The Crooked Mile ~ A true story

Please be patient, this will take some time to compile. Some people will find the story and parts of the story distressing.

I was born onthe 31st of August 1969 in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, England. It was a difficult birth and my mother heamhorraged heavily requiring multiple blood transfusions. Her veins collapsed, but somehow the staff and doctors managed to keep her alive.

My brother was born 18 months later, but my father was a very violent and sadistic man and they were divorced when I was 5. We’d fled across country to a village out in the country not far from Colchester.  My mother met a new man and married him, and we moved again into his house, a sprawling cedar bungalow out in the country again. This took me up to the age of 7 and my mother had another baby boy. My stepfather’s dad died and we moved again from the cedar house to a village just 5 miles away. Unfortunately he was womanising though and she divorced him too. For me, this is where things started going wrong.

We moved again to another village to my grandmothers’ house in a neibouring village. My Uncle Mark was living there too. My Uncle started interfering with me, and giving me cigarettes and alcohol. My mother was unaware of this and he was using it to blackmail me into keeping quiet. He said that there were rules and they would be strictly enforced, and I believed him, after all, he was head of science at A large school in a town called Harwich. He was a large drunken intimidating man with a bushy beard and veins on his forehead that used to stick out grotesquely when he was angry. He got angry a lot and the adults that were around – which wasn’t many – were all intimidated by him. Occasionally My grandmother would complain about all the young boys coming round, but nothing was ever done and no-one ever asked if I was ok. If they had broken the silence, maybe things wouldn’t have been so bad.

I continued going to school where I was depressed and withdrawn and when I was 9 I left home to go and live with my father in Bristol. This did not work out after i set a fire in a loft space, and I was sent to a child psychiatric unit back in colchester. I had also tried to commit suicide for the first time by eating pieces of lead I found in the road. I was pronounced normal and released back to my mother within a few months. Then the Abuse began again. When I was 12, he was so confident that he tried to ass-rape me twice in the lounge rather than in his bedroom or den, but luckily I was a pretty lithe kid and somewhat undernourished so was able to wriggle free. This continued, I’m not gonna go into graphic detail but it went on and on until I was 14.

When I was 13, my mother had met another man and we moved into another village also within about 5 miles. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I could finally stand up to him and he abused me for the last time in my mothers house. I never told her this even after the abuse came out, I did not want her home to feel contaminated, she’d been through enough – we all had.

When I was 15 I left home. I lived on sofas and worked a 40 hour week. I smoked and drank and had already developed ulcers. I was depressed and lonely and when I was 16 I joined the army. I thought at least I could find an honourable death on the battlefield. I excelled in ther army, was very fit and a crack shot, but there was an undiagnosed problem with my knee joints and the training had destroyed most of the cartlige. It was too painful to run anymore so the army gave me an honourable discharge with exemplary conduct. So I moved from my barracks up in north Yorkshire back to my mothers’ house.

My grandfather died and left me some money, so I bought myself a mobile home, a trailer. I lived there and worked and girlfriends came and went. If anything, the abuse from my uncle only reinforced my love of women, and some of my girlfriends stuck with me for years. Not all at the same time though!

I had taken out a loan with my Grandmother, and for some reason she demanded it all back one day. I did not have the ability to do this, so I had to sell my trailer. I got a job doing long distance lorry driving and took out a mortgage on a house in Ipswich. I was getting sick of all the moving around and thought I’d finally found somewhere to settle down, but I was very much mistaken. Margaret Thatcher had raised interest rates to 15%, and exactly a year and a day from getting my job, I was sacked. There was nothing I could do to save my house. I ended up in the YMCA, drinking heavily and suffering terrible bouts of depression. Had I known it was gonna get even worse I would have tried much harder at my suicide attempts than I did, and resolved not even to try unless I was damn serious as I couldn’t stand the inquisitions that came afterwards.

I moved in with a former girlfriend and we rekindled things. She fell pregnant though and we started rowing. Not only that, but I’d told her about the abuse – the only person I’d ever told and she began calling me “His little bum-boy” amongst other things. We tried to make things work, but it was doomed. I moved back to the YMCA in Ipswich. I made a few more attempts at suicide, but people kept saving me. I dunno why they did that, it would have been kinder to let me die. I was so miserable I’d drunk myself to sleep most nights. I’d been using cannabis also since I was in my teens, but was now experimenting with magic mushrooms and opium as well. That christmas I’d also had a near miss on my motorcycle and was hurt but not broken. I’d broken bones before though, the first time i fell out of a tree when I was 7. My Mother didn’t believe it was broken so I showed it to a ver that had come to see the donkeys my mother kept back then. He told her to get me in for an x-ray as it was broken as I’d said all along. When my daughter was born I was stuck in Ipswich with no way to get there. I decided that there was no way to save the relationship and I conned a girl into pretending we were having an affair. This did the trick, though a bit too well as I wouldn’t get to see my daughter until years after. That it was my fault didn’t help with the depression either. You see, by the time I was 25 the police had caught up with my uncle. They took him to court where he was pleading not-guilty. He’d asked me to kill him rather than go to jail, so I gave the police a statement that would ensure he went to jail. He changed his plea to guilty and although this meant his victims wouldn’t have to be cross-examined in court he got a reduced sentence. The police knew I was pretty keen on killing him and now he’s not allowed here for his own protection. I know he sneaks back to visit my grandmother though, and I traced his address. The only thing is that if I killed him, everybody would know who did it, and I’ve suffered enough on account of that evil bastard.

Next I met the woman that I would eventually marry. I moved in with her and continued working. We got married and I left work to go to university. However, she had serious security issues due to being 10 years older than me, she is a coloured girl too with issues about that, and she was a secret alcoholic. Despite all this we were together for 6 years, but it was too broken to fix and as she was constantly accusing me of having affairs, I eventually went out and shagged another woman. After all, I was already getting blamed for it so I thought I might as well do it then. It killed the marriage stone dead. It was during this time though that I’d had my second and most serious breakdown. I stopped eating for 43 days, I’d gassed myself in a van with a hosepipe and I’d overdosed on Temazepam. Nobody can explain why I didn’t die, I just kept darn well breathing. I spent 8 months on the psyche ward.

Before I was even discharged, a girl I’d been having a little fun with was starting to buy heroin for me. It felt great, it just made all the years of pain just go away for a while. It wasn’t long before I was hooked. I’d be hooked for the next 10 years. I moved back to temporary accomodation in Colchester and met a new girlfriend called Barbara. We hit it off immediately, the fact was that she was an addict too. But she was very sweet and wherever she went spontanious parties just used to happen. During this time, Two local gangsters tried to rob me and I got pretty badly smashed up. I had a broken nose, cheek-bone, jaw etc. They’d come prepared and wanted drugs. They didn’t get any though. One of them was a paid informer and so the police didn’t want to prosecute them, they got away scott free. Barb and I had been together for about 4 years when we’d temporarily split up. I had my permanent flat by now, just a few streets away fron Barbs’ house. We’d had a row and she’d had flu and was pretty poorly. I’d gone to see if she was ok and see if we could patch things up again. She’s said she was too ill to worry about it so we agreed I’d go and see her again on the monday. First thing sunday morning I got a phone-call from her parents saying she was dead. She was. Her flu had turned into pneumonia and she’d been admitted the night before. She’d deteriorated very fast and was dead by morning, and there was nothing I could do.

Her parents decided I was to blame, and took the kids. They also tried other stuff like lying about when the funeral procession was leaving so I’d miss it etc. I didn’t. They then went through the house and threw all our stuff out. I was able to rescue a few photos and some clothes. I’ve never been able to visit where her ashes were interred as it was in her parents back garden. I had nothing left to do apart from try to numb the pain with the heroin.

I awoke one night to what I first thought were gunshots. I went down the hall where two burglers were smashing their way through the door. I stood my ground blocking their path and they attacked me with long handled wheel wrenches pulverising the bone in my left arm and putting a number of deep gashes in my head. My mother had only died two weeks prior to this happening and my depression and PTSD were very strong. It was only the heroin that made life bearable. I got an emergency move back out into the country with my dog. I was riding my motorcycle when I hit some deep water where the sea covers the road at high tide. The bike died and I got my ex-stepfather to come in his wagon to help. I intended to tow-start the bike as it was too heavy to push start. I’d tied the rope on incorrectly though, and it just launched me into the oncoming traffic. I hit a car and the next thing I’m lying in the road with my arm snapped in half with the bones sticking out. I had 3 operations but because I’d been using heroin the painkillers simply weren’t working on me. It was agony. I got out of hospital 3 weeks later and went and bought a new bike. I didn’t know if i could still ride, but wanted to try. Two weeks later I was back on the road again. I had another little accident since then where I collided with a wooden fence and broke my foot in 5 places. I didn’t bother going to the hospital at first, but after a while my foot didn’t look much like a foot anymore. Still, after a few weeks to recuperate I was riding again and still ride to this day. I eventually quit taking the Heroin as it wasn’t working anymore and to be honest, I just wanted to get clean again.  My doctors are gonna try and get me some proper pain relief, the hospital were just giving me paracetamol so I couldn’t quit the opiates until the pain had subsided somewhat. I hope now that I can make good use of all the crap I’ve been through to help other people that are still going through it. I’ve left quite a bit out unfortunately as it would take too long to write it all down, but will keep adding bits from time to time. All I ever wanted was to be safe and to have someone to love and yet it seems impossible. I am safe now, I’m off the drugs and my medication is helping the depression and PTSD significantly but I still feel very lonely and unhappy sometimes. I often ask myself if it’s worth sticking around to find love somewhere somehow, and for now I’m happy to stick around. But I’m pretty damaged and I can’t see why anybody would want me now but my friends say I’m a good and decent person. That I deserve to be happy. That would be really nice, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

If you’ve stuck with this to the end, well done you. Thankyou. I would have thought my life would make an interesting film, but I think people wouldn’t beleive it was really true, but it is. There’s more of this story to come as I add meat to the bones so if you’re interested do please come back from time to time.

Best Wishes

L. Brodigan 27/12/11

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