My son, Jude, turned 6 months on October 13, and as I reflect on the many changes I have gone through in this short amount of amazing time, I am reminded of something that my father once told me when I was a teenager; “When you are a father you will understand why I am the way I am.” As I look into the eyes of my beautiful boy I can see love, innocence, pure beauty; and I realize what my father told me was just an excuse for his incompetence as a father, husband, and role model. I will never understand why the way he was with me, with my sisters, and with my mother. What I do understand is that he is a weak man, who lacks any sense of courage, and had to abuse and manipulate his wife and children in order to feel that he had any type of control in his life. No, I will never understand why he beat up his wife in front of his kids, when I, being the oldest of three at the time, was only in the third grade. My mother finally had the sense to leave and we had to live in a group home for battered women for 3 months. Though she went back to him, for some ridiculous reason, thinking that he was a changed man. But as most abusive and manipulative people, he just got smarter and knew not to hit her again.
I will never understand the years of emotional and verbal abuse we all had to suffer, always being ridiculed, taunted, made fun of, and yelled at. Anytime I would get pimples on my face, he would tell me, “Its ok I would get them too, on my butt!,” then would laugh and strut away. We all hated it when he came home, never knowing what type of mood he would arrive in, as we knew any little thing would be taken out on us. But then if we didn’t greet him at the door as he walked in, he would yell asking us, “What’s the matter, you guys don’t want to see me?”
We were hardly allowed to use our own minds, think freely, be creative, or express ourselves because he never trusted what our decisions were and he was always worried what other people would think. His famous philosophical question, “What are people going to think?,” still lingers in my mind and haunts me this day as I have been programmed to base my decisions on this question. It is probably one of the biggest obstacles I have been working to overcome during the past years.
My father lied to us constantly, altering and even changing storylines to his family and friends in order to make himself look like innocent man, never revealing the full and complete story because he knew he was wrong. I recall a situation when he informed me, very proudly I should add, that he had told off one of my baseball coaches, thinking he was doing something noble. When I was talking about it with my mother because I wasn’t happy about, it, he vehemently denied it while looking into my eyes.
He sexually abused my mother and was always thinking that she was being unfaithful to him. He had her drive a car that had dangerously bad brakes because he wanted her to come straight home from work. It wasn’t until one of my uncles, my mom’s brother, called him on the phone and set him straight until he fixed the brakes. When my Grandfather was in the hospital after a fatal heart attack and major heart surgery, my mother stayed with him for as long as she could. When she came home after a long day, he immediately began yelling at her because he felt he was home alone for to long, and then he had the audacity to ask if she loved her dad more than she loved him.
I know that I, and at least two of my four sisters, had contemplated suicide because of the stifling and frustration we were going through, and the lack of protection we were getting from our mother.
I can go on and on describing all the other acts of “fatherhood” that my sisters and I received, but that is for another time as I am not writing this for sympathy nor for justice, its just my life is heading towards a brighter light and I need to share it. It is still a long road for me as it took many years of soul searching, sacrifice, mind expansion, and loss.
Now that I am a father I understand that life is to live and experience, and that souls are meant for discovery, not manipulation or burial. I am a here with eyes open, happy, learning what true love is, that is why I becoming the father and man I want to be.
Shine On and God Bless.