Scary Things (part one)

July 10, 2007 at 2:59 am 1 comment

There’s at least two issues I keep trying to write about without much success. The first is my father with regard to what’s wrong with him and how things were when I was a kid. The second is to do with relationships. So, since I’ve had a positive thing happen today, maybe I can get to the end of this post without deleting everything I’ve written.

(The positive thing, by the way, is that when I was at university I built up a collection of ripped tracks from various CDs. Unknown to me, Windows was applying a nasty casing of DRM to each one, so when I had to reinstall Windows or change my computer none of them would play. I’ve kept all the CDs I backed them up onto, though, waiting for the time someone would write some software to strip all the DRM away and let me listen to them again. And today, oh frabjous day, I found a piece of software to do exactly that. Hence, I’m listening to music I haven’t heard in years.)

OK, so, my father. I think I mentioned that my memory of him from when I was 5 to when I was 15 is close to non-existent. After an illuminating conversation with my mum, it turns out things were worse than I thought. I shared my bedroom with my older brother for a few years. So when he went off to university, I ended up with a big room with two beds. Sometimes, apparently, when my father was in a particularly angry mood, my mum would sleep in my room and place a chair under the door. I would have been nine or so. I have no memory of this at all.

I do remember constant arguments. My mum suggests this was because I was naughty in that I wouldn’t do what I was told. I think this might be true, but the reason why I didn’t do what he said was because, even as a child, I knew his random demands were unreasonable and dumb. If there’d been good reasons for anything I’d have had no problems going along with his instructions. I needed things to make sense and, well, they didn’t.

Things really started to get bad after I was 8 and kept getting worse and worse. I remember, when I was in my early teens, feeling completely worn out with everything and suggesting (with my mum as a mediator) that we put aside our differences and try to keep things civil. I stuck to my side of the bargain, holding my tongue through serious provocation for a couple of months. But my father couldn’t do that, he remained exactly the same and eventually I gave up. Family counselling was suggested later on, but he completely refused to consider it.

I wanted to kill him. My mum says she had to persaude me not to by telling me that she’d have to take the blame. “Oh go on, we can make it look like an accident…”

He made my life hell for a decade or more. I spent that time absolutely filled with bitter, livid rage with no way to express it effectively. He was unreasonable, unpredictable, verbally abusive and there was no way out. Perhaps because things very quickly went from good to terrible, I felt betrayed by someone I should have been able to trust. It went beyond bad parenting, into vindictiveness, and probably into emotional abuse. My behaviour as a child wasn’t perfect, but in general I was a good kid. He had no right to treat me in the way he did – as an enemy rather than as his child.

*deep breath*

OK, so when this deep pit of horror that has opened up beneath me goes away, I’ll be back with the relationships rant.


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Hospital Worker Hates Borderlines Scary Things (part two)

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Edelweiss  |  July 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    “He had no right to treat me in the way he did – as an enemy rather than as his child.”

    Absolutely right. Absolutely right. And as a mother now, I cannot begin to understand why somebody would behave like that to their own child. How could a child’s success, a child’s intelligence threaten a parent? Why wouldn’t they rather delight in it?

    My father was pretty much as your describe yours. Still is, but I don’t have to live with him now. I coped by withdrawing into myself and keeping everyone away until I was lucky enough to meet a man I could trust (and still can entirely, eighteen years later). How lucky is that? My relationship with my father came back to haunt me and, like a very unpleasant boil, my memories had to be lanced. I found counselling very helpful because my counsellor created a very safe environment in which I could feel all the feelings I had stuffed away. I also found The Father Factor and Father Hunger very good books. There are reviews of them on Amazon if you are interested…

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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