The Final Verdict: My father in Prison

Oh boy… I can’t really….

I’m finding it to be really hard to process things right now.

well… I guess I’ll just get into it.

Today was the big day. The day my father was given his final verdict in court. We knew it’d be between 6 and fifteen years, and that once the verdict was announced he’d be taken into custody immediately. No longer a free man; Now a part of the system.

I wasn’t there when they announced it. I didn’t want to be there. I couldn’t be there. I decided to come home and stay with my mom. She’s usually a big trigger for me, but we did speak on the phone yesterday when I was in the city and she actually seemed just as low. So she picked Khaleesi and me up and we headed to the suburbs. I had to come anyway because my mom is watching my little one while I’m in Texas. Khaleesi likes my mom’s house and she’s in good hands.

My younger brother didn’t stay in town for the verdict. He went to Wisconsin Dells for a few days. I wonder how much that burned my dad. Watching his son go on with his life even on a day like this. But who can blame him? From the ages of 5-18 he’s lived his life without a father. Without him. He should go on with his life.

I should go on with my life.

However, there’s a disconnect somewhere. I know my father is a bad person and that he deserves nothing but a long sentence, but somewhere close to the surface I really love him and this whole ordeal breaks my heart.

He sort of surprise visited me at my apartment to drop off some things yesterday. He brought me two lamps, his Michael Myers mask and jumpsuit that he used to wear every Halloween (We are huge fans) and his sketchbooks. He also handed me his soccer jersey to give to my brother. He brought along the woman that he left us for, and the child that they had together while my father was still married to my mom.

I know it’s cruel and completely unprovoked but everytime I see him I feel angry on some level. I know it’s not his fault, but he is the product of  the love that ruined my family. He’s the child that my father chose to raise.

To be honest I was completely insulted that he brought his ex-mistress, Rosa to my house. At first I thought I was over it, but seeing her again made my blood boil. I almost didn’t allow her to come into the house, but in order to keep the peace and make this last visit cordial I decided to bite my tongue and allow her in.

For the first time I finally asked my father what was happening tomorrow. The 14th of august isn’t one I’ll soon forget. He says that they are giving him his final verdict and then he’ll be gone.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I hated the fact that I was about to cry in front of Rosa. She had never seen the pain that their reckless affair caused me. I wanted to tell her that I hated her, and that I didn’t realize it until just then. But instead I gulped down the knot in my throat and asked my father if I could speak to him in private.

We went into my room and I shut the door behind me.

“Dad, I need to tell you some things that I’ve never been able to say before. I need you to know what your absence has done to me all these years.”

“I know baby.”

“No, you don’t know. You don’t know because you were never there. You don’t know who I am because you never asked. You never cared to know. I am never going to get my childhood back. We can never have a do-over. I only got one childhood and it’s over.”

“I know baby.”

He looked down and the ground and wiped something imaginary off of his hand. He looked tired, worn out, and all at the same time completely uninterested in anything I was saying.

“On some level you know that you deserve this, right?”

“You know I didn’t do anything to that girl. She took it back later on but they didn’t care.”

As far as my knowledge goes my father has sexually assaulted 3 women and 2 children. To this day, even knowing he will be imprisoned for years to come, he still cannot muster up the decency to be honest with me.

“Dad, even if that’s true (It wasn’t) I saw you abuse my brother with my own eyes.”

“I will admit I wasn’t a good dad to your brother.”

Understatement of a lifetime.

“You’ve broken my heart so many times, dad. I really think this is the last time.”

“I’m sorry baby.”

Everything I was saying to him was going in one ear and out the other. I never realized how in genuine and believable my father could be all at once. He was like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Suave, calm, collected, believable. Yet there was something evil behind his eyes.

Was this the same man that took me to the park and laughed with me?

Was this the same man that I watched beat my brother mercilessly with my set of four year old eyes? Grimacing with every punch yet not being able to look away. Taking it all in. Listening to his maniacal laughter.

Was this the same man that when asked if he promised he wouldn’t leave us again answered, “I promise baby. Never again” with the most genuine facade?

Yes. This was the same man.

Only this time I was the one in power.

“Dad if you do nothing else in there, I want you to reflect on the decisions you made so that when you’ve served your time you can live your life differently.”

“Okay.”

I think my father’s own delusions kept him from seeing that what I meant when I said all these things to him was that I was officially giving up on him. There will no longer be an open door  for him in my heart when he is released. That’s it.

He hugged me and said he loved me, and just like that he, Rosa, and Sam walked out that door for the final time. Together.

I stood at the doorway with tears in my eyes and watched him as he left me once more.

But only once more.

My father texted me one last time at 11:08 am.

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I knew the verdict would be coming soon after. I braced myself.

I got the call at 12:40 pm today. My father stood at the podium, seconds of freedom left, and was given a sentence of 12.5 years.

By the time he is released I will be 34 years old.

I sat here in silence for about an hour, completely in shock. I knew it was coming, yet I still wasn’t prepared for it. I pictured my dad in a holding cell. Wondering how his life turned out this way. Wishing he hadn’t made such terrible decisions. Wishing things would have been different. Hoping he gets an appeal. I’ll never know for sure what he’s thinking right now, but as I type he is somewhere out there, locked up and waiting to be processed. Waiting for his 12.5 years in prison to begin. Tears dropped down onto the covers as I stared off into nowhere, eyes wide open. Then I opened up this laptop and started typing.

And here we are.

-Jess

I wanted to show some of his drawings. I used to look at the photocopies of them often when I was younger, wishing he’d give them to me someday. Now I’m in posession of most of them, and I’ve got to admit… It doesn’t help.

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One thought on “The Final Verdict: My father in Prison

  1. Pingback: 6 things I’m grateful for… | Never Ask "What If?"

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