However, soon you’ll see that mess which started in Australia by my mother and what l consider a crazy Italian lady in 1976 was soon to take a different direction in early February 1977 when the Australis berthed in Curacao and my mother sought out Caribbean magic with deadly purpose?Who Let The Geist In? Part 8
In the early days of February 1977, when the Australis was berthing in Curacao – whilst l might have conceded to someone asking – did l think my mother was mentally unstable – with a no, had they asked if l thought she was slightly crazy, l would have answered a with a stern YES with a cherry on top. I had always suspected that she was a bit crazy, but she always blamed my father for her insanity or bouts of madness.
He was to blame for everything going … that included rain and cold weather – next on the blame list was my sister. Did l consider my sister crazy? No, not in the slightest — a manipulator as far as dad was concerned and a tricky one to watch out for … crazy no, aware of the situation more than she let on? Oh yeah!!
My sister learned how to play two parents off against each other at a very young age and ultimately caused equally as many arguments between two supposedly wise adults than any one – person l have ever known. My sister continued this behaviour long into her teenager years, long into being a young adult and basically the only time my father started to catch onto her was when he was in his later 70’s, divorced and living by himself. My sister had managed to ease her way into his life, his love life and his wallet with great smoothness and no moral grace!
My father often, too often berated and belittled me – his son at any opportunity he could when l started to become a teenager – l was never any good for him, there was always something wrong and yet my sister was supposedly angelic in his eyes, but my mother actually detested her – she would categorically deny that today – unless you know her and what she says today is “I never understood my daughter, but l knew her to be manipulative!” Which l always considered rich coming from someone who was also a manipulator! The problem was and is, you can’t really have two manipulators in the same room as it always becomes very Highlanderish as in …. there can be only one! Someone’s head must roll!
Was my father crazy? No, he was violent, narcissistic and a prime liar – but was he crazy? No, sadly he was just the way he was through his own creation … he was a God in his eyes, an Atlas – a gift to all women, and would happily have bedded all women if he could on the premise – that he was MAN and therefore superior – women in his eyes had very few purposes – notably – kitchen, house, and bed and mostly in that order! He was also an incorrigible flirt, something which l have also been accused of over the years … not entirely true – l prefer to chat, don’t misunderstand l do enjoy flirting, but if l am in a relationship – l don’t flirt, l chat – if no relationship – then l flirt.
But so too was my mother – something which she also seemingly forgets these days .. she was extremely flirtatious and when she flirted with men, she wanted to have them fawn and fall over her and maybe bed her, but she just preferred to have men make my father jealous. When my father flirted his target was to bed women and make my mother jealous. Yet they maintained they loved each other – my mother would often say – she ‘worshipped the ground’ my father trod. She denied ever saying that by 1981 .. then she maintained she simply hated him and would love to see him ……. gone, from her eyesight, from the house, from the planet and from the world
I would say my parents hated being with each other for most of the years they were together and married .. they never understood each other and they never really tried to .. l will never defend my father’s use of violence towards my mother – that was unacceptable, no man should ever strike a woman. But he struck her, he beat her … she should have divorced him, she never did … he wanted to divorce her, but maintained she begged him not to or he would never see the children again and yet, my father wasn’t a true father . he was my maker, his sperm created me .. although he for many years maintained l wasn’t his – but couldn’t really divorce on the grounds of his Catholic upbringing.
Catholics and their beliefs and convictions have a lot to answer for as far as l was concerned as a young boy growing up in a supposedly religious family …. they weren’t allowed to do or perform a, b, c or d, but it was perfectly acceptable to not only do so frequently when suited as well as engage and thoroughly enjoy, e, f, g and bloody H too! But our house wasn’t religious – religion was used as a weapon against my mother from my father, from my mother towards my father and aimed at us by both!
Was l crazy in 1977? No, l was terrified and just wanted some peace and quiet and normalcy from my parents and family life … l wouldn’t see that at any stage when living at home – but then, l was considered mentally and physically unsound by both of my parents for various reasons from the age of 7 anyway … no one knew much about autism back then, let alone hidden Asperger’s and certainly nothing about bipolar or Munchausen by proxy which my mother would be diagnosed with both in the 80’s and l would receive a diagnosis of mild bipolar in the early years of the millennium – later confirmed to only be’ cyclothymic disorder and yet that was also disputed once the diagnosis of Asperger’s was confirmed in 2008 … but was l crazy in 1977?
No more than you …
Whilst we awaited the docking procedure to commence from the ship to the port in Willemstad, my parents were having a discussion that soon escalated into an argument about the cabin Steward who attended to our needs during the voyage and my father was yelling at my mother to stop her flirting with him! But more importantly – to “at least try and act sane around the children’ and to not do anything crazy when in Curacao!”
At that, l distinctly remember that both my sister and l exchanged looks of apprehension and we sort of grimaced at each other and smiled at the same time. “Do you think she will do anything silly again?” My sister asked of me…. “Who knows, l just want to get off this ship!”
An hour later when we were standing on the quay looking at the ship with our mother, waiting on my father to find a taxi to take us into the city on account of the small fact that mum didn’t want to go on ‘another’ scheduled excursion organised by the ship. I was thinking how hot it was, and wondering what was on the list that my mother kept on looking at every time we arrived somewhere new that she just produced from her purse, and WHY did she keep muttering to herself in a language l had never heard her use before??
Thanks for reading … Part 10 – Soon