We go through life thinking our bodies and mind are indestructible. We imagine a bright future ahead with nothing to worry about, not a care in the world, apart from bills, rent, mortgage (the list goes on).
As a society we have learnt to be blinded by certain illnesses, when we hear that the neighbour has just been diagnosed with a serious condition, or a family member has been given some terrible news. We secretly think… “it will never happen to me”.
We never believe that one day you could be the one sat opposite a Doctor being told that you are in the early stages of Dementia. The word Dementia surely sends a shock to our system. The thought of not understanding the world like anyone else. How you are going to forget the most important things in your life. How you will eventually become confused and scared when the lady or man you have been married to for almost 50 years is a complete stranger in your home.
By 2017 there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. There’s no cure just the the rocky road ahead of stability and familiarity. We assume Dementia is an illness only for those who are elderly. One in six people aged 80 and over have dementia, however that’s not just the case. Young children and Adults can succumb to this disease too. There are over 40,000 younger people with dementia in the UK. Sadly 60,000 deaths a year are directly attributable to dementia. In the year 2016 this has become one of the biggest killers to society.
Shocking stats right!- Dementia is vastly becoming recognisable and society is becoming more understanding. When we see someone walking down the street looking confused and talking to themselves quietly, we don’t laugh, we don’t stare we become a concerned citizen. With the fact that Continuing Dramas, T.V. Adverts and Hospital flyers are promoting the awareness of Dementia has given us the choice to turn away from it or face it head on. Not only is that person suffering from this, their families are having to deal and come to terms with the idea of loosing someone that hasn’t passed away but their memories have faded. You may be a Son or Daughter, Mother or Farther, Husband or Wife. A life time of sacred times vanished and blemished with this incurable disease. Family and friends become an Army. Routines, round-the-clock care and many appointments to attend. Dealing with characteristics never seen before. Regular routines, one thing at a time, small steps and distractions become apart of everyday life.
You have to remember that Dementia isn’t something that happens over night. It can takes years to diminish your functional skills and mind. The change in someones personality becomes more greater. Highlighted the fact they may forget a name of someone they have known for years, the constant loosing of keys or any other personal item that they usual keep with them. Years of the unsure, whether or not that the person you love is slowly becoming ill. You try to deny it, keep it hidden away. You try to deal with this but as we are only human. Eventually you seek the help you both need. Tests and medication can only reduce dementia. Your powerless to stop it single handily fighting the unknown. There are many types of Dementia however unfortunately not one of them have an happy ending.
Dementia from Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders.
Dementia with Lewy bodies.
Frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease)
A lot there isn’t there! you wouldn’t of thought so many years ago. Thankfully there are so many charities and Medical Professionals that can ease this suffering just enough to hold onto life. Dementia Research fight tooth and nail to end this once and for all. Their dedicated fundraisers and Charity holders become our soldiers in battle.
We need to be Dementia aware this isn’t a Taboo that we have to keep tight lipped about. Speak out, seek Help.
Being a gay man, I think it’s only fitting that I celebrate and embrace my sexuality. Most gay men and women are faced with many obstacles in everyday life, that it's difficult to differentiate between what is normal and what isn't.
As we are now in 2016, we presume that homosexuality is finally accepted and we can live as a united world of differences and equality.
Back when time began homosexuality was frowned upon. It illegal and classed as a severe mental health deficiency. You were either thrown into a locked prison cell or held at your own will in Mental Health Hospitals until you was “cured from this sickening disease”
Homosexuality has been around for centuries dating back to the Roman times. In fact, before then there has been stories and illustrations that prove that even the strongest of Kings and rulers carried out male on male sexual activities. In some countries Homosexuality is seen as a death penalty or genital mutilation, however, how much protesters and activists stand their ground and say enough is enough they will never unfortunately make homosexuality legal in all Countries around the world.
In 1969 after the stonewall riots, homosexuality was thrust into the spotlight across the globe. Marches and picketers stood outside the city hall in Philadelphia trying to get their voices heard. The organisers thought that a peaceful and quiet protest wasn’t enough so on 28 June 1970 it was decided that in order for homosexuality to become national, a march across New York was their only option and this is where gay pride was born.
The march itself covered over 51 blocks of New York making it the biggest protest in history at that time.
When we think of Gay Pride you think Manchester and San Francisco as these get the most Media coverage. However these prides are the tip of the iceberg in celebrating LGBT communities. 66 other countries are now holding their very own Gay Pride. Which proves how far LGBT has come from that tiny protest outside a city hall.
I had an amazing opportunity to meet a man called Dennis from Holland. He has experienced over 10 prides in different cities across the world. I met Dennis in a Hotel in Manchester and we sat down together to discuss his personal reasons for attending so many Prides.
He explained how he travels these cities by himself to get the most of his experiences. Dennis goes into detail that its about being true to himself and leaving his home town (where it is a tiny village in Holland) he doesn’t feel like he’s the only “gay in the village” As he is sat across from me I can feel his passion and endearment towards his sexuality. He realises that its about exploring deep into his inner self and embracing this on another level. As he began his story, his eyes light up and he became so very relaxed. He clearly has many memories that he has never really discussed with anyone else and wants to share these with me. He explains that going to all these pride events becomes a personal drug (an adrenaline rush) that satisfies him immensely. It makes him thirsty and addicted for more.
I wanted to explore the variations of Prides, and whether he could compare them in their own different ways. Obviously being from Holland he explains Amsterdam Pride to me. He becomes excited and goes into a lot of detail. He says that Amsterdam have canal parades were as the other parades he has witnessed are all done on land. However he says all Prides are a sea of rainbow colour and the atmosphere at each one is electrifying. Buildings decorated with LGBT National Flags, posters upon walls, Town Mayors and celebrities using their statues to add more awareness. People line the streets with excitement. Families bring their young children to educate them on diversity and equality.
Dennis said its about meeting new and old faces. He meets so many new friends on his travels and celebrating together he throughly loves, however while he is touring other countries he does get to see the people he has met in the cities he’s already been to.
You can clearly feel the deep sense of happiness with Dennis. The fulfilment of achieving his ultimate goals and aspirations. America has more of a liberal approach to pride, Madrid has been his largest with millions partying on the streets, til dawn, Denmark and Prague are the more smaller ones he's been and France and Belgium where amazing, not to mention his visit to Switzerland.
I asked Dennis has he ever experienced Religious and bigoted Homophobia while on his travels. He told me, that of course wherever you go you do get to see those picketers and haters shouting religious lines, however the fact that the music drowns them out is rather funny and no one pays any attention to them anyway.
Dennis said no matter what country and city he has been too, Pride is celebrated the exactly the same. An army of flags, drag queens and amazing music with plenty of beers and cheers. The concerts and live bands provide such an atmosphere. Pride is about coming together as one big family, feeling safe and expressing your individuality. This is done in every country he has been to, and he does go on to say that Manchester does know how to through on hell of a party.
After I finished talking to Dennis, I ventured to Canal Street, here I spoke to lots of other people who again explained to me that its about expression and individuality. Its a time for those who are not able to embrace their sexuality to come alive and be around those who accept everyone. Of course I did speak to those who where there just to have a good time on beer and dance the night away, but regardless of who’s there for what reason, it seems to me that Pride is just one big celebration. And it is done with utter perfection. The streets are lined with stalls and homemade shops, from Big bear clothing to the Cat's Protection league. Canal Street bustled in the summers breeze. The smell of hotdogs and chips scented the air. Madonna and Kylie Minogue played loudly..... what else. Smiles drawn on everyones faces. Who wouldn't want to celebrate Pride? Patrons came in full swing. Dressed in feather boas, hot pants and some practically nothing. We had gays, lesbians and straights all merging together showing the world that being queer isn't a choice, its about being a person, an individual, a small strand of DNA that makes us who we are.
I got to watch some of the Manchester parade. Each float perfectly designed to show off their talents and creativity. Each float had something to say to their watchers. From Drag Queens to Thai Girls, all floats had a meaning behind them. The streets of Manchester were filled with such glee and with the sun shining down on the day, what more could someone ask for. So when you think of pride don't just see it as an excuse to get drunk and stay out till the following morning, just remember everyone who attends has their own personal story and reason. This is the perfect end to a perfect summer.
Dennis has allowed me to share many of his pictures including my own that I taken at Manchester Pride 2016.
“ I now pronounce you Man and Man”- I held my action figures side by side (well when I say action figures I mean Aladdin and Ken). I pushed them together pretending they kissed as the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, pronounced them as the happy couple.
They walked down the aisle holding hands to “Going to the Chapel” by the Dixie Cups.I was 11 years old sat in my bedroom with a pretend church and a congregation of Barbie Dolls and Penny Pockets.
You can see where I am heading with this one can't you?
I always knew I was different from the other boys at school and in my area. While the other boys played 5 a side football in the playground, I stood doing handstands against the wall. I played skipping with the girls and was always found hiding in this gorgeous Wendy House donated by one of the parents, pretending to be the mummy dressing this god awful looking doll, nursing it better by feeding it pretend food.
I never really mixed well with boys, I didn’t really have anything in common with them. I did have a few male friends but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to talk about girls, sports or what they did with their dad at the weekend. I couldn’t wait to see my best friend in class, to have a good old girly time in the play area.
To me though, this was normal. I remember seeing guys on the T.V. and secretly thinking I like him. He’s cute. But how can I like another boy? I mean, it should be boyfriend and girlfriend, right? That’s what society has created. Anyway, I kept these thoughts to myself for quite some time, an 11 year old shouldn’t really be thinking of kissing boys should they? However it was so obvious to the rest of the word I was a raging Homo in the making.
I was confused to why I was being laughed at and being called a “sissy”. I didn’t quite understand why I was always being called a girl. I mean I didn’t know what the word gay meant, but some of the boys in my class did. (Who does an 11 year old learn these words from for heaven’s sake?) it must be their parents?
Anyway, in school, I had lots girl'friends. We used to play hide and seek behind our houses. We had sleep over’s and created dance routines to the latest Spice Girls songs and performed them on the park, where we all spent the weekends just chilling in our group.
I will be honest, I was never the brightest pupil or even the perfect child. I misbehaved, caused mischief and had a temper that even frightened me. I wasn’t hitting puberty so god knows where these angry hormones came from.
Through Primary school I was terribly bullied. I was hit every day in class and in the playground. I was locked in cupboards and items from my bag were thrown across the yard, not to mention being chased by a gang of thugs. Can Primary school children be called thugs? I guess so.
Being called “gay" and "queer" (Oh I forgot to mention....I was bright Ginger), (so of course I had every Ginger name shouted at me too), became the norm for me. I heard it every day. My Parents moved me out of there but I got bullied again at my new school. Kids are cruel and when you’re different they hone in on this and use it as a weapon to hurt you as much as possible. Teachers did nothing and blamed me when I retaliated.
I was being bullied by the boys in my area too. I used to get chased, called "queer", spat at and received constant blows to my face. I was thrown into a group being pushed from pillar to post. I never went out on my own, I felt scared.
By now I was 12 and ready to leave Primary School. My parents knew I was being bullied and did everything they could to stop it. They used to walk me to the school gates and wait until I finished. They attended meetings with teachers but it kept on happening. But I still never told my parents the feelings I was getting towards boys.
I was petrified. What if they didn’t accept me? I wasn’t like any of the other boys. I didn’t want to do PE and play sports; I couldn’t wait to learn Drama and Music.
At 12 I knew I 100% liked boys. Girls had no interest for me. I wasn’t attracted to them in the slightest.
Here came High School.
So here I was a gold star gay arriving on my first day. I stood there at the entrance with both my straps of my bag on my shoulders. Blazer fastened, tie perfectly done up and my shoes all shiny and new. Nervous but excited. My palms became hot, my heart fluttered and my chest became tight. Is this going to be Primary school all over again?
I had this question running through my head a thousand times. Can I hide this camp personality that for some reason just oozed out of me? How could I pretend to be “Normal?”
I remember sitting in my new form and looking around, who could I befriend and who could I avoid. Unfortunately for me the majority of my Primary school was also sat in my form. It was like the bullies followed me. I know that sounds over exaggerated, but they did!
Let me take you away from school for a while and tell you about my home life. I grew up in a very respectable family. Both parents worked hard and provided the best they could for me. Growing up as the only child was the best ever. I had all the attention on me. I had everything I could ask for.
Then my beautiful Sister arrived and took that shine away. It was great to be honest. I got to play with all her toys, and then my Brother arrived not so long after. I became the big brother. I often talk to my mum now and ask whether she knew I was gay. Her response was always “of course I knew, ever since you were born” I used to stand like a tea pot – hand on hip other hand as limp as a poorly house plant that hasn’t been watered for some time. That’s where I get the saying I was born with Jazz hands, under Glitter balls.
They of course tried every trick in the book to get me to extract the truth from my lips. I will always remember a calendar I got one year for Christmas. It had semi naked females on it. I was more interested in their bikinis rather than their boobs and bottoms.
There is a famous story of a friend of mine and me one Christmas. This gets told at every family event I have ever attended. I’ve learnt to just laugh at this and think well of course!
I was bought a brand new BMX (the full trimmings, the lot) My friend was brought this pram, it had beautiful canvas wrapped around it, silver wheels…. The old fashioned type of prams you see in these Victorian T.V. shows. As my parents sat in the lounge celebrating Christmas day, they saw my friend whizzing past the house window doing wheelies, while I trotted down the street with this pram. (I was in my element). So of course yes they said they always knew I was gay from birth. No one suddenly “becomes gay” I say that all the time. Studies have shown a gene in your DNA. Of course you get these religious groups saying that all gays are going to burn in hell. It’s that bad you get these groups in America for Gay men to be transformed into straight men. I don’t take religion seriously so I am not going to bore you with Religious detail.
I did have my Dad try everything from Golf to Fishing, and yes I played in the under 13’s Rugby club once, however being dragged off the pitch by my shirt because I was crying that I was sweating, didn’t go down a treat with him. We didn’t get on at times. We had nothing in common and I made his life a misery. I spent a lot of my time as my Mums shadow. I followed her everywhere.
But one thing always sticks in my mind, and that is both my parents never made me be anything I wasn’t. However I was very naughty and caused a lot of disruptions. I always had my Mum siding with me. Looking back, I’m surprised, that my parents didn’t blindfold me and take me to a convent, knock on the Church doors and do a runner, leaving me there with a bunch of scary Nuns.
So going back to my school years. Yes I was an arse. I had attitude. I thought whatever most of the time. I was being severely bullied there too. One memory I have of school, is the day I was stamped on in the school yard and the guys Nike tick on the bottom of his shoe stayed on my back for at least 2 weeks. Of course again the school was useless, my head of year was as useless as a chocolate tea-pot. I’m trying to remember if he was expelled…. No wait he wasn’t. Clearly schools aren’t equipped for bullying. I’ve read so many stories on social media lately that parents post about their child being bullied and the school does sod all. It will never stop. How do you stop bullying? I’m just glad I’m not one of these poor souls being bullied now. I mean social media today creates the perfect forum for this. Trolling etc is happening everyday. I’m lucky.
I’m not going to name and shame the school I went too. However it’s on the tip of my tongue to say. But I won’t. I also would love to point the finger at those who made my life a living hell. Justice has prevailed though. Half of them are in prison. Or better still, weighed down with a thousand kids, no job, no lives and no life prospects. I see some of them now. In fact I was behind one of them not so long ago in a queue, while i was buying some wine for me and the hubby. He was buying smoking papers and a pouch of tobacco. He looked a mess. I love karma.
I have a best friend in the whole world, I haven't seen her for sometime. She’s now building a family life with her beautiful children, and not so long ago I attended her wedding. Stunning as ever. She was my rock through my school years. We did everything together. We sneaked off to Manchester (Canal Street) many times. I began to embrace my sexuality. I understood myself as being gay. My best friend taught me not to be ashamed of who I was and what I was to become. So it was time to “come out” to my parents.
I will always remember the day like it was yesterday. I was 15 years old. I came home from school, and there was my dad sat in his chair watching T.V. and my Mum and Nan in the kitchen/dining room. I was quiet and wanted to tell them so quickly but couldn’t. They knew there was a problem I needed to off load. Years and years of bullying, feeling alone and isolated came to this. The constant not wanting to go to school, the attitude I shoved onto my parents.
I sat on this huge table, it felt very professional. There my Mum and Nan stared at me asking me so many questions. I just couldn’t get the words out. My dad was watching T.V. in the lounge. Then that was it. I was asked! “You're gay aren’t you” my mum said. I sank, went bright red and put my hands to my face. I cried. Then silence. I didn’t get any reaction. Not one bad word. Suddenly my Nan chirps up. “Well we knew that, so what are your other problems?”
I was one of the fortunate ones that day. I’ve heard so many horror stories of parents kicking their beloved child out on to the streets just because of his/her sexuality. What sort of parents are these people. What sort of parents who made this child throws them out like a bag of garbage?
I was pretty disappointed to be honest. I mean this was my moment, my moment to announce myself to the world and all I got was an “oh right”. But that was it. No drama.... nothing. I was “out of the closet” at last!
So when I came out, I was free to enjoy my life. My family realised the reasons I was such a shit, must of been because I was keeping something like this to myself for so long.
I got through school as much a possible. I was suspended about 4 times and put in detention...a lot. I hated school. I had the girls but that was about it.
At 16 I left. Hurray!! I was free as a bird. My best friend and I spent every weekend getting glammed up to hit the street in Manchester. Sometimes we pulled all nighters. The other times we missed our bus home and had to go to the police station to call our parents to come collect us at 4am in the morning. However, school became a distant memory and I embraced my sexuality with 1st class honours. I had boyfriends (for like a week, but got bored). I just wanted to party and dance the night away in our favourite club on Canal Street.
It was the best feeling in the world. I was out and proud. No more pricks calling me faggot and queer. Just me against the world.
I often think back to the horrible times I had at school and ever wonder, would I have been treated differently being a member of our school football team? Well of course. I mean you have to be straight don’t you. Being gay is disgusting isn’t it?
I have had my fair share of messed up relationships in my time. I am not denying I was a complete arse at times. But I can finally say I have met my penguin and never been as happier.
It's such a tremendous feeling to be loved. I’m extremely lucky. Again there are far too many “straights” stuck in straight marriages, and their secretly getting with guys. I pity them. Regardless of having 6 heads, 4 arms and your colour is blue, everyone deserves to be happy and loved. I don’t think we'll ever eliminate bullying in school. I suppose you have to be a follower and be like everyone else. Well not me. Being gay is only a small part of my personality. It’s not a choice you make, it’s who you are.
I have my enemies, just like everyone does. I don’t want everyone to like me. To be honest I’m not a people person. But there’s one thing that I can hold my head up high and say to you all “I am what I am, and I am my own special creation”.
A couple of weeks ago, I was parked in my car at the side of the road waiting for a friend of mine to arrive home. After being stuck in traffic for over an hour, and as it was a hot day, I decided to have the roof back and the windows down. Little mix were signing away on the radio and I began to play on a game on my phone to pass the time.
Ten minutes passed and as Jessie was at her climax of the song I overheard 3 “young adults” on the opposite side of the road making loud noises and just generally irritating the population of Hindley, Wigan.
I glanced up and saw two girls and one boy. They must of been at least 15 years of age. Well, the only evidence of this is the way they spoken to each other. Surley a child would not be capable of using such aggressive and vulgar language? Could they?
Anyway back to the story!
So there I was minding my own business playing “Clash of the Clans” and a car pulled up at the side of me. The car slowed down and then began to make their first attempt of doing a parallel reverse into a tiny space. There is no way I would ever be able to do that, and with a few choice words to myself I would of driven off sheepishly. The driver of the vehicle was a lady, in her late 40’s, with a gentle look on her face. I could clearly see that she isn’t the kind of woman who would like confrontation. She smiled at me as she slowed down giving a polite hello and a ‘please don’t watch me park’ look.
The first girl I noticed that day had swag about her. She was the leader of the pack. Clearly, the desperation and need to be loved by her followers, oozed from within. The girl demanded and controlled her other friends by offensive language and the wave of her arms and hands. The girl carried a poorly done ‘designer’ containing a bottle of Euro shopper Coca Cola. She spoke with a deepen vocal, with a slight attitude note. She stood with her hands on her hips and her head held high. She owned them. The friends she had were hers. In effect her minions.
The other two remained quiet, slowly following the brave Queen, giving small gentle footsteps not to step into her personal space.
I began to form my personal opinions about these 3 within seconds of clasping my eyes on them. At 32, I have seen my fair share of these “little Darlings”.
The language from the leader got louder. Every possible offensive word slipped out of the sewer she had for a mouth.
I felt sorry for the other two individuals. I could see the embarrassment written all over their faces. They had their hands covering their humiliation, begging the girl to move on up the street.
So as all this was going on around me, the lady of the car began to reverse.
All of a sudden the leader thought it would be funny and gain her popularity by running behind the reversing vehicle. This caused the lady to break suddenly and of course like any driver, this would cause you to become anxious, concerned and worried you’ve hit another car, or worse a person. As this happened I put my phone on the seat at the side of me and glared over, hoping they would see that the lady was not on her own.
Now the lady remained still and began to look around. She stayed within her space where I believed would be safe. Clearly she knew it were the 3 “young adults” misbehaving and wanting to find something fun and dangerous to do. The main girl of the pack then began to scream some words even I didn’t know I existed.
All sorts of question began to pop into my head….. Are these people capable of such behaviour? Where have they witnessed these thuggish act before?
I couldn’t believe what i was exposed too!
They lady slowly got out of her car, cradling her handbag close to her chest. Eyes glued to the pavement, not wanting to look up and lock eyes with the evil trio.
As I sat there bewildered, I wondered what their parents must think of these three little beauties. Are they sat at home bragging on the telephone to Aunt Margaret, how lovely Chantelle is getting straight A’s in school, or how wonderful Bradley was scoring his first goal in the under 16’s football team, or quite possibly how the darling Whitney has just completed her first solo on stage, playing Mozart on the grand piano.
A clear indicator that these three wanted trouble, is when the lady began to walk to a house and they started to use offensive language aiming at her body. and getting close to her inner circle. The word fat must of been used at least twenty times. Not to mention the word beginning with C and ending in T.
Ask yourself this, what would you do if you had this happening right before your eyes? How would you react?
A case I read whilst studying for the Open University is a perfect example of Human Behaviour. A woman called Kitty Genovese lived in New York. She was brutally murdered outside her Apartment in Queens. During the investigation, police interviewed 38 people who witnessed this crime taking place. And not one of them called the police or made possible attempts to save Kitty’s life.
This is called the Bystanders effect or Genovese Syndrome. Most of us have been a bystander at some point, we Justify this by saying it’s a natural curiosity to stand and stare at something out of the ordinary. We question what would happen if you put yourself into a situation I wouldn’t be able to handle, but at the same time your predator instinct urges you to help. Sadly too many stories in the media show that getting involved in something that “doesn’t concern” you ends up in tragic stabbings and murder.
What if you take that risk and become the interferer? Well this is what I did when I thought enough is enough, and my days I got some hell of a stick from the lovely girl that i call Chantelle.
I felt the words just slip out of my mouth, and I got the sinking feeling of what the hell I have just done. “Excuse me, enough of the bullying will you”, thats all I muttered, forgetting the roof was back and the windows were down, my voice echoed and she heard. I awoke a sleeping dragon, a menace to society roared and spat her vile words to everyone including to two friends who suddenly thought enough is enough, we are going.
She came storming up to my car and pushed her face into me. What do you say to this individual, how do you reason or calm a teenage girl with no respect or manners? She had this strong aura, a sense of not caring for danger. I simply asked her not to be bullying the lady for no reason. It was like the girl was possessed. She had not a care in world. No dignity, no decorum….nothing! What came out of her mouth next completely shocked me to the core. “ come on then….. there is nothing you can do because if you hit me I’ll get you done”. Those were literally her words.
So this takes me to me second thought of the day, Why are children allowed to behave this way? We are a nation that is divided into two camps.. The first camp believe that children today are allowed to roam the earth without a care in the world, getting away with poor behaviour because your not allowed to smack them without the fear of being arrested and be seen as a child beater. The second camp judges you when you say you have smacked your child, and completely believes in nurture v nature.
Are children getting away with too much? Is this the new age where adults are the ones scared of their children?
Are we too afraid of judgmental individuals who stare with such a shameful look while stood in a supermarket while your children throws a tantrum for no reason other than hearing the word “no”?
No one can tell you how to raise your child. Each family is completely different to the next. However I think everyone would agree that its vital to inject some manners into the little soldiers, before its too late. We then can be divided by saying that you can not control your child while they are out. But this simple trick would certainly give you peace of mind knowing while your sat in doors your child isn’t threatening some poor lady for no reason than having a good laugh amongst their friends.
So here I was being screamed at, being told I am not to do anything or I would see myself sitting on a blue run down mattress in a cold and tiny cell. I was called a pervert and a pedophile for trying to to aid this lady to safety of her own home.
It terrifies me that this girl thought it was sociably acceptable to do this without facing any consequences. She didn’t care some 32 year old man told her to stop. All she wanted to do was humiliate some defenceless woman and me the bystander.
It’s sad to say that this happens in every town, and from this children do get bad publicity. However we need to see the bigger picture. I am proud to know some very respectful young individuals who wouldn’t dream of hurting another human being. I have seen how children behave in public, well mannered, staying close to mum, not running around causing havoc. I see how politely some children sit at a table and eat lunch. They say “please” and “thank you”.
These children are demanding to be treated like “young adults”. They want to make their own choices, they want the respect. You wouldn’t expect a child to behave in such a way. Only an adult is capable of demonstrating such aggression, so what do you do? Let them grow without guidance or from early years, drill it into them that you should respect people and behaving like this, is socially unacceptable, do you blame other people or do you blame yourself as a parent for allowing your child to grow into a person who bully’s and think its fun to mock and laugh at people?
We also have to take the law into consideration here, at 16 children are seen to be “young adults” they can make their own decisions about life and can legally have sex - which personally I feel should be 18. Having sex is a mature intimate thing to do. You as a person chooses to have it or not. Is a 16 year old capable to choose to have sex, and then show immaturity to do this to an innocent lady just parking her car? We aren’t allowed to hit children anymore, we aren’t allowed to protect ourselves when confronted in a large gang hanging around bus stops and shopping complexes. So this gives them the freedom to become horrible and nasty creatures.
We now see Medical terms for children who have poor behaviour. i’m not saying that a child who suffers from ADHD is just a kid with poor parenting skills, what I am saying is that maybe it gets used as an excuse, when we all no that smashing a vase on purpose is wrong, not because he/she has ADHD. Do we have too many excuses that can justify a childs behaviour?
Other reasons to why children behave like this could be seen as a sign of neglect. Recent studies have shown that children bully others or haven’t got the fear of consequences is because of social factors happening at home. They may feel neglected and not to be felt important. Some children decide to pursue a talent to make their parents proud, others will lash out and become cruel to seek attention.
It’s an open world, nothing is kept hidden anymore. Children are exposed to many things, they see violence on TV, they have peer pressure from their friends. However, who shows them right from wrong. It has to be the parents right?
Some kids are just more aggressive, dominating and impulsive by nature. It doesn't always mean that they are bullies, but because we all like a good story to criticise, we only get to see and read stories about children who cause mayhem in their neighbourhoods.
I didn’t get a thank you that day and neither would i wanted too. But i’m sure like me, she was confused to why she was targeted for a practical joke, running behind a reversing car making her break hard.
It’s a question on everyones lips when confronted like this. Do you walk away or do you react back to flare a reaction. Either way the biggest question is, what is Nature v Nurture?
Nestled away in a suburban part of Leigh, sits a Park, known to everyone as Lilford. Here you take your children to play, make friends, eat ice cream and simply return home muddier than when you arrived.
As you walk into the park you get a sense of safety, tranquillity and feel at ease with Nature. Lilford is the platform that gives nature life. It attracts beautiful birds, insects which are naked to the eye. Trees are beginning to blossom, show colour and give scent into the air.
Families arrive in groups with smiles on their faces, dogs on their leads and children darting to the play area to take flight on the swings and make castles in the sand. It's the perfect scene set for a wonderful day.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath in. Inhale the sweet scent of flowers. Listen to the children laughing and the dogs barking. Now begin to imagine yourself walking deep into the woods. The sound of bark cracking under your feet, the leaves falling gently onto your shoulders. Your happy, and at peace with ones self.
Now open your eyes, you see a trickling stream in front of you. You squint your eyes as the sun glares down. You notice an odd shape laying still. All of a sudden, that content feeling drains and a sense of dread takes over. Confused and panicked you move slowly to the stilled object. Hairs begin to stand on your skin and your heart begins to crush your chest.
Now imagine yourself as a devout dog lover. A descent of darkness creeps in. You see lying there a once beautiful animal, that craved love and attention. It was born into a world full of evil villains, who roam the earth, taking away such precious life.
You see its innocent body covered in cuts and blood. You see its eyes filled with fear. You take a closer look and see a broken, lifeless body. Immediately you want to help. You rush into the stream and pull this innocent animal out from where it lay.
What you see, will leave an imprint on your memory forever. Now, let me take you back to before this life was sadly taken.
With social media being the primary news gatherer, there is nothing that doesn't get posted on Facebook and Twitter that pushes boundaries of what people would like to see on their wall. I've read some terrible stories on social media that have shook me to my core. What disgusts me more lately, is the amount of videos that thugs are filming on their phones for attention and likes in respect of hurting innocent animals. We have seen boys (and I use the word boys lightly) throwing dogs down stairs, woman burying dogs up to their necks and leaving them to die.
But you need to hear this, the story I'm about to tell you will engrave into your mind. It leaves a lasting ache in your stomach. There once was a beautiful little Bull Mastiff cross called Roxy. Roxy was born innocent. Roxy's life hung on the edge of a precipice and was gruesomely forced over the edge. She asked for nothing, but the love and affection of a human being. Roxy was treated like a slave. A slave to create life. Life after life she created whilst her poor fragile body was abused. The puppies she bore, would immediately be taken away. A mother who lost her babies was brutally beaten.
This takes me to my first question..... Are we human? What human being would actually do this to an innocent animal? What human being could ever imagine hurting such an innocent animal? The fact that in 2016, animals are the victims of abuse absolutely terrifies me. What was going through the mind of Roxy's killer? Clearly the biggest indication is the fact he or she must be severely unstable and may have suffered neglect and abuse from being a child. Psychology suggests that, what should we make of such wanton cruelty in children? Is this a childish prank or sign of deep-seated psychopathology that will someday erupt into far worse violence against people and in this case animals. But why do some people and not others pull the wings off butterflies, toss firecrackers at cats, and shoot the neighbours’ dogs with BB guns? Two recent studies shed light on this question. Both of them explore the relationship between animal abuse and a configuration of psychological traits called “The Dark Triad.”
So ask yourself this..... Why do humans think they can get away without any forgiveness or regret of taking a precious life?
Secondly we have all heard of the phrase " A Man's Best Friend" well lets change this to "A Dogs Best Friend" that's what it should be. A dog offers more than just company. They give you a heart filled with love. They are your missing piece of a Jigsaw puzzle. They are defenceless, they can't nip to the supermarket to get their food, they can't open the door to allow themselves to go out in the garden. It's down to the owner, the 'parent' to do this for them. So who's the best friend here? Its human and not the dog.
Why is it that every time I open a news paper or turn on the news, you hear a story about humans killing them? They can not answer you back, they don't cause any unnecessary trouble. We can not blame any dog, only their owner. This may be too close to the bone, but take ill behaved children. Who do you look at first? You look at their parents and determine who severe of an upbringing they have had. Parents have a duty to allow their children to understand social ethics. It's the Nature vs Nurture Syndrome.
Now we have answered this. Imagine yourself as the distraught person who found Roxy. It's a Butterfly effect. Every ripple of a Butterfly's wing could possibly cause an Earthquake in Japan. In laymen's terms, this killers actions set of a chain of events that will eventually seek justice.
A small Charity called Neutering4paws have made several attempts to save Roxy's life but unfortunately she wasn't found in time. Roxy was lead to her death by some callus individual. Neutering4paws hit the local headlines due to their amazing work. They work along side people who suffer from mental and physical illnesses who own dogs. They take the dogs away and neuter them for the owner. The lady who runs the Charity has such fighting spirit. She wants Roxy's killer found and sent to prison where they belong.
On a Wet and cold Saturday evening, a vigil was held at Lilford, to pay respect to Roxy. Each supporter brought their four legged babies, along with beautiful flowers to lay where Roxy was found. Gathered at the main gates, the supporters were given a detailed story behind poor Roxy's unfortunate death You could feel the emotion from each person who attended.
Taken to the spot, you can visualise the disgusting crime that was committed here. There was an eerie atmosphere in the air. Everyone all became personally involved. Every dog owner keeping an extra eye on there four legged friend.
A rainbow of colour flew into the stream. An array of flowers scattered the mud. Ironic, that this,is the place where Roxy died leaving behind a legacy of hate, eventually turned into a beautiful stream of colour.
Even the four legged friends had a distinction about them. It was such a sad place to be. To think that people, so evil, are allowed to roam free in the world without the thought, or care of getting caught. This killer has nowhere to hide. He or She WILL be caught. If it's not now, then it will happen soon. I'm a strong believer of Karma. Eventually it will come and get them. And god help the person when it does.
Animals are not designed to be aggressive, they are not designed to be nasty. Sadly, we can not rid the world of this evil. As we are aware, this happens across the globe. We see it day in and day out across Social Media. So how do we unite and put an end to it?
If you want to help or know more about this amazing charity please visit Neutering4paws on Facebook.
You need to cherish your babies and keep them close. You need to give them unconditional love, like they give you. The don't expect, they just need. Roxy was taken for no reason other than an evil sport. We need to shine this into the sky, so the world can see. We need to ensure that all animals are treated as "mans best friend".
J. C Usher.