26 th May 2021.   Just been told by Ivor's neighbour that Ivor had a stroke and died a week later.  He would have been 90 years old next Christmas.

26/04/99 11:06

Ivor, my brother uterine, was the fourth born to the family. The Welsh midwife suggested the name.

From the beginning, it was said that he was "different". First, he had white curly hair. Then he had a high forehead. Finally, he was very quiet. This, they said, meant that he was intelligent and that he would go far.

Being placed on a pedestal can be very lonely. It could be argued that Ivor was a victim of his parents' high hopes, but Ivor coped well and seemed to pull on his lordly coat as though it were bespoke.

This page concerns my relationship with Ivor. There are other stories to come. In the diary, you will find my thoughts leading up to today.

It has taken two weeks of therapy, through this machine, for me to have the courage to "put pen to paper". I'll have to recommend this to others!

There is only one way to deal with a bully; face up to him (or her).

A coward dies a thousand deaths a brave man but one.

It was not until Christmas 1995 that I saw what should have been obvious for fifty years. Ivor had been verbally and emotionally bullying me, and I had been too much of a coward to fight back. But, can you be a coward when at the time you do not realise that you are being bullied?

Despite being the "hail fellow, well met" character; behind the façade I had a deep feeling of insecurity and inferiority. In early 1996 the facts exploded in my face. Bullies always pick on subjects whom they know will not fight back.

I should have a good insight into this kind of relationship. After all, I had been a full time therapist and counsellor and had helped others overcome similar problems. It is common for bullying to happen within the family and for it to be denied by the victim. In the pages on my random thoughts I tell how people live in different worlds.

The saying, "Physician, heal thyself!" comes to mind. Perhaps at last it's happening.

It was impossible for me to hold a normal conversation with Ivor. He could not, and must not be contradicted. If ever I dared to speak against him he would have an apoplectic fit, fulminate, swear at me and tell me that I had "more mouth that a cow had country life style"; or words to that effect. I am still amazed that I was so submissive. For some, maybe deep down psychological cause, I was absolutely terrified of incurring his wrath. His manner just petrified me.

But, that has all gone and I now see him without his "king's magic clothes". To me, he is completely naked.

So, what did happen at Christmas 1995. I will contract the story as much as possible.

When I arrived in Essex from Scotland, Dolly, (my sister) her husband, Fred, Janet and Geoff came to help me settle in. I did not want to upset Dolly by talking about what I set out below. So, as they were driving here I put the story on tape so that they could listen to it when they got home. I'm very glad that I did, as it is now a contemporaneous record of the event. They can't say that I have become senile and that my memory has gone! You can left click and play, or right click and 'Save Target as ......' from here. (Thursday, 23 December 2004. I have put an mp3 file here to test my broadband upload. It is 4.3meg - 19 mins. - recorded @ 32kbps. Quality not too bad, though volume seems a bit down.)

Ivor, and his wife Joyce, have always been known as, "The Bucket Family". (For non UK viewers the Buckets are a sitcom family).

Karen, their daughter, had a boyfriend. Oh, no! Ivor will not have that. "He is a friend who just happens to be a boy!" Ivor and Joyce detested the boy, Paul, because he was not a professional man. He was an electrician. Not Ivor, nor Joyce, ever spoke his name. Ivor always referred to him as "the no hoper".

In the months before that Christmas, Ivor often asked me if I would be travelling down from Scotland to Essex for a visit. At first, I said that I would think about it. Later I said that I would not make the journey because of the risk of bad weather. Unlike Ivor, he phoned me several times at the weekends, strongly persuading me to visit.

I could not understand this. I knew that they did not like my presence that much; but I put it down to the fact that he was getting old and changing. At one time, Joyce came on the phone and spoke to me. I was highly honoured! She said that Karen had asked if her favourite uncle was coming for Christmas. I smelt a rat! Karen had been brought up to see me as her parents did; and she did not see me as a favourite of any kind. (She did confide in me once. I'll tell you later.)

During the weeks before Christmas, Ivor repeatedly phoned me to invite me down.

One Sunday he phoned to say that Karen might phone me to see if I were going down. If she did, I was to tell her that I may be but that it was not certain. He explained that if I did not go there, Karen would be able to invite "the no hoper" for Christmas.

The penny dropped. They just wanted my body! If my body was in the spare room "the no hoper" could not occupy it.

The letters below explain. When I first put them on the web I put asterisks instead of names. I feel better now.

I thought a lot about why Ivor and Joyce would tell Karen the lie that I had sent wicked letters to them saying that they were evil parents.

They knew that I was moving to Essex and would be living near them; and they believed that Karen would come to see me. They misjudged me in that they thought that "motor-mouth" would tell her what had happened at that Christmas. But, I would not have. They did not realise that Karen would ring me.

They "shot themselves in the foot". If they had not fabricated the story of the wicked letters, Karen would never have known about them trying to fill up the bed with my body!

Regarding them being wicked parents; later I will tell a story of how Karen confided in me about her young days.

At the start I said that Ivor had been placed on a pedestal by the family. How correct they were! I sit on one every morning.

Another story that I will tell you is how, once, Ivor failed to reach the pedestal!

What a lot of exclamation marks!

The first letter below is the sum, total, all, complete, absolute etc. of the wicked letters I sent to Ivor and Joyce telling them that they were evil parents.



 First letter


Dear Ivor,

Thank you for the card from yourself, Joyce & Karen and for the £10 enclosed.

I think that it is an appropriate time for me to let you know of my feelings regarding our relationship.

Your involving me in the deception of Karen last Christmas was wrong in the broadest understanding of family behaviour. This wrong was compounded by you being aware that I was vulnerable to emotional stress. The incident caused me a lot of anguish; and in fact was one of the most stressful situations I have had to deal with over the past five years. Being a "hot head" my first instinct was to phone and let it all pour out. But, uncharacteristically, I controlled myself and let the matter rest.

But; the incident triggered me to review our relationship over the past years. In the couple of months after I spent quite a few hours, on and off, quietly and calmly, reviewing the past.

It's not possible for me to set out all the lines of thought that I pursued. Suffice it to say that "standing outside myself" and looking at us from an impersonal point of view, the conclusions that I came to were very painful to accept. Over the past months I have reconsidered those conclusions and could only confirm them.

I believe that it would be ungentlemanly if I were to relate those conclusions.

Accordingly, I believe it would be better if we left our relationship on a mutually respectful but formal basis.

Yours fraternally,

 Second letter

10.25 pm

Dear Ivor,

Tonight I had an irate Karen on the phone.

After an introductory, "Thank you, Uncle Ted", for the "welcome to your home" card that I sent her; she launched into a tirade of abuse accusing me of sending wicked letters,(sic), in which I accused you both of being evil parents.

I was at a loss as to which letter(s) she was referring.

It transpired that she was referring to the letter I sent to you in July objecting to you involving me in deceiving her last Christmas. To her credit she had not seen the letter and was reacting to information that you had given to her. She thought that she was protecting you from me.

I am typing this letter under extreme stress. I broke down through the tone and manner of Karen's phone call and cannot rest until I get this off my chest.

You had no right to use me to cover up for your detestation of Paul; or as I explained to Karen, "The one your father always refers to as 'the no hoper' ".

You have both always criticised me concerning the upbringing of my family. I had a daughter, and had to deal with similar problems. But, I sat down with her and was honest with her and talked through the problems. I did not conspire with others to deceive her.

I am sending a copy of this letter and a copy of the July letter to Karen. It will now be up to all of you how you resolve the matter. I do not wish to be involved with your family problems any more.

The envelopes containing my "unopened" letters.