The Power of Mind.

 

As everybody else tucks into their mince pies and mulled wine, I have spent the last week wondering why my horrific nightmares have returned. I haven’t dreamt this way since living with my abuser and even in times of the worst stress, I have been able to wake myself up from these nightmares. However, recent nights have not allowed me to do that. Instead, I endure the horror and wake distraught, confused and panicked.

Only last week I dreamt my father attacked me and woke up suddenly, clinging to my wrist, letting out a jumble of frightened words.

I was convinced my wrist hurt for the rest of the day. How long had I been holding it? Long enough to hurt myself? Maybe. The fear, but the fear was so intense.

My father was never physically violent to me. I use the word physically specifically as there is such thing as emotional violence. He did that all the time. He never hit or slapped me. He didn’t throw things at me. Yet he would spit on the floor beside me as he called me a filthy pig and he would kick over a rammed dustbin to remind me it needed emptying.

Nothing was ever direct. How wrong of me for wishing it was.

He would not give me that. Physical violence would have been a privilege for me as he often stated. I did not deserve an ending to my “misery” with him, he would mock – he often joked about my life knowing he was the cause.

I dream the most horrible of things. Frightening, sadistic, gut-wrenching.

Some nightmares of the past will never be forgotten. The moments where I woke in the night dreaming that my father had slit my throat and I had witnessed my own death. The dreams where I see myself lying in a coffin with ligatures around my neck or that I cannot breathe as I sleep. Those dreams haunt me.

When most things are certainly better in my life, there is a great deal of other stresses to contend with at the moment. Things my husband and I cannot avoid and although we are supporting each other, times are tough. Mentally it’s tough.

It is something I cannot openly talk about on here with fear of who may read it but be sure, I will express what we are going through over the next few months as sadly, I do not believe we will be free of it for a while but when we are, well, god I pray these nightmares disappear.

The mind is magical. When you think you are coping, it shows you in ways you cannot expect that you aren’t. Positive thinking and all that jumbo is fine, but really all I want is freedom. I can deal with life stresses – what life runs without lows, troubles or faults? I just cannot deal with surprises, tricks, manipulation. I should not have to any more.

I should not have to dream of a man who tortured me so badly.

He is dead and gone and I should be free.

 

 

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Never-Ending Story.

Nothing to do with the film but everything to do with the story of my life.

A few months ago, I made a conscious decision to stop blogging about past, to focus on the happier things occurring in my life. Blessed with the news of the pregnancy, it seemed like a new start. A chance where I could finally look to the future. My father is no longer a problem physically yet his ever-controlling presence sadly still exists.
I am yet to see a penny of my inheritance as I approach the two year anniversary of his death. To make matters worse as I am still residing with my mother, I still have to endure the daily torture of passing my old abuser’s home every day to work and back.

This is something sadly I have grown accustomed to this past year however it annoys me slightly that the new owners have already moved in and re-decorated, moving forward with their lives and I am stuck waiting, without news, on a chance to move forward with mine.

Surprisingly, that I can deal with.

The real upset is my sister.

I have always said to David, to my friends, that one day soon she would begin to etch herself back into my mother’s life and today we discover she is continuing her journey back to our mum.

It all began last year on Boxing Day when my mother received a card from her. Slowly, over the year, she has found new ways to find an avenue to return. It is never consistent. Instead, every few months she re-appears and toys with her mother’s emotions. An opportunity allowed itself in April. A chance appeared by natural where she could have easily re-entered the family ‘fold’. However, it was her choice to reject that chance when I attempted to call her and inform my only sister that I was pregnant.

She would not allow it. She just would not speak to me and the sweet, innocent news was broken to her by email. Yes, I did not hold back either. I felt at that point, it was within my right to tell her a few home truths about her. Many, many times over many many years have I listened to her tell me my faults and I have always bitten my tongue in reference to her. Mostly out of fear to awaken the beast inside. Her anger has always been terrifying (at times worse than his). However, I am a thirty two year old woman and she is forty for crying out loud. Perhaps it is time to reflect on the reasons why you are so estranged from your family? We NEVER walked away from you.

Many would ask why it bothers me that my sister is back in contact?

Let me make it clear – she is not back in contact with me. Only my mother. Cards on her birthday only. Letters only addressed to her. Did she congratulate me on my good news? No. Has she mentioned the baby when writing to our mother? No. Her intentions are very clear. She wants my mother back only. NOT me.

Well let me make my intentions clear.

I will not go through it again. I will not participate in any mind games. I refuse to be controlled. You may think your trusted strategy will bring you great success again, after all it worked so well with our father. I cannot speak for our mother. I do not know what you intend to use for your advantage this time. Will it be the tried and tested emotional tactic of using the grandchildren? Or perhaps the fact that you’ve suddenly realised you ‘need’ a mother figure in your life again? Just hurry up and make up your mind.

To be honest, if you really wanted to move forward you would not be pushing me aside. Hurt does not even cover it. You abandoned both your parents yet offered your love back to them like nothing had happened. Yet that love has never been offered to me.

Just say it. You wish I’d never come along don’t you?

I look at my friends and people on Facebook sharing photos of their sisters and I’m jealous. After all these years, I’m still jealous.

At least it proves one thing.

I have a heart.

The cost of kindness.

I sometimes forget all the things that are free in this world. Kindness is one of them. After being sent a link on Facebook, (35 pictures to prove there is some good in this world) it made me think about how easy it is to take such a basic emotion for granted.

When living with my abuser, kindness was almost forbidden – certainly on his part and especially towards me. His exterior often portrayed a kind and generous man but behind closed doors was a different matter. I ached for an ounce of kindness from him. I wanted him to be gentle and thoughtful with me, to be considerate of my feelings and character. I longed for him to empathise with me and have compassion. These are characteristics that he would have certainly classed himself as having as he did not see himself as ever being without these traits. Many would agree that my father was a thoughtful man but they only saw what he wanted them to.

I will never forget this memory.

One summer evening after a shopping trip, my father was driving us home. It had been a bad visit to the supermarket and we had spent the majority of the journey arguing in the car as we drove back. It was a stupid and dangerous thing to partake in. Arguing while he was driving was my worst place to fight as I never could trust what kind of risks he would take. He was happy to risk our lives and leave me fearing for my life. I cannot remember the subject of our row only that he was attempting to drill in his point. It wasn’t so much of a two way argument; more of a barrage of anger from his end. I had done the unthinkable and spoken back to him. His questions were NOT to be answered. Silly me for forgetting.

I began to feel claustrophobic and tried to avert my eyes from his powerful gaze. Even as he drove he was still finding a way to bury his burning glare into my soul. As my eyes darted from window to window, something caught a hold of my attention. The car slowly pulled up to a bit of traffic as I focussed in on a man lying face down on the ground at a bus stop ahead of us. The day was fading into night and the sunlight had now disappeared into the distance. My father was still continuing his tirade at me but by now, my concentration was fully placed on the stranger.

As we slowly approached the man, I dared to interrupt my father. I could feel his shock and momentary build up of rage. Once again, I interrupted his flow and as I was too frightened to speak in fear of him screaming, I just pointed. I pointed to the lonely man lying face down on the floor.

“Ignore it,” my abuser muttered as he keep his eyes ahead of him.

His comment immediately broke my gaze.

“What?”

“Ignore. It.” He repeated defiantly.

I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t fathom his own ignorance. I was horrified.

“There’s a man over there. Pull over.”

“Did you not hear me the first time Babitago?! IGNORE IT!” He shouted violently and slammed his hands on the wheel.

I lost it.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I was not that kind of a person.

“He could be dead!” I screamed. “Pull over! We need to call an ambulance!”

“You are a insolent moron! Evil! Disgusting! What is wrong with you? You have no respect for me!”

“This isn’t about you!”

My final comment was enough for my father to release his fury. He let out an almighty roar and I practically jumped out of my seat. The traffic had subsided and he gradually began to pick up speed. I had unleashed his inner monster and it was not about to go into hiding. I turned to see the stranger still on the ground. His lifeless body waited to be found yet no one stopped to help. I wanted to show some kindness, to reach out, to help in some way but the demon beside me was preventing it. He had total control and even when we returned home he made it very clear that I was not to follow through with my plans. Even suggesting anonymously ringing for an ambulance was useless. He wanted nothing to do with it. To him, it was a problem and someone else’s for that matter. That man could have been dying and it did not matter.

I was subjected to an hours worth of abuse and insult when we were hidden behind closed doors. My father reprimanded my concern instead of praising my worry.

I was ashamed to be his daughter.

I never knew what happened to that man.

E.C.D. Excessive Compulsive Disorder – Photo 4.

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My father not only had O.C.D but E.C.D or as I like to call it: Excessive Compulsive Disorder. As you saw in photo 2, my father was a terrible hoarder. This was not just contained to the garage. It spread through the house but it was always well hidden. The kitchen cupboards were host to his disorder. This photo is a small example of his compulsion to store rubbish. How many plastic containers can one person need? No way was his obsession this bad when I was at home. It worsened when I left and his bizarre addiction grew. He never used these things nor did they have any order.

Each cupboard held another trove of goodies for his compulsion. Whether it was piled high with cups and glasses (see below) or stocked with hundreds of coffee jars, filled with over fifty plates or stacked high with tissue boxes; my father just could not stop.

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I never questioned it or challenged him. He would not have been able to see through his addiction. By the end, it had consumed him. The house was filled with excessive amounts of utter crap. After he died and we went to tidy up, we were appalled at the state it had become. For a man who detested wastage, I was confused at how risky he was with some of his purchases. He berated me horrifically if I ever wasted anything. I became extremely nervous and careful when buying anything perishable in case he saw my waste. So why not criticise his own wastage?

He never berated himself.

He never saw fault in himself.

Only in me.

Friday 4th February 2005.

Since my father died, I have an abundance of old notes made about his incessant nitpicking and abuse. On February the 4th 2005, my father picked an argument with me over the smallest thing. The note highlights how trapped I was in his company, the fear that encroached me and the endless demands he made.

It reads,

He has guests coming in the evening. His routine of obsessive cleaning is taking place. I’ve locked myself in my bedroom. I’m too scared to come out and be forced to be a part of his army drills. I can hear him coughing loudly downstairs. What’s wrong? Something’s wrong.

(Written later)

I went downstairs, he called me there. He was waiting. There was a mark on the floor. My make up. He found it while he was hoovering. He saw it a while ago but it’s not his job to clean it. It’s mine. He needs to prove a point. I made the mess. That one little mark on the floor. A quick wipe is all it needs but I have to do it. Me. He told me to mop it up today before his friends come. I’m fed up. I want to retreat back to safer ground – my bedroom. I went upstairs mumbling something under my breath. He heard.

“What??” he shouted.

“Nothing” I replied.

He bounded up the stairs behind me. I quickened my pace.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

I shut my bedroom door. I was safe again, “Nothing!” I shouted back.

“If you are nasty then I will be nasty. If you are good then I will be good”.

I’m 23 in under a month. What kind of a father days that? He has never treated me like a daughter, never. He never lets me feel anything, I’m not allowed emotion. I have to be a robot at all times. I cannot cry, that’s wrong. I cannot get angry, that’s wrong too. I can’t even act like a child sometimes. I’m not allowed ‘bad moments’. I have to be perfect. I have no free will. He keeps using money as a threat. If he ever gives me anything he has accounts for how much, when and where. I can’t breathe! Let me breathe.

This was how my father behaved nine years ago. Yet right up until his death he never changed. He had the same attitude towards me till the very end. He held all the power. Not any more.

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Night Terrors.

It has been over seven months since I last blogged about dreaming of my father. That is because it just hasn’t happened.

Until now.

Last night marks my first night terror in a long while. A conversation with a colleague on our way home from work sparked my memory of my nightmare as we discussed funerals. At 4.am this morning I awoke suddenly. I was short of breath, sweating and disorientated. What had brought on the beginnings of a panic attack? It didn’t take long to recollect.

I had dreamt of the abuser. It was so vivid, so real, that I was completely shaken up. The worst thing was how frightening the actual night terror was. I had dreamt that I began receiving phone calls; phone calls from my father. My dead father. When answering these calls, he would speak to me, from the dead. In whatever hell he is in, he was speaking to me. I could hear his voice so clearly. The roughness of it punctured through the earpiece and entered my soul. In the dream I was as terrified as when I woke up. He sensed my fear, reiterating that I would never truly escape him, that he would forever have control of me and that I was a puppet to him, one that would be his source of entertainment (a position I had in reality).

The nightmare ended abruptly and I awoke with a jolt. I looked around the room, aware that I was on edge, searching through the shadows on the walls, looking for a figure. Like a child, the light went on. I needed reassurance.

I do hope that this will not be a new pattern and that he will not haunt my dreams. I just want closure from him. The everlasting stress that continues even after he has gone, needs to be put to rest. Just like him. I cannot cope with the games my family are still playing, even now. It is only adding to my already fragile state.

Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.
Dave Mustaine

Still afraid to tell the truth.

I bumped into someone today on the way home from work. It was a pleasant surprise to see them as we hadn’t met up for over a year.

She asked after my father (she knew from a brief conversation late last year that he’d died) to see how I was feeling. I said I was coping when she asked if it was “difficult”.

Yes, it is ‘difficult’ but for the opposite reasons that you are thinking of. Yet, this is not something I would ever dare to say out loud to most people. I am still too frightened to admit the truth about my father.

It doesn’t help that most people I have come across either have a loving relationship with their dad or their father is the most caring individual in the world. The other thing that doesn’t help is if their dedicated, loving father has also passed away.

Whilst I’m silently screaming with joy and relief, their world has been torn apart. To even mention that somewhere, in the big wide world, there are actual men out there terrorising their children, abusing and demoralising them, mentally ripping their hearts to pieces. It is unimaginable for these people to perceive that any father could set out to deliberately hurt or wound their child. My father was one of those men. He lived life torturing me. He gained enjoyment from seeing me suffer. The emotional scars that filled me were his sadistic rewards.

This is why, in certain situations, I have to gloss over the truth.

I can’t be open and honest in case it upsets them or worse, they question me. I think I hate that the most. I do not expect to have to defend myself to you over a man you have never met. A man that has scarred me for life. Just because that lowlife was graced with the title – FATHER, it never actually made him one. He was never a father in any sense of the word.

Since starting the blog, I have been questioned, judged and even interrogated by friends – new and old, colleagues and even total strangers.

It happened. He did it.

I should not have to justify my abuse.

I want to feel free to tell the truth.

The last Goodbye.

My husband and I made our way to the crematorium in the car my father had paid for with my sister and her husband. It was sweltering and in the back seat I began to feel very ill. I hated travelling in cars as it was; it did not help that I was in one with two people who clearly hated me. It was totally silent for the thirty minute journey.

When we all arrived at the crematorium, my first instinct was to look for my mother. She and her friends had travelled up separately but as we walked to the entrance, I could not see her. The entrance was already lined with half the congregation. His old school friends had flocked to my sister’s side as she left the car and ushered her inside. I was totally ignored and followed behind them. I was almost enjoying being the figure of anger and darkness they had created me to be. I had barely spoken in the time I had been at the service, it was interesting how they had developed their judgement of me so quickly. Perhaps, others had been involved in reaching this verdict.

Once inside the crematorium we were led to the front pews. It was unavoidable this time as much as I would’ve preferred sitting at the back. As I looked over to my left I noticed his coffin on a raised platform waiting to be lowered as we said our final goodbyes. Another shorter service took place, again with hymns and prayers in my abuser’s honour. I never sang nor bowed my head. I did not want to pay my respects. I only wanted to witness the atrocity that was his funeral and see his unholy and evil presence disappear.

As the coffin lowered after the final coffin, a tear ran down my cheek.

“Rot in hell” I whispered to myself.

Rot in hell.

After the service had ended everyone left to the gardens to stand by his poor showing of flowers. My father’s pastor approached me as I lingered behind the congregation with my mother and her friends. He passed on his condolences and very quickly I responded by telling him not to.

This was the time to do it. He needed to know.

“This funeral has been an entire farce. None of you know what kind of man my father really was. He was an evil man. You all one day will know the truth, I promise you.”

The pastor just looked at me. I could see he was shocked. After all, I was the abuser’s daughter, I should have been in floods of tears when instead I was describing to him how relieved I was that he was finally gone.

I don’t regret what I told him. My father was an abusive, deceitful and controlling man. Everyone must now know the truth.

I decided there was no point in putting myself any further through the ordeal and chose to leave with my mother and her friends. I told my sister I was going as the rest of his friends looked on. I wanted them to see my disloyalty, my hatred, my hurt.

Goodbye Daddy.

R.I.P (Rot in Persecution).

5th September 2012 – The funeral Part 2.

After a series of prayers, hymns and readings, my sister began her eulogy. She did ask if I wanted to say a few words about our late father but I politely turned her request down. I was far too afraid that my few words would turn into the emotional revelation of my life. I would not be able to find any kind words to say, my anger and hurt would be on display and I was sure I’d be removed from the church. No, I wanted to witness the sham for all that it was.

It was already very clear, from the previous speeches and readings, what these people thought of my father. I was not expecting to be any more shocked than I already was. But my sister’s eulogy soon brought about the horror again.

She stood sombrely at the lectern, resting her pages on the stand. Her voice was gentle; she seemed calm and read her well-rehearsed speech with confidence. She did not appear as the sister I had witnessed over the past few years.

She began by briefly describing my father’s childhood for example: where he grew up, his college years and his role in his family as being the ‘gentle’ one. She gave the congregation an insight into the life they never knew. During this, I had to bite my tongue, stopping myself from giving them the insight into the actual and factual life they never knew he led. My sister however, kept up his pretence. It was her pretence too, her fantasy world that they had both created but I was living in the cold reality, faced with the truth of what kind of man he really was.

In her words he was a “quiet, thoughtful man”, three words that couldn’t be further from his genuine character. I would have never described him as “thoughtful” and he certainly wasn’t a man. No real man would treat their daughter the way he treated me. Mutters of agreement echoed around me as my sister continued to praise my abuser with affectionate words. My mother turned back to me in horror at the realisation of my sister’s devotion and utmost respect for him.

I knew it was coming, I was expecting it to be a shocker although most of it still took me by surprise, I was hoping she would erase my worries not highlight them. I also wasn’t expecting the room to be completely full. It seemed as though my father had fooled a lot of people.

My sister had clearly researched my father’s upbringing but only revealed the sweeter moments. There was no talk of how jealous of his sisters he was, or his shaky relationship with his mother, those memories were left out.

She referred to his final years (those with her in his life) as a much more peaceful time in his existence. When she had her second child in 2011 and their relationship had been rebuilding for a year, she spoke of the time her husband had to return to work after his paternity leave had finished. My sister was still in need of support. She wouldn’t have asked my mother who had taken my father’s sorry place in my sister’s heart and become the enemy. She wouldn’t have asked me. We were estranged for several years due to my growing bond with my mother. I was venomous in her eyes, a supporter of the new enemy. So she accepted my father’s sweet, generous offer to look after and visit her every day for two weeks. She described him as a “family man”, looking after the baby so that she could have a nap, reading his grandson bedtime stories, bringing her decadent foods like olives, pate and breads, homemade spaghetti bolognese and sweet treats to satisfy her every craving.

I could not believe it. This was not generosity. This was the way my father worked. I had been in the same position many years ago and I also fell for the act. Money and gifts do not equate love.

Although shocking, the whole eulogy was quite interesting to listen to. Especially hearing such a different character interpretation of the abuser from a woman who once saw exactly what I see now. Some of the quotes I noted from her eulogy were:

He was true to his word – yes, in many ways he was. When he promised that I’d regret speaking to him disrespectfully, he was right. I did regret it. The abuse that followed after my clear belligerence was deserved in his eyes. Was he true to his words when he promised to be my sole carer? When he told the court and gave his word on his honour that he would look after me? No, he wasn’t. He betrayed the courts and he betrayed me.

He had a strong work ethic – do you mean he was obsessed with his work and that he needed to be wealthy in order to gain respect? He had no ethics. To be ethical, you require morals, principles and decency. He had none of those.

He liked the simple thing in life – was the one quote that seriously made me let out a little laugh, the simple things, honestly? He loved extravagance, decadence, he loved luxury. Yet nothing could ever make him truly happy.

She made a good point during her speech; she admitted to be the mirror image of the abuser. She too had his work ethic. She was certainly obsessed with her career; work was one of her biggest stresses and not in a challenging or stimulating way. She struggled in many ways; she was never willing to take any responsibility for any mistakes made in her life, it was always somebody else’s fault. Sound familiar? Of course it does, she is just the same as him.

She also spoke of them both loving order and precision in their lives. His love of order equalled his O.C.D. Order was something that made my life hell during those bitter twelve years. I’m an organised person; I like to know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. But I can see that events can happen in life that changes order. It shows greater character if you are able to adapt to change. My father could not do that.

Then came the tears, the break in her voice that showed a glimpse of genuine emotion. The abuser had won. He had succeeded in convincing her that he was a decent man. That it was my mother and I who were evil. He had won. She did not fully cry, I looked for it but I could not see any tears. I thought I would see an essence of emotion, I thought I would see an open heart but it remained firmly closed. The barriers went back up as she cleared her throat. As she spoke the words that echo in me to this day, my sister pulled it back together. A week before he died, in the comfort of her presence, my father told her,

“It has been like another life”.

The congregation let out a mutual compassionate sigh while a single tear fell silently onto my lap.

How much clearer could he be than that? He had her back, the one he had really wanted. My sister had finally returned to him.

“You have left me with a precious gift, so Daddy, I thank you.”

I brushed the empty tear away and took a deep breath. He was not worth my tears, he had hers.

Plenty of others spoke in my father’s honour. Laughable comments continued to be made:

  • He was able to apologise
  • Had a very gracious nature
  • Greatly missed by everyone
  • Sense of humour
  • Kept as fit as possible
  • Generous to his friends

I let these comments wash over me. Let them have their false memories!

After two hours the service was over. It felt like the longest two hours of my life and unfortunately the day was not over. My friend had to go back to work but David remained by my side. As the congregation mingled with each other, I made my way to my mother. She was both emotional and disturbed. She remarked how she felt like an imposter at a stranger’s funeral, I felt that too. There were faces that we recognised and many we didn’t. A few of his neighbours came to say ‘Hello’. They gave their condolences to me, little did they know my relief and comfort in his death.

My sister and her husband remained at the other end of the hall. My mother and I were definitely at the bottom of the hierarchy. We were happy to be given that position. We received a few polite regards and condolences, some from people we once knew and some from total strangers. His church friends enclosed around my sister, consoling her, hugging her and praising her beautiful words about the abuser. I stood alone with only my mother and husband by my side.

Eventually more people came over. One questioned my relationship to the abuser.

“Are you his second daughter?” she said in disbelief.

“Yes.” I responded, wondering why this woman looked so confused at the idea that he had another child.

My sister had mentioned in her eulogy that my parents had a second child but that was the only reference to me in the entire funeral.

I was an unknown.

Conclusion to follow tomorrow.

29th August 2012 – A long two weeks.

Between the day after he died to the day of the actual funeral, was a very long two weeks; almost endless. I was on my school holidays still and aching to get back to work (that’s pretty unheard of!) but staying at home and dealing with the aftermath of his death was getting too much.

My sister, as executor, was in charge of organizing the funeral. She rarely spoke to me in this process often using her husband to deal with me via text message. It was completely inappropriate and inconsiderate. She was well aware that my relationship with my brother in-law was non-existent yet she could not face me. She had no reason to be so distant instead it would’ve made more sense for me to want to keep away from her. However, I wasn’t in need of attention or a spotlight. I didn’t get a kick out of making things difficult.

The only contact we had was one phone call.  This was where she talked in detail about the lead up to the funeral. She was very well spoken almost putting on a fancy accent. It was another way of raising herself above me and appearing to be ‘together’. Clearly, the pressures that had been put on her were getting too much. As much as she held the pretense of being cool it was backfiring. I could hear the tension in her voice.

She talked about the funeral programme, the order of service and the people invited. She asked me if I wanted to say a few words about him at the funeral.

I paused. For a split second it occurred to me that this was my chance to reveal it to all of them, all of his worshipers, that he was an abuser, a tormentor and the man who ruined my life. It would be sweet revenge and satisfaction and my sister would never see it coming. She genuinely and naively believed that I wanted to praise my deceased father.

I refused her offer.

It wasn’t the right way to do it and I could not risk letting emotion get the better of me. When I eventually told my story and the truth about this horrible man, it would be on my terms and to the whole world not just the confines of his church.

My sister also had the audacity to ask me to contribute to the payment of the flowers for the funeral. I was shocked that she was able to justify spending one hundred pounds on the fact that simply, he was our father. I did not want to spend money on a man who monitored the flow of mine for years. I would’ve happily scattered some dead wood and rotting flowers around him if I could. She knew about the abuse and how he tortured me mentally but last summer she chose to forget it all. He had become a martyr, an idol and in her eyes he ‘saved’ her.

He never saved me.

I saved me.