This section of the website is certainly interlinked with the section devoted to the care system,
which offers some insight into my childhood. As stated within that particular
section contact with my family members was (to some degree) maintained intermittently throughout
my childhood years - although
it was not until I reached adulthood that I was able to fully develop familial relationships and begin to understand the dynamics and complexities within my biological family unit.....
"And so for the lead in. 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
(late) 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 (they lived a 10 - 15 minute walk away).
This lasted for approximately twelve months, as I had a college
course to complete. During that time however I established contact
with my biological 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 initially established during
our early childhood was at that time being rebuilt/re-established. At the age of seventeen I
was also made aware that I had an older (half) brother, and that he was
resident in the same town with a partner and two children. My biological father, who had flitted in and out of my life, again appeared on the scene - and with added complications of two half siblings this
was indeed twelve months in which contact with my biological family/extended family
was truly established......
I would add that whilst staying in this 'halfway house' the female homeowner was involved in some form of religious 'sect.' I would often see strange people visit the house and praying/meetings would take place regularly (it probably wasn't that strange - but a 17 year old mind would say otherwise). 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 (Honda CB125T Superdream - ably assisted by my Uncle Spanner) he would often assist when
tinkering with it. They seemed quite harmless although I felt an
uneasy. To cut a long story short I left
this house after completing my college education (A-Levels), and as I was still
subject to a care order the social services had to approve my next
proposed address - my mothers home (I still remember my first day back there and its a day I would like to live over again!). The set up allowed me to reside
with my mother, her partner (a coalman) and my younger half sister, whilst at
the same time being closer to my (half) brother, sister, father and grandparents - as well as a whole new life.....
As with any family unit relationships have developed and changed - I have lost contact with some family members (and cutting contact was not done lightly) but also gained new ones (sons and a daughter). Families are funny things - and as I write this and muse as to how things might have been different had I remained living with my mother, had me and my sister lived with out father (he brought a house on the same street as the childrens home we lived in - he was living there with his second wife and their child whilst me and my sister remained in teh childrens home...) or had I not pursued an ill fated relationship wit my half brother - I then remember that everything happens for a reason. As with childhood experiences, these family dynamics again shape who you are and for me they act to remind me that (like with my children) I dont repeat the mistakes of my own parents.
I have also used this section to look at significant relationships, past and present, as well as friendships and my experiences of being a father to (currently) three beautiful, amazing children. I have so many good and some (perhaps not so good) memories, particularly of friendships and relationships, I have made many, many mistakes throughout the course of both my relationships and friendships - but I have also learned a great deal about me, about life, love, happiness, pain and hurt - again I don't think I would want to change what I have experienced....well maybe a few things!
ENTER THE FAMILY VAULT