I grew up in a house, full of mixed messages. When we were kids, my parents provided all the creature comforts that we could ever want. We never wanted for anything. But there was a dark side to all the good that was provided.
For every good thing, that was provided, my father exacted a pound of flesh in return. From me and from my mother. My brother grew up, to hate me. My father taught him early on that I was not his friend, and that we were mortal enemies.
It seems, tonight, as my father lay dead … We are still enemies.
My parents knew I was gay before I ever told anyone that I was even thinking about coming out of the closet all those years ago. Because I listened to every word that came out of my parents mouths, speaking to anyone who was in their company.
I knew, going in, that homosexuality was not gonna fly in our house.
My father kept his reading material varied. And I had done all the homework that he provided me so I knew what side my bread was buttered on. Even on the night that my father took me to the Ninety Fourth Aero Squadron for my birds and the bees talk.
My father did good things. I’m not sure that the good things he did outweigh the pain and abuse he laid on my back for the whole of my life, well into my adult life.
My father gave me music lessons so I could play his favorite tune on the organ.
My father taught me how to drive a car.
My father taught me how to repair a car engine and rebuild it from scratch.
My father taught us how to care for homes and pools and yards.
My father relentlessly abused me every chance he got to make sure he would BEAT the GAY out of me, because Homosexuality was ABOMINABLE. My father abused me over and over again. For years and years.
And he never atoned for that abuse ever.
When I moved out of the house, I knew it was time to go. And so I moved away, to be gay, to become a man. to set out into the world.
THAT was a COMPLETE failure …
My spiral of insanity only ended the night I walked into that bar and met Todd (read God). I was coming towards the bitter end of life. Had I not chosen to walk into that bar that fateful night, I would be long since dead.
Todd loved me. A boy. A complete stranger. Todd took care of me when everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY walked out of my life, including my FATHER, MOTHER, AND BROTHER.
Todd gave me every bit of love, respect and dignity he could fill me with, in order that I would learn how to survive and not die miserably like everyone else did.
Years later, when Todd had moved West, and I moved to Miami, I was still very sick. And I danced with death a few times. yet I survived those dances.
My father would come visit me on business trips. And on those visits he encouraged me to die already. He would want to know the time and place of my death, as if he could facilitate it. He did that numerous times.
One night, after hearing his death litany, while driving on a major highway, I told him to stop the car, and I got out of said car, ON the highway, told him never to come back, and I walked home, down the highway ramp.
On my thirtieth birthday, I chose to divorce myself from my family name. To put an end to the reach they could possibly have, hoping I would die, and they would have need to dispose of my body somewhere. I was not going to allow that to happen.
I legally changed my name in hopes that if I took the name back, their reign of abuse would finally end.
On New Years Day 2001, I was working in a bar, on New Years Eve. I worked all night long, and got home around 8 in the morning. Around 9 my phone rang, it was my mother saying they were in town and wanted to see me before they drove back to Sarasota.
I welcomed the visit gladly. I offered to buy us a meal and pay for parking as well. My father said NO. He parked the car in a fire zone in front of my apartment building and allowed my mother twenty minutes to visit with me.
We walked around the block. I nary remember a word we shared.
She got in the car and they drove off. New Years Day 2001, was the last time I set eyes on either of my parents.
Now my father lay Dead in a morgue in Sarasota.
And my mother is an invalid, suffering from a coronary heart condition and she is partially blind. She now lives with my brother and his family in Virginia.
My aunt told me that they were heavily into the bottle. Drinking day and night. And they were both smoking like chimneys. My mother had her heart incident and my father got esophageal Cancer, that eventually killed him yesterday, (Sunday).
My mother and father, it was said, were not communicating. And if they were sunk in the bottle as was told to me, I can identify with those feelings and the downward spiral into insanity. They were alcoholic before. Well before.
They were in separate hospitals, my father ending up in hospice, and probably my mother probably did not care either way what happened to him.
Alcohol was a major food group in our home and it is odd that alcohol did not kill either of them previously.
In December of 2001, I got sober the second time. I am still sober to this day, Thank God. I may be grieving, but I clearly don’t want to drink over this immense pain I am feeling.
In May of 2002, I moved to Montreal, chasing my Maternal Bloodline back to Canada.
I used to write my mother every other week, allowing for mail to go and a response to come back to me. She Never Responded Once.
I called her, occasionally. Only to find that my mother had turned into Mommy Dearest.
She turned into a vindictive, angry, bitter old woman. I very rarely, if ever, spoke to my father, because he would never speak to me either.
My mother had a litany of phrases she repeated over and over.
FIRST: IF EITHER YOUR FATHER OR MYSELF EVER GOT SICK OR DIED, NOBODY WOULD CALL YOU NOR TELL YOU WHERE WE WERE BURIED.
SECOND: THAT I WAS A MISTAKE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN.
THIRD: THAT I WAS THE CAUSE OF ALL OF THEIR PROBLEMS.
For the whole of my life, every time my father swung a belt, or a stick, or a log, or a bat, or his hand he repeated that phrase to me … You Were A Mistake and Should Never Have Been Born …
I knew this was the truth spoken with true anger and resentment.
My Father Lay Dead in a Morgue in Sarasota.
My mother, not the woman I knew, is alive to some degree, living in misery.
For a very long time, I wanted my day in court. Knowing my parents were toxic people. I studied them the whole of my life. I know every secret. I’ve read every book about toxic parents. Both of them identify in those books.
I’ll never get my day in court.
What kind of parent tosses their kids into the world with only the clothes on their backs, and not follow-up or seem to care how hard we struggled and failed at life ?
What kind of family, when a child is diagnosed with a fatal disease that is going to kill your son. tosses them into the gutter to die ALONE ?
What kind of sibling at age 47, doesn’t know what human kindness and compassion is, even if the bearers of the vindictive messaging is your own mother, that you don’t give your own sibling a chance to feel human, loved or that I even matter ?
What kind of person can inflict such abuse on their kin of such hatred, vindictiveness and resentment, and strips away every vestige I have of my own humanity and then throws me into the gutter, not allowing me to say good-bye properly ???
I may have divorced them long ago, but that does not absolve them of all the abuse they heaped on me. They are still my blood giving, life-giving parents.
At least someone should have said something to me, so that I could have, at least, allowed to feel like a valid, human feeling, being …
Someone should have said something to me at least.
My mother would not have it that they would have called me to tell me either of them were sick or dying.
That was my mother’s greatest curse that she uttered to me over sixteen years ago.
Last Summer 2017, I called home to tell her that my cousin Carol died. And she just spit up the most vitriolic, bitter, and vindictive words she could find in her vocabulary. Repeating her litany to me over again.
It took me months to get over that emotionally.
My parents believed I was less than human. That I was not to be dignified or respected, or acknowledged as being a 50-year-old sober man and a loving human being capable of love and even forgiveness.
I’m not feeling very forgiving right now. In fact I am pretty angry.
I really want to hatefully say things to my brother that he needs to hear.
But he took this job on himself. To care for my sick and demented mother, AND bury the man we call our father. ALONE.
And he will do this alone and be scarred from it for the rest of his life that he is doing this alone. Without me. At least I could have consoled him. To help him mourn. I left him there with my mother and father. I abandoned my own brother to those hateful people for the rest of his life. Now he is in this boat alone. and not needing or wanting my help.
Fuck Me …
But no. He chose not to call me. yet he called every family member that both my parents alienated out of their lives for more than a decade now.
My parents were sick people. They were bitter and unforgiving. They were hateful.
My father hated me for good reason. I was Gay. I live with AIDS. And I live in Canada.
I did not follow the grand plan for heterosexuality that he wanted from me. I chose to make my way, however hard it was, I did make it, eventually.
I will never get to say goodbye.
I will never get to say everything that I have always wanted to say.
FUCK ME …