Block Quote (Not a spoiler alert) from the Book, One Night in Shanghai (Lost And Found)...
Clip from the Introduction…
My escape from those jaws of evil devils’ who were intent on playing their violent selfish, controlling games with my innocent mind, only started to happen when I found myself standing on a high embankment beside Liverpool’s cold River Mersey at 3 am.
I’d already consumed the usual bottle or two of whiskey, a few spliffs of dope, and several kinds of serious antidepressants that regularly rolled around inside my screwed-up alcoholic mind. When a man walking his dog passed by and without stopping, he simply said “Don’t do it”. I don’t think he even looked back when he said it. But it was enough to stop me from throwing myself down into the black swirling merciless Mersey.
Because his words created an anger within me rather than thoughts of gratitude for saving my life. I was angry at not even being allowed to kill myself without someone interfering with me while I was in the midst of this final, pitiful attempt to take control of my own destiny.
Never the less, his few short words quickly focused my mind away from believing that death was the only way out of my nightmare of a life. Then I climbed down from the embankment in floods of tears again and I lay down like aa abandoned baby at the roadside in a foetal position, calling-out for my mother until the workers started shuffling around the pathetic form of my body on their way to the docks, shops and shipping companies along the banks of he Mersey.
I never got to thank that man for saving my life, but I used the anger I felt at still being influenced by a strange man and the total sadness that gripped, to help me understand there was something important for me to deal with. Indeed, that monumental experience on the banks of the River Mersey was the first time in my life that I somehow knew I had to find out what was making feel so utterly and undeservedly despondent?
Within a few weeks of that life changing night, I started to see that I had always thought I didn’t deserve to be so unhappy, because after all I had only ever tried to be a normal kid, adult, husband and father, but for some reason, I never seemed to manage to get it right. It took me much longer to see that ever since I had my childhood so brutally ravished and destroyed, I had been conditioned to accepted that I was useless and would be until the day I ether started talking about the secrets I had been nurturing since I was 6 years old. Or I should keep the secrets until I found the courage to put an end to the nightmares for ever in a place where no dog walkers could save me.
It was only then that I also realised that, all my life I had been keeping the secret's and learning to defend my insecurities by presenting a comical persona to anyone who showed the slightest interest in anything I had to say or do. I had spent all my adolescence and young adult life behaving like a Circus Clown who blunders his way through all sorts of attempts to juggle too many balls or fall from a high monocycle, then brush himself down, laugh at himself and carry being the buffoon that craves attention in the most outlandish ways.
I had always been the fool who keeps picking-up the balls and getting back up there until I finally learned how to keep the balls in the air and take control of my precariously balanced life on high.
Although, I played the fool with a well hidden sadness right into my early 50s because it was the only thing that ever gave me an occasional brief moment filled with simple happiness. Those glimpses of happiness that I learned to produce, coupled with a few well chosen questions about my childhood from a good therapist. Probably helped me to see that I could never move forward until, as the therapist said, I started looking back. But little did I know how far back I would have to go as I walked away from that dark place close to where that famous ferry crossed the Mersey.
Within a few months of that last suicide attempt, I started to seek more therapy and that's when my lost, destroyed child was properly spotted by a master rebuilder of devastated souls who I had learned to trust. She was then the only person who had ever truly listened to me and shown genuine interest in me. She gradually began the process of helping me see just how far back I had to go before I could face up to the slimy little parasitic worms that crawled into my infant brain so they could suck out the roots of my innocence just as those roots should have been gaining strength.
During the rebuilding of this slow-motion shipwreck of my life, I learned that I needed to fix the constant deep depressions, my self-centred dismissive personality, and a long-time inability to show any real feelings of respect or love for my own children, grandchildren and all the women I’d married or lived with. I also needed to develop and build the self-confidence that I had never had during the first 40-odd years or so of my often miserable, yet sometimes momentarily blissful life.
I started the massive rebirth of my life in my mid-40s without the aid of any religious, evangelical or rehab influence. It took around 7 or 8 years of painful soul searching to reach a level of self-confidence that made me strong enough to start becoming a truly born-again human being. It was only then that I could start making some big, positive decisions about spending the rest of my life doing something worthwhile, instead of simply drinking and smoking myself to an early death.
By the time I reached my early 50s, I’d also managed to quit smoking 4 packs-a-day and drinking the immense amounts of alcohol that should have killed me long before the start of my mental rebuild. Then, a few years later, I finally started to become a man possessed with an unbreakable passion to help future generations of some of the lost, bewildered, and innocent souls living on a part of this planet that I am finally happy to call home...