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.

Pet peeves.

God there are some things in this world that really grate on me! Being British probably doesn’t help, we do enjoy a little moan now and again. I try not to let these annoyances get to me but it is very hard to control a reaction when I see them. My husband finds it amusing and after five and a half years together, he knows them all off by heart often looking over expecting me to complain.

Here follows my top 5 pet peeves.

In fifth place:

Impractical dressers.

I cannot stand seeing people wearing clothes that do not adhere to the seasons. I just can’t tell you how annoying it is to see someone during the British winter feel that it is appropriate to wear shorts or leave the house without a coat. It confuses me! Why do you think it is going to be hot outside just because you see sun?? If it’s raining, why are you leaving the house in sneakers or plimsolls? You know that they are not waterproof or watertight, you know that within ten minutes your feet will be soaking, so why do it?

In fourth place:

Spitting.

Aaaaarrrgghhh! Hate, hate, hate this with passion! Yes, I understand that footballers do this on the pitch, I get that, but for what reason are random people spitting in the street? I just detest it. I do not want to walk down the road and pass somebody bringing up phlegm, I mean that sound in itself is bad enough, but then to see it fly out of their mouth really takes the biscuit! Eurgh! It’s foul. Use a bloody tissue for god’s sake!

Third place goes to:

Prams. 

Okay, not prams in general, I have nothing against them but older kids in them. I have worked with children for the last seven years, I understand how they develop and what they are capable of. I can honestly tell you that a six year old child does not need to sit in a pram. So why do I see this happening all the time? They are not babies who cannot walk, they are extremely able. I suppose it deems for an easier life, for when that child kicks off, the parent can just place them in their pram. Why not put a dummy in their mouth too?? Wait – don’t get me started, I hate that too.

Another pram-related problem is watching parents overload their prams with shopping whilst their one year old babies toddle behind erratically. It is quite upsetting actually. I think it’s borderline abusive. Get a cab! Or carry your child! Just don’t downgrade them for your bags of shopping. Fine, we all need food but when the prams are filled with shopping bags from discount stores, well that’s the biggest joke!

In second place:

Never-changing celebrities.

By this I mean celebrities who have looked the same for many many years. Ones who are famed for looking a certain way and are holding onto the fact that it made them famous therefore keep that same look for the rest of their lives. God does it annoy me! Embrace the change! I find it both hilarious and sad when I witness it. I feel sorry for them that their only identity is one from thirty years ago. It is a huge pet peeve.

But not as much as my number one:

Sunglasses on the tube.

THERE IS NO SUN ON THE UNDERGROUND YOU IDIOTS!

That basically sums it up.

Hate it and have to bite my lip not to react to it.

I don’t have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation.
Whoopi Goldberg