A Mind-fog on Regret and Moving On

(Whew…wrote this right after I finished my Abuse post yesterday with the intention of pacing this out a couple days. Had this post scheduled for Friday at 9AM. Blowback happened a lot quicker than that. Anger and sadness from people who are doing their best to see two sides of a coin with a photograph of the coin’s Heads but not its Tails. So, to them, I apologize for starting this two-part post off like a hand-grenade before cooling you down with a balmy firefighter hose of Olay. Dick move on my part.)

So…

That was pretty heavy.

A lot of emotion in it, putting it lightly.

If you’ve got it in you, I’ve got one more. This one’s less triggery but still serious.

Last serious one too for a bit. Don’t want to mood you all to death and I think I’m starting to have some sort of fun-times buildup in me.

*coughs up streamers*

Anyway.

With my grandpa dying, thus dies too an opportunity I’d been sitting on for a year or so. If I remember correctly, about February, 2013, my dad told me that grandpa wanted to see his grandchildren.

He wanted to see me.

Now, as I said in the previous post, I had been convinced it wasn’t abuse at the time. In that time since, though, that episode in my childhood festered like a leprous head wound; constantly itching and making me think I’m the smelly kid on campus. It bled and scabbed over and got worse and worse. I grew to hate him through my teen years. And only recently did I come to a pleasant epiphany about it all.

I told myself I wanted to see him; I needed to. Just so I could see him as an adult. See him smaller than me.

But knocking around in my heart was that kid. Terrified of a man who had abused him. Terrified of a man who had been in jail for years because of him.

The paperwork! That’s what I said. The paperwork would take too long. That’s why I didn’t have to confront this. I mean…I have to find my driver’s licence (pocket), my birth certificate (drawer), and my dad’s birth certificate (which he emailed to me when he told me about it). THEN I’d have to submit it and wait three to four weeks for it to get approved. The agony! Like putting lemon juice in an itchy, leprous head wound.

I told myself he’d be dead before the paperwork got filed.

Heh…heh…*sigh*

The paperwork never got filed. And he still died. I still remember that gnawing sensation, like a rottweiler chewing a year-old bone, in the pit of my stomach when dad texted me grandpa died. For a moment there was relief. “Whew…there goes one prison visit.” I chuckled to myself. After that a slow-simmering teapot started to heat up inside me. The more I thought about it, the more I blamed myself. The more I regretted never seeing him.

What did he think of me now?

What would he have talked about?

Did he know I forgave him?

Because I had. I had to because I needed to get past this. Soon after I heard he wanted to see me, it was clear that whatever bitterness he might have held toward me was buried under an ever-growing termite pile of death. He felt his health failing him and wanted to see people for the last time. He’d resigned himself to jail for the rest of his days and wanted some human contact. The reaper’s scythe makes a sickly friend.

But I don’t get the answers to those questions. Because I stood, ready to skydive, and never made the leap. Nerves, laziness, whatever I can name it…I get less closure because of my actions.

So now what?

*cricket noises*

That’s what I was asking myself all weekend. But I couldn’t let this keep defining me. Most of my life, this abuse stood like a colossus over me. Constantly staring. I could keep it secret. Crack the closet door for close friends to see inside. But to what end? He’s dead.

Time to make my own stories. My abuse, from both my grandpa and my dad, had been an easy fallback for a gritty story. I could whip it out in front of friends at parties as if to say “LOOK! THIS IS WHY I EAT TOAST LIKE I DO.” But it would still be the colossus. Still be that leering Jenga tower. I’d be carrying that tower on my back like I have been since this all started.

No more.

Just like I said before, your actions prove to me your caliber. My grandpa wanted to see me in his last days and I let the past creep on me; hold me down like clinging ivy. He was already paying for his past…so I could have at least given him this. In the same vein, my dad hit me as a kid. Since I’ve moved out, he hasn’t hit me. Hasn’t hit my siblings either.

He and I don’t talk much even today.

I could at least give him this: he’s changed after all.

But do I let my nerves hold me down like super glue again?

Do I wait until he’s almost dead too to start making more excuses why I can’t talk to him?

More to the point, am I going to wait on everybody who’s done me wrong in my life? Harboring ill-feelings like a never-changed piece of fly paper?

No.

I can’t.

I don’t have the time or energy to spend whiling away, harmed by people whose actions years ago were the cause of such pain.

I have to move on.

I’m going to.

I have.

Readers? Maybe there’s a colossus standing over you. Whatever the issue, I recommend working that out. Don’t let it loom. These things are holy-balls heavy.

So Grandpa? I’m beyond it. If you’re reading, Dad? Let’s talk sometime. Anyone else? Let’s have more good times than bad.

I’m sort of spinning in circles now.

But you guys get the point.

At the very least, thanks for reading.

*knocks over the Jenga tower*

*explodes in a cloud of confetti and balloons*

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A Mind-fog on Abuse

All right, kids. First, a warning. Beware of triggery mcguffins. And stop reading if you don’t want to hear serious stuff.

So yeah.

WARNING

Proceed at your own caution.

*opens a closet and an orgy of skeletons tumbles out*

Right then.

My Grandpa died this weekend. August 29th. Friday. 4:40PM. Old age I suppose.

Twelve-plus years in prison’ll speed that along for sure.

With it, my brain’s been strained through a collander, doused in soy sauce, and dribbled over pancakes.

Mmm…soy-brain pancakes.

Honestly it left me in a dazed shock this whole weekend.

Why’s that? It’s the reason he’s in prison. As a young child, for several years, he abused me. Sexually abused me. No, no more details than that. *bats your hand* It’s nerve-wracking as it is to put that out on this public space. Anyone’ll be able to read this and so this needs to be a message that’s worthwhile to the passerby. Not to mention how stupid it would be to post that sort of shit here.

Here’s the catch. As a kid, I never knew it was wrong. Not until all the psyches started telling me that it was horrible several years after it had stopped. I felt like a broken kid suddenly. In the interviews, they insisted that I was the victim and had no part in committing this heinous thing. That didn’t sit well with me, because here comes another truth.

At the time, I didn’t hate it.

*silence*

Sounds weird, I know, and I’m not about to say that I liked it but my grandpa wasn’t beating me senseless. He was kind about it. It never seemed like abuse. Emphasized by him telling me it wasn’t. When a kid doesn’t know it’s wrong, there’s not much incentive to talk about it…especially when my grandpa told me to keep it secret.

And honestly, that’s the part that got my kids-brain wondering. Why is it secret if it’s not bad?

Meanwhile, you know who WAS beating my ass? Picking me up into the wall when I’d mouth off to him? Hitting me until he bruised me and left me limping? My dad.

Grandpa’s son.

Kicked dogs, all the way down.

And even as a naive kid, I KNEW that that was abuse. It hurt and I hated it. But he never went to jail for it. The strange dichotomy had my brain in a fuzzy confusion.

Both men abused me. Both in different ways. But in the end it’s all still abuse. And this would turn out to be one of the most defining aspects of my childhood. From the events themselves, the TERRIBLE fallout when it all came to light, how much more violent my dad got afterwards, and my thoughts, ever-spinning, trying to make sense of my past and the future. Trying to find out why these two men; my father and his father, would ever consider doing any of this to a child.

I still wonder. Most days it’s just tires spinning in mud but in the end it comes down to that they’re broken people too. For some reason what they do is all right in their minds. Probably predicated by abuse done to them as well.

THAT DOESN’T EXCUSE ANY OF IT.

I remember as a teen trying to parse from society what was good and what was bad and while I can’t confirm this, it seemed harder for me. I could feel that shriveled nugget of acceptance in me. When I’d see someone hurt by someone else, I’d immediately reason it out. ‘They deserved it’ or ‘they should have known better’ or ‘they should have been able to defend themselves’. The offender was a bully, yeah, but hey…same shit, different day.

And when someone was sexually victimized? When some girl felt uncomfortable because people were cat-calling her or slut-shaming her? When a boy was being teased about not having a girl to fuck or the school-ground favorite: ‘having a little dick’? You know what I thought? The same thing: Society’s just full of bullies and perverts. It’s practically how the world turns. And victims should just grow some cajones or a hulky vagina or whatever genital configuration that will toughen them up against the hand they’re dealt by the world at large.

And THAT is the damage that abuse does. Whether it’s with kindness or violence, I was ignoring the problem and the aggressor while focusing on the victims. Sometimes I feel that violence in me want to come out or that misogyny and misandry start reasoning things out again. It’s nestled into my soul by people who were willing to cross that line.

And I could give into it. I could have lapsed into the same, goddamned routine that my grandpa and my dad fell into. Fuck it if you want it! Beat it if it makes you mad! I could be that guy in prison. I could be that guy who beats his kids.

The person I am today, though? Despises that idea. I grew up knowing I couldn’t rely on anyone. Especially those close to me. For a long time, I feared my destiny was to be a broken person just like them. I made up for it by constantly trying to fix the mistakes of my past. Mistakes I was a victim of. It was a destructive, recursive loop.

Fast forward and now I’m here. My philosophy and beliefs have had to change radically in order to become the man I am today. In order to become my own individual. Not tied to the past or tradition or other bullshit that’s meant to desensitize me from this aberrant and damaging behavior. I’ve taken the broken bones of my past skeletons and I burn them for wood in the coal-stove of my motivation and action. My past notions are are wispy, floating ash in the wake of tomorrow.

Those nestled reflexes of mine are constantly kept in check by my willingness to make this domino effect stop. I will not be a part of this cycle. I can’t. The character I am, forged from these traumatic experiences, does not give a flappety-fuck who you think you are.

If you’re willing to harm or abuse another person for gain, you’re on my shit list.

If you have been harmed or abused, talk to people. Don’t let it keep happening. You’re your own person.

Everyone? Your actions determine your value to me. Not your race, not your gender, not your prestige, not which god(s)/goddess(es)/pixies/sucking-void you believe in. Prove to me you’re a decent individual by treating people like people.

Be the best person you can…and stop the dominoes.

At the very least, thanks for reading.