The Beginning of The End

It was Friday the 15th of October 1981. My Father had attended his hospital appointment for a Myelogram; a diagnostic imaging test to look for any problems in the spinal cord, nerve roots and other tissues. A coloured dye is injected into the spinal column before the procedure and then an xray is taken which enables the radiologist to see more clearly, if there is any damage. When the dye is injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which also surrounds the brain, there can be side effects – risk of a seizure, severe headaches, risk of infection, short term numbness in the legs and a risk of bleeding in the spinal colum.

In the 37 years since his death, I have never researched what a Myelogram is, only now in order to write this.

I just remember the coloured dye bit of the story and the violent aggression.

The local Community Centre held a kids disco every Friday evening and it was a great place to hang out. My Father used to drop me off and pick me up every week, much to the amusement of my friends who were allowed to walk home. He was very strict and often told me that I may be taken away by a stranger, if he didn’t keep me safe.

This Friday felt different…

My father was subdued to begin with after his treatment and I remember him complaining of a headache that was getting worse. I can picture him now, standing in the hallway by the front door. He gave me £1.50 for the disco, put his arms around me and squeezed me tight, told me he loved me and let me walk with my friends.

I can still feel the intense feeling of worry just by thinking about that evening.

The disco came and went and the entire time I was there, the anxiety was growing within me; what I would find on my return home?

He was in bed having taken as many drugs as he could take without killing himself, just to relieve the pain and was in and out of a drugged up state. I sat next to him, feeling so heavy, strained and tired. Why couldn’t he be normal like my friend’s Dad’s. I HATED him being like this, it scared me… The smell of Old Holborn soaked the atmosphere and I swear he could have burnt the house down on many occasion, leaving his rolled up cigarettes smoldering in the ashtray. His wedding ring was on his bedside table and I picked it up and held it in front of him. In a slow and slurred manner he said;

“Your Mother doesn’t love me anymore, you have it – take it!”

Closing his eyes, my father passed out and was snoring in seconds.

That was the beginning of the end.

All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

Author: Michelle Denness

Wife, mother to three incredible kids and aspiring writer/poet. I am passionate about sharing personal stories to empower others and this space is for me to be open and free with my thoughts. This is my journey...

5 thoughts on “The Beginning of The End”

  1. I always need time to respond as your writing affects me emotionally and I have no words at the time.

    So real and so powerful. Thank you

    Like

  2. Do you know any of your father’s childhood history at all, Michelle? I have a sense something happened to fill him with that much fear that something may happen to his kids and he carried all that pain inside his bones, he was probably abused too. My heart breaks reading this. And as kids we don’t understand the suffering our parents endured. I didn’t understand much about my Mum until I got sober and started asking so many questions it was then I found out but not for many years how her mother left her alone and was pretty tough on her, she never felt loved. I hope you don’t mind me writing all of this but your blog really resonates with me so deeply I felt so moved I had to write this.

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    1. I appreciate all of your comments so very much and for connecting with me Deborah. Yes I do know a lot about my father when he was young and how he experienced life and yes it is another difficult painful story and I will write about it. Our parents could only do the best they could with the skills that they had. Much love to you and thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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