My father passed away

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by FondrenRoad, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. FondrenRoad

    FondrenRoad 1,000+ Posts

    So the bar exam is over and my father is dead. He died 3 weeks ago. He spent his last decade living in a small shed on my grandparents' land, living as a hermit, even though his mother and his sister were living right nearby. I now want to understand why he did the things he did and the way he lived his life, but its too late. The shed was filthy. The absolute worst place I've ever been in. Words cannot describe how bad it was. And I want to know why.

    For most of my life, I wanted to kill him myself. I don't have any good memories of him. I remember him beating my mom. I watched, as an 8 year old, as he, drunk, broke into our apartment through the front window, and beat my mom, kicking her while she was on the ground in front of the sink. He put her in the hospital that night. I was crying and standing in front of the refrigerator. My 5 year old sister was crying in the bedroom. I grabbed a knife out of the drawer and was gonna put it in his back. To this day, I still wish I did, but I didn't. I put it away and curled up in a ball and cried. I realize that I was only a little kid, and he probably would have took the knife from me and killed all three of us, but for years I wish I had stuck that knife in him. f**k him. A month after that, he held a gun to my mom's head, and a family friend had to calm him down. In all honesty, the only good thing he did as a father was to finally leave us alone. And really, I think he only left us alone after I got old enough to stop him.

    But the shed. Maybe he realized how bad he ****** up. Maybe that's why he was living like a hermit. No friends. Pushing his family away. Maybe he knew that the things he did were unforgivable, so he just gave up 15 years ago. I spoke to him several times since then. Rode in the car with him, with only the two of us. All he had to say is that he knew he ****** up and he's sorry. I don't think I would have forgiven him, but I could have attempted to understand why. I wanted that. Maybe I even needed it. But he went to the ER with a lump on his neck, went into a coma 3 days later, and died 2 days after that. When they said its probably cancer, I thought I'd go down there after the bar exam and he would finally explain himself. But it happened so fast, he was dead a week before I even took the bar exam.

    When I went into his little shed, I realize that he was just waiting to die, and that he had been waiting to die for the last 15 years. Nobody that has any kind of hope lives like that.

    My mother died of cancer when I was 17. I would have traded them then, but now they're both gone. I'm only 32. Mostly, this whole thing just makes me want my mommy. It also makes me wonder about my father's downfall. In the 70s, he was a top 1% earner. Then he was an alcoholic, an abuser, and finally, practically homeless.

    Of course, it also makes me wonder if I'll make the same mistakes, which is probably why I'm posting this. I know I'll never be an abuser or an alcoholic. But what keeps me out of that little shed? The Bachelor's, the JD, computer skills that are illegal in some countries? Maybe the only reason I got them is because I'm afraid of that. I've made a very high salary for the last several years, even before law school, and I still feel it. I think the feeling is that I have no home to fall back to, and I hate that feeling. It's like a pit.

    Anyways, I've had a few drinks, and for some reason, I needed to post that somewhere. And maybe this isn't as anonymous as I'd like it to be.
  2. l00p

    l00p 10,000+ Posts

    Often, if we watch with open eyes that see and not just look, we can learn what NOT to do rather what to do. Only you can choose to step over and around or in potholes in the road that lays ahead.

    My dad died a couple of months ago. Mixed emotions still run amuck. While he did not do things like you describe above, he had his share of shortcomings and indescretions. His work early on had a lot to do with it. He worked for the Government and I know it was ugly work to say the least. I think it affected him greatly and therefore, affected us.

    A great day was when he and my mom got divorced. They tried to be gentle in telling me. I told them bluntly, "It's about time!". They were stunned.

    I think that you are even thinking about how you hope not to turn out that way is a major step to not doing so. Keep that voice in your head going and it can be your alarm siren.

    Good luck, you have emotional and mental work to do. It's not impossible and hey, you don't have the Bar to worry about any longer. Test over!!! Congrats.
  3. Dogbert

    Dogbert 500+ Posts

  4. Hornius Emeritus

    Hornius Emeritus 2,500+ Posts

    Very sad to read your story, Fondren Road.

    It's hard to understand the psychology of personal dissipation .... people who seemingly have it all going for them but are haunted by demons so profound that they can't overcome them.

    I hope your dad's spirit finds peace and that you, yourself, come to terms with his life and death in a way that allows you to move on and doesn't hold you back.
  5. longhornbell

    longhornbell 100+ Posts

    You may never understand why he lived the way he did.
    And probably will never forgive. The key to peace of mind regarding the situation, is to accept that he was only doing what he knew to do. What was his childhood like? Where did he learn to be so abusive?
    My mother was totally void of the ability to show affection to her children. I have absolutely no memories of her holding me on her lap, telling me she loved me or even kissing my cheek, tousling my hair, any of the affectionate gestures I saw other parents give their kids. And, due to other circumstances during my childhood, I resented and disliked her most of my adult life during which she was alive. Through thereapy, I started learning that she was raised by her aunt, forced to marry my father at the age of 19. After I realized she did what she knew, I was able to put aside my resentment. I was at her side when she passed away in 1994. She was lying on the sofa, turned to my Dad and I.
    At the time we thought she was gesturing for us to come over to her but we now know she was telling us good bye.
    It was very peaceful for both her and I.
  6. sawbonz

    sawbonz 500+ Posts


    my situation is similar although nowhere near as bad. My father never abused us, he just left. He is basically a hermit, growing up i always thought i had to be a terrible kid for my dad not to want anything to do w me.

    not really much i can say, other than to tell you forgiveness is not for the person who wronged you -- it's a gift you give yourself. let that **** go, man

    god bless
  7. Back to Texas

    Back to Texas 250+ Posts

  8. buckhorn

    buckhorn 1,000+ Posts

    Quite a post. Mostly beyond my ken, really. Being able to vent and converse and communicate about the many dark corners of your tale is probably at the top of the list of things you will have to do in order to get on with healing as best you can.

  9. LittleIdahornski

    LittleIdahornski < 25 Posts

    I'm so sorry you are orphaned at age 32.
    I pray you find the understanding and peace you are looking for.
  10. OldHippie

    OldHippie 2,500+ Posts

    Maybe isolating himself was the only way he could figure out how to not hurt other people.
  11. Dogbert

    Dogbert 500+ Posts

    Yes, he put himself in that shed -- for whatever reason. Depression combined with alcohol can lead to more depression and then more alcohol. It's a cycle that leads nowhere -- except death eventually. I've had two friends in the past year that died because they couldn't enjoy life and because they couldn't quit drinking. They also encountered what is commonly called the mid-life crisis. Both were single males over 50 with low self-esteem, too much guilt over past actions and the inability to quit drinking. They isolated themselves and then took their own lives. Rest in peace, Melvin and Daryl.
  12. The Muzzler

    The Muzzler 100+ Posts

    I feel your pain. My father passed away a few years ago at 70 years of age of liver failure. My only memories of him were his chronic drinking. Perhaps in a strange way my father DID pass on some lessons to me! I have a constant memory of how NOT to treat my wife and daughters!

    I was mad for a while after his death, but now I just have pity.
  13. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

    I'm convinced that the only thing that keeps all of us out of the metaphorical "shed" is grace.

    Despite a very rough first three decades, here's to hopefully an incredible next three.
  14. Brisketexan

    Brisketexan 1,000+ Posts

    I got nothin' for you. We all have our path to follow, and yours was clearly more difficult than many others.

    I wish you peace, and a life lived fully, and with love.

    He was not a good man.

    You are.

    Let that distinction stand. Everything else is just details.
  15. rhorn27

    rhorn27 250+ Posts

    The wealth of perspective and sincerity in the last 13 posts is truly inspiring. My best wishes to you Fondren. I hope you find your answers and use them wisely.
  16. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico 1,000+ Posts

    my wife spent her whole life thinking her father was the greatest and her mother was a deadbeat. once her mother died of pancreatic cancer at age 52 she realized that her mother had nothing but would do anything in the world for her while her father wouldn't piss on his kids if they were on fire. it burns her every day that she didn't see that.

    one of the hardest lessons for me to learn has been that my parents are far from perfect. we can only learn and hope to be better parents to our children than they were to us. if we can accomplish this, we have succeeded.

    my thoughts are with you FR and may you soon be at peace with your situation.
  17. i have a freind who is haunted by having no "home".
    it is so, so sad. your story is heartbreaking.
    i truly hope you find peace, bro.
  18. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn 1,000+ Posts

    I am so sorry to read your post and hear about what happened.

    I hope that you can find some peace and comfort and find some forgiveness.

    One of my friends/customers once told me, while I was going through a bad time myself, that bitterness is a pill you take hoping it will harm the other person. In reality all you are doing is killing yourself, not hurting who you are mad at.

    I've had great parents and can't even fathom how hard life would be without them. I echo everyone else's sentiment above and hope that you find some peace and forgiveness in your heart. Not for your dad or anyone other than yourself, b/c it will ultimately be good for you I would believe.

    Congrats on finishing the bar, I hope you passed with flying colors (or hell a 676 if I remember correctly- it doesn't matter either way).

    Good luck on your journey, I just said a quick prayer for you for healing.
  19. UT-69745551

    UT-69745551 250+ Posts

    Wow, I rarely come to this board, but this post stuck out like a sore thumb. My father passed away a little over a month ago. He was 91. Thanks to him & my mother, I've had a life of priviledge - not one of great abundance economically, but one of an abundance of good values along with good genetics. I have not had to experience the pains of any particular traditional sufferage, although, I have experienced a fair amount of depression at times during my life. So I'd just like to pass along a few things I've learned in regards to getting thru the fear and that's what depression is - fear and the submittal to it.

    The good news is that depression is only imaginery, although it still has a profound affect on you as long as you believe the thoughts that are making you depressed. Muddling thru those thoughts take time, self-examination, the the gradual decrease in self-criticism., etc You are suffering from the effect of years & years of lies. And despite what your father did to you or anyone you care for, you are the creator of most of those lies. First comes the anger. And if that isn't resolved and released, you hold on to it in such a way that it begins to affect you physically & chemically and ultimately mentally. No doubt you're going to need some assistance to get this out of your system and go on with your life, but the one person who has the greatest ability and control to improve your life, is the same person who has told you the most lies, and that is you.

    I know I'm speaking in generalities here, but I'd just like to add that, I know from experience, we all have vast resources within us to help us in times of need, which mostly go untapped. And by making these discoveries, you'll find out that the only path to peaceful thought is to become aware of what you are doing mentally and begin to make adjustments and corrections which will begin to reward you with an infinite amount of dividends, none of which can be deposited into a bank account. [​IMG]

    There is a simple rule, which is easy to remember, but difficult to implement and it requires you to ask yourself: "is what I'm doing or thinking bringing me peace of mind". If the answer is no, then you've got work to do. If the answer is yes, then you have everything you need, because in that state of mind, you want for nothing.

    Essentially, you have to become aware of your egotistical thoughts and begin to wear them down with rational thought and the result will be that your ego will begin to wear down. And that is when life becomes more rewarding. Or as a friend told me once, "Living Well is the Best Revenge".

    Sorry for getting too philosophical. But while our experiences are vastly different, the path out of darkness is basically the same. And remember this: "NOW" IS THE ONLY THING THAT IS REAL - Everything else is imaginery. Peace of mind is in the present. Hope I've offered a wee bit of help.
  20. Bevoette

    Bevoette 1,000+ Posts

    the fact that have "eyes wide open" and know his mistakes should help you not make the same ones.

    he chose to be alone because of his, you can chose to live life to the fullest and have friends and family always near and dear.

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