Happy Birthday Dad....
Happy Birthday, Dad….
For most people, today is one week until Christmas. For me, it means that it is my late Father’s birthday. This year’s birthday has a little more sting to it because this birthday marks that I have had more birthdays without him, than with him. So I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about that, other than lost.
I will say, for most of 2017, I find myself very pissed off when I think about him. I’ve spoken, ad nauseam, about the abuse from my mother and her side of the family; and I have talked about how my Father and late Grandmother (ironically, her birthday is 2 days before Christmas) were the only ones who loved me, when they saw these things happen. But the feeling I haven’t been able to shake for most of this year is best described in the simple words: “WHAT THE F*CK!”.
My Dad had time to always work (which I don’t begrudge him for at all, because my mom didn’t), cheat on my mom and have different girlfriends (ever had to spend a summer, Kentucky Day, waiting in a car while your Dad is inside “visiting” one of his girlfriends? ...I have on multiple times), hang out with his friends, but never had time to spend with me, his only son (in that marriage, anyway). My dad never came to a track meet, basketball game, he did come to one play I did. Hey never wanted to know about my friends or what was going on in my life. Most of my childhood, the only real times I know he knew who I was, was when I was being criticized on my many flaws, or being told I’m just like my mother (the woman you just watched beat the shit out of me?? REALLY???).
I took the bottom picture today, with my four blessings. I am FAR from a perfect father, but, dammit, I show up. My kids never have to question their importance in my life. Want to know how many pictures there are of me and my Dad? Legit, I’ve only seen 3, and 2 of them are from when I was a baby. I have a 1 terabyte hard drive full of videos and pictures of my children and myself. And again, I was ONE, and he couldn’t make time for me when he knew full well what home life was like. He wasn’t home most of the time BECAUSE my mom was the way she
was is. Better to protect
himself and distance form her, than to make jump on a few grenades that I had
to endure, I guess. Or in simpler terms, I wasn’t worth the effort.
Every day is an internal battle for me, ESPECIALLY this time of year. PTSD and bipolar have me deep in their grasp. I try and open up, here and there to people, but I get it, for most sane people, envisioning my childhood on a grand scale, much less trying to picture what I went through everyday, is almost impossible, especially when I’m not showing outwardly the signs of ALL of my childhood abuse, or I’m not bitter about life, or (and this is my FAVORITE thing people say to me), or I’m not abusive to my own children. Surely, because I stand 6’1” and 245 solid athletic pounds, and am a giant kid, then that MUST mean that I’m okay with everything that happened to me, right? (I did mention that I’m angry).
I love my children, and make sure on a daily basis that I tell them that, hug them and give them a kiss…yes, multiple times and sometimes I might embarrass them, but they will NEVER have to guess how I feel about them, like I STILL do in regards to my dad.
There’s not a week that goes by, that I don’t strongly think Damary and our children would be SO much better without me, because I’m a mess. I don’t have a clue how to be happy for sustained periods of time. Then I realize that my presence, no matter how broken I am, proves to them that no matter how heavy the rainfall, I’m not afraid of getting wet.
I LOVE my Children, I LOVE being a Father. From the first time Damary told me that she was pregnant (she woke me up screaming lol), to holding Jorel and him trying to open his eyes to look at this voice that he had heard in Damary’s belly for months, I have taken pride in loving being a Father. I don’t miss things that my kids do, plain and simple. I’ve come home exhausted from running a full 26.2 marathon, and wanted to nap, when one of the kids wants me to play with them outside. I never hesitate when I tell them yes, because I am fully aware, in the future, they won’t want to play with me, and I don’t want to ever have them say, “Dad was too busy for me”.
So thank you, dad. For not trying to save me. For not holding me tighter. For not making sure I was alright after ANY of the beatings. For constantly telling me how I was EXACTLY like the person who always beat the shit out of me. For telling me I was a punk for crying about it.
I will be a successful Father and Husband IN SPITE of the examples that you and mom left for me to choke on.
When you walk through the hell that I’ve lived, THEN you’re allowed to tell me how to be burned by the flames…