You thought I was going to talk about religion. Ha! No way.
A good friend of mine received some interesting news from her family today, and while she is still processing it – she asked if I ever had a big “revelation” in my family.
I immediately thought of when I was like 7 and my dad said, “Oh by the way, that person you thought was your grandfather is actually your step-grandfather. We are going to meet your real grandfather today.”
They had a falling out and Dad didn’t speak to him for like 15 years. Basically because (I think) my real grandfather had a nervous breakdown and left my grandmother.
It was kind of cool actually cause I never liked my step-grandfather. Well, I never liked my paternal grandmother much either. I felt guilty about it for a long time, since you are supposed to love everyone in your family no matter what – kwim?
But I stopped feeling guilty about it the day my sister told me that our grandmother had told her – when she was like 9 years old – that is was her fault that Dad died. Let me be clear. My GRANDMOTHER told my SISTER that it was my SISTER‘s (and I suppose in turn, my) FAULT that my father DIED. No wonder my sister was fucked up for so long.
Speaking of revelations. It has been interesting to revisit my father through talk therapy. I have dissociative memory disorder… which means, when things weren’t too cool at home during the early years, I started blocking things… and usually when people start that habit at a young age, they just keep doing it into adulthood, even though the trauma may be gone. It’s been a joke among my family for a long time that I can’t remember anything. But here is the thing – I can remember things like names of songs, what celebrity is dating who, etc – things that don’t mean anything.
From what I have pieced together from talking to my mom and my aunt, from my therapist’s interpretations of my stories and my dreams, and just my general feeling on things… it is possible that my father molested me (or us) as children.
My father was non-paranoid schizophrenic… or as my mom calls it, psychotic (same thing). Apparently the worst episode was when he was conducting an orchestra (that was not there) and the doctors had to tell him that the rest of the band was waiting for him in the ambulance to get him out of the house. My mom downplays this, says that it resulted from the medications that he was taking, but my therapist says that is impossible. That drugs like lithium do not cause psychotic episodes, they treat them. Who knows.
My dad also possibly had mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)… based on some of the stories of his behavior, and my own tendencies towards OCD, I feel this to be correct as well.
My therapist has compared him to a lesser version of Russell Crowe’s character from A Beautiful Mind. That does not surprise me since my father was brilliant. In fact, he helped develop the first communications system for the first satellite that NASA ever sent up. My sister tells me that XM Radio is based on some of my dad’s work. Very very very smart man.
My therapist says that someone who is schizophrenic with possible OCD tendencies is not likely to attack, rape or violate… so it is unlikely that my father violently attacked me/us. In my bones, I am pretty sure he did not molest us. She said it is far more likely that he would masturbate in my presence, or expose himself – since one of the characteristics of this type of person is lack of boundaries and lack of empathy. I am not sure about that either. I do remember my dad in a robe and skivvies all the time, but my guess is that was more related to his level of intoxication than anything else.
But I do know that my father would come into our rooms and watch us at night while we are sleeping (see, lack of boundaries). There was one occasion where, he either scared my sister (or did something to her) and apparently I came to the door of my room and was so scared that I peed myself. Obviously I was really scared of something.
It is freaky not knowing for sure. But I have come to accept the fact that it is something I may never know.
Wow, lots of revelations.