He was a long term lover of my Mom. Rich, short, Scottish man who thought himself to be king of the 70’s dance floor, drank JB whiskey like water and said “fucking hell” allot. She eventually married a decade later. I knew little about him to start as I did not stay with my Mom (in two separate towns all together) and he never visited my grandparents and I can’t remember once visiting for more than a night at my Mom’s house which happened to be the night my Father died.
That however all changed when my Mom decided I had to come live with her after my Father died when I was 11. (She re-married when I was 14) I had been living a comfortable life with my grandparents, I was happy, did well at school and excelled at sports… so no, I did not always have African hips. I came to the concrete jungle where I was placed in an inner city school where meals were given to kids because of poverty. No sports at all but red sand. Yay!
The following year I went to high school my Mom and my sister and I moved in with the man in a fanTy house with the biggest swimming pool I had ever seen. We had everything money could buy but life was horrible. He swore constantly, I would wake in the night with him screaming at my Mom, he was always drunk… and round the age of puberty he decided to tell me that I had no chance, I had “already let myself go“. I have never forgotten those words but I truly didn’t understand what he meant. My English was not very good and my home language had been Afrikaans which he as a Scottish man didn’t speak at all.
For the next five years (until Matric when I left, thankfully my Mom left him shortly after) I constructed my life in such a way that I had as little to do with that man as possible. I spent allot of time with my long-term boyfriend whom I eventually married at 17 and who is the boys father, I had enough money to be out and about and there was no reason to hang around at home.
Eventually I started sleeping with the bedroom door locked because I didn’t feel for his drunken rage in the middle of the night (he would shout and scream and bang on the door…. ), or climbing into the wrong bed and having a bit of a fondle. (my skin is crawling) … and I would shout for my Mom to please come fetch the fuckwit.
He is the only man, person I ever physically assaulted. The only person I ever openly spoke to and swore at as if he was an animal as that is what he taught me. I was told countless times I would amount to nothing, I was fat and ugly and needed to do something at once. I was told a million things I never want to remember.
I never saw him again after I left and I never came looking for me either. This man died alone in a house when I was an adult, many years later. Strangely he lived the street behind mine. I cried like I had lost the world at his funeral. Not because I was so sad he was dead, I was not even happy…. I cried because of what a waste of human spirit this man was. He took my formative years and made me believe the nonsense that came out of his mouth. For years I would dream about him laughing at me because I felt afraid. Until today when somebody smells of drink and says “my girl….” I want to vomit and hit them at the same time.
I cried because he had all the opportunity in the world to turn a young girls life into so much, instead he destroyed my self-worth, he emotionally left me wounded and I feel no compassion for him. Sorry. I am glad he died alone with nobody who cared.
I clearly still have something I have to forgive someone for.
Let me try end this on a positive note. What he did teach me is that all the money in the world does not buy happiness or love, he taught me to play a killer game of chess and kicked some serious ass…. and he introduced me to Billy Connolly….. and that it gave me great joy feeding our dog his imported Spam. 🙂