This is a record of why I loved my Dad, and how I carry parts of his spirit inside my essence. It is also how his spirit was one reason I was able to separate myself from violence and degradation.
My Dad was a good man – he was never perfect, he never pretended that he less or more than others – he just believe in seeing the good in others, and that brought out the good in him.
I would say my Dad taught me never to judge.
He also knew that some people made the choice to put hate into the world, made the choice to destroy others for their own gain.
He found that hard to understand, it would make him weep on occasions.
He hated anyone who harm a child.
The only time I saw fury in my Dad, an anger that terrified both me and him – was when he heard and believed that my stepdad had abused me.
I really thought my Dad was going to kill my stepdad. I was just glad we were in England, and my stepdad was in France.
His anger was guilt he had not protected me or seen that it was happening. His anger was confusion that any adult could even think to rape a child. His anger was that it had gone for years, and I had never trusted him enough to tell him.
His anger was grief, frustration and a rage at injustice.
I was scared, I almost leapt out of a moving car – but at the moment I knew he had never known.
At the moment, the lies of my mother and stepdad were broken. The lies saying my Dad just did not care, that he knew and thought I was just a slag.
Seeing his frustrated rage, all I saw was he had always loved me, just could not know how to reach out to me.
For years, I had coped by deciding I did not need my Dad’s love.
I knew I did not deserve his love, for I was fucking men all over the place, I was drinking myself to death and I was nothing that could be loved.
I made him judge me, so then I could hate him.
I acted violent in front of him, I would run away, I swear all the time, I beat up his son – I knew where I stood if he hated me.
But what I got back was unrelenting love, patience and wanting to make my life better.
This I could not understand. All I knew was to run away from his love.
As I got embedded inside prostitution, I avoided my Dad as much I could.
I thought I would go mad, if he saw me as full human – he may see his daughter getting fucked to almost dead, he may see I had given up hope.
But even then, he reached out to me, and I let in his presence in small moments.
He gave love through our love of American and British films of 1930’s to 1950’s. We would sit together to watch Match of the Day. We went to matinees when I was visiting him in London. We went to art galleries, had pub lunches. He shown me the architecture of London.
This during my years of hell was a haze – but now all those things are part of my essence.
Whenever I am in London, I am amazed how alive I am.
I feel my Dad walking alongside me in London.
He was a publisher, so we often went to Bloomsbury, doing architecture tours and speaking of Virginia Woolf. I walked there all the time, amazed by my knowledge and love of the place.
It is the same in the City of London, I know the small Wren churches, where Johnson lived, the Inns of Law, where Dickens wrote, where Marlowe was murdered, etc etc.
My Dad give me a love of London – after the years of shit in London given to me by my stepdad and prostitution – that was an amazing gift.
Now, London is a city of literature, paintings, sports events, theatre, parks, festivals – and more, as I see with my Dad by my side.
I still know hotels where I did prostitution, still know what Soho and King’s Cross is and was, still know how often I wanted to die in London.
But I will make the choice to seek the good in London, then I follow my Dad’s spirit.
My Dad believe in human justice and that it was a very hard road to get it.
I was brought with tales of his family in America being against MacCarthy, being deeply involved with the civil rights movement. I was encouraged to be involved with human’s right struggle, such as Anti-Apartheid and Chile Solidarity.
It was seen as a duty to fight for human rights, I know it would hard and sometimes very depressing, for I see my Dad’s family have major attacks for their belief that there must be justice.
I know my Dad is behind this blog, he knew little of what it is about. But he knew I am striving for justice and human dignity, and that made him proud.
When I get attacked, when I feel I am fighting an evil that could have destroyed me, when I close to despair – I reach into essence and find my Dad cheer-leading me to fight harder.
I miss my Dad phoning me on Sunday afternoon, I miss saying have you seen that film/exhibition, I miss moaning about Arsenal or Ipswich with him, I miss seeing Cornwall with him, I miss his dinner parties, I miss watching comfort TV with him, I miss being silent in a room with us both reading, I miss talking about jazz with him.
I really miss my Dad.
But he is deep inside me.