Secret Subject Swap: February 6th, 2015
15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts:
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Sit back, grab a cup(of whatever you want to sip no judgement here), and check them all out.
My subject is oh my gosh. It was submitted by Evil Joy Speaks.
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"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my gosh, oh my....", her repetitious attempt to take her omnipotent creators' name in vain was cut short by the grief that was racking her body. Silent sobs shook her with vicious tears pouring down her tired cheeks. He was dead. The news we had waited to hear for many years finally had come. My cousin was dead. In the early hours of Thanksgiving, my mother was becoming undone with grief, disbelief and whether she wants to admit it some relief.
That was me. I was relieved in a sick way because that was the end of havoc he could wreak states away. His ability to cause people to mutter and exclaim 'Oh My Gosh, Oh my God, God Damn It' or any variation of the kind was somewhat astonishing. The magical curse he held over us, that somehow both induced worry and hope, was finally lifted with his death.
Or so I thought.
His death brought no closure to the years spent worrying, nights spent crying, days and events celebrated wondering if he would come if he was in town.
No matter how many times I attempted to get his callous and cruel words that cut their way into my memory out of my head, they stayed, they refused to leave, they squatted and their stench and ugliness tainted my views on too many things.
My mom took over raising my cousin because his mother, her twin sister, was an alcoholic who had a penchant for abusive men. Even though she was a confused and young herself, my mom took on a responsibility of a parent way before she would ever have a child. From what I know, what I've been told and pieced together he did get the end of the shit stick in his youth. There was no doubt about that. He suffered abuse both mental and physical from various men in my aunt's life as well as my aunt. When she would see him, she would crush his heart every time she picked men and booze over him, which was almost every instance they were together. He was left clamoring, begging, searching for acceptance and love from her.
As much as my mom, her sisters and father attempted time and time again to steer him on the right path, tried to show him that he was special and smart, and tried to love the pain out of him it did not work. As a teenager he stole, he drank, he got in fights and made himself comfortable with the roughest crowds. He had little to no remorse and repeated all his mistakes and let them mature when he grew older. He traded booze for cocaine and heroin. He was mentally abusive. He loved women, created children and left them. He perpetuated the cycle he hated so much, no matter how many chances he was given and how much love (tough and forgiving love for the record) he was shown.
When he stole my mom's car and took it on an erratic high speed chase with the trunk carrying a smidgen of cocaine and endangering lives of many on the highway my mom had to make the rough decision whether to bail him out or leave him in jail. She left him in there until his court date. His first night in jail he was attacked and had his feet wrapped with toilet paper and lit on fire. She still regrets leaving him in there.
This was all before me.
When I did arrive on this earth, he made sure to confuse and comfort me throughout my childhood, really my entire life he left me perplexed. When I was a child, I would come home from school and see a car with out of state license plates in our driveway and just knew it was him. Adventure, craziness and discomfort would be had for a few weeks or months depending how long he was in town or running away from a certain problem. He would bring new women and their children to come stay with us. My mom would not, could not, turn them away. We would get attached and as soon as we saw some glimmer that he was off the crap, making progress he would pack up and take off not to be seen or heard from for a year or so then burst back into our lives once we got used to the calmness.
When I entered adolescence my disdain for him became apparent. I picked at him and constantly asked about all his children that he never talked about or made an effort to see, especially when a new woman was introduced. Maybe in a way I was trying to warn the women that he wouldn't stay, that he wasn't any good, that he was cruel and if she ran now, she would be doing the best thing possible. He would taunt me, he would make sure to highlight every reason I was ugly and wrong for this world. He would tell me that I would be used in life because I was stupid, because I was ugly, because I was fat and men cannot love women like me. He would do it away from my mother naturally, and I internalized it believing one of the only male role models in my life and his venomous words.
The only time my mom caught him being cruel to me she kicked him out right then and there. No questions asked.
When he found out that his best friends' son kissed me, he lost it. He sat me and Randy down and told us how wrong it was. That Randy was a good looking athlete that needed to be with a cute girl not an ugly hippo like me. I was crying and remember that Randy kept saying that he liked me but my cousin talked over him and kept spouting his ugliness. After we took him home, he gave me some of the rudest advice ever. He told me, that men would date me, pursue me, pretend to love me but would put just as much enthusiasm in screwing a hole in a tree with a little vaseline because I would only ever be a hole to fill and worth nothing more and should never expect more from a man. With that, he told me his opinion of me, his opinion of women, his view on love, and proved to me how he himself treated women.
I stopped trying. I stopped talking or engaging him. I stopped caring about him. Then he disappeared. The last time I saw him I was 14. Occasionally we would hear from him. He would call and threaten suicide from all around the world. He would call and beg for money. He would call in the early morning and tell my mom he was ready to change. But I had no time for him and his stories.
I focused on myself and my life and got used to the calmness. Embracing that he had not called for years. Enjoying that my ears were not assaulted with his vile views. My mom would wonder where he was, if he was okay, and always say a prayer every holiday and his birthday but we survived and moved on refusing to put our lives on hold waiting for him to return, sober up or even freaking not be the selfish bastard he perfected so well.
The last time I talked to him was the beginning of last year, when he was recovering from heart surgery and a wicked heart infection. The surgeon told my mom it was lucky he even survived the infection because it was common that users died from it. It felt like a hopeful moment, a moment where miracles could happen, a moment we would forever remember and look back and say, 'This is where the story gets better'.
My mom talked to him while he was recovering for 6 weeks every day. He promised her nightly it scared him and he would never use again after the surgery. She shoved the phone at me, half smiling and half wistful while I listened to his twangy, scratchy, tired voice tell me how proud of me he was that I went to college, was married and did not embarrass my mom like he did. I said nothing, hating this connection, the surging emotions and had to hold back tears because as much as I was angry at him, as much as I was aware of his past and bad decisions, I loved him and wanted him to succeed.
I wanted him to be done for real, wanted him to be happy, wanted him not to be found overdosed somewhere. I lost it when he told me he was sorry for being a creep when I was younger and after much debate told him I loved him and threw the phone back at my mom.
My mom begged him to call after he was discharged but the phone call never came. At least not from him. The sad updates came from his ex wife. Letting us know him and his pregnant girlfriend were hooked again. That they were homeless. That he was in jail and finally that he was dead. That he was dead at age 47 from a heart he overworked and abused too many times.
I know this does not reek of love and forgiveness like my other blogs. But the ugly is a real part of life that must be embraced too. It is where we do much of our learning and growing. It is where we determine what kind of person we will become.
I loved him. Even with his cruel words, even though he broke my mother's heart, even though he gave us hope then ripped it away, even though he was a horrible father, I loved him. I knew he had a sickness, an addiction that controlled him, a past he could not escape and an emptiness he just could never fill.
He taught me how to ride my bike. He taught me how to do 'the worm'. He taught me to whistle. He showed me good music and that some rules are meant to be broken. He taught me to stand up for myself even to my loved ones. He taught me to never give up hope.
He taught me, that love does not care how flawed someone is that it exists to simply love. Blindly sometimes, in spite of definitely, necessarily always. He taught me love is like an addict always ready, always searching, always jonesing, always waiting to be used in an attempt to find a better, happier place.
And, oh my gosh, do I hope he knew I loved him and how I hope he is in a better place now.