I’ve said before I am afraid of becoming my father. I respect my father more than he seems to understand. At the same time, he seems fairly unhappy. His attitude when things get difficult, in recent years, would seem to have been reminiscent of the tattoo the “big” Lebowski suggested “the dude” get on his forehead: “Fuck It”. I recall expressing the perspective that he was being condescending to me. He then intentionally condescended and left. He no longer returns my phone calls or emails, but this is the case when it comes to his other two children, from what I understand. He has completely disconnected from my mother and his children. Perhaps this is because Mom recently remarried. His actions seem almost like that of a child’s: “Fine. If you don’t like me the way I am then I wont make you deal with me anymore.” Or maybe his words say it better: “Your mom tried to change me (then quoting Freebird) ‘and this bird you cannot change.'”

I have had some trouble training our newest member of the family. Dumascus is a huge dog. But he is still growing. He has the energy of a puppy and has to be kept inside most of the day as he has developed the habit of barking loudly pretty much anytime he is outside. I’ve tried bark collars and a skwert gun as forms of punishment in hopes that this would curb these undesirable behaviors. I’ve also tried positive reinforcement, giving him treats when he is receptive to my direction. Neither of these methods have seemed to yield any desirable result. I began popping him on the nose when he engaged in undesirable behaviors. This caused him to bat playfully at the hand that slapped him and attempt to engage me in play. So I began hitting him harder. He then knew that I wasn’t playing, but did he learn anything? We’ve gotten to the point where he knowingly engages in bad behavior and then cowers from me when he knows he is caught.

I saw myself in him the last time he cowered from me. I was my father. My father only really hit me once in my life. I had been rebellious and his efforts to discipline me had yielded little result. When I took his car when I was fifteen, the next logical step in discipline was the same form of discipline his father showed him regularly. I don’t know if my ribs were cracked or bruised as I didn’t make it to the doctor for the problem, but it hurt to breath for weeks. My father would explain years later that his actions were his way of telling me not to grow up so fast.

I had taken my father’s car. I knew I was wrong. At the same time, my dog proves he knows he has been bad when he cowers from me without any evidence I am going to hurt him. It is so hard just to think of hurting anyone or anything. I should’ve died back in 2004, but didn’t. If I am here for a reason, it is not to cause pain. My greatest struggle in this life has been coming to terms with my own actions. I will make every effort not to give myself something else to regret.