Ryan’s Journal

11:17 AM
Toms River, NJ

Two days ago, I found out my father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He was always a heavy smoker, but stage four lung cancer is a shock to our whole family. My father and I, haven’t spoken to each other for the last five years; I had to hear the news through the voice of my crying mother. He told my two sisters and my brother the news sometime last week, but they didn’t tell me shit. Even though he told them to keep it from me, my mother couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’m saddened by the news, but I’m not going to cry about it. My father is an abusive piece of shit. I’m the first born, and my siblings had it easy in comparison to what he did to my mother and I. Still, there is some strange resentment from them towards me. What the hell did I do? Is it because I never came back home for their bullshit Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners? I don’t know why my mother decided to stay with him after all the beatings and emotional abuse. When I became older, I figured it was because of the money he made — and the fact that my mother never finished college and didn’t have a trade, or anyway to sustain a family of four children on her own. My father was an aviation mechanic for thirty years and always made good money, along with doing gunsmithing on the side. He did take care of a family of five, and we never went to bed hungry — and always had good Christmases. Anything would set my father off, and the nights he came home intoxicated, my mother and I knew he would become abusive. She would tell me to hide in the closet in my room, and I would hear her wailing from being beaten. I hated him then, and I hate him now. Fuck him. When he dies, I might not even show up at the funeral, though it may break my mother’s heart. I love her, but I don’t know if I can do it. I’m seven years older than the second oldest sibling Laura. Her version of my childhood is revisionist bullshit. After my father suffered a heart attack, he slowed down significantly with the drinking and the abuse, so my brother and sisters didn’t go through what my mother and I went through. They don’t know a goddamn thing. I have this underlying anger in me; I tend to take things too far. If someone hurts me, I want them to hurt one hundred times more; then I want them gone.

Since my high school days, I’ve liked fighting, and really inflicting pain on any perceived enemies. Once, I broke this kid’s jaw in two places; he had been teasing me, and trying to bully me for weeks — I’d had enough. When I came home that day ,I thought I was in for a beating, but my father was proud of me, and even allowed me to drink half of his six pack of cold beer. My mother, just stared at me with tears and went back into her bedroom. I think I was sixteen years old at the time. One day, I was walking home from school, and the kid’s father approached me, screaming and swearing at the top of his lungs. I told my father about what happened, and the next day he went looking for him. when he found him, he told the guy he would kill him if he ever came near me again. Years later, I found out that my father stuck the barrel of his .45 Colt, into the guy’s mouth. From what I hear, the guy urinated on himself. Though he was protective of his family from other people, he was the monster who constantly beat my mother and severely damaged my mental health.

After I graduated high school, I left home and never looked back. My mother sent me to live with her sister, in Toms River, New Jersey; one state away from my hometown of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. In Toms River, I learned a trade — and ironically became an aviation mechanic like my father. All my other siblings finished college, and my sister Laura received her Master’s in Finance. She met some guy in college, and they got married. I rarely speak to my siblings, but I accept it as part of my reality. I have one niece and two nephews that I’ve only seen a few times; that fucking bothers me. I’ve never married, because I don’t think I’m the marrying type, but my girlfriend Melissa has been with me for five years now, and I love her. Lately, I’ve been going to therapy and working everyday to purge the anger out of my system. Melissa’s been supporting me, and she’s such an encouragement; the tears are falling right now. I love her so much. Signing off for now — I have grocery shopping to do. Melissa is eight months pregnant, and it was so unexpected; but a beautiful surprise. I don’t think my daughter will get to meet my father; I don’t know how I feel about that right now. The oncologist told him he has roughly six months left. Damn.

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