"AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS ONLY TO BE TRUSTED WHEN IT REVEALS SOMETHING DISGRACEFUL. A MAN WHO GIVES A GOOD ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF IS PROBABLY LYING."
I wrote "A Life Wasted" for you, so you guys would have a better idea of who your dad really is. I started thinking about doing this several years back when a few of you asked me questions about my past that I assumed you knew. Your desire to know me better inspired me to write my story. I've never liked talking about most of my past, and really didn't want to talk about it with my children, but you deserved to know the truth.
Once I started writing the pain of what I was doing was nearly overwhelming. I've told pieces of my story to guys I'm around, parts that interested them, like survival under dangerous conditions, flying a small plane, or fishing the Gulf of Alaska. Fun stuff. Guy stuff. But I never told any one the parts that hurt. I never talk about the pain I caused my wife and children. I never tell anyone how horrible I was at being a husband and father. I actually say the opposite. That I loved my family more than anything and that I was a good husband and father. Though it sounds ridiculous to say to you, I've told this lie many times. It was easy for me to tell as I'd convinced myself it was true. Writing my story has been painful because it has forced me to look past the lie I've constructed and see the truth. Writing this truth means admitting the truth, dare I say it means embracing it. Owning it, would be a better term. Writing the truth makes it real to me in a way that will forever prevent me from deluding myself with the more comforting false narrative. Writing about it makes it real, which has been extremely painful.
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Clayton's account number:
Company Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons
City & State: Cumberland, MD
Receiver Code: 7932
Beneficiary: Clayton Waagner