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Published by Steven Brain at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Steven Brain

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This is a story of me Steve and my life of abuse and how it has taken me 44 years to write this story. It is a sad story and hard for me to write, but it is a story of one man’s sheer determination to overcome all the odds stacked against me. Its a story of abuse both against me and by me and a story of true survival, a story of hope for all those who have suffered abuse and abused themselves with drugs, alcohol, sexual and psychological abuse. Its a story of how a single heartbeat can change your life both for the better and for the worse.

CHAPTER 1 The Early days

Well no one ever said life was going to be easy did they ?

I was born in November 1972 in the Black Country and for those who don’t know that is in the West Midlands in England. This was the heart of the industrial revolution and the heartbeat of the country as a whole, a unique people with a unique accent that to this day I fail to understand. I was born in a town called Stourbridge a place famous for glass making and not anything else I can think of worth mentioning. I was born in Mary Stephens hospital which is now a hospice for the dying and the elderly and like I said that is all I will say on Stourbridge as it really is not the most exciting of places.

I have a brother who was 2 years old when I was born and our birthdays are one day apart so I can only guess my parents enjoyed valentines day and night to the fullest. When I was only a few weeks old we moved to a house in Halesowen, a 3 bedroomed house supplied by the council when obtaining a council property was simple in a time far departed. My father he was a lorry driver and my mother worked in a factory that made Christmas cards. My parents had what is known as a shotgun wedding as my mother was already pregnant with my brother as my parents were walking down the aisle. This at the time we are speaking of in the late 1960’s was taboo and still very much frowned upon but my parents must have had some love for each other as they then produced me though love is not what I would call it as time went by.

I like all babies do not remember anything whatsoever of my first 2 years of life but that was soon to change in an event that I truly believe changed my destiny. It from what I remember was a warm day and I was stood in my cot at the top of the stairs, this was in the days of no health and safety and not much of anything to be honest. My mother was cleaning the bedroom me and my brother shared and my brother was teasing me through the bars of the cot. The next thing I remember is waking up at the bottom of the stairs in the arms of my mother and the truth of what happened has never been revealed to me. However I had very vivid dreams after of my brother pushing me and my cot down the stairs. This I believe is what happened and whilst I do not blame my brother the consequences for me were set and the effect permanent. You may say how is it possible to remember all these events well I say I don’t know but what I do know is I was in my cot then I was at the bottom of the stairs and so was the cot. My parents have always denied this happening or have given different explanations as to what did happen but as my story goes on the truth is often explained away by my parents. There were many ways my parents avoided telling the truth but the most common memory I have is the fist and the belt from both parents.

I like so many others started nursery at around 4 years old and this is the time my beloved grandparents come into my memory and remain to this day close to my heart and I think of them every day. They were the glowing light of love so denied to me by my parents and an example of how life should be lived to the full. Some of my happiest memories come from my grandparents from my fathers side and I cannot understand my father came from such loving people and that haunts me. I loved going to nursery their was a sandpit and toys and my favourite the bottle of milk we used to have every day. It was a half pint of milk with a silver press in top and cream on top of it and makes me smile just writing it down as it was the highlight of the day. I remember one terrible event from my time at nursery and I remember it vividly today as back then. It was dark like night outside and I remember sitting on my mothers knee as I was crying so hard because outside was the most horrendous thunderstorm it was so day and then like day when the lightening flashed and I was screaming in fear. The joy at the end of the school day was the fact that my nan was always waiting for me and my brother outside with a bag of sweets each. This is where my parents and grandparents separate in the way they bought us up as in my grandparents company my parents were perfect treating us well with care and love but as soon as they were out of sight the cruelty of the pair was evident. In fact the more I write I remember that when others were around they were the perfect parents but it was all fake a rouse they put on in front of others. My grandparents when we were very young never ever treated me and my brother any different at all. If my brother had a new t-shirt then so would I and so on and this was so far apart from how when alone me and my brother were treated so differently by our parents.

One thing I will say is that my father never ever missed a day of work he was a grafter in every sense of the word and I do not want to take that away from him. My father if needed would work 7 days a week and his work came before everything else and I believe to this day that we his children came pretty low in his priorities but then I always thought he worked so we could eat and be clothed and so on but as I got older I found my father had a strange sense of his own importance. My father was a conservative voter all through his life yet our living conditions were certainly not indicative of your average view of a conservative voter and what the party stands for as in work hard and reap the benefits as we never seemed to reap the benefits at all. I think on reflection my father was someone who wanted to be seen and to be recognised for the contribution he made however small. This was never forthcoming for him and I think I suffered as a consequence of his inadequate view of himself and this as I got older would manifest itself in ways I find hard to write.

I went to a local church of England school and I had the best teachers I could possibly imagine. I looked forward to going to school every day it was more than an education it was like I had another family and where I met my best friend Phil who like me come from a hard working family his father was a builder and very successful at it too. He had an older sister who I wont lie I grew to like a bit more than I should have, if you like it was a first crush. But like many crushes in my life it came to nothing as I was just a little boy to her and nothing else but that was fine better things were to come. Me and Phil were inseparable we did everything together mostly mischief as all boys really. We would go down by the stream and catch little bull head fish which were about 2 inches in length with big heads and we would take then to the road above and find it hilarious to watch cars roll over them. I know cruel but we were very very young and we seen it as fun and it was not the worst thing to be done to be honest. We would climb trees in to bird nests and take the young birds or the eggs and they would share the same fate as the bull heads I am sorry to say. I have not had the best of luck with animals to be honest some tragedy has seemed to happen to them but more on that later.

I had some amazing friends when growing up John who was a big lad I am sure he was born massive but he had a heart of gold. Daz who was a big favourite of mine and he was to grow to over 6ft 5ins which was hard for me as as an adult I am only 5ft 7ins a comparative midget compared to John and Daz. All our parents knew each other in one way or another mainly because of my fathers connection to the Conservative club he and we frequented, but in the main it was me and Phil who were always together. Phil always called for me every day before school he would be at my house for 7.45am most mornings much to the anger of my mother who would never let him in even if there was 6ft of snow on the floor.

I think when I look back at the event in my cot and I was sure this had damaged me and as I have got older the more convinced I am right, however as I tell my story you may draw a different conclusion and see there were much more violent episodes that could of caused me serious damage. It was when I was around 10 years old when one of my teachers asked me why I was shaking and I said “I am not shaking” but I was and I continue to have that shake even to this day. It has been a source of annoyance and laughter throughout my life but is a constant reminder of what I have been through and why I have not let what happen when I was young to stop me doing anything I set my heart on.

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