Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Brief Explanation is in Order

Some who pass this way might wonder what is going on in the comment section, specifically, “you are an abusive father. go to hell. Anonymous 09.30.08 - 2:36 pm”. I’d not intended to air the family laundry; however, in light of recent actions to destroy me publicly I feel an obligation to defend myself.

My oldest daughter recently had to be forcibly removed from my house in the middle of one of her hissy fits. She has a different accounting of what happened, leaving out anything which would paint her as anything other than a perfect daughter. The briefest of explanations are that my daughter, while living under our roof at no expense in order to facilitate her education and desires to become an engineer, fell into the “entitlement mentality” and no longer regarded our assistance as beneficial along with a decidedly marked drop off in minimal respect for her parent’s rightful position in their own home.

The simple duties of helping set the table or carrying in groceries were no longer on her list of items of obligation as a member of the family. When asked to help she either ignored the requests, claimed to be busy with her studies or flatly turned and called me an asshole because I was just being mean. Lucy and I talked about the fact that Bonnie would be out of the house in a few months, either off to Texas A&M, the University of Texas or Rice; either way we decided to bite our tongues and put up with her insolence for a little longer. We were rewarded with continual insults, often intentionally sprung on us in front of guests, intended to humiliate and demean or position as parents. Her favorite harping point had to do with the fact that our upstairs living area is warmer than the downstairs living areas. Here’s a news flash; if I had money enough and then some, I wouldn’t have spent a penny fixing the insulation, replacing duct work or even putting in a new air conditioning unit to satisfy the demands of a selfish and ungrateful child.

During the time following Hurricane Ike while the power to our house was being supplied via a small generator in my work truck for limited periods in order to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold, we were also able to have a small fan, one light fixture and the computer running. Once the internet connectivity was restored we were able to have short amounts of time spent catching up with the outside world through email and blogs.

I’d posted a blog and was in the middle of editing, my normal means of checking for posting errors, when a lady from church came by to borrow our chain saw. Lucy and I went out to the garage, gave a brief explanation on how to use it and I returned to finish my editing. My oldest daughter had closed off what I was working on, without considering to ask if I was done, and was checking her email. I explained, in harsh terms, that she needed to let me finish what I was working on. I was told. “No! I’m on the computer now.”

I’m not accustomed to being told off in such a manner, much less by my daughter in my own house. There was a short exchange of unpleasant remarks ending with my daughter sitting defiantly in my chair holding the keyboard and glaring at me as if she had a perfect right to anything and everything which I own. I told her to get out and physically took her by the wrist, her dead weight in opposition, as I removed her with as little force as necessary. This is the “assault” which my daughter claims and any marks left on her arm would be a result of her defiance and resistance to get out of the chair.

The verbal assault continued and I told her to leave my house; about the same time she did a round house kick which I was able to block. I then ducked as she threw a shoe at me, one which I had at the front door drying. It flew past the computer and missed both of us. I then escorted her out of the house and told her she was no longer welcome here; again, any marks left on her were not from striking her, rather in containing her rage.

Lucy was outside, still talking with the dear lady from church and putting the chain saw along with an extra container of gasoline mix into her car when the front door slammed. Bonnie, at the top of her lungs yelled, “I hope you f***ing die!” I’m sure that made a lasting impression on the lady from church as she drove off; as well as my neighbors across the street who were cleaning up the mess from a tree having gone through their house. I’m not sure which does more damage, a tree falling through your house or a daughter intent on destroying her father through pure hate.

Bonnie wasn’t finished, picking up a large tree limb from the stack collected and taken to the curb, as she ran screaming unintelligibly toward my work truck. She then struck the hood of my truck leaving a huge dent. I have since been told it will cost nearly $600.00 to repair, and that’s only because it would be done at a friend’s body shop at a significantly lower than normal rate.

Bonnie returned the next day, I was asked to stay away to avoid further confrontations. During the few minutes in our house she took aim at the framed photographs which hang on the wall of the stairs. Any pictures which had my image were smashed. I came home to find pieces of glass scattered up and down the stairs, in the den on the wood flooring and into our bedroom. It took quite a while to pick up the mess; but the damage done to the photographs may be irreparable.

I have to wonder what kind of child we raised, one who saw and recorded only the worst in me over these thirty years. I have to wonder what kind of person ignores all the many blessings poured out on her through her parents in favor of; you know, I’m not even sure if there is a purpose for her being out there on her own. Perhaps it was time for Bonnie to grow up, face the challenges of the world and stand on her own, pay all those bills that up to now magically were taken care of. There are no free rides; somebody has to pay the bills and the entitlement mentality can only get you so far. Bonnie, I still wish for you to succeed; just stay away until the wounds heal.

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