I suppose I should start with my Dad! My god I love my Dad so much. My Dad had his faults and he was an alcoholic but when he wasn’t drinking, my real dad, was the loveliest, most generous person you could ever meet. A proper east end gem!
My mum and dad split up when I was very young. He was a bit of a ladies man and all his life suffered with issues; like bulimia and alcoholism. I believe he may have gone through a period of his life taking a lot of speed but I wasn’t aware of that situation.
My Dad lived a fast lifestyle and, as such, when I was a small child I didn’t see him regularly. He would turn up every few weeks, throw a load of toys or money at me and that would be it. He never paid my mum maintenance and my mum was my dad as well in a way. You see my dad had things happen to him as a child that made him the way he was.
I remember being scared of seeing my Dad on his own because of his drinking and unpredictable behaviour. He married a lady who was an alcoholic and from that his drinking became dependant rather than social or occasional. It was after this I wouldn’t see him too much on my own. Well that was until I reached teenage years and became the stroppiest bitch in town and would answer back.
I knew if my Dad was calling me after 4pm that he was drunk and I was going to get a lot of verbal. Sometimes he would have ridiculous requests like I got in a helicopter with him to visit my uncle in the south of the country. Sometimes I genuinely thought he believed he could get that helicopter to hover over my house and let down a ladder for me to climb up. He also made my step mums life very hard. She stuck by him through thick and thin and he took her for granted.
My Dad could drink copious amounts of brandy, on the rocks may I add, without being drunk. He was over 20 stone and had a belly that looked like he was carrying quads. I remember him tapping his belly and saying ‘cost me a lot of money to make this’.
Eventually he had a stomach bypass and lost a large amount of weight and from that he found a lump in his neck. I’m guessing you know where this is going but my Dad passed away just before Christmas nearly 8 years ago. In some ways I feel cheated because I didn’t get close to my Dad until later in my life. I feel I missed out and only got some of the worst parts of my Dad when he was drinking. I just wanted his time and not his money. I remember writing a letter which I never sent. It was after one of his drunken ramblings. I said if you don’t sort it out you won’t live to see your grandchildren and he didn’t. He wasn’t here to see my son being born. That kills me every day. I will never ever get over that he wasn’t here and isn’t here.
Some people believe that once something happens you follow a pattern. That there is a trigger point in your life which leads you to making the same decisions. Maybe I’ve ended up with an addict because I’m searching for my Dad? Or maybe it’s all I know? I’m not sure.
I just hope I’m making my Dad proud…