It’s taken a fair bit of mulling and angst as to whether I should write this post. But would my blog be a true representation of my life if I didn’t write it? A bit cryptic, I know, but all will become clear……
As commented previously, there are a lot of events in my past which evoke happy memories: wonderful Christmases visiting relatives, getting lots of presents (yes, I know this isn’t only what Christmas is about!), and having a laugh; great Sunday teas – my mum was a superb cook and used to do a ‘posh’ sunday tea with scones and jam/cream, fresh cream slices, chocolate caramel shortbread, gateaux, cheese straws, trifle, etc. etc. all homemade and delicious!; great days out and holidays frequenting places such as Clacton, Western Super Mare, Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire, Butlins holidays to Pwllheli and Skegness; a decent meal on the table every single night – being a child who loved food, this was particularly memorable!; being able to play outside with friends until it was dark in a safe village environment. A small list of the good things where 90% of the time, my siblings and I got on and family life ran smoothly.
But on the periphery of this ‘ideal’ family life were dark periods……..events and happenings not directly related to myself but which had significant repercussions and effects on the development of my personality.
My first experience of this dark period was seeing my mum with a split lip leaking blood……I would have been under 5 years old……not much a child can do at this age. Another experience involved my mum being pinned up against the wall with a hand round her neck. In my teenage years, the vacuum cleaner was thrown at her and bodily harm caused – I intervened on this occasion because I was the eldest sibling present in the house and felt it was my responsibility for the sake of my younger sisters. These events are in addition to the frequent occurrence of shouting and threats, pushing and shoving, punches and slaps that my mum was subjected to on an ad hoc, but fairly consistent, basis. I cannot speak for my mum on this issue; I know how she feels about it and how it affected her, but ultimately it is her own business. What I do know is how it affected me – the panic and fear I felt, the hysterics and screaming and shouting for it to stop, and the total helplessness at not being able to change the way things were. Even at the age of 5 years, my instinct told me it was wrong and that no person deserved such treatment.
Then we move on to the adultery (things were never done in half measures!). Again, something that I was always aware of once I understood such matters. Such infidelities were performed with a whole variety of females – it could be work colleagues, neighbours, friends, women living in the local village/town, acquaintances, non acquaintances………. if it was available, it was exploited. When I think back, I’m not too sure if I actually felt any shock or disgust on learning about the latest dalliance. When you grow up with such occurrences in your life, it becomes normal so why would I be shocked?!
I haven’t named a particular character on this occasion; why? It’s simple……. I feel a lot of ambivalence towards this character due to the connection between us. The past highlights that there can be a VERY thin line between love and hate.
My mum’s moved on and has recovered to a large extent. But it’s never forgotten, and it has life long repercussions – for her, for me, for all involved, but principally for her. And me? Well, we have 2 choices in life don’t we? The first option is to adopt the same unpleasant traits, the 2nd is to adopt the complete opposite (acceptable) traits. I fortunately seem to have adopted the 2nd option. Adultery? I must admit that parts of my past have involved immoral choices, but my subconscious and experiences were not given the opportunity to respect monogamy. I have subsequently learnt from my mistakes, my morals are now well established and I am in a stable loving marriage with a young son who I want to set the best example. Violence? I have never been remotely violent (other than in my dreams/nightmares- take your pick!), I detest violence, the last time I intentionally hit someone was one of my siblings when I was a child (after much provocation, I might add!), and the worst damage I’ve done during a burst of anger is to break my dodgy glass liquidiser – an action I deeply regretted when my husband said he could have fixed it!
As to other nameless people I know (the very characters represented in this blog)…….unfortunately I cannot state with any conviction that they, too, have adopted option 2. In fact, past events categorically indicate to the contrary, and I am not convinced in their cases that a leopard can ever change its spots.
Why else would I be writing this blog??