Friday, October 10, 2008

Rehab In A Bottle

After 15 years and many trips to the parole board, my father has been deemed rehabilitated and will be having an early release from prison in the summer of 2009. This is a day that I dreaded as a youngster. Fear of him being released would jump me out of my sleep at night. After my mom died, I even started sleep walking and talking. That’s how stressed out I was. Even at a time when the body and mind is supposed to rest and unwind, I was highly strung. I am proud to say that I am no longer fearful of him. No one should be feared but God and not even God wants us to have a haunting fear of him. My father, at release, will be sent to a holding facility where he will wait to be deported to his country of birth. This is a little light in a dense fog but what about the people in his country that will be subjected to his behavior. I know that my father has not changed for the better in prison because up to this day, he has not apologized or acknowledged killing my mother. I refused to speak to him all these years but I used to write him, not as a child would a father, but as a psychologist would a patient. I would show him why he should get help and even offer some biblical scriptures that I thought would be helpful to him.

When he noticed the scriptures, I knew that a little half-life light bulb flashed over his head. He saw this as a way to try to manipulate me to get me on his side. So when he wrote back, not only would he complain about my mother’s family, listing all the lies they supposedly told on him, he would express how he’s learning about God and coming to appreciate him. I saw him coming a mile away. I refused to be susceptible to his manipulating tactics. Suffice it to say, this was a crock. My father did not believe in God. He raised me to be an atheist and for a time I was. On Sunday morning, whenever my mother would get me ready to attend church, my father would insist that I stay home. For the most part he would win. For this reason, my mother started taking me to a Baptist church right before midnight on Saturday nights with one of her good friends, while my father was engaged in his weekend binge drinking- fests in some undisclosed location.

After catching me reading the Bible one day in the living room, my father warned me that if he saw me reading the Bible again, he would throw it through the window. I knew this would be the case because I have seen him throw objects through the window such as our vintage yellow rotary phone after he felt it’s warmth. This meant that my mother was on the phone and this was an absolute No No. He ripped it out of the kitchen wall and flung it on the front lawn with a warning that the phone wouldn’t be the one going through the window next time. OK. Moving right along…
My father was adamant that God did not exist and he bestowed upon me his teachings. He was very dogmatic during his teaching sessions as I was his only pupil. He taught me that I was god and he was god. He said he was also Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. This was an eye-opener for a six year old to say the least. My father also admired Hitler and other terrorists so what kind of authority on truth was he? By the age of 10, I came to my senses on my own. My father had and I am sure, still has a lot of hatred in his heart. He manufactures so much hatred that he can not see God in the beauty all around him; such as in the pollen of a flower that bees can not resist, the flickering light in fireflies, the frolicking of the end of summer squirrels and the deep gold hues of the sunset moving across the horizon like slow, thick molasses.

If perchance my father has changed, that’s good for him. I really do not want any part of him. I believe in my bones that he hasn’t changed at all because like I said before, he hasn’t once acknowledged what he did or apologized. So after paragraphs of blaming everyone but himself for his imprisonment and subsequent erasure from my life and the lives of my siblings, the closest my father would come to acknowledging what he did was, ‘I am sorry for what happened to your mother’. Happened? What ‘happened’ to my mother didn’t just haphazardly, by chance, happen. It was executed for almost 2 decades. Every time my father abused my mom, it was harsher than the abuse before. It was another step closer to her impending murder. And on that wintery Friday night, it came to fruition. My father actually planned my mother’s murder that night, but that’s another blog entry. Please, let my mother’s example be a warning to everyone reading this who is in an abusive relationship or who knows someone who is in one. Let’s stop this crazy silent epidemic. Now, as my mom’s body continues to rot away in her coffin, my father is about to experience the sweet taste of freedom again. Rehab in a bottle.

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