Friday, January 31, 2014

Don't Call me Daughter

So this one is a little bit harder to distill, to put into a digestible form.

Another one of my dad's died a few weeks ago. That makes 2 in the last few months for those of you who are keeping score.

Ray. Lauren Raymond Pike. Sonofabitch Supreme. Major Dick. Captain Asshole. I wasn't angry when I started writing this, but typing those last three phrases literally raised my pulse. Makes me believe that I do this to myself…

He died of a massive stroke. There was no chance. One of his carotid arteries had been %100 blocked for years and the other had been scraped to %75 efficacy. He was a violently uncontrolled diabetic with an ego problem.

He was a know-it-all and a loud mouth and a bigot and a misogynist and a pervert.

He was not OK to me. But as an effect of his terrible (step) parenting of me, I got tough. I rose up and did good and distanced myself in body and mind and spirit as far as I could from him as soon as I could. His presence in my life was the single biggest motivator for me to succeed and get the hell out of Dodge. And as I grew up a little and moved further and further away as a person from him, I would cringe whenever he'd compliment me or take credit for my accomplishments. Ironic.

Here's where it's tricky: People loved him. He made some people happy during his time on planet earth. His mother adored him. And she was one hell of a lady! A gorgeous, vivacious woman who lived out her days in a fab apartment on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. His two children (at least at the end of his life. I didn't pay attention to their relationships when I was a kid getting terrorized by him or when I became an adult and didn't have to worry any more) cared for him very much so he must have done some good for them and their children…  And he was married a bunch of times. I guess those wives loved him for a while, I'm pretty sure my mother did. Although their fights and general shitty attitude towards each other is what stays with me most.

When I was 19 or so I started having pretty elaborate fantasies about what I'd do if I was ever faced with him, a ventilator and the ability to pull the plug. In my early thirties I was called to help by my mother because he was in a diabetic rage and I had an insulin syringe in my hand filled and ready to get his +600 blood sugar under control. I gave him the medicine, but I had to think about it first. Really think about it.

Anyone who really knows me know what a pacifist I am. Violence is not in my nature but I was willing (at least in my mind) to hurt him. What does that mean?

As an Atheist, I don't have a lot of places to seek shelter when I don't understand something about myself or other people or the world. There is no "let go, let God" for me. And I'm not saying that believers have an excuse, that it's definitely easier (is it, though? in a way?). I'm saying that my belief system, that is my belief in humanity, my belief in the things that I can see and feel and touch all around me, forces me to keep looking.

I thought for such a long time that when he finally died, I'd have an answer, something final. Not true. Not true at all.


Anonymous said...

OH, my friend. I wish I could hug you.

Anonymous said...

That is perfect