Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Biography with Minimal Detail.

I'm putting this down because I'm trying to keep my brain working. If I let it stop I'm fucked. It might stay up, it might not.


1971 - Born, eldest

1972-4 - Father pub-absent. Remember the rages and beatings. And the lock on my bedroom door. And shitting myself because I couldn't get out to get to the toilet.

1974-6 - Family split up for 1st time. Lived with grandmother for 3 years.

1977 - Mother got together with stepdad-to-be. Moved in with them. A fair few beatings, but par for the course really, for those days. He was a very patient man who couldn't handle things sometimes.

1984 - Grandmother died. My mother in all but name. My mother told me the true story of why she split up with my father, and the 3rd party involved that she ran off with. At that time, she had just got back in contact with him again. Things escalated over the next couple of years. Suicidal at times over the next few years. Parents concerned.

1987 - Family split up for 2nd time. Moved to E with stepfather.

1988 - Flunking A levels, rock climbing, planned to murder father of my youngest brother (see following year for reason). Wrapped kitchen knife in tea-towel, walked to station, saw sense obviously.

1989 - Left home, moved back to C, rented a house with a friend. Had 10 jobs in space of 6 months. Depressed around Feb - youngest brother born - one of twins, other had died when Mother was kicked in the stomach by the father. April - pretended I was Moses - walked around in an orange sheet for a month. Sat on roof of house for couple of months. I didn't find this behaviour strange, and nor did the other people I lived with. That said, the place we rented we filled up with tramps and needy types who needed a roof. Charity. Depressed in May - locked myself in my room for 2-3 weeks.

1990 - More jobs, various places of abode. Ended up living rough under an oak tree for 3 months during the summer. Started an overdraft. Read hundreds of books from the library. No recollection of depression. Wrote novel about 100,000 words. Met K. Found a kindly landlady and lodged with her for next 2 years. On dole.

1991 - wrote day and night. Novel - 150,000 words, poems, short stories. Read til my eyes bled. Occasional depressions. Got all my friends and acquaintances involved in ridiculous play one Christmas. Disaster!

1992 - Thought I was going to be Lawrence and Joyce combined. Wrote around 500,000 words of a Big Novel. Load of rubbish. Up and down. Got bee in bonnet about doing the world's longest rockclimb in one go - about 9 miles around the coast from Brixham to Dartmouth. Set it all up, left food and water caches all the way round. Attempted it. Realised it was a ridiculous idea. Depressed for a while after, but not too bad. Moved back to E with K when she started her degree.

1993 - Learned fiddle self taught to standard good enough to play in public in six months in bedsit. Didn't leave the house or do anything else. Writing.

1994 - Writing, and playing fiddle, gigs. K says I was generally depressed most of the time over these years. I don't recall.

1995 - decided writing was a mug's game - decided to become next Stradivarius. Got place at N for 3 year dip in violin making. Generally a very intense and frantic time. Lots of music. Lots of people, parties, etc. Ups and downs.

1997 - Spring - wrote two long letters over couple of weeks to friend who was on vso post in china. About 20,000 words. Content of letters were not 'appropriate' to the regime at that time. He got into a spot of bother for a day or so. Also wrote 160,000 words of plot for yet another unwritten novel. K wanted to leave me. I didn't know why at the time. She didn't. Summer - v. depressed. 6 - 8 weeks. Down to 9 stone. Almost got docs involved.

1998 - Finished course at N. Got married. Set up on my own back in C. Depressed. Decided to buy a boat (70' narrowboat) and live on it after "sorting it out" har har har.

1999 - Ditto - violin making - mostly in slough of despond interspersed with brilliant flashes of varnish receipes and making.

2000 - Friend offered me some work with conservation company for a couple of weeks for a break. I stayed 2 years. Remember throwing myself into work. Became a foreman after few months, running projects by myself, no bother from the bosses.

2001 - Ditto, set up my own business in competition, started MA, started family, all between Sep-Nov. Depressed Dec-Jan.

2002 - Very up and down. Business slow to pick up. Stressful. MA depressed me - I studied sustainability issues for a few months. Not much light in that tunnel. A born. Started drinking to get to sleep more in earnest than over the previous five years. (I think we finally got rid of the boat at this time... thank the Lord...)

2003 - Up and down. Dreadful family holiday in summer - bad screaming rows with mother. (No, not rows, I mean BAD SCREAMING ROWS trapped in a Bergmanesque setting for a week.) Winter - depressed in Spain over xmas with K's family. Fucking crap time. Locked myself away in our room for most of a fortnight.

2004 - Same old story. Apparently I was hell to live with Jan-May. We moved out (were living with mother in law). She couldn't bear me in the house, I learned later.

2005 - Late autumn - completely alienated a major practice I used to work for. They were asking unreasonable things of me, so I told them what I thought of them. N born.

2006 - Can't remember much. Depressed in Jan (but isn't everybody?) Dreadful violent argument with oldest friends one time. Very low after. Quite manic over Nov / Dec.

2007 - Very stressful project on xxxx. I can't believe how meticulous and professional I was for two months. At the very end, I nearly threw myself off the top of it. Depressed in bed for couple of weeks, and very low key for month after. Autumn. v. irritable. Very up and down. Stopped drinking more or less Nov/Dec due to imminent new baby.

2008 - Had been getting more and more manic over Dec. Went black manic a few days after baby born, and for various other reasons life became hell, mixed state worse than I could remember. Smashing head on wall, punching myself in the face, trying to claw my eyes out, etc, etc. K thought I sounded odd on the phone. She called the docs.

Then it got worse.


colouredmind said...

I always enjoy reading about other peoples lives, yours is certainly interesting. Hannah x

Terra Incognita said...

Painful parts in there, aren't there? Thanks for sharing. But-you wouldn't be allowed to forget. So no worries.

Terra Incognita said...

crap, as usual that didn't come out the way I wanted it to. I meant, the meds making your brain not work right now-nobody who loves you would let you forget your life. I dunno, it sounded better in my head, really profound and nice and reassuring, but sounded really dumb in comment. Never mind.....moving on....