FFfAW : Waiting to drown


This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you Yarnspinnerr!

***

It’s just me and dad now, two left out of the five that once made our family. Susie and Jess left within months of Mum dying.

Susie told me it was Dad’s drinking that finally made her leave, the cycle of alcohol and anger and self-recrimination.

Jess never told me why, only that she was going and that she would never return. I remember her expression as she boarded the ferry for the mainland, that mix of shame and sorrow. And relief.

I’ve never blamed my sisters for leaving but I can’t. Dad and I circle each other like boats caught in a whirlpool, pulled by the same forces, unable to separate. Without me he’d sink and without him I’d have to rejoin the world.

Here we drift, trying to stay afloat, wondering when we’ll grow too tired to paddle, waiting to drown.

***

Written for FFfAW. See the pic, write a tale but don’t forget to read and comment on others. See here to join in.

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30 thoughts on “FFfAW : Waiting to drown

  1. Wow, and here we were, just talking about compelling character sketches on another page — you give an excellent example right here! Love the imagery of them rowing against the whirlpool sucking them both down together. I’ll happily return your compliment: when am I going to be able to buy one of your books, so I can read a whole 80,000+ words about one of these fascinating character dynamics you keep giving us hints about?

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      1. Whenever my friends ask if I’ve published a book yet, I say, “Oh, if I had published a book, you would KNOW. I would be shouting it from every rooftop!”

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      1. You have to be strong willed and confident to break free of such relationships and people aren’t always, are they? Sad and self-destructive, but that’s the way some people live their lives

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      2. I know. I’ve had friends like that. I so want to shake them. But that’s not the way to it. We need to help them build confidence, a sense of security etc, before they can even consider breaking away from it. Not easy. Especially not easy for someone who has never had those issues to understand.

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      3. You’re so right about the confidence issue. Many people trapped in this kind of relationship find it hard to break away because of confidence, low self esteem, years of being told you’re worthless, that you can’t survive alone. If you’re told it often enough, you grow to believe it

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      4. Well, I had a rough ride with my mother. My saving grace, so to speak, was to excel at school despite her low opinion of me. So, if she could be wrong about one thing, it followed she was wrong about everything. So I strutted away from her. But I must admit, things only because ‘easy; between us after I moved away and only communicated twice a year. I used to envy e.g. writers who said what a wonderful relationship they had with their mother. Ho-him, hey. Yet I’ve drawn on that relationship to good effect. And it gave me something to kick against. Oh, and I did kick! πŸ™‚

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      5. I do feel for you. My relationship with my dad was bad – we didn’t speak for 16 years at one point and were never close. But if you can get through these things in one piece, you do feel stronger, you know the kind of person you don’t want to be, you learn from some of their mistakes. I’ve been a different parent because of it, far from perfect of course, but I do try to be more patient, less prone to shouting, have a sense of humour about stuff. My son and I have quite a laugh, which I could never do with my dad. I’m sorry to hear of your relationship with your mum, but you’re a good person despite/because of it and what more can we ask of ourselves?

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      6. As I said, it gave me something to kick against. I really do believe that we only grow through adversary. I’ve had several friends who as children had it, what we would call ‘easy’. And they turned to drugs. One didn’t survive it. If we don’t have that wall to butt against, we create it ourselves.

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      7. I suspect you’re right. I’ve known people who had very quiet, comfortable childhoods and were totally thrown when faced with adversity as adults. These things make or break you

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  2. Dad has his problems. But someone has to take care of him. If everyone leaves him, what will happen to him?

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    1. Thanks Jo and I think you’re right – very difficult to break free of such relationships, because no matter how toxic, there are reasons each party relies on the other, even if it’s just fear of being alone. Thanks so much for reading

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