By Michael Robinson
Key Themes: drug abuse, recovery, army, autobiography, hope
About the Author
I was born on the 19th May 1976, in Beverley Westwood Hospital near Hull. My father was present at the birth and I am told his first words to me were, “Now then fellow” at which point I crossed knees and farted at him. I was born around 10pm, which meant that when Dad went to the nearest pub to celebrate the birth of his new son, the landlord refused to serve him as it was passed last orders at the bar.
Undeterred, Mum and Dad were very happily married to each other, and loved each other very dearly. Dad owned his own Haulage firm and was doing very well, a brand new Jaguar in the drive of the flat, which they would rent in Davenport Avenue, a good part of Hessle, the town where we lived; along with my two year sister, Nicky.
An old retired couple, Mr. and Mrs. Mac lives in the flat downstairs and Mac the policeman lives in the flat opposite. I vaguely remember Mrs. Mac and I would often let myself into the flat and ask for biscuits, Mr. Mac owned the first bus service, which was run from Hessle to Hull.
At the age of nine months, my parents would have one of the most terrifying moments that a parent could have. I became very ill with heat exhaustion and swallowed my own tongue, I stopped breathing and I was dead for about three minutes. My mother along with the ambulance crew managed to bring me back to life before the lack of oxygen killed my brain. I was rushed to hospital and put in intensive care. Dad was away in Scotland at the time; fortunately the sub-contractor he was working for had the good sense to tell him to come home to reload as quickly as possible for a new container. Only when he was back in Hull that night did my father know the real reason to get back quick.
I was very lucky that night and somebody somewhere in the sky was definitely looking out for me. Even as a child, this wasn’t the first time I came close to danger, to say I was a wilful child would be a great under-statement; I would escape from my cot at any opportunity I could take. Mum would put me down to sleep, and five minutes later she would find me trying to walk on to the balcony or locked in the coal shed with the help of my sister. On one occasion Mrs. Mac found I was walking on the road alone. It was only when my Aunty Karen put me to sleep one day in my cot my method of escape was rumbled. I fell asleep on her lap and was placed in my cot; Karen then turned off the light switch and shut the door. I lay there for five minutes not moving or making a sound, waiting for the time to be right. When the coast was clear I removed the bars from the side of my cot and crawled through the gap I made for myself, not only would I get out but I would put the bars back even as a toddler to conceal my escape route. Unknown to me all this time, Karen was watching my every move from the corner of the room, so my great escape days were over, for now anyway.