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This is a question Thrown away: The stuff you loved and lost.

Smash Wogan writes, "we all love our Mums, but we all know that Mums can be cunts, throwing out our carefully hoarded crap that we know is going to be worth millions some day."

What priceless junk have you lost because someone just threw it out?

Zero points for "all my porn". Unless it was particularly good porn...

(, Thu 14 Aug 2008, 16:32)
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The illusionary comfort of memory
I recall remembering Christmasses long past, which once rewarded me with the sort of foggy-edged softness that reminded me of warm jumpers, fairy lights, The Wizard of Oz and the delightful suspense of discovering exactly what was hiding within the gift wrapping, bearing my name on a handwritten tag.

Instead I now see them sensing the barely contained paternal rage waiting for it's moment to burst forth, the glue of fear being applied to ensure the family did exactly as we were told. The cold disinterest from my father, who'd turn on me with unrestrained rage should I dare interrupt him from his peanuts, sweets and the running commentary as he indulged us all the enjoyment of the 1950s musicals on television.

I'm sure I remember the joy of opening many, many presents bearing my name, discovering that inside each one was a model railway locomotive or scale rolling stock. How lucky I was to receive so many gifts like this! I was extremely fortunate.

Yet today, it's tinged with bitterness that unwrapping the boxes was as close as my father allowed me to get to his trains before they were carried up into the loft, never to be seen again. I was merely an excuse for him to justify spending a small fortune on himself.

I fondly remember the way my mother used to pick me up when I grazed my knee and how I'd suddenly feel better. How my tears of shock and pain would be transformed into laughter.

Yet I now recall the sense of despair at my mother, for being unable to stop my father from hitting us when he decided that he was going to give eight year old me a boxing lesson and got carried away, leaving me with several bruises all over my face to explain away at school the next day. My mother's bruises were always hidden from view.

I'm positive I remember the fascination I had with the tropical fish who swam in the fish tank which sat in the stone alcove in our living room. I'd watch them for hours as they swam and swam, utterly oblivious to the world beyond the glass boundaries of their safe little sanctuary. There's something so peaceful and calming about tropical fish.

I know about the unrelenting beating my elder brother received when he was seven years old, because he was not strong enough to bear the weight of the aquarium and the water as my father attempted to retrieve the syphon hose to empty the dirty water. He ended up cowering behind the sink in the downstairs toilet as the blows came raining down until my father's rage was sated. Twenty minutes later it started over again.

Today, my relationship with my mother is strained. We talk frequently, yet I'm frustrated by the fact that she is unwilling to take control of her life and strive to achieve her goals. I wish I could do more to help mitigate the sadness she seems to carry around with her.

I'm furious towards my mother. She's never condemned my father, nor summoned the courage to leave him. It was easier for her to pass the responsibility for Dad's rages onto her children "you know your father tends to discipline people when they do something he doesn't like", than to take control of the situation and get away. I'd even forgive her now if she upped, left and enjoyed her remaining years in peace, but every time she tries, she finds an excuse to go running back.

I have somehow become my father's best friend. He emails me junk every day and seems to value my opinion. I have somehow gained his respect, but I'm not entirely sure how. Perhaps it is the passing of the years?

I'm my father's only friend. I've learned to forgive his violent excesses against me, for carrying around the fallout would still hurt long after he's dead and gone. Sometimes I want to beat some sense into him when he takes his endless frustrations out on my mother, but I know that will only make her situation worse. The only comfort I can take is that I am not the man my father is, nor will I ever be.

These days family gatherings are sparse due to the distances involved. My brother and I remain close, yet things are strained between him and our father. We always make sure mum has a great time when she's with us though. My brother is emigrating in a few weeks. I'm happy for him, yet saddened that the family ties I always hoped for seems to be slowly growing frayed.

My brother hasn't spoken to our father since the last time mum tried to leave him, three years ago. I am deeply saddened that my brother and his family are moving abroad, his children brought my mother a lot of happiness. I'm meeting my brother and mother next weekend for a farewell party, possibly for the very last time we'll all be together.

Of course, I'll make an effort to stay in touch with everyone now that we've grown older and gone our separate ways. I look back at those old fuzzy memories and wonder if I'll ever know a family life in the same way again, or if it's gone forever.

My parents have recently moved house at the behest of my father, far enough away to ensure that my mother cannot see her granddaughters as often as she likes because it was easier for my father to blame my brother and sister-in-law for the fact that mum would return home tearful and unhappy after visiting them. It was easier to do this than to accept his own guilt. I cannot believe how he could actually do this out of sheer spite. I wish everything about my dysfunctional family had turned out so very different, I can't release myself from the nagging thought that maybe if I'd had my eyes open and realised something was wrong so many years earlier it would have?
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:04, 22 replies)
f u u u
uuuuuuck :(

there should be a "i seriously feel for you" button rather than an "i like this" button for this sort of thing
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:09, closed)

and ^this
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:13, closed)
... it's not meant as a "Feel sorry for me, please" type post. I'm mostly okay with the situation and all, which is why I can write about it.

It's more about our perception of childhood memories which change as we get older, sometimes we kick ourselves for not seeing the "obvious" sooner.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:14, closed)
well written though, a good style
sure you haven't got enough talent to go for your third job ambition?

channel the real into the fiction and see what happens?

also, what does per effluvia, ad astra mean?
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:15, closed)
Through effluent we journey to the stars.
A corruption on the RAF's motto - Per ardua ad astra

*edit* or "sitting in the shithouse, dreaming of the penthouse"
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:17, closed)
but then if you had your adult perceptions as a kid you would have been seriously miserable.

At least as kids we had the innocent defense mechanism "isn't this the same for everyone?" sort of thing which can be dealt with a little easier.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:18, closed)
Spot on. There's also Star Wars references there too if you look for 'em.

*Edit* Don't feel bad folks. Click away!
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:19, closed)
Just... wow. Bits of this ring especially true to my own experience.

Extremely well written. I feel bad clicking 'I like this', but I'm going to anyway.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:25, closed)

A brilliant, sensitively written piece.

I applaud your ability to rise above heredity and prove that just because your father was one way, you don't necessarily have to be the same.

Some footsteps are not meant to be followed.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:28, closed)
Do you and your brother never contemplate
a couple of baseball bats in the back of a van?

My Da can be arse at the best of times and issued beatings to all of us as kids but if he ever raised his hand to my Ma, he'd be hospitalised by his boys.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:31, closed)


can't really think of anything to say.

However, I do second the comments above: you are a fantastic writer, pursue your dream!
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 15:32, closed)
All I'm hearing is
mew mew mew.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 16:11, closed)
just cut the cunt out of your life.....pretend he doesn't exist..OR as above, wait till he comes home from boozer/work and blend him to a paternal pulp. paying particular attention to his spuds..

As much as my childhood was pish, we never got beaten, the odd smack and all, but never a full on battering....i just wonder what posseses cunts like that to attack a defenceless child, particularly one that sprung from their own loins..

remorse? nah....
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 16:11, closed)
Beautiful, yet ugly at the same time.

You get teh click.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 16:42, closed)
Poignant and well written.
Makes me want to go and hug somebody I love.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 18:05, closed)
Salad Cream Families are few and far between...
Rose tinted memories tend to become even rosier with age - then Alzheimer's (sp?) kicks in.

I look forward to quaffing real ale with you - only a week tomorrow :o)

*does a little wee of excitement*
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 18:10, closed)
I've sort of bin there done that but I can not and would not dare to bare my inner thoughts because basically I'm a big fat coward. I am desperatly trying to restrain my appalling temper when faced for the millionth time with a 4 year old who declares 'peas are yukky'.

Larkin: 'they fuck you up, your Mum and Dad'

You sound like you've kinda made your peace, dunnon if internally or publicly, but shite mate that sounds grim.

Respect, mate. Sorry if that sounds wigga.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 20:23, closed)
That's all.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 22:05, closed)
Cheers guys
Thanks for the messages, it's really very touching to read. I made my peace a long time ago, simply because sooner or later you have to face up to the fact that people will do the wrong thing in life sometimes no matter what and if you're not careful, you end up carrying it long after they're dead and gone. My father is 74, not in the best of health and in complete denial as to the Hyde side of his character. I could take him outside and make him wish he'd never been born in a second, but it wouldn't improve my mum's situation, nor would it make me feel any better.

Anyway, if it came across as whimsical and emo, I apologise because that wasn't the point.

What was (partly at any rate) the point however was putting up a riposte to all the whiny cunts saying "My bitch of a mother threw my star wars toys out. That's child abuse!".

No, it isn't.

Your mum chucked out your star wars toys because you were sixteen and ergo too old for them. You think it's fair to leave your folks storing your half-chewed childhood detritus that may/may not be worth half of what your parents paid for it. Get a fucking life and be thankful your parents let you play with it instead of waiting thirty years to sell it all on Ebay and make a fortune.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2008, 22:16, closed)
i kinda know where you're coming from
my dad beat us all as kids. he beat my mother, too. she was lucky, though. when i was about ten, she realised that she was bigger and quite a bit stronger than my dad so, next time he hit her, she kicked the living shit out of him. i did the same when i was about 24 and he almost broke my jaw. my mother and me are the only 2 in the family he gets on well with now, the others still get threatened with beatings and he's actually tried to kill my brother twice. i hate what he is, but not who he is. despite his temper, his bluster and his bravado, he is over 60 and in almost constant pain.
what goes around, comes around, that's my motto.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2008, 11:53, closed)
On the plus side
You have blossomed into thoroughly decent chap despite the hideous influence with which you grew up. That proves you are a smashing bloke with great intestinal fortitude.

*doffs hat*

*blows fluff off pocket money to buy you a pint on Saturday*

*does another little wee*

(, Mon 18 Aug 2008, 10:04, closed)
That my lad...
...was a stirring and stirling piece of prose. I guess this may have some bearing on your thoughts about having kids of your own - or am I adding 2 and 2 and getting 5? Either way, you've grown up your own person and you make your own choices to your own set of guiding principles and they are good ones.

The redoubtable Mrs G had an even grimmer childhood (which was effectively ended when she was 11), but that hasn't stopped her becoming a great person and a brilliant mother. Nature? Nurture? I'm a firm believer in sheer guts and determination not to let others - even when they are your parents - take away choices for you.

(, Mon 18 Aug 2008, 12:14, closed)

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