He Was Sure

The reality of one man in a documentary I’ve recently finished really had me thinking deeply about the realities of many, including myself.

Without going into lengthy detail, the man had spent a great amount of his adult life convincing himself of something that simply wasn’t true. He added lies to his story for his book and, later, documentary. He crafted manipulative, strategic bluffs and weaved them into his story. The result was an excellent head-scratcher that sold the books, had skeptics throwing their money and making him rich, and the documentary made for an interesting way for me to pass the time in the evening hours after dinner.

Unfortunately, many proved that he was a fraud.

The commentary form the professionals (a psychologist, reporters, researchers, police, family and a few of his colleagues) towards the end of the last episode of the series was descriptive of the wool that has been pulled over the eyes of the naive. The man truly had a good story; a very convincing one. He crafted something out of truth and deception. He spent many, many grueling hours and years coming up with facts, with, unfortunately, a great amount of fiction that was not easily detected. The Christian man–adopted and raised by a Christian family, abandoned by his birth father and neglected by his birth mother–longed for closure.

The man claimed that his birth father was one of the most wanted men in history, and he made every effort to prove it. Like I had said, he didn’t prove anything, and his credibility was destroyed by his own hand. But, that’s not my objective within the writing for today.

Within the whole series, and right from the very opening moments of the first episode, the essence of the man’s need for closure was subtly evident. Being adopted, he wanted to know why he was abandoned. His birth father had left him in a stairwell when he was just months old. He wanted to know if the man he claimed was a serial killer had ever really loved him. He certainly struggled with his own identity, not knowing his father (but he did carry an off-and-on, dysfunctional relationship with his birth mother). He also struggled with loving himself and others. He had been married several times. He couldn’t maintain healthy relationships because of his obsession to find an answer to his nagging, internal questions about his father. It controlled his life.

Was it all conducive to his obsession with the picture of the serial killer that looked like his father? Were his uncertainties and his feeling of abandonment the reason why he made this man out to be one of the most awful humans possible: a serial killer?

The Psychologist had touched on the idea of the man having (bear with me, I’m not a Psychologist and I cannot repeat verbatim what was said) a set of beliefs that were true, without a doubt, to him. He believed the father he never knew was indeed the killer, and even if it entailed fabricating lies, it was still part of his belief of the truth. The Psychologist compared it to religion, and I could totally see his point. He stated that, in many cases, once someone is adhered to a set of beliefs, nothing can shake them, no matter what is presented. It was sad reality, the more I thought about it. The man who’d believed his father, and still to this day believes, was a serial killer, most likely has this belief because of the abandonment he felt and still feels.

I thought about my own issue with the same, yet different, feelings of abandonment. I felt as though my father had abandoned me for many years–that he didn’t make a true effort to love me. I was not adopted, but I know a few who were. One in particular is a guy that I work with. He is always looking for his birth family, and he longs for that same, “closure”. I can see how it could be and would be hard to think that someone could throw their flesh and blood away, so to speak. It has caused a great amount of bottled up grief and bitterness within my buddy. It leaks out when he talks about it. Without a doubt, I’ve carried the same bitterness. It still resides and leaks, at certain times. But, I have realized many truths about my father since thinking about his realities. I now know some of the realities of my dad, and it has helped me lay to rest my frustration. Unfortunately, many adopted people never receive the chance to know their parent’s reality, so they never get a chance for closure.

It’s hard to know why things happen the way that they do. It’s a real bitch having to deal with the consequences, emotions and the way we perform as we go forward, because of the choices of others. If one feels abandoned by someone, most usually have a lot of resentment towards them. They ruminate about those people–fabricating the thoughts and assumptions that may not be true, and those decisions that were made by the killer, completely destroy their victims.

Do we–do I– add lies to the story for the book? Do we craft manipulative, strategic bluffs and weave them into our story?

2 thoughts on “He Was Sure

  1. Interesting questions Damon. A few years ago I had the opportunity to be briefly reunited with my birth mother. I looked an awful lot like her (poor woman) and it was strange to see someone that I resembled so much. I also felt that I had a need for some kind of closure, but I learned a few things. I actually spent a couple of days with her and then we spoke with one another for a year or so on the phone quite often before she passed away. I wasn’t angry, in fact when she tried to explain her circumstances I saw no need for her to apologize or explain. The bottom line is you can’t change what has happened and for me it seemed like crying over spilt milk. What I did learn is that you cannot invent history and the truth of the matter is that we had no history that I could remember. I can’t change that. Could my life have been different if she had kept me, I’m sure it could have been but she decided not to keep me and that is reality. She told me a bit about my birth father, he was an American pilot who was taking training in Winnipeg, Manitoba during WW II. He knew that my birth mother was pregnant with his child but decided to walk away from it all. I can’t change that either. I agree with you that the father figure does play an important role in a boy or young man. I never had that either, even with my adopted father. I can’t change that either. The important thing from my perspective is that I survived and through God’s grace, what is past is past, what happens today is what is important and where I am heading for tomorrow. We all make mistakes, we all make bad choices and that includes me. I learned that what I thought was closure, was really, at least for me, my need to justify or explain why I did what I did and I learned that the basic reasons for my decisions truly resided in me, not in what others had done to me. Now, some could possibly feed into the other but I’m thinking that even if what happened to me had been different, I still would have made a lot of the same mistakes I did. I didn’t need a remake of the old me, I needed a new me. At least that is the way that I see it, for me. So my new life is in Jesus and I’m learning to walk away from the old me. It’s the exact opposite from getting the old me to become more like Jesus. For me that is truth, this fellow you wrote about wasn’t really looking for that from what you say. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I thought I would share this with you. Blessings brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The important thing from my perspective is that I survived and through God’s grace, what is past is past, what happens today is what is important and where I am heading for tomorrow.” That is how I am beginning to see it as well, Bruce.
    As for my friend at work, I’m not sure where he truly is with God. he was raised Catholic, but he is also very, I’ll just use the word, “wild”–not a whole lot points to a faith in God’s plan, when observing. I could be totally wrong, and I am no position to judge his heart or beliefs.
    As for the man in the documentary, I never really saw his true intent or objective. Only God knows.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and testimony here, Bruce. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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