My name is Billy Jackson. I’m 24 years old and a mess.
My childhood was OK. I suppose, except for having to watch my Dad and all his mates when they came round to our flat to shoot-up. It didn’t really bother me mind you, I just had to be careful not to step on the needles they sometimes left on the floor. My mum loved me in her own way but she was a bit of a mess - Dad called her a slag but he didn’t seem to care when she took his so-called mates into the bedroom while he sat on the sofa in the front room getting out of his head. Sometimes there’d be a knock at the door and Dad would let in men I’d never seen before. Then Mum would disappear with them into the bedroom. I didn’t understand what was going on at the time. Dad said they had a bit of business with Mum. I used to sit and watch the telly and try not to listen to the noises coming from behind the door.
When I was twelve my Dad let me try some of his gear. He said it would make me feel good and it did. I remember floating and feeling really loved, so much so that I didn’t really care when one of his friends took me into my bedroom and started touching me. I don’t remember if I liked what he did or not, but I liked the floaty feeling and was up for it the next time that man came round.
I didn’t do so well at school, used to scive off all the time and consequently failed my GCSEs. Well, didn’t actually even sit them to tell the truth.
What makes me tick? I don’t really think anything does - I spend all my time ducking and diving for the next fix of heroin. Been addicted since I was a kid and it’s taken over my life - it is my life. Even though I moved out of my Mum and Dad’s when I was sixteen and moved in with my Nan it was too late for me to get out of the drug life-style.
I lived with my Nan for a few years and they were the best years of my life so far. Nan would listen to me without shouting back when I ranted about stuff that was getting to me. She used to sit me down and let me talk while she cooked my tea. I can’t remember my Mum or Dad ever cooking my tea. For a while I stayed in with her in the evenings and she would tell me stories about when she was young. Stories about Grandad and how he used to spend time on his allotment with Dad when he was little. She said my Dad was alright then but he got into trouble with some lads when he was in his teens and that was when he started on the drugs.
Nan made me feel good about myself and I stopped using for a few months. It wasn’t easy though and gradually I slipped back into it, bit by bit. I thought I could handle it but life got so boring and although I tried to keep busy and even went looking for work, it was too hard. I started back on the dealing, just a bit now and then to pay for my own use at first. Then it began to take me over and I was out all the time, day and night. Nan tried to talk to me, she tried so hard but in the end even she couldn’t stand it so she and told me I had to leave. I was gutted but didn’t let her know.
For a while I lived with this girl I’d met at the drug clinic - Gem was her name. I really loved her but I messed her about too much and she chucked me out too. She got fed up with me bringing people back to her place to use I guess. I wasn’t very good to her to be honest. I never trust women after what my Mum was like and my Nan throwing me out didn’t help. I admit I did hit Gem sometimes but she used to drive me to it. I’d be different if she’d only take me back.
What do I look like? I’m not very tall, about 5’ 10” I suppose, skinny because I never eat very well. I suffer quite a bit from bad skin and get quite spotty at times. I’ve shaved my head but sometimes it grows out to look quite spiky if I can’t be bothered to shave it. Same with the facial hair. I only shave every few days or so. When I lived with my Nan I looked much smarter - she used to wash and iron my clothes but I don’t bother much these days and haven’t bought a new pair of jeans or top for ages. My favourite thing is my leather jacket. It’s black and a bit battered now but wearing it makes me feel good. My Nan got it for me from a charity shop - it didn’t cost a fortune - but it reminds me of better times.