I’ve realized I don’t talk about my father much. For those of you who have good or cherished relationships with your dads – congratulations. I would say I miss having one with him, but you can’t miss something you never had.
My dad was always kinda stern. Weird. Never quite gentle. Low pain tolerance besides. (He made sure I had a damn good one though!)
Imagine two parents and each one wants control – to strong headed, strong willed people bound and determined to have their way. One of them is a free-wheeling mom with tendencies towards being a witch (and paranoid and rage and inappropriate anger and punishments . . . and the list goes on) . . . and the other is my dad.
Here’s a man with a bit of religion in him. Got these views. One of them is that a woman should obey and stick around the house – support him in all his endeavors – sacrifice everything, including her children, for him – making them go hungry some of the time (when he was away).
Here is a weird man – one who studied all the time, changed his name as soon as it was legal too – and got locked up in a psychotic hospital in Japan. For his own good and that of societies (both the USA and Japan). One who was given over to animal cruelty, and cruelty towards his own child. One who spent a little too much time in ‘Nam, as well as North Korea during the Korean war – the reason he was sent to Japan. To live on a little island with others like him – men driven over the edge by war; ones who would fly off the handle irresponsibly, out of control, means sons-a-bitches . . . they just “kept us there” – no treatment, no control (though he did learn how to do knitting there). They kept him over a year.
I don’ know much about him; his history, his past. For the most part he was an absentee dad – absent when he was there, absent when he was not – even more absent when his paychecks would go missing because he gave all his money to some missionary ‘over there’ (and there again, making us poorer than snot).
He’s always done that – given all his money to missionaries, churches, charities – going out to greet them, bask in the ‘glory’ they send him by praising him and how well he’s done . . . what an F’ing wonderful person he is (remembering being dangled by one ankle being beaten by a thick leather strop . . . how’s that for compassion for ya) . . . while we were at home struggling to find some food, some clothing . . . cutting back on bills, groceries, everything to and past the bone . . . and him coming home raising hell about something – usually about the meals: he wasn’t getting what he wanted, which was steak. I remember us kids sitting around watching – drooling, actually – while we ate our hotdogs and he ate steak. (Boiled hotdogs, boiled in some kinda tomato sauce my mom used to make from Campbell’s Tomato soup, just to change the flavor.) Served over noodles sometimes. Yumm yumm for us kids . . . but boy, do I remember the flavors and the aromas when (and if) he’d let us have a bite. Just enough to satisfy our curious appetite. And then he would hog all the rest, saying we didn’t need it, we were just young . . .
This is the man who we stopped from mentally torturing kids when he was old – somewhere in his 70’s, I think – having to forbid him from seeing his own grandchild alone (or any of them for that matter). He would swing them – higher and higher – until they were afraid and crying for him to stop; let them down, off . . . but he wouldn’t. Higher they would go . . . until . . .
Such a great man. He loves to play with children. Was a Child Advocate, too. He’s even advocated for his own children. While not financially supporting us sometimes, he often was behind rooting for us. Making us ‘go on’.
I remember him having me walk over one of those mats down the hallway. You know the kind: those plastic clear ones meant to protect the carpet; kinda thick, with narrow ribs; kinda clear, but too thick to really see through . . .
Inverting that thing – rolling it upside down – and making us walk over it.
But here’s the thing (if you know these kinds of mats – they’re used in the offices sometimes) . . .
The bottoms are covered with all kinds of stunted needles – pinpricks, to be sure – but painful to a child’s feet.
Walking about 25 to 30 feet on them – can’t skip left, can’t go right (we’re in a hallway, remember?) – just gotta go walking down that thing . . . crying and bawling until you get it down.
I remember falling – or being pushed down. The needles stabbing into my calf and my thigh and the palm of my hand (I fell down kinda sideways).
“It’ll do good for developing your pain ….” (tolerance is what I think he said or meant.)
Trouble was: he couldn’t take no pain himself.
I remember pinching him one time (I was about 8) during a “play tussle” where he started using choking headlocks, pinning us down – squashing us like bugs while he mashed his fingers against our eyes . . .
and he got up and retreated – this look of hurt and betrayal in his face, and I realized right then: He can’t take it. He can’t stand pain.
But he certainly was into inflicting some. Quite suddenly, quietly & coincidentally . . . a closet sadist if I ever met one. Inflicting some ‘accidents’ all the time. Like catching a football in the mouth at about three yards – thrown as hard and fast as a grown man can throw it – simply for asking him to play; show us how it was done.
The military thing. I quite remember when my dad got his promotion. The physical abuse was quite horrid. I guess it’s just coincidence that that is when the REAL sexual abuse began. But not ever from him. But emotionally speaking he was ‘okay’ – that is, he was the only one who would ever hold us (hug us) when we got older.
The tiger has changed his stripes. He’s still a selfish freak, but . . . I don’t know. He still strides and struts, proclaiming himself as a man of God (which he is – or may be). He’s very well respected in the community; people are always telling me what a great man he is. I’ve always held my tongue, though in the past 12 months it’s loosened some. Like when my dentist told me what a great buddy she is to him. I told her: “good for you.”
He knows somewhat what he did – I think he’s secretly ate up with old age guilt and ‘things’. But he has his friends. His family? Not so much.
He’s held his hand out to me – me and my brother for a long time. But my brother can’t forget those scars he gave him – they are right there on his arm all the time – and parts of me hold a high grudge against him; yet others bear no ill will. In some ways I’ve begun to understand – but some things I never will. His childhood was torn, too, and some evil things happened – mostly by his own family. And he was ‘twisted’ somehow – whether through spoiling (his adopted “father” owned a bottling plant, and was a member of the Mafia – and his Aunt spoiled him all the time). Or through something else – his teenage experiences while at war. Either way he sort of passed ‘it’ on to ‘us’ some.
Then there’s the MKULTRA. (darker thoughts, stirrings of dark emotion; there’s these deep twistings way deep inside that I can’t even begin to identify to you . . . I know he was into ‘tampering’ with our minds).
As far as he’s told me, “MKULTRA went on.” (These are his literal words; and he was high up enough in some stuff to know – US Army type.) He’s hinted at some involvement – but NOT (I think) with the strictest terms of the MK program. Something (I think and which he’s subtly confirmed) – on the side. Maybe something done by some officers; perhaps a CO was involved; it might have spanned several bases; then again perhaps not. But apparently “it” was something to do with the Cold War and our own survival ‘out there’ (meaning in the woods) – and ‘fighting’ enemy soldiers any way we could. I’m not sure and I’m not certain he is quite certain what was going on. I know sometimes we were handed over to some G.I.’s for some training; some of a really dark kind. But it was all in and about how to survive when the soldiers were all dead. If it came down to that; a ‘limited’ nuclear war (during the initial stages when it would occur where it was expected: over in the European Theater).
And so ‘they’ gave ‘us’ some training – and then my dad supplimented on his own (though I don’t know – he may have been doing it to some other kids; I wouldn’t doubt it or put it past him – not at all . . . which really sickens me, because I remember something … me and my ‘best friend’ over there).
O’tay . . . gonna ‘sign off’; gonna see him today anyway – gonna take him to dinner in honor of Father’s Day (mostly my mothers – and trust me, she was 9X abusive as him) – and pry him with some alcohol and dig in . . . get his guard down up; his mind is going (almost gone) – he spouts off and talks about things he really ought not of; makes threats and things (not against us, though mom sometimes . . . but those two have been at each other’s throats for a LIFEtime . . . and me and the other ‘kids’ were caught in the flack).
This is a really strange post. Okay: the post isn’t strange, but I find this somewhat upsetting.
Until later today. Or until tomorrow.
I gotta go meet him.