“Father of Mine”


            Have you ever had the feeling there was something you needed to remember yet were unable to put your finger on it? I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been dreaming something important but once my eyes were open I couldn’t recall it. I have been on a foul mood all day and it took me quite a while to realize what was causing it.

            As of this writing and posting tomorrow will be Fathers Day 2014.

            First and foremost I am a father. My children are the most important things in my life. It doesn’t matter to me if I physically created them or not all six of my children occupy the top shelf in my heart. In that regard tomorrow will be fun. My kids are taking me out to dinner for father’s day and I am anticipating the normal awesome time we have when we all get together. There is nothing I love more than having all of my children around me.

            I am also a son.

            I love my dad. I don’t care if people who have been keeping up with my Journal in all of its many and varied forms think I’ve been a bad son because in a way I have been. But I’ve been no worse a son than he has been a father. We have both fucked up the family dynamic and I am not sure if we will ever be able to repair it.

            Let me say one more time before any of you start judging me, I LOVE MY DAD.

            Two years ago I did my A Cautious Descent Into Respectability series of essays. These essays were written on the advice of my Doctor who said if I was going to have any hope in my battle with depression I needed to start talking about my life and the trauma I’d experienced. For me it was wonderful, unburdening my mind in conjunction with medication has made all of the difference and I am now celebrating two years with no serious suicidal thoughts and feelings.

            Of course some people were less than happy.

            Let me put this out there right now before I start hearing the usual behind the scenes family bullshit. I fucked up. I should have warned people of what I was going to be doing. I never should have used my brothers real name in that ONE essay. But I will NEVER be sorry for having done it and if you can’t accept that then just go your own way.

            There is a reason I never mention my father’s family by name. By this I mean my dad, stepmother, middle brother, and my sister in law.  It’s not because I am afraid of the threatened lawsuit or their bullshit condemnation of me and mine. It’s not because I am secretly hoping everything will go back t the way it was, I know my family all I would have to do is grovel for a little bit and all would be forgiven. No the reason is because I know I am somewhat culpable for the current situation and only wish to minimize any further damage.

            But no, other than with my Dad, I have zero desire to fix anything.

            Since the falling out my father and I have spoken maybe a dozen times and never once about why he’s mad and hurt. Oh I have my theories as to why he’s turtled the fuck up. He’s mad about my beef with his wife, he thinks I disrespected her and so he chose her over me. I don’t even blame him for that, she’s his wife and they love each other I get it and I won’t condemn him or say he should have chosen her over me despite the reasons for our issues. I won’t go into it but suffice it to say I don’t give a flying fuck what she thinks or feels. He’s mad that I aired family business in a public forum because that’s a massive no-no in my family. But mostly he’s mad because as far as I’m concerned my brother doesn’t exist anymore. Dad took his side without ever even speaking with me.

            Yes I know how small and petty I sound.

            Yes I know how juvenile it looks.

            Yes I am aware sibling rivalry is as old as the human race… maybe older.

            I don’t care. I know these are very likely the main reasons my father has cut ties but there is one other reason I feel bears mentioning. My father has never been very comfortable with me. I’m not saying he doesn’t love/like me I mean there aspects of Josh Hilden he has never been able to deal with head on. My father and my brother are both highly skilled when it comes to manly things they enjoy (auto mechanics, home repair, fishing). I am compete rubbish when it comes to those things and I do not enjoy them. They are both sports fans, Josh not so much. But there is one thing which drove a spike when I was 16.

            I tried to kill myself the summer between junior and senior years of high school. I am not rehashing that story again if you are really interest I refer you back to my older essays. During my stay in a mental health facility I told my dad I was Bisexual, he was the first family member I ever told and his response was to pretend like it never happened. So suffice it to say when I came out he was not happy. He never said anything but I got a fucking earful from his wife. Some people need to learn once they say something the damage is done.

            To this day dad has NEVER talked to me about it. I want to say I don’t blame him and I understand that he is from an older time and that it’s not fair to expect him to accept it. I really want to but the fact is I am his son and I think if our places were reversed I’d handle it better.

            So tomorrow is father’s day and I am at a crossroads, in the two years since all of this shit started my father has not called me once. Every phone call has been initiated by me and I am really fucking sick of it. I’m not calling him tomorrow. I am done being the one who makes the efforts no matter how small. I’m just fucking done.

            I am sure my dad, his wife, and my brother dip into my journal just to see what’s going on in my life. I couldn’t care less. I make none of it restricted and I block none of them from anything they can read anything I write and feel any way they damn please. I am sure as this is read there will be cursing and gnashing of teeth and other such bitching.

            Good.

            If you, and let me make this crystal by you I mean dad I don’t ever want to hear from the rest of you, are reading this don’t call me. If you read this and really want to talk wait until my birthday or at least a few weeks. I’m pissed and I’m hurt and I have no time for bullshit.

            This is the last essay I ever plan on making about my father’s family of my middle brother unless something unforeseen happens. I’m going to be 38 in two months. I’ve been with my wife for 18 ½ years and I have 6 children. I have my own family, my own career, and if I’m not worth making an effort for that’s fine.

 

 

            -Josh

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!