Trying to fill in the gaps… trying to understand the process that has shaped my personality as an adult. Excuse me if I ramble a little, I’m not quite sure where I’m going yet.
I try to remember the father I grew up with, but I find it difficult. I have so few memories of him from my childhood years that I think he must have not been around very often.
I remember a birthday party, I must have been about 8 or 9… he slept on the sofa in a pair of tatty shorts, snoring loudly. I was embarrassed by him, and I spent the hours of my party trying to keep my friends in the kitchen.
I remember arguments he had with my Mum, while my sisters and I sat at the top of the stairs in silence, wishing they would stop. I don’t remember what they argued about, just that our life felt so uncertain and we had no idea how it would end.
They had divorced by the time I was 13. We used to visit him on a regular basis, but my memories of that involve my sisters and I playing together at one game or another; it didn’t ever seem that he made the most of having us there. Once I got older I made the decision not to visit him so often.
Nowadays I talk to him more. He’s not good with advice, but he is always a willing ear. He chooses to spend time with his grandchildren in a way I don’t remember him doing with us and for that, I am grateful. I had a conversation with him recently about what life was like for us when they divorced, and I realised he knew nothing about Mum and her ups and downs. I guess he wouldn’t, because we would never have told him.