My Life, part 1, 1987-1996

A friend asked me to tell him about my life, some of the stuff I’ve gone through. I’m a bit nervous about putting it online, since there’s security implications, and I totally don’t want to sound narcissistic. I’ve changed some facts, and not put some in for aforementioned security reasons. This is of course from my point of view, and has my bias, and will be text, lots and lots of text.

So, if you’re sitting comfortably, I shall begin.

I was born in 1987, in a snowy city overseas, in a British Military Hospital, as dad was an army nurse. This has made life a little more interesting than normal, as technically, I’m not English, Welsh, Scottish or (Northen) Irish, but British. My place of birth always makes official people raise an eyebrow. My brother (Garreth) was born around 19 months after me, in a standard english hospital.

From left to right, Mum, Nanny, me, Great Grandma (dads side), Dad.
From left to right, Mum, Nanny, me, Great Grandma (dads side, shortly before she passed away) and Dad.

My first memory was, amusingly, swimming with a plastic lifebelt around me, in a hot sunny cyprus, quite young, thinking “I won’t remember this”.

I have broken and scattered memories of my childhood until my late teens really. If I dig really hard I can pull out more fragments, but not many. Quite a lot of my early history I mainly know through childhood photos, and the stories my parents told me.

Dad was posted to Cyprus a couple of times, we went with him and mum when we were quite young, pre-school age. A couple of funny stories I’ve been told; there’s a photo somewhere of me *just* as I bite into a lemon. My face says it all, EWWWW! I did go on to love the taste of lemons and sour things though, so something imprinted ;)

kirrus holding onto mobility scooter
Holding onto Nanny’s mobility scooter

Another story, one time myself and Garreth somehow managed to climb up and grab dad’s car keys from a key hook on a wall. We then managed to open the car, and successfully start the engine. Bear in mind, this was whilst we were in cyprus, so only 5 or so at the time ;)

Myself and my brother in cyprus, covered in washing up foam
Myself and Garreth (in that order), in Cyprus

Dad left the army, relatively soon after we started school, he and mum didn’t want us to grow up as army kids, and he didn’t really fit into the army, from what he told us. Mum at this point was also apparently quite unhappy.

At age 8, my parents started divorcing, a process that took a few years. I have a few visible memories during this period, of a social worker asking us who we wanted to live with, and mum coming home one day, and telling us it was over. I also remember one or two fights between my parents, and suspect I heard/saw far more that were supressed.

The most powerful memory I have during that period, was clinging onto my dad, as he was dropping me off in the school playground, not wanting to ever let go, not wanting to leave him, at the start of a Junior school day. I would have been around 8 or 9 at this point. They somehow managed to get me separated, dad left, and me into a quiet office. I fought, hard, wriggling whilst someone held me, trying to calm me. Eventually someone said ‘Johnathon, you hurt me!’, and instantly I calmed. I never wanted to hurt anyone, ever, I just wanted to be with Dad.

That divorce would go on to shape me, to an extent I’m only now realising.

Part 2


One Response to My Life, part 1, 1987-1996

  1. Thank you for writing this, I often worry, fear, mad fret about what my divorce, it’s circumstances, and subsequent fallout will mean for my daughter. Your story matters because it gives me insight into her young life that I otherwise could never hope to have, so thank you. Sincerely, thank you.