After leaving school I was thrown into a world I didn’t know. A world that probably didn’t care what had happened to an 11 year old schoolboy. I left school at a time that today seems far away. I had many jobs after leaving school, as employment was easy to come by. In those days you could have a new job every day of the week, such was the norm.
I flitted from job to job. You name it, I’ve probably done it. One of my jobs was as a van driver. I drove all over the country, delivering bone china mugs. The hours were long but I enjoyed the excitement of being my own boss, calculating my route. Learning so many things as I went. I spent many years doing these various jobs, finally getting a job as a postman with Royal Mail. I was at the Post for 18 years. It was a good job and I was both punctual (4am start) and a valued member of a team. I found this on occasions very difficult.
For all these years I was haunted by my past and the encounters with Robinson. Jimmy Robinson never really went very far away. He was always close at hand to give me the self doubt, the feelings of revulsion, pain, shame, guilt, and above all anger.
On one particular day, I was in my van, waiting at a set of traffic lights. Parked in front of me was a car and in the back seat was a lad, 12 or 13 years old. He was facing the rear of the car, looking at me through the window. As is my nature, I put my thumb up to him to say hello and he smiled at me. Then out of the blue I was overcome by fear. Fear that the lad would tell his dad, the driver, that there was a man behind him saying hello. I was in a cold sweat. I was afraid that my friendly thumb up may have been seen as something quite different. I drove away and never would I wave to kids again.
I have, looking back, been scared of kids, nervous. I was always feeling ill at ease, and it’s very hard to explain to someone who has not been abused. For the same reason, I have always been very nervous of being touched. I feel it is quite alien. I cannot stand anyone who is touchy feely.
You see all my life I have read newspaper reports of priests being prosecuted for being paedophiles. In nearly all cases they state in court that they were abused in their childhood. I believe this is an excuse, not the reason they did it. After all, we are all taught to know right from wrong. I do believe that all men are capable of rape. But 99.99999999% of men, do not rape, because they know right from wrong. The people abusing children in my early years, just like the men today on the internet grooming children, know it’s wrong. They know it is illegal. But that doesn’t stop them.
I have spent a lifetime in Robinson’s shadow.
I decided at an early age he wasn’t going to ruin my life. After all, he left my life in 1961. But yes I do have to suffer the after-effects. I am still suffering.
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