Thursday, October 26, 2017

How far can an apple fall from the tree?

Image result for apple

I've blogged in the past about my grandfather who was the single greatest influence in my life. But how about my parents? How do they influence my life?

My biological father is/was hardly around in my life. As far as I'm concerned my step-father is my dad. He raised me.

My mother could have an entire entry to herself but there's one part of her story that is relevant for this entry. She left my biological father because he was abusive. While I don't know the extent of how bad it was, (I never asked) I do know that I am proud of her for not staying in the relationship and moving on with her life. She's always done the best she could for herself and her children. A long time ago I wrote her an email about how I try to make her proud the only way I know how.

Fast forward to Wednesday night in the middle of October. My girlfriend of 2 years came over after her shift and we have a fight. Now fighting is never great but I've been in relationships with way too much fighting and I would classify the fights we had as "normal" maybe even healthy.

The issue, however, is with our fighting styles. When I get angry I like to remove myself from the situation in order to calm down and come back and talk in a clear/constructive manner. When she fought she would like to resolve things right away. Now how could this possibly go wrong?

Well we fight and I reach my limit. I had enough. The problem is I can't remove myself from the situation. We are at my house (I'm proud to own my own property in San Diego). She is not a tenant. She does not pay rent. In legalese she is a house-guest who has overstayed her welcome. It was 2 a.m. but I clearly remember my thoughts: I want to sleep. I don't want to talk. I want her to leave. I flatly say, "Stop talking and get the fuck out of my house." She did not leave.

She wanted to solve the problem, to talk through it, or at the very least deescalate it. She stubbornly sat on my bed, unwilling to move. I raise my voice, "Get. Out." She did not leave. Louder, "Do you think I'm kidding? Get the fuck out!" She sits unresponsive as if incapable of understanding the situation. I scream at the top of my lungs for her to leave. I throw her belongings out of my front door. She did not leave.

I attempt to call the police and she finally moves to stop me. (I guess I stop myself as well since I figure by the time they get to my home and by the time I'm done with paperwork I wont be asleep until 5 a.m.). I desperately want to sleep alone in my bed and to be done with this situation. "Please leave." I beg, attempting the calm and polite approach. "We will talk some other time. For tonight... Stop talking. Get out." She began her sentence - I interrupted, "Stop talking. Get out." Repeat this 15 times. She begs, "I hear what you are saying but you are not listening to what I am saying." I snap, "Yes. That's true. Now get the fuck out." She did not leave.

Frustrated I start saying any combination of words to get her to leave, "You have two choices: Leave now. We break up. It's that simple."

I did something next that I didn't think I was capable of doing.

I pushed her off of my bed. I attempted to physically drag her out of my house. It was ugly. She grabbed on to the side of my doorway. She made herself dead weight and continued to stay. I contemplated knocking her out with a frying pan. I vocalized that thought. "This is where my mind is. You are giving me no options. Get the fuck out." She did not leave.

I felt my vein protruding from the side of my head. My heart beating out of my chest. A high pitched flat beep filled my inner ear. I was gripping the pan with all my strength. I had no where to go. Nothing left to do. My mind visualized the swing of what it would take to hit her on the head with the frying pan... This was it. My primal instinct of protecting my domain. The thought of being emasculated in my own home. This has what it has come to. I am a man. This is my house. I will protect it.

I collapsed on the couch sweating from my rage.

I am a man. A man I didn't want to be. I have become my father.

I sat on my couch defeated and exhausted with my head in my hands. I am no stranger to sad and dark moments. I have lost the love of my life at an age where I was too stupid to tell her how I felt. I struggled through depression when everything I thought was important in my life came crashing down. This was worse. This was the darkest my life had ever been.

Do fathers know what they do to the children they abandon? I chose the path of apathy. If he doesn't care about me then I don't care about him. He doesn't deserve to impact my life. Any idiot can have sex without a condom. To be a real man is to do what my step-dad did. I vowed to grow up and be a great father one day. My child was going to feel loved. My child was going to be wanted by their father. I promised to never let the decisions of my biological father negatively impact my life.

Now in this moment, as hard as I tried my entire life to be different from him... I wasn't. You can't escape DNA. Blood is blood.

Maybe this is it. Maybe I'm destined to be an abuser. Maybe I'm destined to be a bad father. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I never ended up hitting her with that pan. I don't believe in god but by some divine intervention she decided to leave. Nothing I could say or do would convince her but maybe my blank stares into space as I contemplated life was enough to scare her into leaving. I don't know how or why. Nor do I care.

While I think she is a good person and I wish her the best in the future... I never want to see her again. That chapter of my life is closed and now I am challenged with moving on after facing my lowest moments. Is the book already written by my DNA or do I have the power to change things?

Maybe this is it. Maybe I'm destined to be an abuser. Maybe I'm destined to be a bad father. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Fuck. That.

This apple is gonna keep rollin.