"Just In Case"

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"Just In Case"

Postby hazel3603 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:04 am


Hazel Surplice. “Just In Case”. hsurplice@aol.com

Chapter one


Today is 14th January, 2014.and I have finally decided to write my

book. My childhood was something I can only describe as being

similar to an old black and white psychological movie, dark,

repressive and very slow.

My mothers name was Heather Pauline Parker, born in Colchester,

Essex in 1941. One of 5 children all from different fathers, her

being the youngest. Her address was 88 Butts Road and the house

is still there today as far as I know. She never met her father;

it seems on all accounts, he had been delivering more than coal in

the street at the time. My grandmother, Ivy Rose was nasty and I

would sit for hours, listening to my mother crying and recanting

memories of her life. Her sister Jean married when mum was five

and moved to New Zealand, leaving her with three older brothers

who did nothing but fight. Robert, her favourite brother married

the best looking girl in Colchester; he was all show and had no

real substance. Len, who mother hated married and stayed in the

area and Kenneth died on a London park bench, broke and an



I know her upbringing was awful but it should have made her more

determined to one day have a family of her own to care for, love

and nurture. But it didn't.

Mum had thick, long black hair, green eyes and was rather pretty

when I was young. She took pride in her appearance and everyone

thought she was just a quiet housewife and quite normal. I on the

other hand knew better hated her.

She had a bottle of Blue Grass perfume which had belonged to my

grandmother. Lord knows how old it was but the stench of it to

this day still lingers. She'd dab a bit of it on my neck to hide

the fact I never washed before going to school and the kids would

take the piss out of me as I reeked.

She always smelled fusty to me and I put this down to her being

filled with poison because she was evil. I’d hold my breath if we

crossed paths because she repulsed me so much. I used to imagine

her dead, under the ground where the maggot and bugs wouldn't eat

her because so was so poisonous. Not the kind of thoughts a little

girl should have had about her own mother but mine was very

different to all the other mummy’s.

She was born with a congenital disorder which affected her arm and

when I was four, it was amputated. I remember on visiting her,

dad giving me a good punch around the head as we were going up in

the lift. “Just in case”, was his excuse. He said that a lot.

My father, Harry, was born in Leeds, 1934 . He was a gypsy/Romany

and life was tough. He told me he lived in a bus on the outskirts

of the city and had to box for food. With blonde hair and blue

eyes and covered in tattoos, he was quite a formidable character.

He always stank of a mixture of B.O and Old Spice, where he never

washed, instead he dosed himself with aftershave. He had three

sisters, all of whom disliked him.

Dad went into the army at an early age which was quite unusual for

someone with his background. I later discovered the reason he

joined up was because he had to after being found out for having

inappropriate relations with his sisters. He was based in

Colchester when he and mother got together at a local dance hall.

She had been dating a guy called Colin for two years but said she

didn't marry him because of her arm. She married dad though within

five months as she fell pregnant with my brother and in those days

having babies out of wedlock was socially frowned upon. He was a

monster who died on the 30th December,2013.


Yesterday, his funeral took place in Blackpool and I am glad of


I have a brother who is 3 years older than me. Robert. He always

looked and smelt off. But then I probably did as well as we were

quite unkempt. He is severely autistic and living in care. I’ve

had no contact with him for 15 years, not since I had my mother

sectioned and him placed back into care where he wanted to be. I

was always quite fascinated with him when we were both small.

Probably because neither of us had any other little kiddies to

interact with.

I have recollections of trying to play with him and his toys and

he used to punch me really hard. I was only around two years old

but I wanted to ride on his big red bus and play with his soldiers

but he wouldn't have any of it. I didn't have toys at this stage.

Well, none I can remember. Mother gave me knitting needles to dig

holes in the garden so Robert could throw his marbles but I wasn't

allowed anywhere near the marbles.

He did things which everyone else laughed at, and I couldn’t

understand what was so funny. He’d rock back and fourth for

hours, repeating the last few words spoken to him. Many times he’d

be bought back by the police after having wondered off for miles.


He’d pop his thumb in his mouth, point his finger forward and

follow it! On one occasion, whilst living at Bulford Camp, he’d

been picked up near Salisbury in just his pants and a t.shirt.

Mother wasn’t phased at all, she didn’t like him and was already

making plans to have him placed in a home. The notorious St James

Unit, Portsmouth.

I liked my brother a lot and he cared for me when we were small

during the times dad was on exercise, but as we grew older, I

became resentful of him as his condition caused me to suffer no

end of bullying. On top of that, everyone took the piss out of my

mother for having one arm and she became known as the one armed

bandit. The label my brother was given at the time was “mentally

backward”. Towards the end of the 70’s a new label emerged.


I have been married twice and have been with my second husband,

for 23 years. It beggars belief as to why he has tolerated me for

so long as my childhood has hindered our relationship, tested him

to his limits and although we move on from one day to another,

every day for me continues to be a struggle emotionally. Writing

about it is difficult, but cheaper and better than therapy!!

I have no clue where to start so first memories would be a good


place to begin.

There is a photo of me which I possess which was taken when we

lived in Woolwich. I was around 15 months and have some

recollection of the experience. We lived in a block of high rise

flats. After the photo was taken I remember having a feeling.

Tightness around my ankles and my arms splaying to the side of me.

When I was 7, my mother told me she had hung me over the balcony…

She said I was silent all of the time. She said she did this

before the photographer came and when I look at the photo now. I

see a matinee jacket which I knew my mother knitted, and very

dirty finger nails. I learned over the years that my nails were

dirty because dad liked his anus to be scratched. He told me this

when I was six... Just the start of things to come.

I have recollections of someone tickling my feet and warm fluid

thumping down onto my face. This was when we first moved to

Larkhill. Robert told me dad was pissing on my face whilst I was

in my cot and Robert was rubbing my feet because I was crying. I

am 48 now and I can’t go to sleep without rubbing one foot

against the other.

Even at a very young age, I thought my parents were odd. They

never smiled unless they wanted something and laughing was limited

to either bullying Robert or playing cruel jokes on me. Dad would

give over housekeeping each week and mother would hide her purse

as he always stole the money back. It got to the stage where she’d

forget where the purse was, so I had to find it. The problem was,

dad would tell me to find the damned also thing so I never knew

who to give it to. Either way I lost and would be belted for it.

Oh, yes, there’s the first mention of the army belt. Each time I

was hit with it, I had to polish it. Same with my fathers army

boots. He had high standards and was all about show. I’d spend

ages polishing them and at times, I’d have to stand still whilst

he put them on for kicking me up the backside. Mum always thought

that was funny, dad would laugh hysterically and after a few years

of this, Robert would begin copying by putting on the boots and

kicking me.

He used to keep his boots outside my bedroom with the belt coiled

up and placed inside one of them. Sometimes when he hit me with

the belt, he’d wrap it around his fingers so’s the brass buckle

lay across like a huge ring and punch me on the top of the head.

Clever man knew where to hit me so no bruises could be seen.

Because there was always some time to wait for him to prepare


himself for the assault, I’d bend my head down and shove my face

in my hands. He’d tap in the same place a few times, then pause.

Then came the thump, quick, hard and painful. He only gave me one

though so I should be grateful for that.

He used to make me open my mouth really wide and then spit in it

and make me swallow it. How very bizarre I used to think. He

liked grabbing both ears and pulling them outwards, then let go

quickly and box my ears. That was agonising and my ears rang for

hours. He’d shove my head from the back with such force, I’d

surge forward and fall down. “fudge cunt, know your place”,

and he’d carry on like nothing had happened.

Creeping around my parents was a constant source of total

exhaustion. If I wasn’t trying to avoid one, it would be the other

and when they were both home, it was impossible. Trying to outwit

them both was as equally impossible because my brother was such a

snitch, he’d tell them everything and many times, even lie to get

me into more trouble. For instance, he loved to piss on the

toilet floor then blame me.

Because I was only allowed to go to the toilet with daddy dearest,

he would drag me up those stairs by the scruff of my neck and rub

my face in it before telling me to clean it up.


We had a huge chest freezer when we lived at Larkhill and that

thing scared the wits out of me. Sometimes I wasn’t allowed to

leave the house via the front door, so had to go into the kitchen

and through the pantry to get to the side door. I knew what was

coming and I’d lie and tell him my mates were meeting me at the

top of the garden, to walk to school the long way around, but I

didn’t have mates, so that didn’t work.

The first time he shoved me into that freezer, I thought I’d die.

He sat on the top, kicking his feet against it for what seemed

like hours. It was only ever a few minutes each time but having to

walk to school straight afterward was very upsetting. I’d sob

all the way and tell no-one.

I thought school would be a safe haven, that someone would notice

how miserable and withdrawn I was, pick up on the signs and have

me taken away so when this didn't happen I decided I hated the


The first time I had sex I was seven. It was with a

lad named Roy and we hid under coats at the back of the school

playing field. It was weird because I don't know why I did it. He

was a dirty looking lad whose parents were not interested in him.

Maybe that's why. I don't know but for weeks after that, he kept

on at me for more and I'd do my best to avoid him.

What really pissed me off though was one of the playground

attendants came past us and obviously knew something inappropriate

was going on and she didn't report it. Had she done so, I would

have been removed from the house and put into care because

everything would have come out.

I even started messing around with one lads privates in the

classroom, hoping the English teacher would see and do something

but all she did was separate us. Stupid grown bitch I thought.

I never understood how I managed to get through school most

days. I hated authority, I was a bit of a loner so known by all

yet liked by no-one. I didn't care much though as long as I was

left in peace.

I never took anything in from the teachers so I was always in

trouble in one form or another. In my mind I thought because they

took no notice of me, I'd return the favour. I only liked arts and

crafts and always made cards for my mother who'd discard them

without bothering to look at them.


Dad would sometimes walk me to school on his way to work and on

insisting I kiss him goodbye, he'd grab and pinch my ear so hard.

I'd asked why he did it and all he ever said was, “Just in case”.

He used to bring home police working dogs now and then and I was

always scared of them on account of seeing a huge white alsation

attack a little boy at the Naafi shopping centre. As a “treat”,

he’d put the collar and lead on me and demand I sit, lay down,

roll over and beg for the wagon wheel he had in his hand. He’d

kick me up the arse, call me a greedy little cunt and eat the

damned thing himself. I also had to drink water from the dogs

bowl whilst he threatened to set it on me.

I can’t begin to describe how all of this madness made me feel.

Trapped and lost and alone is a bit of an understatement. I wanted

both my parents as dead as doornails. And they knew it which to my

belief, fired their madness even more. Listening to the three of

them, eating their meals and chatting and laughing pissed me right

off. Daddy didn't think I deserved to eat the food they bought.

Instead he'd bring out the freebie army rations and give me

watered down turtle soup to drink behind the couch. Bastards.

One year, it was particularly cold. It was the winter of 1976, I

remember because that summer was so hot, the metal frames around

the classroom windows had started to bow and out teacher passed

out. All the children were sent home for the week as everyone was

falling asleep in class.

Mum had a fur hat, real fur and she'd washed it and hung it out on

the line. During the day, dad went out to bring it in and we could

hear him laughing. On looking out of the lounge window, we

watched as he beat the hat with a hammer. It had set solid. I was

ordered to strip down to my vest, put a pair of Roberts y fronts

on and stood in the garden in one spot for most of the afternoon,

out of eye shot of the neighbours of course.

It felt as though a million icy needles were piercing me all over

and trying to stand still whilst shivering was very difficult.

Eventually, when dad called me in, I couldn't feel my feet and I'd

pissed myself also, which I got a good hiding for. On the plus

side, I was so happy to be back in doors, when he decided to take

me to bed and cuddle up naked with me, I didn't mind. At least I

was warm.

Sometimes, he’d shove a stinking, sweaty sock in my mouth and I’d

sit there for ages crying, not daring to look at him. He’d shove

my face under his stinking armpits and I’d gag because he never

washed or wore deodorant. Other times, he’d pull down his pants

and fart into my face, holding my head there long enough for me to

breathe in his stench.

Every night before bedtime, my brother would be made a hot milky

drink with a teaspoon of sugar. I wondered what was going on, one

time because mother had made me one in a small plastic cup. I

couldn’t believe my luck so took a huge swig and spat it out onto

the floor. She’d put salt in it. There came the familiar slap

around the face and I was made to clean it up after being called a

selfish bitch.

I used to have to lather up dads shaving soap and shave his face,

clean his toe nails and clear his ears out with cotton wool buds.

“Taste it”, he’d spit, sneering into my face. So I did. I had no

choice. I had to lick his face after shaving and if he was

bristly, he’d get angry and do it again himself.

Sometimes if I was lucky, he’d shout me upstairs so I could wipe

his arse, other times I’d hold his penis whilst he pee’d and now

and again I’d be bent over the toilet whilst he masturbated over

me. I never knew what to make of it, I said nothing obviously but

always felt violated. He'd carry on as if nothing had happened

and I was left confused.


Robert could be a real pig at times. He'd fill the dog bowl up

with food and shout at me to eat it. I did, on occasions have dog

food shoved into my mouth and dad was delighted. Other times

Robert would take the metal spatula and put it in the kettle after

boiling it and then hit me with it. I'd be left with welt marks

over my arms and would have to wear one of his long sleeved white

shirts to school to hide them. We were often sent out into the

garden to collect up the dog poop unicorns and rainbows and Robert loved throwing it at

me. They were all as mad as each other.

My parents loved games. They had quite a few. She’d ask for a

cuddle and when I went to her for one, she’d hit me telling me I

was stupid. I’d fall for it over and over again until I got to the

point where I wouldn’t go near her, then dad would hit me for not

showing respect.

When I was two I remember standing at the top of the uncarpeted

stairs; dad kicked me and I fell all the way down. She was

standing at the bottom putting her arms out to me as I was crying.

I remember looking up towards her and she spat in my face. They

both laughed their heads off. On one occasion, she had taken the

time to sew the top sheet to the bottom one as I was asleep. I’d

been having nightmares about snakes and couldn’t get out of the

bed. I felt something grabbing my legs and it was dad pulling me

out of the bottom of the bed. I was thrown onto the bedroom floor

and left whilst they laughed.

On so many occasions dad would tell me on coming home from school

that mum was dead. I'd go around the house crying and looking for

her to find her hiding under the bed, in the larder and the best

one was her hiding in the cupboard under the sink. It got to the

stage where it became so repetitive, I stopped looking and stopped

crying so they’d both sit me on a stool and scream in my face

about how worthless I was.

Another thing I had to do every day was pick all of the specs off

the carpet. It was most important to be on all fours so dad could

shove his foot up my skirt. We had a hoover but this was his

little game. He also started to insist he came with me when I

went to the toilet. He liked the sound of my piss cascading down

into the bowl. I'd have to tickle his bollocks and kiss the end

of his penis whilst I was sitting on the loo as he stroked the

back of my head.

During the winter months, he’d watch me for ages trying to gather

up leaves in the back garden and called me a stupid mare when the

wind blew them away. He’d also send the bloody dog after me saying


I had to get to the top of the garden before he reached me which

is why I have a scars on the back of my legs where the damned

thing bit into me.

Even the budgie was demented. Joey used to sit on the edge of

mothers babycham glass sipping the contents so flying around the

room was quite a sight as he’d crash into everything. He was

taught to swear. Every weekend the vicar would make his rounds

and Joey would shout, “Come on you dirty bastard, do a poop unicorns and rainbows!!”.

In fact he said it to everyone but the vicar always seemed a

little uncomfortable around the budgie. If he was told to hush,

he’d get louder!

Mum loved that animal, giving him baths under the tap every day

whilst he sat on her finger. He’d play with her hair and chew on

her eyebrows, give lots of kisses. Lucky Joey. I was quite pleased

when we came into the lounge one morning before school, to find a

very stiff bird on the bottom of the cage! Mother was distraught

and talked to the thing for hours, like he was a person. I sat

there thinking, ‘am I seeing things?’.

Most weekends Robert and I had to go with dad to the army depot

where the dogs were “trained”. There was huge Crufts style assault

course which the dogs had to learn. Watching the 10-12 week old

pups darting around and playing with them was wonderful. Watching

them being battered into submission by their respective handlers

was not so good. Poor Robert would scream and strut around

swearing and trying to get out of the compound, but dad and all

his mates followed and took the piss out of him until he crumbled

and cried. I told mum but she didn’t care and I felt so sorry for

Robert. Robert would always take it out on me, chasing me around

and punching me in the face as if it were my fault.

Dad made a little den when we lived at 28 Wilson Road, Larkhill.

It was very special den where me and Robert could get acquainted

with each other. I was about 6 at the time and Robert, 8 and a

half. We used to sit in there whilst dad was telling us to “play”,

but because mum had already caught Robert on top of me, we both

felt very uncomfortable, so it was taken down and burned and dad

instead, would march me to the top of the garden where the huge

beech tree was, shove me up against it and rub himself off on me.

Usually mother was in the kitchen. She must have known but she

never did or said anything. I just got Paddington Bear hard

stares and no dinner.

I never understood why she let it carry on. When I was a lot older

she told me she knew what was going on which fired me up. She

didn't want a daughter, she only had me because Robert wasn't


“normal”. She said whilst dad was abusing me, he wasn't bothering

her with sex. She said she was trapped. Trapped? SHE was trapped.

I told her she was a selfish bitch, not only for allowing it to

continue but for not pressing charges. She didn't want anyone to

know but throughout my teens she ridiculed me in front of anyone

who spoke to her, so everyone knew anyhow.


Chapter two

See all, hear all, say nothing

Life confused me and anyone who was nice to me was met with either

contempt or mistrust. Grown ups were supposed to see and know

everything and I desperately wanted to be noticed and taken away.

I wrote a letter once to a girl, Yvonne and didn’t have the money

for a stamp so when the letter came back to our address I was

mortified and got a really good battering for it. I was so angry

with myself for writing my address on the back of the home made

envelope. I was even more angry as I was convinced everyone knew

what was happening but continued to behave like the three wise


I never knew whether it was time to run, duck, hide or stay

silent. Between the two of them, my parents fed each others

madness. Sometimes I’d have to sit under the dinner table whilst

they all kicked me. The dog was treated better than I was. I


hated that dog and he hated me.

Sometimes I was so hungry, I’d eat the peas he would grow in the

garden and I’d been known to pull up an onion or two and munch on

them and I loved raw sprouts. He’d beat me for doing it and it’s a

wonder why the neighbours never reported it because they saw and

they knew.

The longest I went without food was four days. I only remember

this because it had been my 7th birthday. Dad bought me a stool

making kit. This became a very special stool. One on which I had

to sit whilst they ridiculed me. It took me four days to put it

together, weaving the string over over and under until it was

tight enough for me to sit on.

I spent a lot of time on that stool, it was either that or the

floor as I wasn't allowed to sit on the furniture unless it was to

sit on daddy’s lap whilst he fondled my privates.

About three years ago, I asked my husband to cut out and plain up

12 pieces of pine and buy me some string and white gloss. He

screwed all of the pieces together and watched weave the string in

and out so’s to create the same stool. He didn’t know why at the

time, of course, but now for me, each time I go into the bathroom


and look at what we made together, it brings back awful memories

but they don’t hurt so much.

I recently spoke to my husband about it and he looked a little

stunned. He asked why I would want a replica of a stool I used to

have to sit on whilst they verbally abused me. It’s something we

made together and OK, it keeps me grounded somewhat, because I

don’t ever want to forget where I came from but I took a memory

and turned it into something bright and beautiful.

One time Robert had caught head lice and after he’d been bent over

a newspaper and having his hair combed through, she tipped them

over my head. I was so infested, my English teacher, Mrs

Mac Andrews shamed me in front of the class and sent me home. For

this I was sent to the army barber who gave me a squaddie haircut.

Robert really was quite odd. But I did Love him in a way. He was

forever running off and I thought it was my responsibility to keep

an eye on him when we lived at Larkhill. Robert always had a fear

of heights. Just up the road where we lived, was little concrete

play area with the biggest slide I have ever seen. It looked like

a giant green alien to me and I was terrified of it. With 30

green iron steps and a slatted box on the top and topped off with

the longest arse burning steel slide I have ever seen, it was huge


and scary and there weren’t many kids who would dare to ascend

upon it.

Robert would disappear and I got to know that he was in the

playground trying to mix with the other kids. The first time I

ran up to make sure he was OK, he was actually sitting on top of

the slatted box. He was panicking because he couldn’t get down

and the emergency services came out a few times to assist. He

always told me he needed to get to the highest point, where he

could watch and see everyone. But he forgot, he had to get back

down again!-very funny to watch the firemen come to his rescue!!!

I spent a lot of my upbringing either locked in my room, being

forced to have baths with my brother who delighted in making fun

of our obvious differences bodily wise or having to sit on the

famous stool whilst the three of them ridiculed me. People say

kids are resilient but I think they are very wrong. There's

nothing at all to prove resilience comes from being battered,

abused and violated consistently. They simply have no control, no

choice, no voice and little hope of being able to make things

better. I've been called resilient a few times by counselors and

have responded quite negatively in regards to this.

There is absolutely nothing resilient about knowing my father got


away with what he did. The police said at the time he would be

banged up for four years, serving two on good behaviour. I,on the

other hand have had to live with this and will continue to do so

until the day I die. But writing about it somehow makes me feel

some justice has been served. I have waited a very long time for

my parents to die. The longer they were alive though, the more

neurotic I became and felt the need to kill myself on numerous

occasions because I couldn't stand the thought of them carrying on

with their lives having escaped punishment. I want to outlive my

brother also and I like to think he remembers his part in all of

this. Had he been normal, he would have been charged with sexual

assault, but because he is autistic, I said nothing.

And had I not been brainwashed into thinking my mothers problems

were all my fault, she would easily have been prosecuted for

assault and neglect, but I had nowhere to go and no job and no

prospects, so I was trapped. My upbringing has affected every

thought, every action and every emotion. I still tend to over

analyse people, situations, my own thoughts, other peoples

actions, I am still learning to say “no”, trust my own decision

making and to not get emotionally involved in things I can't do

anything about. I have put other people before my own little

family because I always felt guilty about not being a perfect mum.

When I say this I mean a woman who is complete, pure, contented

and someone who is not emotionally and psychologically scarred.


I grew up hating myself for “letting” dad abuse me. I would tell

myself over and over that I should have or could have stopped him

but I had no choice. It wasn't until I became so tired of not

sleeping for fear of him coming into my room, I decided mum needed

to know. I didn't want to tell her as I hated her anyway, but

couldn't see myself telling another grown up, after all, they had

let me down by not intervening when the symptoms were clearly


To say I have no feelings towards my brother would be too cruel

and I could blame his behavior on his condition. But I’ve only

just come to realise that he was also vulnerable. He was never

molested by my dad but he did suffer terribly at the hands of

mother all the way up until I left home and the guilt about me

leaving stays with me, but he started where my father left off, by

bullying me anyhow.

Robert had a very unnerving view about me. And over the years,

even after the divorce, it became very clear his views were very

similar to my fathers. He would come into my room with his pants

down to his ankles whilst masturbating. I’d scream and get up and

try to push the bedroom door closed. He would tell mum I had hit

him so she in turn, would hit me. I couldn’t win.


Robert got used to seeing me being hit by my mother and he would

retaliate but when dad knocked me about, he did and said nothing.

He’d rock backwards and forwards, dribbling all over the carpet

repeating, “In and out the dusty day dar”, shullarlarkoom” or

“yum-poo-yar-tar-tar-tar”. All things he had picked up from

kiddies programmes when we were little. He would watch dad often

whilst he practiced with the dart board in the pantry.

Sometimes dad would give Robert the darts and he'd chase me around

the house and the garden throwing them at me. He was a bloody good

shot. Mum and dad would watch through the kitchen window laughing

their heads off.

Robert liked this game and quite often, I’d end up screaming at my

mother because I had darts stuck in the backs of my legs, courtesy

of good old Bobby as he was more commonly known. He may have had

autism but to my mind he just a little bastard.

He’d pin me down and bend my nails back until they bruised so I

started biting the buggers to the point where I had hugs warts all

over my fingers and then I’d chew them until they bled, leading to

me having to have my fingers bandaged often because I wouldn’t

leave them alone.

My parents never had friends. Well, dad had his army mates, who


were always around with fish, eggs, beer and the occasionally

shot rabbit. I didn’t like any of his friends; they all thought

he was great, in fact everyone admired him when he was in the army

and then the police force. They didn’t see him scraping spots

with the carving knife, slapping a pound of ham in between two

lumps of bread and frying it in beef dripping, whilst I had to sit

behind the couch, hungry. And they never knew mother would batter

me for ripping my pajama bottoms; when it wasn’t me doing it, it

was my father…she stopped buying them so I had no PJ’s. He loved

it. They didn’t see the times he’d set the dog on me; yappy, nasty

little bastard it was.

That dog, by the way, used to escape down the road, every morning

with my mothers artificial arm. Mum would have me chasing the

little fudge half way around Larkhill to retrieve the limb; it

was covered in scratches and bite marks and I found it quite funny

watching her attach it to her bra, all covered in dog bites. The

thumb in particular was chewed to a nub and to me this was

hysterical. The damned thing would hold on to it for dear life

whilst trying to mount it. Each time mother put it on, the dog

would try to hump it! She got so sick of me moaning about being

late for school after chasing the mutt around, dad sent him to a

farm in Andover where we were told he would chase rabbits for his

living. I was so glad to see the little bastard go, but then dad

started bringing his work dog home. A huge Alsatian, named Dirk.


He had one ball, yes one bollock and he scared the living poop unicorns and rainbows

out of me.

Mum had two artificial arms, one covered in mongrel bites and the

other with varnished nails. This one she kept for best when we

had to go the the Mess for family functions. I used to watch her

intently. Her arm was weird. It just hung down and stayed there

so when she was dancing with other men, they enjoyed it more than

she did. In the end, she had me put one of the offending articles

out for the dustmen. I was watching them coming up the road,

getting nearer and nearer to our bins when one of them jumped a

mile as the limb was poking out of a bin bag-this was very

comical and when he knocked on the door to ask if I was aware that

there was an arm in the bin bag, I couldn’t stifle the laughter.

I just nodded and shut the door in his face.

The other arms fate was sealed at Bournemouth Beach. She had me

take it out into the sea. Further on down from us, screams were

heard as an arm had been washed ashore. I sat there with my head

down, fiddling with the sand and hoping to Christ no-one realized

what was going on. There was me thinking her and dad had decided

to treat us to a day at the beach, when her intentions were only

to get rid of the arm. It’s all to ridiculous and the more I read

it, the funnier it sounds but it happened, it’s amusing to look


back upon, but it was all really very tragic.

Now that I’ve mentioned shot rabbits, I’m recalling the two my

brother had. Snoopy and Fluffy. They were kept outside and I

would have to clean them out and feed them in the mornings. One

weekend I was sitting in the lounge eating my dinner on a stool

whilst everyone else were in the kitchen. I was watching World

at War: I was made to watch it every week after having to sit

through Wickers World. That morning I had noticed Fluffy was

gone. I think I was too stupid to mention it to my parents,

either that or too scared. During the course of the afternoon,

dad would sit, with a beer and watch the boxing. On this day, he

asked if I had enjoyed my dinner. I don’t remember what I said,

but my stomach knotted up. I just knew it wasn’t going to be


The week before he had been grabbed by Fluffy and she had a hold

of his finger. Mother was laughing her head off, Robert was

screaming, I stood there with a huge grin on my face whilst dad

swung around and around, trying to get her to let go. OK, we had

eaten my rabbit. I said I didn’t believe him; tears welled up and

ran down my face, but I knew it was true because there were no

pellets in the meat.


After that I became very mistrustful of my dad. Food was always a

problem for me….He would give my brother 20p a week, on a Saturday

to go up to the Packway, Larkhill so he could buy sweeties. In

those days one could purchase 4 blackjacks for a penny. Robert

would come back with a stuffed bag of sweets, asking me if I

wanted one. When I said “yes”, he would either stuff one up his

nose and hand it to me or pull down his pants, ,wipe it along his

backside and hand it over. Well, I was always so hungry, I would

eat it,then he’d hit me. Being autistic, I suppose he didn’t know

better but when we were tiny, he always looked out for me. The

poison had rubbed off and I didn’t realize it at the time, but

daddy dearest had plans.

The first time I think I saw my fathers penis, I was four and we

lived at Bulford camp. 68 Camberough Drive. Mum had hit me

because I refused to eat breakfast….it was Alpen and had been in

the fridge for days. I went upstairs and as I approached the last

few steps, I looked up to see dad in the toilet, holding his penis

and smiling at me. Well, I didn’t know what to make of it

and smiled back. I Went off into my room, shut the door and he

walked in. How does a child describe a hard on? I thought he

looked stupid what with the wide grin on his face, whilst he

stroked his pinky in front of me. I don't remember anything else in

regards to this occasion, other than mother screaming in my face

the day after, as I had ripped all of my toe nails off.


I could barely walk properly because my toes were painful and on

top of that I'd been bought a boys pair of black Clarkes shoes

which were far too small.

How anyone can be so cruel to a child is beyond me. I don't

know if my parents had planned to abuse me or whether they were

both just as mad as each other. I knew when I was very small

there was no hope in hell of getting away from them and so life

continued to be filled with feelings of insecurity, fear and



Chapter three

The coal bunker

Mum was in and out of hospital all the time because of her arm.

During one very hot summer, she was back in having the arm

amputated. Having to travel up to London with Dad was always

traumatic. I used to suffer with car sickness and I have a scar on

my mouth where he punched me in the face for throwing up in his

precious Cortina. We’d park up and get a taxi to the hospital and

again I’d be sick in the cab.

The hospital corridors were long, white and cold; so long, the air

would whoosh up and wash over me. They were the days where the

wards were overlooked by a very stern matron. This one’s hat was

so wide , it almost filled the doorways and I remember her

bouncing a coin off each bed to make sure they were made properly.

She was huge and always gave me a downward glare when she walked

past. I liked the smell of antiseptic; clean, clinical and crisp

and I’d pinch the odd bar of soap I’d find lying around. I still


hoard soap.

Each time we went to visit, I’d hoped she was dead so obviously

it was always a huge disappointment to see her sitting up in her

hospital bed, alive and as nasty as ever. I wanted her dead so

very badly and she and dad knew it.

Every night I'd have to kneel down and say a prayer. “God bless

mummy, keep her safe and bring her home soon”. As if I really

meant this!

Always on the way home, we would park up at Pepperbox Hill so dad

could take a piss and I’d have to hold his penis.

The day she finally came out of hospital, one limb down, dad took

her to a hair salon. She used to have very long black shiny

locks, which fell all the way down her back. She had most of it

cut off as she wanted a beehive and I thought she looked really

stupid. All the while we were sitting in the salon, she stared

and smiled at me. She knew I hated her. And I knew I was screwed.

I kept wondering what she would look like with no head with blood

spurting out all over. She could have so easily died and I was

furious she was still breathing. I've only ever felt hatred like


that on two other occasions in my life and it’s very frightening.

Her stump would seep rather a lot and had to be changed on a

regular basis and I wanted her whole life force to drain out of

it. I would wish wish really hard every morning to find her dead

in a huge pool of blood.

Some time after she'd been discharged, she had a severe allergic

reaction to wearing marigold gloves. Her remaining hand and her

face became raw and blistered up. She had to steep her hand in a

solution of potassium permanganate and her face was always covered

in thick, cement like cream, prescribed by her doctor. I just

wanted her whole head to fall off, she repulsed me so much.

I think I hated her so much because she showed no regard towards

me. She didn't want a daughter; her dream was to have four boys.

She ignored such a lot of what was happening to me at the hands of

my father so when I expected her to step in and be motherly, she

didn't. I still hate her now and she’s been dead for a few

years. I still have nightmares about being back in Amesbury with

her, trying to appease her by kissing her backside. At the moment

her ashes are in the shed and have been since 2002. We have

joked, as a family about what to do with them; mix them up in

concrete, feed them to the chickens, flush them down the loo, but


I won’t go near them. She doesn't deserve my time.

Robert, at the time was what I can only describe as an inmate in

the notorious St James Unit, Portsmouth. We’d drop him off on a

Sunday evening at collect him each Friday. Dad had to go to work

and I was left by myself, locked out of the house all day,

everyday for a couple of weeks. I wasn't quite sure why I wasn't

allowed in the house. Being about 4, I felt a bit embarrassed

because the other kids didn't play out all day and I felt like an

idiot sitting on our doorstep waiting for dad to come home. When

he did, he’d sit in his armchair with a beer and a fag, staring

into nothing and not speaking. He did it quite a lot during my

younger years and I learned to avoid him as he’d get up and wallop

me for daring to walk within eye shot.

He got the better of me a few times though and the coal bunker and

I became well acquainted with each other. He’d leave me in there

all day and I couldn't get out. I don’t think I minded really as

I was used to being alone, what with no friends, I could keep

myself occupied for hours! Trying to lie to my mother about why

my clothes were black was a little tricky so I went with the

easier option, stood there looking stupid and waiting for the

blows around the head. It may have something to do with me

being a bit of a loner now. I much prefer my own company but hate

not letting good and decent people get close to me. I'm learning


I don’t know why my parents decided to send Robert into “care”. I

was devastated though. The place was Hell. Once named The

Portsmouth Lunatic Asylum and founded by the daughter of a

Broadmoore superintendent, it dealt with the mentally defected.

In those days poor people were sent there, bankrupts, hysterical

women, the depressed, widows, seaman, parent less children and not

many came back out, normal everyday individuals who had stumbled

on hard times.

It wasn't unusual in the early years to force patients through

experiments to rid them of their ailments. In 1926 there were 1000

patients with a discharge of nil. Robert was picked on, stabbed

with pins and forced to eat food he didn't like. One kid, Pip,

picked on him relentlessly and Robert would come home with

bruises, looking thin and very pale. Thankfully he wasn't there

too long because we moved yet again, but the effects stayed with

him always.

It wasn't all bad though as Robert was always a source of good

entertainment. The things he did were quite normal to me although

as I grew older, I looked back and laughed and cried because he

suffered terribly and being autistic, he was a huge


disappointment to my parents.

Living at one stage in yet another army house, he would use a

ruler to measure his fruity polos as he sucked each one down.

He’d stick them all around the room, measuring from the skirting

board down and the spaces in between; they’d have to stay there

forever. I thought he was amazing but mother would pick them up

and he’s scream at her. And begin all over again! If she got the

Hoover out, he’d shout and swear and hiss at her which was

hilarious I thought, but didn't I realize at the time, his

condition meant he couldn't bare loud noises or disruptions to his


Someone gave him a clock once, one with bells on top. He took the

whole thing apart and put it all back together again in working


Then there was the breakfast routine. I’d be given what I refused

to eat the morning before whilst he got the Rice Crispies. It had

to be Rice Crispies. He’d tip the whole box out onto the table

and count them. If there was an odd number, he’d scream, eat a

spoonful and shove the rest back in the box and repeat. It would

take hours to sort him out…!


He would crap in his pants and create the most amazing art

work on his bedroom wall. Mother would go bonkers and slap him

with a wet tea towel so he’d spit and call her a cow.

Around this time, I’d noticed that dad was going to the toilet

with him, Robert wasn't sexually abused but he did grow to have a

fear of toilets, especially public ones. We had to share a bath

until I was 10. I didn’t like it of course and Robert by then was

about 13 so it was clearly inappropriate. Dad insisted though. I

always had to sit at the tap end and dad would pour in hot water

so I ended up with burn marks across my bottom and thighs. Mum

didn’t give a toss, she was too engrossed in her own madness.

About now my underwear had all but disappeared, dad’s visits to my

room became more frequent and on special occasions I got to sleep

in bed with him and mother. He stank of beer and fags and spooned

me all through the night. She said nothing.

She used to take me to the thrift shop every month to buy me

second hand clothes. It was located right inside the army barracks

and I hated walking past all the offices and seeing the soldiers

looking at my mother. She loved it of course and as I always

preferred to walk well behind her as a precautionary measure,

she’d swish her backside and do a little skip. God, she was odd.


I used to like wearing trousers as I was harder to get at with

these on and had two pairs of drainpipe jeans. He had a habit of

lifting me up onto his shoulders with my privates facing him and

he always insisted I wear a skirt. She’d come home with a skirt or

a smock dress and I’d climb on top of the garages and get them

covered in oil. I thought I was very clever but dad took away the

jeans and I had to wear the skirt.

At the back of the house was a thick set wood separating us from

the park. Every now and then, he’d let me climb over the garden

fence to play British bulldog with some of the kids on the estate.

There would be what seemed like hundreds of us on top of the hugs

hill, piling down towards the swings, trying not to get tagged.

Some of these moments were blissful, but he’d often ruin that by

shouting me in. When I’d walk along the tracks in the wood to get

back to the garden to ask if I could stay out longer, he’d grab me

from nowhere, pin me on the floor and punch me in between the

legs. In my mind he did it to stop me asking if I could go out.

He wanted me in the house at all times.

I thought about death all the time; it must have been all those

years tramping back and fourth to the hospital because of my

mother. I saw limbless kids, people in wheelchairs, prosthetic

limbs, disabled grown ups and children and saw and I have seen


smelt death. I liked to watch the nurses care for the patients and

wanted to be a part of that so in my mind, if I were dying or

dead, I’d be loved.

I would go out climbing trees, looking for eggs with chicks almost

ready to hatch out and sit, after opening the shells, to watch

them die but I cradled them in my hands and talked to them. I’d

take chicks out of their nest and try to feed them, then get angry

when they died. I called someone’s Yorkshire terrier to me one

day and strangled it. I didn't kill it but I did enjoy watching

it squirm a little. It was so trusting and lovable and cute, I

got angry. I am very ashamed about this but I was six and

obviously showing signs of distress.

I find it difficult to believe I turned out the way I did. OK, I

had many issues and still have a few, but as I grew up, I was

always more bothered about how other people were feeling, what

they were thinking or why they were sad. A bit of a misfit I

suppose. I was known by all and liked by few. Now I’m known by

all and understood by a few!

Living with depression isn't easy but I think I was always

depressed. Having children bought out the worst of it and I've not

been able to rid myself of it still. Each day is an absolute


trauma; having to look at myself in the mornings to apply make is

a nightmare. I only wear it to hide the scars and mask how I feel

inside. It’s all a show, chatting, smiling, laughing, it’s all a

front. I have a couple of friends who know the real me, warts and

all and they have been a huge comfort and others who I tend to shy

away from have begun to see why I’m a bit odd!

When I began writing, it had occurred to me I may well get a

barrage of abuse, funny looks from people or be avoided but

everyone has been so very supportive. In opening up and exposing

myself in such a way, I have begun to heal some of the pain and

want desperately to give others hope. Because no matter how

bad I have felt at times and how badly I wish I could have snubbed

myself out, I continue to survive my legacy of abuse.

Other than killing a child, sexually abusing them is the worst of

actions. Once the damage is done, it cannot be fixed. A child’s

emotions become stuck and inwardly they stay tiny and vulnerable

into adulthood. I used to carry around a huge heavy black weight

on my shoulders and I knew it was death chasing me. I almost gave

in a few times to end my misery.

Once, when my two eldest were very small, I put them in the car in

the early hours of the morning and was trying to figure out how to


kill us with the exhaust fumes. They stayed asleep thank goodness

and I gave up after looking at them through the car window and

seeing how beautiful they were and realizing none of it was their

fault. I didn't tell my husband for years. I was too ashamed. I

mainly wanted to kill myself but couldn't bare the thought of

leaving them behind so in my mind, it made sense to take them with

me. This happened some time after we discovered my son had been

abused so I was determined no-one would hurt my kids or me again.

I have never felt like that since, thank goodness.

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Re: "Just In Case"

Postby hazel3603 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:08 am

Sorry about page numbers as I just copied and pasted the lot!!!!

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