The adoption process was completed and I was furnished with a new birth certificate and the surname of my new family. Incredibly, having gone through the all legalities involved and now having Stan’s surname, it is a name I have never knowingly used due to the events that were soon to take place.
When I look back and think about life in Sylvie’s house up until shortly after my adoption, it could almost be considered normal in comparison to the way life changed in the years following. Changes that caused ripples and knock on effects, extending outwards and cascading over many years.
Prior to this time, the household had been running fairly ‘normally.’ Stan went to work, the kids went to school, Sylvie kept a clean house and nice garden, even the rumours regarding Sylvie’s involvement with other men were brazened out by Sylvie and the kids had always been used to hearing stuff , it didn’t really phase them.
Added to that, Gina, Sylvie’s eldest daughter, was as strong headed and acid tongued as her mother and woe betide anyone that dared to say anything disparaging within her earshot.
When the trips to Alconbury and other nights out had started, the older kids looked after the younger ones and although they were made to help keep the house spick and span, they lived life pretty much as all the other kids on the estate. The state of their parent’s marriage was something they had lived with for years and had become the norm. This was not unheard of among many of their friends and families, divorce often not being an option and so husbands and wives forced to continue living together.
True, there were some stories of Sylvie’s frequent tongue lashings and it wasn’t unusual for them to receive the odd ‘walloping,’ including the time when Sylvie chased her eleven year old son along the street banging him about the head with a frying pan and screaming, “Come here you little b*****d, I’ll knock your bleeding brains out when I get hold of you!”
For the most part life just trundled on but things were to change when Sylvie started seeing her new love, Larry. By the time my adoption was finalised Sylvie was pregnant with his child. I’ve no idea how they met, which is strange considering the details of many other things I know about. He had been married with two sons, the youngest not much older than me and so it is possible that he was still with his wife at the time.
Larry’s presence meant that certain changes had to take place and whilst I do not blame him solely for the impact this had on the family, many events were triggered directly due to his appearance in our lives. The combination of his and Sylvie’s personalities and their handling of situations proved to be the start of immense disruption.