Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just had a car ride with my father: SO MUCH PAIN, SO MUCH TO I SEE IN MYSELF... this is a harder post to write than normal...

I just met my dad. We had to drive to the east end to run an errand.
It's always painful to ride with my folks. What can I say about my dad. As soon as I got in his car, I felt this weight, so my body said - keep in talking, keep him talking. So I thought, ok lets start with what he likes to talk about: his students. He tutors many students - but one he has been tutoring for the past five years. That's a safe bit. I'll start him there.

That faded after about 10 minutes, so I quickly had to move to another topic. My dad and my mother helped out in a unfair mark Stinkapee received on her report card. That has been "resolved" for the time being - but how it all transpired - we rehashed it, again.

I was describing the stance I took with one of the school administrators.
After I had described what had happened (I had essentially told them off) - my dad said to me: did you see that administrator see you later on? In effect, he was asking if I was worried about them seeing me?

At that moment, at had another realization - which DD pointed out when I was describing it to her: it was like he was a scared little school boy in the west indies, afraid of being caught.. and beaten."

I told him: "I don't work for that administrator .. my taxes pay his salary - and he's a power hungry asshole"

But when I told DD about the exchange - I started to realize that when I'm ready, I get very nervous and afraid of different power structures. Power structures that aren't particularly powerful, it's just that I haven't really grounded, or even started to consider the kind of energy my father has put on me. And that's when I realized something else. There is a piece of me that is actually afraid of my dad. He's not stable. He's a madman. But not overtly violent. He is covertly violent - very passive aggressive. HE taught that, indirectly to me.

I need a moment.

I also feel scared for him. ..actually I'm afraid I am him. A nervous little boy. I grew up around folks who were very triggered by people - and they understood they could /should be dominated. Their histories, their own histories ruled their present. The abuse, the tortore.. it hasn't gone anywhere. And it's there for many Black folks, all black folks one could argue. Check out 1TBM, and her post about the legacy of abuse and terror in Black community.

Now make no mistake, I know that there are some situations that might seem helpless, but I am talking about when you have a choice - but you're scared, you're nervous, and it paralyzes you.

My dad seems to really like it vapid conversation. I like to think that he deeply wants more - so I test the theory. I start -"Don't you think men really are brought up to be power hungry, to be controlling. We really need to change the way we live - you know?"
"Well, I'm not sure. That's people." he replies.
This is a person who has been dominated/beaten/trapped by the men in his life. He has only known mean men.

I know he doesn't trust them, and has no real male friendships.

I'm talking friends that you can share you're fears with and trust with your life.

I've tired to talk about other stuff, but it only ends up in me wanting to cry when he blocks me. He simply cannot process.

No, he chooses not to process anything. And for you bloggers who think I should cut him some slack: What I need to do, I think, is admit to myself- what has formed me. And keep reminding myself. Anything else is denial.

The conversation was hard. I think we stopped three times. Once for gas, once for coffee, and again for some Donutbits I was picking up for DD. It wasn't a long trip. I just needed the breathier, like the one I'm taking now.

I'll write more later. ZZZ time.

No comments: