My Father In Reflection
03/07/1938 – 18/10/2018
The series is a journey of reflection and a final honour to laying the ghosts and demons that have been with me since l was five.
Have l as of yet, discovered anything remarkable in this series of posts that l didn’t know about my Father? No. Currently, l am of the belief that the title to the series is wrong. The man l read is the same person l knew growing up. I knew he liked to not tell the truth, he was a liar and an embellisher of the facts – and l have yet to be proven wrong on that.
Perhaps the title should have reflected “Father, I Knew Him So Well …” as that will have been more accurate. He favoured my Sister more than his first born Son, ok, well l always knew that as well, so nothing new there either.
I approached this with the view of l have questions that l would like to know the answers to and have already seen much of what l suspected already, so no golden nuggets there … so far. I have had answers to questions l had not yet asked, but still no shocks or surprises either……. it is of course early days. But this man that l am reading and reading additionally between the lines of, reads no different to the man l grew up with. The same one l tried to love as a Son loves his Father, but on many occasions was rebuked. I wasn’t his daughter! I could never be that person.
Even between the lines when he tries to come across as someone different, he never strays far off the person l knew or for that matter was. I will of course write a summary at the end of the series. I will review this strange archaelogical literature dig l am on and l will then be able to see if anything was not expected?
My Father, was a selfish man – he married and had children to appear normal to his family and those around him. He never let his mask slip even when he was by himself. I can relate to much of this. I married for the same reasons ironically, to appear ‘normal’ to my parents.
I didn’t wish to marry, l was happy with bachelorhood, but l at the age of 30 was very concerned with how people viewed me. I wasn’t allowed to be myself, so l pretended for years to be a different version of me. But like my Father with marriage with the woman l loved, l thought l could be simply me. But my other half considered me too different to the normal expectations of 2.2, pet, house, career. I did however love my then wife, now ex. Whilst we endured an acrimonious divorce, and there were hostilities sadly all from her, but we have not remained friends nor do we stay in contact with each other. Thankfully we did not have any children. But the difference is that unlike my Father l had wanted children. But it wasn’t right because as a couple we were not suited, so l always was grateful that l didn’t make the error purely for her benefit.
I was considered selfish, and the list went on of what she thought of me. She is now with someone and they have two children and they appear to be very happy and for that l am pleased for her, because that is all she wanted from life.
There are a lot of fateful similiarities between my Father and his Son and our first relationships/marriage.
Of course, l can now with no shadow of a doubt prove my Father was on the spectrum of Autism, with Asperger’s like myself. But he like me, also didn’t know of it’s lurking hiddeness and so we were simply being who we were born to be. But as the saying goes, ‘You meet one person with autism, you have still only met one person with autism’, so great are the differences between two on the spectrum. If our wives had known of this hidden disorder, would this have saved the marriages – no, because the damage was done. The secret was to learn from mistakes and move on and progress forwards within the learning curve.
The big difference and trust me there are many , is that l received a diagnosis when l was 45 and as hard as it was, l welcomed it into my life and changed my ways to become who l was supposed to be, not the masked pretender. But my Father was never diagnosed, and considered any connection to it as seriously harmful, and continued to wear his mask, probably knowing that he was hiding behind it. He let it down inside his relationships, and so great was the difference from masked to unmasked was that it shocked his partners and they then considered him too strange to be with. Principally because he wasn’t being him and when he was himself, it was unexpected.
My Father was a mentally cruel man, he was a wife beater, a strict disciplanarian, a bully and a coward, he had a power complex equally as much as a hero complex, he was as said ‘selfish’ , and only wanted for him, life had to be about him. He was narcisstic and unbelievably vain to boot, as you can see this is not a nice profile. There were many other highly undesirable traits and behavioural styles such as his prolific need to lie all the time and be seen as of a God of sorts, he was that made up this man, my Father.
I can thankfully say that the only thing l share with him as far as ‘behaviours go’, is that we were both of the spectrum with autism, but unlike him, l never regarded that as an issue. Perhaps if he had accepted it into his life instead of referring to others with any disorders as faulty products, he ‘may’, no guarantee of course have had an eaier time of things, but l seriously doubt it.
Was he really on the spectrum, some may ask? No way of knowing now that he dead, but l strongly suspect that was the case with all the research l undertook when trying to understand me.
I learned l had limits and boundaries and so started to live a life around them, but l also realised that the partners l was trying to attract as potential mates, were not the right type of woman. I needed an empath for sure, soneone who was willing to accept difference, and who wasn’t judgemental and filled with expectations of this so called ‘normal defined bullshit’. In terms of ‘quality relationships’ in comparison to quick sexual flings or one night stands, my previous trials and failures in that department were just that, complete failures. BUT, l was diagnosed at the end of my divorce and towards the end of the relationship that followed. I then didn’t rush into a new anything, rather l decided to not do that with regards long term till l knew who l was, but l had also settled that if l found no one, l would accept that as my lot. Not being negative, but honest with two such huge collossal errors l didn’t relish a third, and so became cynical and after a brief period of ‘on-line dating’, l gave up. Then when l least expected it – l met Suze, who was the best person l had ever met in my life.
A longer introduction to a post by my Father than normal, but l felt that this was warranted considering what follows and more so terribly ironic, the title of what follows.
The small tale, falsey titled is actually about my Father and Mother, and yet even in the quiet of his own time, he cannot write truthfully, leading me to think, that he wasn’t so much as lying, but actually had begun to believe his own lies to himself, and the rest of the world. I said to him a couple of months before he died, “Dad in order to be a liar, you have to be mentally healthy, and remember what you have told people. Your lies are now collapsing around you, for fucks sake Man, just tell the truth for once!” This was in regards to his deteriorating health and his refusal for help.
The tale below is a typical argument between my parents of no specific date, but l would say post 70’s and pre 90’s, it was the prelude to the usual nightly conflict at home! My Father was far from perfect, but my Mother was no saint either, and what she used to do was push, cajole and provoke, when this started to occur my Sister and myself would fast leg it upstairs into our bedrooms, shut our doors and either turn up the music or hunker down to escape the warzone!
My Father wasn’t a smoker, and he only really drank at home, as he wasn’t that well liked and had no friends where we lived, so there were no ‘pub nights’, what he would do is basically become violent. The first slap of the night with a mighty ‘Thwack!’, was the signal to a bad night.Violence was my Father’s answer to anything and everything. He could hit harder and often did. I had too many times seen the results of my Father’s beating of my Mother, he knew where to hit so it wasn’t visible to ‘outsiders’. Most hitters do, and ex ‘hard nut’ cops are the worst!
My Father was just as able to make himself out to be the victim as my Mother, although in truth, my Mother was more often the victim than not. After years of being married to my Father, l think she had reached the end of her tether. I know that years of having to put up with a violent man, such as my father had turned a very placid woman into a very, very different person, sadly, and tragically. My Mother had been a Salvation Army Girl when they first met.
But in this story, my Father is ‘the victim’ in his eyes and he tries to cheapen her in the argument, which was his way of putting her down.
Facing Up To Things
“That’s no excuse.”
“What you just said.”
“I said I was tired. What’s bloody wrong with that?”
“I’m bloody tired as well.”
“OK, we’re both tired.”
“You’re going to have to face up to things.”
“Did you hear what I said?”
“I couldn’t help hearing. You are shouting in my ear.”
“I am not bloody well shouting, and put that bloody paper down when I am talking to you.”
“Right, I have put the paper down. What do you want to talk about?”
“Are you blind as well as deaf? About us, that’s what, and this bleedin’ dump.”
“I am neither blind nor deaf, just tired, and I would suggest that you sit down and try to talk calmly.”
“Don’t tell me to sit down or to be bloody calm. I don’t need to take that crap from you.”
“Right, bloody stand up if it pleases you, but try to talk some sense and tell me what in Christ you are going on about.”
“I told you, about us and this “
“I know, I heard, this bleedin’ dump. If you spent more time trying to clean it now and then, it might not be such a dump.”
“Are you saying I don’t clean the place? Are you? Look at it. Who would want to clean a place like this?”
“May I just remind you that this is all I can afford. I’m the only one bringing any money into the sodding house. If you can earn more than me, go out to bloody work and do so. You might get your old job back in Boots.”
“I was a beauty consultant, you know, not just an ordinary shop girl.”
“Right, get yourself a job as a bleeding beauty consultant, and I’ll pack in the lorry driving. It would suit me well, that would. I’ll stay at home and look after the kids.”
“Do you think I am home all day sitting on my arse, and drinking coffee, or playing bridge. It’s hard work looking after my two kids, you know.”
“Oh, they’re your kids now. They are always my kids when you want money for clothes.”
“They certainly are my kids. You didn’t have to have them you know. Do you remember when Tracey was born? I was in agony for eight hours, and when you weren’t in the pub with your mates, you were standing outside the ward smoking.”
“I suppose it a waste of time reminding you that I cannot have children. Men can’t, you know, and you wanted them. I didn’t bloody rape you.”
“You didn’t want them, I suppose? You’re bloody good when it comes to screwing, but bloody useless when you have to live up to your responsibilities. Where are you going?”
“To the pub. I’ve worked eleven hours today. All I wanted was to come home and have a bit of peace and quiet. But that is impossible with you, isn’t it?”
“If you go through that door, you don’t need to come back again. Do you hear me?”
“And don’t you slam that door. Bastard.”
Written by my Father B.M