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woman who reads too much

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02:17 am: bad news
I got voicemail from my mom. (Chris is my brother, Jack is my dad, Vickydali is my dad's cousin.) Mom passed on some info about Chris's kids, then said, "...and I just talked to Chris, and Jack has been in the hospital, your dad, since Saturday, and Chris doesn't know how he's going to be, whether he'll get out of it or not. He seems to have quite a bad infection. He's got a septicemia and the flu, and they're doing a lot of tests on him, and Chris is spending a lot of time at the hospital with him. So, I told him that I would call you, and that he should call Vickydali and tell her, and he's been in the hospital for about five days, since Saturday, so he hasn't been doing too well since then but he's still lucid when he's awake but he;s in quite a bit of pain. And if I hear more, I'll let you know, honey. Chris is going to call me tomorrow again I think. So call me whenever you get a chance. Bye bye, sweetie. I love you. Bye bye."

I don't even know how I feel. The first time I listened to the message I thought maybe I should go to Seattle to say goodbye. But that's crazy. I haven't seen my dad since I was fourteen. And he stopped talking to me the year before that: he said that I had been changing, that he felt like a moved in and taken over my body, that he wanted his daughter back, but until I turned back into his daughter I was not to speak to him. And I never changed back! The monster is me.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/286527.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2016 10:56 am (UTC)
Oh, B.o.D. you're not a monster. Who knows what that was about; some people are sadly unequipped to be parents. A girl who reaches puberty has not turned into a monster, but if her parent is unable to compass it, he might project it his own disturbed feelings on to her. It's right not to go see him; he broke the relationship into pieces when he was an adult and you were a child and you have no obligation to do anything with it now.

I found that giving up on relationships, like the one with my dad, that were unfixable because the person on the other end was too limited, freed up some energy for me.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2016 12:53 pm (UTC)
That is tough. I feel for you.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2016 01:42 pm (UTC)
When my dad died, we hadn't spoken for about fifteen years. I made a half-hearted attempt to reach him at the hospital after his fall, but he wasn't able to take the call. I was relieved. I didn't go to his funeral. Everyone told me I would regret it. It's been eight years. I don't regret it. I don't regret him. Walking away and walking on were essential to joy, for me. Looking back only brought sorrow. While it might have been nice to have a decent human being as a father, I didn't. Sounds like you didn't, either. You play the hand you're dealt, not the one you wish you'd gotten. And where you can, choose joy.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2016 03:02 pm (UTC)
Echoing everybody else who says you do what is best for you.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2016 04:35 pm (UTC)
that sounds really rough. whatever you do, you don't owe him anything--he turned away from you. what a thing to say to one's daughter.

*lots of hugs*

[User Picture]
Date:April 8th, 2016 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there's a specific psychological term for fathers who can't cope with their daughters becoming women, but I can't remember what it is offhand. Saying he felt like a monster had moved into your body! Sheesh! It's bad enough to have to go through puberty and feeling like the changes in your body and mind are making you uncomfortable in your own skin, without one of your parents coming out with that bullshit.

I was originally going to say that perhaps you should go to say goodbye, for the sake of the relationship you used to have. Then I realised that if you haven't interacted with your dad since you were 14, then not only has he failed to be a good dad to you, but he's also failed to be a good grandfather to your children. And everything you've ever posted about your kids implies that they were really bright, thoughtful teenagers who have grown into interesting young adults.

And that really says it all, for me.

I like the monster you are, personally. And I like the sound of the two monsters you raised. They come across as the kind of humans we need in the world. Whereas your dad really doesn't.
[User Picture]
Date:April 8th, 2016 02:02 am (UTC)
Phoo. I'm sorry to hear it. I've known you for ten years, and you're definitely not a monster. I'm somewhat sorry he didn't get to see that.
[User Picture]
Date:April 9th, 2016 02:17 pm (UTC)
I think you're a kind and lovely person, who I wish I lived closer to. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you know there are people here for you and that you deserve to be cared for as much as if not more than anyone else in this. I like your mum for not pressuring you in that phone call. She's a good egg.
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