When hating a parent seems normal


Yes, I know hate is a very strong emotion. I know it’s a sin. I’m not sure I hate anyone, but this is probably the closest I’ll get to it. It’s hard to say I hate him, because there were good times too. But they were few and a very long time ago. What he’s done to me alone is hard for me to accept, forgive and move on. What he’s done to my mother is even worse. Yesterday, when he tried to run over my blind brother, anything resembling love, sympathy, etc. left my heart.

Wednesday would’ve been my parents’ 37th wedding anniversary. Two decades ago, their marriage ended, except it didn’t. Despite the emotional abuse she suffered, my mother decided to make an effort and stay together for the sake of her children.

My father and I were close when I was younger. I moved out of the house when I was 23. Three years later I was forced to move back home due to my financial circumstances. Apparently, my father resented me for that. I left home for a week because I couldn’t stand the hostility and feared for my wellbeing.

One Wednesday morning in February this year, at four in the morning, he had a huge fight with my mother; blaming her and her debt for ruining his life. Calling me a free loader. Shouting “fuck the house, fuck the kids”. Calling my mother a fucking bitch. That was the last straw. She decided, again for the sake of her children, that she no longer wanted this man in her life. I supported her uncondtionally from the start. My brother decided it would not be the Christian way to write off his father, despite being written of by him.

Last December our house was burgled, following my father’s negligence. During that incident I lost the only tangible thing I had left of my grandfather – the man who was a true example of what it means to be a man; a good man, a family man, a God-fearing man. Fortunately I had taken out insurance on the home content when I moved back. It was a small gesture of gratitude for being able to have a roof over my head, food and love. Most of the things that were stolen where tools and equipment out of the garage. My insurance replaced most of it, and paid out cash for what it could not. Cash my father got.

After that Wednesday morning, when he said he’s going to take his stuff and leave, my mom let him go. One afternoon when he came back to get some of his stuff, she told him that he needs to make sure that he takes all his stuff by a certain date, and that it did not include the things my insurance replaced, since it was mine. I said he could buy it from me, but he apparently didn’t have money (and wasn’t willing to take some out of his beer budget). Instead he just took it all with him, and when I called to ask him about it, one Sunday in March, he told me that I sucked him dry financially, I took advantage of him, and that some of the equipment (that was stolen and replaced) belonged to his work. I put the phone down on him that day, and only spoke to him once since, when I dropped off mail as I returned from class and couldn’t avoid him.

He is a compulsive liar. He tells everyone the house my mother is living in is on his name, it’s not. It’s in both their names. Fortunately the rest of the community are well aware of his habits and have only put up with him for my mother’s sake. So they don’t listen when he calls her a sly bitch.

The list of things – a lot of them illegal – he believes he’s justified in doing/have done – is longer than I have the time, patience or courage to write down here.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. I returned to Johannesburg at four. About an hour later my brother and his fiance went home (they live very close to my mother). My father called in his usual drunkeness. Told the fiance not to marry my brother. My brother asked him to leave; in fact, to do everyone a favour and drive in front of a train. He sped off in a drunken rage. Shortly afterward he called my brother again. The fiance answered. She was told that she should not marry a man that treats his father like that. She told him that she can see what’s going on and make up her own mind and that he needs to wake up and go sign the papers. He then stopped in front of my brother’s house again, and called him a “bliksemse blinde”. When my brother stepped out of the yard, my father tried to drive over him before speeding off again.

Before this all happened my phone rang and when I saw it was him calling I refused to answer. He also called my mother’s brother (who is trying to buy the house in order for my mother to have a home at least, but my father is refusing to sign the contract). My uncle also didn’t answer.

I may be going straight to hell for documenting this, but I’m thinking it, so I might as well write it down: 90% of my mother’s problems (and consequently a great deal of mine) would be solved if my father was dead. And yes, I wish something fatal would happen to him.

Sometimes when people ask me about my father (and it really bugs me to call him/refer to him as that) I say that in the picture of my life he’s a dirty smudge on the page. You can’t get rid of it, but it does not contribute to the picture. It doesn’t form part of it.


About Syllable

A frugal shopaholic called Syllable: Intelligent, skeptic, curious, naïve, passionate, moody, honest, creative, obsessive & obsessed. A dreamer, a worrier, a writer, a reader, a listener, an observer. My little site of fiction: http://www.thesinglesyllable.co.za/

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