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The 'marriage' lasted nearly twenty years. It only began to dawn on me what had really happened when after she died (cancer, praise God!), her best friend told me, "Robin, Linda totally subsumed (buried) you." It was then in about 2002 that my healing began. And it was painful.

I'd suffered so much violence from before the time I was born. My 'mother' tried to kill me three times before I was born. She was a famous dancer on the Tivoli Circuit just after WW2; so I was the biggest SOB on the planet. And boy did she pay me back by marrying the guy she did five years later. The guy she ended up marrying tried to finish the job for her. In fact he nearly succeeded twice. And I lost count of the number of times I was knocked out, and that doesn't count the concussions I suffered. After the first 15 years of my life being treated like crapola, I thought this was perfectly normal.

My ex thought this was normal also, and took up where things stopped when I was 15 and sent away from home by the courts because I'd been bashed so badly. But her violence was of the silent kind. She never spoke unless she was spoken to. The pro forma replies were "yes," "no," "I don't know" and shoulder shrugging.

After 5 kids and 19 years of this zero acknowledgement and even less acceptance I managed to get away from her. Lost everything of course.

Her greatest achievement, however, was not doing the job directly on me: it was teaching the children never to listen to me. Never to speak to me. And her living memorial is 5 children that regard their father as the biggest arsehole or weirdo, whichever comes first, that exists on the planet.

Now, this is what I live with, hour by hour. I have 5 children who not only don't speak to me now, apart from one who rings me now and again to tell me how she's going (but there's no personal matters ever ventured into), but, not once, in the thirty-one years I've been a father, has one of my children ever asked me a question. About anything. Ever.


Now there's nothing. My health has given up after two nervous breakdowns in 2009 after getting assaulted on consecutive nights driving a cab.

So we've ended up on a disability pension, a $400 car, a couple of boxes of books and sleeping on a friend's couch in a small one-bedroom flat. At 61 it's all over.

For me though, having my balls cut out in public, and especially in front of my children, is just something from which I'm unable to recover.

I don't know how you feel, but I get a strong sense of your pain, brothers.

Best regards to you all. Robin.

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