This particular story reminds me why I have a temper on me; I get that from my late father, who was one to avoid when he was angry. It took a lot to get him like that, but woe betide if he was angry.
It was a Friday night in our maisonette where we once lived. I was only six or seven years old I think, can’t be absolutely sure. I had finished my dinner and was then a witness to a blazing row between my parents. To be honest, the mists of time have made me forget the reason for it, but it was a very unpleasant spat, with lots of anger and threats being made. The one main threat was Mum walking out. She packed some stuff and left. Didn’t say where she was going, but she left in a huff. Mum was another who had a bad temper and was stubborn as a mule to boot. Never get on the wrong side of her, either.
With Mum gone, temporarily, Dad had a dilemma to work out. I couldn’t sleep in the maisonette on my own, so he decided to take me to work with him. Off we walked the mile and a bit to work, where he was a manager of an injection mouldings company. He was still steaming about the blazing row, and was looking to just do some work to forget about it.
This was a night shift, so they found a bed in a rest room for me to sleep. Trouble was, the row was playing on my mind and I couldn’t settle. Just couldn’t go to sleep at all. Eventually, after a couple of hours, I had enough and decided to find Dad. After much searching, I found him and told him I wanted to go home. He agreed, albeit reluctantly, and off we trooped back home. This was now the middle of the night.
Managed to get some sleep back at home. During the morning, Mum had returned. She didn’t say where she had gone, I assumed it was to a friend. I tried to ask but got quickly rebuffed and told to mind my own business. Still to this day, I don’t know where she went, and of course, I will never know.
My parents were married for 37 years. That’s a very long time, and I can’t pretend it was all sweetness and light. There were moments like this and rows where neither party was willing to back down. I had another 17 years of disagreements after Dad had died, and Mum and me rarely saw eye to eye. I wanted independence, Mum wanted me to look after her. Those conflicting views saw worse rows than the one I’ve outlined. So don’t think it was all wonderful; I was brought up well I like to think, with an understanding of right and wrong that has stayed with me up to the present day.
So it wasn’t all married bliss, but my parents did love each other. They cared and tried their hardest to provide for me and each other. If it was great all the time, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post!
But the one thing remains, they wouldn’t have had the first clue about Autism and my daily struggles. They would have dismissed it as me being me, with no external factors. How the world has changed in those 37/38 years. Illuminating.