This is what I don’t want to write, what I started weeks ago. I just wish I could sail away and ignore it. But I am always circling it, skirting the edges, pulled towards it. Just like this morning when I saw a post and within minutes I was mourning what never was. I have so many conflicting feelings.
On father’s day I started to write about where I am now with him:
So much of my life was predicated on my relationship with my father. What I am about to say will seem odd after all the pain and anger, In the end, I hope he didn’t know what a gap he left in my life. Yes, I hope he died knowing he did all he was capable of. I can’t fault him for being flawed.
But then I felt the hole he left in me and I couldn’t write anymore. Though I meant every word of it. I am still the little boy he rarely touched. The son who watched him take joy in my brother and sisters, but not me. The kid he had no patience for. That is what I saw. I took his disappointment to mean I wasn’t even a real boy. I was just some fucked-up other thing. To this day I wonder if something in my makeup didn’t allow me to bond with him. But isn’t that just another worthless Brian’s Broken theory?
I understand now what was going on with him. He was severely depressed. He had had shock treatment before I was born and lived on primitive pharmaceuticals. This was the 1960s. But knowing that doesn’t overwrite the intense emptiness I’ve always felt. I wish to hell we could have just been father and son, guards down. I only wanted the simplest thing, for him to like me.
The post I saw was looking for help in healing from the hunger. I couldn’t offer any advice. I don’t believe that hole will ever grow over. All I can do is know it’s there, like a dangerous rim I need to navigate around. For all the dreadful emptiness I feel, it is a tremendous weight that will always influence me. Understanding his struggles has tempered my rage and soothed my sadness. I think one day I will be balanced in peace.
Thank you for reading. Comments and constructive conversation are always welcomed. I can be reached privately via the contact page.