Today I drove up and down the South Carolina country roads for an undetermined number of hours, aimlessly turning on to unfamiliar road after unfamiliar road. Thinking. I can never seem to get my heart and my mind to agree on any one topic, especially where you are concerned. One of the questions I keep asking myself, over all other questions, is this: Is my father and the love of my life the same person? The possible answers scare me, but the scariest one of all is the one (that at least appears to be) the truth. I am so in love with you it hurts.
Every time we communicate you tell me how much you love me. You shower me with compliments. You switch back and forth from honesty to deceit and then back to honesty again. You throw thinly veiled insults at me when I'm at my happiest and build me up when I am sad. I can see that you get off on controlling my emotions. I feel as though you are purposefully trying to create a confused man out of me. On the surface, I love you. Deep down, I'm not so sure. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe my love for you runs truer and deeper than I realize. The anger I feel is not enough to change my mind about you. The confusion only brings me back to you that much quicker. I know you are the one who holds the answers to my questions... the questions I may never have the bravery to ask. But still, knowing I will never receive the answers I feel I need, and knowing you are sabotaging my future as a normal man, I still run to you. I need to be rid of you just as much as I need to be with you. At least that is how it seems. That is how I honestly feel.
I wonder, are you as tortured as I am? Are you driving around Georgia thinking of me? I'm sure you are. I know it, deep down. I'm sure you are thinking of me constantly. People say you are a monster. You are not a monster. You are a man. I have seen your heart break right in front of me, although your expression didn't show it. Not to make excuses for you, but I honestly think you feel just as trapped as I do. Why else would you beg for my attention on days I just don't have the emotional or mental strength to respond to your calls and texts? Why would you be investing so much effort in trying to keep me a frightened and confused little boy? What is it you are so afraid of? And why are you dangling this perverted incestuous relationship in front of me like food in front of a starving child?
A large part of me wants to help you more than I want to help myself. I feel so badly for my father who has lost his chance at a normal life because of his "uncontrollable need" to fuck his infant son. How fucked up is that? After everything, I actually feel sorry for you. You're an aging and lonely man living in a run down trailer park in a nearly abandoned portion of back country in Georgia. You will never truly accomplish anything in your life. You have stolen, lied, cheated, raped.... I suppose none of us are perfect, but you're a different kind of malevolent. Why then do I crave your love so badly?
You have managed to create a broken down man. But You aren't fully to blame. I feel as though I have stripped myself down to nothing trying to discover the truth of my childhood and what I must have done to make things happen the way they did. At the same time, I want to fucking kill you. Internal conflicts have become the very thing I seem to live off of. I can never feel a pure emotion or have a simple thought. Everything within myself is so yin and yang. Within my mind is a constant battle between so many opposite principles. Saying I'm perpetually confused is a gross understatement.
Just yesterday you said to me, "I am proud of the man you've become." I ask you this, what man is that? The 27 year old hermit who is scared by his own shadows and feels like he is still a child? That is nothing to be proud of, dad. I realize your expression of pride is, like everything else out of your mouth, riddled with intentions of deceit. I can't believe you. And here we are, at a major realization. I can't believe myself either. I have memories that I feel are lies. I have thoughts I can't seem to make sense of. I dream things that couldn't possibly have happened and I deny events that probably did. One of my biggest obstacles is my on mind. Its something I've never been able to tame.
Have I told you yet of my fantasies of you as I was growing up? In early childhood (pre-middle school), they were rarely sexual. I like to believe I was a normal boy, in some ways. I did not know you, but I missed you regardless. I would day dream in elementary school of how you would have never actually gone to prison but we were separated by my evil mother. In this fool's paradise of mine I would be reunited with you. You would wrap your arms around me and never let go. You took me away from my mother who was my own personal Lucifer and you were my father. A normal father. You were coming to save me and protect me from the pain I felt at home and the verbal abuse from my mother and stepfather. You were my salvation. And that is how I always thought of you. It didn't matter what horrible things my family would say about you. I never actually cared what my grandmother candidly said you did to me. I couldn't remember it happening anyway, so why hold it against you? I clung tightly to that fantasy of a loving dad who would come back for me. Embarrassingly, this foolish and childish fantasy wasn't erased until 6 months ago. I was slapped in the face with the unpleasant reality that my dad is, in so many ways, a piece of shit. I built you up to be some sort of demigod. Now that I am a man you are proving to be nearly impossible to remove from that pedestal. In one breath I will say how horrible you are, in the next I will defend you. What the fuck is wrong with me? What have I become?
I will admit, you have me now. But you will not have me always. One of these days, I will not feel as though I need you any longer. I will not be tortured within my own mind. I will be freed from this overpowering need to be loved, because I will be loved truly and completely for who I am regardless of my imperfections and my past. I will finally have control over my life. As much as I love you today I am at least smart enough to know you mustn't truly love me in return even though that reality is hard for me to accept. I am systematically taking painful steps to remove you from my life. One day, hopefully soon, I will have the strength to say good bye for the last time and you will be truly alone.
The desire to be rid of you and the pain I feel is almost as strong as my desire to hold onto you. Perhaps that's the real reason why I was too afraid to go to a therapist. Maybe I'm afraid that the efforts will pay off and I will be able to move on and let you go. It's scary, changing. But staying this way is not an option.
I just keep reminding myself, this pain is temporary... this confusion is temporary... because you're presence is temporary.