2013 A review: July – September.

JULY

Summer had truly hit us in London by July. Scorching temperatures reigned over the city and finally the harsh winter had been beaten.

At the start of the month, I began recalling a series of events, linked to the exact date one year ago, that looked back on the journey towards the end of the abuse once and for all. It was a painful task. Remembering is one thing but looking back in detail, searching through old text messages and diary entries was hard. It transported me back to a terrible, stressful and bitter summer. The summer after my wedding. The summer my father, the abuser, died.

It was the month that my husband and I were told that our landlord wanted to sell the property we were renting. It came as a surprise as there had not been much of a warning. It was the last thing we needed. We were very settled where we were living. It was in an ideal location for both of us to get to work, there were plenty of shops and amenities around too. It was not ideal to move. I couldn’t bear the thought of moving into some dingy, poky apartment in a rush because we hadn’t enough time to search for somewhere decent. We made a decision. It would be a difficult one, a tiring and patience testing one but ultimately we were thankful she was willing to have us. My mother was our port of call. She agreed the sensible choice would be to live with her until my father’s inheritance was finalised and we could look for a new place.

July would be a very revealing month for me. Although I already knew my sister had begun a “secret” relationship with the abuser, I was not aware of how close they had become. After everything my sister had once accused him of, after all that she had witnessed him do to our mother (not to mention the misery of a life I led with him), I had not expected her to welcome him with open arms into her family unit. A unit she has been fiercely protective of for so many years. A family that she has banned me and any mother from seeing. Apparently, we are bad news, the cause of her depression and misery, the evil ones. Not our father. Not the man who abused me for fifteen years but the two people who spent most of their lives trying to escape his frightening hold. In her eyes, we were the enemy. I found out at the start of July that my father had planned a holiday with my sister, her husband and children. He could not go in the end due to his worsening health. I was flabbergasted. Horrified. The man that my sister could not bear to be in the same room as was now holidaying with her?? It blew my mind.

At work, I finished with a bang, holding our annual school talent show. It was a great success and the kids did me proud.

AUGUST

I continued to recall back to the events of last year on WordPress. I received several comments, mostly from friends who had no idea I was struggling so badly that summer. Even though the majority of them knew about my relationship with the abuser, most never questioned it. They never delved any further. It must have come as a shock to them to read the full truth.

I was well into my summer holidays at this point. The weather was unbelievable in London during August, we were very lucky to have so much sunshine. I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. I spent most of the holiday packing up our flat and surprising myself at how much rubbish we had accumulated over the past two years of living there. It was an endless and tiring job as my husband was at work for most of August. Even on moving day, when David’s parents had come to help, were we still putting items into bags and shipping them off to my mums’.

The end of the month would be very significant. On the 21st I celebrated the anniversary of my father’s death. I did not lay any flowers or sit down and pray. I did not shed a tear or think back to the “good times”. There were no good times. He was not worth my tears and I could not lay any flowers for I do not know what happened to his ashes. My sister only told me recently after a year of me badgering her, that after the funeral she had “picked them up”. So basically she gave me no more information than I had already assumed. I intend on letting her keep playing her childish game on her own.

As I prepared to go back to work, I was invited to a school reunion. Seeing my old primary school classmates after twenty years was incredibly uplifting. It was a wonderful experience and sent me back to a time of happiness. These people made me happy. It was lovely to be in their company again.

SEPTEMBER

Back to work!

I also began making some changes in my life. Some positive changes. I attended a course at City Lit on Assertiveness. It proved to be quite challenging. I enjoyed analysing myself and looking into types of behaviour. The course opened my mind as we explored passiveness, aggression, manipulation and assertiveness. It was very interesting to hold that magnifying glass up to myself and look more carefully at the person I had become. I am now trying to embody more assertiveness. My mother is the only person finding that difficult. For so long she was used to a passive daughter. A daughter who could not say “no” and agreed to almost everything in search for an “easy” life. Well no more. I have never had an easy life! It is time to get what I want and make a stand.

The Collins English Dictionary says – 

assertive 

Definitions

adjective – 

confident and direct in claiming one’s rights or putting forward one’s views

29th July 2012 – The wedding.

29th July 2012 was the day I was maid of honour for my best friend’s wedding. I had been looking forward to it for a while. The day was a chance to put everything that was happening with my father to one side, to forget and enjoy, to create new memories with close friends.

I had gone to K’s place the day before the wedding. David’s parents had driven me up there. I had warned my father that these three days would be very busy and that it would be unlikely that we would be able to speak. It was partly true. I did not want to check up on him at the wedding. I wanted to relax. I made the conscious decision not to call him. It was the right choice.

On the 28th, the night before, my father ignored my request. He called whilst we were eating dinner and watching a film together. It could not have been a worse time as after that I was no longer calm and relaxed. He was able to change emotions entirely.

I shouldn’t have picked up. I should have let it ring. But that would’ve been mean and he most definitely would have rang again and again until I would have to call him back. Then his wrath would be so great my evening and following day would be ruined. It made sense to answer it.

The first thing he said was,

“Call me back”,

before hanging up. My father never had any manners, he wanted me to ring back because it was cheaper on my phone. Every time he called, I had to call him back. The man had money! God, it infuriated me, but I suppose the little things always do. Back in conversation my father argued my text about no contact for the next three days. I didn’t really fancy a tirade from him in front of K so I attempted to usher him off the subject. It didn’t work and he continued to moan down the phone. I just wanted a few days off from it all. I wanted a clear head and a chance to feel free. With him, I was chained up, tied to his demands and restricted by his control.

I allowed him to rant without responding myself. K could see me becoming upset and stressed. He carried on complaining saying that I cannot expect no contact for so long and that I was “needed”, he said to call on the 29th just to check he was okay.

I refused.

He was silent for a moment. Knowing what was about to happen, that his anger would burst in the most inappropriate way, I quickly added a defence to my refusal.

“It will be a hectic day and I will be switching my phone off. I have to show respect to my friend Daddy”.

He listened to the word ‘respect’ although he did not like when I felt it for others as he knew there was no feeling of respect for him.

He made me promise that I would call on the 30th. I told him I couldn’t “promise” anything.

But that I would try.

Happy 1 year anniversary K.

Thank you for including me in your special day, it truly was an honour.

xx

Thursday 19th July 2012 – The results.

At six in the evening, my father rang to tell me it was terminal lung cancer.

I cannot even explain the emotions I felt. Anger, fear, sadness were the most obvious.

Shock was probably the clearest feeling. Without any warning I would have to prepare myself for a range of emotions to follow. My life had been turned upside down and everything I had been working towards, the chance to build a relatively normal relationship with him was about to be forgotten. I knew the next few months would be difficult. Not only dealing with that thought of him dying but also the realisation that I may never get the answers or apologies I wanted from him.

I cried when he told me. Who wouldn’t? He was still my father and I just couldn’t fathom his absence from my life. Hope was always there, albeit foolishly.

Monday 16th July 2012 – Shock.

I did not speak to my father for two weeks after our altercation in the car so I decided to ring him to see how he was. Two weeks was a long time for me to stay out of his life. It took a lot of courage to call but it was the right thing to do.

He did not bring up the previous incident in our phone call. Again, he seemed quite pleasant on the phone. I could not fall into his kindness trap again so I remained on my guard. He took me by surprise when he told me that due to his ill condition that week, he had been unable to go on a planned holiday to Norfolk with my sister and her family. Shocked could not even amount to the way I felt by his news. I thought they were building back their relationship, I assumed it would take her longer than two years to welcome him back so quickly into the arms of the people that once detested him so much. Her hate for him was once so clear, she even punished me for my choice to live with him all those years ago and I could not comprehend how she could so easily forget. But after a little thought, it made sense. Neither of them could cope alone, they desperately needed each other to feel secure.

He continued to say his COPD had worsened and how the doctors were all useless, shoving him to one side. I felt sorry for him, he did not deserve it, and as much as I hated the man I never wished him the same suffering he wished me. He told me to visit soon and I agreed to do so, even if I had no intention on keeping that promise.

Little did I know that I’d be seeing him much sooner than I thought.

Next Tuesday.

A week today will be one year since the beginning of my horrific ending between my relationship with my father. This summer will be gruelling as things are still quite raw and as much as I have escaped his hold, the result of his control and mental torture still lingers inside me. 

I will be blogging each moment of my journey last year on every day that led to the end.

I hope you will all continue to read and share my experience by my side.

This will be an emotional look back and challenging to relive the memories of last year. However, it is a journey I need to take.

End of a bad day…..

Hi all,

I was planning an important blog today as the 1st of July 2012 was the start of a major event in my life that happened last summer.

Today has been a hellish day and I just haven’t been able to write that piece because of it. I promise to regain that strength to tell you all about it tomorrow. Now, I am left feeling completely stressed and anxious and needing a large vodka even though I barely drink.

Anyway, enough pity.

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Hans Selye