Sunday, January 22, 2012

“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”








“A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.” 
― Leo Tolstoy


I never talk about my father much except in regards to his final night and to try and portray him as a loving man consumed by the barbarian.
 Which is what he was.
Kind of.
When she was in full on stunt, he was as shameless as her in taking no prisoners. He had no regard for the peace and dignity of others. He would sink low to garner attention.
 I want to share with you what stops me from distancing myself from that night.
It has nothing to do with the Barbarian, and everything to do with him. His actions were so scrambled that after 37 years I have made less than zero progress.
Motive is always the question people ask first about a suicide. Why did they do what they did? Who were they pandering to?
About two years ago, I was talking to my SO about that night. I ran down a synopsis of how it all unfolded. My father and mother were up at the farm having a sling fest of a fight.  I was at our house in town heating up some chow. I didn't know where he was. I didn't know where she was. Later I saw broken picture frames at the farm and I knew they had been at it and she had been throwing things at him like she always did.
 I was about to eat when my father pulled up at our house. He came in and told me to get in the car. We were going to the farm. I got in and we drove away and left the food on the stove. On the way up, I tried to reason with him. He had swallowed a bunch of pills that afternoon, but it just made him sick. I knew what his plans were. But I couldn't make the leap to it becoming reality.
After we stopped in my grandmothers driveway, I made him look me in the eye and promise me that he was not going to go through with what he had been talking about. His shoulders shrugged and he said not to worry, everything was going to be OK.
We both got out of the car and walked to the front door where my grand mother was waiting. I went  inside and he stopped and said a few words to her. She closed the door behind him, and I walked over and stood in front of the butane stove. It was September and close to a hundred degrees outside.  I stood with my back to the heater and rubbed my hands together as if it were freezing. It was all out of habit.
It was maybe 20 seconds after my grandmother closed the door behind him that the gun went off. He let out this long wail and called my mothers name out twice. There was no other sound until the police arrived.
 It was long before 911 and we had to look through the phone book to pick out which number to call. My grandmother dialed a wrong number first, and rambled something to someone that had no clue why we were calling them. She finally got through  and a policeman arrived some 20 minutes after and I heard him say to no one that this man is dead.
So I am telling all this to my wife. About as straight forward as I am telling you now.  Something that you would think is glaringly obvious, but was not. And it all came in with a rush.
He went out of his way so that I would be there and witness it all. He could have done this first and left me in town. He could have gone off and done it alone. He could have given it up and stuck around and been a father. But he didn't.
He left the farm.  Drove straight to town and picked me up. Then drove straight back to the farm and in less then two minutes was dead.
Why did he have to make sure that I witnessed this. Was his message of look at what your mother has done to me so important that he needed me to see it all go down? What satisfaction was derived by becoming a martyr.
Here, I focus more on the murder because I figure people want to hear about that. It is sensational. It's true crime. It shows just what a sociopath can do.
As nice of a guy as I am sure her victim was, it still had no long lasting effect on me.  After her trial we moved on and started over because that's what you do. If that was the end of the story I would not be blogging now. I would never open myself up to douche-bags on ACON sites. I would  have considered myself  lucky to have so little baggage and be able to move on and forget that time ever existed.
But the soundtrack of that night rules supreme. It is one I have played over and over in my head since. Every day, dozens of times.
To try and move forward, which is what a normal person would do, there has to be conscious thought of the thing to move on from. Conscious thought of moving on is not followed by the thought of how to move on. Conscious thought of moving on takes me back to that night.
In the middle of a crowd of people
I can go there.
Sitting alone at home.
I can go there.
 Christmas morning and new years eve.
I can go there.
 Anything can pull me back into that nightmare all over again.
The barbarian set the stage for all this. My father took what she started and raised the stakes. He went out of his way to maximize the impact his actions had on others. He inflicted himself on us in the harshest and most enduring way possible.
At this endeavor he was successful beyond his wildest dreams.
  

34 comments:

Lisa said...

Jesus.
That's horrible, I'm so sorry for you then, at 15. That is fucked up beyond belief.
I always thought suicide when you have a kid is one of the ultimate betrayals of a child. It's just flat out a failure to care. Don't they ever stop to think about how the kid's going to feel. How could they be so selfish, so completely selfish. All they care about is their show. They'll run the show into the ground and they're going to take you with them, cause otherwise the nuclear family cast wouldn't be complete and what's a show without an audience?
If your dad was a loving man, well, he loved all of Barbara. He didn't leave much for you. Maybe none at all. Since he was so busy loving Barbara. Whatever hope he raised for you, he stomped back into the ground twice as hard.
Talking about your dad's important too. That night is pivotal.

q1605 said...

Yeah Lisa. It's a bit disconcerting at this age to realize that there was no value in your existence outside of the utility you could provide as a tool for two sociopath's to manipulate each other.
For her I was a prop to shore up the illusion she projected to him of a doting mother.
For him I was a captive audience to witness and testify about his obsessive love for her when she was absent and distracted by some other swinging dick.
If we all meet in the hereafter, I will be putting my foot in the ass of them both.

Anonymous said...

That's really horrible, Q. I am so sorry that he did this to you.

Being a parent myself, it's hard to even think about something like this. Parents are supposed to love and protect their children from everything. Parents sacrifice their own desires just to make sure that their children are healthy and happy. No matter what I've been through personally, or how many horrifying experiences of others I read about, I just can't wrap my brain around how these people can be so damn selfish and evil.

I hope that you realize that you have value beyond what your parents used you for. Your parents views of you are total bullshit! The way that our parents treat us shapes how we feel about ourselves, so this is something difficult to overcome (I'm still struggling with it myself), but please keep working on it. You're worth it.

Anon

q1605 said...

Thanks for the post. It will be 40 years past in 2013 so this isn't some new event. It was that I hadn't even processed this enough to admit to myself that me being there wasn't happenstance. I sort of let myself believe he was on auto pilot and felt some misplaced duty to get me somewhere for the night. Like just ticking off a list. This check. That check. OK I can snuff it now. Not even that. I never make it that far without the flashback kicking in and I end up shuddering from the intensity.
But it wasn't him lumbering around in a daze. He was sending me a message as much as he was sending one to the Barbarian. Who knows what that crazy bitch told him when they were fighting that night and I was in town. It would be just like her to tell him about her coaching me to lie to him about her.
And about the flash backs. It's textbook PTSD, but I have never told a soul about it. I feel crazy that I do this and have never told a soul. Not a wife, not a confidant.
Sooner or later we all have to get real about ourselves. Anonymously and in our real life.
So I had some beers and just put it out there.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't have to be a new event to adversely impact you. I'm not too far behind you age-wise, and things that happened 20, or 25 years ago still haunt me.

I've had PTSD for a long time now, and can say with certainty that the flash-backs, nightmares, anxiety, depression, jumpiness - everything about this is horrible. The worst part is that there's no cure. Sure, it can be treated, and the symptoms can become manageable, but it's still there.

I understand feeling crazy, but as a good, and very wise friend pointed out: PTSD is a normal reaction to a very abnormal situation. You had no control over what you were exposed to, and there's nothing to be ashamed about. If anything, the shame belongs to your parents.

Sooner or later we do have to get real with ourselves, and it seems like you're doing a good job of that. I'm glad that you had a few beers and put this all out there. Sometimes it's good not to keep everything bottled up.

Anon

Lisette said...

This is a horrible thing to have to live with, and I am so sorry your father did this to you. To deliberately hold you hostage in this memory is unthinkably selfish. Why didn't he do it in front of the Barbarian? She's the one who deserved to experience the horror and live with the trauma. She's the one he was doing this for. Why did he take his innocent young son down with him? It doesn't make sense. I guess unspeakable acts like this never make sense. But like you said, your role was as captive audience to his obsessive love. Guess he wanted you to witness the grand finale. The man failed you. He failed you right up till the bitter end.

q1605 said...

Hello Lisette. Thanks for stopping by. I went back and cleaned it up some. I was in my cups last night and I cut some of the "wine" out of it.
Posting hammered will get you nailed.
Now, I would of have had his ass hauled in for a 72 hour observation. But this was early seventies in rural Texas.
If anyone is thinking that dude....duuuuuude. It's been 40 years. You need to quit beating yourself up over it.
I would agree with you.
I did find a nice place to store it long ago. I forgot as much of it as I could.
Seven months with that shrew brought it all back out.
Sociopath's are so good at pecking away. After my initial no contact anger subsided I was back at square one.
Living with her made me realize my fathers acting out wasn't so bad.
He just shot the wrong person.

Lisette said...

I didn't find any "wine" in that post. You laid it out bare. And You're right. You father definitely shot the wrong person. I hope you told the Barbarian that over and over and over.

NC all the way. A once in a decade telephone conversation with these noxious beings can bring it all back.

q1605 said...

Lisette. I feel cleansed and refreshed. Almost effervescent.
Is there any narcissist trolls lolly gagging about that I can do battle with.
I feel like knocking some pointy heads.

Lisette said...

None of late... but tomorrow's always another day. If a Troll is a rockin' please come a knockin'!

Anonymous said...

You were a 15 yr. old KID. You wouldn't have been able to get an involuntary/72 hr. hold EVEN IF YOU TRIED, q. Even if you COULD have some how magically even gotten him to an ER for an eval, do you think he would have told the shrinks the TRUTH? And do you think a kid's word is gonna stand against an adults?

How ass-backwards is this? Think about it: A grown man discussing his suicide attempt (earlier in the day) with his SON? I mean, wtf? As I recall from a previous post you had unloaded his rifle the day before which tells me he had spoken to you of suicide in the past. What kind of burden is that to dump on anyone never mind your own KID? "On my 15 yr. old check-list of 'To Do': Keep Dad from offing himself." You took every possible measure at your disposal to prevent his suicide-more than most ADULTS would have had the common sense to do.

This "dynamic duo" took out everyone in their path one way or another. You were "collateral damage." What a classic folie au deux they were: The Barbarian in all her psychopathy/MN believing she was irresistible to all men, your father believing it as well...he would never be "enough" for her as she so aptly demonstrated to him with her insatiable sexual appetite.

It was never about you, ever. It wouldn't have mattered who or what you were about as a kid (or an adult.) It was all about THEM, first, last, always. The Barbarian pulled the trigger as surely as he did-finally united in the same goal.

q1605 said...

Yeah you are right. My sister and I still talk about it in those terms. Like we were therapists. When the Barbarian was in jail he used to drive around and tell me and my sister about what he was going to do later that night. I.E snuff it. I was 8 and she was 15. We would come home and me and her would be unhinged.
By the time he did it I don't think I cared anymore. If he had just done it somewhere else.
Thanks for posting.

q1605 said...

Anon. Your last comment perfectly illustrates what I have said that I do a lot of. Waking up and finding I am viewing those events through the lens of an adult. Maybe this..maybe that.
Howz about those two acting like respective 40 and 43 year old's.
Nah.
The answer to that rhetoric is a resounding no.
They started wars and left it to others to mop up after.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, exactly. And that wasn't gonna happen. You at 15 were more mature emotionally/psychologically than either of the "adults" whose primary task was to be PARENTS.
The selfishness, the perversity of both of their actions IMO speaks to the underlying dynamics of their relationship. You and your sister were orbiting somewhere out in space around Planet Barbarian/EnDad-to-the-Max. (Plus a bunch of other stuff goin' on with him.) Your "usefulness" was only in terms of how you could "shine on" at their convenience.....as witnesses to their selfishness, as little "T's" to "fix it," as whipping posts for their frustration and so forth. There was NO recognition of you or your sister as KIDS. NONE. As Lisa said, "It's just flat out failure to care."

Is there any more profound manner of denying the existence of your kids than to deny them their childhood?

And the real kicker: Make sure your kid essentially witnesses your gory suicide. It takes a whole lot less than that to traumatize an ADULT.

I worked with a guy who was in his 40's who had a similar situation. When he was about 8 his mother and several siblings were called into the MBR by the father. Dad was in bed and spoke to them to say good-bye. They all left the BR and his Dad called him (and just him) back. Just as he stepped over the threshold, "What is it Dad?" Dad blew his brains out. With a shot gun. (You're right-it's quite a physical feat to use a rifle.) Two days later when they came back to the house, one of the family cats was carrying around a part of the skull....and his mother demanded he "Get in there (the BR) and clean up that mess." He couldn't understand why he was still having nightmares and "day-mares" (flash-backs.) Or why he drank so much, did every other drug available. Thought he was "crazy."

I thought he was "normal"-what else would you expect? We cope the best ways we can. And "There's an App for that"-PTSD.

Just keep puttin' it out here, q.

q1605 said...

Jaysus. That's fucked up. At least my father didn't leave a mess. He was outside and hit his chest. I heard it clipped his pulmonary artery. My mother was part of the machine dispensing this info so who knows. If you read something from me and I use the words "blew his brains out" you will know I was pissed at who I was directing the piece at and was shooting for effect. I'm good about sticking to the truth. I don't need to lie. But I think I have earned a small bit of license in the heat of passion.
Here's another thing. I never looked outside. I never saw him again until he was at the funeral home. Now I kind of wish I had. I finally asked my mother the macabre details of just whatever she could tell me.
I mean it was the yard I grew up in and spent 40 years walking around there. And somewhere over the exact spot for another 25. Now I know whatever she told me is more likely the exact opposite of reality.
That's just fucked up. What that guys father did. I mean it's the same as me only way different.
Way different.
It's all so strange. What makes them do what they do. If I could talk to him before he did it, with what I know now, I would stop him for one minute. Instead of caving to the black mail, I would ask him this.
You do know that you are not going to be around for all this dream sequence you have built up in your head?
We are going to chunk you in a hole in the ground and try to forget you ever existed.
There will be no shrines built for you. No silent pauses to pay homage to your memory.
Anyone that considers this a viable choice should know this.
Oh no one is ever going to forget you. You selfish prick. But every fantasy running through your head of how sorry we will all be for not treating you better is going to end up just the opposite. We will despise you. There will be no cherished memories. Your end will taint all that. Thoughts of you are going to be a haunting. Not us raising a glass in your memory.

Lisa said...

Shit, if they're there in the hereafter, I ain't going there!

At five years old, you were smarter than your retard parents. Not just smarter, different.

You did your best, you really did. You did everything you could think of to try and keep things together the way you thought they should be, for your own sake and theirs. The retards just didn't catch.

There was nothing you could have done. They didn't and don't care what you do. They chose to snuff you and them out. They deliberately did it exactly because you didn't want it.

Anonymous said...

aye, Ms. Lisa.

Here's a thought: You KNOW you can't believe anything that comes out of The Barbarian's mouth-after all, look at what she told your sister-what a bunch of crap. If you really want to know the details (this "clipped" shit doesn't cut it with me-not with a rifle and depending on the ammo) get the autopsy report. Where I live in The Tundra it would be considered an "Unattended Death." A suicide yes of course, but an autopsy is performed in any event because you/grandmother did not physically observe the death and because tissue samples and other evidence is collected and sent for sampling if it can't be done locally. (It takes awhile for all the results to come back....like what was the blood BAC? Any other drugs/substances? etc.) That info should be available from what ever hospital he was brought to or from the Coroner (if there was one) or the Coroner's records. Someone had to "Officially" declare him "dead." And a law enforcement officer can't do that.

You can also ask for all the info from the Collins County Sheriff (or what ever law enforcement agency/what ever jurisdiction) responded under FOIA. Yes, they do have records going back that far. And that should help get the actual physical details in order. The actual autopsy report will probably say something like: 1: Primary Cause of Death: Self-Inflicted Shotgun blast to the (L) or (R) chest. 2: Traumatic injury to the (blaa-blaa) 3:(Tertiary) blood loss and bone fragmentation (blaa blaa.)

Respectfully, yes he DID leave a "mess." And that "mess" is NOT you or your sister. It's a legacy that knocks at the door of your reality. It's essential IMO that as many questions that are asked are answered....those that can be answered. Those are facts.

And your reality is NO less fact. It's a fact of your life, q. Yep, it's just as gory as a survivor living in the real world for years post this BS as an instant in a life-time....as unwavering and as familiar as The Barbarian getting "All Dolled Up." Even as a little one, you KNEW what that meant. You were a KID along for the "ride" over which you had no control. Powerless and fearful, you weren't drivin' this bus.

q1605 said...

It was a .22 long rifle. They are little zingers but only about what? 45 or 50 grain projectiles. Maybe a little less than 2000 ft/sec muzzle velocity. We always shot hollow points so there there was some mushrooming.
I just bet it hurt like a mother fucker. I know it did because I just know. This is a trust me on this one thing.
Dumb fuck. I wonder what he expected. It was going to tickle. I can't say he was dead in less than a minute. But I can say he was dead in less than two.
I don't think there was any thing untoward going on. I was there and he was out there alone.
She is just a lying sack of shit and I just tossed that one out to make conversation. I actually heard that from my sister but she would have had to heard it from the barbarian.
HAHAHAHAH
I am getting cozy with her new nom de plume.
Nom de fumes.
Nom de stench.

q1605 said...

Yeah Lisa. If there is a hereafter I guess they will be in attendance. I want to make a show for long enough to kick his ass. But other than that I'll just be passing through.
If I know your headed my way, I'll keep a light on for ya.

Anonymous said...

"I bet it hurt like a mother fucker."

Yep. And how well you know. Your Legacy is HIS pain. His ended; your's hasn't yet....but it's on its way.

Promise.

Anonymous said...

"Don't be sorry that your darkness is gone. I'll hold it for you. I'll always keep it in me."

You no longer have to hold it or keep it, q. We'll ALL hold it and keep it WITH you.

Promise.

q1605 said...

You guys are very kind. It would be nice to one day know you all better.

Anonymous said...

Respectfully Little One, It's not about "being kind." It's about being heard..all over this cyber sphere.

You're far advanced from me with a PC as evidenced by you're ability to post Zappa's song. From a dummy in the Tundra in terms of "Cut and Paste" or what ever, if you don't mind could you please attach Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" (original) 1986 HQ/lyrics to this post or where ever you feel is appropriate. We've referenced "Low Spark" in a previous post (and these words among others, "We were children once playing with toys.") For all of us who have participated on this particular post thanks for putting it out here.
Honesty and integrity are rare qualities. Raw is part and parcel of who we are. IMO and respectfully it doesn't make us somehow 'less than,' it speaks to a kind of get down honesty.
Many thanks.

Keep putting it out there, q.

q1605 said...

Consider it done.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one to cry. Ever. I'm in tears and my "hunt-'n-peck" typing post a couple of stokes is "Painful to watch" according to my closest friend of 30 yrs. as she remarked this weekend when she came from the mountains to visit me here in the Valley. I told her "It's more painful to do than watch, believe me."

"Thank you" sounds so inadequate, but here it is...it's the words in your post and comments that bought me back to this song.

I'm gonna hope and pray this post gets to you and all the other posters on this topic. (We're having all kinds of weird weather which turns my power/internet access quite spotty.) Thanks to all of you. And I do hope the words in q's blog, the comments and Steve Winwood's song resonates with all.

From The Tundra you all have given me far more than I deserve. From the bottom of my feet and one foot/post Surgery/pinned/plated/screwed foot, Thank You.

q1605 said...

Aw Hun!
Good thing I didn't link you to a recording of me trying to play the trombone. It makes morticians hysterical and clears the street of stray cats for days.
Your welcome and get off of that foot.

q1605 said...

Hey Ms. Tundra. I put another link to a song you might like after Winwood. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

:) Niiiccce...!

Again, thanks.

Sweetness said...

I'm a little behind in reading my favorite bloggers' posts over the last few months. This one really got to me because, not only was what your father did awful, but it is a bit similar to the behavior of a few crazies in my life, only they didn't follow through. My first husband's dad called first husband into the bathroom where he was sitting on the lidded toilet holding a loaded .357 and told him that it wasn't his fault and some other bullshit. First husband wasn't more than about 7 years old. First husband's dad is still alive now and is an awful grandparent. Longer story for another day.

I just recently left third husband and am getting a divorce. This genius had a history of mental illness that he claimed was "Depression and anxiety." I don't judge because who hasn't gone through that? He had been hospitalized, but it wasn't until after we married (6 months after we met, online) that he told me his hospitalization was court-ordered because of his criminal activities. This genius started threatening suicide to me and then (in front of his child--my stepchild, who is 8) started singing a little song of "I am contemplating suicide" right there in the kitchen in front of her. I left shortly after, and of course he has painted me as the crazy one. These creatures do not deserve to be parents.

q1605 said...

I think most of us fall toward my side of the curve than the other. But no one talks about it. We have to remember they are the whack jobs and not us. I was tired of tip toeing around things I was involved only a spectator. If they didn't want to be remembered as loons they should have kept it between the ditches.

Charity said...

Many years ago I saw a play on PBS. A drama queen was flipping out on her husband, telling him she was going to commit suicide. The husband said:

"Suicide kills two people, Maggie, that's what it's for."

My mother tried to take us all out with her, and I did not survive that. A broken shadow of myself survived, but not my whole self.

I am amazed at the awesome person you are, q. How that can be is almost a miracle, after what your parents put you through.

Charity

q1605 said...

"Suicide kills two people, Maggie, that's what it's for."
That's poignant. If that's the word for it.
I had to go back and reread what I wrote. Damn that was hard for me to read and it happened to me.
Well I am here for you chastity.

Charity said...

Yes, poignant is the right word.

BTW, my blog name is CHARITY. The old English King James word for love. Not chastity. Hahaha..

q1605 said...

I knew that. Sorry.