I never know how to start these things.
Today is the one year anniversary of my father’s death. It’s strange. It feels just like any other day. It’s a bloody hot Sunday in late November.
Two days ago I was crying, sobbing really, because I wasn’t casted in a play that I badly wanted to be a part of. Yesterday I was crying over my grandmother. But today I feel… nothing.
I’m not the kind of person who just feels nothing. In fact, I feel emotions quite intensely. Accidently killing a bird with my car can ruin my day. So, why is it that I don’t feel anything? Not once in this entire year that has passed have I cried for my father. When author Harper Lee passed away, I cried. When the massacre in Orlando took place, I cried. Fuck, when Donald Trump won the presidency, I cried.
The thing is that there was really nothing left to cry about. The person that he was, the person that he could have been, died a long time ago. I don’t know if I ever truly knew him. His pill and alcohol addictions, mixed with his incessant lying and cheating, made it nearly impossible for anyone to know him.
I know that his friends and some family members look at me with disapproval. I understand it. They saw the side of him that he wanted them to see. As a former neighbour of ours said, he was a great friend, but a shitty husband. Add on, a non-existent father.
People tell me that he loved me and that he was proud of me. That’s all very well, but he hardly ever said it to me. I always had to hear it from a third party who would fatten up the affection to make him look better.
I make no apologies for feeling the way I do. I do not believe in pretending that the deceased were better people than they were. It’s not that he was a bad person, but, to put it bluntly, he fucked me up quite badly. He stole my childhood. He told me that I was fat, ugly, untalented, a coward… I could go on. I still have nightmares over the trauma that he put me through. There’s nothing I can do about that. It clings to me like a tar baby.
But I’m the monster. I’m the heartless prick who can’t see how lucky I was to have had someone like that as a father. The version of him that others would like to believe was my father.
If anything, I feel sorry for him. I truly do. He had a difficult childhood. He struggled with addictions and mental illness throughout his life. He had a lot of odds against him and I think that the final years of his life were lonely.
But he made his life lonely.
Just as I cannot blame my actions on anyone else but me, neither can he.
I hope that he has found the peace that was eluding him. I hope that he can rest now.
And me? I’m okay.