It sounds like onemorekiss ripped a page out of one of my journals from about 15 years ago. So earnest, so well meaning, so hopeful that somehow, somewhere e will be able to think emself out of the problems. Looks astonishingly like the list at the top of my homenode as well. Shows how much I've learned. Circular logic, as it were. Good luck, OMK, maybe you'll find the exit that continues to elude me.

I also want to thank everyone for their feedback on this narrowly avoided disaster. I'm not going to send it or anything like it any time soon. I would have liked to believe that my desire to send that letter had something to do with "taking care of me" and absolutely nothing to do with trying to change him. "I don't want him to change, I just ... okay, yeah, I want him to change... a lot... okay, I'd be willing to sell my left arm if he'd just be somebody else."

I want him to be someone he will never be. And there's no trick, no magic word, no secrect gesture that will fix him. Or me, for that matter. I'm stuck with him, even if he's not around. To use a phrase he never would, "Suck it up and deal, candyass." A type-written line in the sand would do nothing to help me learn to accept him for who he is, nor accept the parts of me that are like him.

It sure would have been easier to mail him the little fucker, though. Hand him back all the crap he's been handing me since I was born, with interest compounded daily. Of course, he wouldn't understand most of it, he would just check out for a while and most of it would just pass him right by. But he'd still catch enough of it for the whole situation to go up like roman-candle factory at mid-shift: cheerful paper everywhere, all of it covered in blood and ashes. Nice and dramatic - one action, tons of fallout. Something I could walk away from without a second thought. "Well, there ain't no way anyone could fix that. I guess it was always broken. It's not my fault he couldn't handle the truth."

Instead, I'm left with that whole being a man, taking responsibilty, owning my choices. Which takes years of hard work and diligence. It means figuring out how talk with him, how to stand up to him in ways that don't explode, how to meet his actions with appropriate levels of response, and how to make the best of a situation that has no chance of going the way I really want it to. I don't want to do all that - that's what parents do ...what adults do.

...What I'm going to do.

Strangest thing. He hasn't called in nearly three weeks. He frustrates the hell out me, but I kinda miss talking to him.