I grew up the child of a Single Mother, Pharmaceutically Dependant for every action in life, I do not blame her for my life, my experiences during this time have giving me the tools to deal with almost everything one could imagine, she did her best and loved me 'perhaps a little too much - if there is such a thing'. The lack of a father figure is not something I can blame either, I had two of the best uncles a boy in my situation could hope for, one in particular who for all intense purposes can be considered my template for fatherhood.
As a child I was stifled in every area of natural development imaginable, I am sure I would be a Developmental Psychologists 'wet dream'. This was for the most part due to an abusive Father that caused the deaths of my two elder siblings prior to their birth, this is however a rather loose statement as my Mother was prone to exaggeration and for all I know this could be a flat out lie. I am in contact with my Father these days, he lives in another country, I am sure the topic will arise when we meet but for the time being the point is moot as it is irrelevant to my development as I believed it - and for that matter so did she during the formative years. The natural extension of this, for her, was to treat me as though I was the most fragile object in the universe and to try and protect me from all out side dangers in life.
A few years prior to entering high school, my Mother decided it appropriate, for reasons I hope I will one day discover perhaps when I release the address of this blog to family members, to travel to England. The first few months in that country were a time of desperate torment for me, I had no friends, I had an accent which was foreign to them and was naturally targeted and assaulted on many occasions. As I recall in the last couple of months of our one year stay, we lived in squalor in a cellar (basement) within a bed and breakfast establishment, rising damp and cockroaches were par for the course. We finally managed to come back to home, thanks to the generosity of one of our family members, and tried as best we could to put the whole thing behind us.
There was a period just prior to this, in New Zealand of a few years that I seem to of blocked out of my consciousness, I am sure it is for good reason, as my Mother would never talk about anything that happened in those 6 years.
For one reason or another it was decided that I should go to private school, probably a good idea as I did manage to stay clear of every form of drug during the entire period. The school I went to was full of rich kids that had access to drugs, but I was very concerned not to become like my Mother in any respect whatsoever, I managed to avoid this by consciously getting into the NERD clique.
One wonders how I could have made it to 18 without taking drugs and then decide in a matter of months to take up smoking, drinking and other forms of recreational drugs without some rational thought kicking in. I personally think this was due to the sheltering I received, I gained a sudden freedom and by God I used it to the fullest. Why then the deliberate decision not to do it during high school, I have thought on this for some ten years and have no answer.