Thursday, November 29, 2007

No, not forever

My version of the story is the one i am sticking with. i think my father is having a mid-life crisis. although he cannot see that. for him, mid-life crisis-ing is for weaker minded, less original people. No, he simply has come to the rational and not crisis-induced conclusion that he wants nothing to do with me, nothing to do with my mother and nothing to do with my sister. Should he have a major heart-attack and barely survive it, I am not to come to his side- I am not to even call. If my mother dies tomorrow, i am told, I will not be welcome at the funeral.

Oh, how the mighty fall.

I spent six hours on the phone with this bruised Ego, this disillusioned man-child. I was bewildered and perplexed by the time i got off- still in my pajamas. I was abused, and he abused my care for him, my concern for my own place in the family. He wanted to hurt me. He made me literally sick.

The next day i couldn't focus at work. I could not. I felt sick in my stomach, light-headed, fuzzy. i felt bruised up inside.

i felt out of control and i was... i was at the mercy of his tantrum.

my dad has earned his crisis: he has been the chief contributor to it. My dad deserves to rage: lots that is presently making him crazy is not entirely his fault.

But not a bit of it is mine either, so i am not paying the tab.

I am going on with my life, the only one i have. I will not invest in his breakdown, though i honestly hope he regains his footing.

Once my aged and wise therapist held my hand and told me that i could not be the stabilizing force in my family. He told me he understood why i had tried, that he believed me when i said that i played the part i did because i feared the chaos that would ensue if i did not.

He told me I had to let happen in them what would happen-

and now I am doing that. I let them destabilize in my absence because i cannot struggle with them forever.
my son is growing up too quickly for that.


Becky said...

i cannot imagine how much this hurts or the frustration.

families are us, but not us. so hard. especially as an older sister (me). sigh.

Sandra said...

Family can bruise us so easily, maybe because we think we can let our guard down when we are with them.

I am sorry this is happening to you. I am sorry that more families can't function normally and not expect too much or push too hard.

Good for you for knowing when enough is enough and being strong enough to do what you have to do for you and your husband and son.

I hope that one day your father will see and know that he has a beautiful, smart, strong daughter and that he will be proud of you for drawig this line in the sand.

Lizzie W. said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this, but maybe he needs this -- to be broken with the realization that you are not his empire and he is no longer your ruler. I pray that pride wouldn't get in the way allowing God to build him back up.

You don't deserve his abuse. Sandra said it all beautifully and I don't have anything more to add, except that you, Chris and Judah are a beautiful family, and yes...Judah is growing up too fast for this.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this now...especially when you are in the process of transition and settling in. I agree with the others. You do not deserve this abuse. I'm proud of you for knowing this. I hope that your father finds truth and humility soon... It truly is not your job to hold their pieces together, although I'm sorry they are falling apart just as you had feared.

Hang in there, E. You are a strong woman, stronger than I'm sure you sometimes feel. Hold on to your boys...I know you have found wholeness in this unit, as I'm sure you are now.... I'll be praying for your heart, and this relationship.

cv said...

The staggering lack of self-awareness your father displays is truly gargantuan. I'm sorry for a few things: Six hours on the phone, a lifetime of abuse, the emotional drain.

Separating from a bio family that is doing you harm is one of the most difficult things to do, but it must be done if you want to live a normal life. (or close to one). YOU have to break the cycle. They never will. It is like cutting off a gangrenous limb. It's agony, but it will kill you if you do not do it.

BUT: Here is what I am SO SO HAPPY ABOUT!

Your Physical Distance
Your Resilience
Your Determination to not Participate
Your Protection of Judah from the cycle
Your Steps to Preserve your Sanity

Serenity and Strength are gifts from this that you will give yourself.

I am so so so very proud of every purposeful step you make in this effort.

I am here for you, and sending you all of my best thoughts.

Kristen said...

Everyone has said wise things, E.

Having been excommunicated by a father-in-law for a time (both J--who is the best son on earth--and me)...and being the oldest daughter trying to hold everyone together...yes, yes, yes, I get this striving and this pain (a little).

I am so proud of you for not "picking up this tab." Truly. Keep at it.


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