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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bad Father


Way too personal for most of you I know, but part of the process of mental healing is to deal with your daemons. This was a difficult letter to write, and it drudged up a few things that are rather painful. I feel like I lanced an infected wound with this one, and despite the fact that I still feel awful I know that I am on my way to better metal health.

I do have to make the statement my sister put me up to asking to sleep in the parent’s bed room not wetting the bed. The whole bed wetting thing was the result of being young and mentally disturbed.

19th September 2011
Dear Cassi,

The earliest event I can recollect clearly in my life is oddly one that I was ostracized for until the day I broke company with those who had called themselves my family. I may have mentioned the name that my father had for me before I stopped speaking to him. I was ‘that third kid.’ In three words he had stripped me of my identity and disowned me completely.
    
‘That third kid,’ as opposed to ‘our third’ or ‘my third’ was a dehumanizing statement. Firstly, I was 24 when my father last said that to me, and I was a bit old to be referred to as a “kid.” “When we had that third kid, that was when things got bad,” the old wimp would say to me over and over again. This was a thin attempt to gain sympathy, hoping to place the blame for his shortcomings on my shoulders.
    
When his ruse failed he described the event that, in his opinion, had ended his marriage with my mother. This was an occasion where one of the children, he claimed he could not remember who, had wanted to sleep in bed with his mother and had wet the bed. This would prompt the old man to say, “one of the kids was peeing all over me,” over and over again.
    
I do recall this event. I had been the child; it was my sister that suggested this activity. Yes, Cassi, I was a bed wetter; however it is normal for a child of two or three to wet the bed. I remember getting up and putting a towel over the wet spot and telling my mother. I would hear no more about this incident for the next twenty years, but I am told that this is the event that ended my parent’s marriage. After that my father refused to sleep in the same bed as my mother.
    
After a few weeks of this, so says the old man, my mother finally called my father and told him not to bother coming home. Every now and again the old wimp talks about an incident shortly before where he was unable to perform his husbandly duties, but I do believe his not loving his children was the real reason.
    
I would think that getting mad at a two year old for wetting the bed is like getting mad at gravity. If you hate the nature of a thing you can only say you hate that thing.

Stay safe, Cassi,


Richard Leland Neal