Hello world. You haven't heard from me in a while -- almost 8 months -- unless you find yourself reading my meanderings and musings via twitter (@taestp) which I do update on a MUCH more often basis, but I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know where *I* am in my life right now.
Gone are the days of rage aimed at the masses on the other sides of the counter. The person that lived those events and wrote those stories has, in effect, died. He had to go. He wasn't good for me, the masses, you, or my wife. Sure, you may have been amused at some of the crap I pulled, but I have finally gotten to a point where I am no longer proud of it. Harboring that much anger at those I was sworn to serve was getting me nowhere personally or professionally. So, I changed my course -- just a bit -- just a degree, and it has saved me in more ways than one.
I now work in a Long Term Care pharmacy. Normal everyday pharmacy. Granted, I'm the one in charge now, but I don't have those sources of anger I previously held in and allowed to explode in the form of a daily blog post (did I mention closed door pharmacy). I don't have the stresses at work that once drove me to drink to escape. I love what I do now. I'm also in a real good spot with this company -- plenty of room for job growth in the coming years.
My wife and I are expecting our first child any day now. That has also caused me to do a great deal of internal analysis. Though you, the reader, would never know it, MY father and I have a horrible relationship. The one constant in my younger life was the absence of my father due to the presence of alcohol. That presence later created a situation that affected my father's life for the rest of his and the rest of my life. As a younger man, I might've had political ambitions. Yet, due to a series of unfortunate events, I can't run for office. I can't be President of the United States. I can't run for US House or Senate. I probably can't run for State House or Senate. I wouldn't even be vetted as a legitimate candidate because of his actions -- not mine.
My father-in-law, on the other hand, is the most honest, hard-working, dependable, courageous person I have ever met. We have grown so close. My wife is one of four daughters...no sons. We were the first to marry -- therefore, I have a very special bond with him. It bothers me every day when the thought crosses my mind, "If he were my father instead, my life would be different...not necessarily better...but perhaps I could have higher ambitions." As if that thought isn't enough, it tears me apart completely when it develops into a daydream...or, when my own father and I have a particularly rocky stretch, it develops into a full fledged wish. Knowing that the past can't be changed...I simply have to deal with, cope with, and accept that I have a deeper connection and love my father-in-law more than my own. In the ten years I've been around him, he's never let me down. He's never gotten drunk and been hostile towards me. He's never even said a cross word to me -- even in times where I deserved it. And, above all else, he's raised the most beautiful, wonderful four young women I've ever met in my life. I was lucky enough to snag the oldest. He's also shown me how to love one woman -- eternally -- and show that your children should expect nothing less for themselves. But, that's it....That's my struggle. That's my pain. That's what I must live with for the rest of my life -- knowing that I have become closer to my father-in-law than I ever was or could be with my own father. And I think I hate myself for it...
With the coming of a child, coping with and internalizing these things has been difficult. Recently, the pain I've been feeling regarding who REALLY taught me to be a man and who made me a man has quickly changed to fear as I did a bit of research on genetics. Much as my father battled with the bottle for most of his life, I too have succumbed to addiction (and helped others through it). Time and time again. I've fought addiction to alcohol, gambling, and various substances throughout my adult life. My father passed it to me, and I have, without a doubt, passed it on to yet another generation. [Don't think diversion here -- legally acquired drugs can be abused just the same as those illegally acquired!] Yet, therein lies my fear. I've had this discussion with my wife as she is 100% aware of my past issues and indiscretions. But I still find myself wondering, how do you prevent something on the same genetic level as INSTINCT in an animal? Do I tell him at a young age of the horrors of his grandpa (before sending him there for visits now and again)? Or, do I simply destroy every young boy's illusion that their father is the strongest, most amazing, limitless man on the face of the planet? How do I prepare him for battles that two generations before him have fought and lost?
I'm lost. I'm confused. I'm scared. I'm so scared.
I don't know where I'm going from here, but I can tell you one thing for sure. In one part of this post, I wrote about someone that I love -- someone that makes me a better me. I also wrote about someone else. The answer is out there...somewhere...