Somebody Nobody

Posted: March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

I am defined by what I do for a living and how I live my personal life. Everything else comes second to that. This isn’t just my thinking but also that of many that know me, even those that have been paid to help me.

How I make my money is a lifestyle for me. I’m a Close Protection Officer. Security Specialist. Security Consultant. Gunfighter. Gunslinger. Warfighter. Mercenary. Doorman. Bouncer. Bodyguard. Military Contractor. Gun for Hire. Soldier. I’m all of these things.

The way in which I live my life is a direct result of my profession. I’m a loner. I drink and fight. My money is frittered away and I am broke more times than not.

My mental health suffers. I have deep depressions. Push people away. Have amazing highs. Experience nightmares and sleepless nights. Have intrusive and suicidal thoughts. Am an emotional wreck at times and suffer from anxiety attacks. Hate myself and am full of regret.

Is this lifestyle manageable? Probably not is the most simple answer. If anything it is self-destructive.

On the flip side of this I have an amazing family, a beautiful woman who loves me unconditionally and two amazing daughters. I’m lucky enough to have a close network of friends, who offer their support, and one in particular who always seems to go above and beyond in her attempts to show me that I am not who I am and that I am loved and needed.

So why can I not see what they see and why do I continue on this path that not only drives me deeper and deeper towards the inevitable, but also affects the health and happiness of those closest to me?

There is no simple answer.

I don’t see what they see. Where they see kindness, love and a strong man; I see a dark hateful and damaged individual who doesn’t fit in. When back in the real world I have to pretend to be someone who I am not and adopt a face of normality. Where they see potential I only see despair and failure. They promise me that they will always be here, whereas I am counting down the days until they tell me they are leaving. I fully expect to be alone, everyone leaves me eventually. That’s just the way this works and is nothing new to me.

What people don’t understand is the fact that I have been this way for so long, living this life of self-destruction, that I honestly don’t believe that there is a way back. In addition to this, and probably more importantly, my profession makes me a ‘somebody’, giving me a sense and purpose which I have never felt before and am loath to give up even when faced with the consequences of loosing everything. The thought of being a ‘nobody’ and living some ‘normal life’ fills me with a fear that is not easily put into words and is something that is so alien to me that it sounds almost like some fanciful movie dreamed up by some script writer in Hollywood.

Those closest to me tell me that I am a strong individual, am loved and needed. Apparently its rare to find someone of my character and someone recently went as far to say that I am the ‘best man that they know’. If this is truly the case then why can I not see it. Why do I continuously struggle and why can I not become a ‘nobody’. Somebody else, that was close to me and who apparently loved me, once said that I will never change and that this is who I am and who I will always be. They said that I will lose everyone and eventually myself, that I will end up alone and without anyone. That I don’t deserve love or happiness. This is a more accurate assessment of how I see things panning out and how I often feel within myself. I’m not saying that this is how it should be, but it is how I feel and more importantly it’s how I see my life and the way in which it is defined.

So as another year ends and a fresh one begins I got to thinking about this Blog and decided to start sharing some pictures from my time away to break up the writing side of things.

Afghanistan is a huge part of my life and has been for the best part of a decade now, I have spent so long over there and also in Iraq that I feel more at home in these places than I do in my birth country. Despite all of the bad bad things that have happened while away, the good memories vastly out weigh the bad ones. It is hard to explain Afghanistan to someone that has not been there and actually stood among its people and breathed in its culture: the country is so full of history, life and rich in colour that it’s easy to loose yourself for a time and forget that it is a harsh country, that has been plagued by War for so long now that a lot of Afghani’s can’t even remember a way of life before the one that is now filled with violence and uncertainty. The place is a mixture of landscapes; from the mountains in the North to the Deserts in the South, the rolling plains, fertile farming lands and wooded valleys. You can immerse yourself in the history of a country that was once known as the Orient of the West and was a regular stopping point on the ‘Hippy Trail’, I have stood in the remains of fortifications built by the Khan’s, walked in the footsteps of my forefathers from the British Army, been privileged to have visited the Kings Tomb and have literally walked in History. The people are a hard, versatile people that have lived through the harshest of times, who have a deep rooted pride in the country, their culture and their ties to their ancestors. During times of trouble they are the hardest and most resilient of Warriors who will fight against all of the odds to the last man to protect what is theirs and their way of life, while on the other hand they can be the most hospitable, humblest people that will give you their last bit of food and the shirt of their backs should you need it.

In short I think what I am trying to say is that Afghanistan is a stunning, beautiful looking country with a rich history and an amazing vibrant people and culture which I am hoping that I will be able to portray to you in some photographs that have been taken over the years. Enjoy.

A ‘Tut-Tut’ on the outskirts of Kabul in 2003, a common vehicle to see as they are cheap and easy to maintain.

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Musaqala, Helmand Provence. The location of some of the fiercest fighting in the most recent conflict but also a place of stunning
scenery and the home to a huge bustling bazaar.

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This was taken in Helmand Provence where the Education system is almost non-existent and children are largely left to their own devices during the day while the fathers work and the mothers cook.

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A father protectively hold onto his child while listening to a local Governance speech about health care and Education.

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A British patrol being over taken by a local boy racer back in 2003. In the background you can see the remains of a British Fort that used to overlook the city of Kabul.

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A young lad taking a cheeky peak over the wall to see what goes on inside of a Forward Operating Base and also hoping to scrounge some chocolates from us on the inside.

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So that’s all for now but I will add more photo’s as time goes on and may even throw some shots of Iraq in as well. Enjoy everyone and Happy New Year.

I’m not sure what happened, or maybe I am but I’m not sure how it got to that point. Too many things going on in my head, too many things happening all at once, a total feeling of helplessness and of being lost mixed with a whole load of beer, the best part of a bottle of Rum and a whole load of self loathing at what has happened and what I perceive myself to have become. That’s probably what happened and how I got to that stage, that’s probably how I reached the point where I hit rock bottom and found myself sat at my newly bought kitchen table during the early hours of the morning with an almost finished bottle of wine sat in front of me, an ash tray full of dog-ends and a knife from my Jamie Oliver kitchen knife set placed beside the glass tumbler staring up at me with a promise to an end to all that has been plaguing me for so long now. One small movement, one moment of pain and then maybe I could find the peace that I fucking crave so much.

As it happens it turns out that I am a total failure when it comes to committing suicide and after some attempts to cut into myself, which have led to some telling scars on my wrist, I found myself sat at the table in a total state of confusion with a blood stained knife laying in front of me and a series of bloody cuts on my arm. It was somewhere during them moments of total shame, between the spates of anger and the tears, that I realised that I couldn’t deal with this anymore on my own. I think that I already knew this, which is the reason that I have slowly but surly been letting a few people that I know and trust see what lies behind my game face. The thing is that even though more people know about my problems I have still maintained that this is something I can manage and deal with myself, it took this event, this moment of madness and me stepping over the mark and hitting an all time low to realise that I’m not as strong as I’d like to make out and that perhaps I do need someones shoulders to lean on when things get too much and to help me find my way through this darkness.

So now I find myself back at work, my wrist is healing well and easy enough to hide from my colleagues and despite the normal frustrations of this job I find myself more relaxed and more together than I ever am back in the ‘real world’. Everything here makes sense to me and I have a sense of purpose, this work defines me and who I am. I find it hard to comprehend the two different ‘me’s’ and wish that the person that I am here could be the person that I am at home. As I have said before, I am not stupid, I know that I am messed up and have lost my way somewhere along the line and that the end game for me is not where I take my own life but where I find my life again and I can take control of my problems and not have them control me. That’s the end game and I am determined to get there no matter what the cost, it just seems so fucking hard and at times it seems like I am fighting a loosing battle but I am sure that with the love and support of those around me that this is something that I will beat eventually or at the very least I am going to go down fighting.

A couple of things that we are taught in the Armed Forces are; no plan, no matter how good, survives first contact and that no battle is ever straight forward or easy. I guess that now, more than ever, I need to take note of them two bits of wisdom that I have heard said countless times over the years.

My life has been a kind of a roller-coaster of events, a mixture of highs and lows, times of excitement and lulls of nothingness. I have struggled with despair and at other times have felt the kind of happiness that only a truly content man could feel. I’ve known love as well as hate, have risen to the top and have also felt the pain of being at the bottom. Sometimes I feel as though my whole life has been one constant battle and always will be and that any moments of peace that I experience are just lulls in that battle letting me catch my breathe before the next fight begins. Recently I have been pulling my way through a huge life changing experience, something that has a profound affect on my life and all of those involved and that has led to some hard decisions being made and also the self realisation of the kind of man that I am and in all reality will always be. I have had to open my eyes to a lot of things and also take stock of my past, my actions and the routes that have led to to this place that I now find that I am in. My life has been turned upside down and I have felt chinks in my armours starting to appear allowing things that I had pushed to the back of my mind to start seeping out and I have no real idea of how I am supposed to deal with this. So with that in mind I have decided to start writing again as a way of acknowledging certain events that I think maybe define me as a person and may give you and idea of what drives me, who I am and why I am the man that I am. I have no actual idea if you even read this anymore or even if you really care, but that is by and by as this is not for you – it is for me. What will follow will be a series of events in no particular order that have affected me in one way or another throughout my years, some good and some not. It will be an apology, an explanation, a story, a pouring out of my heart, a confession, a ride and most of all a look into my life that not many get to see.

So I was just reading a friends Blog that they sent me a link to and I found that I had an account and had already posted two Blogs some time back, something that I had totally forgotten about. So with the aid of the good old copy and paste here they are:

‘First Timer’

‘Well..this should be interesting….a bored British soldier stuck in Afghanistan(actually in the UK at the moment coming to the end of my leave…..another two days and then I will be that bored British soldier stuck in Afghanistan again!!)……writing a blog for whoever to read.I’ve never done this before but don’t hold that against me and I’m not even sure if anyone out there would be interested in hearing about the day to day life of a British squaddie on tour…but fuck it….I’m writing this so that I’ve got a way to take my mind of the horrors of war(which at the moment mainly comes in the form of marauding bands of killer flies,camel shit and the food in our cookhouse!!)….anyway,that will do as a brief intro to my blog…I’ve got to go and help a friend to drink some Guiness now…until the next time,bye.’

‘Welcome to Crap Air’

‘I’m supposed to be in Afghanistan…….I’m stuck at a RAF base because of fucking delays…..I got here yesterday and right up to the minute that I arrived here I was on the phone confirming that my flight would be on time…everytime I rang they said ‘yup,your leaving on time’…I get here only to be told the flight is delayed untill further notice….!!!!!!!If they had told me that before I got here I could of gone back home and spent more time with my family and then just rang up on a daily basis till they said I was flying…..now I’m here I’m not allowed to leave…..It sucks,we don’t get enough time with our familys as it is,I lost three days of my leave due to delays……fuck it,if I’m still here tomorrow I’ll drop another blog……’

I have no idea why I didn’t carry on with writing these Blogs and can only guess that it was due to having more important things to worry about while on tour or even just a lack of Internet access. However, I have found them and they are here now. Short and not that interesting but they are my first ever entries into the world of Blogging.

And as a side note the term ‘Crap Air’ is a phrase used by the Army to describe our sister service, the RAF.

That’s all for now folks.

I haven’t gone ‘soft’ as one of my good friends suggested. I am just saying that people need to take a step back and take check of what it is that they are kicking off about. There is a huge difference between someone who comes from a different culture to ours and follows a belief system that is alien to or not in line with how we live our life and the one that the Extremists who wish to demonize our way of life and do nothing but create hate and cause harm have.

For instance, these subhumans (and I do not use this word lightly – anyone who spends most of their waking moments promoting violence , murder, mutilation and the suffering of those that do not believe in the same thing as they is barley human in my opinion) who we see on the TV and in newspapers standing on their soap boxes promoting violent attacks on UK soil, against its citizens and other Western countries while saying that this is the way of Islam and that anyone faithful to that religion should heed their words – I have nothing but ill feelings towards them. Their so called ‘Islam’ is a very fucked up and warped version of the real Islam which is so far from what they promote it is unbelievable and I can not even begin to fathom how they translate what they read in the Holy Koran into the words that they belch out of their mouths when ‘preaching’ on the streets of the UK. These sad, twisted, misguided, angry, violent poor excuses for ‘men’ have no place in our society – they are, because of the conviction of their words, a very real and dangerous threat to everyone of every faith (including the one that they supposedly fight for) that wishes to live as peacefully as they can in a Democratic society. In fact I would go as far to say that these creatures have no place in the World period as their foul rhetoric’s lead to nothing but pain and violence in the long run, promotes the anti-Islamic feeling that runs deep in Western countries at the moment  and adds to the already extremely volatile and violent World that we live in. However, we are now Governed by the European Courts of Human Rights and the old days of where you could deal with people like this in an appropriate, cost effective manner have long gone and now we have to take into consideration their feelings, health, living conditions, their views and the right that they have to express their opinions on everyone that doesn’t fall into line with the way that they believe we should all be living. Seems fair to me.

Now don’t mistake what I have written above as meaning that I only despise the spreaders of lies and hate from a certain religion and background. I haven’t forgotten about nor do I have any love for our very own British National Party or any of their affiliates. These uneducated, pig headed, weak men and women who look like a bunch of inbred’s in ill fitting suits (when donning their public face) who feed off the fear that is caused by a lack of understanding and lack of seen positive action by our Government against the Extremists are just as bad as those that they claim to stand against. Once upon a time the men and women that made up these groups were the ones making the headlines for the wrong reasons. They were the villains of the time spreading messages of hate, mistrust and instigating acts of violence. Apparently they now represent the British public’s best interests and have our backs. Get to fuck. These creatures don’t have anyone’s back or anyone’s ‘best’ interests at heart except their own. They, like the Islamic Extremist, pray on the weak, vulnerable and uneducated who they then manipulate into their way of thinking so that they can further their own cause. Personally I’d like to see them kicked back into the gutters and back ally’s that they came from which is probable too much to ask for in this current climate.

Back in the day – I’m talking way back – when the whole World was at War (or at the very least a large amount of it was) the Free World was pretty much united in it’s fight against Hitlers Nazi Germany. Now I am not about to give a history lesson and go into the in’s and out’s of  this conflict, we all know the history of it (unless you are American then you have your own version of events) and we’ve seen the movies and read the books. But I have mentioned it for a reason and that is the fact that an entire generation of people fought and gave their lives purely to stop the spread of Nazism which in it’s most basic form was an ideological belief that everyone should be living under one banner, one law, one belief system. It encouraged discrimination, segregation and was enforced through fear, violence and just out right murder. If you didn’t agree with the views of that system or if you fell into a certain ethnic group that didn’t fit into that system you were ridiculed, ostracized from the community and in a lot of cases killed. Plain and simple. And it fucks me of no end that people just seem to have forgotten how many men and women gave up their lives so that we could be free of that kind of oppression.  The British National Party now have seats in Parliament.  Their roots come from the very same ideology that our forefathers fought against and back in the day (I now speak of my younger years and from experience) the men and women that made up the British National Party and their affiliates were those people that we see in some films – shaven headed, Swastika daubed, violent, angry people who’s hatred against anyone not White British knew no bounds. And now because they wear ill fitting suits, have grown their hair out, moved into offices, use big words and sit in Parliament we are supposed to listen to them and respect their views. I say again – get to fuck. The Islamic Extremists are exactly the same as what these men and women were years ago – the only difference is in the way the commit their acts of violence. They religiously believe in something and they will commit extreme acts of violence against anyone who does not fall into place with how they think things should be – whatever your color, race or religious belief. And the fact that these groups are openly stood in front of us all on a daily basis preaching their form of hatred freely mocks everything that has been achieved in the past. It’s a fucking joke and we should be embarrassed by what we have let happen on our very own doorstep and by what we have become.

And what is the solution and who can we blame? I have no idea but I do know that despite everyone’s feelings towards the Government we can not hold them solely responsible. For sure they have misrepresented the people of this country and our needs for a long time now. Through their lack of leadership this country has hit rock bottom, crime has rocketed, we are in a financial crisis and the angry and displaced people are flocking to the cause of the Extremists on both sides. It’s the best recruiting drive that they have ever had. The Public hold a lot of the blame as we are the ones who put the people in power into the positions that they are in and when it all starts going wrong what do we do? We mumble and gesture angrily over a pint in our local, shake our heads in despair as we read the daily rag or ‘tut tut’ loudly during the adverts that break up our evening session of mind numbly shit sitcoms. Basically we do nothing. The only ones who actively do anything are the people and groups that are the very last ones that we should ever be allowing to represent our needs.

The way I see it the Government is there to serve the people and not the other way round. And also the Government of any country is only as strong or as weak as the people that put it in power and right now we are anything but strong.

Fucking hell. Second rant over.

OK, finally have snapped a little bit at all of the obnoxious, racists, uneducated posts that I keep seeing pop up in the feed on Facebook.

Muslims, like Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and countless other religious faiths have and always will be part of our society. I grew up in a multicultural society surrounded by people of all colors, races and faiths. In school I visited different places of worship as part of my religious education, took part in different festivals and was taught to respect different peoples opinions and beliefs. I have worked with people from different cultures and of various faiths for most of my adult life and have never had a problem of any significance. Back in the day people were worried about groups such as the BNP and C18 and now they are fucking accepted as being part of our society and almost looked at as being an British Institution fighting for the rights of the Englishman and his family. Get to fuck. This is all down to 9/11 plain and simple.

So what happened then was, mainly thanks to hysteria caused by the Governments and the press, everyone decided that the Islamic World must be aiming for World domination. Really? Those of you who have been to some of the more remote Islamic countries (thanks to 9/11) will know that some of these places are so far behind the rest of the world and have such a lack of basic things, such as education, medical facilities and sanitation that they can barely wipe their own backsides let alone take over the planet. Of course there are issues within the religion – as in the more extreme views held by certain radicals and groups that follow Islam. But these animals make up such a small minority of the faith it is unbelievable (that doesn’t mean that they are not a threat and very dangerous – they do need to be dealt with). And every religion has these groups – there are extremists in every faith. In America you still have lunatics dressed as Casper the Friendly Ghost running around in the name of God terrorizing the Black community. Catholics attack Protestants and vice verse in Northern Ireland. There are people in every religion who will do fucking nasty shit in the name of that religion. It doesn’t mean that everyone who follows that faith is the same.

So now what we get is extremist groups such as the BNP, EDL and other groups scaremongering the British public into thinking that this time next week pork will be off the menu, women will have to cover up (not such a bad thing in some cases)  and we will all be praying five times a day. Then you have the Islamic extremists who are scaremongering the Muslim communities and telling all of the youth there that the big bad Englishman is coming to get them and that we are going to destroy their way of life, force them to eat Pork, shave their beards and force them to wipe their backsides with toilet paper. So they do what you and I would do if we felt threatened – they fight back, and they do stupid shit that offends us so then the fucking morons in the BNP/EDL jump on that bandwagon and before you know it stupid shit is being done to them. And it goes round and round like that. It’s a vicious circle that has been played out again and again over the years and centuries by hundreds of different groups and individuals – both religious and political for various gains. 

So what needs to be done is that the extremists need to leave or be locked up – it is as simple as that. Whether they be Islamic or other. The BNP need be knocked back to where they came from – drink fueled back ally meetings where they danced to shit music, bummed each other and gave each other shit tattoos. And the Islamic ones need to be sent to some dark place where they can pray, drink whiskey, bum each other and watch American movies whilst moaning about how evil the West is. Or just double tap them all to the back of their heads. Whatever is easier and costs less to the tax payer. Then people just need to be educated as to what extremism is and how an extremist group does not represent the whole community.

Fucking hell. Rant over.