It's kind of a weird thing to sit and think about our family and acknowledge that you come from a broken home. My parents were married for 25 years before they split up, divorce becoming official a couple years later. I remember my childhood as having been "normal" in the sense that both my parents were present. I think I was probably ignorant or in denial for a long time about my dad being a tool. I have fond memories of my youth, some of them involve him, but most revolve around my siblings. My mom was stretched pretty thin but I know she tried hard and, I think, tried to shield us from the worst of what my dad was. Is. As a parent I want to avoid everything I think they did wrong, or do better where I think they could have done better.
That said, though, I know I have a lot of qualities that come from my dad. I want to be able to use those without being disgusted that it comes from him. I think I manage pretty well with that. Most of the worst of home life didn't happen until I was already grown and out of the house. It's easier for me not to think about it. I can still embrace things about myself that I know are most likely traits I inherited from my father. That's probably a little harder for some of my younger brothers and sisters.
What prompted these thoughts this evening is that my beautiful children broke my TV remote. Not such a big deal except that it makes volume control a pain in the ass. So after banging it on the edge of the table a couple times, shaking it around, swapping batteries I decided in one last ditch effort before buying a new one to take it apart. I didn't do much, didn't fiddle with any electronic junk, just popped it apart blew it off, put it back together. And it magically worked. This, I know for fact, is a trait that comes from my dad. My mother, who readily admits it, is "not mechanically inclined" (her words, not mine). Once the dishwasher was wobbly, I think she knew exactly what needed to be done (a screw was loose at the top and needed to be tightened) and just couldn't figure out how. I, 7 months pregnant, grabbed the drill and did the job. She was very appreciative. But, this is just one example of how I know any skill I have with a hammer or screwdriver does not come from her sweet blond soul. There are traits that I share with almost all of my siblings... that my mother does not possess.
I catch myself saying or doing things my mom did all the time, but there are times like tonight when I am reminded of all the things I have in common with a man I haven't seen in over 4 years, and not spoken to in at least 3. And I am not under any delusions (or is it illusions?) that it'd be nice to see him again. Frankly, there is just no desire to go there. I don't know if that makes me a bad daughter or just a disillusioned, jaded one. But that's where I stand today. I don't hate him. Sitting here talking about him I feel nothing. Maybe pity that his own actions have brought him to such a place (and worse) with his children.
I hope that never happens to me and mine. They are precious to me, it'd break my heart.