Father’s Day 2012

Taken by Elizabeth Clanton on Sunday June 12, 2012. I found the gallery buried on her Facebook wall. I choked up, and almost cried some very happy as these are almost the only photographs of Caira, Garrett and I together, because I chronically hide behind the camera. I’ve rearranged the photos into roughly chronological order.

Breakfast

Garrett hands me a card
Caira shows me how to use the blanket
I unfold the blanket
Garrett hides under my blanket
I bear hug Caira
I show off Caira's Father's Day card
Caira at breakfast
Caira, Garrett and I at breakfast

Town

Caira lead the charge into town
Caira at the bus stop in Cliffoney
Garrett and I by the bus stop in Cliffoney
Garrett checks out a garden light
Garrett looks mad
Garrett and I on our way back to the house
Garrett and I on our way back to the house

In the garden

Lucy and I relax outside
I swing Garrett in a basket
I swing Garrett in a basket
I swing Garrett in a basket

These next photographs were in the same gallery, and while they aren’t of Father’s Day, they are pretty good photographs of the view from my kitchen in Cliffoney, if I ever feel the need to brag about it:

The view down to the beach from the house
The view from the house across Donegal Bay to Slieve League
Classiebawn Castle at Mullaghmore Mullaghmore houses

by Mark on
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July update

Mum, looking Mummish,

Family:
Mum is sick, tired, in constant pain from arthritis, and I don’t think I care at all. I love her-she’s my mother and I her son-but I don’t like her. Mum’s been an unflagging negative in my life: First she passively put up with dad’s abuse, then she tenaciously apologized for him after he died, has constantly put me down and dismissed anything I have to say, has never been any more than lukewarm toward Caira and Garrett, and pretty much met my breakdown and depression with a staunch suggestion that it’ll all go away if I just get a job.

Mum’s drilled her own flavour of learned helplessness into me, and when I see her in pain, I just can’t bring myself to feel moved.

Frank’s Frank: Out of sight and beyond hearing; Jennifer worries about me (I think), but leaves me be; Ella adores me; and Oisin weeps piteously if he sees me.

Oh, just me.

Me:
Turgid descriptions of my raunchy sex life aside, better? I’m behind on all of my bills, I plan to send off Caira’s birthday present first thing tomorrow morning, my sleep pattern is nocturnal, I’m tired of being fat, my back has mended, my bad right arm has almost mended.

I’m over the worst of my breakdown, and the lasting depression, but my self-confidence and interest in a partner are zero, and I run off to escape in one or another virtual world when feelings threaten to come knocking at my door. I feel terribly alone all of the time, but I just don’t want the burden (or to be the burden) of company. Nicole found a boyfriend and a job, and dropped off the radar almost completely and immediately, and Jenny’s busy as a mother of two. That’s about it so far as close friends go. There’s a great, casual crowd at 091 Labs, but they aren’t really the group I want to open myself up to. I’m an abusive child-beater.

I’m poor, underwater in bills (~€700) as of this post, and in search of somewhere new to live, in Galway or wherever. Ostensibly, I’m not supposed to receive a VEC grant for a repeat year in college; ostensibly, I can apply for an exemption to this rule on the grounds of illness (breakdown); ostensibly the VEC is leery of providing this to me; and ostensibly the staff at IT Sligo have scattered to the four winds for the summer.

Do I continue in college? I hated Sligo. The county is gloriously beautiful, but there are no amenities there, no friends, no refuge of geekery like in Galway, and nowhere to really go or see as a pedestrian. And, of course, the last two years have tainted it for me. Too many bad memories are locked up there, and as always, I am running, running, running away.

On the other hand, it’s college, learning, and a chance to better myself, and prove to myself I’m not worthless. On the other other hand, there’s a huge gap in age and experience between the other students and I; I’m a decade older, and really don’t have much in common.

Garrett playing.

Kids:
I don’t know what I really want to do. I am dogged by my many failures: That time I lost my temper at Mariah in Penneys, and the staff quietly asked her if they wanted me to call the police; or the time I hit Mariah and she did call the police; or the time I hit Caira and Mariah called the police, again. Or that time I tried to leave her in the middle of the night and return to Ireland, while she was pregnant.

I could list everything, probably, but it’s safe to say I’ve been a pretty horrible person to Mariah and my two kids on a regular basis. I know I’ve spoken here before about how I just want Caira and Garrett gone from my life, or how I want them in my life after all. Truth be told I don’t know what I want. There’s no question of Mariah and I staying apart, because children shouldn’t see their parents try to kill each other on a daily basis, but I don’t know whether I want to be there.

I could procrastinate my way out of a decision, for sure. As of today, I’ve been in Garrett’s life for eight months out of his almost four years, and Caira’s for three-and-a-bit of seven. From what little I’ve heard of her, Caira hates me. Garrett misses me, but he’s perfectly happy without me. I just don’t know. I want it, and push it away when I get it.

Mariah’s opened up a bit more to me since ~April, and passed on both photographs and nuggets of information, but not much, and not about any topic I don’t ask about. It’s frustrating trying to dig into a topic when often enough Mariah won’t even answer the question unless I directly ask and then repeat it when she tries to dodge or ignore it.

I don’t know if I really love the kids, when I’m able to abstract what I feel about them. Shouldn’t it encompass everything I think or do, if I really feel love? Answers on the back of a postcard to my home address.

by Mark on
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Building up mental inertia

I’ve sunk myself into virtual worlds and escapist fantasies since last September. There was World of Warcraft (a lot of it), fantasy, novels, and the Internet as a whole to run off into while I had my breakdown. It was great. Brilliant. I need to stop now, and get back in line with the real world.

My WoW subscription runs out today, and I’m going to let it lie for a while. I’m back in Galway for a few days, to get some design and coding work done on Bigworldia. I might even have found a place to stay down here for the summer. Yay. Tomorrow I go to the doctor’s office and apply to change my G.P. to our family doctor. Something something Mark something something happy pills.

Okay.

The last year of college is a complete writeoff; I never went in, I didn’t sit any exams, and I barely even read any of the emails the campus and lecturers sent out. I in no way believe I am going to able to sit any repeat examination come July and August. I am instead just going to go repeat the year in September.

I’ve still had no contact with the children, or with Mariah, since she refused me access to them. It it something I have the means to fight, so I’ve made the choice to let it all go for now. Pack up the photographs, put them away, let it lie, and hope that one or the other decides to contact me when they’re older. I can’t get a divorce in Ireland until August 2017, which I plan to do the moment that month rolls around.

Bigworldia, as it stands, is now running in Monogame, on Linux. XNA was killed off by Microsoft, but Monogame has an active and passionate development community. I’m going to roll with this for the summer and see where I go. :D

by Mark on
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