First of all, thanks to everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement during the last few weeks (Months), I really do genuinely appreciate it 😊
This is my first post for quite a while and during the time of my ongoing anxiety attack I’ve considered some of my past experiences and came to the conclusion that maybe my dad suffered from the same sort of anxiety that I’ve experienced.
As I mentioned in a couple of previous posts, he would disappear for weeks and weeks without any indication he was going. Maybe life became to much for him, he was extremely laconic so I guess I’ll never know.
If he did suffer from the anxiety that I have, am experiencing, then I don’t think I was any help to him because of the way I dared to tease him when I was in my early teens. If you have read my previous posts about my mum and how violent and volatile my dad was, then you will understand how stupid I must have been to antagonise him!
I remember the day after he had returned home from one of his many ‘Walk-abouts’. I think it was the beginning of summer because he decided in his infinite, drunken wisdom, to build a garden shed (What for? He was hardly ever fucking home) The thing was, he was no carpenter!
Anyway, he began to construct this monstrosity that even a homeless person would have thought twice about using as a temporary shelter.
Towards the end of his construction, he was having a spot of bother making his homemade door fit into its less than square frame. I was sat strategically watching from the top of the garden, staring intently as he struggled and cursed. My dad was Irish, equipped with a think Irish accent that few people understood. Taking that into consideration, I started dancing around the garden pretending to be an Irish leprechaun, singing in my best Irish voice ‘ Father, it’s shit, it’s going to fall down, it’s the house that Paddy built’. In no uncertain terms he told me to shut up and fuck off, which forced me to dance and sing and laugh all the more. He chased me twice but I was on my toes and away, only to return quickly and carry on taking the piss!
It was a very good job I was aware of the danger I was putting myself in because I just managed to dodge a lump hammer that was heading straight for my head!
I heard a cry of “Bloody hell” in the near distance and looked to see my friend watching over the fence as i ducked the hammer and ran a safe distance away!
My friend and I laughed about that incident many times, making it especially amusing because my prediction actually came true, his beloved shed collapsed during a particularly windy day during that very same summer.
I remember my dad occasionally sitting in the living room, looking at the tv but not actually watching it. He would sit there without saying a word, in a tormented world of his own. When anyone came to the house he would disappear upstairs until they had left. My mum never berated him, so maybe she knew he had problems with socialising. The strange thing was, he always questioned my mum about what they had said and wanted! I remember thinking why didn’t he stay in the room to find out for himself?
It never made sense to me, he never made sense to me, but now I sort of understand his anxiety. I guess way back then, people didn’t talk about any sort of anxiety.
I’m lucky I guess because people are more aware and more understanding about social anxiety.
I must be improving slowly but surely, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this post. It’s a small step in the right direction, I hope.