Peter Steward's Web Site
Nobody is born evil.
I firmly believe that. And I firmly believe that anybody who doesn't is a fool.
We come into this world through no decision of ours and very often through no wish.
We come unable to cope from cradle to grave. I accept that some people learn how to cope, but some never do.
I didn't ask to come into this world and as the time draws near I shall ask no permission to leave.
I realise I have never come to terms with my existence but I have never been one to wander around asking senseless purile questions like Why am I here or how do I justify my existence. That really is childhood philosophy leading purely to a fool's paradise. I deserve more than that. I really do.
It's difficult to know where to start, particularly in my case. I have no claims to a working class boyhood. If I had parents who had to scrimp and save then perhaps I would have inherited the kind of character that could have seen me safely through life. Perhaps I would have enjoyed more space in which to grow.
So where do I start. I feel it important to put everything down in detail. Words on a page, however, can never conjure up real feelings. How can you describe desperation in words, how can you describe futility. I cannot try, but I must in some way describe who and what I am and some of the things that have troubled me through the years - some of which I have kept locked up.
I will admit it might all be rather boring, rather dull but I have ghosts to exorcise and perhaps many of the ghosts come from my childhood.
A child of the 50s and 60s - a star crossed child of the rock era when Presley could soothe fears, when Chuck Berry could stimulate and destroy. I suppose I am the time in which I grew up - confused, violent, unsure, lacking in confidence and a contradiction.
I have always felt my life to be a contradiction and I hope that will become evident as these pages unfold their story.
So why, I hear you ask, do I feel the need to write all this down? Particularly at this time. What good will it do? Will it not serve to hurt the innocent and be ignored by the guilty?
But who are the innocent and should they stay innocent? I need to tell, I need to pour it out and as there is nobody to listen to me, I will have to write these things down.
In the end it won't help me and it won't help anybody else but while it is trapped inside me I have no option. I don't want the facts and the story to die with me.
So excuse my ramblings, my rantings and my ravings. Give me time, give me space for both are running out for me.
Okay so here we go. I must state before I start that I have already taken the pills and consequently some of my memories might be hazy and some of this confession might not make too much sense. But while I have breath left in my body I will carry on.
My first memories. Well I suppose they were of me in a play pen. Upstairs. The room is cold. I am imprisoned by this high fence. I am locked in too. I cannot climb over the top. I can remember trying and slipping down the painted sides. I remember being too small to climb over the top but too big to push through the bars. It is a natural prison.
It's painted green. The paint doesn't taste good. I remember being smacked and I remember the smell of sickness when nobody cleared the mess up for hours.
I remember little else of that time. I feel grown up but I'm probably the smallest of the small, the youngest of the young. And I remember being beaten for doing nothing. Being beaten from having a stomach ache in the middle of the night and being beaten just for being me. And the person doing the beating was a man, my father.
I remember him coming home at night drunk. Of course at the time I didn't know what made him act in such a violent way. I remember my mother trying to prevent him hitting me, but him casting her aside with one violent gesture.
Then I remember green fields, the sun, the countryside and going out for walks with my mother. That was the contradiction of my life. Being beaten for nothing and thinking that the world was a very black place and then seeing all the beauty that existed. How could I accept the two things side by side?
And if the green fields and the sunshine sounds fine I must say that my overall memory of that time was of the noise, the shouting, the arguments and the bruises on my mother and the way she laughed them off.
How could I accept the grass and nature and the sun as being things that were good if my whole life was evil.
How many times as I grew up did my mother say "Silly me, fancy falling off those steps" or "It's really nothing just a little accident."
And I remember that bloody play pen where I seemed to spend much of my time. I remember having the measles or some other illness and being left in that play pen all day. The room was cold and unhappy. The bars, as I have said, were green. I used to bite them, hoping they would disappear. But they never did and all the while when he was in the house there was that sound of noise and arguing. I hated the sight of blood from those days in the 50s -bloodshot eyes, bloody noses. But then wasn't that the age when I began to get a hatred of everything?
It wasn't all unhappiness, however. As I grew up I learned how to manipulate people. I began to realise that if people couldn't give me contentment I would find it in my own way using whatever resources and whatever tricks I could learn.
I suppose that's how I learnt to use people never realising that most of them were really using me. In using them I became used myself.
I actually looked forward to growing up, to being able to control my own life - how disillusioned I was to become.
The reality never lives up to the promise. Certainly the reality of my life never lived up to what I promised myself.
When I did become an adult I found it even more difficult than being a child. As an adult decisions had to be made and I could never cope with decisions. At least when you are a child somebody makes the decisions for you even if they are unpopular ones. People like me who grew up unable to make decisions were weak pathetic figures, not worthy to be on this earth and I suppose that is how I viewed myself, as a weak and pathetic figure.
This earth is in itself a contradiction of terms. Supposedly a firm and solid base. There was never anything firm and solid about my life as it crumbled away uncaring, unloving, squalid. A squalid man in a squalid room.
I am never sure at what point my life crumbled away. It now seems so far in the past. There wasn't one particular day when it began to degenerate. It was a gradual build-up of people and events. There wasn't one point when I was together and another where everything was shattered into tiny little pieces.
No it was a culmination of experiences. Somebody once said to me that you grow spiritually in life through experiences. But experience can wreck as well as build and that's exactly what happened to me.
Perhaps if I took this more slowly I would be able to make some sense of it, but I have always rushed headlong towards some void somewhere. I have always been on the outside looking in, never part of the group never at ease, wanting desperately to be a part of something but unable to grasp at anything solid.
It's almost as if I come from another time, another place, another life, somewhere two steps behind reality.
It's almost as if I am the embodiment of the school of thought that says that without disasters, without persecutions, without troubles, the world would be a very sad place. After all if all the wrongs were righted what would there be left to fight for and cling on to.
But really I must take this narrative more slowly despite the fact that time must be running
out. I must try to untangle the web, to piece together the strands that have destroyed me.
Perhaps the best way is to set down the things that have dragged me down. So here I will