Saturday, June 26, 2010

daddy issues part one

my father is a hard, unaffectionate man (unless you are a friend or a cb buddy, then he is warm, exchanging blue-colored languages joyfully with them - i am so jealous!)

as a child i would side up to him while he was under the hood of the family car (motor oil was a body fluid for him) - but he would always push me back, very gruff, saying i was getting in his way; would tell me to go play somewhere else... it's sublime at first, but after awhile you look out into the garage and wonder how long it would take you to go get help if the jack slipped, trapping him beneath the pontiac he was working on. not "run off in a panic" for help... i'm talking about "IF i ran off..." would i go to the candy lady first, get a bag of pop-rocks and a pickle before returning home to tell mama "mama, i think daddy is stuck under the car."

this is bitterness. i wasnt an evil child. this is one of the many negative emotions that will eventually surface when you instill ... what's the word? ... "detachment" ... when you instill detachment in children. which still isnt the most correct term, because the bitterness you feel is most definitely attached to the person who helped nurture it!

but you grow up. i understood that daddy didnt not love me, he just didnt show it in socially recognizable terms. so, i didnt not love him in the exact same way the he didnt not love me...

i also swore blood vows to the heavens that i would NEVER love my wife and children in such a manner once i was old enough to indulge in the arrangements of adulthood! my children still might not like me, but dammit, they will sure as shit know that i love them above all else!
(let me smoother my loved ones with love... or else, let me smoother them in their sleep. their choice.)

this lovelessness-as-an-act-of-love i was shown as a child would not be permitted in my home as an adult. it has shaped the way i am now emotionally connected to the friends and family willing to fully express their love respectfully and openly. al green said, "love and happiness" -  that man was a goddamn genius. i have no time in my life for loveless, unhappy people - not just because they are a drain, but also because their very existence trudges up the emotionless-void stuck in orbit between resentment and bitterness (metaphor for the relationship between a father and his son).
at times, i have hated daddy. deeply. not the angst-ridden "i wish you was dead/i had never been born" overly dramatic, cinematically dysfunctional type of hate. just a good ol' fashioned clean, angry hate.
("if you wasnt so much taller than me, i'd fuckn kick your ass!")

 i guess this is normal for many folks. but what happens to you, as an adult, when the ancestral link begins to claim you and you find yourself FEELING, ACTING AND BEHAVING in the same exact vein as the person you abhorred?!?! - - - in my mid-20's began the realization that i was becoming my father!

not in temperament. but... well, yeah... in temperment! some damn genetic switch was thrown and the traits in my father had begun to metastasize in me!
NOT HIS HABITS! not the way he expressed himself (not entirely, anyway) but a deeper understanding, appreciation and acceptance of why he was the way he was.  temperamentally i was wired the exact same way as he was... the switch had been thrown. or maybe it had always been there and i was just becoming aware of it. but at any point, it took being in a successfully joyless relationship for me to understand my connection to my father:

acts of lovelessness was a self-defense mechanism to hide the pain and failure of not having/living the life you wanted deeply for yourself. you love your family to no ends, but you accept the stifled confines of an unhappy relationship and simply make the best of it. i can see how having a loving, happy child running his hot wheels collection around your feet while you hide  your head inside an engine block can ruin the spa-effect of your powertool-based escapisms... once i'd understood this about daddy (though maybe not completely accurate in my own unlettered analysis) the love i had been stifling for him came rushing back into me. and in doing so, i was able to fully love the parts of me that reminded me of him; insight and perspective had freed me from that foolishness... i became calm. began talking to my gods again. understood not just what 'a good love' was, but understood how to avoid the actions in a relationship that can lead or push you away from that same 'good love'...

al green wasnt just a genius, al green is my jesus! in love and happiness i am saved.

hallelujah, aché, show you right!


  1. Great blog post and I can relate. It's a good thing that you have recognized and analyzed the bittersweet relationship that you had with your father instead of internalizing those feelings. Using the experience to increase your own desire for healthier and positive relationships with your loved ones certainly stops the cycle. :-)

  2. thank you; i've had to reconcile many of my past 'daddy-demons' in order to fully love him as i do now. his health is failing and the family has taken turns being his caretaker and i wish we could have spent more 'quality/healthier' times together in the past. but such is life and you take the good when you can get it, even in the face of extreme difficulty.