Our family ran on secrets.

  • Dad’s parents disowned him for having a suspicious liking for boys.
  • Dad as found “doing things” with a man in a public toilet in 1958.
  • My uncle (my Mother’s brother) disowned Mum and Dad after Dad was charged for his indiscretion
  • Mum couldn’t cope without a support network and had a nervous breakdown that they treated with electroshock therapy.
  • Dad lost everything – house, business and self respect.
  • Later, when I was eleven, I found magazines full of naked men in the bookshelf where Dad sat and it took me a while to figure it out.
  • My Uncle’s sister-in-law was gay.
  • My Uncle’s daughter turned out gay.

Say, karma, anyone? Now that appealed to my sense of humour – or is it irony. I’m sorry, call me evil, but I got a bloody good laugh out of that.

Then there was my stuff:

The adoption. The fact of my conception at ONE of the dicks of the twelve rapists. Even the government had the records sealed away and refused to give them to me without at least one mandatory counseling session. I fought that and won!

Secrets and silences.

You grow up safe in the knowledge that the world is made a particular way – of stone and wood and loving families …and then you find that that world is transparent and about as substantial as mist over a cold creek.

And you start to build another world – not such a pretty one, but at least it’s real.