Monday, June 20, 2011

One of the Worst Feelings in the World...


...is realizing how fucked up your life is and that, for whatever reason, you lack the resources or the luck or the will or the time to correct any of it, to come to grips with the utter futility of trying to rectify what had been done to you, to fix whatever is broken.

People aren't like machines that can be tinkered with or computers that can simply be reprogrammed. Instead, we inexorably fold our psyches around traumas, revelations and other experiences and become those things like multiply kneaded bread dough, to become a product of our upbringing whether we like it or not.

Officially, my day really started at 4:30 this morning but in reality it's a mere continuation of last night and the day before that, one weary 24 hour period segmented only by a reluctant sunrise on a deceptively rosy day. I blame Father's Day yesterday, one that, for reasons that will perhaps forever be lost to posterity, was tougher on me than most.

For years, I'd made half-hearted efforts to find my parents and my oldest son, now 31, on the internet. I know exactly where my parents live, know their street address in Marietta, Georgia in Cobb County. Yesterday I finally decided to go full tilt and look for the old bastard and his psycho bitch wife. She doesn't have a Facebook page but he does. So I sent him an invitation along with another invitation to read my little essay yesterday on what Father's Day Means to Me. I really hope he likes it. I thought about him every minute I was writing it.

You see, guys, all these years you've been reading the words of a man who either doesn't exist or has no reason for existing, a man who for over half a century has been living a life predicated on a pack of lies. The lies began on one Texas day in 1957 when 17 year-old Dad married a woman four years his senior 26 days into his Air Force basic training and did so in his dress blues. I never realized that when I myself was at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio exactly 20 years later that I would every Sunday go into the same chapel where my folks got hastily married (the irony is that, being my recruiter, my own father sent me there).

Of course, even that was a lie since they told me they got married in New York, This despite my father getting married in his dress blues and there being no other relatives in the reception pictures (I never got to see the wedding pictures, probably because the other men in attendance in their own dress blues would've been difficult to explain).

During an argument between my folks in the early 70's, my mother admitted when she married my father 13 months before I was born that she was knocked up and had to get married. I told her that was impossible since I was born over a year later but it had never occurred to me she could've been pregnant with someone else. With our family's luck, it would've just like God to make this mismatched couple's only reason for getting married redundant by making my mother miscarry almost immediately.

And, after being told she couldn't conceive again it would also explain why I was so smothered (yet neglected and abused) until practically the minute I stepped off the bus at Lackland. It would explain my sister's grave and why my father beat the shit out of me in my Uncle Jimmy's basement for no apparent reason just before we laid my grandfather to rest in the same exact cemetery in Queens, why they made me babysit our dog in 1977 while they went to visit Grandpa's grave (and one other).

It would explain why the son of a bitch pulled the plug on the adoption of a little girl from an orphanage in Lecce, Italy, my last chance at having the sister I'd always wanted, one I'd wanted so badly it was almost as if I'd sensed her absence in my life.

All these things were kept from me for over half a century while the entire family, Crawfords, Coogans and Carbonas alike, were all in on the conspiracy of silence because poor bizarre and fragile Bobby couldn't handle the truth. How embarrassing is it to realize that your cousins, all of them younger than you, know the secrets surrounding your birth and upbringing and you don't?

Well, no one lives forever. The old bastard is going to be 71 this coming July 14th and the psycho bitch will be 75 on August 18th. Many is the time I'd drafted or tried to draft a letter to them demanding to know the secrets they've been keeping from me but haven't. Besides blind rage and hatred, I think the biggest reason why I've been giving them one free pass after another is the realization that it's always easier to ignore a letter than it is a long-lost son on your doorstep. Futilely appealing to brain-dead literary agents these past 14 years proved that.

I'm not saying this is the reason I haven't been blogging much this year, especially this spring. But every once in a while this eats at me like cancer or an ulcer and I can feel it killing me. I don't want to wake up one day and realize both my parents are dead and there being no one to tell me the truth (which is their sole value to me). And these hardly-resolved issues are just the latest ones that have prevented me from giving you the political content you've come to expect of me these past 6 1/2 years.

I'm not going to ask you guys for any more money because it's obvious there are many people out there who are sick and tired of me making my problems theirs and who the hell can blame them? Because of our Nation and Vanity Fair subscriptions, we've been put on the mailing lists of every Goddamned liberal organization in America from the ACLU to Save the Fucking Tse Tse Fly, all of them begging for money. I get it, I get it.

Contributions are welcome and always gratefully appreciated but I'm seriously thinking of driving down to Georgia soon and if I have to spend every last penny I have driving down to the old bastard's house in Marietta to demand answers, I will.

But until I get those answers confirmed, I will not be able to move on with my life nor have any moral authority to get more involved with my kids' lives. I'm not a spring chicken, myself, and I can't bounce back from no sleep and put in a full day like when I was a kid.

It's time to write the last act of this latter day version of Oedipus minus the incest.

19 Comments:

At June 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM, Anonymous You're like raw psychology said...

Y'know JP, I've lon guspected that the reason my mom and dad got married was because he knocked her up with me. They were unalike in so many ways, and hated each other, but because of the times, they stayed married for 50 years and two more kids. There was always a simmering hostility toward me from my dad, who was a mean bastard like yours, and now that he's dead, my mom has transferred a lot of the bile she felt for him and directed it toward me.

But here's the deal -- I don't give a shit. I might have been the unlucky sperm/egg combo that doomed them to a loveless marriage, but that wasn't MY fault. All the angst they felt about being trapped together? Nothing I could do about it. They would have been better off to have had an abortion (only it wasn't legal in the era when you and I were born) and I wouldn't have known about it, since I would have been snuffed. No biggie if I was never even aware of existing.

The thing is, I like myself for who I am and what I've done in life. My parents' fucked-up fate is something I've tried to overcome. I don't always succeed, but I try to do as many good things as possible, build some good karma. I try not to be the same cold SOB my dad was. They might have laid down a twisted pattern, but I can attempt to be big enough to overcome it.

You can too, if you want. It might be too late for you, because at the half-century mark, the twisted patterns in your own psyche are hard to unravel. But you should at least keep trying, JP/RC. You're a smart guy, have great political acumen and blog-writing skills, but the anger and bitterness holds you back. Lord knows you've had a lot to be bitter about, especially your economic situation. Without sounding too Polyanna-ish, try to lighten your heart and be a good man, JP. You had a sucky start in life, and a rotter for a dad, but you are in control of you. There's still time to be a better man than he is.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

JP- Raw Psycho guy's got it right.

I got two looney tune folks with rarely a peaceful day between them- to this day (approaching... 90). And, of course, I was in the midst of much of it.

It's THEIR shit. Let it die with them... I sure as hell didn't ask for it, couldn't do shit about it, am glad to be rid of it. Cast that albatross far as it will go, and it's one less problem to deal with- and no small one at that!

 
At June 22, 2011 at 3:05 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Easy for you to say, Stan.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM, Anonymous Dee in NJ said...

Sometimes you just have to have answers. I do understand that. Just don't punch the man.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I fully empathise with you, I'm a little confused. Are the children for whom you require "moral authourity" your children, or the children of your last girlfriend? Or the little fellow you used to refer to as your grandson?
At any rate, best of luck to you.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Contributions are welcome and always gratefully appreciated but I'm seriously thinking of driving down to Georgia soon and if I have to spend every last penny I have driving down to the old bastard's house in Marietta to demand answers, I will."

You better get this through your head, JP, an inheritance is a gift, not a certainty or an obligation. All you can get by "driving down to the old bastard's house in Marietta to demand answers" is an assualt of battery case.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

After what that fat fuck did to me during my childhood, it would serve him right. It'd be the least he deserves. I never rail on here about they both did to me but if you knew even a tenth of the shit they put me through, you'd be begging for me to slug him.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

The first third and fourth ones. The third was given up for adoption before I even saw him.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

"All you can get by "driving down to the old bastard's house in Marietta to demand answers" is an assualt (sic) of battery case. "

So be it. I could've had him arrested on multiple occasions for doing the same thing to me and my mother had I known it was a crime and not merely "discipline."

 
At June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Easy for anyone to say, JP. Doing it was anything but- for a long, long time.

Yeah, it's uhhh... "amazing" the shit parents can dump on ya- the kind that keeps on giving for a lifetime. Been a hardhead all my life, but this is one I'm glad I finally let go, keeping it alive was eating me alive, "revenge" would have had a bitter, hollow, too little, too late aftertaste.

Perhaps teaching adolescents officially classified as "Severely Emotionally Disturbed & Socially Maladjusted" taught me more than I realized.

You got enough shit going on now that needs immediate attention before you go out of your way opening up old wounds that'll get ya nowhere fast...

 
At June 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I suppose it's impossible to get anyone to see what I see, feel what I feel, to make you realize what it's like being me. Perhaps that's my failure as a novelist.

But you're making a dangerous assumption by saying these are "old wounds." Those beatings I suffered at his hands, at their hands and the realization that they'd lied to me about my stillborn sister are still very fresh and have not come close to graduating to scars.

I resolve this, everything else will fall into place. I will not know peace or closure until I do. It's time we all carry on with the rest of our lives instead of merely pretending to.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 10:33 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Yup- dead wrong on the "old" wounds bit. Do what ya gotta do JP, but one thing I definitely do know- everything never falls into place.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

And what do I say to myself on my deathbed if I never try now.

 
At June 22, 2011 at 11:32 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

How 'bout... "There's nothing he could have ever said or done that would have ever come anywhere close to explaining or resolving the absolute shit he did to me. All I would have probably "achieved" was getting myself busted for beating the bastard- or worse.

For once, I saw clearly enough to cast off the chains that fucker tied around me and beat me with, and finally got on with my own life. To think I gave that dumb shit so much power for so damn long that I came that close to fucking it all up once and for all. Thank god I had enough sense to let him rot in his own fucking hell.

I finally had a wife who loved me, and enough problems that needed my full attention, to say the very least, instead of blowing it all it for some hellbent revenge fantasy that in the end wouldn't have healed shit."

 
At June 22, 2011 at 11:43 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Nope, sorry.

This isn't about revenge. It's about getting to the truth, which is what I've been all about my whole life.

 
At June 23, 2011 at 12:32 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Again, you're probably absolutely right about that- at the expense of everything else. You're a smart guy, you're always gonna knit pick something.

Just as you're smart enough to know that everything will not fall into place. Regardless, I hope things work out- and hope you're able to come back, pick up the pieces and get on with the living at hand. That's the least anyone of us deserves.

 
At June 23, 2011 at 1:09 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Whatever...

 
At July 8, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's time to write the last act of this latter day version of Oedipus minus the incest."

I hadn't noticed this ending sentence. As I remember, Oedipus kills his father. Is that what you intend to do? Or are you just in the habit of making ridiculous, and completely self-defeating threats?

 
At July 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Hey, points for not jerking off in the boy's bathroom while thinking about Peter Frampton during English Class.

Oedipus actually killed his father by accident, though. Sorry. Please play again.

Let me ask you: Are you in the habit of returning to my old blog posts like a dog returning to vomit because I completely and thoroughly own your pathetic excuse for a life? usually, writers have to make it first before they start acquiring stalkers.

 

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