HG's childhood

I have been asked to do Chronologies of my story and do not know how, so I will start from the beginning and proceed the full story. 
I started off describing myself as HG and being more formal, but as the story flows, I am recounting it through my eyes and forgetting ages and dates.
The chronology will continue in other posts.  A more detailed chronology of my life from leaving home to moving to Jersey, is available in the 'Let's go back' posts on the blog.
  • 1981 HG Born, born as a home birth with no medical supervision and not registered by a midwife or Doctor. Born into an unsettled homeless cult environment and became part of what was eventually a 15 sibling family. HG was sibling 8, with seven older and eventually 7 younger than her.
  • HG was born a year after her sister and a year before her younger twin brothers. None of the births had a doctor or midwife present.

  • 1982? HG suffered several head injuries leaving her unconscious, her mother pronounced her dead but did not call an ambulance, 
  • 1983 HG's family make a move, the first move for a few years and the first of many, HG already learning cult beliefs and superstitions and fears, already being taught the Bible rigidly and taught to wear a headscarf for worship.
  • Two more children were born at home without medical attendance, the noise and commotion scared HG. HG's mother became seriously ill during or after one of the Births and was taken to hospital and was in hospital for quite a long time, no-one explained anything to HG not even if or when her Mum would be home, her mum came home eventually but remained ill and often resting.
  • 1984-1987 during this period of time, HG was sexually abused by one of her older brothers.
  • 1983-1987 HG's family was locked in fierce wars with people on the sink estate, and violence HG witnessed and suffered included threats, being pelted with stones and missiles, windows being broken, hate letters, firework attacks, fights, arguments and verbal abuse between neighbours and parents, and much more.

  • HG was injured again in 1984? By being hit on the head with a hammer, very likely to have been an accident but was not taken to a doctor or hospital, her Father bandaged her head. Sadly lack of interest by the NHS when HG escaped her family means that no brain scan has ever been done.
  • HG's older sister's left home before 1987, aged 15 and 16, and didn't return but wrote to the parents with their extreme concern for the rest of the family.
  • in 1988? the family moved and were homeless, in a bed and breakfast briefly, a very unsettled and unsuitable environment for a 7 year old, and spent the days on the streets, this was a brief period of homelessness before the family took up residence in a place they shouldn't really have been, and were accused of 'squatting' there, legal battles and bad press ensued, with the family branded as 'the family from hell' despite the fact that the children were actually quite well behaved and did not do anything criminal or more disruptive than shouting and playing.

  • The parents continued to teach the children cult beliefs and practices, separating them from the world.
  • HG's mother was pregnant again
  • The family was forced to leave where they were, with a lot of malign press reporting and fled to a homeless hostel.
  • The homeless hostel was a terrible environment for children, and the family spend Christmas 1988 there, the hostel was used by people leaving prison and psychiatric hospitals, people with drink, drug and mental health problems, and there were sex offenders there, it was an unsafe environment.
  • HG's younger brother was born at the hostel just before Christmas 1988, her parents did not want medical assistance and refused to let the police, midwives and social services in when they arrived, there was a seige that terrified and traumatized the children.
  • During early 1989, violence in the hostel became unbearable, with HG's sister being assaulted, not for the first time, and her brother being throttled for trying to defend her.
  • The family were offered a house to rent by the police officer who attended the incident.
  • In March 1989, the family moved to the new house, a very small 3-bedroomed house, not big enough for the size of the family.

  • HG's father was away every day at work, and the house was tiny, and HG's mother was ill, looking after the baby and unable to look after the children, she also miscarried another baby, so the children were sent to school, for the first time in their lives, HG was now 8.
  • HG and her siblings struggled with school, didn't fit in and were bullied, and fought back quite well. HG was noticably unable to integrate and the schools were concerned about the children and sent social services to the family home.
  • There was a fight when the police and social services arrived, and no follow up that HG is aware of.

  • HG's parents did not like the schools or what they were doing with the children, and HGs father made the children do extra lesson work at home when he was there, the parents were critical of what the schools were doing and argued with them, HG's sister was assaulted again, her sister and brother left school and started teaching themselves in the library, and HG's older brother left home aged 16 and joined his sisters in London.
  • The family moved on, to a better house a few miles away. The bigger and better house was a relief to the family, and living right on the sea shore and out of the grimy terraces of the city was a relief to the family. The family had a happier Christmas here. The children never returned to school after those few months at school, and instead were taught by their dad, who severely punished and beat them for the slightest mistake, the cult teaching and practice continued as well.
  • 1990: A slightly more settled few months occured, although rows between the neighbours and parents were prevelant, understandably the neighbours were not happy at such a big noisy family of 'gyppos' in this quieter area.

  • The cult practices continued, and the parents told the children that the reason people harrassed them was because they read the Bible and loved God.
  • The family fought to keep their home but after police and neighbour issues, which again the children were not directly involved in, they were forced to look for a new home.
  • The new home was a very long distance to travel and was a stressful move, especially as HG's mother was pregnant again, and had briefly run away from the family not long before the move.
  • The new house was in a rough village, and from the start HG's 16 year old sister was victimised by the local gang and attacked, she left home, aged 16, not to join her siblings in London, but to return to the area the family had left. She subsequently ended up starving and injured, unable to make her way alone aged 16.
  • The local gang problems and neighbour problems troubled the family, HG was captured by gang members and brutalized and left physically and mentally injured, her heavily pregnant mother scornfully told her it was her own fault, HG was 9 years old by now. HG was left very traumatized and received no help or support.
  • HG's mother had the baby at home without medical assistance, the police and social services arrived and seiged the house again. HG's mother and the baby fled to HG's grandmother's home some hundred miles away
  • Social services were more persistent this time and continued to come after the family.

  • The family moved, and spent Christmas 1990 at their new home. The new home was falling apart, an old house with damp, faulty electrics and walls falling apart and the boiler was dangerous.
  • The family briefly had a television at this point, which was a rare luxury, but HG was concerned that her mother left the baby crying all the time because she was fixated on the Gulf War on television and would not respond when the baby cried, HG often fed the baby and did other jobs such as preparing meals and cleaning and making tea, as these became the children's jobs, HG remembers getting electric shocks from the kettle while making tea, because the electrics were faulty. Sometimes the lights and elctricity went off.
  • The police arrived and arrested HG's dad and then released him, HG has never known why.
  • The family moved when HG was 10. After a lot of battles with the landlord and authorities over the state of the house.
  • The family moved to a more modern home, in better condition. But there as well, they had problems with the electricity and were struggling to make ends meet.
  • The family were there briefly, and had trouble with local gangs, HG was pinned to the ground and throttled by a gang member who had a grudge against her older sister who she wanted to fight, again HG was left traumatized with no support.
  • The family had to move again.

  • The new house was a ramshackle old pub, very much falling apart, and the family spent a large part of their time there without electricity or lighting, relying on an open fire, gas heating, candles, to get by, at times there was no water or there were floods, the walls were falling apart, the house was basically dangerous, and at one point infested with mice.
  • Problems with neighbours and local gangs occurred and HG escaped being hit by a stolen car driven by a gang member and was forced to make a statement to the police, told by her parents what to say and confused by police questions and left feeling guilty because her parents told her the car was a ford escort but the registration plate was for that of an Opal Manta. HG was hit on the head by a stone in a gang attack and left stunned but not badly injured.
  • Hg's older sister had returned to the family, injured and starving and depressed, she often told HG she was suicidal and wanted to die and walked in front of trains etc, she had said and done all this when HG was aged 8,9, and 10 as well, and it affected HG, her sister told her she would be dead before she was 18, and this imprinted and affected HG's view of life and death ever after.
  • HG's sister a year older than her was seriously injured and spent a long time in hospital, while she was away, an arsonist burned down her den in the garden.
  • HG was now 11 and spent christmas at this home.

  • The family moved again. To squat in an old farmhouse. After moving in, they then asked permission from the owners, the owners agreed but on their terms, the parents didn't agree with the terms and thus rows and legal battles occured and the family, after working on this derelict farmhouse which never had adequate utilities, were forced to move on. The house had never had hot water, only one working cold tap, no heating and inadequate electricity.
  • The family were homeless and for a few days they sheltered at another nearby farmhouse, with permission from the owner who lived there, but he couldn't keep them there and instead drove them to HG's grandmother's home a long distance away. HG was still 11 at this point.
  • The family arrived on the grandmother's bungalow doorstep, and the children were farmed out to relatives, this was bewildering as they were not used to real family homes and normal life. 

  • Some of the family remained at the grandmother's bungalow, and this caused fights with the relatives who said that the grandmother was not strong enough for this invasion, undoubtedly true. The rows got violent, the parents and relatives fell out.
  • The family left the grandmother and relatives and landed on the doorstep of old frinds. This was a shock to the friends, and Hg found it sad that one of the family, a girl her own age who she used to play with, did not want to know her, the two families clashed and HG's family was sent away after a few days, ending up in a homeless hostel some miles away.
  • The homeless hostel was harsh, as they are, and HG's family were thankfully not separated this time, after a while the family were given a house on a notorious local sink estate, but HG had no realisation of how bad it was or would become.

  • The family moved to their new home just before Christmas 1991, HG's mother was complaining about the used tampons and condoms in the ditch behind the house, she called the council to have the anti-vandalism shutters, known as 'sytex' removed from the windows, and caused a stir by saying 'semtex' instead of sytex, which actually would not have been completely peculiar on an estate that dangerous, as we were to find out.
  • We learned early on, from an estate kid, that everyone new on the estate gets harassed, to 'test' them, and some stay and become part of it, some are forced to leave, he said his family had been through it and survived.
  • It started with the basics, people throwing stones, swearing, threats, graffitti, this is the basic 'welcome to the estate'.

  • Unfortunately, because of how my parents did things, including reporting some of the many stolen motorbikes being ridden on the road, pavement, grass, by neighbouring youths, and other more serious issues, we made enemies.
  • The more serious things included rent boys and MPs, a matter my mother had spoken up against on the sink estate we were on from 1983/88, same district, same people involved, one of whom has been in the press a lot in recent times. Anyway, my parents intervening in this was to our detriment, and the stones and rocks being thrown upgraded to petrol bombs, yes, really, and there were knives, and there were air rifles, and once a more powerful gun, and there were injuries, we fought back, and for a year, when I was aged 12, my family were involved in an all-out war.

  • We had the door broken down, until my dad put grease on it so they couldn't hit or kick it, and we put a crate of bricks against it, we had all the windows smashed numerous times, and when the windows were replaced by unbreakable platick, the gangs smashed them out of their frames.
  • We had the garden petrol bombed,  fireworks were thrown, we had grafitti on the house, we were hit, threatened, sworn at, sometimes the threat was serious, sometimes the unrest was very serious and the police were round all the time, but there was no respect for the police there, when they left their car, they ended up with flat tyres or the winscreen broken. I remember the police van being rocked by the gang, I remember the shotgun and the blood and the horror - and I wonder as I write this, can anyone imagine this or believe it, it was and is too horrifying to sound real, in the UK, in the 1990s, but it was real, and I never recovered.

  • It was early on that I had a breakdown, and yet I had to go on living through it, a bit like now with the horrifying Jersey situation. It was during a gang attack on the house, my brother went out and the gang chased him into the park, my Mum, who is now known to be seriously mentally ill, told me that my brother was dead. She also told me that the gang were going to kill her, she told me and my siblings to go upstairs so we wouldn't see her be killed, maybe she really believed this and that my brother was dead, and the reality was that there was a violent gang outside, my brother was gone, my other brother and dad were out at work, and there was only us younger children at home. We had no phone, no-one to help us in that corner of the sink estate and no-one to get the police.
  • My siblings did as they were told and went upstairs. I didn't.

  • I have paid for it for the rest of my life. I picked up one of our weapons, and told my mother I was staying there to defend her. I stayed there, I stayed there, shaking and horrified because my mum said my brother was dead, and that she would be killed, I stood there with my weapon, a stout tree branch.
  • The gang were attacking the house, but they didn't kill my Mum, because the police arrived. My Brother had been rescued by a police officer and the police had been alerted.
  • I had a severe breakdown, from which I have never recovered, and became semi-mute, no medical help was provided, no support, no counselling, because we remained insular.
  • Despite what happened, we remained there, fighting physically, fighting back to bricks, stones and glass bottles thrown, and seiges on the house, with us returning fire, became popular entertainment on that vast sink estate.
  • The house was dark from boards on the windows, it was dirty, and mum was away in court most of the time, a year of this utter hell reduced me to withdrawn, depressed and fearful, with the depression that was present from when I was about 10 years old, becoming noticable.

  • My wounds included three air rifle pellets, not severe damage, and I was actually examined by a police doctor? for one of those. I also have, and am proud of, a tiny star-shaped scar on my left hand, from hitting a knife out of the hand of very young member of the gangs, who was under the influence of something when he threatened me.
  • Some of the most horrifying memories included when my Dad had his skull broken, I remember him running back to the house with blood pouring from his head, telling me to get in the house. The memory has stayed with me and the scar remained on his forehead for the rest of his life. The memories blur but I know he had his skull broken twice.

  • After a gang member was knocked out by my brother returning fire during an intense bout of violence, we were forced to flee the house, which was then trashed.
  • We fled to the police station, and the police were by now sick of the whole matter, and according to my mother, they were 'in the pocket' of the MP who was allegedly behind some of what was going on on the estate, so the police weren't much help. My mum's allegations, in light of recent events, may not have been delusion at all.
  • Anyway, we had to walk several miles to a homeles hostel, the one we were in before, having abandoned all our possessions and having only the clothes we stood up in.
  • At the hostel, they split the family into different units, leaving me and my sister, aged then 12 and 13 or 14, in a unit with two adult couples who were strangers to us and drank, used drugs and did sexual acts while we were there. 
  • Our parents got to keep the youngest children with them, and my twin brothers a year younger than me, aged 11, were also put with strangers, and influenced by them.
  • Our older brothers the same.
  • In the days after my family left the estate, my Dad, then my mum and one brother, then the other brother, were arrested for the fights on the estate.
  • This song eternally reminds me of the estates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaN1YYNILUI



  • It was a terrible time in the hostel with Dad missing, then Mum, then one brother and another, but thankfully someone was always there to look after us.
  • When Dad got back, he told us he knew the police wanted to kill him, but he walked round his cell singing hymns all night and the police didn't dare to touch him. (This -and the police undoubtedly record it as insanity, is why in Jersey, in the cells, I cried out in Hebrew 'Abba! Abba! Eyphoh?' Which means 'Dad! Dad! Where are you?!' In Hebrew, which was the language that my dad preferred us to speak. My Dad was dead by that time and I could not walk round my cell, singing, as I was not fully conscious and had already been brutalized by the police, but I spoke to my Dad in Hebrew as I lay in the police cell in Jersey)
  • Back to the family, A lot of police and court action ensued, as we also battled to find a home, I have no understanding of any of it, and my mum also worked to clear the name of a man convicted of sex offences, she claimed was 'framed' by the MP connected to the sink estate, the man died in prison, and some people, including my mum, claimed her was murdered because of his evidence, his legal advisor died in an accident soon after, also claimed to be murder, and I had met him, so that was traumatic.

  • My mum spent more time away in court and with solicitors than with the family, and the hostel was an unstable place, the usual offenders, drug dealers and addicts and people with problems, and my family being a family with problems, continued to get into clashes, we were 'different', 'gyppos' etc, and so for the 9 months or so that we were there, during which time I turned 13, we suffered, and that included more beatings, insults and hurt, by then I was a mess, no self esteem and lots of fear.
  • A man in the hostel went mad, presumably through drugs, drink or health issues, and he raped his girlfriend and jumped onto the roof of the hostel and looked through the bathroom skylight of one of our units, where a 13 year old girl was having a bath, before the police caught him.
  • My dad was arrested for allegedly assaulting someone who's family were against my family, and we fled the hostel, leaving my brother to guard our things and rooms, my mother took us younger children to another town, tried to get local connection with the council through a relative, failed, and we were briefly in a bad and breakfast, where my mother was being propositioned by a gangster type guy, my brother and his friend came to collect us but my brother's friend was arrested and we spent hours that night in a police station before returning to the old hostel in the early hours of the morning.

  • Our dad was not allowed back to the hostel and had to keep attending court, so we were left there defenceless with our mum, eventually dad was allowed back. The hostel remained grim and we couldn't get re-housed.
  • After 9 months we found a new home in a nearby town, which my mum only got because she lied about the number of children in the family.
  • We arrived in the new town only to be told that the house wasn't ready.
  • We sat in a removals van, having illegally travelled in the van again, until the letting agents found us a temporary home designated for another family, while we waited for our house to be ready.

  • We were in our nice temporary home for a few weeks, our posessions in storage, and I remember my brothers behaving badly sexually as they were just starting to grow up, I wasn't mentally growing up, presumably due to breakdowns, but was physically, and I could not ask my mum for the things I needed, so it was uncomfortable and what I needed wasn't readily available, nor did I have money to go out and buy them.
  • Aged 13 I was deeply disturbed and had no support or help, or even understanding of what was wrong. My parents weren't safe and predictable people, and even aged 13 and after what had happened, my dad was very heavy handed, and would beat us with a cane, belt or wooden spoon if we said or did anything he considered wrong. He first started hitting me when I was a toddler.

  • We moved to our new home in 1993 or 1994, and had christmas there and I had my 14th Birthday there.
  • It wasn't a happily ever after, we had taken a crumbling and dilapidated house in the ghettos.and the house in poor repair caused my parents to again fight with the landlord, and so on it went, the ghettos were depressing, there was rubbish everywhere, there was vandalism and there were gangs. As the only white family in that part of the ghetto, and as white children who delivered newspapers through the ghetto, we soon aroused the anger of gangs, and so beatings continued, insults and fights, although not the same kind of violence we had seen on the sink estate when I was 12, nonetheless violence and decay was present all the time, and the area was rife with drugs, guns and gang crime. The ghettos and the sink estates were distinctly different but I have no way of explaining how.
  • Aged 14 onwards, I would go out delivering newspapers morning and night, I suffered many beatings and having my bike and newspapers taken, I was injured so often from punches that I no longer took any notice of pain.

  • Aged 14, I was not a normal girl, half-mute, confused and coming across as stupid to anyone who tried to engage with me. I did not wear fashions and use makeup, I had no understanding of these things, my clothes came from skips, from charity shops if I was lucky, or from jumble sales, my hair was cut in an ugly bowl shape, I wore huge thick NHS glasses chosen by my mother when she could find time. I was a mess, inside and out, not a normal 14 year old, and by now I knew my family weren't normal and I despaired at the thought of a lifetime like this.
  • I was afraid of leaving home because I knew I was not normal and did not know how to look after myself, I had seen my sister injured and starving when she left home aged 16, and I knew she had been a lot more competent and worldly than I was, I didn't know what was wrong with me.
  • My older brothers rowed with my parents and left home, both aged about 16 or 17, both went on to struggle, one went back to the sink estate and got a broken leg in a fight?
  • My Mum got pregnant with the 15th sibling, and we had to move as rows with the landord escalated, we moved up the road. The new house was a bit better.
  • My dad's anger as my undiagnosed learning difficulties hampered my learning got too much for me, and he stopped teaching me and I bought books with my paper round money and started teaching myself.

  • We had a lonely christmas that year, with no-one really celebrating now that the older siblings were gone and my Mum was seriously ill in pregnancy.
  • After Christmas my Mum was so seriously ill, she agreed to go to hospital, and was admitted and had the baby by emergency delivery.
  • Mum and baby remained seriously ill in hospital for some time and I was severely beaten by someone who tried to steal my bike as I delivered the papers in the ghetto.
  • Mum and Baby came home, Mum never recovered fully, and the baby kept collapsing and being returned to intensive care. She pulled through but has severe difficulties, notably autism or attachment disorder. For which my mum refused to allow her help.
  • I was working hard teaching myself, delivering papers, helping with shelf-filling in the shop, battling to prepare for being 16 and leaving home as my siblings did, and knowing that something was wrong with me, knowing I could not look after myself despite what I was doing.

  • A big row broke out between the brother who had abused me when I was a child, and my parents, the row was so big that it got into the local press and shamed us more.
  • My brother tried to get custody of my younger siblings, claiming my parents to be insane.
  • For the first time ever, and for some reason thinking everyone already knew, I spoke up about my brother abusing me. It did stop him from getting custody, and he went on the run, while my mum tried to get me to speak to the police. The whole matter shocked and traumatized me and affected my behaviour, but no help or support was provided, I was not registered with a doctor as my parents considered them to be enemies and dangerous, and the family would not normally see a doctor for anything. I was aged 15 at this point.
  • I studied and was able to enrol at college.

  • Most of my life and increasingly worsening now, my younger twin brothers were behaving in antisocial ways, breaking things, bullying me and others, doing things they shouldn't, many times cheating me out of things, and going against my parents beliefs and wishes, for example at this point, they had a television in their room when we weren't allowed television, and they started to hang out with the wrong people in town. My parents, caught up in the problems of mother and baby and the brother and press issues, didn't notice, just as my dad had stopped teaching me and I was teaching myself, they were focused on the other issues and not us, so I was out most of the time, just riding around on the buses and delivering papers and doing shop shelf filling, I was snumbbed for counter work in the shop and was very upset, but I had no social or maths skills.

  • I was now at college, aged 16, not fitting in well, and my family needed to move house, so I helped to find them their new house but nearly got left behind when they moved because my younger brothers were being viciously nasty and no-one had actually included me in the moving arrangements anyway.
  • Thankfully, my older brother came back, struggling in his own life and suffering anxiety and depression, he came to sleep in the living room of the new house, and came to find me and talk me through things, and so I settled at the new house.

  • I battled through college, some of the ghetto kids were there but not many and at first I was bullied, but in the end, people gave up on me in bewilderment as I had no social skills, was barely verbal, didn't dress normally, in old clothes and things that didn't fit or weren't suitable, and having hardly been to school, as the other students had, I didn't really fit in and was still traumatized and jumpy from my experience of years of violence and shunning from my age group, which remains an issue to this day.
  • Even now, age 16, I remained without support, help or diagnosis, the student support office tried to approach me, but I didn't know any better than to think they were like social services, so I was abrupt and unwelcoming to them.
  • At home, my brothers' antisocial behaviour increased, they were now 15, they brought underage girls home for sex, played music shockingly loud, and did as they pleased, and their room being next to mine didn't help, but worse still were the physical fights they had with my parents, especially with my Dad, and late at night, in their room and on the landing outside my room, while I was trying to get through college.
  • One night as they fought, I walked out of my room, with my mother scornfully shouting about me 'stalking out like an old maid', I walked down to the phone box, and called the Samaritans.

  • The Samaritans was another organization my parents were against, and phoning them, especially as I hardly used a phone in my life and couldn't talk to strangers, was terrifying. The Samaritans asked me to come to the centre, and I did, terrified, and they arranged to befriend me and see me twice a week.
  • The violence at home escalated, and my brothers ended up in police custody and social services, and were back home within days as if nothing had happened, except that my brother and dad were mending the lock on the front door that had been broken in the violence.
  • I remained traumatized by this, battling through college and earning money delivering papers and doing shelf-filling work, fearful for my future as I was completely isolated, semi-mute, still messed up inside and out, and with no-one at all to help me or hear me, apart from the samaritans, who I normally sat with in silence as I could tell them very little.
  • I struggled through my GCSEs, only taking five and getting unremarkable grades.
  • I continued to suffer assaults, physical and sexual, as a lone and very isolated female in the ghettos.

  • I managed to get a place at agricultural college and left home alone aged 17 in 1998, undiagnosed, without understanding myself or how to explain myself to others, in a mess and in line for a lot more punishment for being in such a mess.
  • Unfortunately when I registered with a doctor when I left home, no attemt was made to look into my background and help me, no integration work was done, I was lacking in communication of what was wrong and did not know, and thus I was seen as malingerer and the NHS have never helped me. The only effective help I have recieved has been that which I have arranged myself. I remain outside of mainstream society and ended up in the wrong hands as a result.




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