I’ve now been seeing my therapist for a few weeks. I value the sessions enormously, and I feel that, in a short time, I have connected to some parts of me that have been ‘hidden’.
One of those things is the huge burden of repressed anger I have been carrying around for most, if not all of my adult life. Much of that anger comes from the way my father behaved to me, and the rest of the family.
My father was born in Australia in 1912. He was a musical ‘prodigy’ – piano, and at 18 years old won a scholarship to the Royal College of music on London. He left Australia in 1930 and never saw his parents again.
My mother was his third wife. When I was born she was 26, and he was 52. As a small child I think he loved me – he had previously had three sons with wife#1 who had returned to Australia after WW2. As I grew up my memory is of a critical, grumpy man who had no interest in me really. He did very little round the house, well nothing really, even after he retired, so mu mother worked, looked after her children, managed the house, shopped cooked cleaned and did EVERYTHING, while he watched the TV and critisised his children.
The realisation that I have unconsciously picked men with whom I have re-enacted this scenario is stark, and painful. It seems the lessons of childhood; that women do everything and men ignore their needs and behave totally selfishly – have been deeply ingrained.
I also, at almost 52 myself, think how astonishingly selfish he must have been to embark on fatherhood again at that age. I adore my kids, but the thought of starting again, with a baby ? no way, I simply could not provide the necessary parental support as I get older. And neither could he / did he. I’m sure there are some men who can / could – but he was a selfish man who was not prepared to put himself out for anyone…
I think the birth of my anger comes from here.
But ‘nice’ people don’t get angry in out culture. Especially in the UK. ‘Nice people’ (women especially) do not express their needs. Nice people Bottle up their anger and resentment and drink to keep it suppressed. Except that they drink more and more to suppress the rage and frustration and hurt, and still it wont go away.
To be clear, I dot blame my alcohol issues on my parents. But The anger and hurt I felt at my fathers abdication of his responsibilities to me, his daughter, are a very real and potent source of distress. And this distress probably contributed to my excessive drinkoing