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" i will never be safe/ i will never be sane/ i will always be weird inside.."
after i finally made up with mommy a few weeks ago, i decided it was time to have some sort of reckoning with my father- in so much as that is possible considering he died last january. because he disappeared 30 years ago, i only found out he died because my mother, since she never remarried, received his survivor benefits from social security. at the time, i had just started a new job, having been at my last one over 12 years, and was on the tail end of a year full of death- all my elderly cats having passed on in 2007. everything was rather turned upside down and i began working an outrageous amount so when it at last dawned on my strangely crippled family that they should tell me my dad was dead it was nearly march and i was at work 6 days a week and in no mood to fucking care. no one from his side of the family made any attempt to contact me, his only child, even though my mother still lives in the same house with the same phone number as when my parents were first separated and divorced. they did call her looking for me when his mother died in 1990 so i am surprised they couldn't have been bothered again throwing out, at the very least, an anonymous flare about his passing. it made me wonder what the hell phil had done to himself( he was only 67) and how he had ended up. it also made me wonder how he died and if it would mean anything to me and my health.

i searched the internet for his obituary and found someone with his exact full name save that they died in idaho- a place as far as i know he had no connection with. when his mother died her obituary listed him as being in virginia but at the time i did not follow up this information. when he returned here because of his mother's illness and subsequent death, he had left (or more likely had someone leave) a typed, clinical AA/NA missive for me with no return address and no postal stamp in my mom's mailbox. it was self serving, distant , and formulaic- the work of a selfish and damaged but still arrogant man who showed little if no shame or genuine remorse for what he had done to me . writing that you're trying to be make amends for your past wrongs is not the same as making amends. i can't see how anyone can seek forgiveness, even if so half assedly, and not allow the person to whom the apology is addressed to respond. it was as if he thought that by typing out a pat acknowledgment that he may have done something wrong, he could both receive forgiveness and wash his hands of me at last. my cats care more about how i feel and how i am than this sorry excuse for a father was my thought at the time. i have often noted that i spend more money on my cats per week then this tool was required at first to pay in child support for me. when my cats were sick i was beside myself with worry and when they died i was beside myself with grief. it sounded as if phil didn't spend much time at all giving a fuck about me because that would have been too messy and too problematic and he'd have to feel something. but your parents dying has a way of making your own mortality press upon your psyche and his note to me seemed more like a scared little twinge of self concern rather than any real attempt to try to contact me or apologize to me. then i was just not ready to try to hunt him down. it was a very distressing time in my life, very chaotic. having enough trouble just getting by, confronting runaway abusive asshole dad just wasn't a major concern nor would it have been an emotionally healthy undertaking.

so a few weeks ago i sent away for his death certificate to make sure it was him and just to get more information about him. i received it yesterday- pretty quick considering i was not sure they would accept my trail of documentation proving i was his child. in idaho death certificates are not public documents until 100 years after a death . you have to be a close relative or have legal reason to obtain them . i have changed my name and didn't know some of his vital information. but now i am sure dead idaho phil was my dead idaho phil and i finally have his social security number and the name of his second wife. i know that he lied about his birth date for most of his life, something my mother recently confirmed . i know he was living in idaho even though he did leave a message on my mother's answering machine several years ago, identifying himself and probably concerning his retiring(social security suggest you contact any ex- spouses when you apply for benefits) and the caller ID identified him as calling from virginia. he never called back and when my mother called the number a woman answered and claimed it all ' was a mistake' and refused to identify herself or confirm phil called from that number. (sister, you're telling me it's all a fucking mistake- i've been telling myself that my entire life.)

he died from a massive pulmonary embolism, one of the contributing factors to his death being listed as' ETOH use'. in other words, he was an alcoholic- bad enough that it effected chronic heart disease. and an autopsy was performed which seems odd- except if he was alone when he died and no cause of death was apparent. he was cremated.

because my mother did receive his survivor benefits i knew he was dead but holding this stupid but elaborately printed piece of paper with all this information on it had me feeling odd and off kilter . my father was ever present but also a non entity for me for years-living only in memory and only surrounded with a certain amount of pain and hurt. the idea that he is dead has become both shrug inducing and disturbing in a deep, near hidden way- like a depth charge at the bottom of the deepest ocean that forgot to go off. i had hoped that things would have ended differently even though i always seemed to know subconsciously they would not. right before he disappeared he wrote a highly surreal, disturbing farewell to me on the back of a photo . my mother kept it from me for some time rightly knowing that a 10 year old could in no way be expected to comprehend it especially a distraught, suicidal one. when i at last read it i was in my late teens. it still made little sense. now it has finally become highly understandable. he was never going to come back into my life- and he knew it the second he turned and walked away in 1974. that knowledge, fully accepted and understood, would have bestowed upon me a level of hopelessness i never would have been able to live with when i was a younger.

his death has changed nothing. he had 30 years to right the mess he left behind him and opted to apparently drink himself to death. in fucking idaho!


this song always makes me cry.

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You know, I never gave it any long consideration mostly because part of me believes that it is pointless and will not happen. I am talking about that last gasp of "I am sorry that I fucked up royally"...

I think I was better off in general with my dad's lack of existence in my life. At over 50, i think I spoke to him once -- he basically said: I was immature, but I cannot do this (communicate with me). Yeah...

I am not sure how I will deal with his death -- that is, if I ever find out about it. There are no links to my dad via my mom, so I might never find out.

i was 9 when my parents had their ugly separation and 10 when he 'disappeared 'himself. so for my entire life until then i had a dad, married parents-they had been married over a year perhaps 2 when i was born. i was much closer to him than i was to my mother. when he left i was devastated, my mother became abusive toward me and her family, with whom we lived, was a nightmare. as a kid i just hoped and dreamed my dad would see how horrible my life was and how sad i was and come and save me from it. in a sense both my parents left me when he ran away- my mother was never the same and emotionally unavailable to me and unable or unwilling to protect me from the violence and abuse in her family.

i wonder how different i would be if he had remained in my life- if he had somehow straightened himself out enough to still be a father not just some psychologically damaged boyman on the run from himself, unable to face his greatest fear- that he would and did exactly to me what his father did to him. that he wrote and seemed at least aware that he fucked up - that he attempted to communicate with me but was unable to follow through and hear me out as well-was at least an attempt but it just wasn't good enough because it was mired in his selfishness. he lamented never sending me a birthday card- yet didn't attempt to even send one after the acknowledgment. he seemed more concerned at the time that i'd nail him for the child support he owed even though he, from what my mother gets in benefits, seemed to have made out financially quite well for himself. he was required to help with my college and all my medical as well as the support according to the court decrees. instead he made a cushy life for himself and some other woman while we wallowed in poverty.

if someone kidnapped one of my cats and was abusing them physically i'd hunt them fucking down and hurt them and get my girl back. if they needed medicine and i didnt have the money id sell my fucking blood plasma. i guess its a mom thing more than a dad/male thing but how can you not care about the well being of your child? how can you not want to do whatever you can to help and protect them? i've spent my life with the idea that if your own parent doesn't give a fuck about you-who else could? it has been debilitating and as you can see i have pretty much removed myself from having relationships.

it seems the only reason we found out he was dead was that my mother not his 2nd wife gets his social security. it doesn't seem like his family attempted to contact me-although they have called my mother in isolated cases in the past.that he was in idaho seems to indicate he wasn't close to his remaining blood relatives anymore. but who knows...that he became a fucking drunk is disturbing but makes sense. self medication= self obliteration. all he had to do was pick up the phone and say- uh hi um can i talk to you or send you a note? it's a lot easier than going to idaho, actually living in idaho and drinking mad dog 20/20 and sterno when the liquor store is closed.

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