Thursday, 6 August 2015

An Act of Aggression (Part Two)

The first few months went swimmingly well. There were no clashes between me and the other five residents, and I’d been allowed to shop for myself following my initial trip with Caz. Even the relationship with my family was back on a fairly even keel. As soon as the time came for me to leave school everything changed. Between what the state paid me and my food allocation, I was receiving £35 a week. After paying £4.50 board and lodging, the rest of the money was my mine to spend. I began to drink heavily and it wasn’t long before I made friends who were keen to sell me as much cannabis as I could afford. As my drug and alcohol abuse grew, the unemployment money was no longer enough to cover the lifestyle I’d become accustomed to, and I became very aggressive towards the staff at Kingfisher. To make my money go further, I started drinking very strong lager with a volume of 9%, only Returning home when I was out of drink or spoiling for a fight. The more the staff tried to understand why my behaviour had taken such a dramatic turn, the more I rebelled against them, threatening to run away or smash up furniture. When my threats centred on violence towards whichever staff member I was arguing with, Bill informed me that they’d been instructed to call the police, telling me my adverse behaviour would no longer be tolerated. The anger inside me continued to escalate and my alcohol consumption remained astronomically high. Feeling unable to release the tension coursing through my veins, I started to self harm in a manner which never happened before; taking kitchen knives to my forearm and really cutting myself in a disturbing way. I’d butcher my arm, hacking rather than cutting, causing gaping wounds that pumped rather than oozed blood. The hatred I’d often shown towards others was now turning inward; and my greatest wish was that death would take me away. Things got so bad I was being taken to the local hospital two or three times a week to be stitched up. The casualty staff demanded an explanation as to why I was being allowed to hurt myself whilst still under the supervision of council care workers. It was decided all the kitchen knives were to be kept under lock and key, and if I needed to peel some spuds or cut some meat, it would be done for me, but short of locking me up, there was pretty much little else they could do. Caz continued to try and help. She was genuinely concerned, but I really didn’t have any interest in sorting things out. The self destruct button in my head was now activated, and there was little anyone could do to help. As well as self harming, I reacquainted myself with sniffing glue only now I no longer did it privately, thinking nothing of sitting in the communal lounge with my “bag,” waiting for a reaction. When none came, I was more than happy to just get high, revisiting the euphoric world which had welcomed me only a few years before. I remember one situation in particular, when I pushed my luck to its limits with the officer in charge. His name was Malcolm, a very experienced social worker, being in the job for over ten years. I’d decided to glue sniff in the lounge, desperate to create an argument with him. Sure enough it was only a matter of minutes before he entered the sitting room, demanding I hand over the bag of Evostick. I told him to fuck off; and he did. Thinking I’d won the battle, I strutted into the kitchen, where another member of the staff was making a hot drink. Proud of my apparent victory, I boasted, “he’s a fuckin’ good social worker aint he? Couldn’t even get the glue off me, wanker.” The residents present looked at me in disbelief, and the staff member, a black guy called Les, smiled at me and simply said, “D’you want to talk about it Simon?” I paced around the dining table, inhaling the bag of glue, laughing hysterically between breaths, knowing I looked insane.

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