I don’t write much about my father because my feelings for him are extremely conflicted such that I don’t generally consider him to be an admirable figure. He doesn’t represent my ideal of masculinity which, in my view, is a father’s job.
I am not alone in this assessment of him. I recall one of the many therapists I was placed before throughout my adolescence admonishing my parents of that fact. “You are not an adequate male role model!” he reportedly said, as relayed tearfully by my mother to me upon my return from one of my many albeit temporary (at the time) runnings away from home. Perhaps needless to say, while I was a runaway, my major enterprise was to attract the attention of men who I found to be superior male role models, albeit, as statutory rapists, they probably were not the best.
On the other hand, the responsibility for my father’s failures could easily be dropped into the laps of his mother and his wife, my grandmother and mother, respectively. However, their psychological injuries to him do not justify the psychological and somatic injuries he inflicted on me, and, for good measure, those women contributed to and amplified those injuries.
“Severe dysfunction of various sorts” describes my family and extended family. This is not the ideal environment in which to raise children.
The end result is that my immediate family is a genetic dead end and that is how it should be. I have cousins but do not predict the best of reproductive outcomes down the line for most of them.
One of the more admirable career ventures my father embarked upon, and there were many ventures, many disruptions, and many idealistic but ill-thought physical upheavals, was after I had already left home and established a career.
By the way, after I ran away from home, then managed to get to college, trade school, etc., my parents stopped moving. They stayed put in one modest home for over thirty years. I was the actor who was most instrumental in persuading my parents of this particular move. After having moved every two to three years, to different prevailing demographics, and thus having no sense of social or cultural belonging or permanence, I petitioned them to, for once, move for the benefit of the family rather than some dopamine-fueled, egotistical, hare-brained notion designed to garner my father temporary limelight followed by abject failure.
I am proud of that accomplishment even if I enjoyed only a year in that home and community before I ran away for good. It turned out that even in an ideal environment, living with my parents was unbearable to me. In fact, without the distraction of a disruptive and even dangerous environment, their dysfunctions came into stark relief.
Sometime after our first and last move as a family to this community, my father decided that he was going to sell term life insurance. On the occasion of my visit as an adult with a budding career, he showed me the corporate materials, treated me to a film presentation and otherwise completely convinced me of the viability of term life insurance. The short justification is that it is an investment with a better return for a young person than whole life insurance without being economically punitive to an older person (and yet not providing much of a payoff to an adult spouse or to adult surviving children, for instance, which, is a poetic rationale to say the least by a man who it would appear had not the least concern for his children’s future in mind. Ever.)
After being wholly convinced at the time however, I hardly had the heart to tell my father that he didn’t have the proper temperament to sell such a reasonable product. Rather, he had and has the temperament and bearing of an undertaker or pallbearer. Actually inviting such a creature into one’s home and then buying any form of life insurance from him would be, to put it mildly, unlikely.
Having recently admitted a couple of funeral home employees into my home for purposes of taking away the body of my beloved Axel, I am renewed in my impression of my father. While my father was always searching for his “calling,” it was plain as day to anyone who met him that he was in fact funereal in manner, bearing, and even elocution. There is no doubt in my mind that a dopamine antagonist would have done him a world of good to tamp down his notions of possessing anything like salesmanship (except for perhaps caskets, funeral plots, memorial services, flowers, etc.). I furthermore suspect that his choice to go into sales of various other sorts was intended to attempt to make himself more appealing to children, which, in my father’s case, is extremely problematic.
I have written elsewhere in vague terms about his psychological and somatic injuries toward me and my sister because I don’t wish to either titillate or to entirely embrace victimhood. It is clear to me that both of my parents, and their parents, were victims of that sort of thing to one degree or another to include codependency. The phrase, “emotional incest” characterizes the major injuries better than dwelling on the physical which was not all that obvious or definitive thereby amplifying the vague psychological effects. However the physical was also there and the result in me is to have my sexuality largely defined by my masochism, thereby dooming me to fall in love only with those men willing to accommodate me, with some of them, of course, quite psychotic and/or narcissistic.
Distinguishing the positive male archetypes from the negative ones has been my emotional career. Meanwhile, those relationships of mine with positive outcomes to include lasting friendships have been with men who least represent the archetypes of my extended family.
It occurs to me given my nonreproductivity whether I and others like me would be better off in Term Marriages. Without the complication of children, such a thing looks a lot more attractive and would provide some semblance of stability if not permanence.
Now that the homosexuals have their marriage, I think it is time to give Term Marriages a try.