Rona’s story: (excerpt)

My mother was from a middle class background and my father was working class. My mother’s savant skills in languages got her a university degree, even though she couldn’t put 2 and 2 together in real life, and was I now realise intellectually disabled in parts!, (problem solving, sequencing, prioritising, no inductive or deductive logic). Yet she was one of the few women of her generation who actually went to University.

My father was so impressed with her intellectual achievements, and guilty too about never being able to give her a better life. Well, he was simply too tired from labouring all day, then coming home to do all the cooking, cleaning, sewing, under a constant rain of recriminations and accusations., for she had a very short fuse He was a battered husband and couldn’t leave.

And she was beautiful. They were a handsome couple.

Before we went out anywhere, my parents would make me rehearse the elaborate lies we would tell to others about our domestic misery. Keeping up the front was all important. We were pretty much social pariahs anyway, because my father’s self-esteem was gutted and he couldnt keep up with successful men of his generation who had wives to nurture their careers. And people couldnt get away from my mother’s monologues fast enough.

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