For some reason, it was a much more natural process to see the flaws in the rest of my parental figures(biological mom, biological dad, and stepmother). My naturally analytical mind has been picking these poor people apart since I knew how to think. Mom doesn't know how to handle stress, Dad's never there when we need him, etc. etc. For some inexplicable reason however, my step father was mostly immune to these types of criticism. He has always been flawed, no doubt, but somehow the story of him overpowered him as a reality. Three tours in Iraq, been in love with my mom since he was a teenager, taught me how to ride a bike. These are the things we all focused on. But now... Are these things no longer true? Or are they just no longer enough?
Maybe it's just that for the first time, I am seeing him as a whole person, and let me tell you... the view is complicated. After his initial arrest, more and more truths have been revealed. We learned that my step father was sexually abused repeatedly over a long period of time while he was away at boarding school. He even ran away at one point and told his mother what was happening, but she just sent him back. As a psychology major i know about the relationship between abuse, and abusive behavior, but what do i do with that? Does it excuse him hiding outside of my sister's window and taking pictures of her? 100% no, not even close. Let me say that again, NO! NONONONO! That is something I doubt I will ever get past, but do I feel for him? For the struggles he's faced and the shame and guilt he must have been carrying around for all of these years? The short answer is yes, I do feel for him. I have an empathetic personality and I can't help but put myself in other people's shoes. However, those feelings of empathy really just complicate things for me.
I feel so bogged down by all of these conflicting emotions that shouldn't be able to coexist! But they do! I feel love and hate and anger and understanding all at the same time, and it really depends on the moment which one is the strongest. So the real question (which I'm pretty certain has no answer) is what the FUCK am i supposed to do with all of this?