Happy birthday to me

[Brace for impact of the heart wrenching tale of Fathomless Regression (for your consideration for a Lifetime original movie]

Growing up without a father, and an absolutely insane mother who bounced from man to man was not exactly a simple life when I look back at it. At the time, it never occurred to me that other kids weren’t living the exact same lives. Ever wonder why young kids who are being abused don’t just run away? Maybe run to the neighbor’s house? Because they don’t know that it’s any different anywhere else. When you’re a kid you assume that your life is the way the whole world is. I assumed growing up that everyone’s dad was MIA, and that everyone’s mother would lose their mind at the drop of a hat. Of course now I know better, and I see my life for what it really was. A fucked up world for a kid to be raised in, and also a testament to the fact that your parents, surroundings, and circumstances do NOT determine your future. I grew up in a poverty stricken family, with no dad, and a mom who had so many mental disorders, we kind of stopped counting after a while. Yet here I am with a beautiful daughter, an amazing wife, a house of our own, food on the table, and a son on the way any day now. I’m literally living the American dream. I’m kind of like the rose growing from a pile of shit I guess. None of this came easy though. I’ve had to fight some hard battles to get to this point, and I’ve grown some what callous and disillusioned because of that fact. I’m suspicious of everyone I meet, and I operate under the assumption that at any given moment someone, or something will try and steal this dream away from me. This is why I associate with very few people, I don’t just throw the term “friend” around loosely, and I’ve eliminate contact with every blood relative except two (not including my wife and daughter).

17 years ago my mom was dating a man. He was very nice, he liked my brother and I, and he was good to my mom (whether she deserved it or not is debatable). He was supposed to be coming over to the house for dinner one night and my mom was mixing up some dough for some biscuits to serve with the meal. My brother and I were hanging out in the living room, and we were all having a fairly good time. It was one of the happier periods in our history. Then something went wrong with the biscuits and it all escalated quickly. My mom got upset, she yelled something, then grabbed the bowl she was mixing the dough and started banging it on the counter while crying. I ran out of the room and hid at the foot of a staircase, and started crying. She went into her room, shut the door, and that was it. She stayed in that room for months. She would come out to get food, or go to the bathroom, but other than that she just laid in bed, all day, every day. The man she was dating would come to the house and visit us and even go to see her. Looking at it from an adult’s eyes it’s pretty clear that he was mainly trying to protect two kids that he had involuntarily inherited. Then at the height of her depression, and still in the throws of her nervous breakdown, he told my brother and I that he was going to marry her and become our dad. We were thrilled of course, and I believe he just wanted to try and save a family that was tearing apart. He is a better person than most I’ve met, if not all of them. He married her, the happiness faded quickly, they became miserable, we all became miserable.

I can’t help but feel guilty, knowing that he married my crazy mother just to help me, and I reward his kindness by leaving one day and never going back. I’m fairly convinced that my family ruined his life, and that if my brother and I hadn’t been involved he would have just broken up with my mother. I mean who purposes to a mental case who never leaves their bedroom, whom you’ve only been dating for a few months?

24 years ago (before I can really remember) my Dad left my mom. I was just turning two and my brother was four. He had been cheating on my mom with a woman, and decided he was going to move in with her. We had no money, a shitty little apartment, and now an emotional shattered mother. Now 2 decades later and that same man wants to be a part of my children’s lives. This leaves me torn. Do I forget what has happened and reward his attempts to be a good grandfather, where he failed to be a good father? When I cut all ties with my mother it was simple. She is crazy, she is a liar, and she is probably the worst person I’ve ever known. She also showed no signs of ever wanting to change those facts. My dad has made a very apparent attempt at changing, and getting closer to me. That attempt, that little gold star of effort is what has allowed him to remain on the outer fringe of my world as opposed to be removed entirely.

16 years ago today (on my 10th birthday) we buried my step-grandfather. He was always one of my favorite relatives. I can remember when I was a kid we would go to his house and help him pick cucumbers from the garden. then we would spend the afternoon making pickles. sounds stupid, and very midwestern, but it was what it was. Reaching across generations, and making connections with one another. Passing along, skills, values, ideas, and a legacy. It’s still one of my favorite memories and I’ll pass it along to my kids some day. 

What was the point of all of this? Nothing. I was born 26 years ago today. i was forced into existence as a desperate attempt to save a failing marriage. Most people by a puppy or a new house, but when you’re poor, you have another kid. I am the failed savior of my parent’s marriage. In that regard, I am the catalyst for my own fucked up heritage. From that forced existence I have molded my own world, my own family. I have found a way to succeed in the professional realm, and in my personal life. I also like to think that I’ve succeeded in the creative realm through my music (I like it anyway). My goal in life has always been to be everything that my father wasn’t. I’ve done that, and now my goal has changed. I want to be an example for my kids to follow, not to try and contradict. I do everything with my wife and daughter in mind, and will sacrifice all other things and people in order to benefit them.

I’ve been alive for 26 years and, although I don’t want to get into all of the dirt, I’ve been through more trying times than some people will experience in their whole lives. But the flipside of that coin is that I’ve also experience more good, more joy, more blessings than MOST will experience in their lives. These past 26 years have been more than I ever thought I’d achieve, and are exactly what I had dreamed of. I am certain there is a God (although I don’t know in what sense of the word), and I am overwhelmingly grateful for everything that has been given to me. And for these brief moments when I don’t look over my shoulder; when I don’t worry that someone or something is going to end this beautiful dream; these are what I’m grateful for. These are what put a lump in my throat. When it’s just good, it’s just happy. There’s nothing else to it. This is the definition of a HAPPY birthday.

Fathomless Regression

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About fathomlessregression

I am a musician, writer, painter, brother, husband, and father. I have more questions about life than I do answers, and spend the majority of my time exploring the infinite number of possibilities that exist. This is accomplished through my art, music, writing, and most of all through conversation. View all posts by fathomlessregression

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