This is a Really Real Trauma post.
TW: Completed Suicide Mentioned. Gun Violence Mentioned.
I was just laying in bed, starting to doze off, mind still wandering.
And I thought of my dad.
Now, this isn’t strange anymore. The latest brain trains have lead me down a road where I think of something about caring for my dad.
Transferring him from bed to chair, or him screaming “Mom” wanting to get out of bed in the middle of the night, or cooking shrimp for him in a way that I never would have thought of.
And that thought is followed immediately by a “pop” and a blurry image of him dead in his wheelchair.
I think of him a lot. Sometimes it fucks with my brain, sometimes it’s just a passing intrusive thought.
But this time was different.
I thought of my dad back when I was young.
The dad that I worshipped.
This time I thought about the times in between the abuse.
I thought about the times that we went crabbing.
The times that I really looked up to him, like when they called him in to teach navigation to my boating class.
The times when he was so proud of me, like when I passed that exam.
The times when we would sit behind his friend’s Florida time share, when he would grill hamburgers (until they were flat, dry, pucks of meat) and heat beans up in the can.
That time that he took me on a plane to some random airport, just to turn around and fly back home, because I had never been on a plane but I always watched as either he or my adult sister would leave on a flight.
I have lots of good memories with him.
And then I realized. I’m not grieving the loss of him. I don’t care that he’s gone.
I remember having a conversation with my sister. We both wondered out loud how we would react to his death.
I was ready to walk away from my relationship with him, but I felt I would regret it when he died and I didn’t want to feel guilty for another death (heh).
But I figured, no matter how little I felt towards him when he was alive, I’d grieve him when he was gone.
And obviously, as time would tell, I felt a great deal towards him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done what I did.
But still. I’m not grieving the loss of him.
A very, very, horrible, person is no longer in this world. He can no longer treat me like “less than,” he can no longer treat anyone that way.
And he treated everyone that way.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I am grieving the lost of my stability.
I am grieving the addition of another trauma to my history.
But I’m not grieving his death.
Even those good memories ended by the time I was 14. Once I had an actual mind of my own, my opinion was no longer tolerated. It wasn’t about building a relationship in between the abuse anymore.
It was just about shutting me down and reminding me to stay in my place.
Maybe not directly.
But by judging me so harshly, and making sure I knew it.
By calling me “butch” constantly when I cut my hair short, even though I had no idea what that meant. (I wonder how he felt when he realized he was right.)
By pointing out every thing I did wrong. Making sure I remembered it.
By making sure I remembered how often he was right. And it didn’t matter what the truth was, he was ALWAYS right.
By throwing things and yelling when I stepped out of line.
By doing the same just because something around us went wrong.
I don’t grieve the loss of him.
Actually, I celebrate it.
And I almost,
feel guilty for that.
But, fuck him. He spent long enough hurting me.
He hurt me with his final fucking action.
With his final selfish thought.
He doesn’t get to hurt me through grief, too.
Our goal is to live so someone actually gives a shit when we die.
And very few people give a shit about him.
This is a Really Real Trauma post.