Dad’s words and actions haunted me as I rested and recovered yesterday, I decided to call his wife and leave a message. We talked this morning and it’s just not that easy a situation to come to grips with.
We’re not close, we never have been, yet Dad has one of Barbara’s sons calling him every day to check on him and that makes us look delinquent. What do you do when you’re feeling manipulated? How do you react to someone who is emotionally abusive? I remember trying to talk to Dad years ago and couldn’t get through to him then either.
Barbara made the comment that Dad is worried about his kids because out of the four of us only one really has a job, my middle brother. Nice. And she added you can’t expect to rely on the government to take care of you (that aimed squarely at me.) I tried to defend myself saying all my plans got dashed in a split second car accident. Futile words, looking back now. I was trying to unhook myself from being responsible for my Dad’s emotions again.
I grew up thinking “Cats in the Cradle” was speaking to directly to our family, we all kind of grew up on our own. The family obligation is a tight rope to walk, if we don’t perform we’re bad kids, and if we do perform, we’re good kids. But it’s not authentic either way. We’ve never been good enough, really, ever.
What I’m really longing for at this time in my life is peace, something we sure didn’t grow up with, but my overall health requires now. How can one live in peace when you’re living a facade? Why can’t the tension finally be over and we all just be ourselves?
I feel like we’re doing the dance of denial, trying to make sure Dad continues to live in the shell of belief that we’re more of a family than we actually are. The simple truth is if I wasn’t related to these people, they’re not the kind of folks I’d choose to spend my time with.
It’s a tough call, we weren’t good enough for his Mother because we were all adopted and not her ‘real grandchildren.’ Our Mom wasn’t good enough because she wasn’t a ‘real professional.’ And Dad himself told me on many occasions he never wanted a daughter, visiting him again this last time, told me I was his favorite. Shifting sand. Never really knowing when we’ll be accepted or rejected and criticized.
I would like to find a way through this somehow and do the right thing, that’s why I’m here talking about it and trying to reason things out.
I am praying for and seeking a peaceful path through. Life is short, regrets can weigh us down. I wish to do the right thing without compromising my spirit or anyone else’s. I think this world is big enough for all of us getting our most vital needs met without the drama and conflict.
Oh yes, and I learned I was the only one to visit Dad on Father’s Day. Two brothers live on that side of the water and it’s not a 4-6 hour trip for them. So sad. Dad would have enjoyed the visit and we could have taken Dad out to a park and dinner. My brothers are missing out on life, may live to regret it one day, and are perpetuating dysfunction.