Monday, February 26, 2007
Either my father didn't love me or he was so emotionally retarded that he couldn't show love if he did feel it. I was scared of him when I was a little kid. Things were never good between us, if he wasn't mad about something, then it was a lot of uncomfortable silences. A lot of our problems stemmed from the lady he married after he divored my mother, by all accounts a rather witchy woman. She would make stuff up to be mad about and then get him going.....but this isn't about her.
By the time I was in my late teens, I'd had enough. Why spend your life trying to please people who cannot be pleased? My self-esteem was already gone (not to return for many years), why keep beating a dead horse? So I let them go. A year or two later, my sister reluctantly did, too.
A few years later the Stepmother got leukemia and died quickly. I was distraught, I didn't like the woman, but I didn't wish something like that on her either. However, she was always fond of telling us that we "upset our father" so we did what we felt he wanted and stayed away.
He married again like 5 or 6 months later! The new lady was really pushy, but really nice and she was the boss of him, honey. She MADE him get on the phone and call each of us. And of course we welcomed him with open arms. I was proud to meet with him the first time with my husband and 6 year old in tow. And he was a changed man, he was nothing like the man I could barely have a conversation with from some years before. Only sometimes was there the awkward silence.
By unspoken agreement, the past was the past. We did not rehash. No one proclaimed right or wrong. His new wife gleefully told us everything we needed to know when he wasn't around. She loved that kind of stuff, and we forgave her for it.....after all, if not for her......
Then he got cancer and died quickly, it will soon be 10 years. We had about a year and a half with him. Good times. Something to remember. Not everyone gets their rifts patched up like this. For me, it was like a band-aid on a shotgun wound, but it worked for me. But when he died I went through a long time of feeling like he never loved me, he just did all of that to please his new wife. SHE wanted it all healed. I still feel like that. If you asked me to point out what has "ruined" my life the most, it would be this relationship.
Last night in my dream I was on the porch of a beach house. He came up beside me and we just stood there looking down. There was a storm coming and the waves were starting to roll in under the stilts of the beach house. And we just stood there looking, not talking. And for once, the silence wasn't awkward.
I know its just the product of a mind trying to heal itself, but it was a really nice moment, I want it to be real. Its all just water under the beach house.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org @ 6:52 AM