Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

My father and I have had a weird relationship throughout my life. Growing up, I hated him and resented him, even at times wishing death on him. Today, we have more of an odd buddy and annoyance thing going on. We're not exactly close, just when we get along, we crack some of the funniest jokes with each other. When annoyed with each other, it's either passive-agressive anger, or angry for the day, then tomorrow we forget about it. Or at least he does.

To be honest, I've harbored extreme resentment with him for a very long time. I still resent him today, but it's just easier to forget about it then delve into it. As much as I hate some of the things he's done in the past, it just seems stupid to start an argument about it.

Once when I was around 5-7, my sister and I shared a small room together, bunkbeds and all. She was keeping me out of the room when I wanted to play in there, and I was pissed off that she wouldn't let me in. I don't think anyone was home at the time, or if they were, outside, so I couldn't tell on her. Instead, I got a metal baseball bat and hit the door with it. Dad see's the damage to the door, and slaps me upside the face. While I'm on the ground he's yelling obscenities at me for doing something so stupid. I tried arguing but all I could do was babble out incoherent things... I think I managed to say what happened but I was the one to get fully blamed for that in the end... I deserved to be punished, don't get me wrong, but I hated how he handled the situation.

One time around 7-9 years old, it was summer time. I had been enjoying sleeping in a lot. My sister barged in (we had separate rooms by now) and said mom wanted to talk to me. I yelled back I just want to sleep, but she kept pestering me. I even started giggling out of frustration because being half asleep, everything is kind of funny. Mom apparently heard that too... Later in the day, I was hanging out with some friends at the park near my house. Dad came up from behind me, grabbed me by the hood of my jacket and ran me back home, yelling at how I should talk to my mother when she asks it. I don't think he hit me this time, but I cannot be sure. Definitely was grounded for retarded reasons. My best guess is I should have called mom when I actually "woke up." Mom took me giggling though as being awake and just not wanting to talk to her and lying or some shit...

In the Middle school years, I was going to a psychologist since I was quite depressed. They suggested I take an IQ test for some reason or another (I tried very hard to block out a lot of the middle school years, so minor things tend to get hazy). In elementary school, I had gotten a pretty good IQ score, I can't remember what it was. When I took this VERY DIFFERENT psychology IQ test the results came back pretty bad. My father called me out to the living room, and yelled at me. He believed I didn't try hard enough since the test results said i was retarded. He then made me feel i was a complete idiot and useless, then grounded me for such a thing. Dad mentioned something like an IQ doesn't go down, therefore it had to be my fault. From what i remember of that test, however, it was just recognizing images and making stories about them and some computer test where I had to hit a letter that quickly flashes across the screen. The IQ test in elementary school actually had problem solving and such, so I really don't think you can compare the two.

Unknown age, we were visiting New York City at a toys r us. We had gone to many places and this was the last stop. I wanted to look around, but all I got was 5 minutes and then they said, okay we're going. I through a tantrum (Maybe I was 8 at the oldest then?) and stomped my foot saying how unfair this was and dad got a death threat look on his eyes and yelled "Don't you dare ever stomp your foot at me." This was more of a minor thing, but this became a catchphrase of his for a short period of time and the punishments were more than a simple yelling to.

We were setting up the Christmas tree one time and dad was making me  I think trim the bottom of the tree, or filling it with water... I can't remember. The annoying tree kept getting in my hair and down my back or something otherwise uncomfortable, and I still had really bad allergies at the time. I yelled saying I'm done with this, and stomped away. Suddenly I heard dad getting up and he had that death look on his face, and so I ran to the only place with a lock on the door; the bathroom. He banged on the door demanding I finish dealing with the tree or he'd knock down the door. I yelled back, "Only if you don't hit me." He yelled obscenities some more but eventually said yes. I went back, crying and cringing to finish the tree, but he kept his word on not hitting me this time.

Back to middle school years, I was pretty much terrified of my dad by now. So every time he raised his hands, I cringed from him. He noticed and yelled at me for cringing, saying if i keep doing that, he might just smack me for it... This was a bit of a boiling point for me, where I was slowly not just fearing him, but resenting him in totality. If I'm starting to cringe around you, doesn't that say maybe you have done something wrong? Not to him, though.

Even when i was 18 and older, we have had shouting matches, but he wouldn't dare hit me in these years. When I was younger, I never attacked my father back, because besides having very poor self image of my strength, I also was weak armed. My legs were very fit though from playing soccer and running around for years, as well as I knew how to kick from karate class for years too... I could have actually hurt him back if I was able to will myself to. However, once when I was 17, dad once tried to just put his hand on my arm about something (nonviolently), and I quickly batted it away before he could even get close (thank you karate and paranoia). He told me to relax, but noticed how quick I was, and I believe learned just not to do anything (or he just was getting old and knew it was actual assault). I also developed a bit of a touching phobia by now, which I still have today.

Still, he managed to yell at me bad enough to make me do things in my adult hood. For instance, my sister used to take the train to work some years back, and occasionally needed a ride back home. We were in walking distance of the train, but it WAS a little bit of a long walk. I think I had not slept very well or had work earlier in the day and did not want to pick her up this time because I was tired. I talked to my sister and she said it's okay, she'll walk this time. Dad woke up from his nap and asked why I wasn't picking her up and I told him why and how we already talked it over and he flipped his shit demanding I go pick her up because I was being lazy. By this age, i was a lot more stubborn however, and yelled right back at him at how exhausted I was from work (or possibly college?) and I just wanted to rest this time, but he wouldn't hear of it. By now, I was so angry, I couldn't relax so I told him fine, drove off like a maniac and picked her up and dropepd her off, then went off somewhere in anger since I couldn't deal with him at the time.I waited until he went to sleep before coming home that night.

I blame a lot of my anger issues on him really. It pisses me off I can't do anything about it either... Well, rather, I can, but besides being pointless and wrong, I owe him too much to do something horrible like beat him up (which I believe I could). Plus even if I didn't owe him, I've stopped myself from doing dramatic things like attacking him or calling police on him because I knew it would hurt my mother on the inside. In fact I know she would get upset everytime we fought. I do have a little resentment in her not stopping some of his little acts, but it's easier to forgive her for that.

In any case, I doubt I'll ever do something to my father unless he attacks me first. I still do love him too and we are able to get along these days still... It just eats at me any time I think of things he did. But these days, not only does he have MS, but has other related pain problems. I don't know if I'd call it karma really and I really don't enjoy the fact he has problems like this either... In a way, though, I suppose I could say it is punishment for overreacting in the past, but i don't consider it like that. Hopefully I'll be able to let go of this anger sometime.