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Whirlwind

Posted by Xanthurion2 , 19 June 2014 · 466 views

father death estranged thoughts emotions
Well, he's finally gone. The man who terrorized my childhood, my arch enemy, the person who made my life a living hell, my father...is dead.
  
Do I feel happy? Relieved? Unburdened? No. But I'm not sad either. My feelings are weighing pretty heavily on me and there are far more burdens in life that I still have to worry about. The news came as a shock. I knew he was in bad health but, I didn't even know he was in the hospital, and then I hear the news filtered through who knows how many other people before it finally got to me, the man's son. The people in charge of his affairs aren't giving him a funeral or even a memorial and it bothers me for some reason. It just feels disrespectful. Even for a man who never gave anyone a reason to respect him, it seems wrong. It's not enough to make me want to do anything about it though. What could I do anyway with no money?
  
The truth is, it's probably what he deserves. It sounds harsh, but if you knew the kind of person he really was, you might not think so. I should hate him. Every bitter memory,  every tear and every sleepless night, lying awake in fear, tells me, begs me to hate him. But for some baffling reason, I can't. How can you truly hate your own father? The man who helped give you life? The man who co-created you? Monster, though he may be. I can't say I love him, either. All I can remember him doing on those weekends when we were forced to stay with him by the corrupt legal system, is screaming and cursing and insulting everyone I love and then disappearing for years at a time. I don't know if I should cry, or go on pretending he never existed like I always have...
  
If there is one thing my father taught me, it is to not be like him. He never spoke these words to me, I learned it by watching him. And by listening to the twisted lies and warped beliefs coming out of his deranged mind. I vowed long ago to do everything in my power not to turn out like that man. That demented, unforgivable, drunken, evil man. And I will keep that vow until my own death. I will never be like my father.
  
There was a lot of bad. An overwhelming amount of bad, but there were also some good moments. Moments where I didn't fear for my very life. We watched movies together sometimes. Movies that I cherish to this day because they provided a form of temporary escape back then. One time, he drove me and my sister around in a wagon hooked onto his lawnmower. We actually had fun. That was one of the good times. They were seldom occasions, those times, but they did happen. Even I can not deny that.
  
My last visit with him was a nice one. It was last Christmas at my sister's house. I almost backed out but I decided to go and see if he had really changed his ways for the hundredth time. When I heard his voice, that morning, every memory flooded back like a tsunami breaking through the walls I had built around them. I quickly rebuilt the walls and tried to keep a polite face as I stood face to face with my father again, after all these years. I'm glad to say the whole experience was pleasant. It was a bit awkward at first but, with my sister's kids there and a couple of other people, there was enough to keep the focus off of our estranged past. We had a long talk about my future and some of his experiences when he was my age. I told him I had started writing stories and he was very supportive, like a father should be. It seemed like he was really making an effort this time. It made me happy. For the first time, I felt like I had a dad.
  
The weather was nice that Christmas, so we went outside and sat on the porch, watching the kids play in the yard. A small whirlwind blew the leaves on the ground into a tornado. The boys were fascinated by it and would try to catch up to it. My dad told me how whirlwinds just like that one used to happen all the time when he was a boy and he would play with them just like they were. It was a nice story, I couldn't remember him telling me anything like that before, in the dark days. We sat on the porch for a long time just talking. It was the first time we ever really bonded as a father and son. And I'm glad it is this memory and not some terrible shouting match that is my last memory of him.
  
I still feel like I never got the closure I've always wanted. I never got around to telling him exactly how I feel about him. I used to envision scenarios in my head where I would finally confront him about everything he said and did but now, all of that pent up rage and sadness from my childhood will never find it's target. But I hope he actually managed to fix himself, chase away whatever demons were inflicting him in those dismal days so long ago. I hope he cherished that last, truly good memory with the two children he so abysmally screwed up with in the past. I hope he saw that I made it out of that hell in one piece, without any help from him and I will be just fine without him. I believe I've had enough practice.

© 2014 Xanthurion




Hi Xanthurion,

  In a sense I can understand what you are saying,my dad was tough,though years later I was thankful for the conditioning that he gave me.He saw that of the four of us kids,I was the one most like him in attitude and curiosity,and gifted with a streak of stubborn that needed direction.He was a drinking man and beat the crap out of me until one day when I was 15 that he done kicked that dog enough when he came flying out of his chair and drifted me straight up in the face and I just looked at him and said hmm.
  I was the biggest person in the family as well as very physically active and strong,my dad conditioned me to use discretion when to use my fists,he always said if you can't take it don't dish it out,words that I live by,and I can take a lot and am quite able to dish out what I can take,although I prefer more diplomatic means of resolution.
  I was the only one in the family that he conditioned in this manner.I know that his dad was harsh with him as well so I could not judge him as he had been conditioned to face a life of difficult times.When I was in my early twenties I came by the house and he started in on me,at which point I told him that I had not lived in his home for some years and carried my own way so to butt out,that I didn't have to be his friend but had made a choice to be his friend and if he didn't keep his nose in his own backyard I wouldn't come back.He knew that if I walked away that I wouldn't look back because I had disappeared for about 5 years without any contact.That night he phoned me and gave me the only apology I had ever received from him.
  I have never hit my children nor do I tolerate family violence or abuse,my children did not know me for most of their lives because of this perspective,my spouse their mothers were quick to start swinging and tried stabbing me,I never was in fear of them,I was in fear of myself,my reactions,I am quick and strong and did not wish to live with the consequences of maiming someone I cared about,nor did I want my children to grow up in an environment of family violence.I walked away and didn't look back,and hoped that one day my children would want to know me.I have a good relationship with my children and grand-child and have never spoken a harsh word against their mother,nor have I discussed my reasons for leaving nor will I,that is the past.Many years ago when I was 13 my older brother was trying to start a fight with me,at one point I reacted,I spun him around put my hand between his legs and clasped it with my other hand lifted him shoulder height and threw him on the floor,I heard a snap and he was paralyzed for a short time like 10 minutes,what I felt in that 10 minutes is what defined the the way I deal with people.And yes over the years I have been in a fair few street fights and other such conflicts and fight to win to me a fair fight is anything goes but once your down it's over,and family is off limits.
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Xanthurion2
Jul 14 2014 03:35 AM

jmccr8, on 13 July 2014 - 09:10 PM, said:

Hi Xanthurion,

  In a sense I can understand what you are saying,my dad was tough,though years later I was thankful for the conditioning that he gave me.He saw that of the four of us kids,I was the one most like him in attitude and curiosity,and gifted with a streak of stubborn that needed direction.He was a drinking man and beat the crap out of me until one day when I was 15 that he done kicked that dog enough when he came flying out of his chair and drifted me straight up in the face and I just looked at him and said hmm.
  I was the biggest person in the family as well as very physically active and strong,my dad conditioned me to use discretion when to use my fists,he always said if you can't take it don't dish it out,words that I live by,and I can take a lot and am quite able to dish out what I can take,although I prefer more diplomatic means of resolution.
  I was the only one in the family that he conditioned in this manner.I know that his dad was harsh with him as well so I could not judge him as he had been conditioned to face a life of difficult times.When I was in my early twenties I came by the house and he started in on me,at which point I told him that I had not lived in his home for some years and carried my own way so to butt out,that I didn't have to be his friend but had made a choice to be his friend and if he didn't keep his nose in his own backyard I wouldn't come back.He knew that if I walked away that I wouldn't look back because I had disappeared for about 5 years without any contact.That night he phoned me and gave me the only apology I had ever received from him.
  I have never hit my children nor do I tolerate family violence or abuse,my children did not know me for most of their lives because of this perspective,my spouse their mothers were quick to start swinging and tried stabbing me,I never was in fear of them,I was in fear of myself,my reactions,I am quick and strong and did not wish to live with the consequences of maiming someone I cared about,nor did I want my children to grow up in an environment of family violence.I walked away and didn't look back,and hoped that one day my children would want to know me.I have a good relationship with my children and grand-child and have never spoken a harsh word against their mother,nor have I discussed my reasons for leaving nor will I,that is the past.Many years ago when I was 13 my older brother was trying to start a fight with me,at one point I reacted,I spun him around put my hand between his legs and clasped it with my other hand lifted him shoulder height and threw him on the floor,I heard a snap and he was paralyzed for a short time like 10 minutes,what I felt in that 10 minutes is what defined the the way I deal with people.And yes over the years I have been in a fair few street fights and other such conflicts and fight to win to me a fair fight is anything goes but once your down it's over,and family is off limits.

That is certainly a unique story. I'm not sure exactly how to react to it. I'm sorry things were so complicated for you.
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Hi Xanthurion,

  Be assured that there is no need to feel sorry,I didn't respond looking for sympathy.When I read your blog it got me to thinking.about the past,It was just recently the anniversary of my older brother's death,dad died 3 months after he did,been 33 years ago now.My older brother was my best friend and dad well he gave me the tools that I needed to survive,as I have always been a bit of an adventurer.I grew up in a small city where fighting was the main form of entertainment,we only had 1 tv channel at that time lol.
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