Parts of my childhood and upbringing are referenced throughout the book as obviously all our neuroses and characteristics, good and bad, are formed in our early years. A genetic disposition and a neglectful father clearly have played their part but I also want to make it clear that, once my father was out of the picture, my brother and I enjoyed a fabulous childhood, full of love, laughter and fun mainly due to the efforts of a very strong and generous mother. I am not going to talk too much about Mum as while she is thrilled I have written this book, it is a bit close to home and she has been deeply affected by my illness. It has been very hard seeing her supposedly gifted and charming daughter unravel and her unwavering support and love throughout my life cannot really be put into words. She was also very reasonable in that she permitted a mutually satisfying relationship with my paternal Grandparents which saw us enjoying wonderful summer holidays full of sport and adventure.

Sadly my father squandered every penny my Grandparents had and manipulated my then widowed Grandmother terribly towards the end of her life……

Indeed it should be mentioned that the family is very close and since my Aunt was also a divorced mother with two children, in the early years we all formed a tight knit bond and were in regular contact. As we got older these meetings became very, very boozy which – while brilliant fun – clearly were not appropriate as far as I was concerned. My brother and cousins are fine. I had a brain that should never have been flooded with alcohol. While this is absolutely no one’s fault I certainly will not be engaging in those kind of drinking sessions with my own daughter and pray that she will now employ moderation.

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