Dear Daniel Craig,
I have often talked about my mom and (step)dad and just referred to my stepdad as just dad. Because really, for better or worse, even when I feel like they don’t get me, they don’t support me, and they don’t cheer in an ideal fashion they do their best and at the end of the day I know they do indeed love me, allow me to live in their home as I pursue my dream and supplement my grocery bill that’s far more than others I see getting. So while at times they do forget about me and put others accomplishments above mine I figure, they’re coming in September to Imaginarium and dad is coming to the PREMIERE event along with my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Frank. I have support. But as I’ve taken this journey I’ve learned who deserves to have an emotional relationship with me and who doesn’t.
And the one that doesn’t received a lot of coverage early on in this blog. My biological father. I won’t say his name because he’s not the target of my ire tonight. It’s his former ex-wife current girlfriend, old lady, caretaker, whatever you want to call her. And I will say her first name because clearly as co-dependent personality she thinks her mostly spent cache as my former stepmother who talked shit about me behind my back as a child earns her the right to say anything to me about how I live my life. Her name is Doris. And right now if I could beat the living crap out of punching bag it still wouldn’t cool the coals of fire she has stirred up in me.
A few years ago I wrote my biological father a letter telling him how I felt about what he did to me and others, how his behavior basically got us to the point where we were. And it was as if a hot poker had been cooled in my chest and weight had been lifted from my spirit. I mailed him the letter and well he just took it to mean I blamed him for my life turning out so shitty.
As anyone reading this blog knows, my life may be difficult at times but it is not shitty. Or terrible. If anything it turned out great in spite of him. He doesn’t acknowledge mental illness as a real illness and sees me as a mooch because I’m on disability and food stamps. The goal through all this work is to get OFF of those things. But I use them to survive and pursue my dreams and goals.
So when some dried up, bitter, angry, emotionally broke old woman thinks my biological father is something special it calls into question her basic ability to make sound decisions. Mind you I used babysit my baby sister for her while she worked and went out on the town. She married a man who had held gun on her and my sister so she could have the big wedding only to divorce him two weeks later.
She expects me to let her lecture me on the fine art of emotional relationships. Every single time I put myself out there for either of them they make me uncomfortable, they make me feel like I’m in danger, and like I don’t matter. One shouldn’t be made to feel like trash for being different and I AM different.
I have bipolar disorder. I need help to get by for it. I’ve come a long way WITHOUT ANY HELP from them. People like Pamela Turner who is brilliant as a writer, a blogger, and filmmaker and screenwriter. With rough edges of her own she really allows me to be me when no one is can or will. People like Missy Goodman who has literally at times lifted me up and carried me and all of my emotional baggage and accepted me as I am. Also a brilliant writer, blogger, filmmaker and screenwriter. My mom, as moody and as tempermental as she can be loves me and as hard as it is to get her to come to any of my events she still supports it even though she doesn’t get it. My dad by choice who called me his little iconoclast, who he took he walking as a kid. Turned me on to NPR, Moth Radio, and along with my aunt and uncle turned me on to all kinds of movies.
Of course, Jerry left his mark on me. Pain, addiction, his own struggle with mental illness. Doris, always close with Brandy and eventually when Sabrina was born making us feel like the other kids. I recall one Christmas, Sabrina’s first where everything Brandy and I got fit into a single t-shirt box while Sabrina was showered in her young state with countless gifts.
However, in the end I think I’m the one who won out. She got Jerry and Doris for parents. I got Faye and John.
Daniel, I know you’re not reading this, but in magazines I see you out with your daughter and can’t help but hope she got a Johnny-Dadddy (our nickname for John when we were young) for a father as opposed to a Jerry. And I hope on this Father’s Day that she’s as grateful for you in her life as I am for John being in mine.