So, I spoke to my pops today to wish him a happy daddy’s day. He is well. He was laughing and enjoying our chat as was I. I love that. It makes me very happy hearing him happy. He was even laughing when he told me that my step–mum has read my book.
Err.... If this was a film – the sound effect would be some car breaks screeching to a stop.
Yes – my father was even laughing when he told me that my step-mum has read my book.
She’s read it.
She was always going to, but still, I’m a smidgen surprised that it was so soon after they got their copy. Fuck. Right. OK... so what do I do now? Speak to her! So I did...
She was very calm and sweet throughout. This was a total surprise. I expected drama and derision. She was in fact very adult and gracious. That may sound patronising but really, it’s not. Not knowing from many past experiences how things could have.
Step-mummy told me that she felt hurt. At this point I thought ‘here come the fire works’ – still nothing.
She feels that I am claiming to not have had any support throughout the years I spent fucking up my life. Well, she knows what happened. The two of them were there. On occasions. We all know how the story went.
I don’t like to lose my dignity if I can help it. Not any more. But I will say this my friends :
1. I played their behaviours right down in my book and avoided mentioning how my relationship really was with my dad and step-ma during those painful years for fear of sounding as though I was putting them down. I didn’t make the mistakes that I did with anyone else's help other than my own. But for sure, I could have said so much more in Hooked about what went on between us but I chose not to. The story is meant to be focused on my shenanigans, not other peoples. Especially people that I love.
2. My concern today is that they are all right. They are, and I am. They forgive me and I forgive them.
“I’m glad I read it Clare, and I’m glad I felt what I felt,“ My step-mum continued. It sounded like a confession of guilt. Blimey. I don't need that from them. But an acknowledgment of how difficult things were and how isolated I was, is generous of them.
“But it hurts me still, that you went through this and you felt so alone.”
I was alone. But I didn’t say this. I didn't have to. Part of that aloneness was self-imposed of course.
“Did you feel poorly judged in the book?” I asked her.
“ No, not at all.” She answered. Fucking hell.... this is a revelation.
But again, I fear sounding hurtful towards them (and I believe it is my duty to protect and nurture them) but I must admit that I am somehow a little relieved that they now have a clearer understanding of what happened to me and how badly I coped, and why.
I wasn’t able to get close to them for years. They were rightly frightened by my erratic behaviour, I guess and they didn't know what to do - so they hid.
But now maybe we will begin to understand each other on a different level.
They don’t really know me, but I am certain that this book will enable us to build our bridges over some already pretty solid foundations.
As for daddy? He hasn’t read it. My step-ma has read him ‘bits.’ And when he told me this he showed no signs of being disturbed, and believe me, like me, if he wasn't happy – he wouldn't be able to hide it.
I think secretly he is very proud that I have written something which seems to be emotive and dare I say, a little shocking. He likes that I took it by the balls and mostly just served it as it was.