There have been times I have wondered if I would’ve been better off without him. If things would have been easier, or happier. If the lack of anger would have calmed the household. If the lack of money would have kept us on the ranch, or in the house with the bars on the windows. If I would have found myself between combative enemies, or if, quite simply, I would have existed without a father.
I wonder if the scars, once healed, will stop itching. I wonder if the itch will remain as long as he exists, on some levels, as “part” of my life. I wonder if I need to curb the itch, put an end to it – to find a more thoroughly calming peace.
“It’s not about you,” a friend once said. I remember being annoyed by this, and asked her: “how can it not be?” I was living it. Invested to the extent that I wished for my mother to live a life with some semblance of peace and joy. Invested to the extent that I yearned for my father to recognize the pain he had caused.
I was invested in anguish, in heartache, and in the hopeful consequent newness that just wouldn’t come.