As I briefly discussed on the abusive father page, I feel a kinship to Paul, because our lives have had many parallels, not the least of which is our name. Like Paul, I can not really remember my mother. It sounds as if perhaps Paul's mother died in childbirth, or at the very least, while Paul was very young. My mother died in a housefire when I was three, so the only thing I have to hold on to are pictures of my mother and the occasional half-memory of a laugh or a smile. Also, Paul and his siblings were raised alone by his widower father, just as my younger brother and I were. My brother, my father, and I lived with my aunt and uncle for a short time directly after the fire, but for a long time we were on our own. Both of our fathers took it very hard and took that pain out on the children. Neither of them intended to do it, at least I know my father didn't, but it is a somewhat understandable, though not excuseable, response to losing your wife. The children only serve to remind you of what you have lost...every day of your life.
There the differences start to appear. My father eventually stopped the spankings because he was made to realize that what he was doing was wrong. Also, my father was never the oppresive, keep-you-under-his-thumb type of father that Paul's father seemed to be. Also, my father remarried six years ago, and then Paul's life and mine seem to begin to converge again. I did not get along at all with my step-mother for a long time after my father married her, and she wasn't too fond of me either, to tell the truth. It got so that I was afraid of coming home from school late, or having to ask to go out, because I was afraid of what I would hear come from her mouth. Paul was in a situation very similar to this, except it was his father and not his step-mother.
To be as honest as I can be, pondering the entire situation of my life
has nearly driven me to suicide on several occasions before, but I have
never told anybody but my ex-girlfriend. However, the one major thing that
drives me to contemplate suicide is also the same thing that prevents me
from following through on it! I know that my mother died and left my
father and my brother alone and on our own, and I saw the effect it had on
my family, and I swore to myself that I could never do that to them. My
family drives to the edge, stops the car, and drives me right back around
again. Life's pretty funny, huh?