After months of digging up all my old blogs, I’ve officially made this compilation public as of a few minutes ago. I didn’t re-read everything, but some of the old stuff I wrote raised even my eyebrows. Most stunning was an entry from 2004 where I stated my opposition to gay marriage. Being that my current stance couldn’t be more opposite of that it was bizarre to read. My Catholic upbringing poisoned me with bigoted ideology for longer than I thought, apparently. I almost didn’t post that entry but I told myself I would put EVERYTHING on this blog regardless of the content. This is literally meant to function as an open book in every sense and I stuck to it.
But why, you might ask?
I have two theories.
The first is that I’m reaching a major crossroads in my life. I’ll be leaving New York behind in April… this time for good. I absolutely have no intention of returning to this place ever again except for weddings or funerals. Simply put, in approximately five months the NY chapter of my life is over. Done. Kaput. Too much pain and trauma to revisit.
I’m also likely cutting off all ties to my immediate family when I move, particularly my parents, who have mentally and physically abused me for years. With my mother, it’s been more of a hurtful division of ideology. She is still very much Catholic, and carries with that all the irrationalities and bigotries you’d expect. She’s attempted to perform an exorcism on me, declared I’ll be going to hell (also, Jewish people), thinks a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, wants creationism taught in schools, thinks gays don’t deserve equal rights, etc etc. There’s lots of nuts out there that think shit like this, but she exercises them. She says these things, does these things, professes these things… it’s frequently upsetting and disturbing.
What has truly been the most upsetting has been her complicit covering up for my abusive father… though it’s entirely possible that she’s simply succeeded at lying to herself and is in a state of pure denial. Her loyalty to that man is stunning, especially considering how he nearly broke her nose years ago. Actually, he may have outright broken it… all I remember is it being very bruised and her sister, my Aunt Mary, asking her the next day what had caused it. I remember my mom quietly replying that it was him. I also knew beyond any doubt because I was on the staircase watching them argue and saw him strike her and the crying that followed.
My father, meanwhile, smacked me around plenty while growing up. He wasn’t the type that beat me all the time, but when he did it he did it well and scared the living shit out of me. Always for the pettiest shit, too.
For example, I once expressed my distaste with the vegetables my mom cooked for dinner and my father flipped, picked me up under his arm, and marched upstairs to my bedroom. He dropped me onto my bed and started slapping my sides as I curled into a ball to protect myself. I recall him finally shouting, “WHY CAN’T YOU BE A GOOD SON??” In tears I quietly said, “I can’t be your son if I’m in pieces…” He paused and I remember distinctly, for the first time, that something might have kicked in upstairs. This brief moment of apparent reflection didn’t last and he continued hitting me. It was significant because it’s as if he stopped, realized what he was doing wasn’t right, and then continued to do it anyway. It didn’t come off as a man who had simply lost his temper, but a man who was being intentionally cruel.
But moment of physical abuse that most stuck with me happened in August 2005. He had made some comment about my being just as stubborn as his deceased mother and I expressed that I was insulted at the comparison. Despite the fact that it was HE who had just dissed his own mother, he became enraged and a back-and-forth shouting match proceeded. It was finally interrupted when he tackled and pinned me to the ground (he’s 6’5″ and nearly 300lbs). When I tried to get up he grabbed my shoulders and started slamming me up and down. My head slammed into an end table and I was left with a cut to my temple with deep nail marks in my arms. I cursed repeatedly at him, helpless to do anything more. Meanwhile my mother was nearby and actually scolded me for cursing at him! That’s right. While I was in the process of being beaten she was condemning me for my language. You see what I mean about her?
If that wasn’t bad enough, they topped it later that night. Right after the incident I left the house for a few hours to recoup at my friend Kellen’s. When I finally went back home I walked in to see both my parents waiting on the couch. They demanded an apology, claiming that I had tried to attack my mother and that my father had merely defended her. It was a stunning collaborative ruse which they have stuck to for years. Never changing course. Never apologizing. Nothing. Yet shortly after that episode I found out my father started attending therapy for anger management. It all added up that he had obviously fucked up, but even today he denies any of it.
Shit like that stays with a person.
Plenty of more shit has happened since that night… deeply upsetting shit… but nothing quite that traumatizing. Yet when something smaller goes down it always churns up the memories and tears open the old wound, a wound that never was able to properly heal because it was never treated with an ounce of remorse or regret. It’s unresolved to this day with no hope of resolution. And that isn’t me being cynical, that’s just an unfortunate fact.
There’s plenty else I despise about NY… the shitty weather, the beatings I took while in grade school from peers, the legal difficulties I’ve had to deal with, blah blah blah. Point is, I’m DONE. I’m even submitted the paperwork this week to have my name legally changed from David Edward Barnes (named after my father) to David Archer Bond because I want a truly fresh start when I move to California on every level. I want to surround myself with strong, positive, and creative influences on the West Coast. Family sometimes isn’t the people you share blood with, but rather the people that you find later in life. I’m on a quest to find a family and eventually even start one of my own. But to do that I need to let go of many pains and that includes cutting off some ties.
I know, I know. Running from problems isn’t a solution. I agree. But distancing myself geographically from all the reminders will help. I lived in CA from Oct 2011 thru June 2012 and I already know how beneficial the distance was for me. It was the happiest 10 months of my adult life. By far.
So that’s reason number one. I’m nearing a major crossroads and reassessing and de-compartmentalizing everything that has transpired up to this point as part of my process for departure.
The second reason is probably just more of a fear but… and I can’t explain why exactly… but I have a sense that I’m not going to live much longer. No, this isn’t me being suicidal (been there, done that… this ain’t it). It’s difficult to describe the feeling. You know how when you picture your future and you see something? It might not be what comes to pass, but you can see something right? I can’t anymore. It’s blank. It’s not a lack of hope or dreams or aspirations… nothing like that. It’s just a sense of nearing the end of my own story. And in the off chance that it is I want it to be remembered accurately. A compilation of blog entries, the closest I have to a diary, is a method of accomplishing that.
But I digress. It’s late and I need sleep, so take all this with a grain of salt.