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Who’s Justin Haywood?

Hi There

By Justin “Jud” HaywoodPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Justin “Jud” Haywood, Rifleman/GPMG Gunner/Plt Signaller 2 Plt A Coy 1 PWRR Telic 13 Iraq 2009

It’s hard to give you a snapshot of who I am but here we go:

I lived the first 30 years of my life on the Isle of Wight (UK) and grew up in a big old house with woods to roam in and a stony beach to explore.

My Mum ran a smallholding with chickens, goats and sheep, and my Dad ran the family engineering firm; I spent as much time as a kid exploring, shooting and falling out of trees as I did locked in my attic bedroom playing computer games and staring for hours at the mainland lights at night.

I detested school, did as little as possible towards my GCSE’s and managed an A in English Language and C’s in everything else that mattered.

At the time, all I cared about was the 3 C’s in English, Maths and Science which would allow me to apply for any enlisted job in the Army.

I joined at 17, quickly managed to break my wrist and decided that the army wasn’t for me.

Hindsight shows me that I’d been suffering with poor mental health for years and had no idea how to handle failure on top of my Grandfather dying a few months before, and my parents divorcing at the same time.

That was 23 years ago and since then I’ve lived at 20+ addresses in 4 counties, I’ve been engaged twice, married once and I’ve got one child.

I went to the US on a single ticket and no clue what I was doing at 18 and spent about three months getting drunk in parts of the US, Mexico and the Cayman Islands before coming home and working random jobs to pay it off.

I’ve been a barman, timeshare salesman, mechanical engineering on the shop floor, Nursing Auxiliary on medical wards, assessment unit and A+E, as well as being a back care tutor randomly.

I’ve worked numerous temp jobs, seen a lot of bodies and rarely stay in a job longer than a couple of years.

I’ve pulled cable, delivered mail and parcels, patrolled the Iraqi border and have tried and failed at more stuff than I can comfortably think about at one time.

These days I’m trying to make myself a better human being after having a complete meltdown 3 years ago and then receiving a tentative diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD or EUPD).

Since then I’ve experienced the NHS and Veteran mental health pipelines and I’ve undertaken a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) course, courtesy of my local health authority, seeing a Psychotherapist courtesy of Walking with the Wounded and moving on to a Mentalisation Behavioural Therapy course next.

After all the things I’ve experienced over the years and all the various roles I’ve done I want to find a way of passing on all that knowledge and lessons learned as well as getting all the mess in my mind out and into print.

I’ve spent all my life reading the stories of other people, gaining insight and learning about how people work and now it’s time for me to start taking an active part in that process.

I’ve gloved up and cleaned infection control rooms or laid out corpses at night on the wards.

I’ve mopped up blood from a torn artery from the walls of A&E with the cleaners.

I’ve patrolled the Iraqi desert as an Infanteer in a Strike Company, operating as a Patrol Signaller after a 20 minute lesson and having stepped off an RAF Merlin at night into a chemically lit minefield.

I’ve delivered parcels in the snow up to secluded farmhouses and spent 12 hour days sloshing around in the rain to deliver letters through tens of thousands of different doors.

I’ve suffered a variety of alphabet diagnoses, some lifelong and some via emotional trauma and gone through a three year breakdown and out into a brave new world on the other side.

I’m writing now for a living and have just started (August 2021) as a Staff Writer and Journalist for The Veterans Community Hub in County Durham (UK) and my articles on being a Reserve Infanteer are soon to be published in The Havok Journal in the US.

I’m currently living in Peterborough and having been offered this amazing role with The Veterans Hub, I’m trying to scrape up the funds to relocate to The Pennines, an area of England where my family and I can finally after so many years start to relax and enjoy our life after twelve years of chaos and lessons learned.

If you’re able to then the link to support me is below

Justin “Jud” Haywood

August 2021


About the Creator

Justin “Jud” Haywood

Justin “Jud” Haywood is creating Stories about BPD/EUPD, the Military and life.

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