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12 February, 2002 :: 11:18 a.m.

Aside from a little blurb about not wanting to talk to my dad online, I've avoided putting anything about him in here. See, back when I started this online diary I made a decision that I somewhat regret--I told several members of my family about it because they asked about whether Char and I still talk. This was right after the whole birthday night fiasco so I just directed them to my first entry because I didn't feel like explaining the same story over and over. I have no idea if any of them have read anything since then, but just in case I've avoided putting things in here that might hurt feelings or upset my father's side of the family. But you know what? Fuck it. It's my diary and I'll put what I want in here and if someone reads it and gets upset, too bad. Why the fuck I'm worried about hurting my dad's feelings, I have no idea. Has he stopped to concern himself with how I feel? No. So this is it. Dad, in case you read this, I don't think it will leave any questions about where I'm at.

My parents split when I was like 2 years old, maybe I was almost three, I don't fucking know because no one ever wants to talk about it. So this is my perception of things. There may be inaccuracies, but it's how I remember things, how I've seen things. No apologies.

After my parents split, my dad took off for Kentucky. Why? Fuck if I know. Until I was in like third grade or around there, maybe second, Dad lived in Kentucky and I saw him once a year over the summer for maybe a week or so. At the time, I didn't think much of it, it seemed normal. I didn't know any different. Mom had remarried and Tom and I never really got along, but whatever, that's not what this is about. I'm glad my parents split because it was easier to deal with, I grew up with that being a fact of life. I never went through the wondering if it was my fault or anything. Friends that had parents that divorced later in life went through some really bad times; I just thought it was the normal state of things.

So anyway, Dad and my step-mom moved up here. Gina was way cool, always willing to play games with me, talk to me about whatever, so it was all good. I visited them every other weekend and for a few weeks over the summer. It was great. Dad actually made time for me, played games, took my friends and me sled riding, played baseball, invented games. Then, before I went into eighth grade, Dad, Gina and my brother Aaron moved back to Kentucky. Back to only seeing him once a year along with a few letters here and there. Every once in a while Dad would get this guilt trip or something and write me a long letter apologizing for not being there more, for not being a father... I always fell for it, always forgave him, made up excuses for him, made him sound better than he was when I talked to friends, always thought it meant things would be different after the letter. Things never changed. He was in my life very little. Then, the summer before I graduated high school I think it was, we went to Kentucky to visit Gina and Aaron...she and Dad had split and I was down there visiting my ex step-mom and my brother, and saw my dad briefly. Then he and Gina got back together and worked things out, I saw him for graduation and then a couple weeks that summer...then he and Gina split up again. I remember thinking, hey maybe he'll come back up here where his family is and we can reestablish our relationship. He stayed down there though. I remember him saying something to the effect of, "I don't want to screw up my relationship with Aaron the way I screwed up with you." To me that meant things were done. He had basically decided our relationship was a failure and had given up. Fine. Then a year ago this past Christmas, I get a call from Aaron. He's at my grandparents' house and tells me that on Sunday he and Dad are moving to New Zealand so if I want to see them and say goodbye, I better get up there before then. So Saturday I go to my grandparents' house to see Dad for maybe the last time, and the fucker spends the entire time I'm there on the computer. The Fuck? You're moving half way across the fucking world and you can't take an hour or two to spend with your son? So I talked to Aaron who was less than thrilled with the prospect of moving to New Zealand. That was the last time I saw my dad. He gave me a hundred bucks for Christmas...woo! That makes up for everything. I didn't hear from him for months. I gave him my e-mail address several times when he lived in Kentucky, again before he left for New Zealand and months go by without hearing a word. Then an e-mail way after the fact saying they got to New Zealand okay and he was now remarried. So now I have a new step-mom, step-sister and whatever other step-family members who I'll probably never meet. Anyway, nothing else from Dad until he starts a humor/news website and wants me to check it out. I even contribute a couple things and think, maybe this is the beginning of a change. Maybe even though he's half a world away, we can bond through talking online and working on this site together...but no. We're back to not talking and when we do it's always about the website and him. I try to talk about something I'm going through and rather than listen, he compares it to something he went through, of course his experience is always worse and more interesting... So we have no relationship. I avoid him online whenever possible, I don't contribute to the website anymore, he doesn't help me with college just like he rarely assisted me with anything else in my life.

So no more apologies or worrying about your feelings, Dad. You walked out on me when I was a little child, you came back, walked out again, came back and moved across the planet. That's enough. I'm done pretending that maybe we can have a relationship. I'm tired of hearing your stories, tired of hearing how no matter what I do, you've always got a better story, always done something that tops me. I'm just done. If I want to bitch about you and your self-centeredness and how even though I barely saw you, I have people tell me I act like you and that fucking sickens me because I'm scared of becoming you, of leaving some child without a father for long periods of time. How can you even do it anymore? How can you come back and pretend like you want to be part of my life only to walk away again? Every time I think I'm beyond this, every time I think you can't get to me anymore, everytime I write you off in my head, you pop back up and then disappear again as soon as I start to think things are going to change. Just because you donated half of my genes doesn't give you the right to keep coming back in my life. You made your choices and I don't give a shit if you have regrets--live with them. I'm never going to fly to New Zealand to visit you. If I did manage to somehow find myself there, I probably wouldn't let you know I was there. You haven't made my life better in any way. Instead I have to worry that every little thing I do is something that you do. And I know I do things like you...I like to write, so do you; I like to cook, so do you; I can blow off people I care about, or claim to, or think I do, for months at a time then try to get ahold of them and ignore them for months. I don't want to have kids because I don't want to pass on my genes to another kid...I don't want to leave someone as fucked up as you left me. Whenever I blow up over stupid little things, lose my temper over things that I know I should let slide, I know that you do the same thing, I saw it with my own eyes. I don't want to be an absentee father who barely supports my kid. You've had more than enough chances to establish a relationship with me, but you obviously can't devote the time to it, so don't bother. I feel bad for Aaron because he told me that the two of you have basically the same relationship as you and I do even though we live thousands of miles from each other and you and Aaron live in the same house. How do you go on living your life like that and not making an effort to change? Are you that obtuse that you don't see how you fuck with other peoples' lives? I won't visit, you won't be invited to my graduation, if I get married, you won't be invited to that either, I'm not going to bother because you never did either. I learned a lesson with Char, sometimes you can love someone but manage to keep hurting them and as much as it sucks, sometimes you gotta just walk away. So you've done what's best for you, Dad; now I'm doing what's best for me.

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