Speaking Ill of the Dead
Last night I learned news that I have been waiting 48 years to hear.
My stepfather is dead.
I wonder if anyone else, or everyone, can pinpoint singular negative influences in their lives. An individual against whom one struggled for existence -- existence of one's self, one's rights and boundaries, one's ability to move free.
I have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of tear-filled hours in a therapist's office working to overcome the damage this man did. Some of it conscious, most as a byproduct of his narcissistic salting of the earth he walked on.
I had not seen him for fourteen years when I heard the news last night. And still it took an inch of bourbon to deal with.
I remember as a sixteen year old, thinking that hating the man was more destructive to me than it ever could be to him. I tried not to, for my own sake. But, I am sorry and shamed to say, I did hate him.
Let's see if death absolves me. I am certain it will not absolve him.
Portrait of a Young Woman, Lorenzo di Credi 1459-1537