Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Home, but where's the heart?

For some obscure reason it didn't really feel relaxing to get back home from Cyprus; it felt an instant drain on my emotional reserves, sucking away any enthusiasm to accomplish anything worthwhile. I felt trapped again, the only significance action was to reduce the asking price for my house. I want out, I want to rid myself of this place, allow myself a new start. My home is no longer my safe haven! Being at home is like voluntary imprisonment, incarcerating oneself to spite yourself. This doesn't mean I want to consciously punish myself, but knowing the effect its having on me, and still not doing anything about it, tends to force a masochistic cycle of emotional turmoil. I guess it isn't so much actively making myself suffer, it's really a matter of not being proactive in dealing with it, allowing it to continue. Awareness is one thing, doing something about it is easier said than done though!

Actually I should look at this more objectively: I've broken my frigging wrist, so I have no transport and walking too far seems to induce my arm to swell and throb in the caste. The use of my right arm is severely hampered, I am gradually increasing the things I can do, though become it's more frustrating the longer I have the caste on. I don't have any outlet for my frustration, which has compounded the negative emotions I've been dealing with anyway. Since Cai died I haven't really released any anger, can't say I've felt much either, but I've known its there. Not far below the surface there has been anger lurking, waiting for expression, release. I've dreaded the thought of being stopped by the police, due to their petty minded bigotry towards motorcyclists, I've severely doubted my ability to keep it all in check if subjected to such an affront. Miraculously whatever adverse situations I have been confronted with have seemed insignificant compared to losing Cai. I've not been looking for an excuse to vent the anger, merely wanting credible focus for it.

For many years I worked at the ever present anger that developed in my formative years, an anger created by the inherent injustice of our world. Much of my youth rebelling against any figure of authority, in particular a narrow minded, intolerant, bigot of a father. His attitude was there was something wrong with me, no matter how harsh he was over my misdemeanors I never learned. There again, if the only attention you get from someone is reprimands, the chances are you will seek that sort of attention; I did! My father told me, in my adulthood, if I hadn't been such a little shit, he wouldn't have needed to be so heavy handed with me. Oh dear, such a lack of awareness, so little understanding! At 14-15 yrs old I was suspended from school, for nothing more than putting a bright red Bowie streak, through my peroxide blond hair. I had little more than one foot in the school gate when the headmaster bellowed from his window, "Les Kay, get up to my office now." I was suspended immediately, I wasn't to be seen there until my hair was back to normal; and he was easier going than my old man! The streak had been put in for a party at my parents house, my mum was working away in London, my father's shift didn't finish until 10pm; so it had to be over before he got back home. It was, just about! Most people were making a move; once an ambulance had been called few wanted to be implicated in my comatose drunkenness. My father arrived as I was being loaded into the ambulance, I was not a popular person! He made my life as miserable as he could, done his utmost to put me down, to belittle me. At least by that age I was taller and better developed than the old git, physical retribution had become a thing of the past, just!

Not once did my father realise, his bull headed manner actually exacerbated the situation. I knew, from a fairly early age; the more shit or pressure I'm given the harder I'll dig in my heals. I understood that, while he never did, and still doesn't! I felt contempt for him rather than the respect he demanded, for me this is a fundamental difference between him and me, in raising a son; you gain respect by earning it, not demanding it! I don't begrudge my earlier life though, it gave me a better understanding of how not to form a close bond with a child. Having lost the chance to form such a relationship with my daughter, Renae, I determined to make up for it with Cai. Almost without exception I used my father as an example, I stood him on a pedestal, anything he may have done I did the opposite with Cai. It worked, it may have been hard, but the bond we formed made it all worthwhile. I made many mistakes, I had to fight against my own earlier conditioning, but when this came to the forefront I would identify it for what it was, explain it to Cai. It gave him an insight as to what I was fighting against, an appreciation of how much effort I put into safeguarding him from destructive behavior patterns. Funnily enough, Cai got suspended from school at fifteen, for having a bit of weed in his possession. He was mortified, it earned him cult hero status at school; he didn't want the attention. Both me and Gabe were happy for him to partake in a smoke of pot, as long as it didn't interfere with his school work! And yes, we did know he smoked pot before this instance! Better than joining the other youngsters at school, binge drinking, getting aggressive and throwing up. I was happy for him to indulge, he showed a remarkable amount of self restraint, he didn't get stoned during the school week, and kept it within reason most other times.

I've learned, with age, to show authority the respect it demands, in most instances. I couldn't face his headmaster and say "so what?" I had to dress Cai down a strip, impress the head with my attitude to pot smoking. Poor Cai tried to answer me back, I had to verbally slap him down, show I would not stand for such behavior. I did explain this after we left, he then realised I had acted in that manner to ensure the police weren't involved. I'd avoided our house being searched, maybe an official caution for him; therefore a blot on his record. He understood and we got three weeks together with no school. He finished the work he was given in the first week, then we enjoyed the rest of the time! Irresponsible? I don't think so; open and honest I call it! He didn't hide much from me, I knew what he was doing in most spheres of life. There was understanding and acceptance between us, I earned a great deal of respect from Cai, and he from me, it wasn't obtained by demanding it!

Photos show us both at 14-15 yrs, and again at 17 yrs old!

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