To my Father’s Family,

To my father’s family,

He was your son, Uncle, cousin and nephew. To you all, he was a good man. He pursued a life in England, climbed the ladder in his career, played the loving and later wronged husband, became a doting father and most of all, gave the impression of a well-rounded, thoughtful human being.

Unfortunately, I am about to shatter your perception of this ‘perfect’ man.

This thoughtful being was the most unthoughtful person I’ve ever known. Not only was he abusive to me but he spent the majority of his loveless marriage abusing my mother both emotionally and physically. He beat her. Violently. She did nothing to “provoke” him. He chose to hurt her. What kind of a man does that make him now? Do you still think of him as caring and loving?

To my Uncle who asked whether his brother would be having a religious, Hindu ceremony for his funeral. My sister lied. We never held anything of the sort for him and there was never any intention to do so. My father was no longer a Hindu and had not been for over fifteen years prior to his death. My sister kept up his pretence, his shame, well after his death. She was happy to deceive you and probably would continue to do so to this day. She even wrote to me and asked me not to mention it to anyone, you know the fact that he was a Christian

He was ashamed of his religion and would never have told any of you. 

It was secret for many years.

But it is time you found out the truth.

I cannot empathise. He never fully embraced Christianity. He certainly followed an odd set of beliefs too. I myself, having been to a Church of England Primary School and now working in a Faith School, have seen what true Christianity is. My father’s beliefs were not from the Christian faith that I know. It was evangelistic and critical. It was homophobic and racist. Ultimately, it was frightening.

He had become a robot regularly preaching psalms to me, spouting biblical nonsense at me. His life centred around his church. His funeral took place at his church. This devoted Christian man received a very surreal send off. I watched as they praised him for his integrity and wept at the loss of such a wonderful considerate man.

I did not weep.

I was happy. I am happy. I am happy that he is dead.

This man destroyed my life. He was the soul reason I hated myself for many years. He controlled, manipulated, abused, insulted, defamed, lectured, bullied, threatened, tortured and emotionally battered me for sixteen years.

This wonderful person did not deserve a place on this earth.

To anyone who thinks he is in heaven right now…………….

He is swimming in hell.

 

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.

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

4. Back to a time of despair.

The final thing I uncovered from my bedroom was a bunch of folded, hidden papers. I only read them recently and was thrown back in time to seventeen years of age.

It was all so angry, so upsetting. My husband was silent when he read them; shocked by my words and frustration. It was a side of me I rarely show. I am not an angry woman but reading the words I had written brought the despair back.

I had clearly written all over the sheets of paper in one go. Fury flooded over me and painful words bled out, piercing my heart. I felt sorry for myself, upset that my seventeen year old self had suffered so much. I was mad that I didn’t do something earlier and save myself a long time ago.

I was talking directly to him. My words were barely readable as I’d written them without thinking, it was just flowing from my soul. Endless words, strings of nonsense sentences, a desperate cry to be loved.

Swearing and hate filled one page and left me in shock as I looked at the continuous course of contempt for him and myself. My resentment echoed through the sheet, my hatred for him beamed from the page and my self-loathing radiated wildly.

The ache to be loved was a key element of my ranting. I just needed love. I just wanted to feel self-worth. A reiteration of failure played over and over as I read through the countless sheets of heartache.

After reading it all, there was nothing left to say.