A STORY BY MARCUS
My story begins from a young age, and despite what the likes of Jeremy Kyle thinks, a rough, unloved upbringing can have a profound affect on one's life. Both my Mother and Father were regular drug users and our house was full of crackheads day and night. When I was 7 years old, my Dad would send me out to pick up the drugs from the local dealer like a parent would send their children to the shops for a loaf of bread. To them, and me, it was a normal everyday thing. I cleaned the house with soap and water because there were never any cleaning products. Even if there were, I doubt social services wouldn't have been too happy about a 7-8 year old using bleach!
I've watched the Jeremy Kyle show, and I have watched him chastise people saying that a bad upbringing is no excuse for your actions. In some ways I agree, in others I think he talks shit. My life as a young offender started when I was 9 years old. It wasn't my choice, after all, how many kids have a choice at that age? Parents using crack and God knows what else was the norm wasn't it? Needless to say, at the age of around 10, I ended up in a kids home and progressed straight through to the young offenders institutes. As for social services? I was another number and it was simple as that. Prison for me was an escape. I was fed and watered and I felt safe for once in my life. Yes there were many fights but I stood up for myself because I'd done that all my life. Prison was a comfort blanket for me and I hated being released. I only spent a matter of a few weeks on the out and I was back in, because I wanted to be. This may shock a lot of people, but prison was my home and the screws became as such, part of my family. They may have been strict, but being told what to do as appose to being left to fend for myself as child was a relief in many ways. At least someone had authority over me and at least there were rules. I am now 34 years of age and my time spent in prison I used to educate myself. I became a bookworm and taught myself to read and write along with help from the prison education department. I still find it difficult to be part of a normal family unit. I am married with a little boy and I do my best for him and my wife although sometimes I find it hard to show love because my parents had stripped me of the meaning of that.
I'm not writing this because I am bitter. What happened, happened, and I am asking you not to judge those who think of prison as their home. Sadly, it is 'home' to many people.