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Aftrthought051

TallDarknSleepy: Dad in the Spotlight Oct. 8th - 12th

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Guest Renovatio 42

Good start for your first day, I'm looking forward to the rest of the week!

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Guest TallDarknSleepy

It's 3:30a and it's my turn to feed Wes so I might as well get started on Tuesday. Good thing I know how to do things one-handed.

 

My mom and dad were divorced before I could retain a memory of them together. If you ask my dad, he left her because of her drinking. If you ask my mom, she kicked him out for bring too lazy. I and my two older sisters (from a previous marriage) and younger brother lived with my mom.

 

My mom was an alcoholic drug addict. One night, I don't know if she was high or very drunk, but during an argument with her boyfriend she grabbed a large knife from the kitchen and threatened to kill herself. Fortunately, she never attempted to, but I was very upset by it all. The next morning, my teacher noticed something was wrong. I was asked to stick around during recess and talked to a nice lady who gave me cookies and asked what was wrong. She finally pried the last night's events out of me. She was the school guidance counselor. When my mom showed up to pick up my brother from kindergarten, the guidance counselor confronted her. I don't know how the conversation went, but I know my mom didn't like it. When my sister and I met up with her at her favorite bar after school, she was already drunk. When she saw me, she called me "rat... fink."

 

But shortly after that she decided to get help. She had to go to a rehab facility for six months and then to a halfway house for the last six months. A decision had to be made: where would us kids live? Well, my older sister already lived with my grandma so she said she'd take our other sister, too. She didn't take me and my brother because she didn't want to raise boys for a year or some stupid crap like that. My dad said he couldn't take us because his place was too small. My aunt agreed to take us boys. And so, on my 9th birthday, my mom left for rehab and I had my birthday party at my aunt's house. That sucked, but now my birthday is also my mom's sober anniversary.

 

I thought living with my aunt would be cool at first because we had two younger cousins who were close to our age. The living arrangements weren't great. My little brother slept on a cot in the living room. I slept on a bed in the attic where there was a hole in the roof. It wasn't unusual to wake up and find a pigeon on me. My aunt began enforcing unusual rules and cruel punishments for breaking them. My little brother got it the worst. One rule was to not get out of bed at night, and could only get out of bed in the morning when we were told it was okay. So when my 6-year-old brother had to go to the bathroom, he didn't know what to do. He ended up wetting his bed. His punishment was to stand in the corner with the underwear over his head. I could hear her and her brood laughing all the way up in the attic. I was force fed Chinese food, and not the good stuff like chicken fingers, pork strips or beef teriyaki. It was the gross, long noodles. It got to the point where I gagged so hard that I still to this day have never tried it again. We were also forced to take cold showers. We were told it was because they had no hot water, but I pretty sure that was bullsh*t. That's the tip of the iceberg.

 

As soon as my mom found out what was happening she didn't hesitate to get us the hell out of there. She left the program, took us from our aunt in the middle of the night and moved us in with her new boyfriend until she could find a place to live.

 

What my aunt did was kept a secret, for whatever reason. My other aunts and uncle never knew about it until a couple of years ago. They just knew our family didn't like theirs. Which was evident when my mom almost tore my aunt apart with her bare hands at the Thanksgiving after she took us back.

 

My mom is a good person. She loves her kids and adores her grandkids. But, she's also a walking reminder of the dangers of addiction. I hardly ever get drink and when I do I moderate the hell out of what I drink. I've never tried drugs, either. Not even weed.

 

My dad wasn't around a whole lot when I was growing up. He'd make plans to see my brother and I, but it wouldn't be unusual for him to call up and cancel while we're sitting by the window waiting to see him pull up to pick us up. Imagine my excitement when he told us that he'd be in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar across the street from the apartment building we lived in for a few weeks! It was an awesome summer. It was an outdoor show.  I got to watch my dad play Judas every night. I got to hang out with his actor friends. I got a tape of the performances that I taught myself how to sing with! But reality came back when it was the last show, and I came up to him after curtain call and asked, "When am I going to see you again?" That was the first time I ever saw him cry.

 

We would see a bit of him from time to time. Thanks to modern technology it's easy to keep in touch. I even attained a long time goal when I co-starred in Damn Yankees with him! My brother long ago got to a point where he didn't care if he saw him anymore. I never got to that point. I'm still not. I love my dad, plain and simple. But I plan to be a better one than him to my kids.

 

My kids... I never thought I could feel love like this. I am positively over the moon about them I am so proud of every ridiculous little thing that they do. Grace is unbelievably smart. She already ha an extensive vocabulary that even shocks her pediatrician! Wesley is an adorable little guy. He's so big, too! He was already 15 lbs at two months! He smiles up a storm and we don't have to work very hard to get him to start.

 

My wife, Wendy, and I met in high school. We were part of the same group of friends even though she was a couple of grades below many of us. I thought she was cute and she thought I was cute, but nothing ever happened. Well, there was one time when we were alone together and we were getting handsy with each other. Then I told her I wanted to kiss her and she stopped me. She WAS dating someone after all. Aside from that, nothing ever happened. Time and graduations would pass and break our large group into smaller groups and we lost track of each other.

 

Years later, we'd periodically run into each other on the train. We'd chit-chat, but that would be the extent of it. One day, after a few years of not seeing each other, we ran into each other on the train again. She was just finishing up law school and studying for the bar exam. She was also hanging out with a mutual friend. After we ran into each other this time she decided she'd find out from them what I was up to. I was going to have my 28th birthday party at a karaoke studio and she got herself invited as a guest of our mutual friend. We didn't interact much until later, when we were doing a bar crawl (I was allowing myself to cut loose a little bit on my drinking policy; I paced myself, though). We were inseparable at that point and the night ended with us making out in the middle of the street. It was the first time I had ever made the first move with confidence. That night, I talked with my best friend and as he would later say in his best man speech at the wedding, I seemed different. I FELT different. i guess maybe I knew this was it. she was the one. We started dating right after.

 

I proposed to her a couple of years later. We used to go ego caching with her brother and his wife, so I proposed to her while doing a fake cache. I caught it on video. I should put it up for y'all to see.

 

She's smart and funny, my Wend. She's not afraid to act like an idiot in the name of fun. She's the perfect partner for me in this life that we've made together. I consider her and our kids the reward for everything I had to endure in the past.

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Crazy childhood. Your aunt should be drawn and quartered for what she was doing.

 

Too bad about your dad. I can see your brother's point of view on it but it's good you still remain in contact with him.

 

Can't wait for tomorrow!

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That's a pretty dramatic childhood man...I am fortunate to have two parents who had their heads straight for as long as I can remember.  But the hard times do help shape us in that we find what we want to avoid.  It seems like they've helped you become a better father and not take it for granted. 

 

Does your wife still practice law?  Does this make her an argumentative handful?  It seems being married to a lawyer could be tough.  :lol

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Guest TallDarknSleepy

Kilgore, the Thanksgiving dinner where my mother was like a whirling dervish of fist and elbows, while making for an awkward dessert time, was pretty awesome to see. Also, most of her kids became huge scumbags, except for the youngest one. She was too young to understand what was happening at the time and we're cool with her, Facebook friends and stuff. The other ones took advantage of our grandmother on separate occasions, including one time when one of them stole $5000. I'm a believer in what goes around, comes around. I'm not especially religious, but I feel that if they don't get what's coming to them in this life, they'll get it in the next.

 

As adults, we actually see our dad a lot more than when we were younger. He still cancels sometimes, but at least now he gives us at least a day's notice  :lol

 

Zilt, I've been told that I could just as easily become an addict. Apparently, addiction is believed to be hereditary. I won't lie, sometimes I am terrified that I will inadvertently adopt either one of my parents' behavior, whether it be I slowly become a drunk or I start neglecting my kids. I don't pretend to know why my dad cancelled as much as he did, whether it was a matter of money or his wife not wanting us around him or whatever. I just don't want to disappoint my kids like my dad did me and my brother.

 

My wife was in a general practice, so it was a lot of divorces, custody disputes, personal injury, etc. She doesn't practice now, but she still pays her bar dues. I try not to argue with her because I almost always lose. :lmao2 She doesn't like to argue, either so we just try to avoid confrontation altogether. We don't leave anything to chance so we discuss things a lot so we have no opportunities to argue about it later. But yeah, she has pulled her legal kung fu on me a few times in the past. :lol I'm sure if she was still practicing, I'd be all done.

 

Darth, my aunt was crazy, yes but also evil. :lol For Christmas, she made me and my brother stay in our beds while her kids opened their presents. She put my brother's blanket over his head so he couldn't watch them.

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Guest TallDarknSleepy

Yeah, but my dad got us an Atari with a bunch of games. It must have been used, because it came in a trash bag, but we didn't know any better. It worked. Frankly, I'm surprised that she didn't just steal it for her own kids and tell us that my dad didn't get us anything. But he was over every weekend until my mom got permission to see us, and then they alternated weekends so maybe she thought she couldn't get away with it. But we "won" Christmas, because the other kids didn't get anything nearly as cool as that.

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There's two types of people we can grow to be.  One aspect of a person is the one who accepts the way they were raised.  They see nothing wrong with the way they turned out, and believe it is just the way you raise kids.  The other one is to look at how their parents behaved and raised them, and learn from the mistakes they witnessed.  They see the mistakes made and swear to never be that way.  It's easy to see you are the latter. 

 

Your aunt is a horrible woman, and out of everyone that "gets what is coming to them", she takes the crown.

 

Sorry about your dad.  You can certainly see both sides of it as far as your view and your brothers.  Again, it comes to being that latter person in respect to how he affected your life.

 

Is your mom still going strong?  Hope so.  It's no doubt a tough battle, but luckily she had kids that she ended up loving more than the drugs and alcohol.  Many people say one thing, but do another.

 

I don't think drug and alcohol abuse is heredity.  That is just an excuse.  Same as gf#3 who is just the biggest classy lady there is, and there is no way around it.  Can't make excuses for that.  But anyway, back to substance abuse.  It's up to you.  Do you see that as just the way to be, or do you see what it can lead to and vow to never go down that road?  Sure, once you abuse the alcohol, it's easy for it to control your life, but it is that way for everyone, not just someone who grew up around it.  It's just easier for that person to accept it more readily.

 

Anyway man, great two days so far.  Looking forward to the rest of the week and thanks again for volunteering.  Glad you found the site.

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