…And gag. Ugh.
Nope, not today. I’m (un)tying knots of a different kind, and the only kinks I’m dealing with are in my back because I slept for shit last night. So if you’re not in the mood to read stream/river/ocean-of-consciousness writing from a Feverish mind, I recommend you go away. Now.
So back to the ties that bind and gag. A.K.A. The Family. *Shudder*
My family is…erm…
Well, most of them are…
How shall I put this?
Did you ever play recognition games when you were a kid? You know, the kind where you line up several items and then have to decide, ‘Which one of these is not like the others’? Well, let’s just say that I have a severe case of not-like-the-others-itis. I’ve never ‘accidentally’ gotten pregnant, I’ve never been arrested (not that I don’t fantasize about men in uniform though; oh, hellllooooo, officer…), I’ve never used/possessed/sold illegal substances, I’ve never relied on my fists to solve my problems, (which may by one of the reasons why) I have all my own teeth, and I’ve never had a cavity.
The kin to whom I am blood and/or legally related (I have steps, you see ~ plus I’m legally – via adoption – the child of a man who did not contribute to my creation; I’ll get to him in a minute) are just…
Well, they’re not like me. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we?
But despite the illicit and sometimes illegal behaviors demonstrated by the ones they spawned, the parents of this brood are fairly decent human beings. Go figure. And my dad (who was actually my stepdad, but then became my legal dad – see adoption note above) is going to be visiting for a few days. Starting today. In about two hours. As a matter of fact, I’ll be picking him up after my dermatology appointment this afternoon (apparently there is a shortage of dermatologists in this country, so I’ve been waiting for months to have my ‘pre-cancerous skin cells’ on my face re-examined; oh joy of joys) and from then until late Friday evening, my house will become the den of…
I see you are wondering, What, exactly, is a Zuulfather, Feve?
I’ll tell you!
My friend Sklor (I’ve written about him before and Sklor is, indeed, my friend’s proper nickname), who happens to be part of the family I choose (yes, I consider him a brother) calls me Zuul (Ghostbusters: There is no Dana, only Zuul) and has dubbed my dad (who is the father of Zuul) the Zuulfather. Which is kind of fitting. Because if anyone could outweigh Marlon Brando’s Godfather, it is he.
So here’s the thing about the Zuulfather: He’s soooooo not in touch with reality when it comes to his own self. Ever lived with someone who has PTSD? How about someone who has it but is in total denial that he has it? Mmm-kay. You with me now? That was my reality during my time under his roof (which only amounted – thank God – to only six years, because I was OUT OF THERE when I was 18) and he is just now (FINALLY!!!!) realizing that maybe (just maaaaybe, possibly, perhaps) there might be something to all this PTSD nonsense (*snort*) after all.
Hmm. Ya think?
Let’s recap my teenage existence, shall we? Maybe not.
How about an example? Okay: I took my life into my own hands (or rather, put it in his hands) once and approached him while he was sleeping. I will NEVER (never, Never, NEVER!) do that again. This was just one of many (many, many, manymanymany) instances that demonstrated my dad’s post-war…issues…and was only one in a long line of freak-the-fuck-out moments.
So now ~ 24 years after the aforementioned…uhmmm…’event’ ~ the Zuulfather is on a mission quest to analyze and dissect The True Meaning Of This Newfound Thing (PTSD) so that he can define The Errors Of His Ways in an attempt to Fix The Past. He is, of course, still totally military (he’s a Vietnam veteran) in his thinking and behaviors, so along with his ‘coming out’ statement of “I have PTSD,” I was handed two books on the subject and ordered – yes, ORDERED – to read them. (Do I strike you as the kind of woman who follows orders? Cuz I don’t. Ever.)
And I, of course, being the kind of daughter that drives a man like that (read: a military-esque order-giver of the first degree) crazy (I think the raising of me was somewhat akin to herding cats; I’m intelligent and imaginative and I question authority), said, “You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.” Followed by an eyeroll. Followed by, “I don’t need to read these books.” Followed by, “So I was gonna make macaroni and cheese for lunch. Are you hungry?”
Dumbfounded, I tell you. Daddy was dumfounded.
But I let him leave his books here and agreed to fill out a little questionnaire for him about his behaviors (this thing reads like a military manual…oh, go figure…it’s from the V.A. hospital) and to date (I was given my orders three weeks ago; I have yet to act on them) I’ve sort of…
Forgotten about it, truth be told.
But my memory has been jogged. And I expect my memory will be jostled and jilted and upended and tossed about over the next few days, because The Soldier and The Man who is My Father have to come to grips with one another and attempt to find some peace. Even if they (ah, the Triune Dad) disrupt my peace while doing so.
Which is more than you ever wanted to know, I’m sure. That is, if you even read this far. (I realize most of you probably ran screaming into the night after my fairly warned, “Go away. Now.”) And if you did read this far, you probably think the Zuulfather (and my other assorted relative-types) is slightly…erm…’off’… But remember this: Just because my family is bat-shit crazy doesn’t mean I don’t love them (well, actually, I do not claim to love ALL of them – but the ‘rents, for sure), you know.