Michael Seed should have received what every child deserves: love, care and attention, and the chance to be just what he was - an innocent young boy. Instead, from as far back as he can remember, Michael's childhood was nothing but a daily ordeal of unspeakable neglect, misery and abuse from a father whose tyranny of fear stole Michael's formative years from him and drove his wife and Michael's mother to suicide. After years of silence, he now feels ready to tell a story that, though shockingly painful, is a testament to one human's remarkable ability to triumph over the most appalling of circumstances. Living under the 'care' of his adoptive parents, life for Michael was hell from the start. Long before his school days, the only lesson he learned was to try and avoid being noticed by his alcoholic father. If he managed this, there was a chance of escaping the daily beatings and extreme verbal abuse he only assumed was part of normal childhood, and it would only be his mother that would receive whatever violence was meted out that day. More often than not, though, Daddy would find time to ensure that both Michael and his Mother felt his wrath together. Then, one awful night, Michael realized that the abuse was escalating to another level when his father began the sexual abuse that would continue for years. The abuse did not stop at home. Once he began school, Michael once again fell victim to terrible bullying and a teacher who violated him repeatedly. After his mother's death, he was sent to his grandmother who, it turned out, was prepared to show no mercy. Michael, it seemed, was destined for a life of inescapable misery. Yet, despite the horror of these years, Michael was ultimately saved by his own will to live, and the books which inspired him to move on and seek a better life. This is the remarkable story of an individual who, against all the odds, managed to preserve his own dignity and finally escape the horrors of a stolen childhood.
Michael Seed was born in Manchester and adopted as a baby. His adoptive mother committed suicide when he was eight. He was then raised by his grandmother in the Salvation Army. He was dyslexic and was sent to a special boarding school for maladjusted children, but still didn't learn to read until he was 12. He is a Roman Catholic and has been a Franciscan Friar for 25 years. He has been at Westminster Cathedral in London for 23 years, as Secretary of Ecumenical Affairs under the late Cardinal Hume and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.