Yesterday’s Email

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Hi Tim,

I guess because it is Christmas ir [sic] Hanukkah – Jewish annual doy [sic] of atonement- that I’m reaching out to you.

First may you Rhonda rachael,[sic] Nicholas and wesley [sic] all have a blessed and joyfull [sic] Christmas and New year.

Next in tune with Hanukka [sic] I want to say I’m sorry for all the angry feeling I’ve had toward you this year and want to apologise [sic] for any of those that have hurt you.

This may sound conrtite [sic] or strange but in listening to a Jewish psycologist [sic]  friend of mine explain the purpose for Hannukka [sic] and its asking for forgiveness, as he explaind [sic] forgiveness blesses both the forgiven in that the guilt and pain is expunged and the forgiver in that forgivness [sic] is the beginning of healing.

And I hope both of these for you.

My reply:

 

 

Ed,

The Jewish Day of Atonement is not Hanukkah, it is Yom Kippur.   Known as the Jewish “Day of Atonement”, Yom Kippur begins on the evening of 11 October. It falls each year on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is a day to reflect on the past year and ask for forgiveness for any sins. Rosh Hashanah extends to asking forgiveness of God.

 

 

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights in December. This holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

 

 

I’m an atheist because I’ve studied religions.

 

 

Forgiveness.  Although is can be said that we will all have need for the gift of forgiveness – both as forgiver and forgiven at some point in our lives, it is far more complicated than the assigned rhetoric or dogma will have you believe.  It is not a single act, but a sustained and ongoing process dependent upon the sincere and devout works of the transgressor, which in turn allows for an open-heart in those he has wounded.

 

 

Forgiveness can only be the beginning of healing when the transgressor admits his wrongdoing, assumes all responsibility for what he did as well as for what it caused, and then endeavors to make it right — whatever that takes, for as long as it takes. Without this, forgiveness is a fallacy; meaningless and empty for both parties.

 

Anger is not a primary emotion, it is secondary – a choice we make, and it is seldom, if ever, valid. Anger provides a surge of energy and makes us feel temporarily in control … and it is far more comfortable to feel in the moment than our true emotions – usually sadness, defeat, fear, anxiety, dread, vulnerability.  You, Ed, have always chosen anger.  The father I remember was always mad.  Always.  Nothing has changed.

 

I do not care that you were angry with me this year, that was your choice.  Everything – from beginning to end, was and is on you; all I did was tell my story.  If you wanted the ending to be different, you should have taken greater care while writing it.

 

And, if you wanted forgiveness for what you’ve done, you’d have taken a far different tactic when you felt threatened and confronted — you’d have remembered that you are the source for all that has come to pass, and held yourself accountable.  You chose anger.

 

I think you may need a reminder; I am not like those in your life now, I know who and what you really are.  I am not fooled by your false wisdom or attempts at intellect, I won’t fall for that calm placating voice and the manipulations of others it affords you – I am the son you cruelly and brutally abused.  I’ve seen and lived your darkness; there is no light or goodness in you that I can find.

 

 

 

Tim

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thoughts At The End

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me to know that Ed got away with child abuse, rape and God alone knows what else, but it is less important than it once was.  In some small way, knowing the people he has fooled into believing he is a good and decent human being – the people who are, in reality, nothing more to him than props necessary to support his own self-delusion, know the truth.  They. Know. The. Truth …

what they do about that is their concern.

I’ve been silent for a few months, taking stock and reflecting.  That I saved all of Ed’s email, and thus his admissions that every word of this blog is, indeed, truth gives me an almost unimaginable upper-hand.

And yet, I don’t feel any sort of closure or relief.  At the end of the day, he proved me right; People Don’t Change – that is not solace.  He knows what he did, but he doesn’t know, or care, what it caused … how deep and dark the abyss he left his children in really is.

And when the chips were down, when he could have found redemption, he turned his back on all responsibility for who he is, and what he’s done, in favor of a life that is nothing more than a cover-up, and lie.  No father – no decent man does this.

So when you read this, and I know you will, remind yourself that while he appeared to be protecting you – the only person he was protecting was himself.

Thanksgiving 2014

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“The way everything turned out is all the evidence anyone needs; I believe every word I’ve read on your blog.”  More than one friend and family member has said this, or a variation of this, to me.

I’ve also heard, “Your parents were always strange,” and “This explains everything, nothing else does.”  These affirmations from people who knew my family as I was growing up, or who know me and/or my parents now, mean everything to me.

When you look at it objectively, the truth – and unfortunately Silence Shattered is gospel – is the only thing that makes sense of everything that has happened.  Sons don’t walk away from their parents if their parents have been who and what they should have been.  And here, “who and what they should have been,” isn’t subjective – it is not open to interpretation; my parents were monsters – sadistic and cruel.  It isn’t odd that we ended up estranged, it would be odd if we had ended up an intact family unit.

As far as I know, my sister isn’t spending Thanksgiving with anyone connected to our/her family in any way.  My mother is hosting her soon-to-be ex-son-in-law, his son from his first marriage, his wife, and my niece. My father will be with his wife and her son and his family. I will be with my wife, children, mother-in-law and maternal aunt.  Of the four of us – my mother, father, sister and I – not a single one of us will be with even one other member of our immediate family.  This is sad and tragic, and it is the direct result of child abuse.

I’m not a misogynistic ass, nor a hold over from a time gone by – far from it; I am a non-conformist and a feminist, but I believe that, as a man, I am the leader of my family – and I am responsible for the way it all turns out.  A man takes care of his family and honors his obligations.  My children did not ask to be here, I brought them into this world and I owe them love, respect and every chance in the world at a happy, productive, successful life.  I take family seriously; my wife and children are my life, my heart and soul, and if my children left home and never spoke to me again, I would know and clearly understand the reason to lie with me.

My parents have offered the world lies and distortions for thirty years – they never stopped to consider the obvious, never looked within for their answers … and within is the only place their truth could ever be found.

If you screw up raising your children, nothing else you do matters at all; you have failed at life.

You have a car, a house, money in the bank –  maybe even a career you’re proud of, but what does any of it mean if your children won’t speak to you?

And if all the external – the accomplishments, trappings and symbols of American Success still matter to you; if all that you’ve acquired materially brings you one iota of satisfaction when you failed your children, failed your family –  the only things in life that should ever have real meaning or value – you are a pompous, ignorant, arrogant fool.

On this Eve of Thanksgiving Eve, I truly pity Pat and Ed

And I hope their God is as forgiving as they believe him to be …

because they both have a great deal to answer for.

Can Such Things Be?

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In this week of being thankful, I’m so very thankful I understood the message above before I became a father.

In corresponding with Ed, I’m learning how difficult it is to make your child understand you’ve changed – that you are no longer the monster who would beat his sick young child for throwing up on his shoes, or for getting hurt at a church picnic.  You are no longer the man whose thought processes are so cruel, so flawed, so rooted in violent and uncontrolled rage and aggression, you are capable of ignoring the pleas not to be beaten again by the child you have beaten repeatedly … no longer the dis-compassionate animal who gives no thought to what his child wants, needs or feels.  No longer the  insufferable idiot with an authority complex who would force his son to eat zucchini – despite the son’s tears and pleas, his gagging and choking, until he threw up all over the table at a family dinner and then beat him, pants down, in front of everyone present, for throwing up.  No longer the ignorant asshole who thought it was OK to make his son a victim – not only at home, but at school.

 It’s damn-near impossible for me to see Ed as anyone other than the man in the paragraph above, because that is who he was every single day of my childhood.  These are not isolated incidents, they are what stand out most clearly in a sea of identical incidents.  This is who and what he  is … was.

Was?  I don’t know that yet.  My wife and mother-in-law, two very wise women whose opinion I respect, tell me I won’t know for sure until I’ve seen him – until I’ve spent time with him … I believe this is likely true.

But … he can’t  now do the things to me he once did–not because he has changed and is incapable of such reprehensible behavior today, but because I’m an adult with the power to disallow him to hurt me, or cause me harm in any way;

that does not mean he wouldn’t if he could – all it means is that I have grown-up …

and right now, this is the only Absolute in play.

Absolutes for the Future … at some point:

I want to know and feel and believe that if I were five years old I would be emotionally and physically safe in my father’s care.

I want to  know he is different than the man I know him to be because he is actually and truly different – better.

I want to be able to look back at who he was while looking at him today and see two different people.

I want to know the man he is today abhors the man he used to be, finds him an abomination.

I want reason and cause to believe him when he tells me, as he has, that he is sorry for the what he did, and for what it caused, and he is here for me now in whatever way I need.

I want to believe such things can be … true.

To Raise a Child; Reblogged From Earlier This Year

This just seems relevant today … 

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My parents fed me, clothed me and put a roof over my head.  They did not, however, raise me.

Raising a child is not about meeting his basic needs …

Raising a child is about giving him the skills he needs to succeed at life.

It’s about being a mentor, a teacher and a guide.

It’s about giving unconditional love and support.

It’s about helping him find his passion, his interests and his calling.

It’s about developing his talents so he is able to find fulfillment.

It’s about helping him to set and achieve goals so he knows a sense of accomplishment.

It’s about expectation that he will live up to his potential.

It’s about instilling respect for himself above all.

It’s about being his first best friend.

It’s about teaching him to dream, to love, to care.

It’s being compassionate and empathetic with him so he knows how to be compassionate and empathetic with himself, and others.

And in the end, it’s about letting go gracefully and accepting who he is without judgment or condemnation …

But with all-consuming, never-ending love and pride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Raise a Child

My parents fed me, clothed me and put a roof over my head.  They did not, however, raise me.

Raising a child is not about meeting his basic needs …

Raising a child is about giving him the skills he needs to succeed at life.

It’s about being a mentor, a teacher and a guide.

It’s about giving unconditional love and support.

It’s about helping him find his passion, his interests and his calling.

It’s about developing his talents so he is able to find fulfillment.

It’s about helping him to set and achieve goals so he knows a sense of accomplishment.

It’s about expectation that he will live up to his potential.

It’s about instilling respect for himself above all.

It’s about being his first best friend.

It’s about teaching him to dream, to love, to care.

It’s being compassionate and empathetic with him so he knows how to be compassionate and empathetic with himself, and others.

And in the end, it’s about letting go gracefully and accepting who he is without judgment or condemnation …

But with all-consuming, never-ending love and pride.