"My Dad Is Crazy"... No Seriously. Actually Crazy.
There's a long, sad story that goes with the reason why I no longer speak to my father (I guess really it's years and years of stories). But the reason itself is this: I can't have a relationship with him that would bring any positivity to either of our lives. Not only would it not be positive, but it destroys me, and honestly, I DO NOT see blood relation as a good reason to be mistreated, again and again, by someone who honestly doesn't understand that his behavior constitutes mistreatment.
He was diagnosed as bipolar II when he was about my age (26), meaning that he was heavily depressed most of the time with intermittent episodes of highly-charged rage. He was only treated with medication for a brief time in his late twenties. As he ages, he seems to be getting worse: he has the highly-charged episodes more and more often, and when he does he does his best to destroy those closest to him.
So, as you can imagine, what he sees as normal behavior is viewed by most people as cruelty. I won't give you any specific stories because they upset me, but oddly enough, he's a bestselling author now. He wrote a biography of someone who didn't want a biography written about them... it makes me think about how they say that material success, even notoriety and fame, do not mean happiness. He is the most miserable person I've ever known. Poor man has never, not once in his life, known joy. I've never even heard him laugh-- I don't know what his laugh sounds like, and I was raised by him until I was 15.
And now, reading his interviews, I can't help but see his success as another violent attack on someone: the subject of the biography. This author wrote one of the most influential novels of the 20th century, and they are known to guard their privacy jealously; they are never seen in public nor have they spoken to an interviewer in over 50 years. So why would someone do them the blatant disrespect of publishing a novel about their life? It seems like a violent ripping away of someone's request for boundaries to me....
But then again, it only seems that way to me because that's what he does: he waits until he's close enough to invade any boundaries you have set, and then he violates you, afterward claiming that you did something to set him off and so his blatant disrespect of your person is, in fact, your fault. He used to do it to me (before I pushed him out of my life), and he recently did it to my brother. The man is completely out of touch with reality.
And recently, for no reason at all, the universe sent me a father. A real father. One that loves me, respects me, tells me I'm perfect just the way I am, and always makes time for me. One that apologizes when he hurts me and listens to my fears without ever exploiting them; one who has a child an a wife already and tells them about me and how happy he is that he's my dad. I'll be visiting them all soon (they live several states away).
Have you ever had the pleasure of experiencing the overwhelming feeling that someone who isn't related to you by blood is related to you in a cosmic way? I have. The universe sent me a father, and that's the only way I can describe it. It's like the way sometimes you meet someone and you "recognize" them somehow... I recognize him, and he's my dad.
This is how I know-- I KNOW-- that the universe is NOT random, and it's watching out for you. You just have to pay attention and try to be kind to everyone you meet, and someday you may get the one thing your heart desires more than anything else. I did.
So now, when I hear stories about how my blood-father embarrasses himself by giving inappropriate speeches at conferences (he slanders the subject of his biography to a roomful of people who love this author) or the things he says to my brother, or even his online interviews where it's clear that he has no soul apart from his writing (really, being in a room with him is like being in a room with a ghost), rather than feeling angry, I feel sad for him. He'll never know the joy of a good relationship with his children, and he'll never know peace, not for a single day in his life. He'll never not be sad with a hint of soul-crushing rage-- I know, because I used to be able to sense it from him when he was around. He'll never realize that his isolation is self-induced, and he'll never feel empowered, he'll never even truly feel love or know he's loved by someone else. I send him my sympathy, but from afar.