Dear Dad

Friday, April 14th, 2017 – 7:55 pm

Dear Dad,

You passed away eight days ago.

I have not really cried much. What little I have done, I do not know if it is for you or because of my disorder. I think I have a lot of grieving still to go through, but I am not sure. We are still watching things very closely because of my condition.

Wait, you didn’t even know about my condition, did you?

Of course not. Sorry.

Because I also have been so sick, I sometimes forget you were on life support for over a year and a half before you died. We both missed a lot. Would you believe I went through so much this last year that I forgot to worry about you most days?

You taught me to drive a car over thirty years ago. You did not know that I have not been able to drive since July of last year. I really miss it.

I no longer have a job. I have been fully disabled for over nine months now. I am writing a couple memoirs. I am surrounded by some amazing friends. I hope you would be proud.

You did not know that I can no longer walk without a cane. Sometimes, I need a walker. I am two years shy of fifty.

You did not know that I cannot go into public for more than very short periods, no more than a few hours. Because of my disorder, my body and mind are severely disconnected. My body is mostly numb and I can no longer feel it. We have to set reminders to go to the bathroom and eat.

My seizures make the imbalance and lack of connection even worse. It makes walking very difficult at times. It makes functioning in public almost impossible except under severe controls and small time limits.

You did not know that whatever remaining tenuous connection is there can quickly be shattered from even a little bit too much sensory input. My mind crashes so hard that I can no longer breathe or think linearly. My IQ literally plummets and I become as defenseless as a child.

Because of that, I should warn you that I may or may not be well enough to travel at all to your memorial service in July. We do not know for sure yet. I certainly can no longer travel without someone going along with me and taking care of me, just like a kid.

You were even more helpless as a child on your bed the last few years. You know what it is like to be fully dependent on others. I hate even asking for a car ride. I would want to die before depending on someone else to change my damn diapers. Two motherfucking years.

That is a lot of sleeping, Dad.

What did you dream about?

Did you dream of the terrors you wrought in the day that birthed my demons and ghosts of the night?

Where are you now?

Were you trying to yell in your sleep to wake up and say goodbye?

Did you desperately want to say sorry just one last time?

I wanted to talk to you so bad in the last few years. You were the smartest person I knew and I cannot remember the last time I was able to have an intelligent conversation with you. The dementia had already started to debilitate you severely when I flew out and drove you to Brittany’s high school graduation. That was in 2009. You must remember now? You are whole and in your right mind on the other side now, right?

You quickly realized that I vowed to survive with or without a Dad in my life or heart from the youngest age, back when I flew inside my mind from your cruelty. With your help, I was driven into desolate places one shouldn’t speak about in the light. I dallied in hells the mind cannot contain. I broke my brain and my body and infinite worlds followed.

You should have been there.

I was about five years old when I discovered magic. That is when I started reshaping reality. The doctors call it Dissociative breaks. I redefined pain in the 3rd grade when you put boxing gloves on both us boys. To this day, l want to run face first into the fray and become fast friends with fever and pain. I still punch walls until my hands break. I only need to feel my knuckles cracked and bleeding. There is no greater feeling.

But lately, I cannot feel much of anything. Not anymore.

What are you feeling right now, Dad?

You didn’t know I tried to treat my disorder for many years with crutches and churches and pills and prayers and skepticism and sex and violence, truth and lies and light and darkness.

Anything to stop the pain. So much blood.

You didn’t know I quit drinking in October of 2015, again while you were on life support. I was drinking a fifth of whiskey a day for the last couple years. You might remember back when we had our last shot of bourbon together at the reunion upstate New York in 2014. I still cherish that moment. I think they got a picture.

The doctors recommended I quit the opiates last year and fortunately, the cannabis has been amazing at helping my condition. I thought you might get a kick out of that.

When I quit drinking the morning of October 29th in 2015, God told me three things.

He reminded me of a dream from eighteen when I had my very first seizure. God said I would burn brighter than ever and my race would be cut short.

Then He reminded me of a verse from the book of Luke and He said to reach out to as many friends as quickly as possible.

Finally, he showed me a vision of myself, surrounded by a group of friends helping me with finishing writing my books as I walked around with a cane.

Pretty specific images, right? They made little sense until the last few months.

You didn’t know I had to do an opiate detox in 2010 and another in 2013. They fucking broke me, Dad. I am not the same person anymore. Then this disorder came and crumbled the rest of me without a care. It swept away any remaining sense of self in the last year.

I’m not sure who I am anymore.

Dad, you should have been there.

You didn’t know I was diagnosed a year ago with PTSD from your violence.

You did not know I was then diagnosed six months ago with Conversion Disorder with Abnormal Movement, also a result of your brutal, daily abuse for almost twenty years.

My nonstop tremors and seizures are so bad, they treated me for Parkinson’s the first three months.

You slept through all the news, Dad.

Now, where are you?

You didn’t know any of these things. But I think you knew I loved you and forgave you.

I miss you. I hope you are at peace.

We have a lot to catch up on, someday.

I love you, Dad. I always have.

I’ll see you soon.

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