'My terrible younger life by Forrest Bedford' by Brian Davis

When I was very young

My parents couldn’t understand me

The way I talked, the way I acted

And they still don’t.

I was the last-born

My mother had a difficult birth

I was born the wrong way round

It was a job to get me out

They used a tool to get me out

And the tool damaged me, damaged my speech

I was the only one in the family that went to a special school

I was teased at school and picked on

My two sisters teased and picked on me

I always had that

Even now to this day I get it sometimes

My family would never admit that they didn’t like me

That it was because I was disabled

They did not have time for me

My own family didn’t understand me

I was about 8 or 9 when I realised

My sisters got whatever they wanted

But with me my parents would make any excuse:

They didn’t have the money

They didn’t have the time

Any excuse not to give me what I wanted

If I said anything of interest

My dad said: you’re too dumb to know anything

So why don’t you shut it and go to bed

When it was really bad

And it was sometimes

I cried

But not in front of them

It would have made it worse

But in bed I would wish I was dead

Or plan in my mind how I would run away

One night I half packed a bag

But I never went

I was frightened of the hiding I’d get when they got me home

Walloping the life out of me.

Tell someone. Who could I tell? No one

Who would listen to me? No one would take any notice of me.

They threatened me with being sent away

Out of the fire and into another one, a bigger fire,

With more ill treatment, more fights, more people

Who just won’t accept you

Never take anybody for granted

Don’t get too close to people

I don’t trust people any more

I keep a distance

Keep them at arm’s length

I don’t respect anybody who doesn’t respect me

I only feel comfortable with disabled people

We’re all in the same boat together

Other people only seem to be out to destroy me

It was my family who made me feel like this

I felt I was nothing

Not like a human being

Only something to be picked on when they felt like it

You pulled me down

All my life

Look at me now

I am grown-up and I live my own life

You were completely wrong about me

I don’t belong to anybody

I was owned once

But never again.