“He may be your father, but he ain’t yo daddy.”

It feels like it’s been months since I posted. My excuse? God of War, social stuff, archery, and a small fallout that prompted me to take a bit of a break from the WP scene. That final piece of my excuse was definitely deja vu though. Might be more of a retrospective deal. Anyway, onward to the juicy bits.

When the universe speaks, it’s probably a good idea to listen. Between the father-son dynamic in God of War, playing camp counselor this week for Bring You Kid to Work Day, and the random story of fatherhood I heard at Mexican restaurant a couple weeks ago, this topic has been gestating for some time. I’m sure my title is much too literal. No regrets and all that.

I haven’t spoken to my father since this past Christmas and honestly if hadn’t seen him then, it would be going on a whole year. Not because I’m petty or hold a grudge (he’s way ahead of me on that). I’m not into holding my freedom hostage for the sake of my ego. It’s because I’ve made the executive decision to not entertain bullshit from someone who has chosen to remain, for lack of a better term, a bitch ass bitch. He’s not all bad; no one truly is, but he actively murders every inkling of positivity by clutching on to his pride with all of his might.

You can’t choose your parents, but as an adult, you can sure as shit choose the relationship you have with them, if at all. That’s something that dawned on me last year during the Great Transgression of 2017. Calling him on his bullshit and understanding that his outrage was really a response to the personal shitshow (by his own design) he was drowning in broke that link for good. I don’t think I ever experienced so much projection so fast. It was actually insane. The idea that after nearly 15 years, I still can’t get respect and acceptance for how I’m living my life is baffling. But I’m not going to spend too much time here trying to dissect why he thinks that way. That’s going in my book.

Seeing that loss of control though, that’s how I knew that maintaining a relationship, even a semblance of it, was foolhardy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: we get along best when we’re not in proximity. He’s literally the antithesis to everything I am doing and plan to do with my life. I think he’s immense unhappy, but facades is all he knows. When you build your house out of stained glass instead of mirrors, you’re gonna have a worse time picking up the pieces when life comes smashing in. Oh, and it will.

Recent events now have my sister questioning her relationship with him and I’m sure that’s a dagger for the ages. Where I was silent about my pain and frustration, my sister is very vocal and expressive. It’s far too late for me though. That ship has sailed, run aground of some coral and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. But it should also be a wake up call to him that his behavior is not sustainable if he wants a genuine relationship with her. If he’s looking to be 0-2, then he’s on the right path. I guess I’ll find out in due time if his image is more important than a healthy connection with his daughter.

Outside of being an amazing game visually, mechanically and narratively, God of War touches on nerve that I’ve since healed, but still identify with. Kratos isn’t the most affectionate nor tender father, but there are moments of vulnerability that he chooses not to act on. Not gonna lie, I was yelling at the screen incredulously. To see a child seeking love and validation get denied took me back to all those situations where I sought the same from my own father. It fucking sucked.

I believe most children say they’ll be better parents than their own, but I imagine only a handful actual commit to such a conviction because it takes work and a new perspective to completely change the course. Fortunately, that’s something my cousins and I are actively doing as our fathers leave a lot to be desired. Of course I’m speaking for myself here; although I have an intimate understanding of their opinions when it comes to our paternal units. Shit’s been rough.

Of course I wish things were different though. I wish I could talk to my father for hours like I do with my mom and grandma and literally anyone else I vibe with. I wish I could show and tell him all the cool things I’ve fallen into this past year. I wish I could tell him my deepest concerns and my biggest dreams then scheme ways to make those come true. I’m immensely proud of my father though, make no mistake. It’s just unfortunate that he cares more about being “right” and commanding “respect” than admitting he was wrong.

To his credit, he’s accomplished a lot in his life, he’s overcome hurdles, and has made a big deal out of himself. Unfortunately, my pride in him ends where his toxic personality flaws begin. If he could just get his head out of his ass for 35 seconds and peek over his fence of arrogance, he might discover that his actions are negatively affecting the people he deems closest. I mean when your daughter can’t definitively say that her father loves her, that’s a problem. Like I said, my horse died on the track in this race. I’ve retired all the emotions that were reserved for him and his fuckery. If this scenario repeats itself in a decade with my sister, he can’t be surprised.

When my dad said “I want you to be better than me,” I’m pretty sure he meant only financially and career wise. I mean technically I’m fulfilling that wish, but not in the way he imagined. Character and integrity is important too ya know.