My History Of Familial Incest
Faith, Father, Story
I learned some new things about my dad recently. His story is a long and dark tale full of twists and turns. Perhaps that is everyone's life, but his in particular (for obvious reasons) I've always wanted to bring into one cohesive narrative. I know "figuring him out" doesn't change what happened, but it gives me the potential of control...an illusion of control at best.
Most of my life I've had some sort of faith, ranging from very devout to floundering (as I am now) trying to make sense of God and the epic story of good and evil. The religious ones say that there is clear distinction between good and bad, and that I must do my best to practice good as much as possible for God to save me at the end.
My dad was good and evil. He did monstrous things, and while he did those monstrous things he also did very good things. I saw both sides clearly, and even as a child came to the conclusion that I could not be dealing with the same person. He was split into light and dark, and swung seamlessly back and forth between the two. Was he aware of these directly opposed sides? He could express guilt and show remorse. He wasn't a sociopath. He was at times a violent drunk. He was a pedophile and a sex addict and compulsive gambler. His core personality was vice driven and compulsive.
How then, could this man turn around and express love and kindness? He showered my siblings and I with gifts at birthdays and holidays because he grew up in poverty and didn't want that for his children. My mom said she never made vegetable soup for him because when he was a kid he once had nothing else to eat but the same soup for a week. She said he used to suddenly cry out and scream in the night after Vietnam and she would have to calm him down. He never wanted to talk about the war except the few things I shared in my earlier entries. When she told me that I felt sad for him. I will never know what he saw. Maybe I don't want to know.
I can't put him together. I can't control this and I never could.
I don't miss the dark of him, but sometimes I miss the light of him.