I would like to thank Melanie for allowing me a space on her page to tell the story that goes with this original blog I did http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/growing-up-with-a-criminal-family/ on my own Blog Page http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com
As things stand today my story is one from many years ago, some of the people involved are still living, happy and well, a few have died, the story I have to tell seems like a lifetime ago, almost dream like, but in a way the past still speaks to me, the demons still haunt my mind as I approach my late 30’s, I am actually 40 today. Yay me
I was born in the early 1970’s in one of the roughest areas in Edinburgh, Scotland, a housing estate called Muirhouse. Today it is way worse, drugs, prostitution, knife crime and guns, you know the rest. We moved out of there as a Family when I was a kid around 1982, I was about 9 years old or so, we moved not far away from where I live today with my Partner Dawn and my 4 kids, Dean (21), Ryan (19) and my two Daughters Courtney (4) and Chloe (2)
Today I am lucky, I have been with Dawns since School days, we were friends for years, Dawn was a part time model, she is beautiful, but her heart and her smile and laugh drew me to her as I approached leaving School age, Dawn is almost 2 years younger than I, We had Dean when I was 17 and Dawn was 15, a few weeks away from being 16, I had left School, Dawn was still at School when she fell pregnant. Being so young, we made stupid mistakes, but mistakes we would never change. We had hard times, but today, we are a happy family, we are close and even through my Chronic Pain I didn’t know that was going to worsen when we had Courtney and Chloe, we deal with what we have, we are fortunate, we save and we have a nice life. A normal life, a run of the mill existence, we are all blessed with what we have, in spite of my condition making things difficult. We have a nice house in an area I dreamed about living in on the outskirts of the city, we have all we want. But put all that to one side, I would live in a cardboard box in the street with them all.
That is now, but back in the 1970’s I lived another life, evil was around me, fear was around me, anger was there and hatred was to the fore. I was loved, showered with money to shut up about certain things I seen, and I thought all kids lived like this, I thought it was normal. My Dad was a millionaire on Paper when I got a bit older and he always had big wads of cash when I was a kid. You have no idea what £10 did for an 8 year old boy; I was the best liked boy in class as I had everything and shared it with my friends. Little did I know it was dirty money, my family were criminals and worse. I can’t tell the whole story here, I can only share this life through the eyes of a child, I will do my best, if anyone is young and in this life today, my message is simple, you have a choice, there is always choice
I guess I was about 5 or 6 years old when I first remember the screaming and crying, the men in my house, the fights, the things I seen from looking through an unclosed door. Sex was introduced into my life at a very young age, about the same age, 5 or 6 years old. I was never harmed, it was what I seen. I seen men with serious power and wealth live like people from an episode of the Sopranos, when I watch that now, I should be Tony (RIP to him, I did this blog before he died, so edited it) but I denied anyone the right to make me him, I will explain in a few paragraphs.
I was around the age of 7 years old when things started to click that this maybe was not normal, but being 7 years old I just wanted Soccer cards and Scooby Doo on the TV. I was loved, deeply by my parents and my family, but some of the things I seen in the 1980’s have made me a disabled man in 2013, no argument, it fucked my mind up
I remember being around 7, my Dad had come home and within a second walked over to my Mum and headbutted her into a wall, he then got a knife, ran the hot water, filled the kitchen sink and said to me “Look Shaun, your Mum is a c*nt” He then proceeded to put her head under the boiling water trying to drown her. In my mind looking back he had her head under boiling water for 5 minutes at a time, it was seconds in reality. He then got the blunt end of the handle and smashed it into her eyes and forehead making the water in the sink turn red. My Sister grabbed my hand and we went to our room and sat crying, my sister would have been 14 or so at this point.
See my Dad got divorced and started having sex with my Mum when my Mum was 14, my Mum pretended she was 18 and looking at pictures now, she did look older. My Mum got pregnant and had me when she was 15 years old, my Dad left his ex wife and brought my two Sisters and my Brother with him to a house he rented and my Mum left home aged 15, pregnant with me. My mum brought up 4 kids till I was about 14 or so when my Brother and two sisters got married and moved on. See not everything was bad; there were good times on holiday in the North of Scotland and in England.
By the time I was 10 years old my Mum always had a black eye, broken nose, fractured cheek bone. She was raped always; love making went out the window. My Dad was the tough lad of Edinburgh; he played cards in a well known pub, One night he won a brand new BMW a cracking red car, I was in bed excited about going out with my Dad in this open top Red BMW. I can’t remember the time, I was about 10/11 year old, and I heard a loud explosion, and then my bedroom window smashed, someone had petrol bombed the BMW, it was up in flames. Within 5 minutes my house was full of men with every kind of weapon you want to talk about. Really, name a weapon, it was there. They all left the house and I hear rumours to this day someone got REAL hurt this night, again I was about 10 years old
Another time I was maybe 12, just about to start high School, my Dad came in late and started calling my Mum a slag, he raped her on the kitchen table as my sister and I sat in bed crying and cuddling. There was nothing we could do, all we could hear was my Mum pleading for my Dad to stop and the punches and slaps to my Mums face. In the morning we had breakfast as normal, everyone was laughing and joking, it was just the way, it was our life, we looked at it as normal, well I did and everyone else seemed to do the same. My Father was the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde, here is a picture of me, circles in red with “The Family”
As I grew older, by the age of 14 or so I was dealing drugs, cannabis, a friend of a friend would give it to me and I would be told how much to give him back. Being “His Son” came with certain privileges in my life at 14 years old. My Partner who I am still with today was a friend back then and I used to tell her the stories and cry and we cuddled, just as friends.
When I was roughly 15 there was a family wedding, I can’t remember whose wedding or where it was, what I do remember was the hurt I seen that night. Someone had dared to stare at Mum and the poor man got him dragged outside, someone opened the boot of a car if I remember rightly, and out came baseball bats and worse, I had followed them out and right at the back of the hotel, for 10 minutes or so they beat this man, about 5 of them, I don’t remember my Dad being there, I think it was maybe his friends? but this is guesswork. The man who looked at my Mum was getting hammered badly by these men, but the weapons and baseball bats kept coming, the men doing it were laughing. Once they were done someone opened he boot of another car and put all the weapons into what looked like a rolled up rug or bed sheet. They left and I slowly walked over to the man who was groaning in bad pain, he was fucked up badly, I stood there 15 years old thinking “What power to have at my disposal” looking back my mind was already gone, my young mind had been eroded into hatred and I wanted to have the same power as my Dad. All I can say is, for a few years until my oldest son was born I carried a lot of say with the kids my age in the North of Edinburgh. I did things I can only say I did because it was in my nature, it was taught to me, and I never knew better, nobody had ever said this is wrong, apart from one person, the same girl I used to confide in, my partner who I live with today, she would say “This is wrong” One night, as kids we were going out, boyfriend and girlfriend and some lad tried to chat her up in the street where we all used get drunk at weekends, I was drunk and in-front of about 20 friends and the partner I am with now, I made sure this lad knew Dawn was mine. Dawn never spoke to me for a few months due to this event. She was different, the way I went about making her mine was a story we still talk about, I just loved her, she was just so different to what I was used to, she cared and loved, not a bad bone in her body
Back at home the beatings carried on, my mum and dad would host parties and grown woman would be getting raped in every bedroom there it seemed, sometimes by a few men at the same time. White powder was all over and brown powder also. I seen another man hurt badly at another party, he tried it on with some woman he shouldn’t have, several men cornered him in the Kitchen and a man got what looked like a small knife and calmly told him why he was wrong while slowly pushing this knife towards him, or poking him with the end of it. I remember the man was being held, I remember him having a hand over his mouth, I remember him pissing his pants and the look of terror in his eyes as the pain came to his body, I stared and stared as this poor man was being hurt for speaking to the wrong woman. I felt no emotion, no fear, no nothing. Pity for a man who was hurting 10 feet in front of me, I think he ran out the back door
Around the same time My Mum, Dad and I went to Newcastle in the North East of England, we stopped off at a Little Chef for a bite to eat, we sat, the three of us at a table for 4 and we ordered our food, picture the scene, middle of Summer, middle of the day in a busy restaurant. Some man was staring at my Mum, my Dad stood up, asked this man what he was looking at. Grabbed a chair and beat the man into a pool of blood, we were told to get our coats by Dad and we left. About 30 minutes later we got stopped by two police cars around Cold stream, a small town on the way to England, I don’t know how, but my Dad got back in the car, laughing and we carried on our journey. He “Was” an evil man. I trashed his £20,000 sports car once for hitting my mum, he stopped soon after
As time rolled on I became a father at 17 and moved away from home, with the only woman who ever understood what I was going through, the only person to say it was wrong, the love of my life, my partner who I am still with today.
I started to act almost the same as my Dad when I was around 18 and I did a bit of jail time, at this point I was “His Son” so it didn’t matter, people were probably paid and given drugs on the inside to look after me. I could take care of myself, but not against say, 5 grown men. I remember still the last time I was in prison sitting in my cell and starting to be a human. When I got out from Prison my Dad who had just divorced my Mum was there to meet me and he gave me a hard time for letting Dawn down while we had a baby boy. I said to him “This is rich coming from you” or words to that affect.
Looking back, once my Dad realised I wanted to be him, he changed his lifestyle. He asked me to change mine, it took a year or so for it to all fall into place, and we had hiccups on the way, we argued all the time. He hit woman and I always brought it up. He would never hit a woman now. I don’t get on with his new wife, and when I was younger, during a house party I stupidly said “Why don’t you hit her like you hit my Mum” he replied “I have changed, I am not proud of who I was, but I am not that guy anymore” and it made complete sense as I was getting into my mid 20’s. In the end my Dad seeing his youngest son going in and out of jail and doing real bad things, taking drugs and more, he changed me, we both grew up. We both saved each other. By this time my Mum was remarried and I had a little sister to my Mums new husband, people were moving on. My Dad now lives 500 and more miles away in the middle of nowhere, me and my Mum still have our issues, we argue sometimes, I guess because we both fight the same demons. She is with a famous man in Scotland now, for the right reasons famous kind of man. Not for all the wrong reasons.
Looking back through the eyes of a child seeing and hearing what I did, no child should ever have to witness that, no child should be exposed to that, but it was a lifetime ago now. Nobody sits and boasts about it. I have a family member in one of the toughest jails in Scotland doing life for Murder today. It was accidental murder. He is in his late 20’s, he was made and brought up to be the new “Big Man” and he failed, and we are all glad he did, he can’t harm anyone where he is. But sad also he ended up there
These days as I approach my 40th birthday (It is Today), I live with the guilt and the demons, and I am told on an almost daily basis not to. I feel for everyone who I seen lose something, I pray for them. When my 2nd son was born I walked away from it all, “The Family” I stepped out of the shadow of being “His Son” and became my own man, here are the memories http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/the-football-story-i-never-told/ I became Shaun the football manager for 15 years until roughly 18 month ago where my Chronic Pain Syndrome became so severe I had to stop. I loved working with kids, I loved football (Soccer)
I would change a lot of things I did, but if I did would I be with my Partner? Would I have my 4 kids, would I be in the house I am in, in the area I am in? The answer is no. I would have gone on being the idiot till I got life in jail or was killed or dead
I would not wish violence on anyone these days. The only time old Shaun comes out to play is if I see a man hit a woman, I Iose it. I don’t always hit people, but I can’t help it. What I seen woman go through, be them willing participants or not, I can’t stand still if I see it happen. Men should not hit woman.
So now 15 years after wonderful memories in Football, here I am disabled and struggle to walk most days. If this is my punishment so be it, but I never asked to be taught that, to be exposed to that, to see these things. Once I became self aware with two young sons, I got out of Vegas. I became love and light and still to this day thank my partner for being there the whole time. She was the difference. We met and were meant to be. I am love and light as I say, I care now, and all that went before makes it easy for me to help steer a kid up the right path, when it happens, it is amazing, sadly I had to stop football http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/the-dream-died-no-football-for-uncle-shaun/ I know I went back and forwards with my age here but I was remembering things as I wrote. I just told my story here, I had to leave out a lot of bad stuff, but use your imagination, trust me, it was horrific, and I guess this is why I have no fear now, I fear dying too young and leaving Dawn, but no man scares me or could get into my mind, the ability to turn that switch off came to me many years ago, people still try and play mind games, I just laugh and block them, they are sad and pathetic, same as the people from my past I guess
Thank you for allowing me to share my life on your page Melanie, my message is simple, allow love into your hearts, and our lives can change in any way we want it, anger, depression, hurt, despair, and all these emotions exist only if you allow them into your heart, I stopped allowing people to get to me or annoy me or find a way to me. I don’t care if I ever get hurt, but I will always protect my family, old Shaun is in here somewhere, with luck he won’t show up again, just everyone, smile and be happy, if you are reading this you are lucky, you have the internet, a home, food, money, even if only enough to survive, trust me, money and power will destroy you and all around you should you let it in. These are my memories from being a kid, so this is why I don’t return there in my mind and I now allow my kids to be happy, they look to me for strength and guidance now. So I must stay strong, when the bad times come these days, we deal with it as a family, and we do it with love and cuddles, don’t allow your past to destroy you, please!
Any questions? Please fire away on this page, also I have Skype shaunyg1973 I will talk to anyone, I do want to help, people say they are beyond help, this is wrong, people do change, I am living proof as are some of my family, the most evil of people I once knew are now a delight to be with. But there are still people in my family I do avoid, not out of fear, out of respect for myself the kids and Dawn. I will not go back there, I made it so we will have enough money to live and not depend on others, so this is what I will do. Did I make mistakes, oh yes, did I know any better? No, I was a child then a confused young man. Today I just smile, laugh and love and give and try to repay to God the damage I may have caused to anyone. It is hard to live know you did things, but God helps if you ask, so ask, don’t live unhappy, there really is no need, you can break free, I know a girl who blogs who broke free and allows others to tell their story, so we are both living proof people can change their way. Thank you again Melanie, I love you tons.
More love, less hate
About the Author
I am 39 and have lived with a disability for over 10 years now. I have 4 kids and a loving wife. I am blessed, but I feel sometimes my pain, what I have to go through, affects them more. This is the hard part.