Set your dreams where nobody hides
Give your tears to the tide
“Wait” written by Yann Gonzalez / Anthony Gonzalez
It has been no time and an eternity, since one vulnerable 11 year old boy’s hope, was placed six spades deep into the light soil of his dog’s overgrown grassy paddock. Lain with three mummified birds found dead by the roadside of his regular BMX path, it was a time capsule of an unnerving 1989, in which this boy was found bereft, leaving behind five years spent in the small mining hamlet of New Marske in North Yorkshire – an uninterrupted calm he had called home.
His effusive art teacher had made a firm plea to his outwardly jovial publican mother – not to let him loose what she saw as an artistic sensitivity that needed nurture and protection in the vulnerable climate ahead. She told him, as a grown man he might one day return to compare how his young hopes matched up to his grown reality, and upon this teacher’s encouragement of hope, he buried the capsule with blind devotion and belief in his mother’s word, that good was to come.
He placed into this orb of hope, a handwritten letter, twin action figures, a newspaper of the day, and a photograph of a fantasy mother and covered them with picture marbles of the universe, encased in an oval glass sweetie jar – its bright red lid, closed tight with all the might his fingers could muster, as he said goodbye to all he had taken for granted in his daily routine of self-care, and the love that he had found in his mongrel horses, crazy goats, ex-fairground donkey and the fantastic school friends, woodland and cornfields that had been a playground for the confidence the art teacher and his grandfather had infused into his imagination.
This five year spell of continuity and safety – on a family roadshow that moved eleven times and placed him into six schools – was over, and just as his favourite TV show, DYNASTY, ended unresolved mid-air – with his fantasy mother falling from a balcony – so too would part of that boy’s psyche become suspended in time. Frozen into a vignette of what would, overnight, become a mourned childhood, as his natural voice and manner betrayed him as a vividly effeminate boy, unsure of how to hide from himself, in a school system that had outlawed any support of homosexuality before he could comprehend what that was – never daring to ask why adults and peers now looked upon him as though he had a vagina. As soon as he opened his mouth to speak, moved his eyeballs, or breathed, he became a figure of permitted ridicule and disgust, in a climate that what would not tolerate his kind of light.
Section 28 was a dog whistle under the radar of national consciousness, which ensured that the physical and mental abuse effeminate boys openly received from all angles, each year long day , would be validated by teachers who turned the other way – at best confused by a law that prohibited their compassion form showing any support, and at worst, allowing overriding bigotry to rule. The effect upon boys such as he, was to sear shame onto their faces and stunt their personal growth in ways too numerous to count here, and after the sudden death of this boys ever supportive grandfather, for this boy who was forced to fight with his fists, truancy and failure seemed the safest option in a system that was cheating him out of a sound start at education.
Who this boy was, the kind-natured, tactile, un-selfconscious, wide-eyed and imaginative boy who loved nature, his ‘dressy-ups’ and art – that boy obsessed with local folklore of witches, aliens from “V” and the camp world of DYNASTY – would be buried in a survival mode of camp and ludicrous layers, through a cognitive dissonance that hid his shame, fear and hypervigilance as he navigated this barren landscape of what passed to become an adolescence groomed in its entirety, into a sexual servitude sustained over years, by a mother of two, working on his parent’s payroll. All too dark for him to share, or know how to cope with alone but for his VHS cassettes of DYNASTY, and a hypnotising American escape in which he imprinted upon the same furiously outrageous eyes of his mother – but in Alexis Carrington, he could watch a mother who was fiercely protective and defensive of her own gay son.
That TV show would carry something of a significance and gravity into this boy’s adult life, burned into his mind as part of his psyche disassociated back into the contents of that buried sweetie jar and the 1980s childhood that became his only psychological anchor. Time and time again, in that Conservative Thatcher world, where not fitting an exact gender role was not only effecting his mental health on an hourly cycle, but left him wide open for predators and parasites of all varieties, breath and look – unable to recognise danger and deviant want in others, what could that boy have done, when his mother’s eye was turned elsewhere, but confuse the false amity and predatory gleam of a pedophile, with the love and nurture he unknowingly thirsted?
With each new disassociation, and always after performing unspeakable sex acts upon a woman old enough to be his mother – it was his fantasy mother, Alexis, who held his hand, teaching him to be brave and bold, whilst his real mother’s own drives and appetites blinded her to each of his calls for help.
The subsequent years would bend this boy’s formative mind further into these patterns of disassociation, as his mother who didn’t know how to listen, cared not for his whereabouts and always had something else to do – forced him to forget any claims to justice, through coercion, fear, guilt and shame – to which the only balm was a desperate sense of people pleasing those around him, whilst managing this secret habit of disassociation into a reality that told him that each new harrowing scene, and all that fell from it, was just a role he was playing out, like in the DYNASTY he so adored, where people were slapped about all of the time – always looking great whilst in constant new perils, and all underpinned by a glamorous woman with the same eyes as his own mother – in that boys damaged imagination, he pretended his mummy was just the same.
Her only boy – the one she latterly birthed for her husband in a third attempt to carry his name forward – was a boy that she grew to side-eye, and didn’t believe in. Openly admitting she hadn’t wanted another child, whilst claiming integrity for her directness. That boy had now been pulled far into the half-lit dangers lurking on the peripheries of the very public house she ran and drank dry. Had she cared to think of his vulnerabilities, and not passed him from one handler to the next, she would have noticed the appetites others had for his Bambi eyes and virginal boyhood since he was small, and thus, as a teen, the demands now made on his time, affections and production of semen. She could have saved him from that, and what became a split in his physiological sight, a parallax error of vision in his developing mind, which gave birth to deep seated dissociative tendencies as his teenage brain formed.
So, it was not his destiny to be saved, and this sickly siren of his fate spotted a hole where his sense of motherhood yearned and ached, and she span the wheels of his mind, calling him into a slow mesmerizing groom of sexual compliance, dark secrets, alcohol and later, drug use – implementing an irreversible traction that would spread across his past and present, blighting his every hope, and as each new disassociation into that sweetie jar became more robust and prevalent, more sophisticated – his view on all around him became less painful when pretending, putting on a show, and acting up than it ever was to look into the eye of what his mother truly was under the surface of her charm and generosity to others.
By 1998, that boy had long since penned the contents of this buried sweetie jar into a teenage diary, with photographs of the characters that had made up his reality before and after it was fractured – packed with immature attempts at writing out his troubles and memories upon advice given to him in an afterlife intervention, from his late grandfather, which was broadcast on local radio talk show, and through which was given, signs for him to follow into midlife. It was a rich, dark and layered reality that he dropped at the foot of another in his search for healing, belonging and companionship. Where an extraordinary seed was sewn through an ill-fated relationship thought to have been his way out of the dark. To share his life with the striking creature he now called a boyfriend, was a true wish among very little to be hopeful about as he left his teens behind – but so it went, and having brought out more of the boys coping mechanisms than who lay under those layers of Alexis, with one slip his diary was taken from him into the night by a magpie who had posed as a Prince Charming.
“Those Who Dance Are Considered Insane by Those Who Can’t Hear the Music”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
This teenage diary was a record of a damaged boys mind, figuring out his brainwashing, and it contained some of what he had run away from before he had reached 18. Glimpses of that young period – from his weekend job as a Micky Mouse mascot, to the extensive dental surgery he underwent after savage beatings that took all of his front teeth out, split his lips and cracked his head open, for no more reason than how his voice carried on the air. It contained the breakdown of his mind in a household rented from his ever absent parents that was commandeered by drug dealing elders on the cutting edge of the 1990s house music scene – in which this lost boy became nothing more than a figure of quiet ridicule, a fluffer, a cute nincompoop lost under the strobe lights, in a world all of his own.
But that boy didn’t stop, and has never stopped, writing in his diaries.
Writing has been the only way to process his search for truth, and the magpie swiped something nowhere near ready to be unearthed – yet together with a poisoned letter written by the boy in Alexis mode, the magpie placed this stolen diary into a box to call his own, and he put that into a dark cupboard where it would grow in size and form, assimilating itself into a new purpose and ambition – lifting the magpie’s injured ego with an atrocious plan of achievement and success, through determination, revenge, and the purest vainglory known to man.
The stolen diary was used as a blueprint for the illiterate but pathologically ambitious magpie to learn to read and write, and upon the soul of another’s story it penned it’s damaged victim’s life into that of it’s own teetering, concentrated and strong-willed hand, using the foundation of another’s traumas, hopes, abuses and experiences, as food for the hungry ghost that this Magpie Prince would grow to become – assimilating every written word and nuance of memory into its own deceitful plan until there was nothing left to scribe.
Further on, in 2009, it was very fortuitous for that duped boy of yesteryear – who had never stopped looking for his late grandpa’s signs – to be found in a place where he had finally created a sweet nest of love, continuity and companionship in the sleepy hills of Lancashire. Because that boy was being watched with gleeful intent, by the ever mindful and ego preening Magpie Prince, and with the dawn of HD YouTube Vlogging, and feeling invisible and insignificant enough to play around creating public videos of comedy content and cringe-worthy crap with no eye for style or art, that boy had now fattened up with contentment, obliviously playing around in a nascent cocoon of healing and creating – giving light to assumptions of an easy target for the ego preening Magpie Prince and his catfish ways.
The magpies aim, to watch that boy’s psyche turn inside out having stretched it over his own head in a decade long plan that had finally moved into position and on the verge of complete fruition through a decade of pilfer, stealth, wild determination, and groomed nepotism. The hungry ghost was brought alive, living someone else’s history through their own published, bestselling books. Oh, how that buried jar stirred it marbles, for the magpie’s victim sensed his grandpa’s signs now, thick, fast and brilliantly bright. The magpie’s dark cupboard of show and fallacy had grown so large that he now resided inside of it of himself, and other birds had flocked to feed there, by virtue of the magpie’s believably enticing performances.
All these birdies helped the magpie to float out into the public domain, a heinous crime which has chimed throughout the numinous heavens as it birthed orbs of another’s consciousness, in a story taken from another’s life whose true soul lay dormant, buried in a glass jar from which there is now no escape for them, but for the twist of its lid.
The sheer horripilation for this boy was to helplessly observe his personal psychology flaunted mercilessly. The use of his childhood survival mechanisms, written experiences, hopes and dreams – all that he had disassociated into, to cope – splayed about the internet and in the magpies published books like Buffalo Bill prancing in the skin of his prey as he brandished the contents of this stolen diary in a cruel psychological invasion that the world applauded, rewarded, and congratulated whilst eagerly awaiting its film adaptation.
This sent stomach acid to the boy’s nostrils, burning his sinus linings with a revulsion that tore into his reality. A harrowed shock that has haunted him since, and the scale of this premeditated and supported cruelty waged against his very existence and mental stability – is a far deeper paradigm than any duped reader of the books could ever know the magpie was capable of, just as the magpie could have had no comprehension of the nest it was building for itself.
The seed sewn by the time spent with the Magpie Prince, brought this boy out of a deep somnambulism, with eyes slowly opening to what had laid waiting in the marrow of his being the entire time, and with every arrow now falling back to that buried sweetie jar, its rattled marbles and this perverse reflection of its own contents, claimed by another as their own – was it that this magpie was destined to wake a sleeper? The boy who couldn’t see himself, was now forced to look.
The only option for the sleeper, was to gather a few facts into a measured online response and let that do what it might – as looking at the full scope of what was waged against him would have killed him. The far greater call to action for that re-traumatized boy, was to find out what it was about his life that could have given rise to such an extraordinary pillaging of his psyche. What was it about him, at the seat of his soul that returned this horrifying spectacle to his feet twenty years since burying his hopes in a jar and falling into a decade of life’s dark tides?
Taking seriously now, his dormant eye for art and style, this boy pushed the threshold of his own fears whilst ignoring the scolding cries of hubris reeling from his publicly savaged ego, by picking up the art he had been told was inside of him so very long ago. He set foot on a quest, come what may, to prove the cycles of truth to himself and whatever he might gleam through the authentic process available to anyone who is forced onto a road, by a calling that their soul cannot refuse, and he summoned up all the mettle in his heart, and went out into the world to reclaim his stolen hope, prepared to slay each and every one of his living nightmares.
Another ten years on, in 2019, that boy is now a brave and aware man capable of great things, who has finished this quest of self-discovery and enlightenment, and has worked through the years creating, creating again, and again, and writing again, and again whilst undergoing therapy and counselling before and after his diagnosis, with invaluable life changing support from a survivor group, and other profound meetings with good souls along the way. He kept silent online about the elements that took him to produce video art as a release that merely hinted at a thirty year cycle in which he was almost buried alive – and yes, of course that boy was me. Forgive my writing in the third person, it can smack as pompous, but in this instance it is vital and valid, for the victims of childhood sexual abuse to re-connect with their inner child, in an objective, compassionate, and supportive manner – to give them all they were denied.
As any soul waking up to their abuse could rightfully claim to be, I was justifiably indignant enough to have launched myself into my pillaged past, to look at my personal history with no stone unturned, to look into that jack-in-the-box of filth, and locate where the truth resided. Such was the resistance, as my ART progressed, that it upended the masks people have worn throughout my life – and ye gods it was a fucking fright! Yet, as my grandfather had predicted, art opened secret doors and lifted the veil, and my muse was invoked, following the inner knowing of intuition, and absolute belief in God’s eye of providence.
What I unearthed as I looked within, meant I had to set boundaries for the first time in my life, as I searched for answers that had been buried all along with that glass jar, metaphorically and literally. My discoveries, and revelations took me to the brink, with a spell on medication that was horrendous, but as my writing broadened and the artistic process evolved, searching my memories and subconscious – it tore down the fake reality I had built around my abuse, slowly revealing who the true enemies were, hidden in plain sight all along.
It lead me out of cycles, coping mechanisms, bravado and nonsense that I didn’t know I was caught up in, and my behavior often landed me in situations misunderstood, bizarre or volatile, and through those missteps I lost contact with many people with whom I should have kept tight bonds, and for that I apologize in a thousand ways – I was healing. I was not myself, and I have wept a volume of tears for the boy that I was, a weight of water still held by the moons power, and please know this as fact, that the circle of truth only widens when we push, and what is done in the dark will come to light, judgement, and justice.
I have no name for what I have been through since 1978, but the clinical name and diagnosis given by my doctors is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I come forward today as a survivor of prolonged childhood neglect and child sexual abuse – a survivor of a covertly narcissistic, violent and physiologically abusive mother and the dissociation, borderline disorder born from that.
I also survive that life having been pillaged and farmed for the commercial gain of others, yet quite perversely, until these stolen orbs of my consciousness returned to me, I had been stumbling through the fragments of a harrowed and clouded half-life, asleep at the wheel of my own destiny, and what I have discovered about our human nature, sexuality and the supernatural – is darker in psychology than any of my sleeping nightmares could have invented, but wouldn’t change a thing, because I have the greatest fortune to have found, and not to have lost through all of my dissociation, the diamond like human being I now call my husband – a man who has loved me back to life, and whose pride in me outweighs anything I could have hoped to find in this life or the next.
Indeed, it is a universal truth that there are layers to our world we cannot be told about, we wouldn’t believe it, we really do have to learn it for ourselves, and it is testament to the great chain of being, the eternal and earthly orders of life, that this boy who resides inside of me, who endured such ugly escapes into anything at all, JOAN COLLINS, grew into a man whose presence was invited to meet with her, and looking into the eyes of an idol whose ethereal presence across popular culture had helped me escape so much, now set me free upon the breeze of awareness, of every part of my psyche – and what books I will write now that I understand complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Now, I have nothing to escape from, or disassociate into and I know who and what I truly am, and I am beloved, and finally I can say that Joan Collins is just an actress, and it has come to pass, that in understanding her effect on me, I now understand the weight of my mother’s void, and why I chased such idols throughout my life, but nobody can flaunt my dreams, ridicule my psychology, nor terrorize my fears ever again – because I am a man who has dug himself out of a quarry that was cleared to bury him in, through a childhood that has had every last ounce of piss extracted from it, in ways that have pierced holes into the heavens.
So it has been no time and an eternity, since one vulnerable 11 year old boy’s hope and belief in his mother’s word was placed six spades deep into the light soil of his dog’s overgrown grassy paddock, and today, spade in hand, I returned to New Marske thirty years on, to stand where my stirred marbles lay, and with my husband by side, and a quiet army of good souls behind both of our hearts – each of whom helped save my life – we take that scapegoated boy, and put the man that he is now, front and center, to protagonist.
On this All Hallows Eve, knowing that witches ARE real, and that darkness can only disappear when light is shined into it, I release my truth into the open, rescinding all that has been placed upon me, revoking all curses and hexes, as declare that I survived, that I will no longer carry the shame that belongs to others into the new decade that is to come, and I return my orbs to where they rightfully belong, as I openly ask for first time in my life, for kindness now, as I take foot to soil with that spade, and bury forever the mask I was almost sentenced to wear for life.
WILL BE EXPANDED…