Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?
There are countless memories I have of when I’ve, quite literally, gone into a white-hot table-flipping rage
But I think the one incident that tops this list belongs to one particular evening when I had a confrontation with my father on the telephone.
It was back in 2003 in the lead up to my 21st birthday. He had expressed some desire to want to visit me in Melbourne and spend time with me for my birthday. Apparently the previous 10 years of not really wanting to even be around him didn’t seem to get the message across to him, so you can imagine my confusion when he said he wanted to visit.
I should point out that at this moment in time, I had been living in Melbourne for almost two years, and made it crystal clear to my mother and my brother that under no certain terms, were they to disclose my address to him. The result of this, was that he would then send letters / cards to my mothers house, and she would then forward them on to me, along with a letter from herself as well.
More often than not, as soon as I saw his handwriting on the enclosed envelope, I’d roll my eyes, sigh heavily and mentally prepare myself for the emotional drivel that was contained in the contents of the envelope.
Then, naturally, I’d call mum straight away
And this one particular night, after a very, very long
counselling telephone conversation with my mum, I reached the decision that I had to be upfront with him and that I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to come to Melbourne and I didn’t want to see him.
See, as much as I can be a bitch, I actually get stressed out when it comes to confrontation. I can’t do it. In my head I can, but actually physically following through with it is a completely different story. So, when I’m on the phone to my mum, I was getting all fired up saying stuff along the lines of ‘yeah, and I’m gonna tell him I don’t want to see him! And I’m gonna tell him not to bother coming to Melbourne at all! Why the fuck should I be the one to feel obligated to drop everything to see him, of all people I can’t stand. Fuck that. Right, well, I’m gonna go call him now and tell him and get it done with!!’.
I was ready for a fight. I called his number and waited for his rough, masculine voice to answer the phone.
Over the course of that almost three-hour conversation, not only did I bring the heat for my ‘fight’, I bought twenty years of repressed emotional turmoil that my father was responsible for. He brought me to the door, and I opened it.
And it all came flooding out.
All of it.
Everything. Every instance and memory of emotional blackmail. Every moment he destroyed a small piece of my soul. Every time he made me feel like I didn’t exist… did somebody say daddy issues??!!
I unleashed twenty-years of pain, and wasn’t taking any prisoners. I was out for blood.
Nothing had prepared me for what came out of my fathers mouth during that conversation. One little sentence, which I will not repeat here, but one little sentence that completely changed me. Permanently. One little sentence that ended everything right there and then.
Completely shocked, speechless and outraged, I hung up the phone and sat there in a stunned silence before everything suddenly made sense.
I called mum immediately, incoherent and crying incoherently.
I relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, and tried to make more sense of it. In doing so, I also put mum into a table-flipping rage. During our conversation, I managed to briefly calm down and the sadness and the hurt and the pain quite rapidly turned to rage. It also didn’t help that during my two-hour conversation with mum, he tried calling at least 9 or 10 times.
By that stage, I’d had enough.
‘Mum, he’s calling again. I’m gonna go and deal with this….’
Just as I hung up the phone to mum, he called my phone again.
‘I, ah, I just wanted to see if you were okay?’
I needed to take a couple of deep breaths before I responded because all I could think in my head was pretty much:
I tried to remain as calm and rational as humanly possible. I think it lasted maybe three minutes… maybe. I don’t really remember much of that conversation because I was so full of rage, I was physically shaking. All I remember out of that was telling him that I was done and as of that moment I wanted nothing more to do with him, and he was dead to me.
The last I remember hearing was my father on the phone crying and apologising and asking me not to say that. Correction, asking me not to ‘joke around’.
Who’s joking? I was serious. I was done. You don’t say something like that to somebody, ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN DAMN CHILD!!! As soon as I hung up that phone, nothing would ever be the same again. I was crying, he was crying, I was in a rage. I hung up and called mum and had a complete emotional breakdown on the phone.
I, again, relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, in between my uncontrollable fits of crying. By the time I had finally calmed down it was about three or four in the morning, and I was feeling guilty about keeping my mum awake for so long and listening to me. We said goodnight and I hung up the phone and fell asleep.
On the floor. In the corner. In the dark. Where I had been crying.
I woke up later that day, and dragged myself into the shower. I then put myself to bed, cried myself to sleep, and didn’t leave the bed for another two days. I don’t remember eating. I think I had a biscuit at some point, and maybe a Berocca, but I’m not even sure about that.
I do remember that when I did get up, I felt confused and disoriented. I sat on the window-sill in the lounge room and called mum and asked if what happened, actually happened, or whether it was just a nightmare, and she confirmed everything. That day, I began the start of my new life.
From that point on, my father was dead to me. He was nothing to me. Nothing. At that point I decided to renounce my fathers influences on my name – middle and last name – and began the process to legally change my name to my mothers maiden name.
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and since that day, I have never looked back or had any feelings of regret for doing so.