Am I Turning Into My Dad ?
Am I Turning Into My Dad
I live with a fear that one day I will become the very man I cursed and it depresses me beyond belief.
My thoughts on my biological father are well documented and for most of the time well buried. Yet I found myself raising my voice during an argument with my wife.
The row, as most rows are, was over nothing important. What is important is that the moment released just how we were both feeling at that precise time. What scared me was the way my emotions spilled over.
I always vowed that I would never turn into that rage-filled, drunken oaf who terrified my mother and made closing time a dreaded deadline for me too. I am already past the age he was at that time; so I can’t really blame age alone. Okay, I do drink (something I vowed I would NEVER do as a young teenager) and when I do I have my fill. I just fall asleep or I become so apologetic to my wife it must be unbearable.
So I suppose there is a lot of ‘just me’ inside, but I always fear an Id that contains a sort of emotional DNA, a blueprint of all I hated in him. That is what haunts me now. I know us men get grumpier as we get older and less patient with even the most trivial things. Yet I fear a kind of inevitability in who I am destined to be.
Thank God I have my mother’s genes too. She was a wonderful woman and suffered much in her loyalty as a wife and mother. She saw two world wars, nursing bits of blown up soldiers in the second. Only to marry a soldier who turned out far from gallant and dashing. She gave birth to a daughter whom she later buried in the Seventies. Her dignity never left her.
Just like my father, I never appreciated her; well only recently some twenty years after her death. I abandoned her with the excuse I had a young family and the burden of working six and seven days a week; with the excuse that nearly three hundred miles was a long way to go. I never visited her once in the old folk’s home in Maldon. The last time I saw her was the night before she died. I suppose I kind of said goodbye, but the selfish one at that.
I suppose I was trying to jettison the past and blame it for any ills that came my way. Strange now that I spend so much time remembering it. Perhaps it is because it is from a safe distance or maybe I’m remembering it incorrectly. Despite the bad times I not only survived but prospered. Some who read this will have no faith, others in abundance but the group of friends and my mother’s unwavering devotion to the Methodist church she, my sister and I attended every Sunday not only gave me stability, but links that led to my future.
So, going back to the beginning, I have to remember that we all have a dark side. The past has fashioned who I am and the future is yet to be made.