Looking back through my posts I get the impression that I am portraying JeepMan as a jerk. While it's true that he can be a jerk, I can also be a real...pain. Most of the time we get along fine. As I have already said, he is a really good dad. And I have to give him props - he does very well considering his background. It's amazing that he is not more of a jerk, or a deadbeat dad, or in jail.
JeepMan (I'll call him JM for this story) was born to a very young couple in a tumultuous relationship. JM's dad was a dope dealer who left (or was kicked out of the house) when JM was two. His dad was in and out of his life until JM was about 8, at which time he was put in jail for drug trafficking and for having false identity (he always had an illegal alias). He has been in and out of jail ever since.
JM has few good memories of his father. He says the only good thing he got from his dad was the ability to throw darts and play pool (both of which he does very well). JM remembers being taken on drug deals with his dad, and to this day associates the smell of cigarettes with the dope deals. He remembers going out "for fun," and driving along gravel roads looking for license plates in the ditch that his dad could put on his car so his own couldn't be tracked. His dad never paid child support. He tried to stay in touch with JM over the years, from jail, but JM never had a desire to reciprocate. Go figure.
JM's mom, on the other hand, lived a pretty wild life. JM had to switch elementary schools at least 10 times, sometimes going back to one he had attended before. This was because his mom frequently moved in with whatever boyfriend she had at the time. Then when they would break up, they would move out. JM never made many friends, and the ones he made he couldn't keep. JM was an obese child, which didn't help his social situation. JM was put into situations where he was exposed to his mom's, ah...adult activities... Suffice to say activities a child should not be exposed to. He witnessed fighting, occasionally his mother being hit. When he started high school, his grandparents bought a house for he and his mother to live in so he wouldn't have to be moved around. About this time, his mother was beaten so badly by a boyfriend that she was hospitalized. By this time he was so jaded that he walked into her hospital room and told her she got what she asked for, then walked out. She changed the locks on her house, then a week later gave the same guy the new key. JM moved in with his girlfriend.
He was with this girlfriend for several years. When he moved to college, he found out after a few months that she was cheating on him. She got pregnant by this other guy, and eventually married him. About this time we became friends. He went home for a summer and one of his mom's boyfriends convinced her that JM should be paying rent and buying his own food. He never went back after that. A few years later we started dating and eventually got married.
The saga still continues with his mother. Very long story short, she has gotten married to a good man with a very good income. She has embraced the "rich-bitch" lifestyle wholeheartedly, and seems to forget her former destitution and poor mothering. It is difficult for JM to be around her most of the time and their relationship has been strained (though she seems blissfully unaware of this). To top it all off, (and a whole other story) his grandmother is basically a psycho. Hope it doesn't run in the family.
It is amazing to me that JM has any idea of how to be a husband or parent. His best friend in high school was from a picture-perfect type of family and he spent a lot of time at their house. That is probably the best thing that ever happened to him in his youth. I have to give him credit for doing the best he knows how, but it has been difficult. When we have our problems, I always have to remind myself that I KNEW who I was marrying. I can't make up new expectations, change the rules.
So that is the short version of the story of JeepMan. I'll post this now and add to it if needed later.
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