Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Thank You Note to My Father

If I want sympathy, I'll look in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphillis."

When I was little, all I wanted was a brother or sister. Seriously. All I wanted was to not be alone. I think I knew, even then, how much of herself myh mother projected on to me. Plus, I was lonely. I was a weird little dexter with a highly overdeveloped vocabulary, high IQ, zero physical coordination, and an overprotective mother.

As I got older and I saw how poisonous the sibling relationships were between my mother and her brothers and sisters were, I was glad to be an only child: no brothers, no sisters, no bullshit. That and honestly, I don't think Ma could've handled more than one child.

Now, I'm back to my original position.

Warning: What follows is a violent, angry, hate- and pain-filled howl. My mother is rapidly deteriorating, and it’s killing me. I would give anything right now to have a sibling to share this with, and there is a very serious reason I don’t—my father. There is nothing nice, pleasant or funny about what follows, so consider yourself warned. If you’re considering having children—or have kids—read it, and remember—we are all responsible for what we create. (Thank you, Mary Shelley.) My closest friends who read this will be worried and afraid for me. Don't be, please. I'm OK. Better than I have been in a long while, actually--taking my meds, eating right, attempting to get to the gym regularly, and feeling more stable than I have in months. Getting this out... it's helped. And like the quote says, I don't want sympathy. I just want to have my say and be done.

Dear Pop,

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted—three and a half years, to be exact. You never did get in touch after my engagement ended so horribly (although I shouldn’t be surprised—you didn’t call after 9/11 to see if I was OK and still alive when you knew I was supposed to be at school in NYC).

Mum is incredibly ill; the kidney disease is wasting her away. Her mind is going, too—she still hasn’t set up the appointment with the neurologist, even though she got the referral on Tuesday. I have a major event at work next week, plus a couple of important deadlines (and not to mention the rewrite that has to be finished—still—the new story that’s niggling at me, and all the chores that I somehow have to find time to do around the house because the cleaning company hasn’t come back for two months and laundry doesn’t do itself). I really could use a sibling right now to help out with her, but you were kind enough to make sure that the three potential ones that followed me never hit the air. You beat them out of her while I witnessed it; bloody inconsiderate of you, Pop. I could really use an extra pair of hands right now, someone else to take over for a day or two, a little help to distract her and give me some relief and her some kindness. You have no fucking clue what it means to take care of elderly parent; you left Nana to deal with Grand-dad before he was put in the home (although you made damn sure you got power of attorney and had a lot of fun with his money), and then slammed her into “assisted living” and then a home when she got too bad, all while living a good four (or was it six?) hours away. It sucks, watching my mother dying before my eyes and knowing I can’t do a sodding thing to change things or make it better, only help out and try not to lose my mind as she takes over my life because hey, there’s no one else who can help, and she raised a decent human being.
It’s probably a good thing we’re estranged again because, honestly, at this point, I don’t think I could be diplomatic with you. Every time we’ve spoken since that last visit, you’ve asked, “So when you comin’ back, kidlet?” And I’ve been polite and diplomatic, but in my head, I was saying, “When Hell freezes over and I go ice skating with Satan and kiss Dick Cheney.” I have zero desire to subject myself to Little House in the Ozarks, complete with Stepmother #8 (and if I ever, EVER have to listen to a piece of trailer park trash with a face like leather and three kids from three different fathers tear down my mother again, I will personally rip the ignorant, white trash cunt’s vocal cords out and strangle you with them, Pop). I’m done, Dad. Done.

See, you made a mistake, Pop. You really did. You tried to play me. You assumed you could charm and lie your way around me, sell me on your side of the story. You tried to play me for a patsy. You didn’t think I’d remember, but y’see, you fucked up my ability to trust, you warped my sense of security so badly, that I didn’t trust anyone as a kid. I used to listen in on the phone, Pop. That time Ma told you to leave us alone? What she really said was, “David, if you can’t keep your promises to this child, then please, just leave us alone.”

And the child support, Pop? You never paid it. There was no money put aside. It’s why Welfare went after you, and you twisted it and lied to your mother to turn her against Ma, you miserable piece of shit. Ma never went after you because she knew you’d fuck your parents out of the money. She knew it would be them, not you, because hey, you were never good at paying your bills. It was easier to forget your responsibilities and drink and fuck and have a good time.


And, Pop? I know Ma is a button-pusher. I know what a vicious tongue she has. I know the ugly shit she can say; no one better, believe me. (Oh, that time she embarrassed you by telling off one of your friends? The bastard had just shaken his infant child.) You didn’t just “slap her a couple of times,” Pop. You beat the living shit out of her. (Actually, you beat your living children out of her—three of them, to be exact.) There is nothing, nothing, NOTHING that can justify beating her. NOTHING. She had to have a hysterectomy because of the damage you did to her. I was eight. I remember. Oh, Gods, I remember. She wanted ten kids, and all she got was me, and the only reason I made it is a) I’ve been a miserable bitch of a fighter since conception; and b) the Navy doctor threatened your shiftless ass with a dishonorable discharge if she ever showed up in “that state” again.

For the record, Daddy, I never knew about all of the ugly things about you growing up. When I was a kid, she did everything in her power to keep my love for you alive. She wanted me to love you the way she loved her father—to look up to you, love you, respect you. Unlike her, though, I never had her respect or trust of authority. You took care of that. I was a suspicious, untrusting little sod from the first time you broke a promise. She didn’t tell me the truth until she found out that my husband was beating me and cheating on me. Until she found out about the nightmares—that after Rick started hitting me, every time a thunderstorm hit, I’d wake up screaming, “Daddy, stop! Daddy, don’t!” crying hysterically and trying to smother myself under the pillows, terrified. That’s when she told me, Pop, about the time she almost blew your head off with a shotgun because you’d beaten her so bad the night before after the bar and the only thing that saved your life was your parents coming home early from The Lake, and Nana talking her down, and the two of them sitting on the couch, holding each other and crying. And the sound of Grand-dad punching the speed bag ringing across the yard because if he hadn’t, he would have killed you.

I wish he had. Everything would have been so much cleaner. And in that little town with its “little ways,” it all would have been covered up and made clean.

You should never have tried to lie your way into my good graces, Pop. You fucked yourself out of everything with me. If you had owned up to what you did, accepted that you’d fucked up, I could have forgiven a lot. But you didn’t. You cowardly son of a whore*, you lying, worthless piece of shit, how, how, HOW could you ever think I’d take your word over my mother’s? After living with her for so long, after knowing her, how could you think for one second I’d believe your lies? I mean, Ma isn’t perfect—not by a fucking longshot, believe me—but the one thing the woman never was is a liar. Even when she didn’t tell me the whole truth, she told me the acceptable truth. And she would never have told me everything if I hadn’t made the same mistake she had.

I’d also like to thank you for fucking me out the college money. Buck promised Ma and me that my schooling would be paid for. Of course, Dud, you never forgave him for loving me. And you never got over being jealous of me. So, instead, once you got control of his money, you stole it. Excuse me, you “borrowed” it to start your failed restaurant. I’ve never wanted a free ride, but all things considered, I damn well could have used the college fund. Fuck knows, you made sure I got nothing else. (A couple of antiques, yes, to spite my mother and Grand-dad’s family, but you kept all of her jewelry, including the beautiful pieces my mother gave her. Scumrag.)

In case you didn’t know this, both Grand-dad and one of his brothers (Bill, I think it was) told Ma she married beneath her. I still laugh over your prediction that she’d end up a drunk on a barstool. Christ, did you not know her. As crazy as she could get, she was never a barfly. You so don’t know your Lace Curtain Irish, Dud.

Oh, Pop, for the record, we left Missouri because Ma couldn't get a job in Small Town, USA. See, back in 1970, Fine Upstanding Businessmen didn't hire young matrons with small children at home. "You belong at home with your baby girl." And when we got back here, she had a sick child to deal with, a kid whose head was so fucked by what she'd witnessed and lies and broken promises that she freaked or went cataonic when her mother left for work. She chose my well-being over her pride because hey, who wants a suicidal three-year-old on their hands?

Shall we talk about the thefts, Pop? The tiny college fund that she'd been squirreling away that you drank up? The engagement ring from Larry-y'know, the guy you birddogged to get your chance with her, the only way she'd date you because she was on the rebound and heartbroken--the ring you stole and sold for booze money.

Regarding your statement about me being a bastard—that’s because you spelled Ma’s name wrong on the first marriage certificate. I was legit as far as she was concerned. And for the record, Dudders, I AM your kid. I am the spitting image of you—take a look at the pictures on this blog. Identical, Dud. I-fuckin-dentical. You broke Ma’s heart all over again when she realized you’d lied to Wife #3 and told her that I wasn’t your kid, that Ma had stepped out on you and tricked you. Utter, utter fucking gobshite sonofacunt. Not only would you deny your daughter a father, you’d perjure your ex-wife’s reputation just to make yourself look like a great guy. Ma felt bad for her—felt so awful for her, because she knew what she was going through, that first realization that the man she loved was a liar.

I don't even hate you. That's the funny thing--the hate's gone. The rage is still there, but it's fueled by massive contempt.

So, thanks, Pop. Thanks for being such a shit. I’m glad that Wife #8’s kids think you’re so damn marvelous (well, they did back in ’94 when I visited; that opinion may have changed by now). Thanks for being such an amazingly bad father, such a selfish, self-centered, self-pitying loser. I hope the Black Velvet has eaten your liver to nothing. The only good thing about you being a barnacle on the ass of the world is me. Remember that: I am the ONLY good thing to come out of your life. My mother raised me to be honest, honorable, decent, creative, strong, feisty, and independent. The horrible example you set kept me that way. I don’t share a nickname with you—I have my grandfather’s nickname, and I go by it to honor him and his memory. Fuck knows, you never did anything to.

I think that’s about it.

* This does NOT refer to my Nana; this refers to the piece of shit that gave birth to him. He was rescued from the garbage that abandoned him by two of the finest people I have ever known, and they did not deserve the trash they adopted. He was rescued from poverty and adopted into a modest, decent and prosperous home by two amazing, loving people and could have had the world by the tail if he hadn’t been so wrapped up in his own misery and felt that the world owed him something.

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