I guess I was right when I said last night that wisdom usually follows a question, and so it has. I sent an email to my sponsor last night before I went to bed, and he followed up with a call today to speak about what I wrote him. He said I did the right thing in opening communication, stating that I was long sober now and that I / we are getting old to harbor such resentments.
Every human being wants to be seen.
Every human being wants to be acknowledged.
Every human being is worthy of dignity and respect.
So looking back on yesterdays post, the question that was posed tonight was, what are our motives and why do we do certain things? Beyond simple connection, my motives are certainly self centered. To make waves, to be petulant and to point fingers.
We, as alcoholics have done damage to others, for the most part, we try to avoid and not see our part in these damages.
Children of abusive alcoholics are certainly victims of indignities beyond their control.
So that is a thing.
When you tell a child that he was a mistake and should never have been born, you damage that child. When you beat that same child into submission continuously, you damage that child.
When that child grows up, he has learned that he was a mistake. That he should not be here, and that takes a toll on that person. And when you follow up that indignity with verbal abuse that he is an abomination and that (having contracted AIDS and is mortally sick) you remind that person that they are less than and that they should die already, what do you think goes through the mind of that person?
When I got sick, I, In turn got sober. I was doing the best I could with what I had. I was young, and I was dying. So I thought. The doctors certainly thought that. When family turns their back on you and humiliates you in front of others, that is an indignity.
I made several decisions during my first sober period that were all about me. I really did not have a sponsor, Puddles had moved to California so I was on my own then. What did I know about sober decisions and correctly motivated actions? First, I made a certain decision about my brothers wedding and I was only thinking about myself. I hurt some people in this process.
I would never be forgiven for that, to this day.
My parents lived in Sarasota and my father would come to Miami on business and he would visit me, only to remind me how abominable I was and that I should die already and leave the family once and for all, because I was unacceptable and an abomination.
One particular night he was in rare form after sharing dinner together, and he started in on me and I asked him to stop the car ( On the Highway) I got out of said car and told him never to come back and visit me until he grew up.
I walked away, down the highway and walked all the way home by myself.
You see my father fought in Viet Nam, (and he fell in love). That soldier was killed in action, Who knew from gay in the 1960’s. My father named me after a dead soldier. He abused me and beat me telling me that I was mistake. I realized that I, as a gay, infected man, would never live up to the honor of that dead soldier. Hence the name change.
Some time later I had a spiritual experience. It came and I acted on it. Again, another decision made in “all about me” mode. I must have been 28 or 29. I went to legal aide, spoke to a lawyer and soon after I had legally changed my name. I was going to reclaim myself once and for all so that whatever life I was going to have, would be of my creation. I would kill that person my father thought was a mistake.
So that is a thing.
It was a complete dagger to my parents hearts.
My father, the man who for years abused me and degraded me, telling me that I was mistake, would get his comeuppance. I would have the last word for his indignity.
I went on with my life. I survived …
A long time ago, my soldier father met a Quebecois woman, (my mother) they got it on in a drive in theatre in a Ford GTO. And she got pregnant. My ultra Catholic grandparents most likely forced him to marry her because she was carrying his child.
My father buried a secret that I learned about throughout my life. He hated Gay, because he was a heterosexual man with homosexual leanings, and that was abominable to him. Internalized homophobia …
The dog who barks the loudest has the most to hide.
She was STILL a CANADIAN when she had me and my brother.
In 1967 they were married, with me in the oven, at the wedding. I was born in July of 1967. My brother followed in 1970. My father wanted to purge every Canadian family member, ritual, tradition, and way of life from her. He would make her a God fearing, Blood thirsty American, if it was the last thing he would do.
My mother was naturalized in 1974, and became an American.
Fade to black …
Years later we came upon a lie about their actual wedding date. We were told they were married in 1965, and I was born in 1967. And we happened on that lie when on their 25th wedding anniversary, we bought a gift, had it engraved, only to learn the dates were wrong.
I always say “Never lie to your children, because eventually those lies will come out.”
I stayed sober through my 4th anniversary. And followed several of my friends out the door and into my slip. I came back to Miami in 2000. I had a job that paid cash. I had a studio apartment just off the beach, on Miami Beach. My parents were really not a part of my life, unless they chose to be because I was a faggot with AIDS and an abomination.
When I got sick, they turned their backs on me. And humiliated me.
They had humiliated me in front of guests at a Christmas dinner a year before and I swore that I would never darken their door again. My mother accused me of indignities she thought I had committed on someone I met only once.
On New Years Eve 2000 – into 2001, I was working in a bar doing lights. I went into work at 7 pm on New Years Eve and left work around 8 am the next morning with a mound of cash in my wallet. I went to bed and soon after my phone rang, it was my mother on the phone, telling me that they were in Miami and wanted to see me. (They had been here for a week, but only decided to contact me on their way out of town).
I was happy to oblige. They showed up a short time later. My father parked the car in a no parking zone out front of my building and gave me twenty minutes to speak to my mother. We walked around the short block, while he waited in the car. I even offered to take us all out for breakfast, which they categorically said NO to.
Twenty minutes later, my mother got in the car, they drove off and that was the last time I saw my mother.
So that is a thing
In December 2001, I got sober the second time. I was given a computer which led to my meeting people here in Canada. One thing led to another and I received a letter from Canada stating that If I was born between certain dates, and my mother was a Canadian, that I could apply for a birthright citizenship.
Since my mother was still a CANADIAN in 1967, both myself and my brother were afforded birthrights into Canada.
You know what I did right?
I was living in a dead end life, alone, having to choose between paying for food, or paying rent, or buying medication. Because I could not afford to do all three at the same time.
A friend sponsored me into Canada, helping me pay the fees for the application. At Easter time in 2002, April or May, I traveled to Montreal. I stayed two weeks. I had filed for citizenship and went back to Miami, packed my belongings, got on a plane, and did not look back.
A few months later, I was living in Verdun. I got a call from Sydney Nova Scotia. An office worker just happened to pick up my envelope and opened it which began the paperwork process officially. Things needed to be added to the file.
It was then that Immigration Canada went after my mother.
Her paperwork was not in order regarding her naturalization papers and her birth certificate. They needed to be fixed OR they would deport her back to Canada. Needless to say my mother was not very happy with me.
I crossed the border. It was all about survival for me. I was going to have a life, or die trying.
That was the last straw for my father. I left the country of my birth, the very country my father fought to defend in Viet Nam. He told me I was spitting on my birthplace and my country.
That was unforgivable.
Once again, I had stabbed my parents in the heart.
Now I repeat … Parents are supposed to raise children into adults who make their way into the world and make something of themselves. And what ever decisions they make, whether you agree with them or not, you should at least respect them for their decisions.
Aren’t parents supposed to acknowledge their children’s successes?
My mother did in fact correct her paperwork and in February of 2003, I became a Canadian Citizen. I hold dual citizenship today.
My parents were not happy with me at all. I worked very hard for two years trying to keep communications open between us, but in the end, I eventually failed.
My Mother’s last words to me were ” If either me or your father die, nobody will call you and nobody will tell you where we are buried.”
We never spoke again.
So I ask you, who was right, and who was wrong? And who is guilty ???
I got married in 2004. I returned to university and earned two degrees. One in Religion and a second in Pastoral Ministry. I spent two years following that in Cegep, because I had those credits afforded to me by the government.
I have been sober 12 and a half years. Since my moving here my family and I have been estranged. And they say, it is All My Fault.
A few years ago, I found my brother on Facebook, and that twisted my heart. I tried to speak to him and he blocked me. And that broke my heart. I thought that we had grown up and could try and reconnect. That did not happen.
Facebook fucked with my sobriety in a big way.
On July 30th, this year 2014, the day before my birthday, my aunt calls to tell me that my father was on Facebook. And while we were on the phone I looked him up and sent him several messages hoping against hope that he would reconnect. He did not.
Once again, Facebook fucked with my sobriety.
On one hand I want redemption, and acknowledgement and finally some dignity and respect. On the other hand, I want to shoot off my mouth and incite anger and make a scene.
Not all very sober motivated actions.
I wrote here and asked the question. I spoke to my sponsor today and hit a meeting tonight.
And I got my answer.
Always Check your motives …
I did what I needed to do. I opened a door. Whether he responds, is entirely up to him, if he does re-engage or he does not re-engage, I am powerless over people, places and things.
I have to go on with my life.