The Photograph-Dirg

It made me contemplate my relationship and the lessons that my life has been indelibly scored by.

Like the lash of a whip, a thrashing, a caning, a ruler rap across the knuckles, a parental punch, a hairbrush beating, a verbal threat of punishment in my you have imprinted a moment to question what has gone before.

On the one hand I am incandescent with rage. I am silent, fearful of being consumed by the anger that could scar me inside, unseen.

Is this damaged heart holding a story that needs to be told and withholding a story that need to be told. In the withholding, a calcification, a thickening takes place in my emotions that eats away at the essence of me.

So, I phone dad – a full six months after shutting him out in support of my great grandnephew.

Simon: Hello dad?

Dad: Hello – who is that Mr. Simon – I thought you were never going to call.

Simon: I have changed my mind… and before I let you say anything else I will spell out to you why I have found it hard to communicate.

– You never feel you have put a foot wrong.

– Like when I came out to you – you blamed mum
Flashback scene:

“What do you mean, look what I have done?”

Despite the years, you have not taken responsibility for your abandonment.

When mum lef, you blamed me. You said so. You mad me feel like it was my responsibility.

Truth be told I didn’t hold that pain for long because I asked her…

“Is it true you left home because of me?”

Mum: ‘Absolutely not’ she said.

I left home to demonstrate to all of us that any of us could…

I wanted to break the spell that implied none of us could go off and survive, thrive, live a full life. I feel we were living in a constricted environment choked by old ways… and I wanted to inspire us all to envision a different life for ourselves; so, I left.”


You know that the hospital would not let me go home to a toxic environment and I am grateful to them.

They agreed with me that the problem was at home. The trigger for my mental health condition was caused by you.

You being too draconian.
You clucking loud – a pride, demonstrating that you were patriarch of a well-honed brood – speaking publicly denouncing child-care theoreticians while me and the others holding it together to allow you a fantasy that propped up the facade of respectability.

Id couldn’t hold back the avalanche – mum left and the cracks that were always there, revealed themselves.

How do we pick up the pieces and mend the fences, rebuild bridges and reopen channels of communication.

Going back inside my head, my heart for me is taxing. I reopen wounds, I must confront somethings I handled badly but how do I take you with me on that journey of self-discovery so late in the day when you can’t see the impact of your actions on this generation now imprinting on your great grandson by cutting him out of his birth right because of a hair-do.

Refusing to sit with Johnathan is another step too far. How do I impress upon you that your rejection of him will cause a rift in the family?

The boy has locks as a hair style. it is not to say it is a way of life for him at 14 years old, but the styles of today warrants this as normal.

You have to confront the fact that his six-inch rat-tail locks are immaculately executed and you are judging in much the same way the colonisers found us – being different.

In your case you have taken on the role of colonisers with the difference being that you refuse to acknowledge the natives – and their ways. You have rejected the boy out of hand refusing to be photographed with him and you seem to have no way back because the boy’s mother (your granddaughter) has rejected you in a tit for tat response.

I too am silent – refusing your calls because I need time to process your repeated generational rejection.

I stand in solidarity with Johnathan. I need him to know that these months of ‘Coventry’ that you have endured have been my support for him.

I ran the risk of you dying during this silent period – but it was a risk I was willing to take. Boycotting our relationship made sense to me.

I wanted you to feel the rejection I felt, I wanted you to know how Johnathan feels.

It is hard to love a stubborn man – perhaps that is why I am single.

This shouldn’t make you happy. I take my body seriously and I feel it is now time to give up, give in and be clear to you that we should either part on good terms, or make up.

You need to find forgiveness as I have… not through some nebulous deity but because it is the right thing to do – to allow my heart to rest – allow the tension to leave me and not be mentally pre-occupied with protesting.

I want my three score and ten.

“Hello, Simon – are you still there…?

Sorry I took so long – I was looking for my glasses.”

He heard none of what was said.

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