The event yesterday was fantastic, I ended up looking after the athlete’s friends and family which was lots of fun. Everything went smoothly and I even caught a tiny glimpse of myself on the news.
I got home shattered and had an early night. This mean’t I was up early enough to catch breakfast down the park. It was a lovely walk and Daisy dog had a great time playing with a Dulux dog who was a similar age.
I was thinking a lot on the walk and I have decided I would like to get in touch with my Dad. I don’t know whether this is a good idea or not. I know I’m feeling pretty low and I know what I could be letting myself in for. Maybe I am looking for a distraction? In my most optimistic thoughts I can imagine us speaking again and I really want to feel like there is someone on my side. In the not so optimistic thoughts I fear I am just setting myself up for a fall.
Growing up me and my Dad couldn’t have been closer. I really respected him and everything he did for us. He was protective, loving, funny and supportive for many years. When I was about 13-14 my Mum had an affair with another man. I knew about it, she didn’t try and cover it up very well and I decided to keep quiet. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I knew or tell my Dad what was going on. Eventually he found out as well and all hell broke loose.
Me and my Mum weren’t close to start off with but during this time our relationship was at it’s worst. I didn’t want to be away from my home, my friends and I wanted my family to stay together. She kept saying I could chose who I wanted to live with, she kept pushing but I knew I couldn’t give the right answer.
In the end I did end up living with my Dad. He had met someone new and she had moved in with him too. At first I thought it was brilliant. She was 23 and was like the big sister I had always wanted. She had a little boy who was around 3 at the time and I loved looking after him.
After a while I started to notice some of my things were going missing. First of all it was just clothes. I’d see her wearing my jumper and ask about it and she would say it was hers. Then it was the house keys. I lost an endless number of keys and my Dad was getting very frustrated with me. One day I was looking in a cupboard for something and I found her diary. I didn’t want to look but I couldn’t help myself. I turned to a page and it was all about the house and how untidy it was. There was page after page of things like ‘dish left in sink all day’ and ‘came home to mess, can’t take this anymore’. Eventually I got to a more recent entry and it was there is black and white what had been happening. She had been taking my keys so that we couldn’t get into the house after school.
I didn’t have a clue what to do and just put the diary back to where I had found it. To be clear the house was always spotless and it was mainly myself who did all the cleaning. I would clean everyday and in the holidays it would get ridiculous. I couldn’t leave the house until every pane of glass and inch of floor had been cleaned.
From then on I just made sure that I always left the dining room window open and kept a very careful eye on my keys. The next thing I noticed was money. Now I was only young so I didn’t really have much money, just pocket money. Again I had no proof but I had my suspicions. One Christmas we were going away to West Wales and I had received £50 from my Bampi. I put it in my purse and packed it away to spend while we were away. When we got there I put the purse in the cupboard in my bedroom. When I came to look for it, the purse was gone. This practically ruined Christmas as my Dad really lost his temper. When we got back he sat me down and talked to me about valuing things and looking after them. I was screaming inside to tell him what was going on but I didn’t think he would believe me. Later on in the summer her son was playing in their bedroom and he found my purse tucked away in a box. He came running out to show me looking so pleased with himself.
I spent a lot of time caring for her son, I was spending less and less time with my friends and most evenings and weekend looking after him while they went out. One weekend I wanted to go out with my friends and I asked permission early on in the week. My Dad said yes, so me and my friends got ourselves all excited to go out to the disco on Saturday night. On the Saturday afternoon I had once again gotten into trouble for something I had no idea about and was grounded. After tears and an almighty tantrum my Dad agreed I could go after all. After the disco my friend’s Mum and Dad picked us up to give me a lift home. When I got home the lights were on so I assumed there was someone in. For some reason my friends Mum wanted to walk me into the house and she and I were both horrified to find that the only person in the house was the little boy. They stayed for about an hour and talked about calling social services. I tried to talk them out of it. I couldn’t face calling my Mum and I didn’t want to end up in care.
It was at this point that I felt desperate. I wrote down everything that had been happening and put it in a letter to Childline. A little while later I came home from school and my Dad was raging. His girlfriend had opened the reply. I ended up calling my Mum. She was living in a one bedroom flat with her boyfriend but said I could go and stay with them. My Grampi had just suffered a serious stroke and after a couple of weeks we moved in with him to help look after him.
I thought my Dad would be in touch but he didn’t call. I heard that they were getting married that December. The weekend they were due to get married was my friends 16th birthday. I don’t know how but we got into a club that night and had a few drinks.
In the first week of January a Detective from the police arrived at the house. I had to go to the police station regarding a burglary at my Dad’s house. The house at been broken into the weekend of the wedding, they had gone away to West Wales to get married. The only things that had been taken were my personal belongings that I had left at the house, money and a big safe.
Being stupid I didn’t admit to where I really was that night, I thought I would get into trouble for drinking. I knew this thing had nothing to do with me so I just had to believe that I wouldn’t be charged if I didn’t do it. In the end they did let me go.
I was heartbroken that in such a short amount of time my life had gone from being pretty rosy to this. I didn’t think it could get any worse.
About a month or two later my Mum received a letter from an anonymous person. It said that I had been having an affair with her boyfriend. She asked me about it and I told her all about my Dad’s now wife. She was pretty shocked and called the police. They didn’t want to know, there was no way of proving who had sent the letter and they just weren’t interested in getting involved.
The following year I went to see my Bampi (my Dad’s father). I didn’t know but he had been a social worker in his earlier life and he worked with people with Mental Health issues. He told me that he believed my Dad’s wife was bi-polar at the very least. He hadn’t spent anytime with her really but he had a feeling. I hadn’t told him anything about what had been going on but I was so relived that someone else knew the truth. He was also dying of cancer and along with the rest of the family had lost touch with my Dad.
It wasn’t long before he passed away and I went to his funeral. My Dad was there with his wife. He wanted to be in contact again. He wanted to put everything behind us and start again. It was near Christmas time and he wanted a big party at his house. I gave him my mobile number and one night I met him to take him to look at my new flat. I told him everything about what had happened, what his wife had done to me. He didn’t say anything really. All he did say was that he couldn’t afford a divorce.
The next week I called him and he hung up the phone. He called me back later in the evening and told me not to call him on that number anymore. He gave me a new number to call. His wife didn’t want us in touch. I never called him again.
This was 7 years ago. In the time that has passed he has been made bankrupt, he’s had a child with his wife and it’s become very clear that she has mental health problems and has had medical help. I received a letter from her a few years ago. She did say she was sorry, she said she was young and didn’t recognise that she wasn’t coping. She wanted to get in touch and wanted her little boy to have a sister.
I have always wanted my Dad in my life despite what happened but I never ever want to see that woman again. Earlier on I messaged my Brother. I wanted to go out for a walk or a drink with him. He is hungover and suggested doing something next weekend. I asked him how he was getting on with Dad at the moment. He answered fine. I asked him if he thought it was a good idea if I got in touch with him.
I expected him to say it was a bad idea. He said ‘you should, at the end of the day he’s your Dad’. I’ve asked my Brother if he will speak to him and tell him that I want to get in touch.