List Keeping

...i'm big on lists, use them for everything...over the last year, i've been using this list as a template of ideas/themes for the memoir...i've been astonished to find--in corresponding with my father--the similarities in our childhoods:
  • we were both raised by people who really should't have been raising us--in his case, a mother and step-father, in mine my maternal grandmother--not that they were "bad parents"...they just didn't have the temperament for raising children
  • both of us have huge blanks when it comes to who our fathers are...in my case, i suppose i can get as much information from him as i can, but i'll never really know who he is...such is the case with pathological criminals
  • we are both quick tempered, suspicious of most people, with above average intelligence
  • we were both lonely children--he took out his loneliness with aggression, while i tended to internalize it and hate myself for it
  • neither one of us had a childhood to speak of...at age eight i was thrust into the adult world...likewise, my father began working at age eight and was expected to be a man

...so here's the big question: what made me so different from him? was it simply because my grandmother told me she loved me, but my grandfather never said those words to my father? should i believe all of thatpop-psychology?...was the difference that i was scared to become him--to lose my freedom, my dignity, my sanity? no one had a more omnipresent morality tale than i did growing up...did it shape me that much?

...when i was three, i fell and cracked my skull...i needed stitches and still remember the doctor in the emergency room stapling my head back together...pleasant...sometimes i wonder if that crack in my skull is the reason why my neurons don't seem to fire the same way as everyone else's seem to fire...why i'm prone to depression...

...when my father was seven, he was hit by a car and lost consciousness...this was 1961, so there were no MRIs or CAT scans...doctors didn't even see a danger in concussions...but i've done some pretty heavy research into frontal lobe damage caused by car accidents, and based on what i've found, it seems my father probably suffered a lesion that disrupted his frontal lobe for the rest of his life...

...is that the difference? technology and some modern medicine and my father may not have become the monster he is...

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