This is something I composed for my father. I know that he’s very troubled because I won’t talk to him. I’ve heard it from everyone more or less that knows him and also me. But I cannot deal with it all right now. Dealing with it in 2014 tanked me and I stayed down until basically right now where it feels like I might be in a place to actually get my feet under me instead of being dragged along with the current of what was happening to me.
My approach to my father is something I’ve been realizing I need to change. But it will be extensively hard to deal with. This is the start. I’ll edit in his response if it’s juicy… but if he cares about me more than he cares about himself… he wont respond at all.
Sadly I suspect I know who he cares about and it hasn’t seemed to be anyone other than himself. Stay tuned.
I had considered sending you an email after I had hung out with Hailey a few times to warn you I was here and to remind you that when I am talking to the kids I only tell them stories about their wonderful Papa. Because I have those stories.
You cannot go back and make the past all about the person who featured in those stories and refuse to talk about the version of you that was stomping around yelling at everyone when you were mad at one person. Those two people were the same.
I spent my entire life making, creating, and finding excuses for you. I formulated my economic world view around thinking the world should be organized so that no one is ever in the same situation my family was in where the economic circumstances we were in caused people (like my father) to be less than their best. I loved you. I will always love you. You have been deeply important to me.
But you won’t listen to me.
You take the words I have said to you and mix them around until you have something that satisfies you… and it was not what I meant or said.
This is different than hearing things that force you to readdress your entire world view and understanding of reality. Which is what living with you and Mom in 2014 did to me.
You know what I didn’t need in 2014 when I was desperately trying to get my life together and could have really used your help? (To paraphrase language you used on me by text in October when you were blaming me for your own divorce for not fixing things when I was living with you guys). To have my father expect me to “be a big help to him” by helping him not listen to my mother and help him explain things to her so that she would shut up and stop bitching at him. I am not a marriage counselor. And you refused to use one despite multiple pleas from me and others for whom you have no respect and I fear never have.
I have to reiterate this and I have no hope you will keep the words strung together properly so that you understand what I am saying.
You. Yourself. On your own. To me on the deck after returning from Carrington bay. You did the damage to your and my relationship.
I will never forget that. I cannot. It is irrevocably in with the memories I have of you for better or worse. The same way I will never forget you telling me that everything that happens to you is your own fault. That is a part of me. You put it there. Accountability is deeply important to all your children.
Except I grew up watching you blame your shitty behaviour on anything but yourself. You were so dedicated to raising kids that hate hypocrites. Except you are the biggest hypocrite and we are all deeply troubled by it because we love you and always will.
I know all this hurts you because it hurts me too. I’m sorry this situation is what it is because you don’t seem to understand what reality is and isn’t anymore. I have been knowing I need to change my method with you. But I can’t figure out a way to interact with you that does not hurt me deeply.
I have things I need to figure out and get done to get my life in order and I cannot bear what is going on with my family. This is why no contact has served me well.
But I know that it hurts you and I don’t want that.
So. How much do you expect me to hurt myself to help you? How much would make you feel loved and supported? How much detriment to my adult self would make up for the trials of parenthood that were hard for you and forced you to rage and scream and threaten your family.
I never asked to be born. I was a child when you were bitching and screaming at everyone. And as an adult I have seen that other people don’t deal with their stress this way.
Where is my exceptional father? Did he ever exist? Mom tells me you changed from the man who had so many exceptional qualities despite being a massive asshole… But I wonder if you were just always lying and the asshole was the reality.
Update 1: dad didn’t respond immediately. Which is heartening. It shows he would like to give this the attention it deserves. What that means I have no idea. But he can’t stop himself from getting a jab in momentarily right now obviously.
His small response.
a very nice letter Amie – it took awhile to read – I will fully reply when i have had more time to process – in the meantime – all my children call me dad – why begin a conversation – with something that going to set the other person off balance
Yes. Anyone would be upset to receive my words. He’s upset. And I don’t feel good about that.
I think like him, which means he thinks like me… Of course he understood something powerful about my use of his first name.
What I want to reply in allcaps: is that yes. He has identified correctly that I am destabilized and am more than prepared to inflict that upon him. I am extremely able to utilize his own arguing tactics against him in a more refined and more extreme way. They are not pleasant. I can and will use his own words against him in a way more devastating than he can dream of. I am in pain and I seek him to understand by forcing him to feel it. Fall before me and despair you impotent old man. I am what you created in your glory and got to watch you decline and entrench yourself in your most damaged of ways. I will have you know my ire if the fact that I have shielded you from it is so upsetting to you… Are you happy now???
For someone who isn’t acting like the father I know. A first name basis is so much better than “Listen here, Fucknut”.
But two out of four of the smartest women in my life strongly and immediately advised me to not engage him until long after his detailed response. (Stay tuned!)
Mom accurately did point out in the first place that he is actively trying to consider this, for better or worse that shows something. And to immediately respond might push him into immediately responding because he would be overwhelmed with two responses to respond to. It might create the situation I was worried about.
I would be foolish to ignore this advice. I don’t even really need to ask numbers three and four (these are not rankings. Just … Numbering randomly), I suspect that they would advise the same. But I should send them a missive to say I miss them. And then a bunch of other missives to other good friends I might have confided in about this but won’t. Just because I am bad at friends and do value people dearly and have good people in my life.
Won’t that be so much better than getting drawn into; or creating, a pissing match with my toxic father? I think so.