6 – Brother Yay!! Step Dad Nay!! pt2

There will always be something that will make a half brother become more than a brother from another father..

Miss Part One of Brother Yay, Step Dad Nah? Then to recap cap feel free to go to here.

Terrie had her baby only 9 days after Mum. Only nine days of life and Freddy was already an Uncle. I was really feeling over the moon. I finally had a brother, but I was also had a nephew. I didn’t just get one boy, but two added to the family.

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My Brother Freddy and I

Once mum got into routine, she started to work again. Come to think it I don’t ever recall Fred ever having a job in that whole time. However at the beginning I recall Fred being a pretty good house hubby. Well for at least Freddy and Mum anyway.

After the novelty started to ware off, the real Fred started to shine back through. Drinking more and having his friends over, and started to feel like the king he believed he was. I would constantly catch him smoking weed with our next-door neighbour through a pipe. I started to receive the same message that was familiar to me. “Don’t tell your mum or we all get into trouble.” All ready I was more scared because Fred also made most of the decisions and he could easily kick me out just as much as mum. I am glad though that he never made me smoke it. In fact he would tell me never to smoke weed or cigarettes otherwise I would become unhealthy like he was. I really respected him for that, considering I had already been smoking both for the past three to four years on and off.

After Freddy was born, and even with Fred pushing out orders left right and centre. I felt I was becoming somewhat closer to Fred. Because of the new fatuation with my brothers father, I began to have rose coloured glasses on and not realising what was going on.

I remember asking mum if we could get a pet dog and she would say no. Then Fred went out and bought one home, so I guess this was making me blind to the real issues that were happening at home. I still remember the day mum had the courage and kicked him out. I got home from school one day; Mum and Kelly were at the breakfast bench. Fred wasn’t there which was weird, he always was. “We all need to have a talk” Mum said with a serious look on her face, however her voice sounded somewhat relieved. Mum proceeded the “talk” and told us that she had asked Fred to move out. She could see the house not being happy and she certainly was not. Mum finally got the courage to choose us kids over this man who came into our lives and shook it up. However I will always be grateful for him helping Mum bring me a brother.

Not too long after Fred moved out, a new stress overcome the house. Fred left Mum with so many bills which he refused to help pay. Unfortunately, Mums only choice at the time was to declare bankruptcy. I never really new what it meant but she definetly put it in our heads that hard times are about to hit us. She expressed to us kids, how much more we need to help out. Because of the new dynamic and challenges the house hold was facing, Mum started to work a lot more just to pay the rent and put food on the table. It was back to taking cans and bottles to the shop to trade for milk and bread and even sometimes a treat for us kids.

I took Mums request of helping out more seriously at the time. I started to take responsibility and looked after my brother while she worked. I would feed him, bath him, change his nappies, make him laugh and always made him cry. You could tell the cries were over missing his dad, who was there for him everyday for what was considered all of Freddys life. I was five when my mum and dad split, however little Fred was only no older then 2 or three, but yet I knew he felt the change of dynamics in the house.

Big Fred moved to Whyalla, which was only a fifty minutes drive away. Despite the trouble he had left Mum and our family in, she really wanted Freddy to have some sort of relationship with his dad. She would take a bus just to drop him off and pick him back up each time. I don’t remember Fred doing this once, I had even gone to Whyalla on the bus to pick him up and bring him home.

Freddy started to change somewhat, every time he would come back home. His attitude became spiteful and hard to handle, especially if it was just he and I at home. I can only assume Fred was putting ideas in his head about Mum.

However, now when I think about it, he had two separate places in two separate towns. It would have been just as hard for him to adapt to the situation as it was for anyone. I started to get somewhat jealous of Freddy. He got to spend some good quality time with his Dad. When it was my Dads turn to look after me, he took me to watch cricket while he umpired. Or I would be sitting at Westies Football club on the bar while dad worked behind it. However I had fun when he allowed me behind the bar and taught me to poor perfect beer. The only communication we had was while we were in the car. Or if I got a random drunken phone call. The going back and forwards, dropping and picking up Freddy went on for a while, however that came to a abrupt stop when Freddy was just five.

I was asleep, although I probably should have been awake by now getting ready for school. Mum and little five-year-old Fred came into the room. They woke me up both in tears. I was sixteen at this time, so I knew these were not happy tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Fred was saying something but I couldn’t understand him because he was so upset. He started to hug me while his cries got more and more real. Still not sure what was happening I hugged him tight. I then looked at Mum and she said the dreaded words you don’t even want to hear about your worse enemy. “Fred has passed away from a heart attack last night.” I hugged Fred even tighter and tears began running from my eyes. This man destroyed my Mums heart for the second time, as well as bringing fear back into us kids. However this man took more care of me and taught me more than my very own father. I didn’t know what to say I had never lost a dad before, especially at five years old. Kelly was still in bed sleeping in her room. After Freddy and I calmed down a little, I took Freddy into Kelly’s room, I woke her up and gave her the news. This day was one of those days where you know that the love was nothing but genuine. Kelly sat straight up and did as I did just previously, hugged him tight with a tear running down her face. Instantly I was no longer jealous of the relationship Freddy had with his Dad. Instead I started to feel guilt because his Dad is gone, and even though I didn’t see or talk to my Dad very often, my Dad was still alive and it made me really sad that my little brother, would never get to see his again. I’m happy that Freddy only has good memories of his father. Freddy and I have spoken a lot about the time he remembers with his Dad, He always mentions that Fred used to build cubby houses out of blankets for him in the lounge room, and one day let him steer his car, which he ended up putting into the back fence of the drive way.

It was pretty gloomy around the house for a little while. I could tell this really upset mum, however I couldn’t work it out if she was more upset that Fred passed or that her son no longer has a father.

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Mum and Fred

After a while things got back too normal. By this stage I quit school and started full time at Hungry Jacks. Kelly ended up moving to Alice Springs for a while, which just left mum and her two boys. I got my licence and started to stay out late. Because of this eleven-year difference, it was hard to take my bro anywhere, or to find common ground. Not that I didn’t love and respect him. It was the lack of time spending and bonding. I do remember when he was eight I thought to myself, ‘how could anyone treat someone the way I was at that age’ with memories flooding back often when he was the same age.

I started to slack off helping mum around the house. Became open to mum about smoking weed and cigarettes. I think by the time I spoke up, she wasn’t surprised. It almost seemed that she tried so hard to stop the older siblings to not smoke but was unsuccessful, that she had no energy left for me. Even to this day Freddy doesn’t smoke or do drugs. I take my hat off to him.

By the time Freddy was nine, I finally moved out to my first unshared house. Kelly had already been back from Alice Springs and moved to Scone NSW. Mum and Freddy packed up and left for Hamilton Vic with my Aunty and Uncle. I had a choice to go, however I loved my job as a manager at Hungry Jacks, I decided to stay. I miss them a lot. It has been hard without any of them. From then till now Freddy and I relationship is good. We don’t speak too much, but we connect over the net, and when we catch up I can honestly say that there is no trying. There are stories of when we first bonded and became good buddies. However you just have to wait for the future blogs.

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Freddy, Kelly and Me.

All in all, my immediate family, Mum, Kelly, Freddy are my true rocks. I can tell Mum everything whether she likes it or not. Same as Freddy we confess and confide in each other when needed. However Kelly, from all those years been called a dobber from Terrie, is still earning the title. However I wouldn’t want her any other way, because I know if there is something that I would take time telling mum, I will just tell Kelly. Love my family.

Let me know what you think of your siblings. Comment on the post and tell share if they are secret keepers or little dibby dobbers 🙂

Phil

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Freddy with his dad Fred.
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Written by Phil Paterson

I have been a Community Support Worker for the last four years. I worked in the Mental Health Sector and now currently working with people who have Aquired Brain Injuries in Disabilty. I studied to be a worker in the community, as I myself haven't had the best life. (Although now my life is much better). So I decided to attempt to write my real life story of trauma and abuse, drugs and alcohol, love and loss. All which led to depression and anxiety. Apart from my story I plan to write about everyday important issue that co-inside with my blog.

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