So I tried writing about race and realized that I have already said everything before. I mean, I have things to say, I just need to figure out what the hell they are.
What I really need write about though is the crap with my dad. Because I promised my therapist I would.
Recently my dad was interviewed by my hometown paper. Talking about the impact of MST (Military Sexual Trauma) on him, on his life, and his dealings with the VA. It is a great, it is powerful to talk about something that doesn’t make the news, but that impacts so many. It is so good that it is getting out there.
There is something missing though. There nothing, not one fucking word, about how he fucked up my life, my brother’s life, my mom’s life. It is nothing but a goddamn ego stroke to him. Nothing about how his PTSD left me with anxiety, unable to handle confrontation without cowering. Nothing about how as a child I tiptoed around my own house at night for fear of him waking up and yelling, screaming, calling names, belittling me. Nothing about how he would try to make it better with shallow gestures that I thought were meaningful until the next time.
He posted it on facebook and was met with oo’s and ahh’s about how brave he is, and it took everything, all of my self control, to not tell his adoring fans to fuck off.
I spent a long time trying to convince myself that everyone had a crappy childhood. That we were all just lying to each other about how good things were, how it really sucked.
Now that I’m older, I’m done lying about it. I just want it acknowledged. As publicly as he is willing to talk about his MST & PTSD. I want a “I have PTSD, my CO raped me, and I fucked up my kids because of it”. That seems fair.
It isn’t going to cure my anxiety. It isn’t going to make my fear of confrontation go away. It is going to make the panic attacks stop. It isn’t going to magically make me happy. But it matters to me. Maybe if his talking about his experience can help other vets, then maybe his being honest about being an asshole can help some other kid who had a dad who blew up at nothing, who verbally abused them.
I know I’m all over the map about it, but I have to get it out. Because I can’t tell him to piss off, that he should be talking about what he did.
I’m trying to have compassion. But still balance my need to figure out my own mental health, with the fact that I am realistic about how he’s going to likely be the first grandparent to go. How it matters to me that my kids know him, this new him, the one I didn’t get.
All I wanted him to say was yes, he was hurt, and because he was hurt, he hurt other people to. Because it being all about him still is just too much like tiptoeing around as kid.