He's half my DNA. That's undeniable. He's probably mentally ill (sociopath is my guess). And he's my Daddy. People are shocked to hear the story - handsome, charming, smart; mean, violent, mysogenistic.
But what does it mean to me now? I'm not the little girl who craves his attention and approval (or am I?). I'm a grown adult whose primary identity is Mommy, but it's a short trip back to remember the pain of being the progeny of a "bad guy" (that's how I've described him to my kids so as to give them instant clarity of why he's not around).
A recent funeral sent me spinning. The corpse was a beloved father whose adult children spoke of him with admiration, respect, love and a touch of fear. The girl child spoke movingly of her gratitude of having her father for some 30 years. I leaned by head against the wall, closed my eyes and thought, "you are damn lucky." My shit of a father still lives and hasn't earned a morsel of pain from me at the thought of his death. I do not plan to weep when he goes (and it should be painful and soon, please) for I've wept too much for him already.
Christianity encourages forgiveness, but something I really like about my Jewish faith is the tenet that the wronged are not obligated to forgive until it is righteously sought by the wrong-doer. Even then, the wronged is not obligated to forgive if not so inclined until, the Rabbis say, the third time absolution is sought. And let's just say this - it's never been sought and it never will be. He's not capable of it; not deep enough, not introspective enough, not man enough. And thank god 'cause I don't think I could forgive him now anyway.
And I don't think my anger and bitterness hurts me one damn bit either. It reminds me how not to be, gives me compassion for victims, and it's probably a big part of the good that's inside of me. But in the end, I am half evil.