Monday 22 February 2021

Sins of the Father


*Please note: Degoratory Homophobic Language used in this post* 

I’m currently sat on my bed, taking deep breaths to regulate my emotions; a difficult process for someone with traits of emotional instability.

Dad going into hospital has opened so many secrets that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Growing up knowing I was adopted always made me feel special. I was chosen.

I had a happy childhood.

I think the more accurate statement would be “I had a happy 80s childhood”.

Mum was the “scary one" that you didn’t want to disappoint. It was more “wait ‘till your Mum gets home” than Dad. But, from my point of view, mum was the loving one.

She, of course, smacked me (like most 80s parents did) but she wasn't cruel.

Despite the above Dad was the one who would threaten us. He was the one who would hit because of his opinions not because it was just.

He was the one that would smack, berate and threaten me to not be “a bloody poof".

I was clever and academic but being brainy wasn’t something to boast about. I wasn’t 'enough' for him and often caused disappointments; like not playing sports.

The fact that I was a fantastic ice skater was only “Okay" when I won competitions.

My brother on the other hand was “his son" who, despite also being adopted, Dad was incredibly proud of.

Failed at school = “He’s good with his hands".

Got into fights = “He won’t be bullied".

Doesn’t work = “He’s a free spirit”.

Got arrested = “He’s just strong willed".

I’m sure you get the picture.

But I didn’t know better so I was happy enough.

At 24 I wanted to open my adoption file. No other reason than to grasp an understanding to who I was.

Inside read a line: “Mr Kitney presents as a quiet man who is happy to have one son already. He states that it is Mrs Kitney's wish to adopt another and not his but he will support her wishes in the case of Martyn".

Reading that was difficult but equally no surprise.

I reached a point where I accepted the relationship was what it was.

Then mum died.

2 months after her funeral I had my nervous breakdown. Coming out of it I saw that I needed some stability and I also recognised that dad, now on his own, needed the support too; so I moved in.

It was my hope that I would perhaps form a better relationship with him.

Living with him allowed him to see the 2 boys more (the only grandchildren he has) and I know he loved that.

I wouldn’t say we had a good relationship after but it was more appeasable; he still always favoured my brother.

It was fine. It was what it was.

However, I moved out due to my health and things changed.

The moment I left, my brother and his partner were around a lot more. They even moved in for a couple of years.

They made my Dads house impossible to be around. They smoked and swore whilst I was trying to teach pupils the piano and it didnt matter to them how it affected me or my lessons.

Every time I went round something had changed. A room was redecorated, the garden was changed, new furniture arrived and bits of the family started to disappear.

It got to the point where pictures of the boys and I were taken down and replaced with my brothers partners family (a family that my Mum detested) It even got to a point where photos of Mum and her ornaments started disappearing or being hidden in a cupboard.

Then I struggled entering his house due to my health. My brother and his partner put furniture in the hall or doorways which meant I couldn’t move properly.

In the end we brought Dad out more to our house than I went to his.

There was me still trying to cling on to that better relationship despite feeling like we were being cut out.

With his Dementia and Alzheimer’s having an impact I felt like the Dad I had growing up disappeared. He became old and delicate.

Then dad had his stroke.

This led to me finding out that Dad has his own Social Worker. Upon speaking to them I find out that my brother told them that he was an only child and had no other family.

This also led to me finding out that my brother has been seeking Power of Attorney.

This finally led to me finding out that my Dads will has changed. I doubt that it’s a giant leap to guess who it’s in favour for?

Before we get into “taking advantage”, his Will was changed in 2017. The solicitors state he was alone and passed cognitive tests. So his dementia wasn’t a problem and he wasn’t coerced.

Everyone I’ve spoken to isn’t surprised by this. Everyone expected my father to favour my brother. They knew that if this happened to him that they’d wriggle their way in.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

My whole life I’ve felt I’ve been chasing his love and affection.  Just to know he was proud of me but I always fell short and I accepted that.

This feels different. This feels hurtful.

Dad now isn’t a well man.

Going forward I will do everything in my power to make sure that man is as well as he can be. I will support him because I love him. I don’t know, especially now his Dementia and Alzheimer’s is bad, how he really felt for me but I do love him and helping him, despite all of the above, is the least I can do.

Seeking forgiveness for all the things that happened as a child seems so pointless now. The way he treated me both physically and mentally seems like a lifetime ago. Even this current hurt that he's cut myself and his only grandchildren out of his estate seems to feel misplaced. The man who is sat there is not the same man. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and the stroke have made sure of that.

Sins can be forgiven. So can my dad. Just maybe after I’ve calmed down.

1 comment:

JOhn Adams said...

Oh wow that's a harsh read Martyn. You're in my thoughts and prayers. I just hope for all your sakes this situation can be resolved amicably and with respect.