I do not feel any shame when people discover that I spent much of my youth in the Care System.
I have never felt any shame over the way I was treated as a child while in that system.
After all, the bruises soon faded, the wounds have long healed, and by and large I have not had a recurring nightmare for some years now.
Some of the affects I still feel today of course, that cannot be helped and will probably stay with me for the remainder of my life, but I am not ashamed of it.
It wasn’t my fault you see, I did not ask for it, and therefore cannot be held responsible for it, so whatever else I may feel in regard to those times, I do not carry the added burden of being ashamed.
It was common practice then, It was seen as being somehow ‘normal’ and I was not singled out, it went on in almost every place I was taken to.
But not every place was bad, there were some where the lads were treated well, and even thrived in a family-like atmosphere run with the mutual respect of the staff and the kids.
Unfortunately, I was never going to be sent to those homes.
I was classed as a ‘high risk’ and difficult child who was prone to absconding and liable to cause problems for the home’s staff. You could say I had in some way, established a ‘reputation’ which normally preceded my arrival.
So by the time I was bundled up and delivered to whatever institution had the room and facilities to deal with me, they were always well prepared.
But I survived, I got through it the best way I could, doing whatever was necessary to get through the whole thing as quickly as I could. I am not particularly proud of some of the things I needed to do, I have hurt others as I myself have been hurt.
I have remained silent for more than thirty years, preferring to live my life as normally as I could without ever having to speak a word about those times, and until recently I truly thought I would never have to.
I have made my statement, I have opened my own particular box of horrors just enough to give the mawkish investigators enough to justify the three hours they spent in my company, added my side of the story to the others that have done similar, and continued on my journey.
I do feel some shame though.
I feel deeply ashamed that 9,941,263 people attended Premier League Football matches last season.
I feel ashamed that 8.4 Million people watched the 2012 X-Factor Final.
I feel ashamed that 12.2 Million people sat and watched the 2012 Strictly Come Dancing Final.
Why do I feel ashamed?
Because the number of people who were willing to sign a Petition to ‘Publish the Records Related to the Paedophile Information Exchange Held In Official Archives’ was……… 843.
That is why I needlessly feel ashamed.
Not for myself, but for the people who seem to care more for a Football Match, or a manipulated and vacuous TV Show.
For those who will happily call a Television Studio in their millions to keep a fame-obsessed wannabe one more week, and for those who hero worship vastly overpaid soccer players without a second thought.