speech problems and low self esteem didn't help me much. I was incapable in articulating my emotions and feelings. If they were better they may have prevented me from the bullying I had throughout the Catholic school system.

After a school trip in junior school to Fountains Abbey I was run over by a car, whilst rushing home. The reasons behind it I blame totally on the pressure put on me by the teacher, this was down to the fact there was a Confirmation mass going on at the church I was baptised in later on that evening. I had a dance class to get to also, I did have a passion for Irish Dancing believing that if I continued with it could have been me on stage and not Michael Flattley.

Thanks to the school trip incident, my bullying intensified and as the years got closer to GCSE time the first available exit looked promising. I wish that I was more capable in expressing my opinions in a way that my Dad would have listened but I wasn't so I have the life I have now and not the one that could have been.

Having left school at 16 I went on the Youth Training schemes and Employment Training schemes, the rule of my father still didn't stop, it relaxed a bit but not fully stopped.

Thanks to the bullies including my Dad, I wasn't very good with money as I always wanted more so I  turned to gambling as a way to increase my income as I saw it as a get rich quick scheme. My gambling addiction will be addressed in another installment as it is an issue on it's own.

I eventually found full time work at 20,, after completing lots of training scams which promised employment but nothing materialised. I found a job at the demoralising job club, that I didn't even turn up to the interview but was offered the job anyway. When I settled in the job, I started learning to drive and thankfully passed on my 2nd attempt, the best in the family. However just before I passed my test I brought myself a car which wasn't my best choice as I was fired from my job within a week of buying the car but don't panic I was employed again within the week. So all was well on the job front.

The job wasn't the best psychologically as I am a people person and I was left alone on this job for long periods of time. On the positive I gained my Dad's respect to a degree and his psychological warfare stopped.

As a church activist, my Dad was aware that a job in Security wasn't a great career move, saw an article in the Catholic press that was the best move ever. He conceded defeat that I was more interested in Social Studies so introduced me to Plater College as it was an access course into Higher Education.

Coming up in part 2 life at Oxford

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