Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Contemplating My Father (Part 1 of 2)

(This post comes from Roger Mann.)

Although my father’s been dead for years, I’m still contemplating his life. This year has been more insightful as I look backward. Maybe because I’m now older than he was when he killed himself.

My father could have been great; he never was. He always pastored small churches and never made a lot of money, even though he was in sales and was good at it. He reached a successful level, then stalled and moved on to something else. He had many casual friends, but his closest and most intimate were always of an odd or sexual nature.

He knew a lot about the Bible but had trouble applying it to his own life.

He was a control freak, but it was tempered by his faith. He never became violent, didn’t drink alcohol, and kept up the appearance of happy husband, father, and minister. Still he never really connected with anyone like I have on the level we have on this blog.

He was secretive and led a double life fairly successfully most of the time until the end. He never really connected with me emotionally.

As I pondered his life, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between us—especially in the area of achieving a certain level of success and then coming to an abrupt halt and moving on. I was always trying not to gain too much attention. My life couldn’t have stood a lot of scrutiny.

Whether it's shame, guilt, or pride, I too have trouble applying truth to myself successfully and consistently. The posts that I read on this site have helped in gaining insight to what is wrong and what needs to be done to correct it.

And thanks guys, BTW. You're all amazing.


Andrew J. Schmutzer said...

Thanks for the honest thoughts on your father, Roger. I know now, more than ever, that healing also comes in seasons. How I bury my abuser will definitely mark another season. These are difficult and strange connections that we survivors must face. I shall lean on my children. May I be a father of good mystery.

Preston Hill said...

You are amazing as well, Roger. Bless you on this journey, and bless you for your honest reflections. It takes much courage to reflect on these issues as you have, and to do so with constant unyielding attention is no small accomplishment given the discomfort and pain that such scrutiny invites. If nothing else, having a "band of brothers" with which to mutually engage in such healing attention to our stories is a communal exercise that lessens, or at least distributes, what sometimes feels like an unbearable load. Our sharing with one another, though painful, divides the burden of our healing into a doable task. But it also multiplies the joy of celebrating the milestones that indicate we are making progress. Life is far too short not to revel its joys and suffer its sorrows. Thank you Roger and all for joining in this sacred calling.