Friday, July 18, 2008

The Lithuanians

If you know me more than just a little you would know that I rarely talk to my biological father. Those who are close to me know him as "BFD". Figure out what "F" stands for. Despite this alienation it doesn't mean that I'm not at all curious about half of the blood coursing through my veins and a fourth of my daughters'. It's just that my emotions are somehow like a hanging cauldron in the 19th century---I have the hope of hosting this rich rabbit and root vegetable stew but instead my water within gets a little lye and some stinky ploughman's clothing and a sweaty hausfrau stirring and stirring...dirty socks. That is my relationship with the WhoTheHellAreYou family. Dirty, sweaty socks that I just can't seem to throw away even though I should. I have a really really good, sweet Dad who loves me and who is there for me--who coached me through Whoozyerkid's birth, dealt with my wicked stepkid antics, gave me away at my wedding and ate my green soup on St. Patrick's day... He is Dad. He always will be. BFD, he offers the words "I Love You" and they are so easily given and yet they ring false. Dad, he is so sparing with those--or any--words. But when he says them he means them. There is no mistaking that. It's funny. I was afraid to love him for fear of being disloyal to BFD. Now--if I were to throw any love to BFD I would feel I was being disloyal to Dad. Funny how that works...

Here's what I know about this part of me, the blood part; the part of me that I have tried to disassociate myself with:
My grandmother walked out on her seven children. No one really speaks to anyone else. It's as if my father and most of his siblings have some sort of attachment disorder. My father and at least one of his brothers are Vietnam vets who repeatedly relive this part of their pasts. BFD is bipolar. When I do speak with him he has a hard time with give and take. There is no cohesive family amongst these siblings. They all seem to drift in and out of one an other's lives. My uncle murdered my aunt, his wife. He's a cold-blooded killer and he's still in a state prison to this day. Honestly. It goes on and on and some of it is so private I'm just leaving it alone.

Anyhow, there was a little hope today. I am not the only WhoTheHellAreYou in the Bay Area. There's another one in San Francisco. She and I connected on Facebook and her father is another one of my uncles who she said was on the threshold of tears when she told him that we exchanged emails. So we'll see. I have hope that at least one member of that family (other than me--and some of you would even question that) is connected to reality. We should be. According to BFD we were bodyguards to the Czar, our Lithuanian surname means "bodyguard". And we have intelligence and longevity on our side. Too bad we're all crazier than a field of running march hares in springtime.

On a side note, I called BFD tonight to ask if it was OK to give his phone number to his brother and he was drunker than a bee buzzing in a beer bottle. Sheesh.

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