A woman’s right to vote.

Thankfully, times have changed. Women are given the right to vote. Today is the European Elections voting day. Since the age of eighteen, voting has been a part of my background. My parents have always voted. I never took a great interest in Politics growing up. My sister knew more about it than I did. I think most teenagers would find watching daytime T.V more interesting but times are definitely changing. Politics is becoming something people genuinely care about.

The thought that some imbecile could be running our country (*coughs* UKIP) is enough to worry anyone. We haven’t seemed to get it very right recently in the UK.

My father thought he knew a lot about Politics and our country’s system. He would talk rubbish about things he wasn’t entirely certain on but my knowledge was closer to nothing so I never disputed him. He enjoyed ‘showing off’. It made him look powerful. I suppose he saw himself as a leader too, in our relationship he was the one who ran it, he had the control.

During the years I lived with my father, he made it very clear that I would have to vote. I hated being forced to do anything by him. Voting is a choice. Yet, around him, my choices were limited. If I dared to refuse or say I had other plans I was made to cancel them. He then mocked me at my disregard for my country. He was not a Royalist. In fact he hated the royal family. He just wanted to find another fault in me. I would have gone on my own. I was capable(!)  But my father didn’t trust me. He would analyse and interrogate until he got the truth; his truth. I hated going anywhere in public with my father. He would even warn me to make the “right decision”. God forbid I voted for someone I actually liked or valued(!)

Ultimately, voting has not been my choice for many years. Perhaps now it will be.

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19 months later.

19 months later and I am still waiting for my inheritance. Sadly, due to the non-existent relationship between me and my sister, I rarely hear any news on the matter. After speaking to a colleague yesterday, I realized that something needs to be done. For the past year and a half, I have been chasing up my sister for any news relating to any progress. However, she has made it very difficult, not just to contact her but to pull out any decent information. 

It feels like a game. One in which I’m sorely losing.

I feel greedy. Thinking about money. Worrying about my future. All I have ever wanted was total closure from my father – from the past. My sister’s distance is only emphasizing and tormenting the pain further. My father’s memory is still burning bright. I want to distinguish it. 

It almost feels like that man is still controlling my life! Yet, he is dead!

I hope my true freedom comes around sooner rather than later.

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

With nowhere to run – Photo 5.

Image

Train tracks ran behind my father’s house, often a tube train would stop and linger by our back garden. This is the view from the back of my old house. It looks onto nothing. Only an endless train line. There was never an escape. Certainly not from the back of the house. I often contemplating running into my neighbour’s garden as he chased me down the stairs. I imagined myself climbing over the rickety fence and trespassing for those few seconds before reaching freedom. He probably would have caught me anyway. He would have followed me down the street. I had run before. In the dark, late at night. He came after me in the car. He always tracked me down. I was too frightened to fight further. I never got very far. He would coax me into his car with a sorry voice only to condemn me as soon as I had sat down.

The garden was not a sanctuary for me. Instead a place where I went to breathe. I felt so trapped with him. I always needed air. After our heated arguments, it seemed like the best place to go. He rarely followed me out. He worried that a neighbour might appear and see him for his true nature. However, he often lingered at the back door muttering obscenities at me. A tube slowly came to a halt one day as I paced across the grass after one of our heated arguments. My father had lost it. He was waving and shouting and gritting his teeth at me from the safety of the kitchen door. He was ordering me to come back inside. I wasn’t about to. That would not be safe for me. I would be walking into his trap. I knew that I needed to get to my bedroom somehow; I felt safe there. Eventually, he would give up and I could escape but until then the garden was the wisest place to be.

As the train waited for a signal to change, I caught the eye of a few passengers. It would have been clear to them that we were fighting. They were so close to us. A woman seemed to move seats to get a closer look. I was surprised that this was gaining so much interest, that my hell had turned into a drama for these passengers to study and watch with anticipation. Another man turned to his friend and pointed directly at me. I stared at them as tears poured from my eyes. Could they see my tears? What were they thinking? I did not want to feel violated any longer.

I circled round, ready to make my move but found my abuser blocking my way, standing firmly in my path. I went to walk past him but he would not budge. He stared at me. He stared at me with so much hate. He told me I was not welcome inside. That I “needed to calm down” and that he would be shutting the door. I answered back. At twenty four I felt I had the right to do so. Of course, he felt differently and as the train pulled away, my father launched into another verbal attack.

In his tirade, he moved just slightly away from the back door. I saw my chance and sprinted to my bedroom.

“BABITAGO!!!” he yelled from below.

I could hear the clamour of his heavy footsteps and the doors being flung against the wall as he ran after me. I made it, with time to spare. The door was locked and the bed was pushed against it. He banged his hands upon my door making it vibrate on impact. I, like a little child, pulled the covers so far over me as I lay in my bed. I took out my headphones and turned on my music to drown out the insults he began firing at me from outside. His voice could still be heard as the music played but I just focussed on what I was listening to and slowly felt myself relax.

He was not going to break me.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Khalil Gibran

I had to be strong.

21st August 2012 – Freedom. At last.

21st August 2012:

  • Seven people are feared dead after a bomb blast by Syria border
  • Comedian Phyllis Diller dies, aged 95 in her home in Los Angeles
  • Witchcraft related products are to be banned on eBay

And my father, aged 75, takes his last breath and dies.

The following is a short extract from the penultimate chapter of my autobiography – “The release” describing the events that took place one year ago today.

Tuesday 21st August 2012.

I awoke at 7.am  to my sister ringing me. She said our father had slipped out of consciousness that night and although he was still breathing, there would not be much time. She insisted that I left home at that point in order to reach him in time and meet her there. I told her it would take me over two hours when she would be there in thirty minutes. I was making excuses; I did not want to go. I just couldn’t do it again, feel suffocated and trapped, staring at his lifeless body, but more than that –  be alone, watching her fawn and weep over my abuser.

After a stressful morning and what seemed like an eternity of waiting, I checked my phone. I had received several calls from my brother-in law but had not heard him ringing. I phoned back only for it go straight to his voice-mail.

  Suddenly, my phone buzzed; it was David.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Ros….honey….”

It didn’t take many words.

I knew.

My husband told me he was on his way home to me as I put down the phone.

Emotion encompassed me as I stepped into the kitchen and I finally broke down. But the words that left my mouth are the words that I truly felt at that moment.

“I’m free, I’m free!”

I wept and cried loudly, shouting these words repeatedly.

I was finally free from him.

Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
Trey Parker

I absolutely agree with this quote. I could not say ‘goodbye’ to him. It is only a word, it has no meaning. This is very poignant and I’m assuming that “Trey Parker” is referring to a positive memory about someone he loved. I’m not. In the years my father and I spent together, he mentally tortured, insulted, hated me and that will always be how I look back on our relationship.

The memories are tainted and no longer innocent. The love I had for him as a young child has disappeared and only a sea of disappointment spreads across a land of sadness.

Today is one year since my father died and although he left a mound of issues behind him for us to deal with (well, he was never going to make my life easy alive or dead), I can finally begin to move on.

I am free. I am free.

I am finally free from that monster.

Across the pond.

I don’t really have many ties with America any more. I have always loved the country, wanting to visit from a young child. However when I finally got my chance (see post: ‘America and The Late Teenage Years’), it didn’t pan out in the way I had hoped. I barely remember the first trip other than my sister also being there. Several years on and my sister would refer to the holiday as ‘hell’ and that she was forced to go on it against her will. I was a young teen and oblivious to her and our father’s struggling relationship.

I think my father was oblivious too but out of choice. He was never one to face adversities and upset.

The second trip was more significant. Life-changing even. It was of course, as I’ve mentioned before, the moment my father’s true nature became apparent to me. He had chosen to reveal himself to me on my dream holiday in the country I loved so much.

Why was America so appealing to me?

I have always considered myself to be a Londoner. I love London. As many of my friends are choosing to leave it, I just can’t. It is my home and yes, it’s expensive but it’s so diverse, there is no way I’m leaving it. However, from a very young age, I have loved America.

My father used to tell me we’d live there one day. He even applied for a Green Card but said he had ‘lost’ the forms and that he could not follow it through. I never understood why he did that. Perhaps he thought he would lose his control over me if we had been in the Land of the Free. That was the last thing he wanted me to feel.

We had family in America. My father’s brother, wife and children lived in Phoenix, Arizona. We had met them a few times when they had visited London as kids. I liked them but that was the wrong choice in my sister and mother’s eyes. They were poisonous people as they held my father in high regard. Why would they doubt him? He wasn’t abusing them. I wasn’t really allowed to mention them as a child. I couldn’t risk upsetting my sister. My mother regularly warned that it was to ‘be avoided at all costs’.

So we never spoke of them and I was never allowed to build a relationship with my cousins.

The cousin that called the hospital on 08/08/12 was indeed one of my cousins from Arizona although she now lives on the East Coast. We don’t really have a relationship and as she is back in my sister’s life I am slightly wary of her. I cannot trust my sister any more. No one realises what she is capable of. Just like him. Just like my father.

I want to go back to the U.S someday.

I hate that my last memory of it tarnished my love for the country. I hate that my father destroyed what could of been a wonderful holiday.

I hate that he stole my innocence.