Wyn’s family had allowed her back to the family home after she’d had Sally, and she then took a job locally. It was there that she met John, who was six years her senior. He claimed to have been educated at boarding school in Ireland and was a qualified accountant, but was currently employed in temporary work until he found a suitable position. John befriended Wyn and I can imagine that here was a young woman, a single mother who had to work to support her child and to prove her worth to her family. She succumbed to the affection and attention given to her, and he wept when he told her that he was unable to father a child. Unfortunately, Wyn found out the hard way that this wasn’t true. This is where the truth starts to deviate from the facts outlined in my adoption records. My intermediary, Maria, had discovered in her first phone conversation with Wyn that John had not in fact been sent away to America. He had firstly denied paternity, and then vanished from his lodgings. A subsequent newspaper article stated that he had been imprisoned for petty theft. I suppose that we would all understand Wyn’s wish not to admit these unsavoury facts. I don’t blame her for wanting to save herself from the embarrassment of having to admit to the Adoption Society that not only had she fallen for such an easy lie regarding his fertility, but that he was also a common criminal.
I felt absolutely no desire to have contact with my birth father, but still thought that it would be sensible to try and obtain his medical history. Even now, I have no wish to make contact with either him or any of his family. He behaved dishonourably towards both Wyn and myself, and I could see nothing to be gained from having any contact with him. Although he has proved extremely elusive (and no wonder – if he could lie about so many things, who is to know whether even his name was correct?) I was able, with some help, to make contact with his then landlady. She informed me that he had only lived in her home for a very short time, and it was her late husband who wanted to provide a room for John as a favour to a friend. However, the most salient fact she was able to provide was that he had not come to the area from Ireland – he had come direct from the nearby psychiatric prison. This was probably the piece of information that upset me the most. I immediately, and as it transpired, wrongly, assumed that his apparent mental illness would be hereditary. On making some enquiries as to the type of prison in which he was held, it appeared that ‘psychiatric’ was used in a fairly loose sense. This tied in with him having told other lies, and it is therefore fairly safe to assume that he was nothing more than a fantasist and petty criminal. I am no nearer finding his whereabouts, as Wyn was not prepared to discuss his possible date and place of birth. Although I am well organised and like everything neatly in its place, I think I will have to accept that this will be one part of my past that I can’t tidy up; it will have to remain outstanding.