Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Father - And Multiple Sclerosis

There are so many dysfunctional families out there. Mine was definitely one of them. I spent most of my teens and 20's very angry at my father. He was not a great father. He was very selfish and very jealous of my sister and I and the attention we received from my mother. My father was always very strange, since I can remember. He would be happy hanging out with the neighbors or swimming in the pool and everything was good. Then he would just switch and turn into a very grumpy, controlling man that I didn't want to be around.

I don't remember a lot of my childhood. I think I've blocked so much of it. My mom and sister talk about the good times we had camping when we were still in Massachusetts. I moved to Georgia when I was five. I don't remember any of the camping trips. In fact, I don't remember much of anything from Massachusetts. All I seem to remember is the not so good times.

When we ate dinner, we weren't allowed to talk at the table; not a word! You weren't allowed to talk about your day or anything. You just had to sit there quietly eating. And you had to eat everything on your plate. Who does that? I encourage my kids to talk about their days. Since I can remember I have always heard how good it is to sit down at the table with your family and talk. It is a good time to have everyone together to share whatever. That is what we do; we sit down together, have a nice meal and talk about what is going on. I surely wasn't going to raise them to sit at a table and not say a word like we were in a prison camp or something. Wait, I think even they speak when they are sitting down to eat.

I remember once that one of our cats had kittens. He had put all of the kittens in the kitchen and put up some large boards to keep them in. One of the boards had fallen on one of the kittens. He was bleeding from his nose. I remember that and that he was our favorite kitten. My father filled up the kitchen sink and drown that baby right in front of me. That is something that has stuck with me forever. I was so young to have to deal with that.

My sister was 16 years old when she told my parents that she was gay. I had no idea, I guess I was too young to be told or understand. Apparently my father got really angry. I didn't learn about all of this and the relationship between my sister and father until much later in life. At this moment in time all I knew is my father was throwing all of my sister's stuff out of her window onto the driveway. She was 16 years old and he was throwing her out. I know that she was always in trouble, always slashing out at my parents. I knew that she was doing things that she wasn't suppose to do and even the police had knocked on our door looking for her at one point. Still, her being thrown out was traumatic for me.

I remember my mother and father arguing one day and my father throwing my mother down the hallway. I remember her not paying attention to anything but me. She was yelling at me to get out, to run across the street to the neighbors house. I can think back to that moment and crying and running out the front door to the neighbors across the street. I was so young and so worried about my mother and I was leaving her; leaving her in that house with that monster! My mother and father divorced soon after that for the first time.

Yes, they remarried a couple of years later and my mother, my father and I moved back in together. I was in middle school at the time and I was rebellious. Looking back I believe I was doing some of the things that I was doing because I wanted a male figure in my life. I was doing things that I regretted later. Life with dad didn't get any better either. I remember my mother's brother coming to visit once, Uncle Ronnie. He was this big guy, Harley riding tough man. At least that is what he wanted everyone to see on the outside. He could be really harsh, but he really had a soft side to him. While he was there, my father completely changed. He started doing things that my Uncle did, he started completely acting like my uncle. He changed the way he spoke, his mannerisms,  just everything! It was so odd.

While we at our new house, my father passed out in the bathroom. He spent so many months going to the doctor to figure out what was wrong with him. In the end it ended up being Multiple Sclerosis. It took years to get that diagnosis. At the time Multiple Sclerosis was a new disease and very hard to diagnose. I should have felt bad for him, but I was young and all I knew of him was that he was verbally abusive and not a very good father at all. And I didn't even know the half of it.

My mother and father divorced again and my mother and I moved and I started high school. High School, now that is a story on its own. I was not a very good kid at this time in my life.

My father ended up getting pretty sick. He had a strain of Multiple Sclerosis that was not very common and it attacked the brain stem. My father's sister, Aunt Carol, took care of my father. He was put into multiple homes. The strain that he had affected his personality. It made him violent/aggressive. He was kicked out of one of the homes after he went after one of the orderlies with his cane. I never saw much of him.

I can't even remember what year he passed away. I've tried to forgive him and I think I have forgiven him for the things he had done to a point. Well, I have forgiven him to the best of my ability. He was not a good man. I sometimes wonder if he ever regretted how he was. I'm not even sure he remembered anything towards the end.

Years later I still think of him every now and then. I feel sorry for him, how he was, how he lived his life. There are so many things he missed out on. I think about Multiple Sclerosis a lot and if it is genetic. Sometimes they say it is genetic and other times they say it isn't. I don't know what will happen; it could be me or my kids if it is genetic. I don't know what will happen to us all, but I can't focus on it. I have to live my life the best I can and I will continue to try and fully forgive the man that helped me come into this world.


Almost finished cleaning up! I'm going to hopefully finish up today and take pictures. I am working from home today and I've taken Thursday and Friday as mental health days LOL I need a couple of days to just not have to worry about work!

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