Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Do I Feel?

I wasn't sure if I would blog about this & I am nervous about it, but  it is something that has been going on in my life. And this is an outlet for me. You can read if you want to, or just scroll on past. Your choice.

This blog post may get messy & hard to read, just FYI. And...It's gonna be a very long blog post...

Here's a little explanation, before I delve into it all...
When I say my "parents" or "my dad", I am talking about Mom & Danny. Mom married Danny when I was 9 & I began using his last name a couple of years later, so most people think that Danny is my "real dad" they don't know about the person who helped create me. For the rest of the blog post when I refer to my "parents" I am talking about my Mom & biological dad....Not Mom & Danny. I suppose I need to tell some of my story so that you can understand what this blog post is all about.

My Mom & biological dad, (who I will call "S" in this post) owned a very success gas station. It seemed to be the hub of activity in a small town, where his family was very prominent. S had a nickname everyone called him & he gave out candy to the kids. S was well known for his charisma & his amazing voice. He was a singer. So good that he sang in a Southern Gospel group that had their own album & touring bus. We had money. Took nice vacations. I went to Disney World when I was 5, that was back in the day when Disney World was a major luxury. Then my parents divorced when I was 6. Those first 6 years of my life were not very pleasant where S was concerned. I have no good memories of him. I remember being spanked with switches full of thorns. Fights where windows were broken & I was almost physically torn apart between a parent I feared & one I loved. Life changed drastically in those years, my parents lost their business & we lost everything. S was never around (which I was glad of), Mom got a different job & people were leaving groceries in our car, so we wouldn't go hungry. It was a desperate, scary time for a little girl.

Mom & I moved in with my Granny & Paw for a little over 2 years, then Mom married Danny when I was 9. Throughout those years I didn't see S that much & when I did I never knew what to expect. One time I would be showered with gifts & the next left to fend for myself in his disgusting house, while he slept off a night of partying. There are soooo many things I could go into detail on here about, but I won't. Let's just say I was a terrified child. S was a vile person. At the age of 10, I basically put my foot down & refused to see him. Before that Mom made me go, because she thought it was the "right thing" to do. She was completely unaware of what was really happening. I spoke to S on the phone a few times when I was 11. After that I cut off all contact. It wasn't until I was 13 & after watching an episode of Oprah did I confess, to Mom the horror that S had inflicted on me. At least what I could remember. The mind has a way of protecting you from some things to help you to continue to live. And for that I am grateful, I don't want nor need to remember.

For the next 20 something years I have lived with a fear of S. We have lived in the same community all of this time, but God always protected me from running into him face to face. Even when I moved to California, the constant looking over my shoulder, wondering if he was around the corner remained. I would from time to time hear about someone seeing S here or there, so it drove the fear. During those years S spent time in jail. He had become a drug dealer, among many many other things. Things so disgusting that I am not about to type them.

Throughout my life, I didn't have really anything to do with his side of the family either. Again, because of fear. I did want to have relationships with them, but I was always scared of what S may find out about me or he would know I was at someone's home & show up. I just felt all of those relatives were a casualty to the choices that S had made. I did see them out & about throughout the years though, that was basically the only contact I had with them.

In the last few years I knew S was in a nursing home not too far from where I live...Again, all grapevine type info. Because of the life he led, he was a broken lonely man.

About a year ago one of my Aunts (married to S's brother) asked to be my friend on facebook. I sent her a message telling her I wanted a relationship, but I wondered if she had anything to do with him. She told me she did. That he had done a lot of hurtful things to the family, but almost died. That she serves a forgiving God & chooses to forgive him. And that I need to do the same. She basically tried to condemn me for S not being in my life. I never responded to her, because I didn't feel like opening that can of worms. I serve a forgiving God also. But just because I forgive does not mean I have to let someone back into my life.

All of that brings us to almost 2 weeks ago. Mom & I had planned to go run some errands on Saturday, but at the last minute decided to go Friday afternoon. We stopped by our favorite Mexican restaurant to get some take out. I was about to open the door, when my cousin "B" came out the door in a huff. It had been 2 years since I had ran into B on a late night trip to Walmart. Mom & I hugged her, then Mom went on inside, while B & I chatted. I instantly knew something was wrong, so I asked her if she was OK. She told me she wasn't, but was told not to tell me why. I asked if my dad had died & she said that he had "a while ago." That made me think maybe weeks ago. But no....He has died only 2 hours before. And come to find out my Aunt had basically told that family lies about our messages on facebook & said I was not to know of S's death. Even if "they" didn't want me to know God apparently did. How ironic the series of events, huh?

Needless to say I was in shock. I didn't know how or what to feel. After hearing the news Mom told a few people & only one asked how I was. As soon as I overheard Mom telling them that she thought I was OK, I burst into tears. I didn't know where those came from! I hated them. I wasn't supposed to cry about this! I have thought of this day most of my life. How I would learn of S's passing & what I would think about it? I always thought I would have a sense of relief, but when that emotion didn't come right off, I was confused. Was I sad he died? No. A resounding NO! Why would I be? He was never a father to me. He was only pain & fear. There are zero good memories. Believe me I have searched for some. Sometimes being a Christian can be difficult when you want to feel raw emotions, without feeling guilty for thinking or feeling an "ugly" way. But I will just be honest, most of my life, even after forgiving S, I thought that I would go to his funeral & dance on his grave. Horrible isn't it? But it's the truth. I thought I would celebrate the end of the fear. The end of an evil man. This person should have been my father. He should have been a loving man in my life. I don't know what the father/daughter relationship looks like. I have never experienced it. When that song "Butterfly Kisses" came out years ago, it would make me so sick. I despised it.

I don't mourn the loss of S, I mourn the loss of what wasn't. Emotions have bubbled up that I never saw coming. You just never know how you will respond to something until you are actually walking in it. And even then you may surprise yourself. After I got home & saw D, I got in the car & just drove. This is SO out of character for me. But I rolled the windows down & let the breeze envelope me, as I spent time with Jesus. I was needing him to help me figure this all out. I called a friend while sitting at Sonic, drinking my Route 44 & I just let it all out for her. I appreciate her for listening. She has never once invalidated my emotions. Some people would rather tell you to not feel certain ways. She never did. She has check on me almost daily too. Helps to talk it all out.

Not only was I dealing with the rush of strange/complex emotions of S's death, but also with the way "the family" treated it. With not wanting me to know. What I didn't get was I was listed as his daughter in the obituary! That ticked me off! I was spitfire mad about it. It was like I was listed on purpose, you know what I mean? Then I found out I was talked about in the funeral! Another surge of anger! What the heck? Don't mention me in the same breath as this person. If you google my name his obit is the first thing to come up. That infuriates me. He was NOT my father. Yeah, I didn't go to his funeral, by the way. I just couldn't do it. If there had been a way for me to stand in the distance & no one know about it, I would have.

Saturday I received a hand written addressed envelope in the mail. It was a letter from a tombstone company trying to sell me a tombstone for my "recently lost loved one." I was mad all over again.

Not many people that know me, even know of his death. It's an odd thing to bring up. But those that do know have asked if I feel a sense of closure. I haven't yet. I think I will once I am able to go to his grave & tell him what I think of him. It's something I have to do, but haven't had the chance yet. S died a very slow painful death, after developing pneumonia, then a staph infection. His organs all shut down after pain meds would no longer work. In a way I feel that death was appropriate for the monster he was. I am not the only person to be impacted by his choices in life. Countless people have been damaged in some way or another. It makes me sick to think of the things I know he did. I can not imagine how awful the things are that I will never find out. In this last week I did hear of some of his more recent antics, which made my blood boil. He was an evil coward. I feel justice was served in some way in his painful death. I despise that his blood runs through my veins. I'm upset that I even have to think about S & deal with any of these emotions. I just want it all to go away.

There are more dimensions to this story that I can't share, even if I want too. So much more I could write, but I won't. I will end this here. Hoping for closure. The end of the fear. A sense of relief.

7 comments:

  1. Crystal - You need to feel however you need to feel to work through all of this. It is not up to anyone to tell you how to feel or how not to feel. You are the one who lived that past, only you know best how it affected you over the years. Be sad, angry or hurt or whatever emotion(s) you need to feel to come to some peace with this - and take whatever time you need to do it.

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  2. Crystal, even as Christians, we are still HUMAN, and we have human emotions....it's absolutely OK to feel these emotions, and express them! I know you must have a LOT of feelings about this, some feelings may seem rational while some may feel irrational...that doesn't matter. They are still YOUR feelings. The only way to NOT feel them would be to just push them away, cover them up, and then wonder why you have ulcers, etc.....and that's no good!! I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this.....I know it hurts. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}
    ~Barbara

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  3. Good on you for sharing this. Better to let it out then to keep it bottled up. I can't even begin to understand what you are going through, so I won't even pretend I do. I completely agree with Denise. "Be sad, angry or hurt or whatever emotion(s) you need to feel to come to some peace with this - and take whatever time you need to do it."

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  4. Let it out and don't feel badly about feeling like you do.

    You've earned the right to express your anger.

    {HUGS}

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  5. It kinda makes me mad how his family treated you... you'd think that you being the child wouldn't b expected to put forth such an effort to find/forgive and have a relationship with him. I know this is very different but it makes me think of jessia and her dad. Its always put on her to make things right with him - go figure!

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  6. Crystal, this hits home on so many levels except with another family member instead of my dad. I can read between the lines without you having to post the details because I have been there. I also have often wondered how I will feel and react when that day comes in the future. You are human and entitled to your feelings, and I hope over time, you will find closure! Thanks for sending me this link!

    Chris

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  7. Love you, CD. What a horrible thing to go through and I am glad you won't have to live in fear any longer.

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