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Families…behind closed doors.

October 25, 2009

Again my mate Jeremy gets a mention..his blog today on his family eruption (I was going to say troubles but this one seems to be taking on vesuvian qualities) got me to thinking about Family…in fact about my family…

I by no means have a normal family. My Mum and Dad were childhood sweethearts..I think they started going out together when my Mum was 13 and Dad was 14. They got engaged on my Mum’s 16th Birthday (awww sweet)..then the shit hit the fan (to quote Jeremy’s blog entry with the oh so sweet picture) when (so the story goes) when 6 months later, after my Mum finished her last exam (“O” Levels they were called back then) and they went out to “celebrate”..whoops a little Peter on the way. They got married one month before my Mum’s 17th Birthday (with a bump visible on the wedding pictures ..the bump being me…knowing me I probably kicked like buggery all the way through!) and then 4 months later I popped out into the world.. 3 weeks late !! It seems like one of the common things about late babies is that they usually have a lot of hair…to quote my Dad “you looked like a gorilla baby more than a human one” Nice ! Thanks Dad ! I don’t know where the hair has gone now ?

Is this what I looked like Dad ?

Is this what I looked like Dad ?

Well being young kids still my parents wanted to do different things..Mum wanted house, white picket fence, career and betterment. Dad was more chilled out, he wanted to do his job,, have his tea when he got home and watch football with his mates on a Saturday. So finally things came to a head when I was around 4 and a half….and to this day I still remember that day. I remember I was tidying up cigarette ends into an already full ashtray (both my parents smoked like chimneys…I think thats why I hate the bloody things so much) while the parents were shouting and screaming at each other in the back room (I can remember not being surprised by this so it must have been a pretty regular occurance) and then Mum rushing upstairs. The next thing I remember is standing with my Mum ..both of us crying at the bus stop opposite the house while my Dad looked out of the window crying looking at us. We went to live with Mum’s best friend for a few weeks and then we moved in with Mum’s “new” friend. It seems (well it’s almost 100% certain ) that Mum’s had decided that Dad wasn’t good enough for her and didn’t have enough prospects..so she had an affair with a bloke at work ..Mum denies it to this day..but hey that’s my Mum..

So we moved in with Mel the evil stepfather. I hated him from day one, whereas my Dad never shouted,Mel shouted and screamed, Dad read with me, Mel ignored me, Dad played with me and treated me with respect, Mel played with me and always went too far. Dad was kind, Mel wasn’t. Rather than go through years and years of memories it’s as simple as this. I had a Mum who cared, loved, nurtured and respected me  BUT she let me live in the same house as a man who abused me physically and emotionally on a daily basis.

Be good - or you'll get the cushion

Be good - or you'll get the cushion

From the age of 5 to 18 I lived on my tiptoes, one thing one day would make him erupt into rage and make him literally foam at the mouth…but the next time the same minor thing happened..no reaction. I can remember that he used to play fight with me..but always go too far…he’d put a cushion over my head to pretend to suffocate me…but then when i got frightened and started screaming he wouldn’t stop..and when he finally did and seeing I was crying he’d spit in my face that I was a weak baby and pathetic. This was a weekly occurence ..and my Mum looked on..most times she’d try and stop him..but only when it was happening – never before. The physical abuse wasn’t so bad…the emotional abuse that both my Mum and I suffered from him was worse. He would frequently scream in my face that I was stupid, worthless, ugly. horrible, twisted and numerous other lovely terms. At the same time as this, Mum would do my homework with me, read with me, take me out to museums, stately homes, gardens and generally help me explore and grow my intelligence. Mum and I would sit together every night for a cuddle every night up to me being 18..it was just expected. She was a fair, good Mother…she taught me to think for myself, to learn that nothing is never free, that if you want something work towards it yourself because no one else is going to give it to you, she taught me to cook, to clean, to iron to do household stuff..everything a child needs to make their way in the world…but she failed in one big thing. She was never honest with me about her and Mel, she made me take his name to make her life easier (I was supposedly given a choice at the age of 5 whether I wanted to use his name and call him Dad and I supposedly chose for that) and she let me live for years with a man who abused me..never sexually or physically hard enough to warrant hospital treatment..but abuse it was. To the outside world we always looked the perfect happy family, parents, son and dog…but no-one else ever knew what went on when the doors were closed and it was just us.

I blocked this abuse out for years..but finally dealt with it when I was 30. I forgave my Mother (though she treated that with disdain..), she finally got enough courage to actually leave my stepfather earlier this year…35 years too late in my book but it was her life and her decision. The past year with her has been an up and down soap opera..we’re currently not speaking..and I think I need a break from her. In the past 20 years our whole relationship has me being her confidant and only friend..rather than just her son. My Stepfather over the years has got worse and couldn’t hide his true personality from people..consequently they would find friends..but within six months these friend would realise what an arsehole my stepfather was and move on… I actually think it was the ES’s (Evil Stepfather) way of keeping Mum under control..and she let him. I’ve come to realise that as my Mum is a child of the 1950’s she has this attitude that a woman must have a man looking after her and making the decisions, and that a woman can’t be divorced twice and that no-one should ever know what really goes on at home behind closed doors. That’s her mentality..not mine…hence the blog.

I wanted to say all the above as because when I was a kid all I wanted was a perfect family..just like I thought my friends had….but now as an adult I know…no-one has a normal family..there’s always something going on, always some secret, always something you can’t say… i may not have had a normal family, but I am loved by my Mum and my Dad’s side of the family..and luckily religion never paid any part whatsoever in any part of my family..and for that I am extremely happy !!!!

I think that’s enough “spewing” for one weekend !!!!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. cafewitteveen permalink
    October 26, 2009 17:31

    Um, my name is Jeremy, and I have a fucked up family too.

    You know, it’s weird reading this. Here I am trying to think, if I was your mum or stepdad, would I be offended? I was just about to write a post about how people don’t want to see a poor reflection of themselves, not in the mirror and definitely not in words. Supernaturalism pervades cultures. It’s like, if I see a picture of me, I better be at my best angle and with perfect light. That’s not the case.

    But now it’s all about me.

    I think of violence as a repressed expression of love a lot of times. You know, you’re on the playground when you’re 5. Instead of kissing Betty or Bobby Lou, you punch them in the stomach … because you love them. Obviously.

    But then we grow up, and people express themselves in different ways. And it’s the people who are psychological repressed and incapable of dealing with their internal demons, they’re the people that either shut down all together or they use violence instead of words to express feelings.

    I like words. I like your words.

    Keep putting this stuff out there. We all learn from each other.

  2. cafewitteveen permalink
    October 26, 2009 17:45

    I wrote in brackets in front of the first line that I “raised my hand and stood up from my chair” (a la Alcoholics Anonymous meeting). Apparently writing in brackets is seen as writing html code and it disappeared.

  3. October 26, 2009 20:00

    Thanks for commenting…. I have been pondering the same…Rich and I last night did a Tina & Jeremy and argued about me posting this on the blog….but in the end he did the Dutch thing…gave his opinion clearly and let me do what i wanted or felt I wanted to do

    The post stays for now….. and if my Mum or ES reads it and has a problem…it’s theirs not mine !!! MBMR (My Blog My Rules)

  4. cafewitteveen permalink
    October 26, 2009 20:12

    MBMR!!!!

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