Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Rainbough's Parent Issues Redux

So father's day has now come and gone. As some of you may remember it was around father's day last year that I had the big fall out with my dad. Of course it wasn't really a big "fall out," since I was in the process of dropping/cutting off the relationship anyway. But it was painful and poorly managed anyhow. I decided to mention it at church last sunday in the joy's and concerns part of the service. I lit a candle for him. It was kind of surreal, because on the one hand I do have this genuine feeling of loss of not having him (or some father figure) in my life, but on the other hand it is me that requested and has effectively maintained the separation. I feel like he should not be in my life for a lot of reasons, but at the same time I still felt like I should honor him as a person and as a father even if perhaps a poor one.

I'm sure he tried his best... but fuck that! What does that even mean?!? What difference does it make if someone tried their best if they failed, it might make them feel better that they believe they have done all in their power/ability to achieve their goal. But when that goal was to be a desent parent to a bunch of very disturbed traumatized teenagers what does it even mean to have "done your best" if you did so very badly that your kids felt like they didn't have a parent even when you were there?

I thought I had moved passed the infamous "infestations" letter before last year's incident, but last year's email refreshed it all in my mind and memory. Strangely now I feel as if I can forgive him for the stupid email he sent me last year, but I cannot forgive him for responding to the desperate attempt of a depressed 15 year old to reach out to and understand her father by with a letter that likened me and my siblings to "infestations in his castle." I had low enough self esteem as it was. It was like he was kicking me when I was down in the worst way he could have contrived to do so.

On a lighter note I was hanging out with a few of my co-workers one night in a pool hall/bar and one of my supervisors said "well my dad says I'm worthless," another co-worker said "my dad said I'll never amount to anything," and then I said "my dad called me an infestation in his castle." It was actually kind of funny. Anyhow so I figured out that I still haven't forgiven my dad for a stupid letter he wrote me 8 or 9 years ago that was in response to a letter I wrote in an attempt to reach out to him. There is more to it than that. All the issues I was going through at the time are wrapped up in it. The fact that I badly needed a father and a parent and I didn't have one. The fact that I needed someone to talk to, and the only person I had the nerve to reach out to (my dad) smacked me down (verbally) on every attempt.

The fact that his entire concern over us following his rules revolved around his fear that we were not respecting him as an authority figure. If for a moment I thought that any of his rules were there to protect us or keep us safe I could have seen him as an authority, but that wasn't the case. They were there to make him feel like a parent, and like he was in control of his own house and children.

If he had been concerned for my well-being, or feared I was in danger or trouble when I forgot to call home when I was going to be late I would have respected his rules. But his ultimate concerns were always, constantly his needs, and his authority. He seemed to have this all-encompassing fear that we were not respecting him in the way that he thought we should.

When I came home from college the first time and he said we needed him for more than someone to keep the lights on and rent paid, I was incredibly offended. Not because we didn't need him, but because we did, and he wasn't there for us. We couldn't talk to him without him acting like we were wasting his time and pulling him away from something he would rather be doing. When I was able to talk to him he always made me feel stupid, especially if my issues were with him. He made us feel stupid for having the emotions we had, irrational for not being able to convince him that we should feel the way that we did feel, and pathetic for requesting that he show up to events that were important to us.

He decided wholly of his own brilliant mind that we did not need any psychological help or counseling in spite of the fact that we had just spent 13 years in what he knew well was a psychologically abusive environment. He ignored everything I said was important to me to continue doing when I moved in with him (such as going to church) and later claimed I hadn't told him about any of those things when he simply hadn't listened when I did. We ultimately ended up having to spend huge amounts of money on food because he would not buy any because he was supposedly trying to teach us to "plan ahead" by not buying any groceries unless we gave him a grocery list on the specific weekend that he had gotten his paycheck.

Not only would he not contribute to our school expenses such as band camp, and field trips he actively encouraged us from being involved in extracurricular educational activities because he didn't want to have to drive us to and from the activity, and on top of that getting him to give us driving lessons was like pulling teeth. I think he gave me two or three lessons over 2 or 3 years.

When my world was falling apart, when I was turning into myself, isolating myself, crying alone at night for months on end, you were to busy escaping from the catastrophe that you saw me and my siblings to be to be there for me or my siblings. Forget about talking about the pain I felt being away from my mom and younger siblings, the extreme disappointment I felt at all the things and people I had left behind at my old school/life, the self-hatred and loathing I was going through as a result of issues with my grandmother, the pain I felt at being rejected by my grandfather, the deep seeded fear I had regarding even the possibility of an intimate relationship, the crazy religious roller coaster I was on, or the thousand and one nightmares and issues I was having over the experiences I had had at my grandparent's house.

Even if I couldn't had talked to you, if you had at least given me the impression that you gave a damn about my well-being, I could have considered you a parent. But you never paced the floor over worry or concern for us (you concern was always frustration at the knowledge that your rules weren't being abided) when we didn't show up where we were supposed to. You weren't the least bit concerned when you found out we had witnessed a bad accident. You weren't ever concerned about any of our issues. You joked around about how much money you were saving because we were spending our own on food instead of saving it up for college which you knew well you weren't going to contribute a dime to. When one of us was injured you were more concerned over the medical bill and the expense we were causing. You never took us to a doctor or a dentist. If you had been strapped for cash I would have understood, but you were meanwhile taking yourself to the dentist at every minor ache, and got yourself prescribed prozac for "depression" because your girlfriend broke up with you.

Parent?!? You were a estranged uncle who accidentally got stuck with some kids he didn't know and didn't give a damn about. To you it was an ordeal that you just wanted to get through. Only 4 more years, only 3, only two, one more till I get my home and money back from these bratty teenagers. And then there was my grandparents constantly showing up to our concerts and reminding us that they'll be our parents, and they'll be there for us after all they terrible things they had done. It was appalling, and humiliating to have that disgusting woman follow me around claiming she was my mother, talking to my friends parents like everything was normal, and all I wanted was for the beast to go away. But there was no one there to correct her, or to stand up for us. No one to say these are my kids and that that woman hurt them and is using you (my friend's parents) to try and weasel her way back into their life.

In the end it wasn't fair for me to expect you to be a parent when you weren't psychologically equipped to be one, but it was equally unfair that you pretended to be one, and that you took in kids that deep down you didn't even value as human beings. I guess beggars can't be choosers, and I was more than willing to accept that you weren't going to be there for me or be a parent for us if you had just let go of the title instead of clawing to it indignantly like you fucking deserved it -I probably wouldn't even have much emotion attached to the ordeal now. But there it is. Happy father's day. If I had thought choosing between you and the grandfather who had nearly killed my siblings on so many occasions as the person to call "father," was a choice then I wouldn't have picked you, but I did. If I hadn't not a bit of this crap would have really mattered in the long run. But that role meant something to me, and it still does. I still look for my dad, and I still miss having one.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Interesting studies of female brains

Brain Areas Shut Off During Female Orgasm

In the first study to map brain function during orgasm, scientists from the Netherlands also found that as a woman climaxes, an area of the brain that governs emotional control is also heavily deactivated.

"The fact that there is no deactivation in faked orgasms means a basic part of a real orgasm is letting go. Women can imitate orgasm quite well, as we know, but there is nothing really happening in the brain," said neuroscientist Gert Holstege, presenting his findings Monday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

That explains so much.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A long long weekend

I just got back from BilLee's sister's wedding, and it has left me thinking that maybe I should just skip the "wedding" part of the ordeal. We could skip straight to the honeymoon, and have way more time for ourselves!

Also Billee and I just applied for an apartment a few miles from where we are now so pending approval we will likely start the process of moving from a house into a third floor apartment sometime this week. This should prove interesting. I am also trying to talk BilLee into giving up one of our cats so that we can save 300 dollars on the pet fee. Thus far he has been fairly resistant to the idea.

In truth I'd like to get rid of both of them. Though I am fond of them I also have a massage table to worry about, not to mention the people I hope to practice on -some of whom will likely be allergic to cats. In short they are cute and affectionate and we can live without them.

Also I'm left after my 4 day vacation of feeling like I need a vacation. This trip was too much stress, too much money, too much driving, and all around too much work. I missed two classes at school, 4 days of work, and I was left wishing that I could go on a "honeymoon" of my own.

And still I'm waiting for that memorial day cookout that I wanted to have last weekend. Now its back to school, back to work, and back to the daily grind, plus I'll have to fit in a few make up days for the classes I missed... can't wait. I'm enjoying school, but at the same time I really miss that long ago time, back before I turned 15 and started working, when I did nothing during the summer.