Getting Far Away from the Keeper of Grudges

[ This entry originated here » The Place where Imagination becomes Reality (25 Dec 2017). ]

The difference between my mom's side of the family and my dad's side .. was a big difference .. in many ways .. but mainly because my mom's side did not harbor grudges.

My mother once said to me, "You know .. your father doesnt talk to his brothers. Ever. He talks to his sisters, but never to his brothers. I dont want you and your brother to be like that. You're all each other have."

» He Silently Got Up and Went into His Room

I forget how old I was ... maybe 8 or 9 .. the age where you become family-aware and are trying to figure out who is who and which cousin belongs to whom.

It was during this time when I was sitting in the living room around the TV with the folks and I asked a question about my dad's dad .. whom I had never met .. because he died before I was born.

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» Without Saying a Word .. and Quietly Closed the Door Behind Him

And without saying a word, and without any change of expression on his face .. dad got up ever so casually and walked into his bedroom and quietly shut the door behind him.

I turned to look at mom and she said quietly, "Your father doesnt talk about his father."

And we never did .. ever. Not even one time. (Ever.)

When dad did this, I was disappointed in him. This seemed so childish to me. So third-gradish. An immature third-grader. Was I wrong to expect more?

I knew that there was obviously things that I didnt understand .. but I also knew that this was fucked up .. for my dad to harbor a grudge on a man who had been dead for years.

» Defining Terms » Grudge

As a noun the term grudge is defined as:

  1. A deep-seated feeling of resentment or rancor.
  2. Deep-seated animosity or ill-feeling about something or someone.

As a verb the term means:

  1. To be reluctant to give or admit.
  2. To resent for having; begrudge.

Here I am referring the noun's definition.

» What the Fuck Just Happened?

You dont need to be a shrink to know that this is fucked up. Why do people pretend that obviously dysfunctional behavior is normal?

If your dad has been dead for a decade, then maybe it's time to let that grudge go. It's obviously not affecting your dad .. so why still harbor that grudge?

When I went to see my dad when he was dying, and he said, "When you were young, I was under a lot of stress." .. he is telling me why he did the nasty shit that I might be holding a grudge against.

When I said, "It's okay, dad .. I understand." .. I was saying, "It's okay, dad .. I am not holding any grudges against you for all the fucked-up shit you did as a dad .. as my dad. And even tho you sucked as a dad and were unable to give me what I needed .. because I am not like you. And thank God for it. But even though you could not give me what I needed .. I still managed to attract to myself people who helped me move beyond the limitations that accompany your particular parenting deficiencies. Surprisingly enough, a number of my friends had it much worse. I am not saying that it was easy to move beyond the dsyfunctions associated with emotionally deficient parenting. It wasnt easy .. but good for me. Arent you glad, pops, that I have managed to move beyond the limitations that snagged you for so long? You will die here in a few weeks .. with all your grudges. This is the last time that I will ever see you alive. The next time that I see you, which will be a few short weeks from now, you will be lying still, very still, eerily still, in a casket perched handsomely on a platform set up in one of the corners of the funeral home. Bro tells me that they are going to bury you right beside mom. I havent been to mom's grave in a long time. I dont think I could find it on my own. Tunie took me the last time I went. I am going to ride over to the cemetery with bro and Mary Lou. Might as well take the limo, no? Stretch out a little. Bro says that he noticed that you did many of the things that they talked about in his Abnormal Psychology class at Tufts. Can't really say that I was surprised. Did you know that mom cheated on you with Larry? Everybody who knows says, 'Good for her.' You did not have what she needed .. in an intimate relationship. I can totally understand how she felt. Good bye, dad. Good bye, forever. I wish that I would feel a sense of loss .. but I dont."

Plus, I didnt want to get into a fight with him. He did not know how to deal with disagreement beyond a grade-school level.

And I will naturally call bullshit if he tries to feed me bullshit excuses for why he seemed to resent me. If I couldve left home earlier, I would have. But I couldnt.

So I am saying that it was a bad idea to venture down that path .. for a number reasons. I could continue here for quite some ways.

» I Gotta Get the Fuck Outta Here

See .. my dad was always the baby .. until I came along. And you could tell that he felt like I was moving in on his territory.

I could go into excruciating detail .. but I will spare you. Suffice to say that it is no wonder that I was so fucked up.

The School-of-Life addresses some of this fucked-up'edness in a 7-min video titled » How a Fucked Up Childhood Affects You in Adulthood (20 March 2018).

If you cannot talk about your dead father .. with your alive son, who asks you about the grandfather who he never met .. that's fucked up.

That's actually beyond mere 'fucked-up'.

It is childish .. is it not? This is behavior you might expect from a child. An ill-mannered child.

I could see during my years growing up .. that a part of my dad was somehow stuck in childhood. This episode here is only one example.

It wasnt long after this point where I started looking for a paper-route .. which would 'get me out' and make me some cash.

» Getting Away from the Keeper of Grudges

Perhaps now you have a little better insight into my teenage thoughts of, "I gotta get the fuck outta here .. no matter how I do it."

Sidewalk along Ala Wai blvd and Ala Wai canal in Waikiki with Diamond Head in background

I bet that Reese knows exactly what I am talking about here. And maybe even Sasha.

» A Reason for God to Come and Strike the Land with Total Destruction

And perhaps you can also see a little better why these verses from Malachi speak to me.

Notice how scripture suggests that a turning away of the hearts of the fathers from their children .. is a reason to » "come and strike the land with total destruction."

Food for thought.

It may be worth noting here that these two verses from Malachi are the last two verses in the Old Testament. The next verse is found in the New Testament.

» Calculating the Costs of Bad Parenting on Society and Humanity Itself

Speaking of striking the land with total destruction .. Alice Miller (1923-2010) posed the question about calculating the cost to society and to humanity itself .. which comes from a man like Hilter, who had a shitty, abusive father.

Alois Hitler (1837-1903)

[ Hitler's dad pictured here. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. ]

Alice suggests that an enlightened society would see the value in helping parents to create a more nurturing environment for children during their most vulnerable and formative years.

» Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

Scripture says that love "does not take into account a wrong suffered" and that it "keeps no record of wrongs."

Dad did not possess that kind of love .. the God-kind of love.

I know that I am simply stating the obvious here when I say that .. if someone cannot even talk about a thing .. then that person has not moved beyond this thing that is obviously still bothering them.

My dad went to Catholic grade school .. so I am assuming that he knew the verse where Jesus instructs his disciples to "forgive if you hold anything against anyone."

That pretty much covers everything. He tells them to "drop the issue and let it go." .. if you happen to be harboring a grudge.

Easier said than done.

What if it is a valid grievance .. where someone has genuinely done you wrong?

Do you feel that forgiveness is something that some people simply can't muster? That they simply can't do? That is downright impossible for them? For whatever reason.

It's a valid question, no? These kinds of questions interest me.

» Grudges Fuck-Up Families

I learned a lot about such things from Grandma Nancy .. the Film school girl's mom.

Maria and Grandma Nancy at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach

You know how curious I can get about certain topics, and how many questions I can ask .. when I get curious.

Even then I was impressed with this thing that she was able to pull off. But now, it seems far more impressive.

I mean, both of the Film school girl's parents had been remarried after the divorce. And everybody would get together during the holidays for family feasts. And everybody got along great .. genuinely so.

We would sit by the fireplace and chat about family-type things and experiences and attitudes and insights.

One of the things that I liked best about this particular family was their tradition of writing poems for the Thanksgiving day feast. And everybody would read their poems after dinner .. usually somewhere around dessert time.

You cannot imagine how much fun this was. The poems were so different.

I still remember when the boy said, "And soon this bird will be a giant turd." And everybody burst out laughing.

Anyway .. if you could boil down grandma Nancy's philosophy-of-family into one super-slick sentence .. it might very well be » Grudges fuck-up families.

» Well-Familiar with Familial Dysfunction

The brothers Karamazov may indeed be familiar with the many-varied aspects of familial dysfunction. Intimately familiar. But I am certainly not intimidated by anyone .. when it comes to such things.

And I do not have the Russian government censoring me. If I feel like telling Ben Sasse to go fuck himself .. then this is the democratic impulse at work .. alive and well. (Go fuck yourself, Ben.)

» Dedicated to My Heroes

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)I would very much like to take this opportunity to dedicate this page

to the memory of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.

Who has been called "one of a handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility."

And who also had a shitty dad.

As a point of contrast here with Dostoevsky .. which I rarely find with him ..

.. I noticed that he criticized the youth of his day .. when he was in his forties. I am not going to detail specifics because the criticisms are involved and complicated.

While myself, I see hope in the younger generation. I mean, the older generation has set the bar so low .. that up is the only way possible now.

I should also mention Hannah Arendt here where I mention my heros.

» Alice Miller

And I would also like to dedicate this page to the memory of Alice Miller.

Alice Miller (1923-2010)

Alice knows how much harm shitty parents can do to their children.

Alice Miller quote

(Speaking of parents who fuck-up their kids for their entire lives, and who deserve no honor whatsoever .. have you seen this » real-life California horror story?)

» The People Who Help You Process Your Childhood Traumas

There were a number of people who helped me through to the healing that lies on the other side of the psychic wounds that we suffer in childhood .. wounds that we receive at a time when we are not yet old enough to deal with them.

It was a small number of people .. both male and female.

The Dog is one of these people. Anybody who has already been through this sort of thing .. is naturally able to help guide the uninitiated through the process .. which is a long and emotional and sucky journey.

I could write a small book right about here .. about these people, and about my conversations with them. It would not be easy, but I could do it.

The right person is important .. because a person might have the insights that we need, yet we cannot receive such insights from somebody who is not right for us.

» The Maturity to Deal with Your Own Shit .. So that You Dont Transfer it to Your Kids

I dont want to delve too deeply here, but perhaps you can see how it might spell trouble for me that my dad, who was a youngest son, held some type of grudge against his older brothers .. which is obviously why he never talks to them. (Ever.)

Not only did he never talk about his own father (ever) .. but he also never talked about either of his two older brothers.

On the rare occasion that I did overhear him saying something about one of them .. which you could count on the fingers of one hand .. it was never anything good.

It was always about something that he didnt like about them. How he thought they were fucking up. He oozed judgment toward them.

Perhaps now you can see how dad might transfer some of those feelings of hostility to me, an eldest son .. rather than be a real man and confront his brothers and tell them exactly why he felt the way that he did.

I am not saying that this is an easy thing to do .. because it's not. But this is what men do. Because they dont want their issues to affect their loved-ones, who live close to them. So they deal with their own shit .. uncomfortable as that might be.

I bet that Mariah knows exactly what I am talking about here.

» Is Oprah an Enlightened Soul?

I thought about some of these things when I heard the story about Oprah's issues regarding others chewing gum around her.

Reese Witherspoon violated Oprah's rule about chewing gum around her

Notice how Oprah makes others pay the consequences of her issues .. instead of dealing with her own issue.

It surprised me to hear this .. because Oprah is widely considered an enlightened soul. But forcing others to pay the consequences of your own issues .. this is not enlightened behavior.

Is there not a spoiled-child aspect to this? It's like Oprah is saying, "I expect everyone around me to deal with the consequences of my issues .. because I refuse to deal with them myself."

Notice how Oprah doesnt care if you chew gum .. at your own home. She merely doesnt want you to do it AROUND HER.

I would expect somebody like Oprah to be handing out sticks of chewing gum on set to her fellow cast members .. not scolding them or sending her henchmen to apply pressure so that they bow to her issues.

Oh, I see you here, doing your impersonation of Oprah with James and Mindy.

Reese doing Oprah with James and Mindy, 13 March 2018

That was very good. I was impressed. You look good. Happy. You are kicking ass by going your own direction. What could possibly be cooler?

I could so get to meddling here .. about the consequences that arise from an authority figure who refuses to deal with their own issues .. and who make those around then pay the price for their own issues.

» If You Do Not Summon the Courage to Deal With Your Issues, They Will Infect Your Intimate Relationships

Let me just say here that .. with my son's mom .. 85% of this relationship worked easily and effortlesly.

There were a lot of things about her that I really liked and admired.

But 10 or 15% of the thing involved rubbing up against her issues. I am quite savvy when it comes to these things, and I am normally able to navigate such things with most people.

But there are some issues that I tolerate less-well than others. There are some issues that the writer, is naturally less-able to tolerate .. because he is a writer.

And you cannot process the psychic trauma of another person .. no matter how much you might want to. This is something that they must do for themselves .. or it simply won't get done.

I could surely have helped walk her through this thing .. but I am not the right person for her to do this.

I could write untold volumes on the details and specifics behind this subject .. but my point is simply to say .. that if you do not deal with your own shit .. which comes from traumas that your suffered while growing up, and which happened to you at an age when you were too young to deal with it ..

.. if you do not summon the courage to deal with your own shit .. it will affect those closest to you. I'm talking about your loved ones. And it will affect your intimate relationships.

I feel confident that Demi Lovato's mom would back me up here. You basically want to develop the ability and capacity to put-life-into your loved ones .. and not suck-it-out of them.

And nobody with a shred of self-respect will allow themselves to remain in an intimate relationship with you .. because, instead of love, you will try to foist upon your lover all manner of toxic emotional slime.

Again, I am not saying that it is easy or quick to deal with and process the effects of this emotional trauma .. but what's the alternative?

From a self-interested perspective .. you might be motivated by the prospect of exploring a relationship with a truly beautiful creature.

I am talking about creatures more beautiful than you even knew existed. After you have processed the toxic effects of the emotional trauma from your childhood .. you will become attractive to truly beautiful creatures.

I am not really sure how this works .. except to say that I have experienced such a thing.

Perhaps some people simply dont have it in them. Perhaps, for whatever reason, they are not able summon the courage to face and confront the bad things that happened to them at an age where they were not able to deal with these hurts.

I totally get it. I totally understand .. because I know how difficult it can be.

» Demonstration and Articulation

One of the reasons why I share these stories about my dad and about my family and some of the intricacies of the family dynamics .. is because I want to demonstrate ..

[ "Show, dont tell," the writer is continually urged. ]

.. how I am able to address and articulate the feelings and perceptions that are associated with these things.

At one point, you could sum up all of these things that I am writing here about my dad with a giant middle finger.

That's not a good place to be .. especially not when you are older and trying to establish meaningful intimate relationships with exceedingly beautiful creatures.

(Ask me how I know.)

You need to become bigger than this thing .. which, at a vulnerable point in your life, was bigger than you.

You need to come to a place where you are looking down on this thing with compassion .. and not looking up at it in fear.

I know it sounds easy .. but it aint.

Even as an adult, you need help. You need kind, compassionate, empathetic people who love you and support you .. you need these people to help you through these things.

I have always felt obligated to help others find their way through these difficult things .. because I so appreciate those who helped me.

» Making Others Pay the Price for Issues We Refuse to Deal With

Anyway .. perhaps now you can see how my dad might be inclined to take out on me the ill will that he felt toward his older brothers .. because I surely can.

See .. cousin Patti grew up in a duplex right next door to my dad. A 2-story duplex. We went there after church every Sunday morning for my whole life. Grandma spent the whole morning cooking some super-yummy feast.

Patti would come over and eat with us. Everybody crammed into that little kitchen, and sat around that kitchen table that wasnt nearly big enough for everybody.

Patti's mom is the oldest sister, while my dad is the youngest of all. He is the baby.

» She Knows Where the Bodies are Buried

So, what I am saying? I am saying that Patti knows where the bodies are buried. All of them. And we talked a lot during my cancer treatment. About real shit.

When I could no longer talk .. because of all the radiation to my vocals cords .. we traded emails. Lots of them. Some big, some small.

The end. ■ This saga continues here » Does that not Strike You as a Curious Thing? (11 Jan 2018).

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