Family Photographs Back and Front

I was pleased to discover that my grandparents have an abundance of images of my father when he was a boy. I love looking through images of my father when he was young, it allows me to see that he was once an innocent, playful young boy. My fathers childhood photographs bring back only good memories for my grandparents and always comment on how polite and quiet he was. My grandparents say that the way in which I behaved when I was a child, was exactly the same as how my father behaved. I was quiet, extremely shy, polite, well-behaved and spent hours drawing. Same as my father. So what went wrong?

It’s bizarre to think that people say I’m like my father, both physically and as a person. But how can I be? My father was a class A drug addict, diagnosed with schizophrenia, severe depression and psychosis. He was repeatedly in trouble with the law throughout his life, having went to prison numerous times for acts of violence, robbery, drug use, possession and distribution. And yet he was an intelligent man, who liked to write, draw and paint was extremely quiet, a deep thinker with good looks (at one point) who was ultimately harmless, maybe not towards himself it would appear.

I’ve never done drugs and have never been in trouble with the law, so that’s where me and my father differ majorly. However, my father also vowed to never do drugs and hoped to find a career in film making. It’s worrying to see how my father suddenly changed and gradually deteriorated all because of his infatuation with drugs and ‘wanting to feel real life’. Could this happen to me? I am quiet and shy and find it difficult to open and warm to people quickly, similarly to my father. My father must have possessed a destructive side, or hit a self-destructive mode where he lost sight of everything, the reason as to why, no one knows. Worryingly, as of late I have also been turning to substances (alcohol) and strangers for comfort, losing myself ever so slightly. I’ve been feeling detached, whilst going out drinking, has been a momentary release and enjoyment. In this way I can relate to people who turn to drugs or other substances, not that I feel it should be encouraged, I just understand how they can been used as an escapism, a temporary pleasure. But what was my father wanting to escape from? Sadly, my father went too far, ultimately destroyed himself and then ended his life, so the reasons behind his addiction; his life as a whole remains a mystery. Anyone who thinks they knew my father, didn’t know him at all, myself included.

My fathers ‘mental disorders’ concern me, can these disorders be genetic? Or were his disorders and illegal activities just an outcome of his drug use? I hoped to compare my fathers psychological assessments with ones of my own, but as stated before in earlier posts, they are unavailable to me. None the less, I am paranoid that I am more likely to become depressed or intrigued by the darker side of life because of my father, so I’d like to do an exam anyway and maybe include it in the project in some way.

To yield a better understanding of my father, his final walk and life of drugs and crime, I’d like to talk to people who knew and spent time with him, maybe include quotes or clips in my final piece. I still very much want to create a video of his final walk but may supplement this with images, clips and quotes. More family photographs will be uploaded soon, outlining my father from baby, to young boy, to father, to heroin addict, to recovery, to death.

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