I had some trouble with my last post. I’ve written about it before, but this time it was very different because this time, my dad, who the post is about, ended up calling me several times throughout the writing of it.
The first time I really wrote about the incident was in my college days–20 years ago. I fictionalized it, of course, because that’s what I was doing in school–writing fiction.
Writing for me has always been very therapeutic. Truth be told it’s the only thing I knew how to do other than stuff my face with food. I was lucky enough to get into an arts college that didn’t require SAT scores, no admissions testing. I was lucky that my mom has always made so little money that my entire four years at school was paid through financial aid save for a couple hundred dollars every semester.
My dad covered that.
I worked through college, too. I’ve been working since I was 12. Obviously not truly legally till I was 16, but even at 12 I’d work my ass off helping at a family owned business to make some money here and there.
My mom was always so poor–all of her money going to booze and men. So I needed to buy toilet paper and shampoo at times. And when I was older there was the electric and gas bills that needed some help.
I’ve really harbored some ill feelings toward my mother most of my life. I blamed her for a lot of the things that happened–all the moves, all the new fucking schools, the shitty clothes, the lack of car. She was a drunk. She was a whore.
But she was my mother and I lived with her.
My dad, I saw on the weekends. Every fucking weekend. I lived with him for a couple years in college because it shortened the commute. He slept on the pullout in the living room while allowing me the only bedroom in the apartment.
My dad always got me things. It started when I was much younger–a new bike, meals out, go-carting, miniature golfing, clothes, Nike’s. I knew then that he was trying to buy me. And I knew it pissed my mom off because she couldn’t afford any of it (though she always had beer or hard liquor). So I tried not letting her know of the things he got for me, while I allowed him to keep getting shit for me.
I felt bad for my dad my whole life. He was such a good man. He just wanted to be married with children, to be a family man. But his wife had other plans and two of his three children wanted nothing to do with him.
And then there was me.
I wanted nothing more than for my family to be a family. I wanted us all together in one home. I hated the split weekends and holidays and vacations. I hated that my dad only ever seemed to want to know about my brother and sister when I saw him on weekends.
But I continued to go every single weekend.
I continued to bring home a check for my mom every Sunday when I’d return home–sometimes to find her in bed with some guy.
And I hated my mom through it all. She was a slut, I thought. She didn’t give a shit about me other than getting that check from my dad.
But the thing is, my dad wasn’t so fucking innocent. And I witnessed it all first hand. Yet I continued to push that away.
But I continued to just want my family together. And I continued hating my mother and blaming her for the demise of our family.
And now here I am, 30 fucking years later, and while I’ve felt for a long time that I’ve dealt with all of this already… all of a sudden, I’m wondering if I really have. Because all of a sudden my aging father, whom I truly do love and respect, is becoming more of a focus for me in my life and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that he wasn’t so fucking innocent.
He allowed me to see him get arrested.
He used me to find out about my siblings and my mother.
He kind of still is today.
But I need to let this all go, no? I really thought I did already! Dammit why am I consumed with all of this now? The past is the past. It can’t be changed, so why not just let it the fuck go already?!?