Introduction And Chapter Guide

This is my fifth attempt at writing about my life as a teenager. It was a peculiarly slippery life which has so far resisted accurate description because most of what I knew that I knew about that life I was told indirectly as if I had lived it in the third person and never directly experience anything. My family disliked change and slowed down all the natural changes younger members of families go through by mis-describing life for the young. My mission as a teenager was to try and find out who I actually was, as opposed to accepting who other people said I was. Nearly every time I guessed rightly who I was then other people, particularly my family, would say I was wrong because their self interest lay in preserving the younger and more passive versions of me, rather than letting one new me lead to another new me. For my parents their thinking less about me and thinking only indirectly about me allowed them to think they were parenting me but saved them time, thought, and precious physical space which they wanted for themselves.

With each previous attempt at writing, who I actually was would appear on the page and then disappear as my parents more opaque ideas of who I was took over the narrative. Just like my family were when was when when I was young, who I actually was would be hidden behind any distraction there was going, the less for me to be direct, grown up and known for who he actually was. It was not his fault that my teenage self has been so hard to track down through writing. He was always being eclipsed by his parents narrative about him at the time.

As Billy Bragg neatly puts it 'They tuck you up/your mum and and dad.'. Please accept this final attempt at waking up my teenage self to try to find the alive adult self that there was in him for what it is. He was so well tucked up that he made every call to wake up and grow into being a grown man a means of further retreat. He had mentors who taught him to retreat when courage and directness were what was called for. I would challenge anyone to call out bad teaching and bad living for being bad when it declares itself loud enough to drowned out all other calls that it is the only choice going.

Thank you for getting this far.

Chapter One - from invisible boy to alien in the attic without forethought or preparation.

Chapter Two - normality does not work for me and there is nobody to report this to.

Chapter Three - how well small amounts of money made me feel, youth mis-training.

Chapter Four - how I made a bad prop out of myself to support my mother.

Chapter Five - ugly forbidding sex, unmemorable Christmases and dad getting drunk.

Chapter Six - where other people made sure that I did not know what I was doing/where I was going.

Chapter Seven - work as engagement, the joy of the NME, Heavy Metal, attempted Christianity.

Chapter Eight - work as avoidance, male reluctance, a failed affair.

Chapter Nine - sexual secrecy and useless parental solutions.

Chapter Ten -  the life affirming qualities of education and friendship through music.

Future Chapters

Chapter Eleven - where not being able to speak about a subject does not stop it being explored but handicaps how it is understood.

Chapter Twelve - 

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