This section of the website is perhaps a
follow on from the section I had constructed on the care system,
which describes most of my childhood. As stated within that particular
section contact with my family members was maintained throughout
my experiences, albeit to a limited degree....although
it was not until I reached adulthood that I was able to fully appreciate
the true value (or not) of my immediate and extended family.
When I look at my family members I really
only got to know post sixteen I am in no doubt that a television
series/soap could be made and distributed successfully. Perhaps the
best analogy of the family are the characters from the Channel
4 TV series Shameless - and just like those characters my family
are clearly defunct and dysfunctional, and when reflecting on
some of their individual actions is,at times, quite disturbing.
Here we have a group of people who are underpinned by selfishness
and self interest. When I reflect on this group of people it is
clear to see why I ended up growing up in the care system - and
I am seeking to include a no holes barred look at these people and
the effect they have had upon my development from early adulthood
And so for the lead up. After leaving my
foster parents at sixteen years of age I was placed in what can
only be described as a halfway house - a home owned by a single
middle aged woman who provided rooms and meals for young people.
This was all new to me - living on my own and yet at times I felt
quite isolated, and found myself visiting my foster parents frequently.
This lasted for approximately twelve months, as I had a college
course to complete. During that time however I established contact
with my mother and would often stay at her home over the weekend.
My sister, who was by this time resident at another children's home,
would also meet me regularly and the bond we had established during
our early childhood was being rebuilt. At the age of seventeen I
was also made aware that I had an older brother, and that he was
resident in the same town with a partner and two children. This
was indeed twelve months in which contact with my biological family
was established - although what I discovered since that time has
not been wholly positive.
I would add that whilst staying in this halfway
house the female homeowner was involved in some for of religious
'sect.' I would often see strange people visit the house and praying/meetings
would take place regularly. When I reflect upon that time I am
sure that the group had decided to attempt to persuade me to join
them, and that they had chosen one particular male to engage me.
He would often attempt to converse with me about everyday issues,
and when I brought my first motorbike he would often assist when
tinkering with it. They seemed quite harmless although I felt an
uneasy, almost sinister undertone. To cut a long story short I left
this house after completing my college education, and as I was still
subject to a care order the social services had to approve my next
proposed address - my mothers home. The set up allowed me to reside
with my mother, her partner and my younger half sister, whilst at
the same time being closer to my brother, sister, father and grandparents.
And so after years of living with strangers
and continuous attempts to feel part of a family a fairytale ending
was possible.......wasn’t it. Here is a profile of my 'closest' family
members.' For the purpose of anonymity I will have
to use fictional names for these characters....