It’s sad but it’s progress.

Posted: January 29, 2014 in It is What it is., Karma has found me., Useful Shit, You can't pick your family
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My husband and I had an interesting conversation today at lunch. I had just finished a call with my father and we were talking about how the conversation went…

Generally, ever since my father and I got into the fight about him deciding to get married on a whim, things between us have not been the same. Hell, maybe it hasn’t been the same for him ever since the Italy trip. I don’t know. I keep hoping our relationship will revert back to what it was just after my mother passed away but it has not.

So, I’m telling my sweet husband how there is just this underlying tension when I talk to my father and that he always seems so uncomfortable anymore talking with me. It feels like he can’t wait to get off the phone with me. He also seems to mention hot topics in passing that feel passive aggressive to me… like, why is he even mentioning that when he knows it’s a sore subject? Am I being too sensitive? Too emotional?

I was pondering this out loud at the dinner table when my husband finally states that it seems like since he has known me that my expectations of my family are always too much for any of them to handle.

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Um…. what???? Why did I not see this before? I feel like such an idiot! 😡

I have been bitching about this for months and months! I have wasted so much stress and heartache within myself about this! It makes me so pissed at myself that I did not contemplate or even seriously consider this!

It’s true. My expectations for these people that are related to me are WAY  beyond their capabilities. And I am constantly setting myself up for disappointment. People are who they are. I cannot change them and I should not be expecting them to change. FOCK! I cannot believe how much time and energy was wasted on this mess in my life!

In the days after my mother passed away, my father was the kindest and least passive aggressive I have ever seen him in my entire life. I now realize that he was just in a very needy and vulnerable state. He was destroyed emotionally and was clinging to every good thing he could. I welcomed him into my heart and home and he was so kind and gracious to everyone. This was not his normal attitude. He had always been judgmental and would take these little jabs at people “beneath” him. He was not doing that in the days after my mom passed away. He was awesome. For me.

My brother has said that in those days after my mother passed, my father was distant and cold and generally not a good father to him. This surprises me to no end because I did not see that. I live 3+ hours away from them and was not talking to my brother real regularly at the time so I did not know this is what was happening with them.

If you all remember, my time in Italy with my father was painful for our relationship. That was when I found out he was doing some things I felt were highly immoral for very selfish reasons. It was also when I found out that his perception of me was very skewed and based on who I was as a 14/15 year old girl and not who I was as s 40+ years of age woman. And, it was when I realized how angry he was with me for that… that as a parent even, the mistakes of a teenage daughter were apparently never going to be forgiven or forgotten by him.

At the time, that made me sad. Then, it settled into just being frustrating. After today, I am just going to say that it is what it is. I can’t change it. I can’t change him. And I am pretty sure that my relationship will never progress with him as long as he carries such resentment in him.

My husband is right. I expected way too much from him as a father. I expected him to be like how I feel inside as a mother to my own children right now. I mean, I have his DNA and most of his personality… I just figured he must feel this way… but he doesn’t. He’s not like me. Everything he says about “family” to me has an underlying tension and disingenuous quality to the words.

I expected that someone almost 20 years older than me to be smarter, more sincere, more wanting of love and family… all his family… not just certain parts or people in it. I expected him to be the wiser elder. I expected him to love me unconditionally and see me for who I really am. That’s a lot of expectations to put on a normal person. As a daughter, I think a lot of women can understand how I didn’t see him as “normal” people… I saw him as my father — the one who should always be my protector and advocate and safe guard and fail safe. Super dad is what I wanted.

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As I am writing this, I feel so sad. It’s such a revelation to me that all my dreams and expectations of having a father, the self created father in my mind, are now shattered. That’s not who he is. He has told my brother multiple times in the past that we are now grown and he shouldn’t have to do anything else for us. THAT’S who he is. THAT’S the real him. It’s very emotional for me. I’m very sad about this.

But I need to accept this now. I need to make myself understand that my expectations were beyond what he could ever achieve and I am ultimately wrong for pushing that. I never, ever want anyone in life to be someone they are not. Truly. If you want to be an asshole, be one as long as it makes you happy… I don’t have to associate with you if that’s the case. But, you be whoever you want to be. Everyone in life has the right to do this. I should not be imposing different rules on this man who is my father. He’s still a normal human being at the end of the day.

 

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This is all kind of freaking me out because he started talking about my brother moving out to Washington by him. And I feel like I am once again being abandoned. Just left here… Oh, she’ll be fine on her own. She doesn’t need us. 😦

I have been on my own for the most part since I was 15 years old. I got my first apartment when I was 16. I worked full time and graduated high school with honors. My mom helped me out from time to time. My father acted like I didn’t exist. I can’t remember when they moved away but it was shortly after I graduated. It wasn’t too traumatic because they were still within the same state but it was a 3 1/2 hour car ride. My mother always called me once every two weeks during my really self absorbed early twenties to be sure I was still alive. And she kept it up until she no longer had the energy to speak for long periods of time. When she died, I felt all I had left was my brother and father.

Now, with news that my father is going to make a hard push for my brother to move to Washington, it will just be me again. Alone for real this time. I fully admit that right now I am a little terrified and most definitely sad. But I now see why it has been so hard for me.

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Just because he chooses to be that way doesn’t mean I will be, though. I vow right here and now to never be that way. I never want my kids to feel that they cannot count on me… that they cannot talk to me comfortably… that they are alone… ever.

 

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