Remembering My Dad

As I’m writing this I am sitting in the room where, I can only presume, my dad took his last breaths. There is a new bed for me to sleep on and it definitely is different but I can’t shake the feeling that this is where he most likely left. I haven’t really grieved at all or done much of anything. I think other people are more sad than I am. So right now I feel like remembering my dad for whatever reason.

My dad wasn’t a great person and I’m not suddenly going to pretend that he was after his passing. He did have occasional moments where he was a good father and more where he wasn’t. Both literally and fundamentally we were two different people. Essentially he could never understand who I am or will become and I will never understand who he was. In the time leading up to his death I did my best to distance myself from him in an effort to preserve some memory of him that he wasn’t. I knew the type of man he was and I tried my best to pretend that person wasn’t my father.

As a child you grow up learning from your parents, for better and for worse. You take their ideas and adopt them into your own. It took me a while, and other people telling me so, that some of the things my parents taught me, most of it not on purpose, was wrong. I had an existential crisis after high school where I was forced to confront myself and understand who I was as a person. Unfortunately that person would never be accepted by my parents. I questioned the religion I grew up with and my own sexuality. In some ways I made compromises, taking a bit from both which ultimately made me who I am today the person sitting behind a computer screen writing this out to whomever wishes to read it.

My political, religious and world views changed away from that of my family. As I grew more aware I saw them for the flawed human beings that they were and was forced to accept them but they not me. Knowing this I stayed away from my father as much as I possibly could but I would always get moments or glimpses of reality. As a child you see your parents as giants, towering above you in more ways than just height. My parents are actually fairly short and it didn’t take long for me to surpass their height but they still stayed these near mythical figures only spoken of in hushed tones lest I face their wrath. My dad had an annoying habit of calling me up under the guise of assisting him with something only to find out he was lonely and just wanted to talk. I was annoyed because I was just doing other things but more so because he forced me to face him. The man who I had grown to admire, then fear, then hate, then wished to avoid now laid before me in an emaciated body to which I could only compare it to a skeleton or a starving child. Of course this man was not a child suffering from starvation but someone in his late seventies.

My final moments with him were not with him. Just a month earlier my mom called me up to go visit him in the hospital. I sat by his bed for around an hour, he completely unaware I was even there. I left, for various reasons. Some weeks later my mom called me again and essentially begged me to spend some time at our old home in the room I am now sitting in. Again I was there and he was not, his mind somewhere else I could not and did not want to follow. The last few minutes I was there he believed I wasn’t even in the room but talking to him on the phone. He wished me well, in his own way, expressing how proud he was at my current achievements and handed me the nonexistent phone for me to hang up.

After that I may have thought about him a total of twenty times. Mostly my mom telling me I should come visit and I would make absolutely every excuse to not. In the end the only reason I am here is because I lost my job, because I am losing my current home, is because I lost someone in my life that I felt would become my spouse. When we lose everything all we can do is go back, and back for me is to a home that I desperately never wanted to visit ever again. And now a person that I didn’t want to see or talk to or even acknowledge existed is gone from my life and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have a job to throw myself into, my home is not stable and I can’t rest my head on the lap of someone I care about. I thought I lost so much already and now I lost something I didn’t even realize I could lose.

This has been an unusual experience to say the least. Right now I don’t feel like crying, I don’t feel like laughing, I don’t feel like yelling or screaming. I feel like crawling up into a ball and cradling what little I have left, for fear it will also be taken away from me. I wonder what else I can lose, what else can be taken away from me. Right now it just feels like I’m holding sand and the tighter I grip the more pours out through my fingers. I don’t know what to do or where to go. All I know is I feel more afraid than I ever have. All I know is my dad is gone to a place I don’t know where and I can’t follow.

Currently – 10/29/19 (Class, Relationships, Family)

I keep telling myself “Today is the day I say the truth” but it always gets pushed back for one reason or another. I didn’t necessarily have a good opportunity today either but it was much better. I guess I’m just afraid they’ll answer the way I think they will: reject my feelings towards them because I misunderstood the situation and now I’ve lost a friend because I wanted a partner. Tomorrow, if the stars align and all things go well, I’ll try to put forth that idea. Though the two of us are going to be doing an extra assignment on our day of so that could end up backfiring pretty harshly. Though right now I just feel like I need to say it because if I don’t I’ll never know and I honestly can’t tell which is worse: being rejected or never knowing.

I guess I’m just tired of being alone. Its not really about sex or anything like that, really I just want someone to come home to or to have a person who I know is on my side. Someone who’s going to make me a better person simply by the merit of me wanting to become a better person just for them. Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way but that’s how it feels for me and saying otherwise doesn’t feel honest, not to you or myself. Right now all I want to do is to be accepted by someone and never have to second guess their feelings or actions.

On that same note, my mom texted me during class adamant to get me to come home for dinner. ‘Home’ is three hours away just to get there, thirty bucks worth of gas and reminds me my dad is going to die either this year or the next all while I have a test I have to study for tomorrow. One of the ways she tried to get me to go was by asking about my current diet and whether or not I could eat something. She was being really accepting but we’ve already been through this a few years ago. I said I was going vegan and she launched into a diatribe about how this and that and talked about a lot of weird conspiracy theories she heard on conservative radio talk about how cattle farmers are “really decent people and cows are not hurting the climate!” Needless to say we had a fight about this when the actual part of what I said was “I’m going vegan because I’ve heard there’s a lot of bad stuff going on around, both with the environment and health wise, and can’t eat animal products without having these new pieces of information stuck in my head.”

I’ve never really had a good relationship with my family. We’ve always been combative with each other and I can’t say that I wasn’t partially to blame. However the biggest problem I have is with acceptance. It genuinely doesn’t feel like my parent’s are going to accept my diet, my otherwise sensible lifestyle choices or my sexuality. First and foremost its important that I accept myself otherwise I’m going to live a miserable life and if my parents don’t accept me while I’m alive I’m not going to care all that much. That being said it doesn’t feel great to know that each day you’re living your life you have this thought at the back of your mind reminding you that all you are is denied by those who created you and the less I dwell on those thoughts the better.

Currently – 10/22/19 (Class, Effort, Father)

Due to some events today I got to spend more time with the person I like. We talked and it was really nice and I got to know more about them. I was planning on asking them to hang out some time but I chickened out a bit but I kind of hinted at it so there’s that. Small victories, I suppose. Either way I enjoyed talking to them and learning more about them so its definitely a win-win.

The more posts I write on this blog the more… paranoid I get that someone in my life will discover it and put the pieces together. For some stuff its kind of just embarrassing but for others, say if I was attracted to someone and wanted to be in a relationship with them, could blow up in my face really easily. Its somewhat irrational but at the same time its a fear nonetheless. As it stands I’ll try to keep information as brief and vague as necessary. Even if the person I liked discovered that I liked them via this blog and felt the same way there’s also the fact this blog goes back a lot further and I’m not exactly proud of every single post’s content.

That being said, something happened in class which really made me think about the effort I’m putting in. I got back a test with a score that I was less than happy with. It was passing but just barely and came with a bunch of caveats like the fact I missed a few questions simply for being impatient. Both from the standpoint that the class is expensive and a few of my family members put up the money to have me go I definitely have an incentive to put that little extra bit of effort in. I’ve said this before but I really want to be a better and more complete person, as well as actually pass the class and potentially get a better job.

After class I was driving back home when my mom called me. My dad is pretty much in his last days at this point and she made it clear I should see him as he isn’t going to last much longer. Problem is they’re staying over a hundred miles away and I still have to put the work in for this class on a constant day to day basis. But I caved to her wishes and drove to see him. He wasn’t even really aware I was there and I could see the pain in both my mom and brother’s faces as they must have been caring for him for a while. I still have my hang ups about the man but I’m not cruel enough to deny him seeing me one final time before he passes on.

The scene really reminded me of something from my past. My dad, brother and I traveled to see his family out of state halfway across the country. The trip was fine until we went to a hospice center where I found out my grandmother was in her final days confined to a hospital bed as Alzheimer’s was slowly taking away everything she had. I never knew her despite having a single picture with us together so meeting her felt like I was looking at a stranger. In an effort to not be rude I complied with my dad’s wishes to talk to this woman who wasn’t even aware any of us were there. I said things that I thought were appropriate but didn’t feel, not from the standpoint of being cold or dislike of the woman just that I didn’t know her. So now I sat at what will most likely be my father’s final bed simply being nice to a person I was lukewarm at best with for a significant portion of my life. May I be a better father and man than he was.

Currently – 10/15/19 (Hospital, Class, Relationships)

While I was in the middle of writing a post my brother called me up and asked me to meet him at the emergency room. I drove all that way and my dad was lying in a hospital bed pretty much out of his mind. I can’t really describe the feelings I was having. My dad’s emaciated body just lying out on the bed, cuts on his face, mumbling incoherently, not even aware I was there. I’m not even really sure how to process what happened other than I just left after a while.

I was going to talk about how school was going in the last post so I guess I’ll just cram that in here. I’ve been talking to more people and getting better marks on my assignments which is good. I still have some stuff I need to work on but overall I’m doing pretty well. Getting more comfortable with everything and able to voice my feelings a bit better.

One thing I keep finding on my mind is wondering how others see me. I suppose that’s more of a general kind of thing but ultimately I’m wondering who I should invest more time into. I’m also still a little awkward around people which I definitely want to change as soon as possible. But little by little maybe I’ll find my way.

Currently – 10/11/19 (Family, Money, Diet)

Continuing the tales of my dad calling me in a drug fueled haze, completely unaware of his surroundings trying to get me to do inane tasks for him believing I’m nearby when I’m actually over 100 miles away and in a different county then my mom is forced to correct him and I’ve just wasted a few minutes and my patience is just a bit thinner. There’s probably a better way to word that but I feel like I need to properly voice how annoyed I am by all of this. Not only did I get a call last night, right as I was making dinner and my dad decided to share some disgusting and weird details, but also today.

If I’m being completely honest I think my dad is nearing death right now and I honestly don’t really care. That seems cold and monstrous but he wasn’t a good dad and we were never close. He’s only recently tried to connect with me, despite the two of us spending years together in the same home, specifically because he’s dying (although I know he won’t admit that). These past few years have just been an absolute drain, the final dragged out woes of a dying man desperately trying to make up for the wrong doing he did to me as a kid with small and pathetic gestures. I won’t be happy when he dies and I don’t think I’ll be sad. I’ll simply accept it and try to move on with my life using him as a constant reminder of the type of father I will never be.

Alright, just felt like I needed to get that out of the way and off my chest. In terms of my day it was okay. I got a check from my job and felt a need to spend some, seeing as how I have enough money to pay off my bills when that need arises. I bought some cook books because I want to just be healthier in general, also a book on making kombucha which I’ve been interested in for a while. I also bought some small groceries in preparation to make some healthier lunches to eat at school as well as finally the wrist watch I’ve been meaning to get for a long time.

If I’m being honest I don’t think the exercise is going too well. It might be because I’m not doing it frequently enough, not enough in general or I’m just too fat so my folds (for lack of a better term) are just getting in the way of a proper work out. I’m absolutely not going to quit but I need to make more changes than doing a few reps every single day which is why I’ve put some effort into, hopefully, trying to make better food for myself. Eating delicious food is always great but I can eat well and good food while also making it healthier for me.

I should really do some research on alternative diets and such. I’ve been watching a few videos on intermittent fasting and that seems like something I’m already doing but need to maximize how I’m doing it. Essentially what I’ll do is on the weekdays eat lunch and dinner but on the weekends its kind of random. I feel like if I cut out snacking and really tighten down the window that I eat my, now healthier, food I could drastically improve my quality of life. Time will tell but, if all goes well, I’ll be a bit leaner and maybe healthier in general. Now I just need to find a workout that’s perfect for me…

Currently – 10/9/19 (Social, Family, Exercise)

For once I… actually had a not great day at class. I’m not sure why, everything was going well. I guess I just started to feel left out near the end of the day for a superficial reason that doesn’t really warrant mentioning. I kind of just felt this deep loneliness well up inside of me, despite being around other people who wanted me to talk. Maybe its just a chemical problem in my brain or something. I don’t know.

Further pushing the bad part of the day in my dad called me out of nowhere, during the class, just to ramble on about some dumb stuff. Talking about how I sounded angry on the phone yesterday or something. As he was talking I could hear his face was swelled up, like his mouth just couldn’t form words properly. Not wanting the conversation to go on for any longer than it had to I just placated him, saying I wasn’t trying to hang up as quickly as possible. I was mad, actually. He called me yesterday in a concealed effort to snipe at me and call me out for perceived laziness.

A few hours later my mom called me up to ‘check up’ on me as well. She explained my dad was just completely out of it mentally and I could hear him on the other end as she yelled out what I was saying all the while I was trying to forget about the day and relax for a bit. This annoyance with my parents may seem unusual or even cruel considering my dad is basically on his death bed with cancer but I’m not going to go into too much detail. Basically they’ve been doing this stuff all my life and, even now nearly pushing 30, I can’t escape from them treating me like a child. It was annoying when I was a teenager when they did this which told me they had no faith in me, now its degrading and just brings back old memories. I can’t help but feel they stunted my growth which has lead to me today being socially inept, single and about as sexually knowledgeable as an average teenager.

So I guess I want to channel these feelings into something more productive. Before it was food and video games now its… well its still food and video games but maybe lets fit some exercise into it. I keep catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and immediately disliking everything I see. I don’t really want to be ripped but I really just want to tone everything down to a point where if I took off my shirt I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I looked up some videos on how to tighten up my core, and now my recommendations have been pushing even more stuff on me. I found some pretty rigorous things online that I’ve been doing every morning, afternoon and night and I actually feel really good and have seen some decent results in just a few days. Hopefully I can keep up with this.

Currently – 10/3/19 (Class, Hospital, Disconnected)

There’s something weird that goes on each day that I just realized I haven’t discussed. So every day there’s a rhythm. I get to class and, in some way or another, I’m ignored by my peers. Later we section off into groups and I, purposefully, drag my feet so everyone can be with their preferred partner. The class is uneven so I’m always left the odd man out. At first this was just because I was lonely and afraid people would think I was creepy but now its become a way to force myself to interact with people since I kind of have to. And the people still get to be with who they want so there’s that.

Eventually I will walk up to another group and just ask to hang around, or on rare occasions I would be invited to another group. Eventually we would just kind of talk, like peers. This actually feels really nice, whether I’m forced to interact with someone or someone ends up coming to me. It feels like someone wants to be around me, if only for a few moments. I helped some people with an assignment today and it was really nice just to be a part of a group where I was actually useful and no one judged me (at least that I couldn’t see).

Something I didn’t mention is that my dad has been in the hospital for a few days. Something about a blood infection? I don’t know. Anyways my brother tried to get me to visit him yesterday but I was wiped out and said I would do it today knowing I wouldn’t like the experience. My dad continued to be himself, rambling on for almost an hour. Eventually a nurse came in with some pain medication and tried to explain the situation to him calmly but he just kept being argumentative with this nice woman, accusing her of lying. Bless her because she had the patience of a saint.

I left as soon as I could and was on my way home just driving. I wanted to listen to some music or have a video play in the background so I ended up shutting off my GPS just to not be interrupted while I was enjoying whatever I was listening to. Unfortunately my sense of direction has always been really bad so I ended up driving for miles and miles, eventually overshot where I was going and ended up in the wrong direction by nearly thirty miles. Somehow I had ended up in the same city where I went to high school. This wave of nostalgia and annoyance just washed over me before I headed back.

I wondered what it would have been like to just drive into the parking lot and see my old school. I thought about bumping into a former classmate and, them seeing me wearing my scrubs, would ask me about my current job and I’d correct them by saying I was just a student. It felt weirdly good. I don’t often drift back into being a teenager in high school and have fond memories or think about meeting an old classmate with joy. I thought about how far my life has come since then. Who I am, what I’ve done and how much I’ve changed.

I wasn’t a good person in high school, to say the least. I was dealing with a lot of issues at home and in my past that poisoned my mind and turned me into something that I can only look back on in disgust or embarrassment. There are definitely some things I miss like my scalp not being riddled with dandruff or my really really thin frame thanks to my teenage metabolism. But overall I’m happy that I’ve become a more realized person. I dealt with my own sexuality, came to terms with my own toxic behavior and, overall, I think I became a better person… or at least I hope I have.