Making space. Cleaning house. That’s one thing that I have to work at, both in terms of my apartment and in terms of inside my head. I carry a lot of familial and personal baggage that I’m just going to throw out there today.
Be prepared. We’re going deep. We’re going personal.
I have hated my grandfather for years. He’s been an actual nightmare more times than I can count. The dreams tend to all be the same with me confronting him, and him having this devilish attitude. We end up arguing and I yell at him. I wake up shaking. His voice continued to ring in my mind. I felt so angry.
I did not speak with him for five years, even when we were in the same room. I finally gave in and spoke to him the last time I was in South Dakota. I was with my nephews and did not want to pass any sort of anger or resentment on to them. They don’t have my experiences, and I should not ruin good ones for them for my own baggage. It still felt cold and that anger still simmered beneath the surface.
Why is a hard answer. It started when I was a kid. I remember one day I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on FX. I had fallen asleep and dinner was ready. He called me to the table. I was tired and just picking at my food. I was still falling sleep. I was a kid. I was tired. He yelled at me. And told me if I didn’t want to eat I could leave, and wouldn’t get anything. So, I got up and left. He came after me. He grabbed my arm, yelling at me to get back. I pulled away, and either fell or he helped me into a bunch of boxes in their entryway. I then scrambled out crying and fearful. I got on my bike and rode away.
That was not the last time the two of us argued. The last time was actually on Christmas Eve as an adult. My great grandmother, the matriarch of my family, was living with him. She wasn’t eating. She had not been holding her weight well, and needed to eat. But instead of just pushing her to do so. He bellowed and hollered at her. I could not take it. I stood up and left the table. I walked into the other room and grabbed my coat.
“What the hell is your problem?” I simply yelled back. “You are.” And he responded back with something like. “If you don’t like the way I run my house, you can leave?” I hollered a “Fine” as I walked through the door. The next time I went into that house was with my nephews. I actively avoided it for almost a decade. I had seen them out at family get together and such, but I refused to speak to that man.
I always wondered what kind of torments my father went to that led him towards similar characteristics. I strive to not have that kind of anger lingering. I strive to not hold on to that hurt, but some days it’s not easy, and the dreams still come. Maybe by talking about it I can clean house and let it go. Maybe.
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