I was up early this morning as I couldn’t sleep properly, and for some reason I was thinking about my Achilles Heel and whether it was justice. I say you are a product of your parents in many ways, I know I am for sure – very much like My Mum.
Although she is no longer here, everyone who knew her and speaks to me about their memories always call her a Lady – a gentle one. I know I’m bias, but she really was someone I looked up to and continue to do so.
At her funeral, hundreds filled the church. It reminded me how much she meant to people, always going out of her way to help others.
My weakness or vulnerable point appears to be justice and my pursuit of it, whether it be for myself or others. Without sounding religious, I genuinely believe in it even if there might not be such a thing – well, that’s what lawyers have told me.
I’m not naïve to think that many others would have quit the pursuit of this thing called ‘justice’, in similar circumstances.
After becoming ill with depression having experienced racism and homophobia at work, I couldn’t quit…
- When I was bullied at work to stop my complaints of discrimination
- When my pay was stopped by my employer
- When my private data was leaked to The Sun newspaper by my employer
- When I was threatened not to pursue my employment hearing
- When my relationship suffered
- When I had only £1 in my bank account
I am not made of steel clearly, but My Mum keeps me going – yes, even though she is not here in person.
I judge my standards in life and how I treat others, by whether given all the circumstances would she be proud of me? By this I mean, I know she wouldn’t be if I told her I was out committing crimes everyday – what parent would?
That said, I went the total opposite end from committing crimes.
When I joined the police not long after university, I really felt I could make a difference to other people’s lives. I joined the police service on the same day I resigned as a volunteer with St John Ambulance (the national first-aid organisation), after 13-years service with it from the age of 10.
I was passionate as a Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Trained Officer and Detective, helping to get justice for those victims (male and female) whom had been subjected to this horrid offence along with other serious crimes like woundings.
Unintentionally, justice has been around me in one way or another all my life. However, knowing the difference between right and wrong has cost me. And, I don’t mean monetary.
When I joined the Metropolitan Police on transfer as a Detective from the Greater Manchester Police, I had never taken a single day’s sickness, been subject to any performance related issues and no disciplinary procedures had been initiated against me.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t walk to and from work on water – but, I never joined the police for a difficult life. What would be the point?
I was following a childhood dream, for a good life.
Since being diagnosed with depression after experiencing racism and homophobia, this serious mental health condition naturally finished my clean run of no sickness.
I was then taken through the relevant stages of dismissal for unsatisfactory performance (because I became unwell after racism and homophobia at work), and have been subjected to so many disciplinary and misconduct investigations now that I can’t recall the number.
The only thing that is gross (misconduct), is the fact that after a person becomes unwell with depression having experienced discrimination at work – he and he alone, is the only person subjected to negative and detrimental action.
One would think, the police wanted to eradicate discrimination not condone it.
I’m not looking for people to be hanged as a result of my experiences as there is no point with those who cannot change anything, leadership comes from the top down. However, hanging the person who came forward with discriminatory practices continues to baffle me daily.
When I write, it sometimes feels the stuff of fiction. But, sadly it is not.
It would be disingenuous of me if I said the press hadn’t been interested in my View from the Bottom to tell of my experiences, but I’m not and have never looked for 15 minutes of fame. Anyway, it’s not as if I have anything positive to say… I became ill after experiencing racism and homophobia, then all this happened etc etc.
It’s hardly the same as… I’ve just won an award for A, B or C.
My ‘View from the Bottom’ Blog, allows me to share my experiences generally with those who want to read of them without fear or favour – my own words, my voice. I’m not a member of a political party, and have never been one. I just write as I see it, even if the truth might not be what others want to hear – friend or foe.
Love or hate my writing, I am what I am. We all are.
I’m not a reckless person by any stretch of the imagination either, but the saying is true that ‘a man (or woman) who has nothing to lose, has nothing to fear’. You can’t be scared of what you no longer have!
I too do not hate the police, I don’t like that word anyway. I am disappointed, more than anything else. I have friends who are serving officers and one of my closest female friends is one, so I’m not going to go down a road I don’t believe in – hating that is.
I do know though that, I have been treated badly and the powers that be sometimes need to be reminded of this – about, what actually goes on on the shop floor. I know they read my View from the Bottom.
One of my old bosses (a senior female detective) told me that foremost… she was a police officer who happens to be a woman. In contradiction to this, I am a gay black man of mixed-heritage, who happened to be a police officer. I was born these things.
A job or career, does not define me as a person.
I cannot recall My Mum ever telling me that I came into this world in Liverpool, dressed as a police officer. Although, the thought of it is funny.
Finally, if you can please support My Fight for Justice campaign at: www.indiegogo.com/myfightforjustice.
Thanks for reading.
This has been a…thoughtful, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2012.