By Deborah Spungen.
Adapted for the News Of The World (Dec 4th & 11th 1983), from And I Dont Want To Live This Life (published by Corgi).
A childhood of tantrums
NANCYS problems-and oursbegan the minute she was born on February 27, 1958. She was jaundiced and needed an immediate blood transfusion.
From the beginning it seemed to us that she screamed and cried too much. And then there were the tantrumsher little body tensing, stiffening like a boardand all the while screaming her heart out.
She was just three months old when she was given her first sedative.
The doctor probably thought I was a selfish annoying mother and the drugs would stop my complaining, Unfortunately It only covered up the real problem.
As a toddler, Nancy was deeply disturbed. She turned her home into a battleground with her terrifying tantrums. She was four when she saw her first psychiatrist.
When she was 11 she attacked me with a hammer because I wouldnt take her to a museum. "Take me or Ill kill you. she raged.
In her fury Nancy would smash rooms to pieces. At other times shed just sit and wail: I want to die.
Her childhood was spent in and out of schools for disturbed children.
She was 13 and at one such school when she first tried drugs.
BY the time she was 15, the daughter I loved was a heroin addict. Drugs gave her the oblivion she craved.
Doctor after doctor stuck his head in the sand. Each one rejected Nancy after a few months and told us: Take her somewhere else.
It wasnt until she was 15 that she was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
Two Years later we decided we could cope no longer and she would have to leave home.
Tragic end to a long ordeal
SlD VICIOUS appeared in court charged with murder in November, 1978. He pleaded not guiltybut he too was to die before the court would have the chance to decide.
It was just a preliminary hearing and I was dreading the full trial. I knew what would be said about Nancy.
They called her Nauseating Nancy. The stories of her murder made it sound like she only got what she deserved like a rape victim wearing a provocative dress asks far it.
In life she was regarded as a distasteful celebrity, in death, a freak.
No one wanted to know about Nancys pain, her sadness, her sensitivity.
I wanted to run to the highest roof into scream Nancy was my baby! No matter what she became, she didnt deserve to be treated this way
But I couldnt fight any more. I ached too much from our tortured life with Nancy.
Frank and I were summoned to the District Attorneys office to meet Allen Sullivan, who would be prosecuting. He treated us like criminals.
For two hours he threw questions at us about Nancy, her life-style and our relationship with her. If we didnt know the answers, he pressed us, bullied us, belittled us.
He even asked us If wed ever been arrested. When we said we hadnt he made it clear he didnt believe us.
Meanwhile Sid stayed in the news. In the second week of December he was jailed again for allegedly slashing a mans face with a broken beer bottle.
His former manager Malcolm McLaren, the man who launched the Sex Pistols in Britain, was quoted as saying: Sid is hell-bent on living up to his image.
The following February Sid was again out on bail. He celebrated with a party in Greenwich Village on February 1st.
About midnight he decided to shoot up some heroin. It was too much and he died in his sleep (Feb. 2nd). He was 21 years old.
His death was ruled an accidental overdose.
Immediately she heard the news, Sids mother rang me. She wanted to know if she could bury Sid next to Nancy. I was too shocked to say anything other than No.
But with Sids death I realised the nightmare was over. Thered be no trial and wed be left alone.
We moved house. I wanted rooms Nancy had never lived in, chairs shed never sat in.
And when wed done that I could finally cryuncontrollable torrents of grief for my baby.
Since then Frank and I have set up a fund to raise cash for other children addicted to drugs.
Its too late for my Nancy, but for the others - and for the parents who blame themselvesthere is hope. With my book I wanted to tell them that.
Researched and compiled by Phil Singleton.
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