Broken Man

It didn’t take much for my Father to find out where we were staying and I am surprised that he didn’t come to the house and smash the front door down.

He wasn’t the kind of man to follows rules and I think he had finally broken.

Going to school that Monday morning wasn’t really an option because of the severity of our situation and I remember quite distinctly, what I was given for breakfast;

Scrambled egg with ketchup.

“Go on eat it up, it’ll do you good to get something in your stomach and stop all that worrying, worrying won’t get you anywhere.”

Said the friend!

I had never tasted it before and I really didn’t like it-so I didn’t eat it.

The phone rang. It was my Father asking to speak to my Mother and that look upon her face returned… the one that she momentarily, had a reprieve from.

I can see clearly in my minds eye, her standing there holding the phone up to her ear. Words are coming out of her mouth and I can not hear what she is saying… but I do know that she denied his begging for us to go home.

He asked to speak to me and she handed the phone over and this time, was the very last time I heard his voice.

Hello darling, it’s me Dad.

Please come home I can’t live without you and Mum.

Please Shellie, please… it won’t happen again!

I’ll get help.

I don’t want to hurt you or Mum, she won’t listen to me just come home.

He was sobbing.

I was sobbing.

I didn’t know what to say, I had no words, just tears, uncontrollable tears, I could have drowned in them.

I couldn’t breathe… my father was pleading with me to come home and I could hear his desperation.

I could feel it…

His words were clear,

not slurred,

he was coherent,

he was present.

I told him that I was scared and sorry but I couldn’t come home.

There was silence-even though we were crying together and then he told me that he loved me and followed with, “I will always love you, you are my everything.”

He said he was sorry.

He hung up…

Ian Douglas Sinclair – Malaysia 1934
What a beautiful baby he was.
It could have all been so different.

 © All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

The Safe House

My Father remained in and out of a slumber.

I don’t recall the small moments of time that Sunday morning but I do remember that something finally snapped mentally for my Mother as she couldn’t take it anymore.

It was time to leave...

Years of her life had been spent nursing a mentally ill husband and saving him from the brink of life, time and time again.

Years of aggression, physical abuse and living in fear had ruptured her own heart and mind and she was at the point of no return.

I can’t say exactly what happened during the course of the morning, I just remember my Mother’s friend arriving at some stage, to take us away.

I so want to tell you that I went into my sleeping father and kissed him once more, whispered I love you in his ear, told him I was sorry for leaving him like that but I don’t think I did!

I can’t remember…

I want to remember…

I just recall feeling sick and frightened, with my stomach in knots as we drove away.

She left our dog behind.

The lady that came to rescue us seemed to be quite harsh in her approach towards us fleeing without looking back. I never warmed to her coldness throughout my younger years and I remember her disliking my father. She too had broken away from an abusive marriage and her response to my mothers anxious and somewhat guilt ridden demeanour for leaving him, was both matter of fact and resolute.

She was a survivor and layer upon layer of personal pain was striving her forward to get us out whilst the sick man was drugged.

She called the police.

The safe house was about a ten minute car drive away from where we lived and I felt completely out of sorts being there. It was uncomfortable and felt awkward.

After all it was her house not mine.

I wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed.

I wanted it all to stop and not to feel afraid anymore.

I wanted my Dad to be okay and not be sick.

I wanted my brothers to come and be with me.

I felt so afraid and so alone.

The police came and my mother gave her statement, her friend, driving home the fact that my father was dangerous.

I am beginning to realise now, how angry I still feel about ‘the friend’ and the role she played. I know she came to my mother’s rescue and yes, it was the right thing to do.

Of course it was…

I am grateful even if you think I’m not, they just never protected me from hearing their cruel yet honest words.

I was taking it all in deeply and damagingly.

My father was served notice of an injunction, restraining him from coming anywhere near us.

How sad

and necessary.

You did belong…

© All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

Run Run – as fast as you can

the thing you are most afraid 
to write

write that

- advice to young writers

My mother and I were sat watching the televison when there was a loud hammering on the door.

As a small child, Saturday was my favourite day of the week . After doing the weekly shop, we would go to Woolworths and buy a big bag of sweets to devour whilst watching tv. I can remember so clearly, standing on tip toes to reach up to the carousel of pick a mix, foraging for the toffees with the curly white centre’s and throwing back the ones that didn’t fit the necessary criteria.

How funny…

Mum was oblivious to the fact that I was stealing and I would pop them in my pocket for later. Lord only knows (a term she often used) what my father would have done if he had caught me stealing!

Years later, Saturday’s were no longer my favourite days.

The hammering came from our neighbour who so graciously accepted the role of emergency contact. She relayed an urgent message from the hospital.

And boy!! Was it an emergency?(well for us it was.)

The nurse on duty had called to warn my mother that my father had discharged himself and was on his way home and said that he was in an highly agitated state.

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) teaches us about states.

The drugs had created a ‘come down’ reaction and his addiction was pushing his body for more.

There was more at home…

He walked the nearby streets in his dressing gown and slippers, carrying a large old black rectangle suitcase-the kind where if you pushed the side in causing a slight dent, then the dent could easily be pushed back out from the inside. I’m not quite sure the relevance of writing that part-maybe the case with a story attached, may have found its way into someone’s vintage collection by now.

I remember his dressing gown, burgundy and grey checked with a tassled ended belt and I wonder now, what passers by would have possibly thought?

We were absolutely terrified, waiting for the grenade to go off and feeling paralysed, unable to run.

UNABLE TO RUN… I’ve always been a runner!

The fear was so intense that there isn’t a word in my vocabulary to describe what I was feeling.

My mother hid his drugs and we waited.

All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

The Prayer

There doesn’t seem to be a beginning for me, just a mixture of memories, some more powerful than others and in no particular order, allowing them to rise and fall .

My Father died when I was aged of 13.

My belief is that he had to die, in order for me to live and somewhere within his soul, he knew that. Its a struggle to remember him without the overwhelming feelings of fear and pain. Everything about him seems tainted with those two powerful emotions and I feel sad that I can’t find a single memory that is full of laughter or joy. Sorry Dad… My hope is that by writing my story down, it may evoke some happy memories that are stored somewhere within me.

It wasn’t until I discovered NLP and whilst on my training in the USA, that I realised I had emotional ‘stuff’ that needed dealing with. I have to add, that a NLP practitioner training is not the place for personal therapy in any event. During learning the processes, I experienced some emotional releases that were extraordinary and quite profound and my passion for helping others to do the same began. That was over 21 years ago.

https://johnoverdurf.com/training.php

The events leading up to my father’s death were extremely traumatic.

I remember one day when he was lying in bed in a drugged up stupor, slurring his words, telling me to write down his life story. In more coherent days he would say that the world needs to know the truth about his traumatic experience of being a child prisoner of war. He suffered mentally and physically for the entire 13 years of having him in my life and as a family, my mother and two older brothers, were marred by his suffering too. Even as a little girl I could feel the intense sorrow that seeped out from him and it was confusing. I’ve in turn carried his pain deep within me maybe to acknowledge him in some way. I loved my father so much but was terrified of him too. The double edge sword.

On the night before my father was found dead, I knelt down, sobbing, resting my elbows on the bed, placed my hands together and I prayed;

Dear Lord
Please forgive me for the sins that I have committed.
Please make my Dad die and take him to Heaven to be with you because if you don’t he will kill my Mum.
Please Lord keep us safe, I’m so scared.
Please forgive me.
Amen

© All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019