The right to wash my own clothes.

In 2005, my Dad bought a new washing machine. Once set up, I asked him how to use it, it looked more complicated than the previous. He immediately shrugged my question off, he was too busy to explain. I left it that day not wanting to provoke him. The next day, I asked again. He responded by saying that I should work it out myself. When I agreed and asked for the manual he told me he’d “misplaced” it.

Why was he so against me learning to work this machine? It was obvious: he wanted me to be dependant on him.

I had washed my clothes before, what was stopping him from allowing me to do it now?

He told me to put my clothes in the washing basket and to allow him to do it. It was a nice gesture, I think but I did not want my father rooting through my belongings. Belongings that included my underwear. Is that perverse? Who questions their parents? However, he already made me feel uncomfortable every day. He had already crossed so many boundaries and parental lines. To him, he was doing me a favour. To me, I felt an incredible invasion into my most personal privacy.

I ended up with no choice. My father won and began washing my clothes. It may seems like a little thing but ultimately, I handed over a huge amount of power and control to him and I did it willingly.

17.07.05 – Diary entry.

My shorts (brand new) shrunk in the wash. I had only worn them once. My father washed them after seeing them on my bedroom chair, they weren’t even dirty. I thought the rule was to put it in the basket? Nothing is safe. He tells me he’s doing me a favour washing my clothes for me. I tell him, foolishly, that he shrunk my shorts explaining that I had saved up for them. I didn’t spend a lot on clothes but when I bought something I loved, I didn’t expect it to be ruined in minutes of having it. I stupidly asked my Dad to repay me the money for it. He would do it to me. What an idiotic thing to do.

“I’m not your laundry man, it’s not my job, who has the time to do that?” He explains after I asked whether he checked the labels.

I continue to say that everybody checks the labels. He laughs at me. He forces me to apologise for blaming him. Tells me I am “twisting his arm”, he doesn’t even know the meaning of the expressions he is using. He proceeds to say,

“God, I wish I had gone out this morning!”

He repeats this, apparently I’m argumentative now. Since when is talking the same as arguing? He cannot talk to me, there is always something wrong in what I say. I am supposed to shut up.

Suddenly, he begins a rant about my ISAs and that he will no longer give me a drop of money because I have been so secretive about where my money is going. He is my Dad and I do not trust him- TRUE.

He says he will not give me anything until I open up about my bank accounts. The tears come.

I don’t want ANYTHING from that man.

I just want freedom.

After an hour of back and forth he reluctantly throws £30 in my face.

I walk away from it, realising I am about to cause another argument, one where I am insulting him by not taking his money, I go back and take it.


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