Who Let The Geist In?
“Both of my parents regarded me as more than a little strange, a very dark, dark soul ready to raise hell….“Who Let The Geist In?
Just prior to emigrating back to the United Kingdom from Australia in February 1977, the previous month/s as in November, December and very early January 1976/1977 were very troublesome periods in my life. My family had got to a point that they believed me to be troubled mentally.
If you know of my stories about my life, you will know that my father referred me quite often when l was growing up as backward and stupid and on some occasions ‘retarded’ – these were terms he used to throw at me alongside, the likes of, “you’re not my son or my son if you were him, would be smarter, more social and the list of insults from roughly the age of l would say just after my 11th birthday grew almost daily.
I was convinced that my father didn’t just dislike me, but hated me with a passion. My sister fared much better from his attentions from her very young years till literally a couple of years before his death in 2018. She could do NO wrong ever, even when it was blatantly obvious she was in the wrong and was as wrong as he was.
This placed my mother and l at times in precarious situations domestically. My father was a violent and brutal man, who thought not twice of beating his wife or his son but never his daughter – she could do no wrong’. The problem with this is that the misdirected angers manifested themselves into other area of our lives. If my mother felt persecuted by my father and her husband, she then directed her own bitterness and anger at her daughter and my sister, which in turn meant that my sister would be seriously scolded by my mother…..
…………. except, my mother soon learned that if she scolded my sister too harshly, then my father would beat her. So then my mother raging many a time through various temper cycles looked for other avenues to vent her rage and her emotional upheaval.
She vented her physical rages on her son and she vented her emotions into suicide attempts or sadly she exercised her cruelty in another fashion in order to gain attentions to her sadness from outsiders without simply saying she was a victim to a wife beater and she acheieved this through at the time an undiagnosed disorder she had called Munchausen’s by Proxy Syndrome . This is no longer known as that – it is referred today as Factitious Disorder by Proxy.
This has become one of the ‘elephants in the room’ that is no longer discussed by my mother who poo poos it all and states it was a fabrication of my father – which would be all well and good if no one else was included in her disorder and therefore wouldn’t know any different. Except that’s not the case … my mother has/was/is/has always been a hypochondriac and there is a difference between the two – one is an anxiety disorder whilst the other is when you always want to be seen as ill, or alternatively you want others to believe that someone in your care is ill.
If you haven’t already guessed … then the someone the carer wanted others to believe was ill, was me – her son. Back in the very later sixties and early to mid seventies or if you wish a period of time from when l was 6 – 1969 – 15 – 1978 my mother subjected me to countless visits to the hospital and many a time l had to undergo investigations and proceedures under the guise that l was ill.
It mattered not when l told the medical teams that l was not ill, because back then in that time period my mother was my prime carer and her word was concrete! Back then, no one knew l was on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s.
I remember when l was a child of having nothing seriously wrong with me. In all, l was actually a pretty healthy child who if anything was guilty of no more than being slightly quirky and at times inappropriate by asking too many questions. I had a ruptured appendix at 10 and my tonsils out when l was 11 or something – pretty normal really!.
Being brought up in Australia l hardly ever had any major problems with my health – except when my mother wanted to get attention – then l was an ill child! The long terms effects of that time is that today, l hate doctors and hospitals and l never want to go even if l was dying, l would not wish to go to hospital. There have been actual times in my life when l have been seriously ill that l have had to almost be forced to go to hospitals under the threat of forced sedation.
So as much as l loved my parents, neither of them was particularly without serious faults and both at times were guilty of cruelty. Life was really hard back then. My mother was so miserable that when she wasn’t carting me off to hospital or slapping or punching me then she was trying to kill herelf with overdoses. When that wasn’t happening, l had to continually tread carefully around my father when he was in a bad mood, because he too would lash out. So many a time thankfully l simply retreated into my own world.
But my own world was at times darker than my actual world was and as l started to read more deeply into horror l also started to read more books to do with witchcraft and the supernatural. The unknown and undiagnosed Aspergers/autism welcomed me retreating into the darkness, welcomed the darkness to manifest itself into my imagination and the darkness allowed me to experiment with self harm which for me at that time was cutting.
I hid the smaller scratches and passed them off scuffs and scrapes caused by mishaps when kids play outside, but l remember the tingle of losing small amounts of blood and the joy it offered me. Long before l left Australia to return to my birth country of England, l was already a broken child mentally.
I had a violent father who drank and who denied l was his son, a violent and highly neurotic and pill swallowing suicidal mother who craved attention and a supposedly angelic sister who was gifted in the finer arts of manipulation of parents and who many a time was able to escape punnishment by redirecting blame to her brother.
Neither, my father, my sister and or myself wanted to leave Australia, it was my mother and she created years of merry hell till she got what she wanted from her husband. He had gone through this when we lived in Malaysia and she wanted to live in Australia – simply put my mother was a very unhappy woman with my father and she didn’t actually want to live anywhere with him …….. but she detested Australia and Malaysia and had convinced herself that England was going to be better.
So finally, my father agreed to the move, l think it was either that or face years in prision as a wife murderer!
During the weeks leading up to the house move, my parents didn’t just give my book collection away, they made a big song and dance about burning the evil literature away in the garden as ‘they were not suitable reading materials for a 13 year old boy to take into England!
On Wednesday 26th January 1977 at 2.00pm, we left Melbourne docks and set sail on a four week adventure at sea and we would arrive in Southampton on the 26th February. I remember the date and the times very clearly , l wasn’t happy at leaving a country that l had called my true home for many years to travel to a country that l couldn’t remember with a family that l felt would end up probably killing me one way or another. I was 13 when we left Australia – and as l saw Melbourne disappear l recall feeling very unhappy, very sad, very alone, very angry and very, very dark minded.
Maybe, life in England would improve our family? Maybe being in England would make my mother happy, maybe…
Thanks for reading … Part 3 – Soon.