There was once a baby boy who was born into not just poverty but also abuse. By the age of 5 he was so badly neglected and abused he was taken away from his birth mother and placed for adoption. A family found him, fell in love, and made him their son. Some may say that he…the boy ….was lucky that they chose him….but it was the family who got lucky by finding him.
The little boy grew up like any other little boy. Cheeky and naughty but nothing out of the ordinary. The class clown. The joker.
One day, when this not so little boy turned 13, he made some new friends. He felt special because these new friends almost singled him out. They were much older and were always in the local park. Some of them parked in cars outside the park. They choose him from allllllll the other kids that he was with. The boy liked that. He liked being chosen. He never told anyone at this point but, although he had always known he was adopted, and he felt like he didn’t really care…deep down he wondered whey she had not tried harder to keep him. Why he had these memories of her hurting him. He wanted to be important to people. Yes…or course he was important to his adopted mum and dad ….but…they were his mum and dad, adopted or not, he wanted more.
So, these older boys/men choose him. And the boy thought this was pretty amazing. They were a lot more interesting than his other friends. The new friends were a little bit scary to a 13 year old but he couldn’t say that. Couldn’t show that.
They started to give him free things. First things like a coke or chips. Then fags. He felt like he finally belonged somewhere. That these people understood what it felt like to be different. They told him that they were his family. He liked that.
They started to offer him a puff on their spliffs being passed round. He would laugh and say no. Said he was not into that. And for a few weeks they laughed as well. Then they started to say that maybe he didn’t belong with them. That maybe he was a pussy…on account that he didn’t smoke weed. The boy didn’t like that …so he tried the spliff. And boy did he like it. He found that when he smoked the spliff the scared feelings that he had to keep pretending he didn’t have started to go away and he didn’t think about his birth mum at all. In fact,…nothing really mattered.
He spent weeks smoking with the boys in a house. A trap house Blazing zoots….blazing music. He thought he was living his best life.
When he would go home his mum would shout at him. Ask if he was stoned. Then his dad would get involved and they would moan at him. The boy couldn’t be bothered to listen to all this. They had no idea of the family he now had out on the streets. So, he started spending less time at home. Because of this, when he did go home his mum was extra nice to him. Trying to get him to stay home a bit longer.
After a few weeks one of the olders told the boy that he had to deliver some drugs to another house and collect some money. The boy said no. He was only 13 and he didn’t want to get involved in all that. In fact,…he kind of missed playing football. The older…who had always joked around with him become very angry. Asked the boy what he was talking about saying no. Asked him how else he was supposed to pay off all the weed that they had given him. The boy said he thought the weed was for free. The older laughed and laughed. He told the boy what happened to people who did not pay off their drug debts. And what happened to their families. So, the boy went and delivered the drugs.
A year later and the boy is 14. He is either always very stoned or…. making sure others are very stone. His day is made up of shotting whatever to whoever. Somehow…and he was not sure how…he had started to sell hard food. Heroin and cocaine. He no longer spoke to any adult other to try and convince him why he should not be excluded from school or kicked out of his house. He smoked weed allllll day and alllllll night. Trap house’s was his second home. He was respected in the area. The power felt good. He often thought about his birth mum. Wondering what she would think now. Now that the was powerful and earning money. He didn’t think much about his mum who adopted him. He didn’t think about her feelings at all.
The boy was in a lot of trouble at school. He spent more time excluded than being there. They would excluded him almost daily for being stoned…which he found funny as no one ever asked him why he smoked so much. Actually…he forgot why he smoked so much…anyway …It didn’t matter anymore…he would not need school. He was destined for bigger things. The people he moved with had plans for him.
They wanted him to move big bits. This made him scared. He started finding himself in trap houses with people that…a year ago…he would have crossed the road to avoid. He felt ill a lot of the time. But he would just smoke more. He smoked a lot of weed….so he had to sell a lot of weed to make sure he had money to pay for the weed he was smoking. Round and round it went. He tried to speak to his mum once. Tell her what was going on. But it went wrong.
He tried to get kicked out of school so that he could spend more time making money. But they just reduced his timetable. He felt like no one really cared if he was in school or not. He did not like himself at all. He was ashamed of the things he had done and was doing. Most of all…he knew he would never sit his GCSE’s so why be in school at all.
One day the boy was at school waiting to be sent home when a lady came over to him. Asked his name. He gave a fake one…of course. The lady said she knew that was not his name and then told him his real name. He was shocked. The lady said she knew all about him and that if he wanted to talk about it then….she would listen. She spoke about things that he thought only the man dem knew about. He decided from that moment on that she was crazy. The boy said no thanks and got away from the crazy lady as fast as he could.
However….. Things got worst for the boy. And every time something went wrong…the crazy lady would appear…wither like a magic genie or a really bad smell. He could not decide. She kept telling him that he was better than the streets. That he was “Destined for greatness”. The boy would just nod. This lady had no idea how bad he was. She had no idea what he done. Or did she?
One day he found himself in her office. He was unsure how this happed. He was about to be excluded but ended up here.
The crazy lady told him that she knew he was in debt. Big time. He said no. She didn’t say anything. He said he was not. She just looked ta him. It freaked him out. How could she know that! She said that there was a way. She could have a conversation with the olders. Tell them enough was enough. To let him go. Oh, how that made the boy laugh. This crazy little lady speaking about things she did not understand. She asked him what his biggest fear was. He said nothing.
They meet every few days to speak. He was just using it to bunk lessons. Who cared what she said. One day they stated speaking about fear again. She asked him what he feared. He said nothing. She said he had nothing to prove to anyone. He just looked at her. She said that he was destined for greatness….
The boy and the lady started spending lots of time together. And eventually he did tell her his greatest fear. She told him hers. He decide that maybe she was not completely crazy.
The olders….they backed off This gave him some breathing space. He asked crazy lady if she had done this. Crazy lady said how could she, a little crazy lady,…speak to these people and make it stop. He thought he saw her smile to herself. He shouted and said she needed to not get involved in his life. She turned her music up louder in her office and pretended she could not hear him. However old habits die hard and not many people were willing to give him a chance to turn over a new leaf. He tried…but every time he did something wrong…well….people got angry.
School decide to put him out for good. He accepted that. Not like he was planning on staying in school anyway. However…the crazy lady now had like a whole team of ladies all as crazy as she was (Not as crazy but up there). They wouldn’t let the boy give up!!! He found this very frustrating. He tried to be as naughty as he could to get kicked out. You see…his fear was to find out that she, his mother, didn’t want him. To lose. To not be good enough.
So if he was not in school…. he could not fail ! Also…not in school…could go back to his “Friends” as they had started to contact him again Genius
Then he done something bad. Bad enough to be put in a PRU. He was pleased with himself. His parents had given up. Most people in the school had given up. He was free to do what he wanted.
Except the bloody mad women and her crazy friends kept making sure this did not happen! The kept telling him that he would achieve in life. That he was going to be ok. That he was good enough.
The crazy lady….she said he would never get kicked out of school. That he was stuck with her. SO when he was naughty…he didn’t het sent home…he had to stay with her…allllll day.
She told him every day she was proud of him. That she could see what man he was becoming. She told him that any women would be proud to call him her son.
And one day he realised that he had spent most of the day with the crazy lady and her team of crazy friends …and he hadn’t been told to. He was there because…well…that’s where he felt safe. He told the crazy lady that he wanted to meet his birth mum and find out what had happed when he was a child. She said he shouldn’t. He asked if she knew what had happened to him when he was a child. She said she did. He thought about this and asked if she would ever tell him. She said no. He said that all he cared about was finding out who she was and what she did. The cray lady said that he should not. That it did not matter. That he should not worry about that. That he needed to look forward not back.
The boy. The little boy that people had washed their hands off. The boy who had given up on himself…he decided to turn things around once and for all. But was it too late?
He studied. He revised. He went to some lessons (Not last lesson Friday….who even does that). He learnt that it was ok to drop the act when you are in a safe place. He learnt that it was ok to talk about the deep shit and that it wont kill you. He learnt that blood does not make you family.
The crazy lady learnt some stuff too. She learnt that you must not give up on a young person even when they have given up on themselves. She knew that anyway…but this one…. this one tested that. She learnt the true meaning of finding a diamond in the rough.
They both learnt how to laugh together. Proper belly laugh. They both learnt that both their lunches could not fit in her fridge so….maybe they would eat one of their lunches for breakfast, They both learnt that they both needed a team of crazy ladies to help them both stay on track.
The not so little boy took his exams, went to college and fixed his life. He found his inner strength. He came to see that crazy lady one day. And her crazy friends. They were still crazy, and he was glad.
He came to tell the crazy lady that he no longer wanted to know about his birth mum. That he had decide that he didn’t want to know what had happed. The cray lady said good. That it didn’t matter. That is not who he is. He said that he had plans now. That he had a future. And that future was not with gangs. Or drugs. The boy thought he saw tears in the crazy ladies eyes….but he knew that he must be wrong…she wasn’t the type to cry.
And the boy lived happily ever after.
And the crazy lady went home, had a cry, fed her cats and said a silent thank you to every one that helped him on the way to greatness.
Gangs – 0 Crazy lady – 1