Dad faced me with a knife.
‘You have never been a part of this family, and you never will be!’ he yelled.
He then threatened to kill me. My step dad wasn’t drunk. He was sober.
‘Why have you always done this to Timmy?’ my sister cried, trying to intervene.
Dad was right though. I had never been a part of the family, yet that wasn’t my choice. Being the outcome of rape, my mother was never close to me. Mum and Dad had both been abused when they were young. Growing up I was the target for the family’s projections and pain. For the abuse and violence.
I never belonged. I even looked different. Everybody else had dark hair, dark eyes. I was blonde and blue eyed.
Mum said that I looked like him, looked like the rapist.
I had a lot of time away from school. So even friendships were hard to maintain. I was a child between cultures, called a White Maori. It’s no wonder why I went from relationship to relationship as a young man, from Job to job.
I didn’t know how to be in relationship. How to be.
Seeing my self-destructive patterns I turned to therapy and growth. That’s when things started to change. The real changes though came with my wife and children. I couldn’t walk away.
I became a single parent, I couldn’t walk away.
I had to stay, and if there was a problem I had to sort it.
There was more therapy. My kids don’t know the world I grew up in. They have never experienced violence or abuse. Never even been smacked.
I made such progress on myself that even the mother of my children, the woman I had tried to push away, came back
I am a part of my own family. I belong.
This article was first published on Facebook and Linkedin August 1, 2021.
Copyright© Tim Tipene, 2021.
Photo from 2017. My kids are teens now.