Life Without… follows the path of Dave as he suffers at the hands of his violent parents. Putting himself in harms way to protect his sister, Dave searches for someone who believes him, until by chance he discovers the truth. That his tormentor is not his real father.
Losing all trust in the people around him, and forced to leave his sister with Dad; Dave looks for a way to escape his past. But joining the Army, as bullying reaches an all time high, the life he has chosen will be a hard one indeed.
Discipline and training give him the strength to fight back, his determination and courage wins respect. But this life will also bring war, and with it comes the pain of loss and injury.
Now trapped in the solitude of depression, Dave faces the only thing he fears. The memory of his Life Without…
“This book had me hooked”
Five Star Review on Amazon By jill s.
I finished this in two sessions. It is one of the most powerful memoirs I’ve read in a long time. Dave is telling the reader about his life, damaged by what can only be described as a childhood from hell. At the start what struck me most forcibly was the dispassionate way he led the reader through the gut churning abuse meted out to him by a stepmother deserving of life imprisonment for her crimes and a venomous reptile of a man who called himself Daves father. Somehow the factual, devoid of emotion way this story is told makes the content more horrific. I reached the end of chapter four and sobbed for this little boy who simply wanted security, acceptance and love and was on the verge of attaining all three when his world was ripped apart.
The life Dave went on to have seemed always tainted by a self-destruct button. As much of his adult life within the time frame of his story was in the armed forces we get an insight into how that all male environment can work for both good and bad, healing and further damage.
This is a remarkable read, thought provoking in its subject matter – Abuse, in the secrecy of the home, toward children who don’t know how to escape and within the armed forces where the abusive parent/child dynamic still exists and getting yourself imprisoned is often the only means of escape. Highly recommended.
About the Author
I’ve written Life Without… dozens of times, always during bouts of deep depression, in some way it turns my life back to myself turns it someone else’s story. The first time I was still at School, but back then I called it ‘A Fathers Love’. As a homework assignment we were to write a ten page story which I dreaded. My spelling was atrocious and the scribble I call handwriting is even worse but, when I started, I found I couldn’t stop. A week or so later I handed the teacher over a hundred pages and got an A+ rather than my normal detention.
Next it was ‘Clare’s Tale’ soon after I joined the Army, that one was just for me and was destroyed soon after it was finished, then in ’92 the title Life Without… came. That one was sent to one of the tabloid newspapers, just reading it in the agony aunts section was enough for me. Then, a few years later I was at it again having reached wits end. More by mistake than intention that was aired on forces radio.
They read it out over four days, just as every British squaddie started their coffee break. Then for weeks after that it didn’t matter where I went, someone had heard at least part of it and would be talking about me. From then I’ve had the ambition to be published one day and it gave me the drive to give the story a happy ending.