You could be mine

I took a walk this morning. Not around my neighborhood (boring!) but around a neighborhood where the rich people live. It is not so terribly far from where I live, and yet it is on a whole other plane. I think there must be way more crime there than in my area though, because one place had a motion sensor, light and a camera pointed at the trash cans. If the trash has that kind of security, I dare not even contemplate what must be required for the rest of the house. People must be doing pretty sick things to trash cans around there for it to be warranted. I sleep with the windows open. I figure if anyone comes into my house while I am sleeping, my naked will scare them away. And if they want to steal my trash, uh… feel free?

Anyways, on the return trip to my car, I passed a man walking with his toddler son. They had a mini soccer ball which they were kicking along as they walked, and two big dogs walked next to them. The guy looked up at me, smiled and said good morning, and I said good morning back. And I think I probably grimaced really creepily rather than smiling, because as I looked at them my gut wrenched and I held back vomit as I thought “That should have been me, about five years ago”.

I thought back to what I was doing five years ago, when Sprog was just a little over one year old. December 2001. My girlfriend and I had broken up. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and we were both addicted to EverQuest and dope. We would shoot speedballs and then smite orcs with our mighty Shortswords of Ykesha. Could have been playing ball with a toddler, but instead I was playing video games with a loser. /facepalm

So I think about that time, and then I think about the comment Kim wrote on my previous entry – she has a high opinion of me. Bwah? She did not know me back then. The things she wrote about how shitty her daughter’s birth father was? I did all that and then some. Unhelpful? Oh yeah. I was in my own little world of pixels, powders and pipes. My girlfriend and I could not see eye to eye, hence the breakup. She wanted to work through her grief, I wanted to pretend nothing ever happened. She put up pictures of Sprog, I ripped them down and tore them into tiny pieces. I felt like I had been torn into tiny pieces and she had to put all these fucking reminders all over the place, I called it cruel and unusual punishment. I really do not know what we could have done differently. We both processed the event in very different ways, we needed different things and living in the same house when what she needed was exactly what was killing me, well… we did engage in hand-to-hand combat. She probably would say I was abusive, and she probably would be right. I was definitely self-centered. I had certainly failed to take to heart the agency’s admonition “You need to be there for her after the placement”. I was pissed at her. It was her idea. I only did it because she wanted to. Recriminations. I think I wanted to hurt her. I cheated on her, and then I left her without a word.

I am not different. I am not better. I am a birth father like any other. I have behaved as badly as any other. The difference is I just happen to be very fucking lucky.

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8 Responses to “You could be mine”

  1. reunionwritings Says:

    You grew from the experience, he sunk lower and had a terrible life.

    You were in active addiction when all this went on, in the grip of your disease.

    Today you are clean and you are emotionally available for your son.

    So don’t you Bwah at me!

  2. Christine Says:

    Sounds like Shannon. Though, I dare say that he has got it together now.

    Interesting.

    You guys are good now.. right?

  3. aww. brad. i wish I could say something positive. maybe i can.

    i can tell you that i am glad you are here and that you show strength that few men have. your insight, your knowledge, your experiences, your emotions are very valuable to so many.

    on a more personal note, your recent post triggered alot in me in relation to my daughters father. hence, this cryptic, odd response.

    hang in there.

  4. If I can be excused for being in active addiction at the time, why can’t he? He still is. There but for the grace of Hendrix go I, Kim.

    Yeah Christine, we are good now.

    Thanks Suz.

  5. Okay, you know what?

    Your behavior at that time sucked.

    So what? What does that have to do with now? And what does that have to do with birth fathers as a group?

    If EVERY SINGLE birth father behaved horribly, I’d still not advocate stripping them of their rights.

    Not that you were saying that, or suggesting that. You were just trying to tell Kim that you’re not so great, I guess?

    But guess what? We like you anyway. You’re likeable. You have a good sense of humor. You’re a good writer. Good taste in music. Already told ya you have (had?) cool hair. You can be really, really honest with yourself in a way few people ever are. You look good in a boa. And you’re fighting to become a better person.

    So. We like you. And you can’t make us stop.

    So there.

  6. Been thinking about this some more, and have a (semi-rhetorical) question.

    Quote: ” I had certainly failed to take to heart the agency’s admonition “You need to be there for her after the placement”.”

    The question is… and who was supposed to be there for you, to support you?

  7. I guess I posted this because I was feeling like a liar by omission. A little freaked by all the “But YOU are not like THEM” comments. I guess I want people to know that, given the chance, guys can do the right thing. And I wanted to give some idea of why, at first, I did not. I am not sure many guys are fortunate enough that they have been given the chance. Or maybe they have and they just suck.

  8. agreed. i learned 20 years too late that natural fathers can to the right thing. i wish i could talk more about daughters dad on my blog – but i cant. but you are right, they can do the right thing and like you, they are good guys who feel, love, have regrets and are doing the best they can with what they have.

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