My father...do you know him?

Life can be a bitch, but you just have to keep keepin' on; shake it off and move along.

Adversity. It happens to all of us, every single person. Yours is different from mine and vice versa. No one person has it worse, per se, and someone else's struggle doesn't minimize another's. Although there is some shit I have never, nor do I ever hope, to experience I can say I can relate to having to move through tough experiences. That's something we can all relate to.

Some shit happened in my life recently that really stirred me up inside about all of this. Allow me to explain and share one dimension of my life with you...my father.

My father is a unique man. I don't think I have met anyone quite like him, although I know some of you will know someone close to you exactly like him. How shall I start? In no particular order, allow me to spew some random factoids out there:

The Ugly

  • Parent's divorced when I was 8 yrs. old.
    • He made it really hard on me and made me feel like garbage for wanting to live with my mom. I ended each conversation in tears. You try saying no to your abusive, angry dad at 8 years old. That messed me up for a while, but I never regretted my decision. 
  • Father was an abusive alcoholic.
  • I don't remember him ever holding down a steady job.
  • I was terrified of him. If he was home watching me and I was thirsty, I would just go thirsty. I never knew what would set him off.
  • He MADE me rub his feet every night. All the f-ing time.
  • I would lie awake at night hearing him scream at my mom and wake up the next morning and see shit and mess in the morning. 
  • The carpet always smelled liked musty beer.
  • He was a very proud man.
  • He let me down...ALWAYS. 
The Good
  • He was always proud of me. 
Some Other Perspective
  • After the divorce, he went and lived with his parents....29 years later, he wasn't moved out. 
  • He went to jail for however long and he and my grandparents tried to cover it up from me. I was like, why isn't he returning any of letters? I asked my grandmother about it, and, since then, she has stopped talking to me. I have no idea why. 
  • He has never supported me financially. 
  • He never came to any of my "milestone" events growing up. 
  • About 14ish years ago, his father, my grandfather (Victor) passed away, and we hadn't talked for years up until that moment, but he wanted to make amends, which we did, it was great. At that time I was engaged and about to get married later that year. We didn't talk about it when we saw each other at that time, because I knew I had to tell him he couldn't come. It never came up so it wasn't a problem...or so I thought. Once he got home he reached me, I forget if it was a letter or phone call or whatever, I don't remember. I just remember having the hard conversation of having to tell him no. Now understand, he never attended any milestone of my life. Nothing. No graduations. Nothing.  Long story short (and there is much more detail, believe me), he was upset. 
  • We did some sending of letters back n' forth after then, and this is important, because his last letter to me, the last I have heard from him up until 2 weeks ago, was very nasty. In that letter, he let me have it, calling me names and basically disowning me. So that was it. That was his decision and I just moved on.
Now understand this, I have no ill feelings for my father. When we made amends, I meant my part. All the years that pride and bitter roots grew were suddenly uprooted and I haven't held a grudge towards him or anyone else since. I love my dad, and although he is not a part of my life I would at least want my kids to meet him once (maybe twice). I would welcome him back into my life as a "friend-figure," but never as a father role. He was never been that. 

So we come 14(ish) years later to today. He finds that he some a tumor on his liver, he has been treated with chemo and he might be fighting cancer soon. Maybe it's this reason, maybe not, but he found me on Facebook and has been sending me messages. It took me a little while to respond, not because I didn't want to communicate with him, but because I needed to think through my level of engagement with him. I didn't know what or how I wanted to respond. Should I welcome him with open arms? Should I be cautious? How should I be? You gotta understand, my father has always let me down...always. He just doesn't come through, and I always want him to, but the reality is what it is. 

So we're messaging back 'n forth and he's telling me how much he loves me. It sounds sweet and sincere (it always does), and I am having a problem, because I just feel like I have to address the GIANT MOTHERFUCKING ELEPHANT in the room...like, so what's been up the last 14 years? Like, "What was that all about?" If I ignored my son or daughter, his wife (or husband, just being consistent) and my grandchildren for 14 years, the first thing out of my mouth would something around that, RIGHT???  Am I crazy here? So I pop the question. Here's his reply:

For the record, when he said he gave me his number, it was like the day or two before. It wasn't years ago with a plea for forgiveness and an invitation to connect. Nothing like that at all. So I remind him that I, one, have nothing against him, and two, feel the need to address the reality of the situation. "Never gave him an invitation," he says. Wow! I'm stunned and ask him if that's the bullshit he's been telling himself all this time. I promptly remind him about the last letter he sent and reminded him of his choice. 

Per usual, it's my fault somehow... but I respond

Excuse the text errors and incorrect grammer, lol


So he responds, to the notion of how "well he has treated me," with a bike he and some bunk beds he allegedly bought. I don't remember the bunk beds being special, but I do remember him making me worship him, because of this "better than everyone else's and everything on the planet" bike. See below. 

This is my dad. We've been through so many ups and downs, so many blogs (that will actually never be written) to post about it all. I couldn't make up a more ridiculous story.

You want to know what I first thought about when I read this? I thought about my son and my daughter. No matter how late I stay up, I'm always up ready to get them ready for school and the day, always. I AM ALWAYS FUCKING READY. I never miss a beat, haven't in 5 years going. I make their breakfast, I make their lunches, I fix hair when needed, have tied shoes, prepped snacks for the class, sign papers, ask about their days, have morning dance parties, give hugs, give kisses, give special handshakes. I do it all, whatever it takes. And, yes, I have bought a ton of stuff for my kids, but right now, I couldn't really tell you what the one or two items that my kids should immortalize how awesome I am because of them. I take my kids out with me, I visit them at school, I have coached their sports, I play games with my kids, and...and..we have conversations. I am involved in my kid's lives (their interests, their friends, the kind of people they are, etc). This is the kind of parent I am. I'm there, always there when they need me. I am even there when they don't want me, lol.

I love you dad, I do, but go fuck yourself with that bullshit.

I'm not mad at him. It may sound like it, but I am not. This has been my reality for all my life. I want my dad to be well. I wish we had a positive and healthy relationship. It may be odd for some to understand this, but I really do have love in my heart for him and want him to be well. I want my kids to know him and to know more of their family. I have tried to make things "healthy," but he wasn't feeling it quite the same way. He made a decision years ago and just wanted to show up like nothing happened and hoping I was waiting. However, I wasn't waiting. I stopped wanting something from him a long time ago.

Signing off now. Anyone else with similar issues? Do you know someone in your life like my dad?

Peace n love friends,

MB.

   




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