My father had certain expectations of his children. I didn’t live up to what my father’s expectations of me were, but since I was dealing with a disability I didn’t know I had, with all of its implications it didn’t matter and I didn’t care.
But it didn’t stop me thinking about his expectations of me. That thought was never far away. I will never know now what he really thought about my abilities. He wasn’t an easy man to read, his expectations were high. He expected big things.
I didn’t need my disability to make me feel incompetent. The worst part was having to go through exams, come out with the bad grades and have to tell my father my grades. While some children may think they have to live up to their father’s expectations more than their mums, I was aware and embarrassed by what my father thought.
But the pressure for children to do well is always there. I didn’t put the pressure on myself, because it was obvious I couldn’t do any better, particularly in school. In the early years that didn’t stop me wanting to try, and as much as I tried I failed.
I’m not sure what my father thought of my grades or my abilities, but in comparison to my siblings, it’s clear I failed on both.