Sunday, September 27, 2015

I had an ex, once, who looked different everytime I saw her. I never could understand it; she just seemed like a different person each time. As if my mind couldn't contain her in all her dimensions so it always imprinted on part of her and was befuddled when the rest came out.

That's how I feel about my dad, too. It's difficult to separate all the versions of him, sometimes in the same scene. The dad that drunkenly dragged my sister and I into our frigid backyard in the dead of night to tell us how our mother used to love him before we were born is the same father that was so intentional about making sure we were warmly ensconced in blankets before he did. I can't say he's a monster who didn't care about me. But I can't say he did what he did because he thought it was in our best interests either.

And I guess that's part of the challenge. People aren't all good or all bad. I want to hate my father, but I remember all the things he did that shaped me in ways I value. I want to love my father, but I remember how he screamed at me, how he blamed me, how he poisoned me against myself. I don't understand how he can say he loves me and then treat me so terribly.

And I'm not sure why it's so important for me to understand, either. I think about him so much, trying to make sense of what happened, trying to come up with some "unified theory of Fort" which will make it all fit into place. So I can understand, so I can move on. But he's a blackhole. He's a contradiction. He's scattered. Or, I guess, I'm scattered.

I want him to stop having so much power over my life. I'm not a child, I don't have to navigate him anymore if I don't want to. But there's so much of me that still feels like I'm trying to figure out how to survive living with him. I don't know what to do with that. But I guess awareness is a good start.

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