In my heart I have always wanted to sing and perform but life had a different path for me. During my childhood I was taught that I would never be more then my lot at that time. I loved the freedom of singing and dancing as a child and no more freer did I feel than in Church. My home life was an angry frustrating and confusing place where love was always given in a mixed manner. Home was very much a war zone never knowing when there was going to be a bombardment of verbal or physical abuse and daily life was living under the shadow of threat. With a father who drank this created the perfect conditions for all out war so I was always in defence mode. Always at the ready to endure the way in which Dad shared his frustrations. We never talked to one another, we shouted or yelled and if we did speak it was always on a Sunday. It's strange how Sunday traditions that society values far less now, were in my house a reason for amnesty. Sunday was for faith and relatively drama free in the Lillie household. The rest of the week was open season. Hence the reason I loved church, the tradition of Sunday being the day of praise and rest meant it was a day of peace. Dad has always had a strong belief in God yet somewhere in life he lost his true north. Dad always carried a darkness that has hung over him and our family. Friends didn't like to come to my house to hang out because of this darkness.
Mum struggled with her health being a polio survivor and survive she has. My brother and I spent many hours sitting in hospitals or doctors waiting rooms. At times our neighbour would watch for us coming home from school to let us know mum had been rushed to hospital. My early memories of my mother were always of her being in bed unwell with home visits from nurses. By the age of five I was able to boil an egg make toast on the grill and tea or coffee for either of my parents. I was well on my way to pealing the veggies for a roast at this age. We call kids who look after sick parents these days young carers. For me it was just what had to be done. It wasn't until mum discovered her passion for horses did we see a change in her. Mum had found a purpose but still struggles to communicate her truth with those closest to her.
My brother was a very unwell child. He was often poked and prodded by doctors until he had his spleen removed. My brothers sickly childhood was yet another affirmation to my parents that we were cursed as a family. My mother would often tell me we were cursed and therefore doomed to a life of ills. Because of this my brother and I had a strained relationship as children and teenagers. It is only recently as adults have we become close again.
As I grew older I became more and more distant from my family. I felt I did not belong. At 14 years of age the idea of freedom was no longer in being a singer and performer, it no longer held sway in being at Church but instead freedom had become about running away. I had lost touch with my connection with universal love, a higher power or simply put God. It was at this stage in my life I began to master the art of walking within the darkness of my shadow. My mother always said " Colin you are afraid of your own shadow!!". To rid the feelings that engulfed my mind I began to drink and use drugs. This gave me the illusion that my darkness was my friend leading to 20yrs of addiction but that is a another story altogether. Yet in all that time there was a silent voice that would whisper now and again sing and the world will be alright. Now I can and my world is alright. I now walk beside my shadow.