The Dad I’ve come to know

 

I saw some recent pictures of my father.  He is definitely getting up there in age.  I think he’s 70 this year.  He really fucked things up with me and so many other people in his life.  He thinks that shouting the name of Jesus somehow magically makes things better or maybe he doesn’t and he just simply doesn’t care.  I have never felt like I had a father, mostly because I haven’t and I wonder how much better off I’ve been because of it.  You know he never once said you know I’m sorry that I was so recklessly irresponsible with you and your mother.  I’m sorry that I stole some of you inheritance before I ran off to do my own thing.   It was good to reconnect if only to get to know what kind of a person he really is.  All of the story’s that my step-mom told me and all of the story’s that other family members told me about him couldn’t possibly compare to my actual experience with him (there really is no irony in this statement).  I wanted to form my own opinion of him, outside of their mostly negative experiences.  What do I think of Walter Scott Saunders.  I think there are parts of myself that are far more like him than I would like..I can be mean as a hornet like he can.  I can be as insecure and childlike as he still is.  There are two things that I didn’t get from him.  He is incredibly charming, I mean way way incredibly charming.  It is one of the few characteristics that everyone I’ve spoken to have all shared about him.   I am not charming or witty or social flexible.  I am stiff and awkward and shy and blunt.  I also didn’t get his outright rejection of being responsible.  For myself I imagine it  comes from having to grow up so quickly as a child to always have to be the adult even when I wasn’t.  He abandoned my mother and myself to go play the bachelor, getting himself as far away from the role of responsible dad as geography and the law would allow him.  When my mother was killed and he was once again forced to play a role in my life he did so until he was able to find a way to get some of the insurance money left for me  and a lawyer to assist in the divorce of his new wife who ended up with me, once again to the land of bachelor.  Not to overstate the obvious but I’m pretty mad at him.  He has the absolute gall to ask others to pray for his “hell bound” gay son as if there is something far more wrong with me being the way I was born (not a choice incidentally) than there is with all of the shitty things he’s done in his life and the shitty way he’s chosen to treat people up to and including the present.   I knew we would never be father/son.. he destroyed that possibility a long time ago.  What I had hoped to have was a friendship, this is of course impossible given both the way he has treated me and his whole Jesus loves me even if I’m a douche and hates you even if he created you thing.  What would change my opinion of him, what could be the single most healing thing he could do?  If he manned up, called me or wrote and said I’m sorry for all of the shitty things I did.  That would completely change my opinion of him as a person and would go a longer way than he could know towards healing.  I don’t anticipate that ever happening but its nice to think it might.  I know he reads this blog.. and I’m glad for it because I don’t think he’d actually ever give someone the chance to tell them these things (however true) and this way I know for certain that he now knows exactly what kind of effect he’s had on my life.

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