On Father’s day   3 comments


Today is Father’s Day, or will be by the time I finish writing this.

This may be my heaviest post yet.  I try to keep things as light as I can here, but I need to try to sort some stuff out.

If you’ve known me for very long, especially VERY long, you know I’m not always the nicest guy around.  This was especially true in my early 20’s.  I don’t have any excuses for that and I’m trying to get better.  I was like that a lot in part because I had been a punching bag for most of my life – verbal at school, but once I got home in the afternoon it was emotional and sometimes physical as well.

If  you know me, you know I don’t talk about my dad much.  My mom and I had an almost normal relationship – she was pretty controlling, but her heart was in the right place.  Usually.

My dad, on the other hand, was the most unhappy person I’ve ever met.  His life wasn’t easy – he grew up during the Depression and WWII.  His dad died of tuberculosis in the early 40s and my dad had TB himself about that time.  His family was dirt poor – as soon as he got home from the sanitorium (Google it, I’m tired) he pretty much went to work.  He could have gone to TCU on a football scholarship, but this was back when you wore a tie to class instead of your pajama pants and bar T-shirt and he couldn’t afford clothes.

Ok, life goes on.  My mom was his second marriage and I’m actually his sixth kid – but I won’t go into all that.

He worked at a job he hated for 30 years.   That’s fine, we all have jobs we hate, but because of his principles, he made it harder on himself than he needed to.

Here’s where I come in.  The first clear memory I have of him is him screaming in my face because I had screamed because there was a giant roach on my bed.  I was three years old.

Life goes on some more and I turn seven.  It’s Christmastime and I forget to put my bicycle away one evening.  He comes home from work after I’ve gone to sleep and I’m awakened by him screaming at my mom to get me out of bed to put my goddam bicycle away.  The next morning I am informed I’m not getting any Christmas presents.

I was never a good student, folks.  I’m no dummy, but I’m not a good student.  When I brought home four B’s on my report card he told me I was stupid.  When I forgot to show him said report card as soon as I got home one grading period…well, then I was a sneak and a liar.  Same when I forgot to put the milk away one time.  Okay, everybody gets in trouble for leaving the milk out at least once in their life, but I bet you didn’t get flung across the room for it.  You get the picture.

You know that old saying that you can judge a man by how he treats his inferiors?  You should have seen how he treated my pets.  They bought me a West Highland white terrier in the spring of 1985.  He beat the hell out of it on a regular basis and finally killed it in 1987.  I had a cat, too.  Kitty died in 1999 of old age/kidney failure, but there were days I didn’t think she was going to make it either.  Needless to say, when we have to take Zero with us down to my parents’ house, my dad isn’t allowed to touch him.  Ever wonder what it’s like to not let your dad play with your kids?

Highschool?  Shit, I could write a book.  Seriously.  I’d get home from school (and we all know how THAT goes when you’re as different as I am) and he’d unload on me for SOMETHING, usually at the dinner table, three or four times a week.  Usually my bad attitude, but sometimes something I not only hadn’t done, but had no idea what he was even talking about.

The point of all my dirty laundry is this: my mom still expects me to do the usual Father’s Day crap.  All I can bring myself to do is send him a card.  My dad is not well – he takes 19 pills a day, has COPD and will be having heart surgery next month***.  I knew this time would come and I would have to deal with these feelings.  This is the blowout I had with my mom a couple months ago.  She ignored all his bullshit for a long time.  You know, things other women would have packed up and left over.  And the impression I get is that she thinks I should just let it all go – that he still loved me through everything.  She’s right, to an extent.  It doesn’t do any good to dwell on it, it’s actually poisoned my life for a lot of years.  But it happened, and it’s given me nasty anxiety and ZERO self-confidence.

Whether he loved me or not, whatever his stress levels/issues were, that wasn’t my fault.  When I have a shitty day at work, I come home and I love my family.  I’m glad I have them.  My boss’s/coworkers’ idiocy isn’t Oscar’s fault.

So for all my friends that are good dads and my friends that have good dads, enjoy it.  Be glad for Dad.  Myself, I think I’ll sit this one out.

G’night kids.

*** I was mistaken.  He is not yet scheduled for heart surgery.  He has an appointment with the cardiologist who may or may not do surgery.

 

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Posted June 15, 2013 by justanotherfatboy in Uncategorized

3 responses to “On Father’s day

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  1. This is the best post you have shared with us, so far. Thanks for sharing. I have known you for about 15 years and never knew it was that bad. I mean, I knew you and your father were not close, but I didn’t know there was that much hurt involved. You are lucky to have found Sarah. Love you both!

  2. I shouldn’t waste any energy or emotion on him, but I hate that man more than anything.

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