I have had many random thoughts tonight. The most superficial was on the Ha Ha Bar. No laughing here since it now has bouncers on the door. It probably has doe for some time but it has to be 4 years since I went last. How sad is the world that you cannot sit outside with your drink because your glass may be used as a weapon a facial destruction. If you know that downing your drink may lead to you glassing someone with it, why would you even go out?
Which leads me to other thoughts. I have been pondering the difference between being dishonest and being a liar. I conclude the following: You can be a good person that has told a lie. You cannot be a good person if you are dishonest. A lie is a choice that you make, where as dishonesty is part of your make up. Dishonesty is a means to doing what you want in life without taking responsibility. Dishonesty enables you to put yourself first because to be dishonest you cannot face the decisions that you make. If you make decisions that lead you to being a dishonest person, then you should not be making those decisions. Dishonest people know that, but the desire to present in a way far from the reality leads to dishonesty.
This makes sense in my head. Dishonesty is failing to reveal the true facts and presenting a false picture. Lying is denial of the truth when asked. Lying by omission is worse than lying because it is dishonest. When you have a combination of lying and dishonesty, you have a person who lives in a kind of fictional reality and it is probably time to accept that you made a mistake knowing them.
Perhaps then, denial is dishonesty to ones self. I can look back at my marriage and know that all the signs were there, in my denial of their existence - was I being dishonest with myself or was I just plain stupid? Who knows, but I do know that 25 years ago I had an emotionally traumatic event. Frightened and lonely I turned to It. 'It' announced that he could not afford the petrol money to enable any physical or emotional support. In the midst of one of my lowest points, he kindly sent a postcard informing me that he was on a drinking weekend with his chums in Blackpool and was having a great time. I can only assume that petrol is in fact free up north. So, emotional crisis, emotionally void man. You would think a massive alarm bell would ring in my head and it did, but I ignored it. With this in mind, can I really complain that this man has the ability for contempt, lack of guilt, morals or simple decency? No, because the truth is, I was deluding myself to the reality because I wanted to believe better of him.
So now I am at a stage where in my head, I need to apologise to my children. I am sorry that I made such a poor judgement call, choose the wrong sort for father material. I am sorry that you all feel that your father is nicer out of the house than he ever was in it. I am sorry that I allowed him to shout at you when he was depressed (Even though he will deny this ever happened) I am sorry that Daddy raised a family and still believed that anything he earned was his. I am sorry that I did not challenge the fact that he was never there, never wanted to be and always did his own thing. I am sorry that the man I chose as your father is dishonest. I am sorry that your father will continue to put his own need ahead of your feelings or perception of the world, but most of all I am sorry that I did not have the strength of character to see what was staring me right in the face. This is my fault. If Daddy was always fundamentally selfish then Mummy has spent her entire adult life being stupid. For this I apologise.
Of course they cannot read this, which on the whole is a blessing. For a while they can bask in the pretence of it all but there will reach a point where they make up their own minds and I hope that if they learn anything - it is that love is not always healthy. Giving love is healthy, simply taking is unhealthy. I may witter on relentlessly that this is all unjust but I feel content that I am not sitting here, having behaved badly, jabbing the finger of blame in justification of selfish thought and behavior. No matter how much my children may loathe the things I sometimes do and sometimes say, I will die guaranteeing that they will not leave home feeling that I ever put my own selfishness ahead of their needs.
To the teenager I say this - I am sorry that you were of an age that you already had your own perceptions of events. Far better be young and unaware. The ability to see through the crap is indeed a double edge sword. Under all that Bravado is the small boy who's father cannot deal with on the level he needs to because his father does not want to face the reality of the last few years. I pray he sees that this is about his father and not about him - but we all want decent parents and life hurts terribly when we realise that the hand we were dealt was not as it should have been. you will learn from it, you will be stronger for it, you will learn about hurt, pain and values. What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you.
Clearly I am no saint and this only goes so far. If I have to choose between allowing an unnecessary game or buying a demon pair of platforms - then the shoes are going to win.
On another superficial note: sitting in the Ha Ha Bar the other night, I shared with a friend that one of the reasons that i used to like it was because the age range was late twenties to thirties and so not full of teenagers. then I realised that I am in fact 40.
I fear I may have to start visiting tea rooms and wearing Clarkes Springers