353/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. How cliché? 😉 But it is so very true – I totally understand and live by that motto. Everything that I have been through in my life has made me the guy you know. Yeah, my life was tough but I know people have had it rougher. I accepted my fate in life and dealt with it. What I do wish though was that I had support growing up. Yes, as I wind down these posts, I must throw in one final back-handed gratitude post to people who, without your non-care (for lack of a better word), made me even stronger. You all should know by this time that my dad was a paranoid delusional schizophrenic. We, as kids, were told to keep it hidden. Deny it. Don’t talk about it. This was told to us by our mother. But she was forced to tell us this as her in-laws wouldn’t accept/believe that their son/brother/brother-in-law had a mental illness. I recall overhearing my mom being lectured that she was making things up and she had to stop phoning the police when my dad would lose it on her. I remember also being told as a teenager that I was in collusion with my mom by having my dad institutionalized for that decade or so. I was in shock and I had so much anger at my dad’s family. They saw things from the outside. We lived things from the inside. As you may also know, my sister and I were in foster care for a short period. We were living with different relatives at other times when my mom would be hospitalized because of my dad’s violence. The anger stayed with me for most of my life. I had to see these people at my dad’s funeral – these people who never were there for us growing up. Any one of them could have stepped up and been a father figure, a true uncle but that never happened. On my 18th or 19th birth year, my mom wanting to take me to see my paternal grandparents in India – I was lectured to by my uncles there that my mom and I (once again colluding) to steal my dad’s wealth and property there – no, they had no clue about the poverty we actually lived in growing up as my dad put my mom on an allowance and so she had to hold down multiple jobs just to care for us but I listened and festered. I, however, did learn that three of his other siblings (two whom had committed suicide) were also afflicted by the same mental illness – I got a better understanding of my dad. I was forgiving of my uncles and family in India as they did not have the same knowledge level as my dad’s Canadian family. I have 100% forgiven my dad because none of what he did was in his conscious control but I can’t forgive my dad’s immediate family here in Canada. You could have made a difference. You could have acknowledged that there was something wrong. You could have supported any of us, all of us. Yes, you lay blame on us. I’d like to think I’m a bigger person and can move on but I’m not that good – I can’t forget and I definitely can’t forgive. I will say though that you have taught me a life lesson that not all family is there for you. Yes, this gratitude post might come off as very bitter but I think I’m entitled to this one. I am so that much stronger in spite of/despite you and for that, you get the backhanded thank you!