Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

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A recent exchange with my Aunt Cathy, brought out a bunch of feelings about my father. Here's the boiled down version:

Part 1 --

I understand the parental concern and whatnot that my dad had for me re: my recent car accident with the vigilante [and previous mishaps], but he could take a better tactic and not get mad at me. Anger never produced healing feelings. It only adds tension and retaliation. Seeing as how I rarely ever retaliate, I get loaded up with tons of anxiety. Ergo, why I'm such a paranoid, neurotic, and single man at age 35. I am fully aware that mismanaged feelings come off with the wrong intent in sensitive situations, but Dad was never very good at mollycoddling an injured son. Only later can I separate the anger from the genuine care, but it's a taxing affair. Bottom line: Dad shouldn't yell at me when I'm down. It makes me not want to tell him when things go wrong. Last reaction you want is one of judgment and criticism when all you're seeking, at best, is a hug over a holler.

Part 2 --

I've felt bad for Dad for many, many years. I sometimes feel like I act/react the same way as he does in certain situations, and it's incredibly unhealthy. SBX recognized some of these demons in me and we're in the process of exorcising them. Will Dad ever change? Nope. Can we cope? Bah! We can try. Still, I feel like I'm enabling that kind of destructive behavior and it ain't no kinda good. Dad's not evil, he's just terribly misguided and obviously damaged and this affects immediate family & friends. He puts too much blame and guilt on his loved ones. An unfair way to parlay and get what you want. The worst kind of love. I sometimes wonder if the worst thing that ever happened to Dad was when he met his "angel" Marilyn Monroe at the tender age of 16 in the ghetto of 50s NYC. It has informed his station for his entire life. How was he able to move forward and get married? Raise two boys? Write books? He's always living in the past, during the MM years, basking in her glory. It's difficult to carry a modern conversation sans MM references and "back in the day" stories about old Hollywood. Sure, it's fun to revisit the past but you shouldn't live in it. He is so mono-fixated on MM, its kept him in a dusty time capsule while we all move forward and share life, grow stronger through new experiences, and beyond. We don't carry torches for the past.

Anyway, it's sad and I just hope Dad can be comfortable out there in the woods and beaches of East Hampton. At best, it'll bring levity and relaxation. At worst, it will kill him inside of a year. Only time will tell.

Part 3 --

I've resigned myself to the fact that my father is clinically insane. Possibly a sociopath and schizophrenic, but definitely suffering from high anxiety and attention deficit disorder. Not knowing their medical terms, I figured that out years ago and it allowed me to survive years of violence and child abuse. Knowing, it wasn't "me" that dad retaliated against. It's more likely a chemical condition informed by years of personal history and strife. I was just one of the recipients of his condition. At least I survived the physical punishment, if not the emotional trauma. Funny how the mental's catch up with you when you try to make a go at it sans the grip of family guilt and pain. The stuff that educates you yet you're supposed to lean on. As my mother put it so succinctly, "guilt turns to hatred." So, I try not to get caught up in Dad's web of guilt, especially since he often flexes such manipulation, because I really don't want to wind up hating him. I only have one father to love.

Speaking of mom and love, I've always loved my mother no matter the hardships our family went through. She always looked out for me when Dad went into the Red Zone and I'm glad she finally split when she did. Took her long enough! I don't blame nor fault her for my Father's behavior nor my fucked up childhood. Perhaps she is the reason why I managed to find a light at the end of that harrowing tunnel. Or, maybe it was my self-imposed job to protect my brother Mike, for what it was worth, that let me climb that proverbial mountain high. Yeah, that and getting a sense of perspective growing older. Maturing and getting on with the things that make us happy. My girlfriend SBX, has been a champion to me in those respects. She sees that I want to learn to get better, be better, and guides me towards redemption and harmony.

Lying to save face and make environments easier to contend with is no uncommon crime when it comes to my Dad. I've always been proud of that fact that I am as honest as I can possibly be [whatever that entails], almost to a fault, but I've only ever consistently lied to my father. Not petty lies, but ones that don't allow true confrontation and terror. It is rare that I have argued with my father about important matters, but when I have, I think he has gotten the brunt of my internal rage. He has a clue about how I feel. He must. As much as I enjoy my father's inherent candor, charm, savvy and wit, he is a 300-pound gorilla with a mighty axe to grind. A station I have unfortunately adopted but am aware to shed. Maybe it's genetic, but I can see how detrimental it is. How [I hate this word:] "inappropriate" it can be. Still, that's one of the things I actually admire about Dad. His 100% uncut raw purity, no matter how ill defined. I only wish he knew how to reign it in and apply it surgically. But, he is ill. Sick. Emotionally crippled.

Okay. Enough ranting and raving and psycho babble. Gotta get back to my first passion; drawing comix, and make some superheroes fall in love and save the day.

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