Monday, July 25, 2016


This post, I suppose, is an extension of my previous post Death Wish - - just an inane ramble of things nobody wants to hear.

There are times when I think my blog is boring and repetitive. The spark that I once had (or imagined I had) has diminished. Yet, I continue to write - out of habit and necessity. Necessity - because writing (for me) is an addiction.
I've thought about giving up blogging.
Probably impossible.
Or cutting down my posts to one a week. Some bloggers do this very successfully. I'm much more spontaneous than predictable. I write when the mood strikes me. Which is often. 

There's a danger in writing too much.  Readers grow weary of your unrelenting presence. Yet, there's even more danger in writing too infrequently. Readers will lose interest, assuming that you don't care.

I occasionally (often more than occasionally) repeat things that I've blogged about before. This is not the result of senility (hopefully). I deliberately do this for the benefit of my newer readers. 
And, hell, some good stories are worth repeating.

That's what I did in my previous post.

I write about my violent father and dysfunctional childhood mainly because it so severely affected the rest of my life. I can't ignore or escape the detrimental repercussions.

I don't want sympathy. I don't consider myself to be a noble survivor. My story is nothing special. We're all survivors in one way or another. Life sadistically kicks everyone in the ass and we all have our own private bloody crosses to bear.

I could easily write a book about my father. To say that he was complex would be a vast understatement. In many ways, he and I were alike - except that (thank God) I didn't inherit the insane violence. I am alarmingly complex and infuriatingly complicated, which sometimes frightens me.

It would be an impossibility to analyze my father in a blog post, but I'll mention a few things. He was definitely psychotic, paranoid, and probably quasi-sociopathic. When he went into a rage, the level of violence was beyond extreme and all sense of reason was abandoned. 

What caused his insanity? Inheritance. His type of behavior was prevalent among many Hungarians. I have my own definite opinions, which I won't go into here.

In "normal" times he could be kind, extremely generous, humorous. I hated those times most of all because they didn't last.

He never handled any situation in a mature manner, but rather reacted with  childlike tantrums. He had a terrifyingly intense desire to get even. Nothing was ever his fault. His mantra was "You made me do it" or "It's entirely your fault".
He never, ever said "I'm sorry".

The violent rages were inevitable yet unpredictable. He'd explode in an instant. The anger was never brief. His rampages could last for days, even weeks. And when he finally returned to "normal" it was as though nothing had ever happened. He chose to remember nothing.

What would spark my father's rage? The smallest things imaginable would set him off. When I was fourteen, I got in his way while he was working in the yard. He grabbed me and stomped on my bare feet until they bled (he was wearing heavy work boots). Then he pummeled me with his fists and squeezed me so tightly in a vicious bear hug that two of my ribs were fractured.

Only one small example of hundreds. Many incidents were far worse.
I think the hate that I harbored is understandable - - a hate that nearly consumed me.

I'll regret posting this. I've said far too much. All of it is past history. My father died in 2005. He mellowed slightly in his old age, and I think he had remorse.
I've forgiven him. I no longer have hate. Yet, it's impossible to forget.....


  1. Reading between the lines I get a sense of how horribly mistreated you were by a parent. I'm guessing his mental health issues weren't treated during his lifetime. It irks me that people with such violent tendencies even become a parent, or let their rage out on the ones they love. That's usually the pattern,although some cases differ. At least you're not carrying the burden of hatred on your shoulders. Forgetting would be impossible. So sorry.

  2. Never relinquish your spontaneity, Jon. Predictability may work for some, but I suspect your muse would feel compromised ... possibly angry.

    I hope your father has found a measure of peace at last. His son is getting there!

  3. Jon, I'm so sorry for the life you barely lived, and there is NO making up for the past hurts. What it does cause are all these voices bickering constantly in our brains. "Not good enough. Can't do that. You're stupid. You're an idiot. You'll never be right." Then there are the nightmares. I've had the same nightmare, every night, for over 40 years. I went to counselors, but never talked about the man behind the curtain, for I had no idea what the problem (the BASE problem) was and no one asked me. So you do whatever you can to still the voices in your head.

    Am I anywhere near correct?

    I haven't been around due to extreme pain. Tomorrow I MUST convince the surgeon that I can NOT continue with it. He MUST find the cause and stop guessing. After 5 months, I'm beginning to fear it is permanent. So hang in there, Mister. I need you to hold my hand.

  4. Jon
    Any words seem inadequate, I have no experiences like yours to draw on to say I can understand. I've seen violence aplenty, two tours in VN, many nights in a ER in Seattle, but none personal or directed towards me.

    I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope you can find some peace, some way to come to grips with it in a way that lets you do the final thing: forgiving and mostly stop letting them control your day. I don't know that's what's happening, I hope not.

    My best thoughts to you, pal. My very best.

  5. Keep writing, Jon. The strength that got you through the bad stuff is in your work. The kindness you confer upon yourself is also there. The kids we were, with all their vulnerabilities, fears, delights and loves are still in us. It would be a great inconvenience to them if you stopped writing to this new world.

  6. if writing these horrors set you free, write on.

  7. Maybe your Dad mellowed out because he was starting to need help in his older age or realized he was going to need help. I admire you for forgiving, don't know if I could.

  8. Parents have such a lot of power don't they. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

  9. Sad to imagine the horror of life for you back then. You survived, evolved and have allowed yourself to put it all in perspective. Writing about it educates others and opens their eyes to issues that need discussing. And it helps to cleanse the pain you still live with.

  10. Our life experiences, shape who we are. I wonder if therapy or medication could have helped - but only if he realized he was hurting others and wanted help.

  11. Jon,

    Being a writer is a curse, something akin too being a Vampire. You can't stop doing it. This is a horrible childhood you had. I was never physically abuse as a child, threatened - sometimes, but never actually beaten up or anything. My abuse was mostly verbal and I was able to escape my father's presence because of his occupation keeping him away much of the week. As far as the content of your Blog, it is your Blog and you should write what you wish and tell the truth.


  12. 'Raybeard was here' - after too long a time.

  13. I think your final paragraph sums up how I am too with my father, who passed in 2001.

  14. Yes, even when you can finally forgive you can never forget.
    It's your blog. Your blog! :)

  15. Why do you suppose your mother didn't rescue you from this?

    1. A very valid question, but one that would require an answer too long and complex to put here. My mother was hardly in any emotional condition to "rescue" herself. Victims of continual abuse have difficulty enough surviving from day to day, let alone trying to find a way out. And it was a different world back then - one in which abused women had no resources or emotional support. And the law was NOT on the side of the woman. There were also financial and legal things to contend with that I won't go into.

      My Mom did leave on numerous occasions through the years, but my father had an incredible amount of power and influence. He always found her, always used his "charms" to get her back.

      This is a radical condensation of a very complex situation. Things are always easier said than done, especially when it comes to abuse and control.

  16. I have a family history of this we all (domestic violence and rage). It was sad to grow up in that environment, but ironically it made me the exact opposite. Not really sure why, but I am thankful. And regarding blogging frequency, I have begun blogging only once every 2-3 weeks now. I feel it is a better balance for me due to work.

  17. Your father sounds a lot like mine, only mine was born in Scotland, and his rages didn't last as long. They were usually fueled by alcohol, and afterwards, he either didn't remember... or pretended not to remember... the horrible things he'd done while under the influence. He, too, mellowed in his old age, especially after my mother died, but even though I took care of him like a dutiful daughter while he was dying, I never let my guard down.

    Blogging once a week has worked better for me. When I blogged more frequently, I got more comments per post, but it took way too much time to keep up with them. I prefer the slower pace. You know how we turtles are...

  18. My father was a master at "pretending not to remember". He drank a lot of beer, but some of his most frightening rages happened when he was sober.

    Blogging is often FAR too time-consuming...I should really concentrate on my memoir and other "serious" writing.


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