When I was growing up, my father’s anger dictated the mood within the house. The image of him sitting in his lounge chair, while the waves of silent anger came pouring off of him, is one of my consistent flashbacks. The fear I feel when seeing that image, is immense.
Closely associated with my father sitting in his lounge chair, is him watching the rugby games which seemed to be broadcast every weekend. During the broadcasts, everyone in the house had to be silent. The only spoken words were demands for more beer, or food.
Then there was the rugby club. Another of my constant flashbacks and a place associated with abuse, chaos and neglect.
All of the events associated with those flashbacks happened over 20 years ago. They seem so far away, and yet so close.
One of the things keeping them close is the Rugby World Cup that is underway in New Zealand. For more than a month, there have been daily reminders of rugby and it’s importance in the nations psyche – I wake up to rugby news on the radio; every third or fourth car has a different nations flags flying proudly from their windows; there are billboards on the side of the road; there is a supporters display covering half of a wall in the building that I work; rugby is prominently in the newspapers; it’s on every television channel (even the ones proudly advertising that they are NOT the home of rugby); it’s on the Internet… it.is.everywhere. I can’t avoid it… believe me, I’ve tried.
Last night New Zealand won a place in the World Cup final. Another week of heightened publicity before it’s all over. I honestly don’t think I can cope. I’ve become more withdrawn and stilted over the last few months. The chaos this event has caused has been added to the other stress I’m experiencing, and it’s become more and more of a mess inside my head.
The constant refrain in my head is that I don’t need anyone… that I don’t need help… that the only option is to run away. I know that thinking is dangerous, but it’s all I have.