Saturday, March 7, 2009

Heart Lung Machine...

I'm pretty sure this one is going to spill out into a long one. Its ok if you don't feel like consuming it. Its for me, not you...

I breath in. I breath in when I'm around you, and when I exhale I want to tell you everything Ive wanted to say my whole life. Its too much. Its too much for me to say, and too much for you to hear. Neither of us could handle it. It is bigger than that..

There I was. Five years old. I have selective memory, but for some reason this one really sticks out. I was standing about ten feet in front of my front door. My mother in the doorway, my father in the car about 25 feet behind me in the driveway. It was 1980. I knew something was going on, but wasn't sure what was causing the vibrations. It was like a flood light was shining in my eyes. All I could hear was the muted voices of them talking to each other in a foreign tone. It was like a train was barreling through my front yard and people were yelling at me from the passing cars, but I couldn't quite make out what they were saying....
Then, in an instant, it stopped. There I stood, face cringed from a punch of reality no five year old should ever endure. My fathers shaken soul uttered these words to me...."Whats it going to be, son. Who do you want to live with". Even at five, I knew that this was not the appropriate venue for that kind of was overwhelming. I looked at my mothers trembling hands. We made eye contact, but I knew she was more than looking at me. In a way that only your mother can. You know. In retrospect, its funny how my little brain rationalized the situation. My thoughts were "well, all my shit is here in the house...I guess I should stay here!". By the way, that was the first and last time my mother ever allowed me to be subjected to anything remotely involved with her divorce. From then on, she protected me pretty well from it.
After that, its a mess. I lived back and forth between them from 1980 to about 1988. Then I decided to go live with my father for good. My Dad, whom after his loveless marriage with my mother ended, was a real son of a bitch. I have no doubt of these facts: 1. My parents never loved each other. 2. I was an accident and he was way too lazy to be father, and had no idea how to raise a child nor was he willing to learn. 3. He always resented my sister as she wasn't his biological daughter (Mom was preggos with her when they met). 4. He used me as leverage in the divorce and throughout my teenage years.
I have always had a tremendous amount of envy for my friends that had both of their parents growing up. There is a rhythm. A steady rhythmic factor, sometimes unseen, that is present. A stability that broken homes do not have. You can feel it. The rhythm, that is. Pulsating in the walls of the home when you walk in. An energy bleeding through the Olan Mills family portrait in the hall at your friends house. Its deafening. And depressing. Some kids deal with those pounding, deafening beats by lashing out at school. Some turn to drugs. Some, like me, suppressed it into a deep dark corner of our psyche.
I do not have one memory of my father playing catch with me in the yard. Not one of him taking me fishing, playing a board game, or taking me to the ball park. I would sit with him and his friends at the coffee shop every day. When a stranger would come up to say hello to him, I have no memory him proudly introducing his "boy". I was just there. Like I was a court-ordered son. A punishment. At least that's how I felt.
As time went on, and I got older, I think he had his epiphany. My stepbrother had a son. Now he became a grandfather (sort of). My stepbrother and his wife are losers and my father and stepmother took on most of the responsibility of raising Ian. When Ian was about five, I think Dad realized his mistake. He started to treat me much better, with a different tone. And I could feel his apologetic energy. He would never admit that he has done anything wrong. But I know that he knows.
My sister cut off her relationship with him probably about 15 years ago. She has had years of counseling over him. I decided years ago to overcome the negative energy he spews and just deal with the fact that he is my father. I don't even know if I love him. I know, that's heavy. But, whatever it is, I have invested my time to be there for him in his twilight years. I believe he knows where he has wronged and the universe has punished him enough.
I still have those pulsating rhythms in every heartbeat. Its a dark undertone. That darkness will always be there. I am his son, but this is MY blood pumping through these veins..not his. I have decided to take ownership. I will not be responsible for his neglect. I will create my own vibrations. I know that if my time ever comes to share my life with a child, I will march to the beat of a different drummer....

I have fought this battle for a long time. This is the first time Ive actually written about it or shared it. I started this blog to write as honest as I can, not to cry on your shoulder or demand some kind of sympathy. This is a part of who I am. A part of my awesomeness...

I love you all. You should know this.



  1. great transparency in this post. we have known each other for almost 30 years now and you know where i stand with all of this. you and i have fished this stream before. nothing you do can or will prepare you for that moment when he jumps that train to judgement lane. just remember, if you have anything at all that you need to say then you have to say it. thats one you will drag with you for a very long time if its not dropped off. trust me, it stays with you...

  2. I love you Brother. You are my favorite man on the whole planet. My heart grows stronger that you are climbing up and out. And that you know you are NOT bound by your biology.