I am not the easiest person to be in a relationship with, and I blame my parents’ relationship for that, or maybe it’s just my interpretation of my parents’ relationship. It’s ironic that I name this piece after a song about divorce because my parents are not divorced. However, I call it this because in what feels like a desperate attempt to not leave my brother and I too feel the pain he did after his parents divorced my dad (and my mum) seem to have been unhappy for a long time.
Most people I speak to see Sunday as a day of rest, I have always hated Sunday’s. My earliest memories of Sunday’s involve my parents drunkenly arguing for hours until they both fell asleep in their chairs. Sometimes my dad would storm out of the house (I don’t know where he went) It was always a stupid argument, about money usually. I hated it, I hated watching them argue. I was scared they would get divorced, or my dad wouldn’t come back
I don’t know what happened with my grandparents divorce because my dad rarely talks about his childhood, but from what I understand it was an incredibly messy divorce. My Nan was left with basically nothing and my dad and his brothers had to live with my grandfather. My dad has never forgiven my granfather for what happened and until about 2 years ago pretty much refused to speak to him, which was awkward. It has also meant that sometimes my grandfather has tried to buy my brother and I’s love, or maybe my dads love. He once sent me £500 for a new laptop, which was awkward considering in reality, I have met the man maybe 6 times in my life.
But, I know my dad has done everything humanly possible to make sure my brother and I don’t have to experience what he did, which is an understandable and noble thing to want to do. But he has passed on his fear and anger to me (and maybe my brother, we don’t talk about it)
I have always hated when my parents argued, it used to make me upset and panicky. Now it just makes me frustrated and uncomfortable. I have vivid memories of my parents arguing in our living room doorway. I have another memory of an argument that happened after a relative’s party, I was very young I was in my bedroom. My parents were arguing in my bedroom, I don’t know what about. I was crying because they were arguing quite aggressively. My dad pushed my mum, he is not a confrontational man so she must have pushed him mentally or maybe phisically, I can’t remember what caused that reaction. I’m not justifying what he did, but I know that is must have been a response to something.
The next vivid argument memory I have is even worse. Once again after a family party we were going from the venue to a family member’s house. For whatever reason my brother and I were already at the house and my parents and my cousin had not yet arrived and I was getting anxious that they had not arrived yet. When they finally did arrive, they were having a full on argument, once again, I don’t really know what they were arguing about, but I seem to remember something about my dad trying to help some drunken woman (who they found lying on the street) to her house and my mum and my cousin being dead against it. After this argument truly exploded my dad stormed out. I don’t remember what happened, I think I was upset I seem to remember my cousin trying to comfort me, but we stayed at my uncle’s house a little longer, they may have offered to let us stay. But we went home, I was anxious all the way home scared something terrible would have happened to my dad after he left, but when we got home the bathroom light was on which meant he must have been home. But the front door was locked, we rang the doorbell, knocked the door but no response. He was asleep. My dad could sleep through anything. We had to wake my grandparents to get the spare key. All I remember is my mum saying “if he didn’t want us to come in he would have left his key in the other side of the door so we couldn’t unlock it” she was defending his behaviour suddenly, and that is something that has always confused me, they can go from explosive argument to acting like nothing happened within minutes, or they can drag it out for hours. They never resolve anything.
This all happened when I was younger than 12 years old, but the memories have really stuck with me and I have never grown out of the fear and anxiety I experience when they fight. When I got to about 15 I started to shout at them when they fought. They only do it when they are drunk so I would tell them to grow up which made them turn on me which is fine, because id rather they shouted at me then each other.
Today they had a stupid argument, my dad has drunk a litre and half of wine, my mum has drunk cans of cider and a vodka and coke. It began when my mum told him that he shouldn’t drink so much wine, so he said “usually I would have drunk a bottle of wine and two or three cans of larger” then it was over and he started timing something, my mum asked him if he was timing the song, he lashed out suddenly saying he was timing his game and how if my mum is not interested in him she should just turn the tv on and shut up. he talked about how she watches TV just to annoy him on a Sunday, so he can’t listen to his music. So he was saying “ill just plug my headphones in should I?, you come home and you don’t care about me” I got angry sitting in the middle of the most ridiculous fight I have ever heard and told them both to shut up and that I didn’t want to hear anything else about it. They stopped, but I was still frustrated because even at 25 years old this stupid, pointless argument, that they seem to have forgotten about 5 minutes later. This made me anxious and uncomfortable and in reality regress to the version of myself that was always terrified that I would never see my dad again if my parents continued to argue to the point where he had to leave the house.
The Elephant in the Room