Thursday, May 6, 2010

I wrote a letter to my dad that I havent spoken to in ten years...

I cant remember why but on Friday I decided that it was time to let my father know why I dont talk to him. Im not the only person who doesnt talk to him mind you, nobody really does. Hes basically a gambling addict and just cant be trusted which makes it hard to have any kind of relationship with him, not that youd want to because on top of it he just sucks in general BUT being that hes like 70 something now and somehow manages to DEFY DEATH even though hes never once not indulged in anything given the opportunity I thought that even though I cant think of a reason WHY I should write this letter that I SHOULD write the letter if only so I dont feel too bad when he croaks. I have no other family besides my sister really, 3 cousins on my dads side that I just dont know really, so for me to do this was kinda major for me.
I have to admit, I was sparked to do it from watching Pandora Box on the RUPAULS DRAG RACE REUNION?!?!... I know can you believe?! Id be embarrassed if I wasnt THANKFUL FOR IT..
I thought originally that I shouldnt post it but then I thought, Its not gonna hurt me to do it and if PANDORA BOXES story could help me maybe mine can help you as MOST of us have rotten family members and its hard to figure out what to do with them. So MAYBE this will help you, it helped me. I post the letter because I know some of you will relate and benefit from it and maybe gain insight from it. Im sure some of the information could be insightful and the experience relatable. I also feel like its really important for people to understand that anger is just easy to feel and usually its your personal defense against feeling somthing that really hurts you. Its very personal to me so honestly if you hate me, dont comment on it. It would just be desperate, prickish and gross and honestly hurt my feelings and If you wanna do that then I guess go for it but WOW thatd be icky you. I sent the letter to my sister as well and she was super nervous when she saw the subject line but then finally read it and called to thank me and wrote me a really nice letter. Hopefully one of you out there will benefit from it, that all this thing needs to do :) I know these things are hard to write, let alone forming your thoughts so if you relate feel free to plagiarize :)
So if you have a little free time , here goes :) Oh and this was written PRE reading Velvet Rage ( the posting below) mind you, so Im proud of myself. OH and just so you know for the context of the letter my mom and dad were divorced since before I was aware of any form of history. I never knew they were together till I was 4 till about 3 weeks before my mom died, she was shocked I had no memory of it, she assumed I remembered all my life, but I always thought they were divorced before I was born.... He lived 45 minutes away but in my head I thought that was like Saturn.


I cant exactly explain why Im bothering to write this letter. So if youre not feeling like reading something from me feel free to toss it out. Im writing this for my own sake, not yours and Im hoping that by the time Im through with it I will have some kind of “release” from it as Ive held anger about for too long and I simply don’t want it anymore.
I may not even send this letter. Im just thinking it’s a good idea for me to put it down on paper. Im not writing this to make you feel bad or to point the finger even. Im just writing it to let you know how I truly feel, it may not be an all “good” letter but for me Im just getting it off my chest and Im going to try and be as honest about it as possible. Again, you are free to not read this, its not some attack its not done out of spite, its done out the fact that I haven’t spoken to you in ten years and I want to make it clear why. This letter isn’t me reaching out to form a relationship with you, its just to clear the air and let things rest.
I don’t think youre a bad guy. You never actively did one mean thing to me, passively you did a lot that wasn’t very kind but actively you were never cruel. I could go off on a million different acts and traits you did or had that were hurtful but Im not going to get into specifics really, maybe one or two key moments but Im really interested in just getting to the core which is you simply were not there for us and made it pretty clear that you didnt care to be.
90% of a relationship is simply being there for somebody, just showing up, and that’s what you never did. I have to say youre the most selfish person Ive ever experienced and unfortunately Ive found that I have a little bit of this in myself that I feel I picked up from you and I want to change it in myself and realizing it was a trait I picked up from you is what inspired me to write this letter. As a kid all the way through college you said it was MY job to contact YOU, you were a traveling salesman, I had no idea where you were. I was a kid at home or in college, you knew exactly where I was, you just didn’t care to call. Did you really think you were fooling us when you would sweep into town 4 hours late, if at all, honking your horn as a distraction as if it was US who were making YOU wait?! You were completely disinterested. Im not sure why, Im sure you had your reasons, and addictions, but you have to understand we were children, and pretty much innocent but for you it was about YOU, it was never about US. You could never get away from YOUR needs. I understand that youre an addicted gambler and you have your own demons but it just made us feel like total shit. Im sure you know that though and Im thinking somewhere down deep that you might feel bad about the fact that you couldn’t get beyond YOU to get to us. When you would pick me up and bring to the farm to drop me off in (my uncles - not mentioning his name) hands so you could go to the track and I would ask when we could go to minigolf or just do SOMETHING your response was “Its not MY job to entertain you!” … Really?!?! I was a kid… I saw you RARELY and even THEN it was burden for you to hang with me?! DO you understand how that made me and (my sisters name) feel? In case I haven’t made it clear, it made us feel like shit, total shit. You were never mean and you DID spend time with us, RARELY, but even then its was the “bells and whistles bullshit show” it was all so fake it just made me feel like I was ”wrong” or “bad” or just plain “worthless” , I know (sisters name) feels the same way too. Oh and I know I said I wasn’t going to be mean but Im having a REAL hard time not laying into you with some terrible names about the time you didn’t bother showing up to father son day at boyscout camp. That was the single most devastating moment of my childhood, I was FUCKING HEARTBROKEN and I STILL have anger about it, and I DON’T WANT IT. And That’s why Im writing this letter, YOU can carry it. I could say how angry I am and spit venom for days about it but I would be lying, im not angry about it. The anger is just easier to feel then the HEART BREAK, You made me feel TOTALLY WORTHLESS AND WRONG. Do you know how DEGRADING it was as I sat there HOPING, like always, that you would show up and you just DIDN’T. I went in my tent and sat there and I think even LIED to my friends why you couldn’t be there. My friends dad brought me home the next day, days before camp was supposed to end mind you, because I was CRYING, and im actually crying now thinking about it, it was so fuckin MEAN. Then to make matters worse when I asked you why you couldn’t come you just FLOUNDERED and said “Well aaahh I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable.” I was shocked, I could not fuckin believe it?! I thought you would at least lie and say you were away on business but you probably knew you couldn’t because mom would tell me the truth. Again your selfishness got in between us because as you said “ YOU would feel uncomfortable” and of course you couldn’t put your needs aside for your own son and now I get to try and work through it and convince myself that im not a bad person and over time I have grown some self esteem but it hasn’t been easy to get to, believe me Ive tried and its something I continue to work on. You really took selfishness to a whole new level, you did the same thing to (my sisters name) and Im sure you did it to mom too. We could all sit here say how angry we are with you but I want you to know we aren’t. We were all heart broken and still are, sure weve gone on with our lives but it is something that deep down we carried and I think it sorta poisoned me at least.. Weve all since moved on and Im actually a successful and happy person living in New York City, but even now sometimes I think of you and I get upset. I realize you had your reasons, and I actually don’t wish to harbor anger towards you at all, I think you had your GREAT points. I just think it was time to clear the air as to the core reasons why I haven’t spoken with you. I think it’s a little sad that in ten years you haven’t reached out to me either but that again is something you could never do and Im not asking you to change.
I do not want a relationship with you as I feel like its impossible to have a relationship with you where youre not being manipulative so Ive learned to just steer clear of you. I wish you the best, its all I can do. I want the best for me and writing this letter has already made me feel a little better. Maybe it will give some clarity to you too. Understand that after writing this and letting you know this my anger towards you has greatly gone down, in just these few minutes alone I feel the release. So know that although I don’t wish to have any kind of relationship with you I harbor no ill will or anger , maybe just a tiny bit right now, but I honestly plan on getting over it and don’t want to have any in the future, im too old for it, im 35 now and don’t need to hold onto rage I had since I was 10. SO know I have nothing against you and hope you don’t carry any sadness as well. I turned out fine and Im healthy and happy and strong. I hope you have found some kind of enlightenment in your life. I was going to write good luck and then I felt it just rang of gambling and that’s just something I want to avoid altogether so I wish you the best. Were both different people now Im sure and now that Ive written why I have anger towards you its actually freed up some space in my head where I can say thank you. You did do some fun stuff, a lot even. You were creative and the fun times we had were great and you could be very funny and told a great story and I think Ive picked up those traits from you so I thank you for them.
Have a great life,

19 comments:

BRANDON JOSEPH PIERRE said...

oh boy, david i have to say i feel you a little bit, it's good you did this, i had a dad like this but he was not a traveling salesman, he live only mins away form me but some time i would not see him in years, the longest was about 7 year, and now, well it's the same, if i wont to see him i have to look for him. but its ok because i had my mom and grandma. but it did fuck me up a little because am 25 and only fuck guys in there 40's and 50's why? i'm really into daddy why i don't no. but i'm also very bad at relationships and am not good at friendships. oh well i did go to college.lol- And david what about your mother?

David Mason said...

Well i know how that is, you want a dad. I get it. We all just want a hug :)

fairviewsue said...

Oh boy, I feel ya here. So much pain you have carried for so long. It must feel great to off load it like this! It was like this with my mom, but things are so much better since I nearly died and we have made up. Of course, you can't count on that happening with your Dad... Whether you sent this or not, I am sure you feel so much better now! Nothing is unsettled between you and your Dad. You can let him go his own way and you can move forward with your own life. I am happy for you!

matthew said...

Darling David-

This is maybe not so much a comment as a personal (atypical) effort to contact you personally. I've been reading your blog for a LONG time, and I have continually been weirded out at how similar we think/feel/perceive people and things around us. I guess your post about the letter to your dad was particularly poignant for me since I have a similar relationship with mine.

We have some weird parallels going on that have inspired me to write. So...I'm assuming that your mom passed away? My mother died when I was in high school. BTW, I'm 38, and I can't help but respond to so many of your references and inspirations since we're so close in age.

Okay, the thing that I HAVE to ask is about you and high school. Did you graduate from Glens Falls High School? My ex, the one-time love of my life, graduated from there in 1992. Would that be when you graduated as well? I grew up in New Hartford, near Hamilton College/Colgate, and I met him at Munson-Williams (art school) in Utica (before I moved to SF). Yes, Utica, the shithole cracky town, I know. He was a wrestler and quite popular (according to him anyway,) and I'm sure that you would know each other judging from the small size of that school system.

I know this all sounds weird and perhaps a tad creepy (unintentionally), but I felt compelled to reach out. I'm sure there's all types of crazies wanting to get up in your beautiful unicorn loveliness, but I assure you I have no oddball agenda. I simply delight in reading your blog for the insightful humor and profound honesty found herein. I'm the mysterious reader M. that commented before. When I realized today that you're 35 and the same age as my ex from Glens Falls, I just had to send you a message.

In response to your post, I'm really proud of you for being honest with your father about how you've felt and how it's affected you. My dad was similarly a self-absorbed narcissist, but I've always felt that relating to him how that made me feel was irrelevant. If it makes you feel at peace at all, anger is really about unfairness. As an adult, I've wrestled with forgiving my father for the issues that my upbringing (and obvious neglect) brought upon me. I feel your pain, and I commend you for the courage that it took to express yourself and hopefully set some of that stuff free.

Well, even if I don't hear from you, thanks for writing and being you. Just know that there are some people out there that totally get you and love your smart, funny, self-deprecating greatness.

M.

Gerry said...

That was awesome. And not easy, I'm sure. I'm glad I've got a good relationship with my dad. I'm just fucked up in other ways. Take care, man.

Bruno Bond said...

Thanks for sharing this. I also wrote a letter to my father after not speaking to him for 5 years. He responded that every problem we ever had during my childhood was my fault. That was so obviously ridiculous that it just reinforced the fact that I made a good decision to separate. I wrote that letter 12 years ago. In the years since, I have learned that the strong man that I used to look for outside of myself, was inside me the whole time.

Leatherpigboy said...

David, WOW, thanks for sharing and i hope you feel a weight lifted off you. Crying isnt something i do often but i think not only myself but a lot of people will get something from this.

hyde park 33629 tampa said...

I HOPE YOU FIND PEACE. MY DAD WAS ABUSIVE AND MEAN A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING. HE IS DEAD NOW. WHICH GIVES ME COMFORT.

David Mason said...

Sue- Thank you so much!! You told me about yer mom before and Im glad it worked out!
Gerry- Thank you! Youre lucky
Bruno- UGH! I KNOW , I know my dad will say the exact same thing! So dont worry. My dad always blamed everyone else but now that everyone else is DEAD and hes EXACTLY the same its the proof we were all correct!:)
LPB Thanks so much
HP Sorry, and thank you!

David Mason said...

Matt, I graduated in 93 what was your old bfs name, its wild that you dated someone from glens falls being it was so small and someone so close to my age.
What was his name. I didnt know too many people a year ahead of me though. The only wrestler I knew was Chad Mcnaughton and I didnt really know him but he was HOT. I later saw him in glens falls and he was SMALL but then I thought he was huge and a sex bomb. If you still talk to your old bf mention Chad Mcnaughton and see what he says. Im pretty sure I jerked off about him a few times. I MUST have.
He was a cocky douche but also stood up for me once when we were playing some shitty outdoor sport so I sorta always thought he was rad for that. Even if standing up for me was just a beleaguered "Leave him alone"

gavin said...

Well, congratulations on writing such an honest letter and getting things off your chest.

I can totally relate -- my dad was a deadbeat who divorced and abandoned my family when I was only a year old.

He didn't have addictions, unless you count responsibility denial or making far-fetched promises he would never keep just to soothe his guilt for the last promise he broke.

He has no self conscious or honor; no ability to "man up" and commit himself spiritually or materially to loved ones. He's never apologized to anyone for anything; never made amends. And when things would go wrong, bills go unpaid or his promises fail, he would very savagely blame everyone else and exploit our faults. He could simply never deliver, provide or perform for others; he really expected everyone else to take care of him. That's why he spoiled four marriages and three LTR's on top of that.

(I came to find out his dad was the exact same way -- abandoning his family when he was a child then being stuck relying on his mother to provide everything).

Once, when I was in the hospital and worried about how I would pay for health insurance when my mother's coverage ran out, he told me to marry a woman for that. ! He obviously started seeing women as providers and people to be taken advantage of at a very young age.

I made the mistake of trying to live in his custody for a year when I was 13 and going through a very delinquent, suicidal and rebellious phase. I got to learn how REALLY unreliable, violent and sociopathically irresponsible he was. He was impossible to respect, which is probably why I traded blows with him when I wasn't trying to kill myself.

Everything got better when I became completely independent from my parents in college. Once I reached the legal age and right to provide for myself, I finally experienced HAPPINESS in life and things have only gotten better.

I can't think of the single, biggest disappointment I had in my father. Maybe it was the summer-long tour of Europe he promised my siblings and I, getting us an itinerary, passports, plane tickets and all, only to flake out the week before.

Maybe it was not buying my first car, college tuition or college housing that he promised. But I was regularly being left out of father-son activities, too, from church and Boy Scout functions to all sports. My siblings have lists of disappointments just as long.

I don't unload on my parents with all my resentments because it would be vindictive, hurtful, and selfish of ME. It's just a moot point these days and I am happy on my own.

I think they've both figured out they got essentials wrong as parents and that's why I purposely keep my distance from them. They know I don't respect or fit in with them fully. Saying "I don't respect or relate to you and I'm not interested in being close" would just be more hurtful.

But I regret that one of my sisters -- the stupid one -- just recently married another deadbeat and passed the cycle on to another generation, despite many warnings.

Now she's stuck as the single, divorced mother of two boys who can't collect child support from a womanizing deadbeat, either.

Oh well -- we all have to sleep in the beds we make.

King.of. said...

Wow, I could have written that. Well, I will top you. My dad is a dope addict and it's one thing to grow up with the fact that he's not around but it's another to grow up with the fact that he's not around *but* is involved in some other kid's life who is only a year older. Now *thats* a mental fuck. You grew up bitter, competitive, and distrustful of everyone's motives with a nice side of self hatred that fuels your fists throughout your life.

Shit my Daddy heartbreak memory come from the city of Baltimore in a small school that was encouraging fathers/uncles/grandfathers/any grown man in the vicinity that wont fuck them to be involved in their kids lives. My mom was too busy and i wasn't one to bring my school problems home...plus I think i just forgot as well... anyway. Day comes and I'm in the cafeteria surrounded by aaaaaall these kids with fathers and the like and I'm sitting there alone trying not to cry, telling myself that I'm okay, and going through a mental list of everybody who loves me but isn't there. And i think the sight of the lonely unattached kid bothered some of the dads, so some guy asked me to sit with him... too bad it was the father of girl who I couldn't stand whatsoever growing up. He really didn't talk to me, and neither did she, and I sat and watched while they colored, and afterward never told a soul in my family of that event.

My dad was an addict in an out of jail, who ran the streets, as they say. I actually fared better with him not in my life. My half-brother's mother was always with him off and on and did anything for him and for her reward her son ended up involved in selling drugs too early in his life. He was murdered like three years ago- weird seeing a kid in a casket who looks like you and you know nothing about.

But anyway, ramble ramble- girl you might pay for this post cause its gonna bring out every faggots Dear Dad moment- my point for commenting was that I think you have to get it off your chest and forgive him for being... well him. Not make nice, not make smile, not even say I forgive you to him, that's not important. I think forgiving means understanding exactly where he comes from so your pain isn't this confusing life crippling monster eating a part of you at night when you've drunk too much. I mean in some ways it will always gnaw at you. therapy isn't about making scars go away as it is about making it so you aren't a total mess and can move in and not break all the glasses in a rage around the house and not hit your wife in the face.

One guy told me that being a dad is so weird because you fuck and then time later there is a person who wants, needs, and in some ways demands everything from you and you want a life, the world your dreams, and you hate their mother to some degree for being a cunt and not aborting it, and you dont mean to hurt them but you do and hope they one day forgive you for it. My dad was so selfish, so use to women taking care of him... thats all he knew. He never raised a single child of his but is now helping to raise the daughter of his deceased son (so maybe he's not all that bad).

So for me I had to realize that most fathers are young, dumb, and full of cum and dont realize the price of pussy may be some future person's sanity and aren't really out to hurt...most stay away because they believe inaction is better than action without realizing both are kinda equal to each other.

But I'm not bitter about it these days I have to say. i think. I'm so ovah him a part of me is ready to actually bury him. If he's gone, it's over.

Right? God I hope so. Daddy issues are so last decade since who doesn't have them?

butch said...

your letter was a very courageous act. i applaud you for it. i hope it lightens your burden.

Gregory said...

David, if I am able to attend IML and you are there this year I would be honored to shake your hand and give you a hug. You wrote what so many of us only wish we had the self-esteem and courage to write. I am proud of you :)

-G

bonzer said...

David, what a poignant and relevant letter. My dad was/is a gambling addict and destroyed his family insidiously over so many years when we were growing up by not being there for anyone during the bad or good times. He never gave anyone of us the time to develop any relationship as he too was a travelling salesman, and missed birthdays and graduations, or the hospital stays when we got into an accident. He was the "ghost dad", and while we carried his last name around--we didn't have anything else of value from him. took me over 3 decades to finally confront him around a small kitchen table...emptying my pent up rage for all the years of emotional abandonment and squarely blaming him for causing my mother's untimely death as she had to work herself to the bone to care for all the kids. and with my shouting and finger pointing--he just sat there and kept quiet. I never understood the depth of his selfishness until that time. I continue to support him but I do it out of my duty as a son: my mother taught us well. But I only have an empty blob of nothingness inside me for anything relating to him. So I guess the confrontation didn't resolve anything for me in the end; except to release some of the darkness into his void.

We all share this world for a painfully short time, and if there's something I learned (which you've reinforced for me)nobody should be allowed to have any hook to your soul unless the connection is built on love and respect. Otherwise it's a wound that never heals and sometimes it takes courage to just rip it off and start anew. Your life eventually becomes your own, as it should and always be. The sooner one takes ownership of it, the sooner life really begins for you.

Thanks for sharing.

mr_gazley_j said...

I've never felt the need to comment on the blog before (admittedly i HAVE, but it would have been horny, mid-masturbatory rambling mostly due to images of your good self) but just thought i'd throw my two pence in (yes; pence - all the way over from England. Hell of a way to flick a coin, no?)

I think anyone reading that would have a hard time not responding emotionally to it. It rings bells for me to a certain degree. My dad was far too much of a bachelor and career-man to ever give up the hard drinking lifestyle and spend time with his wife and child. Still, i've made peace with his mis-givings as he really stepped up to the plate when i was a teenager and has been solidly there for me ever since. Doesn't really touch on your letter, but i can relate to having to let go of that anger that festers in you (and for whatever reasons that now lies in the past). It's so easily accessible and can really affect your behaviour. So, to that effect i wanted to say "Well done" - its not an easy process and some people never have the courage to do it.

Big UK love all the way from the other side of the atlantic x

David Mason said...

I want to thank all of you SO MUCH for your intense writings and sharing with me. A few people even wrote me some amazing letters personally. It was amazing to hear. I wish I had written this sooner as I would have known that many of us have the same shared experienced and we could have all backed each other up!!! It was nice to hear that so many smart and kind and intelligent people experienced the same thing as me but were all here and lovely and talented and we can all back each other up and testify to that!! SO thanks and youre all very cool people, Im so happythat even as strangers we can be here for each other :)

Marc said...

David, Thanks for sharing this.

I, too, had a separation from my parents—in my case from both my Mom and Dad.

I just want you to know that there is a lot of hope out there and that I see a lot of hope in what you're doing (including reading stuff like "Velvet Rage").

You're right that there is no way around or away from this stuff. There is only through it. In my experience, I have to face it, or it will eat me alive. It's a total bitch, but my only other choice is death (or soul death). If I don't face it and do something, I may still live but be deadened on the inside.

My parents weren't active addicts, but they might as well have been because their parents were. All the bad behavior and twisted thinking was transmitted down the generations to and including me.

Al-Anon, a 12 step fellowship for friends and families of alcoholics, has helped me tremendously. Apparently, your father was not an alcoholic, but addiction is addiction. You may qualify for Al-Anon or something similar—only you can decide. It may be something you want to check out. There are many great Al-Anon meetings in NYC (and an open 12-step meeting at IML for that matter—if you come this year).

I wish you the best and give you a virtual hug!

swine said...

Jeez Dave, I came here lookin' to pop a boner & I just got a good cry -- from ur letter & these comments. Thanks a fuckin' lot for my tear-stained keyboard!

I feel kinda guilty that I have great parents who have loved & supported me no matter what. While this has helped me greatly, I've seen it doesn't always work out that way. I grew up in a very affluent area on Long Island where everyone I knew was spoiled rotten (but most had nice, supportive parents) & yet so many of them were completely fucked up & eventually have had miserable lives as adults.

I hope u inspire anyone who may be suffering now with miserable parents & circumstances, so they realize it can get better.