“4/Mile...(cont.)”

Being the eldest of the siblings, my attempts to reconcile this abandonment by Dad rested on my shoulders to lead the way. It falls under the unwritten responsibility guidelines for the older brother/sister expectations. This is the point of entry for the aforementioned step family. Whenever Dad left, he not only moved out of the house, but vacated his role in our lives. We seldom ever heard from him, and almost never saw him. Sadly, this was an extension of the previous few years prior to his bolting from the house. He had already used his work as the excuse to stop coming to my football games, and spending nearly every weekend away. The time he did spend at home was only to recover from his drinking binges. As bad as all this sounds, he was still my Dad, and I wanted him to love me and be proud. He had moved away to a town about two hours from where we lived, and met someone willing to tolerate his broken shit. My senior year of high school he invited me and one of my friends over to go duck hunting. This was my first chance to overcome all of that empty space left from his departure of my everyday life. This was also the fusion point for the people who recently died. 

 

New beginnings are everyone’s opportunity to embrace beneficial change. That is if one views their life as a developing story. Dad lived in a constant state of discontent over his past. His search for acceptance from a world he felt cramped into left him frustrated with the facade it required. He bore his authenticity for his beliefs with each and every action of his behavior. He believed his standards were the normal for the internal turmoil he struggled with. This struggle spilled over into every relationship he ever encountered. It started with his authoritarian father, who managed the demons of his horrific childhood, by oppressively dealing with Dad’s rebellious objectivity. All Dad ever wanted was someone, that would take him for face value, given he fought for that identity his entire life. This quest for belonging created some tricky inner personal relationships between Dad and those around him. Questioning his motives only created conflict and barriers to his well hidden vulnerabilities. He withstood 16 years of attempted conformity with mom, but never truly filled the role he was portraying. The new wife however, didn’t require any real adaptations from him. As long as there was booze and cigarettes at the house, she would conform to whatever Dad would dish out. He was not the abusive type, but their common ground was tied together by drunken reminiscing of their self proclaimed fucked up lives. He was a college educated engineer for Southwestern Bell, and she was a country girl from rural Arkansas. Being the children of this dysfunctional matchup, well left a vacuum with regards to meaningful connections. Tolerance for the situation in hopes of being a part of your Dad’s life was the only driving factor in any of this. Absent of that, there was nothing to build a lifelong connection around. Suffice to say, after his death everyone reverted to their natural directions. News of the deaths of two people, who should have been important to me, failed to register any real emotional response. The fact it’s a nonissue is sad for me to accept...

“4/Mile”

I discovered today, that my stepmother and stepbrother have died. No tragedy I’m aware of, just a life of abuse upon themselves. For reasons unbeknownst to me, my brother made a trip by the place where our dad used to live. It was run down and condemned. Our sister upon reading this in our group text posted the obituaries of the two. Bryan died in December of last year, and his mom in May of this year. I’m not at all surprised by the news, just a little shocked at my reaction I guess. I haven’t spoken to them in a very  long time. After Dad died in 1996, she disposed of his ashes without any of his children being present. There was a divide present that was never approached again. She and Bryan had assumed possession of all of Dads meager  belongings, even after I had told everyone I wanted his hunting and fishing gear. He and I had spent the vast majority of our times together enjoying the outdoors. He first took me fishing at two years of age. That was the special times he and I shared. They came along after that foundation was already established between my Dad and I, and their hi jacking his things to hold onto something so dear to me, as if they were somehow a part of all that. I wasn’t about to stoop to their level to attempt to gather any scraps of material possessions to preserve the memories associated with  them. I chose to walk away and disconnect from them and their disrespect for my wishes. My sister and brother similarly disconnected for much the same reasons. We were quickly shuffled aside with regards to his personal effects, and she got beneficiary and survival rights to all of his assets, so his children were ushered away empty handed. I guess that was to be expected from the man, who abandoned us to start another life away from us to get whatever fucked up piece of mind away from our mom. That’s what left my siblings and myself reeling as children, and struggling in our own individual reconciling of the whole traumatic experience. I was singled out and told two weeks before he even mustered up to tell our mom he was leaving. Maybe this is where I write my story, and define my ambition to write. Not simply my understanding or perspectives to the problems and promises of the world around me, but the thoughts that make me who I am...

 

...(to be continued) 

 

  #being me