` Thousands of miles have gone by since my last post. Rather than seeing snow and ice from my window, I am now looking out at a couple of islands on the Pacific Ocean.
` However, the computer I am typing from is not my own, and neither is the building that it's in. No matter - I think I've found the perfect place in which to set up my lab and rebuild MAL. It's within sight of here, actually, and I'm fairly excited.
` So, what else is new? Nothing much. Being a struggling mad scientist, life is pretty much as unglorious as the next young person's. Right now, I'm eating some reheated mostaccioli I'd made last night, which is only the second thing I've had to eat today.
` Really, though, I've come a long way to get up to this point: I remember when I wanted to be a scientist and my dangerously psychotic father would do everything in his power to make me feel indigent.
` He would say; "You can't make it in the world because you're you! The only way you can make something of yourself is to stick with me!"
` ...Actually, that's what he still says in his letters even though we haven't seen each other for years.
` Once a mentally deranged control freak, always a mentally deranged control freak.
` In fact, he often used to make the point that I was much stupider than a horse, since horses are at least intelligent enough to have their spirits broken.
` Unsurprisingly, childhood was more or less a constant barrage of pointless put-downs and vicious insults.
` On top of that, when I least expected it, he would come up with some horrible crime for me to have committed - i.e. causing his personal marital and sexual crises - and would repeatedly lecture me about them over the years.
` Growing up, I really did believe that I was a horrible person who caused everybody's problems, which is why I hated praise and gifts. I'd burst into tears, saying; "I don't deserve this!"
` Unfortunately, such feelings of stomach-churning guilt on my behalf only caused my dad to start ranting about what an 'ungrateful bitch' I was.
` "See?" he would say (as he usually would anyway). "This is why no one likes you! I'm the only one who really cares! You will never make friends or have relationships, or function in society! Period.
` "You will never, never be able to hold a job. You'll either live for the rest of your life housebound with some disreputable punk who beats you every night, or wind up in an nut house!"
` Needless to say, it is he who requires institutionalization. In fact, I've recently had a lengthy discussion with a long-lost friend of mine about the completely off-the-wall nonsense he'd say to her about absolutely anything and everything.
` Including me.
` One of the things that Daddy Dearest had kept insisting on was that I would become a drug addict and/or a total slut if I ever went to college - which is why he always did his best to dissuade me from continuing with school.
` The more my friend had assured him that there was no reason to think that I would even remotely turn out that way, the more ferociously angry he had become about it.
` Heck - he didn't even want me to have any reading material to further my own education: When I signed up for the Library of Science - which sold brand-new science books at a discount - he did nothing but get on my case about it.
` Supposedly, he had looked through the catalogue himself, seeing (through the filter of his self-serving delusions) that all the books were 'ten or twenty years old'.
` Not only that, but he kept ranting about how signing up would somehow cause his life to be ruined by junk mail.
` Honestly, I don't think it's possible that the old lunatic could ever run short on inane and irrelevant excuses - nor that he could do too much to stand in my way. And despite him, I went ahead and bought some interesting books through that organization and I'll be damned if it hasn't encouraged me to consider a career in science.
` But which field...?
` When I think about these things, I can see how far I've come from that life.
` It has been five and a half years since he was rejected by most of his relatives - and subsequently stole every personal work and item I'd ever made or owned at the time (except for most of my clothing).
` What can I say? My dad's an obsessed psychopath. He even sent undercover cops to spy on his own family - something about witchcraft or something....
` Not only that, but since my days dealing with Mr. Lunatic, I've gone through the most incredibly unspeakable treatment one can imagine - far worse than the most painful abuse I've ever endured from him - which has actually worked to create a wedge between my earlier memories and my current life.
` As a result, I have finally gained the ability to experience the feeling of ambition, something my dad absolutely dreaded and fought against. Today, after all I've been through and all that I face, I'm actually glad to be where I am.